The BBC has commissioned a 1940s gay love drama written by Patrick Gale.
Man In An Orange Shirt, a two-part drama, comes as the BBC has made an effort to bring in more LGBTI characters and representation.
There will be another gay drama, also written by Gale, set in the present day.
This is Gale’s first screen drama. He’s an author best known for works like Notes From An Exhibition and A Place Called Winter.
‘Man In An Orange Shirt is the most exciting screen project I’ve worked on to date: an original drama exploring strands of gay male experience since the 1940s. It has been such a privilege to be given such an open brief and then allowed to run with it,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to give too much away but after much experimenting, we’ve ended up with two hour-long films – one set in the 1940s and 50s, one set in the violently contrasted present; one depicting a love story made impossible by pressures from society, one a love story nearly derailed by the long-term fallout from the 1940s story.
‘People who know my novels will be unsurprised to hear that that stories give equal focus to wives and mothers and are very much about tensions between family bonds, the need to be good and the urge to seize happiness.
‘I hope they’ll appeal equally to straight and gay viewers, but also that they’ll leave either side feeling challenged about things they take for granted.’
Back in 2014, gay drama controller Ben Stephenson at the BBC called on writers to come forward and pitch him stories with realistic LGBTI characters.
‘I am diverse, in that sense and are there many portrayals of gay characters on television? I would say it’s probably one of the lowest (represented) areas,’ he said.
‘When the great gay script comes in, I shall definitely be commissioning it.’
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