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C4 announces new season, 50 Shades of Gay

Channel 4 is marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality with a new season of programmes: 50 Shades of Gay. In a documentary of the same name, Rupert Everett delivers his personal and frank take on the developments in gay life in Britain since decriminalisation. Not Guilty (w/t) shows how gay men continued to be persecuted long after the 1967 Act began to decriminalise homosexuality. Far from ushering in an end to prejudice, 1967 unleashed a backlash of homophobia. Epidemic [w/t] tells how an unlikely coalition of gay campaigners, Tory politicians, and pioneering doctors came together to fight AIDS in the 1980s – and changed Britain in the process. Born This Way (w/t) reveals that while campaigners were battling Parliament for legal reforms, pop music was changing hearts and minds, bringing gay culture into the living rooms of Britain. And in Britain’s Great Gay Buildings, famous faces such as Simon Callow, Lord Waheed, Anna Richardson and Mary Portas champion the buildings where extraordinary moments in Britain’s gay history took place. Exclusively on All4 Raised by Queers (w/t) sees Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks) exploring parenting in the LGBTQIA community and speaking to those who have been on this journey. Finally, All 4’s Out on 4 Collection will offer up a celebration landmark Channel 4 shows including Queer as Folk, Terry and Julian and Muslim Drag Queens.

Not Guilty (w/t)

This film reveals how gay men continued to be persecuted long after the 1967 Act began to decriminalise homosexuality. Far from ushering in an end to prejudice, 1967 unleashed a backlash of homophobia enforced by the police and the courts, as many aspects of gay life continued to be illegal. The film tells the stories of some of the 15,000 men who fell foul of Britain’s homophobic laws during the past half century - and exposes how the injustice continues today.

Production company: Testimony Films

Epidemic (w/t)

This landmark film tells the behind-the-scenes uplifting story of how an unlikely coalition of Tory politicians, pioneering doctors and gay men came together to fight a deadly disease with no cure – and how Britain was changed forever by the battle against AIDS in the 1980s. Together they overcame a homophobic press, the ignorance of the medical establishment, and the outright hostility of Margaret Thatcher, in order to create a campaign that would change hearts and minds about AIDS – and gay men. Not only did their effort stem the tide of the AIDS plague – but by making us talk publicly about sex in a new way, they helped to create a more liberal Britain - that has lasted until today.

Production company: Blast Films

50 Shades of Gay

In this documentary, Rupert Everett delivers his personal and frank take on the developments in gay life in Britain since the decriminalisation of homosexuality 50 years ago. Rupert meets LGBT people of all ages and walks of life, from former royal butler Paul Burrell to the lesbian community of Hebden Bridge, and explores with them how the LGBT experience has changed on the journey towards the mainstream. Huge progress has been made - but has something of the edge and distinctiveness of gay identity also been lost?

Production company: Swan Films

Born This Way (w/t)

After homosexuality was legalised 50 years ago, this is the story of how it was pop music that won the battle for hearts and minds, and made it OK to be gay.

While politicians and protestors focused on legal reform, another struggle was going on – the battle for hearts and minds. The fight to win mainstream status for queer culture was waged, and won, by a group of pioneers who used popular music as the stage for a revolution. Put simply: it was pop music that made it OK to be gay. Channel 4 marks this momentous anniversary with the story of the fearless & flamboyant artists– from global icons to hidden heroes – who used pop music as gay culture’s Trojan Horse, seducing us all with a soundtrack to die for.

Production company: Alley Cats TV

Random Acts

Channel 4's dedicated short arts strand Random Acts is partnering with Tate on its Queer British Art 1861-1967 exhibition, which marks the 50th anniversary since the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the UK. The six shorts, which will be directed by contemporary LGBTQ directors, will explore queer identity and will be shown in the exhibition at Tate Britain from April to October, and on Channel 4 as part of its LGBTQ programming.

Britain’s Great Gay Buildings.

In Britain’s Great Gay Buildings, presented by Stephen Fry, 7 famous gay faces champion the buildings that have helped define Britain’s gay history, revealing the groundbreaking events that happened in them and extraordinary people who lived and worked in them . The Reverend Richard Cole revisits Heaven Nightclub after many years to reveal its hedonistic past, Mary Portas visits Shibden Hall in Yorkshire to discover the secret diaries of a Yorkshire heiress, Craig Revel Horwood revels in the story of Britain’s drag scene at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Simon Callow tells the story of Oscar Wilde’s downfall at the Old Bailey, Rikki Beadle Blair visits the Theatre Royal Haymarket to discover how the British public showed their support for Sir John Gielgud after his arrest for cottaging, Liz Carr travels to Bletchley Park to visit the place that fostered one of Britain’s greatest scientists Alan Turing and Lord Waheed Alli tells the story of the Houses of Parliament’s recent battle for gay rights.

Production company: Spun Gold TV

Raised by Queers (w/t)

Kieron Richardson (Hollyoaks) will be exploring parenting in the LGBTQIA community and speaking to those who have been on this journey. The one-off (30 mins) documentary will release exclusively on All 4, Channel 4’s on-demand channel, and will see Kieron meet parents and children with first-hand experience of parenting within the LGBTQIA community, discovering more about the world of surrogacy and modern parenting, the challenges faced, and finding out how rewarding the experience can be.

Production company: Burning Bright Productions

Out on 4 Collection

All 4 will offer up a celebration of landmark Channel 4 shows including My Beautiful Launderette, Queer as Folk, Metrosexuality, , Terry and Julian featuring Julian Clary, Sugar Rush, Cucumber, Banana and Muslim Drag Queens.

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