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Channel 4 has announced a series of shows to mark the 50th anniversary of gay decriminalisation

Channel 4

Not Guilty, Epidemic, 50 Shades of Gay, and Coming Out will be broadcast this year.

To mark the anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act in 1967, Channel 4 has announced a series of documentaries that will chronicle the rise of gay rights in the UK.

The first show, Not Guilty, takes a look at the 15,000 British men who still have a criminal record due to the anti-homosexual laws that were put in place before The Sexual Offences Act.

Epidemic will explore the unlikely collaboration between Tory politicians, doctors and gay campaigners, as they came together to fight HIV and AIDS in the 1980s.

Rupert Everett leads the third show, 50 Shades of Gay, and will follow the BAFTA nominated star as he interviews gay people of all ages while reflecting on the history of gay life in Britain.

Coming Out, the final show in Channel 4’s programming, will explore how pop music made homosexuality more acceptable in mainstream culture.

The Sexual Offences Act was brought to fruition in 1967, and decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales between two men, with the law only applying to those over the age of 21.

Commissing Editor for Channel 4, Rob Coldstream, said: “History can tell us as much about the present day as it does about the past and I’m thrilled to announce this slate of programmes – its incredibly wide ranging but at its heart is brilliant new journalism, and a fresh lens onto the past that offers new insights into our own times.”

The dates for all four shows are yet to be announced. 

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