It's a Sin: Russell T Davies Aids drama gets Channel 4 premiere date

You don't have long to wait to see the Queer as Folk creator's powerful new five-part series.


After weeks of anticipation, Russell T Davies' powerful Aids drama It's a Sin finally has a premiere date.

The first episode of the five-part charting the lives of a group of friends over the course of the Aids crisis will arrive on Friday 22 January on Channel 4 in the UK, with all episodes made available to stream on All4 immediately afterwards, Radio Times reports.

A US premiere date on HBO Max is yet to be confirmed. 

Starring Years & Years singer Olly Alexander, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry, It's a Sin follows three gay teenagers who find themselves in London at the start of the 1980s.

An official synopsis reads: "It’s 1981, the start of a new decade and Ritchie (Alexander), Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and Colin (Callum Scott Howells) begin a new life in London.

"Strangers at first, these young gay lads, and their best friend Jill (Years and Years' Lydia West), find themselves thrown together, and soon share each other’s adventures. But a new virus is on the rise, and soon their lives will be tested in ways they never imagined.

"As the decade passes, and they grow up in the shadow of AIDS, they’re determined to live and love more fiercely than ever."

Having teased for years that a series about the Aids crisis was in the works, Davies previously said of It's a Sin: "I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this. And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten. So it’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived."

Chart-topper Alexander, who made TV appearances in shows such as Skins before finding musical success as part of Years & Years, adds: "I feel like the luckiest boy in the world to be a part of this project, I’ve been a fan of Russell T Davies ever since I watched Queer as Folk in secret at 14 years old. His work helped shape my identity as a gay person so I’m absolutely over the moon we’ll be working together. 

"The script was amazing to read, I laughed and I cried a lot, it’s a privilege to be helping to tell this story and I’m so excited.”

Neil Patrick Harris, whose character Henry Coltrane remains an enigmatic figure ahead of the show's premiere, says: "I’m so pleased, and incredibly proud, to be a part of Russell T Davies’ new series. 

"This drama... is two things: it is an irresistible, funny, jubilant story of young people discovering their true identities and the unalloyed joy of living life to the fullest, it is also a deeply resonant exploration of a decade when so many of these lives were cut short by the devastating effects of the nascent AIDS pandemic. 

"Russell’s scripts chart the highs and lows of this time so beautifully and deftly, it’s an honour to help tell this story."

It's a Sin premieres on Friday 22 January 2021 on Channel 4, with all five episodes available to stream on All4 immediately afterwards.