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Queer as Folk (UK TV series)
Created byRussell T. Davies
Directed byCharles McDougall
Sarah Harding
Menhaj Huda
StarringAidan Gillen
Craig Kelly
Charlie Hunnam
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of episodes10
Running time35-50 minutes
Original channelChannel 4
Original run23 February 1999 – 22 February 2000
Related showsQueer as Folk (North American TV series)

Queer as Folk is a 1999 British television series that chronicles the lives of three gay men living in Manchester's gay village around Canal Street. Initially running for eight episodes, a two-part follow up called Queer As Folk 2 was shown in 2000. Both Queer as Folk and Queer as Folk 2 were written by Russell T Davies.

Queer as Folk was produced by the Red Production Company for Channel 4. The title of the programme comes from a Yorkshire dialect expression from some parts of Northern England, "there's nowt so queer as folk", meaning "there's nothing as strange as people"; which is a word play on the modern-day English synonym of "queer", meaning homosexual. Davies had originally titled the series this, although at the suggestion of Channel 4 executives for a period during its development and pre-production it was known as Queer as Fuck, before it reverted to the former name.[1]

Characters and plot

The main characters are Stuart Alan Jones (Aidan Gillen), who is highly sexually active, and successfully so. His long-time friend Vince Tyler (Craig Kelly), who has a crush on Stuart, has less luck regarding men. 15-year-old Nathan Maloney (Charlie Hunnam) is new to the gay scene but is not lacking in self-confidence.

The producers say that Queer as Folk, although superficially a realistic depiction of gay urban life in the 1990s, is meant as a fantasy, and that Stuart, Vince, and Nathan are not so much characters as gay male archetypes.

Stuart, an advertising executive, possesses intrinsic power, able to bend anything to his will. Stuart's principal characteristic is that he does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants. He blows up a car belonging to his friend Alexander's antagonistic mother (in the second series). He invites Vince's female work colleague, who has a crush on closeted Vince, to Vince's birthday party and then introduces Vince's boyfriend. When offered a test drive of a Jeep by a car salesman who makes some homophobic comments, Stuart drives the car straight through the large window of the car dealership.

In the second series, the tone became somewhat more serious, with each of the main characters having to make hard choices concerning their futures.

A recurrent theme throughout the series is Vince's fandom of Doctor Who, with various scenes from the classic series being played (in one instance an awkward situation with a guy Vince brings home.) This is a small, yet significant piece to the series, as six years later Russell T Davies revived Doctor Who.

Location and production

The music for the series was produced by Almighty Records. Because of the TV show, it was the Queer As Folk CD soundtrack, which went gold within four months of going on sale in March 1999 in the UK, that has become the most successful project the label has ever taken on. The release of this CD followed a request from the makers of the TV series, Red Productions, after another major record company turned down the opportunity due to poor sales of previous 'music-led' television shows on Channel 4.

Given a list of tracks, Almighty had one month to compile the music. However, some tracks could not be cleared in time for the release mainly due to timescales, including one by Steps who initially said that the show would be too 'low profile' for them to be associated with.[2] It was the success of this album that prompted Channel 4 launch their own music division when the second series of Queer As Folk was made.[3]


  • Aidan Gillen as Stuart Alan Jones, a successful PR executive
  • Craig Kelly as Vince Tyler, a supermarket manager
  • Charlie Hunnam as Nathan Maloney, a 15-year-old rebel
  • Denise Black as Hazel Tyler; Vince's free-spirited mother
  • Andy Devine as Bernard Thomas; Hazel's lodger
  • Jason Merrells as Phil Delaney; a close friend of Vince and Stuart
  • Esther Hall as Romey Sullivan; the mother of Stuart's child
  • Saira Todd as Lisa Levene; Romey's partner
  • Carla Henry as Donna Clark; Nathan's best friend
  • Ben Maguire as Christian Hobbs; an arrogant classmate of Nathan and Donna
  • Alison Burrows as Sandra Docherty; Stuart's assistant
  • Caroline Pegg as Rosalie Cotter; one of Vince's co-workers, who is romantically interested in him
  • Caroline O'Neill as Janice Maloney; Nathan's mother
  • Antony Cotton as Alexander Perry; a flamboyant friend of Vince and Stuart
  • Peter O'Brien as Cameron Roberts; Phil's accountant who starts a relationship with Vince
  • Jonathon Natynczyk as Dazz Collinson; a bartender who has a brief relationship with Nathan
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy as Marie Jones Threepwood; Stuart's recently divorced sister
  • John Brobbey as Lance Amponah; Romey and Lisa's lodger

See also


  1. Davies, Russell T Audio commentary on the 2003 "Definitive Collector's Edition" DVD boxed set of Queer as Folk. (VCD0308).
  2. Almighty Records – Info – Queer As Folk.
  3. Almighty – Trivia.

External links

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