Russell T. Davies: Yes, that's funny, it does free you up a bit; if my gravestone has QAF engraved on it, then that's not bad! Thanks for saying that -- I'm quite bad at receiving praise, I mean, what can you say except "Thank you," feebly?! That scene is lovely, isn't it? That bloke who plays Nick Tandy -- the bloke who just walks past -- says he's still being recognised now! So it is lovely and wonderful to think that it means so much to people -- let's face it, it means that much to me, so I know how it feels. The odd thing is, that satisfaction has to exist alongside the fact that plenty of people hated it, and hate me as a result. Which is weird. Literally, there's one man in particular in Manchester who thinks I'm the devil. I was out last night, on Canal Street, and he was in the same pub. And for about two hours, all he did was stand there and stare at me. Absolute hatred -- which I'm used to now, but it's still weird. Oh, that sounds like a sob story -- fuck him, he's a nutter! But it's swings and roundabouts; for every bit of praise, there's someone who wants your blood.
It's hard to remember my expectations at the start of the project. To be honest, at that stage, you're just worrying about yourself -- is it crap? Have I got it right? And will I ever get the bloody scripts in on time? There's not that much of a bigger picture, just day-to-day concerns. It's funny when I hear people who like the show talk about it in grand terms -- it's about love, it's about the journey into adulthood, becoming a man, it's about finding a family, etc. I never think in those terms. I thought it was about Stuart, Vince, and Nathan, simple as that. Though paradoxically, when people are slagging it off, now I'll stand up and defend it, armed with hindsight, saying, "It's about love! It's about family!" Haha, I've only just realised that. Thanks Jackie, I'm a twat!
della femina: Your new series, about a gay man who falls in love with a woman (and which sounds similar to the supposed spin-off series about Hazel and Bernard that we'd read rumours about), is being produced for ITV.
Russell T. Davies: Yes, a word about Hazel and Bernard, et al, just to clear that up. After QAF2 was written, I realised there was room for a spin-off -- a different show -- called Misfits: Hazel, Bernie, Alexander, maybe the return of Donna, and a whole raft of new characters. Not one hundred percent gay -- that's why it was called Misfits, a bunch of people who don't fit in anywhere; that notion of the invented, extended family. Channel Four loved it, made me work on it for five months; I wrote four scripts, twenty-two storylines, [and] then they said no. Fair enough, that's their prerogative. And to this day, none of us knows why! God, try getting a straight answer from them. Strange TV business -- but it's always like that. Shame, the scripts were fab; I can write bollocks sometimes, but they did work. Oh well. But it was never about Hazel and Bernard falling in love! Haha! Oh, my eyes.