Words: Steve Brown
Russell T Davies wishes he could travel in time to see his late husband Andrew Smith.
The Queer as Folk creator is also known for being the man behind the revival of the sci-fi series Doctor Who.
And while on BBC’s Desert Island Discs, he was asked where in time he would go if he could travel his own TARDIS – the telephone booth that crosses dimensions in the popular sci-fi series – and he had only one destination to go.
He said: “If I had a TARDIS, I would go to Canal Street in Manchester and be a bystander in Cruz 101 on April 12, 1998, as I was standing by the railing, and [my late husband] was standing at another railing with his friend, and we caught eyes.
“What a magic moment.”
Davies – who married Smith back in 2012 – described his late husband as the ‘nicest man in the world… he was so polite and so kind, and so loving towards people. It was extraordinary. He will be in every good man I’ll ever write now’.
Smith was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2010 and although he was given just 18 months to live, he made it another eight years.
In Attitude's Awards issue - out now to order globally and download to any device - Davies recalls coming up with the idea of the revolutionary Queer as Folk as he stood watching the dancefloor while out in Manchester.
He says: "I loved standing at the rail, watching the dancefloor, watching all those people.
"And I didn't know it at the time, but I was actually beginning to write a series in my head about those people."
Now, the BAFTA Award-winner has started shooting his latest programme, Boys - a new series starring Olly Alexander set during the Aids epidemic in the 1980s - and Davies opens up how he is glad this wasn't his first project.
He tells Attitude: "I look and think, 'Why didn't I write this in 1998?' It's much closer to my life. I'm not HIV positive, but these characters are all 18 in 1981, they leave home and go to university in the big city, they follow my life exactly.
"In many ways, I'm glad I didn't write this first because it had to take me 20 to 30 years to come around and look at it, and look at those people I knew who died.
"Friends who cared for them and their families. By the end, I think it has new things to say about the psychology of those people."
Read the full interview with Russell T Davies in the Attitude Awards issue, out now.