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​ Russell T Davies shares insights from his screenwriting and producing career at BAFTA’s A Life in Pictures

11 June 2024
BAFTA Life In Pictures: Russell T DaviesGetty Images for BAFTA

Yesterday BAFTA hosted a career retrospective with BAFTA-winning screenwriter and producer Russell T Davies. In an in-depth discussion with Briony Hanson, the British Council’s Director of Film, Russell T Davies reflected on his award-winning filmography, including the current series of Doctor Who, as well as the evolution of LGBTQ+ representation in the TV industry over the last 30 years.  

 Six of Russell’s programmes were explored as part of the event, including Children’s Ward (1992 - 1995), Queer as Folk (1999 - 2000), Doctor Who (from 2005), A Very English Scandal (2018), Years and Years (2019), and It's a Sin (2021). 

Russell received the Dennis Potter Award at the 2006 BAFTA Television Awards for his services to writing. Russell was also awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to drama. In 2015, Channel 4 comedy-drama Cucumber won Russell a BAFTA Television Craft Award for Best Writer: Drama. The series was noted for being the first UK television drama to cast a transgender actor in a transgender role. 

Russell has also been awarded the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Writer twice, for the biographical series Nolly and A Very British Scandal.  

Across his career, Russell has given a voice to a generation of queer people who found they had yet to see themselves accurately portrayed on television. His campaigning to keep LGBTQ+ stories at the heart of our narratives has had a widespread and perceivable cultural impact. 1999’s Queer as Folk pioneered the portrayal accurate of the LGBTQ+ community and tapped into queer culture at a time when complex and honest representation had been missing from mainstream media. The release of It’s a Sin two decades later led to a significant uptake of HIV testing during National HIV Testing Week and crucially highlighted the lasting impact of the AIDS crisis in Britain. 

Access to the audio files are available on request. Event imagery can be found here.  

BAFTA: A Life in Pictures is a long-running series of in-depth interviews in which some of the world’s leading film and television talent share unique career insights into the experiences that helped them hone and develop their craft.  

The series has previously hosted figures including Penélope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Daniel Craig, George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Baz Luhrmann, Sam Mendes, Helen Mirren, Margot Robbie, Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese, Kristin Scott Thomas, Meryl Streep, Quentin Tarantino, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. 

Notes for Editors

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BAFTA’s mission as a charity is to champion the creative and cultural importance of the screen arts across film, games and television. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of talent initiatives and learning events that include masterclasses, lectures, scholarships, bursaries and mentoring schemes in the UK and North America, BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new screen talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).