It’s a Sin’s Callum Scott Howells to star as Holly Johnson in Frankie Goes to Hollywood biopic

A biopic of the iconic pop band Frankie Goes to Hollywood – creators of infamously banned single “Relax” – is well and truly in the works, and will feature scene-stealing actor Callum Scott Howells as its lead singer Holly Johnson.

Just days after the band reunited to celebrate Eurovision – and announced a tour – a Frankie Goes to Hollywood biopic has been announced. Relax will tell the revolutionary tale of the band’s creation of their chart-topping, parent-scandalising single of the same name, and is based on Holly Johnson’s memoir A Bone in My Flute.

Although further casting is yet to be announced, fans of Russell T Davies’s heartbreaking AIDS crisis drama It’s a Sin will be thrilled to learn that Callum Scott Howells – who played Colin – will take up the role of the band’s lead singer, Holly Johnson.

Co-produced by Working Title with Independent Entertainment, Relax – the film – was written and will be helmed by Bernard Rose, the director behind the original “Relax” music video.

Luc Roeg of Independent Entertainment said: “Frankie Goes To Hollywood were an unflinching ground-breaking band that paved the way for so many young performers today. Partnering with Working Title to bring their story to the screen is incredibly exciting.

“We can’t think of anyone better than Bernard Rose, and our talented young lead, Callum Scott Howells, to bring this iconic moment in pop history to life.”

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According to Rose, Frankie Goes to Hollywood helped to bring “the then deeply underground S+M and LGBTQ club scene screaming into the limelight” – and Relax will “bring that innocent and daring world of 1984 back to life for a new audience today…”

The song “Relax” was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and subsequently topped the UK Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the sixth best-selling UK single of all time.

It was banned because the lyrics (fairly obviously) referred to sex. Scandalous!

Its accompanying music video also featured men clad in all manner of latex and leather and multiple drag queens – and we can’t wait to see Callum Scott Howells as any of the above

Anyone below the age of 18 might remember the song as the Joe Black and Bimini Bon Boulash’s lip sync song on the very first episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, season two.

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