Emmerdale star claims he changed name for heartbreaking reason: ‘Too brown and gay’
Paul Lambert from Emmerdale, who is the son of Rodney Blackstock and Val Lambert, first moved to the community in 2004.
Paul played a number of dramatic storylines throughout the ITV soap opera, and he even made television history by marrying Jonny Foster (Richard Grieve) in the show’s first openly gay wedding.
Initially, Mathew quit the soap when Paul made an effort to mend fences with Jonny.
When his stepsister Nicola (Nicola Wheeler) wed Jimmy King in 2010, he briefly returned (Nick Miles).
After his mother Val passed away in March 2015, the actor returned to the role.
The last time viewers saw Paul, he had just decided to relocate to Portugal.
Now, Mathew has revealed in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk how he came to the decision to alter his name as his acting career in Emmerdale took off.
He continued by talking about his sexual orientation and what it was like to portray a gay role.
The Paul Lambert actor said, “I was homosexual on television when it wasn’t very cool, you know.
“I was performing drag on Emmerdale at a time when it wasn’t particularly cool, as well as homosexual kissing. I shared a gay kiss with Daniel Brocklebank, and because it was a little too passionate, we received countless complaints.
“I then performed the first marriage in prime time. In a sense, I’m now paying the price for being a part of that.
We all recognize the significance of homosexual history or LGBTQ+ history, and it’s fascinating how we are based on the achievements of all these incredible people who came before us.
Mathew continued by discussing acting and how casting roles have changed. Mathew also played Dr. Sullivan in the Channel 4 television series It’s A Sin.
It’s a little contentious to say this, but when I first started acting, I may have been viewed as being too gay and/or too brown. “With regard to the first, you could take action as I can alter my name.
My Indian name, Rajat, which is now used on my social media, was my first choice before I adopted Matthew as my English name.
“Business is encouraging people to come forward and declare their ethnic heritage, which is fantastic and I wholeheartedly support that.
Raj or Rajat is now sort of being pushed forward, and I am doing some [acting] bits and pieces, but really, in many respects, I’m not brown enough or gay enough now, just to come full circle. Matthew was successful before.
The irony is—and this may be a controversial statement—that I originally changed my name to Matthew because I was portraying so many brown folks lurking in the shadows.
And I’m sort of doing the same thing now, he continued, “but it’s ticking a box now, whereas previously it didn’t.”
Mathew continued by discussing his thoughts on straight actors performing gay characters and acknowledged that “the playing field is not equal.”
He made reference to the television show It’s A Sin by saying, “No LGBT part on It’s A Sin was not played by someone who was not themselves queer.
“And then I realized that there were a lot of… I must remark that when straight, white male performers say things like, “It’s ludicrous they are just actors,” you have the impression that the privilege is right there, right in front of them.
“But guys, what you don’t realize is, if it were an equal playing field, then it would be true,” I continued telling people.