Queer As Folk Writer Russell T Davies: Gay Writers “Still New” To Society

BBC: Russell Tovey in Years and Years

In an interview with the BBC, script writer and television producer Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, Dr Who, Torchwood, Bob And Rose, The Second Coming, Casanova and A Very English Scandal), said openly gay script writers are “still very new” to society but they are opening up new territory to bring LGBTIQ issues to the screen.

His latest show Years And Years starring Russel Tovey and Emma Thompson depicts the loves, laughs and losses of a rambunctious Manchester family, the Lyons, from today through the next 15 years as the world spirals out of control.

The cast of Years And Years (2019)

Talking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs Davies spoke about the increasing number of LGBTIQ characters and writers. He  joked, “we’ve always been there”, adding it’s time to “celebrate” that fact in TV and literature.

When asked by host Lauren Laverne why he was happy to be described as “a gay writer”, he said: “Well it’s unexplored territory, and it is still.”

“Any sense of queerness, any sense of otherness is still very, very new as a society,” Davies said.  

“But now as an “out” society we are less than 50 years old really, and that’s nothing,” he went on.

Davies added it was as important for modern writers to show there are things that gay people feel, say or do “that are identical to other people”.

“That needs saying as well, that we are exactly the same. It’s all there to celebrated. It’s wonderful, it’s rich open territory,” Davies said.

Gay actor Russell Tovey (Dr Who and Looking) plays a gay character on Years And Years and challenges the audience to change the way they view gay characters.

In an interview with Tovey said, “When it comes to how gay people are represented there’s been a complete shift from when I first started in this business. There’s more opportunity to show there are billions of different straight people – so why is there only one way to portray gay people?”

Touchingly, in the interview with Desert Island Discs Davies said he would use the Tardis from Dr Who to time travel back and see his late husband, who passed away this year.

“I would go back to that club and be a bystander. We caught eyes: what a magic moment,” Davies said.

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