BBC’s ‘bold and provocative’ Gay Britannia set to rule the airwaves
The BBC will air a “bold and provocative” season of LGBT programming to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Actors Vanessa Redgrave and Simon Callow, Sandi Toksvig and Years and Years singer Olly Alexander will feature in TV and radio shows about the LGBT community.
Viewers will see the stories of famous LGBT figures throughout history.
More than a decade before the partial decriminalisation in 1967, Lord Montagu was notoriously convicted and later imprisoned for “consensual homosexual offences.”
His tale, and that of his lovers Peter Wildeblood and Michael Pitt-Rivers, will be told in Against the Law, which also features Sherlock actor and writer Mark Gatiss.
Hannah Gluckstein, the gender-challenging artist known as Gluck – “no prefix, suffix, or quotes” – also gets her own programme.
The show, called Gluck, will chart the modern British history of lesbians and its representation in popular culture.
There will also be sweeping depictions of different eras, particularly in the “intensely personal” Man In An Orange Shirt, which stars Vanessa Redgrave.
The BBC One show will portray two gay love stories, 60 years apart, which are linked by family – as well as a painting that holds a dark secret.
On the documentary side, Is It Safe To Be Gay in The UK? will see use testimonies and found footage to explore the recent rise in attacks on LGBT people.
More than 7,000 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were recorded during the 2015-16 financial year, equating to 20 hate crimes every day.
Radio 2 and Radio 3 will celebrate out and proud LGBTQ performers and filmmakers who utilised their sexuality to push boundaries, while BBC Two is set to explore What Gay Did For Art.
Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay will see the singer, actor and activist open up about his battle with depression as he explores why the gay community is more vulnerable to mental health issues.
Patrick Holland, the head of BBC Two, promised “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.”