Queer as Art

Queer as Art


This glance back at queer influence in British culture is a great watch, alive with insights and observations, with everyone from Sandi Toksvig to David Hockney to Richard Coles giving their take on the landmarks and tensions of the past 50 years.

Bear in mind that, despite the title, it is mainly about pop culture, touching on David Bowie and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Larry Grayson and Queer as Folk. In the music sphere, Simon Napier-Bell argues that gay culture “is as influential in British pop music as black culture has been to American pop music” (Discuss).

Then in a lovely unguarded moment Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw suggests (very plausibly) that, compared to the heyday of gay influence in the 1970s and 80s, pop culture is now generally blander or, as he puts it, “Everything has sort of been middle-of-the-roaded.” Then he adds anxiously “Oh s***, I can’t say that. I’ll be fired.”


The BBC continues to mark the 50th anniversary of decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the UK with its Gay Britannia season. This time, the focus falls on the LGBT contribution to the arts scene in the past half-decade, as Stephen Fry, David Hockney, Anthony Sher, Alan Cumming, Will Young and Alan Hollinghurst share their perspectives on the distinctive voices the community has brought to British cultural life. Also includes contributions by Val McDermid, Wayne Sleep, Julie Goodyear, Sandi Toksvig, Russell T Davies and many more.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Simon Napier-Bell
Contributor Andy Bell
Contributor Val McDermid
Contributor Maggi Hambling
Contributor Alan Hollinghurst
Contributor Nick Grimshaw
Contributor Jon Savage
Contributor Russell T Davies
Contributor Richard Coles
Contributor Sarah Waters
Contributor Alan Cumming
Contributor Stephen Fry
Contributor Jeanette Winterson
Contributor Holly Johnson
Contributor Anthony Sher
Contributor Gregory Doran
Contributor Isaac Julien
Contributor Julie Goodyear
Contributor Asifa Lahore
Contributor Will Young
Contributor David Hockney
Contributor Sandi Toksvig
Director James House
Executive Producer Neil Crombie
Executive Producer Joe Evans
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