CBBC praised for airing first teenage same-sex kiss on The Next Step

Fans delighted by the scene say it marked an important moment for queer representation on TV

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 25 July 2020 14:26
Cleo and Jude kiss on The Next Step
Cleo and Jude kiss on The Next Step

CBBC is receiving praise for the historical airing of a same-sex kiss between two teenage characters on the channel, in its drama The Next Step.

The show follows a competitive dancing troupe in the style of a mockumentary and has aired on the channel for the past seven years.

The relationship between Cleo (Dani Verayo) and Jude (Molly Sanders) marks the first time the show has portrayed physical affection between a queer couple.

In the episode titled “Room Service“, Cleo is upset that her friend Summer (Sage Linder) has left the dance troupe, but finds support from Jude.

Together they perform a dance routine to the song “Brave”, by Sahne Harte, before sharing a kiss.

In the episode, Jude comments: “Cleo and I are opposites in a lot of ways. Which is why we balance each other.

“I soften her edges, and she’s helped me to dream bigger. Cleo means the world to me. When I dance with Cleo, I forget about everything. It’s just her. We’re dancing together and all I see is her.”

Cleo then says: “When I dance with Jude, I feel safe and free all at the same time. When we dance together, it’s like magic.”

Fans tweeted their appreciation for the moment, with many hailing it as an important moment for LGBTQ+ representation.