Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies is writing two new dramas exploring 21st-century gay life for Channel 4 and E4.
Cucumber and Banana will air next year alongside Tofu, an online series which will let viewers share their sexual experiences, The Guardian reports.
Davies wrote two series of Queer as Folk for Channel 4 in 1999 and 2000, but has not writtten for the broadcaster since. Cucumber and Banana will also be set in Manchester, but Davies insists he is not “reviving Queer as Folk, much as I loved it”.
Channel 4’s Cucumber – eight 60-minute episodes – will focus on 46-year-old Henry and his long-suffering boyfriend Lance. Life for Henry and Lance is comfortable and settled. But after the most disastrous date night in history – involving a death, a threesome, two police cars and the Glee Christmas Album – Henry’s old life shatters, and his new life begins.
E4’s Banana – eight 30-minute episodes – will follow the lives of characters orbiting around Henry in Cucumber, including young lesbian Scotty’s first love and 19 year old Dean’s mysterious family secrets.
Channel 4’s head of drama, Piers Wenger, commented: “It’s quite a political piece of writing, exploring sexuality in a powerful and frank way. It feels like a radical approach, without being squeamish. It’s really about the collision of two generations of gay men. Henry and his friends in their 40s, who went on the marches and had to go to Canal Street [on nights out]. In Banana they never have done that. They haven’t had the experience of being ghettoised.”
He added: “No one can look into the heart and soul of modern relationships quite like Russell and across Channel 4, E4 and online, he paints an unflinching and forensic portrait of how our sex lives affect us all. It might be fifteen years since Queer As Folk, but he has made it more than worth the wait.”
Davies commented: “I once read about a scientific institute which had studied the male erection. It divided the hard-on into four categories, from soft to hard. One, tofu. Two, peeled banana. Three, banana. And four, cucumber. Right there and then I knew I had my drama.”
Cucumber and Banana will begin filming in Manchester next spring.
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