OBITUARY: Shauna Brown
Tuesday 07 February 1995
She had already done so much. A stroppy teenage feminist who decided at the age of 17 to live on her own terms, Shauna Brown (almost magically) made good on her ideals. She sometimes joked that her CV was a "mess" and she must sound like a anti-everything headbanger but, actually, all her friends thought her early days extraordinary. A founder member of Lesbian Line, coming out as gay in the Guardian at 20, committing herself to four years at Homeless Action, performing as one half of the camp campaigning cabaret duo Lottie and Ada (astringent song parodies a speciality) . . . Shauna Brown's life was her commitment to social justice, to making a difference, and it was a commitment rendered with a rare and graceful wit, qualities that, a decade on, would distinguish her television work.
She learnt the ropes as a researcher on the Channel 4 documentary I Shot My Husband and Nobody Asked Me Why - a title that always made her laugh - and there was no looking back. She was instrumental in putting together the world's first lesbian and gay television series, Out on Tuesday, and her contributions to BBC2's 1992 Saturday Night Out, To Be or Not to Be, a study of homosexuality in the theatre, and The Gay Rock 'n' Roll Years, were acclaimed as the evening's hits, the latter garnering a nomination for a BFI Archive Achievement Award. Shauna Brown loved it all. It somehow completed her.
It also kept her going. During the shooting last year of Sick Women, Smart Doctors (ironically for the Channel 4 Women's Health season), she drove herself to the limit and beyond, getting up early, working to midnight, wanting everything - editing, script, photography, sound - to be as perfect as could be, as if she knew, despite her protestations, that time was running out. So driven was she, she completed Smart Doctors only to rush into Diwali Nights, a study of the Hindi festival, ringing friends on the nights it was screened to seek reassurance: "It was good, wasn't it? Bright and colourful - people should know about it. It's amazing what people don't know."
The voice was still strong and it still wanted the world to take notice of those outside the mainstream.
John Lyttle Shauna McDonald Brown, television producer/director: born Walton-on-Thames 7 May 1957; died London 21 December 1994.
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...
£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...