'Queer As Folk' Writer to Create Two Shows for U.K.'s Channel 4

Stuart Kemp
The Hollywood Reporter

LONDON -- Russell T. Davies, the writer credited with re-invigorating Doctor Who for a fresh generation of children and the creator of seminal Channel 4 show Queer As Folk, has inked a deal for two new original dramas and an online series for 2014.

The writer will explore 21st century gay life fifteen years after his drama Queer As Folk exploded onto the screen. The two series are titled, Cucumber and Banana.

The two new drama series have been commissioned for Channel 4 and its digital youth-orientated channel E4 and explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life.

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Tofu, a factual web series, is billed as an anarchic online guide to sex and will be inspired by the dramas each week.

Cucumber is eight hour-long episodes for Channel 4 and follows 46 year old Henry and his long-suffering boyfriend Lance.

Life for Henry and Lance is comfortable and settled.  But after the most disastrous date night in history -- involving a death, a threesome, two police cars and the Glee Christmas Album -- Henry's old life shatters, and his new life begins.

On E4, Banana will follow the lives of characters orbiting around Henry in Cucumber, in eight 30-minute episodes.

From young lesbian Scotty's first love, to 19-year-old Dean's mysterious family secrets, Banana covers "50 shades of gay, and beyond," Channel 4 said.

Tofu aims to take the experience online with eight factual episodes navigating the landscape of 21st Century sex in its own inimitable way.

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Davies said: "I once read about a scientific institute which had studied the male erection. It divided the hard-on into four categories, from soft to hard.  One, tofu.  Two, peeled banana.  Three, banana.  And four, cucumber.  Right there and then, I knew I had my drama.  And it's a joy to be back with Channel 4 and [U.K. production banner] RED, to tell these stories."

Channel 4 head of drama Piers Wenger said: "No one can look into the heart and soul of modern relationships quite like Russell and across Channel 4, E4 and online, he paints an unflinching and forensic portrait of how our sex lives affect us all. It might be fifteen years since Queer As Folk, but he has made it more than worth the wait."

Nicola Shindler, founder and executive producer, RED Production described the opportunity to work with Davies again as "completely thrilling".

She added: "We want to make this a huge, impactful production and are looking forward to starting."

Cucumber, Banana and Tofu were commissioned by Wenger and will be made by RED with Shindler and Davies exec producing.

The series will begin filming in spring 2014 in Manchester for broadcast later in the year.

Cucumber was originally developed with BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, for the U.S. cable channel Showtime – which had broadcast a U.S. remake of Queer as Folk – when Davies was working in Los Angeles two years ago.  BBC Worldwide will distribute the drama internationally.

Casting is being finalized.