Glee

Arts observations: Let's talk about sex, baby, says Michael Sheen

"Very shut off, very difficult to know what's going on in his mind," says Michael Sheen (pictured) of his character William Masters, the real-life gynaecologist-turned-sex-researcher in Channel 4's new US import Masters of Sex.

Masters, along with his research partner Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) – whom he married – pioneered the scientific study of sex. The series is based on Thomas Maier's 2009 book, which tells how the couple "discovered" the fake climax and women's ability to enjoy multiple orgasms, as well as the duo's struggle to be accepted by the medical establishment. "I read Maier's book," says Sheen. "I also met some of the gynaecological surgeons practising at the time, so I got a sense of how things changed quickly for people in that field." Can we expect more series after the 12-episode run? "We've talked about it. There's a desire to tell the entire story of Masters and Johnson. It intersects so much with our culture's relationship to sexuality."

'Masters of Sex' begins on Channel 4 on 8 October

Trending: Aiming for some ratings Glee with SJP

Sarah Jessica Parker is the latest star to be drawn into the Glee firmament. The former Sex and the City actress is to play the online editor of Vogue on the show, according to an announcement at the weekend. She follows in the wake of Britney Spears, who appeared as herself in 2010, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who played a frisky teacher in 2011.

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