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It’s a Sin creator Russell T Davies ‘astonished’ by fan reaction and urges everyone to ‘be more Jill’

Anu Shukla January 29, 2021
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It's a Sin creator Russell T Davies 'astonished' by fan reaction

British television screenwriter and director Russell T Davies pictured in Manchester, 2016 (Colin McPherson/Corbis/ Getty)

The creator of groundbreaking Channel 4 series It’s a Sin has said he is overwhelmed by the public outpouring of support it received, and that “cast and crew are astonished and delighted by the reaction”.

Russell T Davies – also known as prolific screenwriter and producer behind fearless, unapologetic TV series Queer as Folk – said in a tweet: “We’ve never seen anything like it. Thank You! La #BeMoreJill”

Thanks to its reflection on the reality of the AIDS epidemic, and the toxic, counterproductive response it triggered in both state and society, It’s a Sin has become an overnight sensation, touching hearts and souls of millions who binge-watched every episode since its premiere on 22 January 2021.

Many of those responding to the tweet by Davies resonated with growing up in the 80s when millions were affected by Margaret Thatcher’s homophobic Section 28 legislation prohibiting “promotion” of homosexuality by schools and local authorities.

Musician Darren Sangita replied to Davies’ tweet with the words: “Watched it last week and watching it again. Tears flowed and laughter resounding through every episode both times. It’s a modern masterpiece in every respect. Thank you for telling tales of those who never had the chance.”

 

Others spoke of how they could personally relate to the dynamics of the script. One man called Sean, wrote: “As a gay teen growing up in the 80s so much resonated with my feelings, a beautiful, heart rending and emotionally charged drama, huge congratulations to you and an incredible cast!”

Davies’ use of the hashtag #BeMoreJill also touched the hearts of many thousands and is currently trending across social media channels. 

In response to the hashtag, Sarah Parrrott wrote: “The world would be a better place with more Jills #BeMoreJill such a heartbreaking but also heart making story.”

Jill’s character is loosely based on Jill Nalder, an LGBT+ activist who witnessed the brunt of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s when her friends began to drop dead all around her. Nalder, who has known Davies for some five years, is the source of inspiration behind the on-screen-Jill’s character because of the way she became a human crutch for her friends as they tried to navigate such devastating times.

Such a real to life and powerful depiction has left a lasting impact on countless people across the UK. And as tweeter Steve Harry wrote: “Think I cried about three times at the finale but everyone needs a Jill in their life.” 

Related topics: AIDS, HIV/AIDS, It's a Sin, Margaret Thatcher, russell t davies

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