Five young housemates enjoy the lively gay scene in 1980s London from the comfort of their Pink Palace. Initially unconcerned about rumours of a virus called AIDS, the housemates soon find themselves dealing with the fall-out from the epidemic.
It’s a Sin is from the pen of acclaimed writer Russell T. Davies. Like so much of his work, it manages to veer from hilarious to tear-jerking. You might need tissues for this one. While it was set in London, much of production took place in Manchester and the north.
Take a look at the filming locations for It’s a Sin.
Exterior shots of the fabulous Pink Palace were shot on Paton Street in Manchester. While the home is supposed to be in London, this street close to Manchester’s Gay Village has the perfect urban style. The crew dressed up the street with graffiti, poster boards, older storefronts, and vintage cars, to give it an authentic look.
While Colin got to go on a work jaunt to New York, the cast and crew had to settle for the bright lights of Liverpool. Water Street stood in for the streets of The Big Apple in the 80s, although they had to bring in some set dressing such as a vintage hot dog cart and the classic yellow taxis to give it that New York feel.
The Star and Garter was used as the location for a gay pub where Roscoe works and eventually becomes manager. An iconic pub and music venue close to Manchester Piccadilly station, hundreds of famous acts have appeared here over the years, from Status Quo to the UK Subs, The Courteeners, and Half Man Half Biscuit. It has also hosted a monthly Morrissey Smiths Disco night for more than 20 years.
Bolton was also transformed into 1980s London for protest scenes in It’s a Sin. Le Mans Crescent is full of grand Georgian buildings, giving it the look of London’s historic streets. A vintage police van was brought in and dozens of extras to play the rowdy protestors objecting to the government’s lack of action on AIDS.
The former Wentworth High School was turned into a studio for some interior shots. Most notably, the inside of the Pink Palace and the AIDS hospital ward sets were created in this abandoned 1950s school as it had the period features needed for historical accuracy.
One of the most powerfully dramatic scenes is when Jill confronts Ritchie’s mum on a windswept promenade. While the episode is set on the Isle of Wight, filming took place in Rhos-on-Sea in Wales. Rhos-on-Sea has a long sandy beach and a traditional seaside town vibe that makes it popular with families in the summer.