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Landmarks in Britain's gay history.

WE'VE recently seen documentaries celebrating the 50th anniversaries of the Summer of Love and the release of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but 1967 wasn't just a landmark year for anyone looking to tune in, turn on and drop out.

Channel 4 is launching a new season of programmes celebrating the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting males in private and over the age of 21 in England and Wales.

It's been given the punning title 50 Shades of Gay, which is also the name of a forthcoming Rupert Everett documentary looking at how homosexual life and culture has changed over the past half a century. There will also be documentaries about the battle against Aids and the people who still faced prosecution even after the Act passed.

But we begin with Britain's Great Gay Buildings, presented by Stephen Fry, which looks at some of the landmarks that played a role in defining Britain's gay history. Each building has a celebrity champion who will reveal the groundbreaking events that took place there and explore the lives of some of the extraordinary people who worked and lived in the sites.

For the Reverend Richard Coles that means a trip to London's Heaven nightclub, which opened its doors in 1979, to recall its hedonistic past. Retail guru Mary Portas visits Shibden Hall in Yorkshire, which was inherited in 1836 by Anne Lister. Portas discovers that the heiress kept detailed diaries about her financial concerns, her work to restore the estate - and her lesbian love affairs.

Other buildings include the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the Old Bailey.


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 24, 2017
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