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It's A Sin: Is Colin based on a real person?


All five episodes of It’s A Sin are streaming on All 4 now and episode five concludes this week (Friday, February 19) on Channel 4 at 9pm. Fans have been obsessed with Colin (played by Callum Scott Howells) since the very first episode but is Colin based on a real person? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know. 

Is Colin based on a real person? 

It’s A Sin on Channel 4 comes from Years and Years and Queer as Folk creator, Russell T Davies.

The five-part series is set during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, following the lives of five friends: Ritchie (played by Olly Alexander), Roscoe (Omari Douglas), Colin (Callum Scott Howells), Jill (Lydia West) and Ash (Nathaniel Curtis) in London across the decade in which “everything changed”.

Speaking to Express.co.uk and other press ahead of the show’s premiere, creator Russell T Davies revealed there are real people and true events which inspired It’s A Sin.

One of the standout stars of the series is Callum Scott-Howells who plays young, gay apprentice tailor, Colin Morris-Jones who moves into the Pink Palace.

READ MORE It’s A Sin cast: Who plays Colin in It’s A Sin?

As seen in the series, Colin was declared a “public menace” and locked in a hospital ward alone on police orders after being diagnosed with AIDS.

In 1985, Conservative Minister for Health Ken Clarke enacted powers to keep AIDS victims in hospital against their will and was first used in Manchester.

Davies wrote in The Guardian about the case of a man with AIDS who was imprisoned in Monsall Hospital.

After hearing of his incarceration, LGBTQ+ groups organised and campaigned for his release and the detainment order was withdrawn. 

In It’s A Sin, things took a dark and dangerous turn for Colin after he was found collapsed after suffering an epileptic fit in the office.

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He was taken to hospital, where initially it was believed he suffered from epilepsy but as the episode continued on, Colin’s condition worsened.

It soon became clear to Colin, the doctors, Colin’s friends, his mum (Andria Doherty) and viewers at home, Colin was suffering from AIDS.

He was quickly declared as “public menace” and effectively imprisoned inside a Welsh hospital as part of a Public Health Order before Lizbeth Farooqi (Seyan Saravan) successfully campaigned on behalf of Colin and a gay rights group for his release.

He returned to London with his mother by his side where his condition quickly deteriorated and he sadly died.


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