As #LGBTHM18 draws to a close, Spectra Operations Manager John Dugdale talks Stuart, Vince and Nathan.
As a teen in the 80s, there where many an iconic TV show to get hooked on, you could take your pic from Dynasty, Dallas or Neighbours through to more homegrown TV such as Doctor Who, London’s Burning and Minder! The options were limited though, with only four channels to choose from!
Fast forward a few years or so, and even ITV had gone 24 hours, breakfast TV was a new fad and the channels were endless with the advent of SKY TV.
But towards the end of the 90’s, February 23, 1999 to be precise, a TV show was aired on Channel 4 (where else?) that was effectively gay tv history in the making.
The TV show was Queer as Folk, which chronicled the lives of three gay men in Manchester’s gay village around Canal Street.
As a gay guy in my 20s, living in one of those pretty mediocre northern towns (literally east across the M62 from where QAF was set) my reference to gay life was limited, but here it was, with all aspects of what I thought gay life was all about being laid bare on TV, and at times literally, who can forget that scene with Stuart and Nathan?
For the next eight weeks, every Tuesday evening saw me tune in for the next instalment. It was powerful TV, not just to me, but to many at the time. I talk with my friends about it now, and we all said, how it was pivotal to many a questioning young man growing up. Back in 2010, The Guardian ranked the serial at number 13 in their list of “The Top 50 TV Dramas of All Time”!
It’s only with hindsight, looking back do I realise, that perhaps it was a little too glamourized, and the characters were more archetypes than true life characters. Though the nearest I came to mirror any of the characters, was Stuart with my career at the time in advertising and driving a Jeep!
While there is a tendency in TV land to re-make, re-tell or pick-up where they left off with a successful series of old, I think Queer as Folk on TV would now be a little too mainstream and mundane for some audiences, so perhaps best left to be remembered as was, and occasionally revisited when you open that box of old DVD’s you have, for a trip down memory lane!