Channel 4 has announced a new drama set in the 1980s from Russel T Davies (A Very English Scandal).
Beginning in 1981 and tracking through the decade, Boys charts three young men discovering and celebrating their gay identity in the backdrop of the devastating AIDS crisis.
The five-part series stars singer Olly Alexander from the band Years and Years as 18-year-old Ritchie Tozer. As Tozer begins a new life in London, he meets party boy Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and the unassuming Colin (Callum Scott Howells), two fellow gay men who soon become his closest friends.
Lydia West (Years and Years) stars as Jill, Ritchie’s straight-talking best friend from college who becomes a supportive rock for the three friends.
As the decade progresses and a new virus threatens to become increasingly widespread, the gang of four are determined to find joy amid the heartbreak, and live and love more powerfully than ever before.
Olly Alexander tweeted from Years and Years' Twitter account:
I feel like the luckiest boy in the world to be a part of this project, I’ve been a fan of @Russell_TD ever since I watched Queer As Folk in secret at 14 years old. His work helped shape my identity as a gay person so I’m absolutely over the moon we’ll be working together pic.twitter.com/M62KphjsVo
— Years & Years (@yearsandyears) October 3, 2019
The programme will also star Stephen Fry (Bones) as MP Arthur Garrison, Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard) as Ritchie’s mother and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) as Henry Coltrane.
Speaking on his casting, Neil Patrick Harris said: “This drama, Boys, is two things: it is an irresistible, funny, jubilant story of young people discovering their true identities and the unalloyed joy of living life to the fullest, it is also a deeply resonant exploration of a decade when so many of these lives were cut short by the devastating effects of the nascent AIDS pandemic […] it’s an honour to help tell this story.”
Filming for Boys will begin this October and will be shown on Channel 4 in 2020.
Russel T Davies will be in conversation at the Royal Television Society event in Cardiff on Monday 28th October.