della femina: But Hazel married the copper and Bernard became a porn baron, as far as we knew. How'd you work around that?
Russell T. Davies: Well, Bernie being a porn baron just meant he was working as a hospital porter, and made judicious use of a camcorder before the anaesthetic wore off...Blimey, how does my mind work? So you'd just send him off to work every other episode. But Hazel marrying the lovely PC, Des Stroud, was the backbone of the entire series. Cos it was a marriage just doomed to failure; though he's a lovely bloke, and loves Hazel completely, she actually marries him for a bit of financial stability -- Vince really did keep that house afloat -- and, more importantly, because she's bereft, practically in mourning. Her son -- the man she's spent 30 years with, seeing him practically every day -- ups and disappears, and she's left with no one. And there's Des. His story was fab, too -- a good, law-abiding man, thrown into this world of misfits, and actually loving it. So the series started three episodes before the wedding, and then charted the gradual decline of two lovely, well-meaning people who've trapped themselves. That sounds miserable, [but] it was very funny too.
Craig Kelly had agreed to come back for the first four episodes, to marry off his mum, and Charlie had potentially agreed to come back for the wedding episode. Oh, such a shame. Though Antony Cotton was booked for the series, we wouldn't have seen Alexander as Alice Band -- I always presumed some of those QAF2 photos could be way in the future!
della femina: Now, I've only lived in Britain for a few years, but I have to say that I'm a bit surprised that this new series is going to air on ITV; out of all the terrestrial channels, it seems the least likely to show such a series. Have they asked you to handle the issues with kid gloves, or are they letting you have the freedom Channel Four granted you when you were writing QAF?
Russell T. Davies: They've given us complete freedom. But it's a different show -- it's called Bob & Rose, it's not QAF, it's got a different tone, a completely different story, and while bits of it might look the same -- cruising up and down Canal Street -- it's with a different intent. And that's my choice, no one from ITV censoring it -- honestly, they're fab and honest to deal with, it's a great relationship. So it won't be as explicit or as graphic as QAF, because it was never conceived to be. We're going for the nine o'clock slot. And this might surprise you, I can actually be prudish about stuff! I'm not sure that saying "fuck" feels comfortable at nine on ITV -- and bear in mind, plenty of nine o'clock ITV dramas do say "fuck," they're all right about it. But this whole story is much more delicate, it feels intrusive. It's not a bland or safe show; hopefully it's nicely radical underneath, but the tone and style are created entirely by the nature of the story, by the characters of Bob and Rose themselves -- they're fabulously ordinary, the last people on earth who'd think of themselves as radical or cutting-edge, so the story-telling suits their demands. I don't know, I'm still writing it, I finished episode three this morning.