Words: Hugh Kaye
One of the joys of writing this column (believe me it isn’t the salary), is discovering little gems you missed first time around.
One of those is definitely this week’s highlight. Love is Strange (C4, Mon 12 Nov, 12.45m) is directed by gay filmmaker Ira Sachs and stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina (who played Kenneth Halliwell in Prick Up Your Ears) as an “older” gay couple who decide to tie the knot after almost 40 years together.
Unfortunately, news of the nuptials results in Molina’s character, George, losing his job as a teacher at a Catholic school and that has disastrous financial effects on the relationship. The 2014 film also features American Horror Story’s out gay star Cheyenne Jackson.
The rest of the week’s best gay programmes revolve firmly around music.
First there’s a chance to see Kylie and four of the Spice Girls (not Posh) on The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV, Sat 10 Nov, 10.05pm), then there’s a run-down of Sir Elt’s 20 greatest hits in Elton John: The Nation’s Favourite Song (ITV3, Sun 11 Nov, 11pm). You probably know the winning tune – but I’m not sure how it comes out on top.
Wow, what a line up! We have the @spicegirls - @MelanieCmusic, @GeriHalliwell, @EmmaBunton, @OfficialMelB on the sofa, as well as @DjokerNole, @JohnBishop100 & a performance by @kylieminogue. Don't miss it, this Saturday at 10:05pm on @ITV! @WeAreSTV #TheJRShow pic.twitter.com/gGnPsg4HaD— Jonathan Ross Show (@JRossShow) November 8, 2018
However, the man himself admits he always knows in advance that it’s the one he’ll be asked to play. I’m blaming the heteros who request it at weddings or on Valentine’s Day… And as part of the charity-raising events, you can catch Nile Rodgers and Chic, as well as Jess Glynne and Rita Ora among the guests on Children in Need Rocks (BBC1, Thurs 15 Nov, 8.30pm).
If you prefer your entertainment with a bit more gore, try Britain’s Most Evil Killers (Sky Witness, Sat 10 Nov, 10pm) which features Dennis Nilsen, who, among his many victims, targeted gay and homeless men.
Equally disturbing is the subject matter of Gay Conversion Therapy (VICE, Sat 10 Nov, 10am), which looks at how practitioners (for “practitioner” read: lunatic) attempt to “cure” gay people with a mix of counselling and lifestyle restrictions. Unfortunately, there is no cure for bigotry.
Rather more uplifting is seeing Nigel Owens on My Icon (Sky Sports Mix, Tues 13 Nov, 12.15pm). The Welsh out gay rugby union referee and Attitude Award winner discusses his experiences in the sport and his support of the Rainbow Laces campaign.
His appearance is followed immediately by that of rugby league player Keegan Hirst, who came out in 2015.
Netflix’s offerings include Chocolate City: Vegas Strip which features a troupe who enter the Exotic Male Revue competition, held in the entertainment capital of the world – a sort of Magic Mike with balls – and Game Face, which sees a trans person and a gay man trying to succeed in the macho world of professional sport.
On a much more serious note, the documentary Breaking Free chronicles the horrendous human rights violations often suffered by LGBT+ people in India.