It's a Sin: Meet the characters of Russell T Davies' powerful Aids drama

Check out brand new first-look images from the Queer as Folk creators new Channel 4 series.


Words: Will Stroude

With just a week to go until It's a Sin premieres in the UK on Friday 22 January, Channel 4 have given us a more in-depth look at the characters who populate the powerful Aids drama from Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies.

The five-part series, which will also air on HBO Max in the US later in the year, charts the lives of a group of friends in London over the course of the 1980s as the LGBTQ community begins to grapple with the full horror of the Aids crisis.

It's a Sin sees established stars like Olly Alexander, Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Fry and Keeley Hawes rubbing shoulders with talented newcomers including Omari Douglas, Callum Scott-Howells and Nathaniel Curtis.

An official synopsis reads: "It’s 1981, the start of a new decade and Ritchie (Alexander), Roscoe (Omari Douglas) and Colin (Callum Scott Howells) begin a new life in London.

"Strangers at first, these young gay lads, and their best friend Jill (Years and Years' Lydia West), find themselves thrown together, and soon share each other’s adventures. But a new virus is on the rise, and soon their lives will be tested in ways they never imagined.

"As the decade passes, and they grow up in the shadow of AIDS, they’re determined to live and love more fiercely than ever."

Get to know the cast of characters and check out brand new first-look images below:

Ritchie Tozer (played by Olly Alexander)

Image: Channel 4

18 yrs old, the golden boy of a middle-class family from the Isle of Wight, heading off to University to study law. His family don’t know that he’s gay, but when Ritchie hits London, and freedom, his life explodes in all sorts of directions.

Jill Baxter (Lydia West)

Image: Channel 4

18 yrs old, from Surrey, with a big smile and an endlessly patient nature, she is destined to be the great friend and confidant of these boys. Even if that means keeping some terrible secrets….

Roscoe Babatunde (Omari Douglas)

Image: Channel 4

18 years old. Born in Peckham, from a Nigerian family. Independent and fiercely secretive, Roscoe runs away from home, determined to never look back.

Colin Morris-Jones (Callum Scott-Howells)

Image: Channel 4

18 years old. Welsh, owlish, quiet, shy and modest. He lives in digs in suburban Elstree and he’s about to start his new job in a tailor’s on Savile Row, though he yearns for more fun.

Ash Mukherjee (Nathaniel Curtis)

Image: Channel 4

19 years old. Tall, slim, clever, thoughtful. Ash is a drama student at University, aiming to be a teacher… but it’s just before the school system introduces Section 28.

Gregory Finch (David Carlyle)

Image: Channel 4

Roscoe’s mate, 31, wild and fun, the life and soul of the party. Gregory grew up in Glasgow and works as a bus conductor. 

Henry Coltrane (Neil Patrick Harris)

Image: Channel 4

48, thin, elegant, a true gentleman. He’s senior floor staff at Culver & Hound and becomes Colin’s friend. Henry lives in Hackney with his boyfriend of 30 years, Juan Pablo. 

Valerie Tozer (Keeley Hawes)

Image: Channel 4

Ritchie’s mum, 43. She tries to be kind, polite and happy, but life’s got a few surprises in store for Valerie.

Clive Tozer (Shaun Dooley)

Image: Channel 4

Ritchie’s dad, 45. Bullish, opinionated, king of his own little world. He’s even a bit jealous of his son.

Arthur Garrison (Stephen Fry)

60, MP for Richfield South. One of Thatcher’s men, keeping secrets from all around him.

It's a Sin premieres on Friday 22 January 2021 on Channel 4 in the UK, with all five episodes available to stream on All4 immediately afterwards. The series lands on HBO Max in the US later this year.