Russell T Davies
TV Writer and Producer
Stephen Russell Davies, OBE was born 27th April 1963, after attending Olchfa Comprehensive School, he was educated at Oxford University, graduating with a degree in English Lit in 1984. His first job was working in the theatre back in his native Swansea, but the lure of television was beginning to pull. Better known by his pen name Russell T Davies, is a television producer and screenwriter whose works include Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming, Casanova, and the 2005 revival of the classic British science fiction series Doctor Who.
At school, he enjoyed Art and Drama (we were in the same art class at Olchfa), Russell was selected to be Head Boy, he was a talented artist and originally he was aspired to work as a comic artist in his adult life, until a careers advisor at his school suggested that he study English literature; he consequently focused on a career of play- and screen-writing. After he graduated from Oxford University, Davies joined the BBC's children's department on a part-time basis in 1985 and worked in varying positions. His first step towards a career in television was when he enrolled in a Director's Course at BBC Television. After this he moved in front of the camera's to present one solitary episode of kiddie favourite "Play School" (1987), decided he didn't like it and set his sights at the producer's hat. He eventually got to wear it when he produced older kid's show "Why Don't You...?" It was during this time he also dipped a toe in the writing pool and created a sketch show for Saturday mornings on BBC1, called "Breakfast Serials"(1990)
Russell's big break came with his first television drama - a six part serial for kids entitles "Dark Season" (BBC1). This had a very young Kate Winslett stretching her acting muscles, and was to be RTD's first major success. This led, two years later, to "Century Falls", another science fiction drama which was well received and critically acclaimed.
In 1992, he crossed to Granada TV to produce and write for "Children's Ward", which was already a successful TV series. Spreading his wings, RTD decided to break into adult TV, and contributed a script for "Cluedo", a crime quiz show then playing on ITV, based on the board game of the same name. However, he continued working on "Children's Ward until 1995 and it was one of these episodes that was to win RTD a BAFTA for Best Drama in 1996. In tandem he was also working outside the children's TV realm on "The House of Windsor" and "Revelations".
After a brief stint as a storyliner on "Coronation Street" (for which he later wrote the straight-to-video spin-off "Viva Las Vegas") and contributions to Channel 4's "Springhill" in 1996, the following year he created the hotel-set period drama "The Grand" for prime time ITV, winning a reputation for good writing and high audience figures. He contributed to the first series of the acclaimed ITV drama "Touching Evil", before beginning his fruitful collaboration with the independent Red Productions company and creating ground-breaking "Queer as Folk", which caused much comment and drew much praise when screened on Channel 4 in early 1999. A sequel followed in 2000 and a US version, which still runs successfully in that country to this day. In 2001 he followed this up with "Bob and Rose", this time screened on the mainstream ITV channel in prime time. After writing an episode for "Linda Green" on BBC1, in 2003 he wrote the religious telefantasy drama "The Second Coming" starring Christopher Eccleston, which cemented his position as one of the UK's foremost writers of TV drama. RTD was disappointed with the reaction to his next project for ITV, "Mine All Mine" in 2004, but bounced back with critically acclaimed "Casanova", before taking his rightful place as god, by resurrecting the totally perfect "Doctor Who" . He He lives in Manchester, UK.
His most notable achievement is reviving and running the science fiction series Doctor Who after a sixteen year hiatus, with Christopher Eccleston, and later David Tennant, in the title role of the Doctor. Davies' tenure as executive producer of the show oversaw a surge in popularity that led to the production of two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the revival of the Saturday primetime dramas as a profitable venture for production companies. Davies was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to drama, which coincided with his announcement that he would step down from as the show's executive producer with his final script, The End of Time (2009–10). Davies moved to Los Angeles, California in 2009, where he oversaw production of Torchwood: Miracle Day and the fifth and final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. He returned to the United Kingdom in late 2011 due to his partner developing cancer and is currently working on the forthcoming CBBC drama Aliens vs Wizards.
Many of the locations for Dr Who and Torchwood are set in and around South and West Wales. Mumbles was the main location for "Mine All Mine" that stared Griff Rhys Jones. Rhossili Bay features prominently in both Dr Who and Torchwood.