In just 20 years, Russell T Davies has left an indelible mark on British television. From Queer as Folk, via Doctor Who, to this year’s dystopian chiller Years and Years, Davies has written unforgettable drama. His work – like the writer in person – is opinionated and loud, but also warm and human.
Russell T Davies
The BBC One series, made by the Red Production Company, bagged three awards at the ceremony, which was held at the Hilton Deansgate in Manchester. Years and Years was named Best Drama, while the acting gongs went to Rory Kinnear and Jessica Hynes.
Granada Reports also picked up three awards on the night. The ITV News programme won the Best Regional News Programme award for its investigation into the North West’s high suicide rate and the prize for Best Digital Content. Sports correspondent Chris Hall was named Best Regional News Journalist.
RTS Cymru Wales Chair Judith Winnan made the award at the end of a sold-out event at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to mark the RTS Centre’s 60th anniversary.
The multi-award-winning writer and regenerator of Doctor Who had been discussing his career with Gethin Jones. The TV presenter met Davies when he was working on Blue Peter 15 years ago – and went on to appear in Doctor Who, albeit as a Dalek and Cyberman.
The Royal Television Society commemorates its 60th year in Wales with an evening dedicated to Swansea-born Russell T Davies on Monday 28 October at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Russell is responsible for such groundbreaking shows such as Queer As Folk and the multi award-winning A Very English Scandal, starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw.
His 2019 drama series Years And Years, set in a near-future where British society teeters on the edge of collapse and starring Emma Thompson and Anne Reid, has received global critical acclaim.
On the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, when Donald Trump was getting his first inkling that he would be elected to the world’s highest political office, Russell T Davies was texting the controller of BBC drama about an idea they had long been discussing. “I wrote to Piers Wenger and said, ‘If he wins tomorrow, it’s time I write this show now’ – and he said yes,” recalls Davies.
Set in a Britain rocked by political, economic and technological changes, the six-part drama follows the Lyons family as their busy live converge one night in 2019.
Over the next fifteen years, the drama tracks the twists and turns of everyday life to find out if this ordinary family can change the world.
Starring in the family saga is two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Love Actually) as Vivienne Rook, an outspoken and controversial public figure whose rise to power brings an uncertain future.
Halfway through 2018, it already seems clear who some of the leading contenders will be in the actor categories of next year’s Bafta and RTS awards: Benedict Cumberbatch and Anthony Hopkins for their title roles in Patrick Melrose and King Lear, and Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant as Norman Scott and Jeremy Thorpe in A Very English Scandal.
Years and Years follows the Lyons, a busy Mancunian family. There’s Daniel who is getting married to Ralph, Stephen and Celeste worrying over their children, man-eater Rosie and estranged Edith. At the head of the chaotic family is Gran, the regal Muriel. When their lives all converge on one crucial night in 2019 the story is propelled into the future following the lives and loves of the Lyons over 15 years in a Britain rocked by volatile political, economic and technological advances.
Best known for his roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill, Grant returns to television to play the shamed politician.
A Very English Scandal is based on the book by author John Preston, and is written by Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and directed by Stephen Frears (Florence Foster Jenkins).