Channel 4 exec: Upcoming gay drama Cucumber ‘wouldn’t get made in US’

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Channel 4 controller Jay Hunt has said that upcoming gay drama series Cucumber would not get made on an American network.

Queer As Folk creator Russell T Davies last year revealed plans for the series, which will feature Vincent Franklin as a gay man in his 40s who finds himself attracted to a younger man. The show will also feature Rufus Hound and Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Companion series Banana, which will air on E4, is aimed at a younger demographic, and will feature Luke Newberry of zombie drama In the Flesh.

YouTube star Benjamin Cook will front an online spinoff, Tofu, exploring real gay sex stories with contributions from the public.

Defending the adult nature of the shows, Channel 4’s head of drama Piers Wenger said: “In a drama looking at the details of people’s sex lives, whether gay or straight people, of course you are required to bust taboos or ask probing questions.

“There’s no doubt people will find it challenging but it’s asking intelligent questions in an original way.”

Channel 4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt described the shows as “channel-defining”, and added that they wouldn’t get made by a major network in America.

Speaking to a shocked-looking American comedian Rob Delaney – who is launching a Channel 4 comedy – she quipped: “I’m thinking from the look on your face that that wouldn’t get past an American network?”

“We wouldn’t be Channel 4 if we weren’t planning to lightly outrage the Daily Mail.”

Queer As Folk, which began in 1999-2000, ended after just two series. It spawned an American-Canadian remake, which had a longer run of five seasons.

Cucumber, Banana, and Tofu are all expected to air in 2015.