It’s a Sin: Channel 4 boss was initially ‘worried’ about public response to Aids drama

‘Really, in this pandemic, are people going to watch a drama about another pandemic?’ chief executive feared

Louis Chilton
Thursday 29 April 2021 12:32
It's a Sin trailer

Channel 4’s chief executive Alex Mahon has said she was “worried” about how the public would respond to Russell T Davies’ hit drama It’s a Sin.

The series focused on a group of young gay men during the Aids crisis, and Mahon recently revealed she feared the public would be hesitant to watch a programme that centred on a public health issue during the Covid pandemic.

Speaking at the VLV Spring Conference, she said (per PA): “I was worried about it because I thought ‘Really, in this pandemic, are people going to watch a drama about another pandemic?”’

She added that the series, which ended up breaking multiple viewing records for the broadcaster, was “exactly the best that we could possibly aim for”.

“It’s popular, it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s saddening, but it’s bang on remit,” said Mahon, who disclosed that It’s a Sin has been streamed 24 million times.

Written by Russell T Davies, the series starred Years & Years’ Olly Alexander, Keely Hawes, Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris and Omari Douglas.

Said Mahon, the series juxtaposed the “shame” felt by people who contracted Aids with “what a joy it was to leave your provincial town and come to London, come out and have fun and live life to the full in the ‘80s”.

Olly Alexander and Lydia West in It’s a Sin

“And to find that we could bring people to that and explain the message in a beautifully written show and have an impact on society is just an absolutely exquisite joy to be associated with,” she continued.

It’s a Sin can be watched now on All 4.

Additional reporting by PA

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