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Russell T Davies on Queer As Folk reboot, Doctor Who and his new ITV drama ‘about an old soap star’

Exclusive: RTD tells Attitude the Queer As Folk reboot will be "much more modern - ferociously 2022."

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Attitude

He scored the TV hit of the year with his five-part drama It’s A Sin, and is joining Doctor Who as showrunner in 2022.

But it’s no rest for the wicked for Russell T Davies, who told us at last week’s Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar that he’s currently working on an entirely new project.

“It’s a drama with ITV coming up next year – a true story about an old soap star,” the screenwriter extraordinaire told us on the red carpet. “But I’m not allowed to say any more about it!”

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We caught up with RTD immediately after his Steps selfie [above] and shortly before he accepted the Inspiration Award with his It’s A Sin buddies.

Here, we chat about Doctor Who casting requirements (“they need to be limitless”) and what he knows about the Queer As Folk reboot. (He created the 1998 Manchester-based original, and will serve as an executive producer on the new US-based project, FYI.)

An It’s A Sin sequel – is that a possibility?

No, to be honest, there’s no work being done on that. It ended.

Wouldn’t you want to revisit the surviving characters?

No, I think leave them where they are. It was a lovely piece of work, it said what it had to say, and we’re all amazed by the impact it had – move on!

There were originally eight episodes. Are you able to divulge anything that might have happened?

Everything happens [the same], just a little bit slower! When it changed to five, you pack everything into those five. It’s my job to do that. I don’t mind that at all.

An obligatory Doctor Who question – I tried to think of an original one…

Good luck… Why?

To be unoriginal then, what do you think of Olly Alexander as Doctor Who?

Oh, stop it, what nonsense! I’m not joining any speculation about that. My Doctor Who is way off. It’s the 60th anniversary, which is November 2023! This is all too soon… I can’t.

What qualities does an actor need to take on that role?

They’ve got to be limitless. In a single word, they’ve got to be limitless. They’ve got to be capable of doing anything.

Can you give us any tidbits about the Queer As Folk remake?

I don’t know much about it, they’ve been delayed filming. Recently they had a hurricane, that delayed them. But I think they’re starting any day now. I’m not actually part of it. It’s a lovely man called Stephen Dunn who’s running it. They send me very nice emails, the cast say hello to me on Instagram, but that’s it… That’s the extent of my involvement. I’ve read it – it’s much more modern, it’s ferociously 2022. It’s got much more [of] today’s issues in it, trans characters, diverse characters. It’s really, really thrilling and I’m excited.

And what are you working on at the moment?

A drama with ITV coming up next year – a true story about an old soap star. But I’m not allowed to say any more about it… and then Doctor Who.

Coronation Street, I assume?

No, actually! That would be good – a bit of Julie Goodyear!

Read the Attitude Awards issue, out now.

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