Sky Atlantic to celebrate British gay icons

Edmund Broch May 30, 2012
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The satellite television channel, Sky Atlantic, is set to broadcast a three-part series on British gay icons, to coincide with Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Marketed as a look at the alternative ‘queens’ of British television, the series, called ‘God Save the Queens,’ will look at the careers of gay icons and their roles in changing attitudes to sexual plurality in the country over the past sixty years.

The first episode, to be broadcast tomorrow and called ‘Hidden Queens,’ will focus on male performers who sought to hide their sexuality, including Danny La Rue, Kenneth Williams, and Liberace.

Other icons to be featured include David Bowie, Freddy Mercury, and Lily Savage, and the series will feature commentaries from Julian Clary, Cilia Black, Alan Cumming and Ronnie Corbett.

Ros Edwards, who produced the series, said that much as the society has moved forward, there is a lot more that needs to be done to break down extant homophobia.

“I think the likes of Alan Carr, Louie Spence, Paul O’Grady, Brian Dowling and Boy George have all done an amazing job by just being themselves in the spotlight,” she told The Independent.

“It has broken down huge barriers and brought a much fairer appreciation of being gay and being in the spotlight. But I don’t think that anybody will deny that there is still prejudice out there and a lot of lessons to be learnt. We have got to the point where [gay icons] do dominate and are open and out. They’re not judged and I think that’s just how it should be,” she added.

The series will focus mainly on male gay performers, and hinted that there was a separate programme which will look at lesbian icons.


More: gay icons, god save the queens, sky atlantic

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