T-shirt inspired by ‘It’s A Sin’ raises £500K for charity

The popular Channel 4 drama has helped drive the conversation around AIDS

Over £500,000 has been raised for charity from sales of a t-shirt inspired by Russell T Davies’ AIDs drama It’s A Sin.

The Channel 4 drama aired earlier this year to high praise for its honest portrayal of AIDS amongst young British men in the 1980s.

In the show, the core ensemble greeted each other with the personalised phrase “la”, which has since been repurposed by fans.

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The phrase was used by designer Philip Normal, who is living with HIV, for the bespoke t-shirt, which was launched to raise money for HIV and sexual health charity the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Sales of the shirt have been boosted by celebrity support. Sir Ian McKellen, Phillip Schofield and Beverley Knight have all been seen sporting the garment, as well as one of the show’s stars Nathaniel Curtis.

“Thanks has to go to Russell T Davies and the cast and crew of It’s A Sin for starting a national discussion around the realities of living with HIV today,” Normal wrote in a post on Instagram.

Earlier in August, It’s A Sin lead the 2021 National Television Awards nominations. The show received a nod for Best New Drama, going up against Normal People, Bridgerton and Des, while Years & Years musician Olly Alexander is nominated for Best Drama Performance for his role as Ritchie Tozer.

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In spite of the show’s success, Davies said that the hit Channel 4 drama “said everything I wanted to say” and as such will not be renewed for a follow-up.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the Queer As Folk and Cucumber writer explained why he wouldn’t pursue things further. “There isn’t a second season. It was lovely. It said everything I wanted to say. The only long-running thing I’ve ever done is Doctor Who and that’s because Doctor Who is designed to be long running.”

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