While new Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin depicts the tragedy gay and bi men faced during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s, it also highlights the importance of friendship and chosen families.

This kinship is perfectly portrayed with our core group of five friends in the show with a simple “La!” – an in-joke between the group as they navigate the decade and everything they come face-to-face with.

It’s A Sin creator Russell T Davies has revealed the real-life story behind the little saying, and why he felt it was important to include it in this story.

“I did that as a little camp kid in Swansea,” Russell said on It’s A Sin – After Hours. “Me and my gang of mates, when we were teenagers all belonged to the same youth theatre and that was one of our jokes.

“There was some people out there who I haven’t seen for years who might watch this and go, ‘I used to do that, I used to go, La!’ How they explain that to their wives, I would love to know.”

Speaking about why he wanted to include it, Russell added: “I put it in because that’s how groups of friends work and I don’t think you ever see that often enough on television and in films.


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“The groups of people who spend a lot of time together who have these jokes and codes and in-jokes, they might have a funny way of saying ‘thank you’, or little nicknames for each other like this lot feminise each other’s names which we all used to do as little gay kids back in the 1980s.

“There was a nod to that actually, that they’ve got a joke and runs throughout the rest of the episodes.

“As the decade goes on it wears out actually, as in-jokes do it gets slightly forgotten, but I wanted to do that to make them feel a bit more real.”

The first instalment of It’s A Sin – After Hours also features Olly Alexander speaking about filming sex scenes for the show, as well as Neil Patrick Harris reflecting on the importance of gay mentors in the community.

It’s A Sin – After Hours launches weekly after the main show on Channel 4 and is available to watch on Channel 4’s official Instagram.

It’s A Sin airs at 9pm on Fridays on Channel 4, with all five episodes available to stream on All4 now.

Related: It’s A Sin: Lydia West and Jill Nalder discuss the power of allyship during AIDS crisis