Russell T. Davies OBE (Dr Who, Cassanova)

Welsh screenwriter and television producer Russell T Davies, OBE was born 27 April 1963 in Swansea, Wales. Davies aspired to work as a comic artist in his adult life, until a careers advisor at Olchfa School suggested that he study English literature; he consequently focused on a career of play- and screen-writing. After he graduated from Oxford University, Davies joined the BBC’s children’s department in 1985 on a part-time basis and worked in varying positions, including writing and producing two series, Dark Season and Century Falls. He left the BBC in the early 1990s to work for Granada Television and later became a freelance writer.

Davies moved into writing adult television dramas in 1994. His early scripts generally explored concepts of religion and sexuality among various backdrops: Revelations was a soap opera about organised religion and featured a lesbian vicar; Springhill was a soap drama about a Catholic family in contemporary Liverpool; The Grand explored society’s opinion of subjects such as prostitution, abortion and homosexuality during the interwar period; and Queer as Folk, his first prolific series, recreated his experiences in the Manchester gay scene. His later series include Bob & Rose, which portrayed a gay man who fell in love with a woman; The Second Coming, which focused on the second coming and deicide of Jesus Christ from a mostly non-religious point of view; Mine All Mine, a comedy about a family who discover they own the entire city of Swansea; and Casanova, an adaptation of the Venetian lover’s complete memoirs starring David Tennant.

He revived and ran Doctor Who after a sixteen-year hiatus, with Christopher Eccleston, and later David Tennant, in the title role. Davies’ tenure as executive producer of the show oversaw a surge in popularity that led to the production of two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the revival of the Saturday prime-time dramas as a profitable venture for production companies. Davies was appointed an OBE in 2008 for services to drama, which coincided with his announcement that he would step down from Doctor Who as the show’s executive producer with his final script, The End of Time (2009–10). Davies moved to Los Angeles, California in 2009, where he oversaw production of Torchwood: Miracle Day and the fifth and final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. His other writing credits include Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming,

After his partner developed cancer in late 2011, Davies returned to the UK, and co-created a new drama for CBBC, Wizards vs Aliens. His current projects are Cucumber, a Channel 4 series about middle-aged gay men in the Manchester gay scene; Banana, an E4 series about young LGBT people in the Cucumber universe; and Tofu, an online documentary series available on 4oD discussing issues which have arisen in the sister series, modern sex and sexuality with the cast and public.

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