Russell T Davies

Omari Douglas on It’s A Sin, working with Russell T Davies and discovering Britain’s historic queer trailblazers

Omari Douglas (credit: Phil Sharp)

At drama school, Douglas and his friends would make a big event of watching Cucumber, Russell T Davies’ exploration of 21st cenutry gay life. Now, the theatre actor has landed his first ever TV role as one of the lead characters in Davies’ explosive new drama, It’s A Sin, and he couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s Russell T Davies, he has such an iconic body of work,” he effuses. “And, of course, we're representing a very important community at a very important time. So, it's a huge, huge honour to have been a part of it.”

Doctor Who: a Time Lord for the streaming era

Doctor Who is back, bigger and arguably better than before. RTS Cymru Wales was first off the mark, hosting a premiere in Cardiff two days before the show returned to BBC One. It was also 60 years to the day since the Time Lord first appeared on TV.

A roar rose from a sold-out audience at the conclusion of The Star Beast, which saw David Tennant and Catherine Tate return as the Doctor and his assistant after almost 15 years. Also back, as showrunner, was a visibly moved Russell T Davies.

Doctor Who companion Millie Gibson talks soaps, spoilers and Ruby Sunday

Millie Gibson sits down, stretching her arms out to the side

If the actor is sleep deprived, it doesn’t show. The topic quickly turns to Doctor Who, she’s ready for it.

Gibson is joining Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) in the TARDIS as companion Ruby Sunday. The Christmas special – quietly revealed by Disney+ to be titled ‘The Church on Ruby Road’ – will be her debut. Has a year of filming that and the new series been enough to take the pressure off joining a programme as big as Doctor Who?

Nolly triumphs in Manchester at the RTS North West Awards

Russell T Davies holds an RTS award

The ITV three-parter, which told the story of star actor Noele Gordon’s firing from legendary soap Crossroads, also picked up the Visual Post-production award, which went to Paul Ensby, a colourist at post-production house Picture Shop.

BBC Director of Sport Barbara Slater, who is stepping down from the role in spring 2024 after more than 40 years at the corporation, received the Judges’ Award. Slater, who competed as a gymnast at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, joined the BBC in 1983 as a trainee assistant producer at the Natural History Unit in Bristol.

Doctor Who spin-off Tales of the TARDIS coming to iPlayer

In the TARDIS, the Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, stands next to Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, who is sat down

Each episode features an existing duo from Doctor Who, who will reunite on the TARDIS to reflect on their time together. New scenes of the pairs will be woven together with episodes from the classic era of the show, creating a feature-length omnibus episode.

The classic era lasted from 1963 until the show was put on indefinite hiatus in 1989, before the show was famously revived in 2005.

BBC iPlayer to feature over 800 episodes of Doctor Who programming

The Sixteen Doctors from BBC sci-fi hit Doctor Who, including the War Doctor and the Fugitive Doctor, stand in a line in front of a blue and pink backdrop

This means classic episodes of the sci-fi juggernaut will be available to watch ahead of the three 60th anniversary specials. Though exact broadcast dates are yet to be announced, the BBC confirmed they will air at some point next month.

Every episode of programming will boast multiple accessibility options, including subtitles, audio description and sign language.

Comfort Classic: Doctor Who

Sixty years ago this November, a day after the assassination of John F Kennedy, William Hartnell stepped out of the Tardis and into the Stone Age in the very first Doctor Who story, An Unearthly Child.

Ratings were disappointing for a Saturday tea-time slot; the BBC’s new sci-fi show attracted an average audience of 6 million over its four-part run. Reviews were mixed, too: “There was little to thrill [and the] wigs and furry pelts and clubs were all ludicrous,” sniffed The Guardian.

Comfort Classic: Queer as Folk

Predictably, Fleet Street was outraged. Queer as Folk, foamed the Daily Mail, “proves that we need censorship… we shouldn’t be at liberty to watch naked actors having relentless homosexual sex”.

Some commentators in the gay press were also critical, arguing that the series should have been less celebratory and angrier about the tragedy of Aids. But, if you are being attacked from both sides, perhaps you are doing something right. Most television viewers and critics certainly thought so as they marvelled at Russell T Davies’s breakthrough drama series.

Jinkx Monsoon becomes "the Doctor's most powerful enemy yet"

The announcement comes in light of Monsoon's sell out run on Broadway, where she made her debut as Matron 'Mama' Morton in the thoroughfare's longest-running show, Chicago.

It was a historic moment for the LGBTQIA+ community, as she was the first ever drag queen to play the role and broke box office records in the process.

Gatwa and Gibson as the Doctor and Ruby (credit: BBC)