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It’s a Sin creator Russell T Davies never meant for racy Phillip Schofield joke to be a ‘potshot’

Reiss Smith January 26, 2021
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Phillip Schofield on This Morning, looking unimpressed / It's a Sin screen grab showing three young men and a woman laughing in the back of a cab

It's a Sin makes a surprise Phillip Schofield joke. (ITV/Channel 4)

It’s A Sin fans were amused by a Phillip Schofield shout-out many thought was a nod to the star’s recent coming out.

But creator Russell T Davies has revealed that the line was written before Schofield told the world he was gay.

In episode three of It’s a Sin, Ritchie (Olly Alexander) and actor boyfriend Donald (Nathaniel Hall) reel off a list of ’80s stars they believe to be gay.

“I’ll tell you who else – Phillip Schofield,” Donald announces. “I had a friend who worked in [his kids TV series] The Broom Cupboard, said he’s at it like billy-o.”

While the scene comes across as a knowing nod to Schofield’s gayness, Davies explained that his intention couldn’t have been further.

“See, I never thought that Phillip Schofield was gay,” he told PinkNews.

“I look a little bit like I’m taking potshots at him now…. when that was written and filmed we’d all presumed he was so straight that that line was no offence, because I was attacking gay men who always presume that the handsome man on television is gay.

“We do run these things past lawyers and the lawyers went, ‘No, you don’t need to tell him, because he’s straight.’ Look. Isn’t that amazing!”

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
Phillip Schofield’s This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby shared this selfie of the pair after he came out as gay. (Instagram)

Davies praised Schofield, adding that he’s “always been very nice”.

“I look a little bit like I’m taking potshots at him now!” he lamented.

It’s a Sin is based on Russell T Davies’ experiences.

It’s a Sin was filmed in late 2019 and early 2020, wrapping a week before Schofield came out as gay to the public in February 2020.

The drama was released 22 January to instant critical acclaim, with many applauding its realistic, tender and nuanced depiction of the AIDS crisis in Britain.

Davies drew from his own experiences living in London as the crisis began, and based a number of characters on real-life friends of his.

Jill Baxter, the tireless ally played by Lydia West, is largely based on Davies’ friend Jill Nalder – who appears in the show as the mother of her namesake.

Speaking on the Graham Norton Radio Show, West explained: “[Davies] sent me a message saying, ‘This is very loosely based about my life and friends’ lives, and so much so that I have a character called Jill who was a close friend of mine, and she is in the show too and she’s playing your mother. But I don’t want you to do anything differently, or analyse her or try and mimic her in any way.’

“Then I met her at the read-through and she was just everything that I hoped she would be. She’s absolutely gorgeous and stunning. It was very emotional.”

For Colin, the lovable Welshman played by Callum Scott Howells, Davies drew from his dating history.

“He was someone I went out with in the ’90s who trained to be a tailor and went to New York to fit lords and ladies with their suits and gowns – beautiful man,” he told Metro.

Related topics: It's a Sin, Phillip Schofield, russell t davies

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