Is It's a Sin based on a true story? Everything you need to know about the Channel 4 drama

29 January 2021, 19:11 | Updated: 4 February 2021, 14:07

It's a Sin was written by Russell T Davies
It's a Sin was written by Russell T Davies. Picture: Channel 4

Are the characters in It’s a Sin real and is it based on a true story?

It's A Sin is an amazing new drama which follows the lives of three gay men who we meet in London in 1981.

The five-part series tells the inspiring story of how they were affected as cases of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) started to rise.

Written by Russell T Davies, the likes of Olly Alexander, Callum Scott Howells and Omari Douglas all star in the drama.

But is It’s a Sin a true story and are the characters real?

Is It’s a Sin a true story?

Writer Russell T Davies has confirmed that It’s A Sin is not a true story.

It's a Sin is not a true story
It's a Sin is not a true story. Picture: Channel 4

While the HIV/AIDS crisis was prevalent in the United Kingdom, the stories which focus on a small group of friends are made up.

Read More: It's a Sin cast: Who is in the Channel 4 drama and where have you seen them before?

The former Doctor Who writer previously said that writing the show’s first episode took a long time to get right because he “had to make a very big choice as to whether to make this very factual”.

However, while it is fiction, many of the characters are based on people in his life.

In fact, Russell revealed that Colin (played by Callum Scott Howells) is loosely based on one of his ex-boyfriends.

Viewers are first introduced to Colin when he moves to London from Wales with the hope of becoming a Savile Row tailor.

He then meets his mentor Henry (Patrick Harris), who helps him come to terms with his own sexual orientation.

Speaking about the character, Russell told “He was someone I went out with in the 90s who trained to be a tailor and went to New York to fit lords and ladies with their suits and gowns – beautiful man,”

He went on to reveal that many of the other characters are also inspired by his past, adding: “A lot of it is based on myself and people I know and stories of the decade.

“This series fits my life. I was 18 in 1981. A lot of my gay friends went to go and live in London and they moved into a big flat in Hampstead and they called it the pink palace.

It's A Sin's Colin is based on the writer's ex boyfriend
It's A Sin's Colin is based on the writer's ex boyfriend. Picture: Channel 4

“A lot of the dialogue was their jokes and their rhythms and stuff like that. There will be a few friends I haven’t seen for years who will feel like this is slightly familiar.

He added: “Some of them, of course, are no longer with us because HIV came along and claimed a lot of their lives. It’s nice to pay testament just to remember them.’”

By creating the series, Russell has also said he hopes to educate young people about the AIDs epidemic in the 1980s and encourage them to be safe.

You can find out more about HIV and AIDS at George House Trust.

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