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Michael Leeks is a patient under the care of Phyllis Crane, after having an operation to remove a cyst Dr Turner and Phyllis find that Michael might not be giving anyone the full story. He was portrayed by Jack Archer.

Overview[]

Michael was the only son and child of Godfrey and Rita Leeks, they had been married ten years but nothing came along until he was born, when he was around seventeen he moved up west to work as a hotel bell boy making his parents very proud especially when he opened a door for Sophia Loren.

Michael was preparing to return home for a visit, his mother went to get his favourite snacks and told both Fred and Violet about his massive pay rise at the hotel, the Parthenon. Rita is pleased to have him home and he is pleased to be home describing the hotel as not a patch on his own home, Rita notices he’s sitting very awkwardly but he blames it on his continuous lifting luggage at the hotel. However Michael doesn’t get better, he gets worse and is running a temperature and is in pain, he also has a nasty cyst on his back. Dr Turner is called to the scene where Michael is diagnosed with a pilonidal cyst, an ingrowing hair at the bottom of his spine which has become infected.

Michael was sent to the hospital for an operation, when there his mother visits and brings him papers for the 1966 world cup which he was disinterested with as he doesn’t follow football. When discharged after the operation and Nurse Phyllis Crane is sent to change his dressings and repack the wound. When she takes a look at his antibiotics prescription she decides to take it with her and shows it to Dr Turner, it turns out Michael had genital warts around the penis and anus. They work out that as his anus is affected he must be homosexual and was too scared to ask for medical help in case his cyst was linked to his sexual activities which they weren’t.

Dr Turner goes to the Leeks residence to speak to Michael about his sexual activity and informs him he is to referred to the venereal disease clinic. Michael tells Dr Turner he didn’t want to be gay, he didn’t want to be attracted to men, that he was “one of them”, homosexual acts where illegal between men and not accepted between women. Homosexual people were seen as sick and subnormal and were often prosecuted, men often did prison time if found out. Dr Turner then steps in and tells him that there isn’t anything wrong with him and his sexuality is just how he is wired and that the law needed to change. Michael then admits he offers up sex for money at the Parthenon, which was in Dr Turner’s words made it no better than a “knocking shop”. Michael was offered opportunities for a successful career in exchange for his body and in his innocence or ignorance he took them.

Phyllis Crane then goes to explain that if he had any sexually transmitted infections he could be treated for them. She also takes the time to urge Michael to get out of the Parthenon for his own health and safety. He is resistant to because his parents were so proud of his job and that he made it out of the East End, when he opened a car door to Sophia Loren it was as if he became Sophia Loren. But she insists if they knew the truth they’d not want him living a dangerous life just so they could boast to their friends about having a son working at the best hotel in London, that they think the world of him, he corrects her by saying they think the world of the boy they think he is.

He then decides to talk to his parents about handing his notice in, they are confused at why he would hand in such a job with better prospects he would have in Poplar. At first they suspect he got a girl pregnant and tell him he should go back to her and put it right but he says that isn’t the case, he tells them the truth. They take it very badly and Rita bangs on his bedroom door frantically screaming and wailing to the point that he begs his father to take her away.

The next morning Michael decides to leave home without telling his parents who have become guilt stricken at their reactions. Michael left them a letter saying he hopes to “cure” himself so he could be the son they thought they had. Dr Turner and Phyllis Crane decide to track him down, his parents lead them to the name of a place known as Lakewood Grange, despite all that was going on his tests for Syphilis and gonorrhoea were negative.

Dr Turner and Phyllis Crane go to Lakewood Grange which is a hospital that specialises in “curing” the “disorders” of homosexual people. They find Michael having undergone “treatment” that would kill him eventually if he carried on, they rescue him from the hospital and he taken home to his parents.

His father Godfrey says if he stays as he is and Michael informs him that he will stay as he was as he was born with her sexuality. His father carries on and says that he will never be a father or known the pride one can feel. Godfrey assures Michael that he is very, very proud of his son and to be his father. Rita then says that she will love him until he finds a man who will love him forever, or he'll have her to answer to.

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