James has been playing his sexuality close to his chest, but is his secret about to be exposed to his family by an ill-thought-out 'date' with Bethany? Nathan Graham reveals all...
How has James settled into life on the Street?
He’s settled in well, he’s slowly starting to interact with new people and form new relationships. His brother is more out there than James, whereas he lets people come to him a bit more.
He finds himself backed into a corner and on a date with Bethany, how does that come about?
There’s been a bit of pressure from his brother and his dad, saying things like, "you’re a footballer, you’re a good looking lad, you should have a girlfriend." - but obviously James is gay. He’s comfortable with that but he wants to keep it on the down-low for now, so he’s just telling them that he wants to focus on his career for now. They’re having a family meal in the Rovers and Michael and Ed keep going on about Bethany, so James just blurts out that they’re already going on a date just to shut them up really. But then he has to cover his tracks by actually arranging a date with Bethany!
Why is James going to these levels to hide his sexuality?
It’s his fears of what it would mean to him to come out and that’s a grey area, the fear of the unknown. I think he’s thinking worst case scenario, his dad and his brother might turn their back on him, his career could go down the pan, he feels he could lose everything.
So how does he feel when Bethany tries to kiss him?
He’s really taken aback, in his mind they’re just being friendly and he’s comforting her, he’s not leading her on, even though it may look that way to her. James has had girlfriends before, but never took that next step with anyone, so when she goes in for the kiss he pulls away. I think he sees something in Bethany that he is really drawn to as a friend, she’s a really nice girl and he doesn’t want to hurt her so he feels it’s better to be brutally honest with her, be upfront and try to have her as a friend than lose her altogether.
How does Bethany react?
She’s not happy. She accuses him of messing with her when he knows she’s damaged goods. The only way for him to get out of this mess is to then be honest, "It’s not you, it’s me and I’m gay."
Will the time come for him to confide in his family, or is James still desperate to keep this to as few people as possible?
He tries to keep it that way, he’s still trying to fight his corner.
In the midst of all this James’ sister Dee-Dee is a no show at the party, how do the family react to that?
It’s standard Dee-Dee. Michael and Dee-Dee have a more fractious relationship where he sees her as the golden child, but because James is a bit more reserved, sometimes more mature in a way, he’s just like, "get over it", but it’s great for the whole family to be together.
How are you enjoying your time on the show?
I’m having a great time, everybody is so friendly. Working on the party has been really good as we’ve got to work with people we haven’t worked with before. I’m taking it day by day, just trying to learn as much as I can and keep improving.
Is there anyone you’d like to work with more over the coming months?
I’d like to see James get a nice friendship circle, maybe Seb who’s around his age, Craig possibly, Emma and Bethany of course.