The Radio Times logo

It's A Sin star reveals Russell T Davies' advice ahead of harrowing scene

Callum Scott Howells was speaking during a panel celebrating the show at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival.

Callum Scott Howells as Colin in It's a Sin episode 2
Channel 4
Published: Tuesday, 24th May 2022 at 12:23 pm
Subscribe to Radio Times magazine and get 12 issues for £1

Callum Scott Howells has spoken about the advice he received from Russell T Davies ahead of shooting the devastating It's A Sin hospital scene that saw his character Colin learn of his AIDS diagnosis.


Speaking after the clip had been shown during a panel celebrating the show at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, Howells revealed that Davies had offered him some simple but inspirational words of wisdom.

"I remember seeing Russell like a week before this scene and I said, 'Oh that scene is coming up' and I probably swore a bit as well," he explained.

"But I said, you know, what do you think – basically is there any advice? And Russell was like, 'Just go for it. Really go for it.' And it's the best piece of advice I've ever had.

"It's quite amazing actually that Russell said that because, you know, for someone like Russell to say that, is so generous to give someone who – it's my first job – the sort of allowance to go there really."

"It's the 'Mammy', isn't it?" Davies added, commenting on what made the scene so effective. "It's when he says 'Mammy' – it's such a triumph. That's the best. It's just you saying that word, everything's gone, there are no defences, there's no logic, it's just emotions."

"Yeah, exactly," Howells agreed. "And then as an actor, when you say that word and these lines, you know – it does half of the work for you really.

"Saying 'Mammy' – it brings up things, you know, and I think that's what it was for me. It was just having that allowance and being able to say those lines. I was very grateful, and yeah, it was really hard."

Read more:


It's A Sin is available to stream on All 4. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.


Sponsored content