'Holby City' has come under fire for having too many gay characters.

Lee Mead as Ben 'Lofty' Chiltern

Lee Mead as Ben 'Lofty' Chiltern

The hospital drama was launched in 1999 and has tackled many controversial issues over years, so it's no wonder BBC bosses were surprised when they received numerous complaints recently about the number of homosexual characters featured on the programme - despite the fact only four out of the 17 regulars are not straight.

Speaking to the Daily Star newspaper, Oliver Kent, the BBC's head of continuing drama, said: "I am involved in 'Holby City' and we had complaints recently because it was deemed by some viewers that we had too many gay characters.

"And that's because at the time we had two gay love stories. We had four characters out of 17. I don't think that's disproportionate."

Lee Mead's alter-ego Ben 'Lofty' Chiltern, and David Ames, 33, who is gay in real life and portrays Dominic Copeland, are the only openly gay characters in the soap.

Despite having a small minority of characters representing the gay community, Oliver believes the BBC programme might be looking to develop the bisexual community.

Oliver said: "What we could do more is represent bisexual characters. That is what we could be better at exploring.

"I don't think we have quite got that as right yet as we could. I think we could probably be better at that. I don't know how but I think we could."

Recently the former 'Doctor Who' star Paul McGann joined the cast of the BBC show.

The 57-year-old actor was known for portraying the time-travelling scientist in the sci-fi TV movie in 1996 but has now bagged himself a role as an actual doctor after he was approached to play charming surgeon Professor John Gaskell in the medical drama.

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