BBC EastEnders’ first lesbian couple unrecognisable 29 years later

Soap history was made in 1994 when EastEnders cast its first lesbian couple.

Binnie and Della, played by Sophie Langham and Michelle Joseph, hit headlines almost three decades ago when their lesbian romance made it to the Square.

The BBC programme even screened its first ever lesbian kiss when they introduced the couple.

While Binnie was out and proud to be gay, Della didn't want to share any information about their relationship.

Della, who was a shy and retiring former hairdresser, kept their relationship secret and would accept advances from men to hide her true feelings.

The pair featured in 68 episodes of EastEnders and were on the soap for just under two years.

After being part of numerous storylines, including to sparking plenty of gossip on the Square, the pair left Walford for Ibiza together as a happy couple in 1995.

Michelle, from South London, got the role of Walford resident Della aged just 24 years old.

After she left EastEnders she went on to bag multiple roles across other soaps and TV series.

She played WPC Ronnie Lonnegan in A Touch of Frost in 2002. While back in 2008 she took on the role of Sister Anne in TV series Apparitions.

Michelle, now aged 53, also had minor roles in TV shows including the likes of The Bill and Holby City.

And like many fellow soap stars she appeared in Brummie-based soap Doctors in 2007.

However more recently, Michelle revealed that she had turned her back on acting, and is instead focusing on fighting to improve mental health services in Britain.

She is a patient representative at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She’s also been vocal publicly about homelessness, being a patient in a psychiatric ward and her experience of racism in the UK.

As for her on-screen girlfriend Sophie, she’s continued a career in TV also after leaving Eastenders.

Sophie has gone on to star in shows like Jonathan Creek, Doctors, Holby City and The Bill.

In 2017, she added another string to her bow and turned her hand to being a children's author, releasing The Tale of the Pirate Grave.

Since Binnie and Della's relationship in EastEnders, there's been several other same-sex romances to blossom in the square.

In 2009, Syed Masood (Marc Elliott) faced a major conflict between his faith and feelings, as he fell in love with Christian Clarke (John Partridge).

And more recently, Eve Unwin (Heather Peace) started a romance with Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal).

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