Cucumber and Banana: What to expect from Russell T Davies' new gay dramas

Davies promises to 'explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life'

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The Independent Culture

Tonight will see much-hyped Channel 4 drama Cucumber reach our screens, courtesy of Russell T Davies.

The original series promises to “explore the passions and pitfalls of 21st century gay life” in Manchester, beginning with “the most disastrous date night in history”.

Eight-episode Cucumber is interlinked to Davies’ sister show Banana, a more youth-orientated E4 series focusing on a different character each week. Then there’s web documentary Tofu, just in case you want more factual content.

Sixteen years after Davies brought us Queer of Folk with its focus on young gay men, Cucumber follows homosexual experiences across different generations.

Vincent Franklin plays middle-aged insurance exec Henry Best, who lives with his long-term partner Lance but is feeling far from settled with constant wandering eyes.

There will be plenty of funnies along the way, (“No one says ‘Hashtag’ out loud anymore, it’s a bit BBC Three) and an often tongue-in-cheek look at the realities of gay life.


Wondering about the show’s titles? Davies got the idea from a scientific study on the 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,” he said last year.

Cucumber airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4 followed by Banana on E4 at 10pm. Tofu can be watched on 4OD.