CHARLIE HUNNAM HAS BEEN A BUSY liella. liighteen months ago. the nineteen-year-old was just another struggling young actor. but then his part as schoolboy .\'athan in ('hannel l’our‘s Queerxls I'D/k shot him and his bare arse into the nation's consciousness. Now he is courting the media in the ['8 and meeting the likes of Madonna. eyen though the series wasn‘t shown in America. lo the industry. it was this kind ol’ cult thing with people sending each other tapes ol‘ the show.” llunnam explains. ‘I went over there as soon as we l'inished l'ilming and I did l()7 meetings; at only about two the people hadn’t seen it.‘

Queer xls l‘olk has been something

of a phenomenon. The screening ol~

the first series last l-‘ebruary was met by hype not seen since This Life. The trio ol~ stars llunnam. ('raig Kelly (Vince) and Aiden (iillen (Stuart) r became heroes and pariahs oyernight: the tabloids were outraged at the sight ol‘ men haying sex on the box. while others celebrated a more realistic representation of gay men on 'l'\'. 'The whole point of many gay characters is that they are gay.‘ states llunnam. 'and that‘s all their story lines would be about. Right off the bat

The first series of

'The whole gay thing wasn't an issue where it generally is in a drama with gay characters.’

Charlie Hunnam

rocked the nation, and outraging tabloids. With Section 28 so much on

with Queer .-l_\ l-‘u/k all the characters were gay. so that it wasn't an issue. It was a l'resh way ol‘ doing it. to look at ill)“ lllc‘sc‘ guys ll\c‘tl. The “litilc‘ gay thing wasn't an issue where it generally is in a drama with gay characters.‘

Alter the success ol' the lust series (oyer four million \‘iewers l‘or a late night. mid-week (‘hannel 4 show) there may haye been reseryations about spoiling things by doing too much: the canny producers ol’ This Life knew it was best to quit while they were ahead. llunnam. like his co— stars. was ey'entually won oyer. ‘I had some problems tor a start. my dad

didn't really like it. I had a couple of

other reservations about going back. but I read the scripts and they were so good. my character was so interesting and I had so much fun before. I thought “oh. sod itl“. Queer xls l’olk

started my career. got to be a bit loyal tt help you out.‘

Queer sly I'D/ls Iii/1e originally commissioned a. hour shows. but after discussion with ('hannel 4. it was cut by writer Rtissell 'l‘. |)a\'ies to two one-hour specials; a decision L‘\L‘t‘ytme inyolyed was satisfied with. llunnam was especially Pleased with the late ol‘ Nathan. ‘1 hayen't seen the linished tapes as yet. but the scripts would make me think people will be quite satisl'ied with the ending. It kind of wraps it all tip. It's a Very satisfactory ending for all the characters. in particular Nathan a l‘airytale ending for him.’

Plot details are scant at the moment. to say the least; sul‘l‘ice to say Nathan returns after his adyentures in London with his lather‘s credit cards and Vince and Stuart‘s ‘will they/won't they' psychological battle rages on. All will be t'c‘Vc‘tthd soon.

Hi the sequel is the grand l‘inale. what place does Queer {‘5‘ I‘m/k haye in teleyision mythology"? ‘llopel'ully. it will be remembered as a turning point in British TV as it tackles a lot ol‘ taboos and makes them mainstream.‘ reckons llunnam. 'But most importantly. as a really good piece of drama.’

Queer As Folk - The Sequel is broadcast on Channel 4 on Tue 15 and Tue 22 Feb.

See pages 103-110 for more Valentine's features.

topping viewing figures the agenda at the moment, the sequel is sure to make a high profile impact. Mark Robertson