BAFTA-winning writer Russell T Davies returns to C4 with Boys

Category: News Release

Boys, a 5-part series written by Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, A Very English Scandal, Cucumber), and produced by RED Production Company, will follow the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and the story of three boys, Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin, across the decade.

Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin are young lads, strangers at first, leaving home at 18 and heading off to London in 1981 with hope and ambition and joy… and walking straight into a plague that most of the world ignores. Year by year, episode by episode, their lives change, as the mystery of a new virus starts as a rumour, then a threat, then a terror, and then something that binds them together in the fight.
It’s the story of their friends, lovers and families too, especially Jill, the girl who loves them and helps them, and galvanises them in the battles to come. Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced throughout the decade.

There are terrible losses and wonderful friendships. And complex families, pushed to the limit and beyond. This is a series that remembers the boys we lost, and celebrates those lives that burned so brightly.

Writer and Executive Producer, Russell T Davies said; “I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this.  And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten.  So it’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived.”

Lee Mason, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 added; “Nearly 20 years after the glorious Queer as Folk left an indelible mark on British TV and changed the pop culture landscape forever, I am thrilled Russell is back on Channel 4 with Boys. It’s an incredibly important project that feels just as landmark, just as uncompromising, and just as heartfelt.”

Nicola Shindler, founder and executive producer of RED Production Company, said; “I’m thrilled to be working with Channel 4 and Russell again on this incredibly poignant and enthralling story. It’s full of what we’ve come to expect from Russell – a powerful but heart-warming story that highlights both the emotional fragility and strength of human nature, delivered through engaging and complex characters. The 1980’s AIDS epidemic was a deadly and uncertain period of time, and Boys tells the human story behind the headlines.”

Boys will go into production in 2019 (TBC) and has been commissioned by Beth Willis, Head of Drama at Channel 4, Lee Mason Commissioning Editor and Jonny Richards, Commissioning Executive. The series will be produced by RED Production Company (a STUDIOCANAL company) and executive produced by Nicola Shindler (Safe, Happy Valley, Queer As Folk, Cucumber) and Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk, A Very English Scandal, Cucumber).Boys is the 10th collaboration between Russell T Davies and RED Production Company. The partnership is known for producing relevant, timely and emotionally charged dramas having previously created hit series including Queer As Folk, Casanova, Cucumber, Banana, Bob & Rose and The Second Coming.


For further information please contact

Elena Kemp, Channel 4

Charlie Wainwright, for RED Production Company | 07860 409 083|0207 292 7372


RED Production Company was set up by Nicola Shindler in 1998 to work with the best writers on modern, innovative and entertaining programming. The Manchester-based indie has since produced some of the UK’s most popular drama series working with critically acclaimed writers including Russell T Davies, Bill Gallagher, Sally Wainwright, Danny Brocklehurst, Dan Sefton and Sean Conway.

RED Production Company has produced some of the UK’s most successful and award-winning dramas, including Russell T Davies’ Cucumber and Queer As Folk, Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, Danny Brocklehurst’s Come Home and Ordinary Lies, Lenny Henry’s Danny and the Human Zoo and Dan Sefton’s Trust Me. Their latest series, Harlan Coben’s Safe starring Michael C Hall (Dexter, Six Feet Under) and written by Danny Brocklehurst, received rave reviews and is available on Netflix.

RED recently set up a US production company, Final Twist, with international bestselling author Harlan Coben after working together on Sky1 drama The Five. Following a partnership deal at the end of 2013, RED Production Company is now part of STUDIOCANAL’s international production network, which includes TANDEM Productions in Germany and SAM in Scandinavia.


STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of CANAL+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, rights acquisition, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series.

Operating directly in all three major European markets, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, STUDIOCANAL has fully-financed recent box office hits such as Paddington, Shaun the Sheep and Non-Stop.

STUDIOCANAL owns one of the most important film libraries in the world, boasting more than 6,500 original titles from 60 countries.

STUDIOCANAL is actively developing and distributing high-end TV series through its network of award-winning subsidiary production companies, which includes Germany’s TANDEM Productions (Take Two) and the UK’s RED Production Company (Safe).

STUDIOCANAL is also an associate of Danish-based SAM Productions founded by Søren Sveistrup, Adam Price, and Meta Louise Foldager (Ride Upon The Storm) as well as of UK-based GUILTY PARTY PICTURES;  Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company SUNNYMARCH TV (The Child in Time), URBAN MYTH FILMS (Crazyhead) and Madrid-based BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES (Velvet collection).


Russell T Davies was awarded the 2006 Dennis Potter Award at BAFTA for his writing services to television and an OBE in the Queen’s 2008 Birthday Honours list for services to drama. He started writing whilst working in the Manchester department of Children’s BBC and has gone on to create several award-winning series including Bob & Rose, The Second Coming, the revival of the classic British science fiction series Doctor Who, and the trilogy Cucumber, Banana and Tofu for which he won the BAFTA for Best Drama Writer. In 2016 Russell was awarded the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for his Outstanding Contribution to Writing and the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2017.

Russell T Davies credits include; A Very English Scandal, Cucumber, Banana, Tofu, Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Casanova, Mine All Mine, The Second Coming, Bob & Rose, Queer As Folk, The Grand, Century Falls, Dark Season.