Friday 12 March 2021
1pm - 3pm

Russell T Davies

Hear from one of the UK's most prolific screenwriters and TV producers whose latest success - It's a Sin - is currently streaming on All 4.


Russell T Davies OBE is a BAFTA and Emmy-award winning screenwriter and television producer whose works include Queer as Folk, the 2005 revival of the BBC One science fiction franchise Doctor Who, Cucumber, Years and Years and, this year, It’s A Sin. Russell began his career in children’s TV as a researcher, floor manager and later director, and started working as a professional scriptwriter in 1988 on Children’s Ward, Dark Season and Century Falls.

He moved to Granada ITV in Manchester to work on series like Revelations and The Grand, a period soap drama set in a hotel between the First and Second world wars; his struggle with these productions made him rethink his writing work and focus on a series celebrating being gay. First transmitted in 1999, Queer As Folk is still regarded as one of the most ground-breaking series to have been screened on British television, attracting 3.5 million viewers to Channel Four.

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As he’d fallen in love with Dr Who as a child, Davies was the ideal man to revive and update the show for a 21st Century audience.  His pitch document to the BBC described the new Doctor as “your best friend, someone you want to be with all the time”; he was the showrunner and wrote many of the scripts in March 2006 and he remained heavily involved until 2009. Dr Who spin-offs Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures followed, before he started work on the dramas Cucumber, Banana and Tofu which looked at the lives of middle-aged gay men in Manchester.

More recently he wrote the screenplay for the internationally-acclaimed A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, and also Years & Years – which dramatised the lives of an ordinary family in Manchester and the political economic and technological changes they face when a fascist dictator takes over Britain.

His recent Channel Four production, It’s A Sin, has been universally acclaimed as one of the bravest and most important television series in years, reflecting back on the HIV and AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The Guardian’s verdict: “It’s a Sin looks set not just to be to Queer as Folk’s companion piece but its companion masterpiece.”

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