Friday 20 October 2017

Andrew Scott to star in BBC's Gay Britannia season

By Laura Harding

The season will also feature Simon Callow, Daniel Mays and Sandi Toksvig.

Andrew Scott, Simon Callow and Sandi Toksvig are among the stars who will take part in a season of BBC programmes marking the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967.

Gay Britannia will mark the half century since the Act partially decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21 and aims to cast a fresh light on the history of gay Britain.

The season will include previously announced dramas such as Against The Law, in which Daniel Mays will play journalist Peter Wildeblood who was found guilty of homosexuality in the 1950s in the explosive Montagu Trial, and Patrick Gale’s Man In An Orange Shirt, starring Vanessa Redgrave.

It will also feature documentaries such as Is It Safe To Be Gay In The UK?, which will use testimony and found footage to explore the rise of attacks on lesbian, gay and transgender people, and BBC Two’s What Gay Did For Art, which celebrates the contribution lesbian and gay people have made to culture, as well as BBC Four’s Queers, in which Mark Gatiss will offer his and other writers’ response to the anniversary.

Crime author Val McDermid will present Queer Britain on Radio Four, exploring the many ways the LBGTQ community has been accepted or ostracised, while Callow will present Public Indecency, a history of queer art, and Radio Three drama Victim will explore the 1961 film of the same name, which was the first in the English language to use the word “homosexual”.

Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two said: “This is a rich and compelling set of programmes that challenge us all.

“From the heart-breaking testimony of the men who lived through the years before partial decriminalisation in Against the Law and Patrick Gale’s intensely personal Man in an Orange Shirt to a documentary revealing the experience of people facing discrimination in the UK today, this season is a powerful examination of how far we have come whilst also exploring how much further we have to travel.”

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