An expert panel said the corporation should use children’s programming to help “familiarise audiences through incidental portrayal from an early age” as well as validating older children who may be LGB.

The study urged that creative and bold programming be used to rectify the fact that lesbian, bisexual and gay people, are ‘still relatively invisible” in the media, reports The Telegraph

While there has been some improvement in the portrayal of LGB people over recent years, the BBC panel said representation of gay people is still so unusual that it “stands out” when included, with lesbians and bisexuals particularly under-represented.

Part of the study involved interview with LGB organisation representatives, who said the media has a responsibility to educate wider society as well as reassuring younger gay viewers by using positive role models.

Change is already long overdue, as a similar BBC study was conducted two years ago. but apparently the findings of the 2010 research had little impact, as they were not effectively communicated with independent producers.