Russell T Davies writing Aids drama
Russell T Davies has revealed he is working on a new drama about Aids in the early 1980s called The Boys.
The former Doctor Who writer - who made his name with his series Queer As Folk about a group of gay male friends - is about to launch his new shows Cucumber and Banana on Channel 4 and E4, which look at gay culture in groups of older and younger men in Manchester.
Russell told The Guardian that The Boys, also for Channel 4, t ells the story about the "quiet" deaths of men who died of the disease more than 30 years ago.
The award-winning TV creator revealed that the show is not written yet, but it will feature a fictionalised version of himself and some of his friends, adding that it may be one of the most personal projects he has worked on.
Russell said that while the stories of 80s Aids activism, demonstrations and marches have been told, he "can't believe" that no-one has written before about those who lived in "the bedsits" and who died on hospital wards where a "hero" friend of his helped out.
He revealed that when his boyfriend was diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago, it had forced him to stare "mortality in the face", and prompted him to look back at his life and how he reacted to Aids.
"We're reaching a bit of a generational thing, when men like me in their 50s are looking back - how shocked I was, personally speaking, we ran away from it, I ran away from it."
He said that for him it was not a time of "waving placards" or "marching on Downing Street", he just "stayed quiet". "It was just the brave few out on the picket lines. I didn't go on a march. I couldn't quite believe it was happening."
Russell revealed that although people he knew at the time died, "I didn't go to their funerals, I didn't write to their mums. I didn't do anything ... you're young and stupid. You just carry on. When I look back now, I'm ashamed about that. I wonder why I did that.
"That's why I need to write this, to find out why I did what I did."
Russell also said that he hoped his new shows Cucumber and Banana don't " look like it's just for the gays. I didn't not watch Cold Feet, just because they were all straight".