All Families Have Secrets - Patrick Gale's Art of Fiction

All Families Have Secrets - Patrick Gale's Art of Fiction


It’s high time bestselling author Patrick Gale came under the television spotlight. He’s been writing beautiful books for three decades (Rough Music, Notes from an Exhibition) – it’s a crime none has yet been adapted for film or TV. He has, however, created Man in an Orange Shirt, a searing drama for BBC2 (Monday), which he discusses here with one of his biggest fans, Stephen Fry.

They meet at his home (a farm near Land’s End), where Gale talks about the tag of being a “gay author”, and how he freely mines his family history for his fiction. A secret from his parents' marriage (his father’s love letters from another man) was the hook that led to his latest project. A ridiculously short profile but, like the best of gales novels, it bulges with insight and empathy.


Stephen Fry interviews Patrick Gale, the best-selling novelist who first caught his attention 30 years ago, as a rare example of an out gay writer willing to explore the homosexual experience in his work. Here, Fry meets Gale to discuss some of his most popular novels, including Notes from an Exhibition, and Man in an Orange Shirt, a two-part drama telling two parallel love stories set 60 years apart. Gale reveals how he often mines his own family history for inspiration, and details how this new project continues that theme, unveiling a long-held secret about his parents' marriage.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Stephen Fry
Contributor Patrick Gale
Director Alex Harding
Executive Producer Janet Lee