Doctor Who and Queer as Folk mastermind Russell T Davies to receive Outstanding Achievement Award
Russell T Davies is to receive Edinburgh Television Festival’s highest honour, the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award for his lifetime of work on television drama.
Davies has been working in television since the 80s as a writer, producer and showrunner.
The TV legend, who is openly gay, and has been with his partner Andrew Smith since 1999.
He is most famous for his 1999 series Queer as Folk, which followed three young gay men living in Manchester, and for his revival of sci-fi series Doctor Who in 2005.
The Doctor was played by Christopher Eccleston, who Davies had worked with previously on The Second Coming.
His Doctor Who coworker Mark Gatiss, who is also gay, told the Big Issue this week that although a lot has been won in the fight for LGBT+ rights, he worries about how quickly it could slip away.
“It is frightening how swiftly things could go back. With one sweep of a fountain pen they can undo laws,” he said.
Much of Davies’ work contains LGBT+ characters and themes, and Queer as Folk is often considered one of the most important gay dramas of all time.
Davies’ first LGBT character was a lesbian vicar in Revelations in 1994, a soap opera about the inner workings of organised religion.
In 2001 he created Bob and Rose, which focused on a gay man (played by Alan Davies) who has a relationship with a straight woman.
More recently, Davies created the trilogy Cucumber, Tofu and Banana.
Cucumber followed a middle-aged gay man, Banana LGBT+ youth in Manchester, and Tofu was an online LGBT+ documentary series.
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The series was nominated for the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series.
Davies is currently adapting the novel A Very English Scandal, with Stephen Frears set to direct and Hugh Grant starring, for the BBC.
Earlier this year, Davies said he thought the reason Doctor Who had such a gay fanbase was because “I think gay people are better and cleverer and more imaginative than anyone else.”
Davies will receive the award on August 24, presented by Red Production Company founder and his former colleague Nicola Schindler, after taking part in a Q&A about his work.
This news comes just days after it was announced that the new Doctor Who will be played by Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to take on the role.