Lost Boys and Fairies stars champion Graham Norton 'hero' of queer representation

Virgin Radio

10 Jun 2024, 14:42

Fra Fee and Sion Daniel Young star in Daf James' emotional tale of love, adoption, and queer life in Cardiff

BBC One is about to make history with its first-ever primetime drama centred on gay adoption!

Lost Boys & Fairies, a heartfelt series inspired by Welsh playwright Daf James' own adoption journey with his husband, promises to be a game-changer for queer representation on the small screen.



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Set against the vibrant backdrop of Cardiff’s queer scene, this three-part drama dives deep into the highs and lows of one gay couple’s quest to become parents.

The story revolves around Gabriel, played by Sion Daniel Young, and his partner Andy, brought to life by Fra Fee.

The couple faces the emotional rollercoaster of adoption, their traumas laid bare by their social worker Jackie, who must determine if they’re ready for parenthood.

It’s a touching, raw, and beautifully told story that’s as much about love as it is about overcoming obstacles.

Fra Fee, an Irish actor and singer known for his roles in Hawkeye and Les Misérables, has been turning heads on stage and screen for years, Fee has consistently wowed audiences.

He recently shone in Zack Snyder’s epic Rebel Moon: Part Two – The Scargiver and is set to join the Apple TV+ thriller Prime Target, produced by the legendary Ridley Scott.

Living in rural Oxfordshire with his long-term boyfriend and their dog, Fee has often spoken about the evolving acceptance of LGBT identities in his native Northern Ireland.

He shared with The Irish Times in 2022: "I love going back home now and I feel very welcome. I'm hopeful that young gay people in Northern Ireland have an easier time of it. There's so much more queer visibility in the media and culture and that makes a big difference."

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on Virgin Radio, Fee drew parallels between his life and his character Gabriel’s.

He expanded on finding his identity in Ireland, stating: "I came from a background similar to Gabriel's in the story. You know, religious background, Catholic background, very, very rural. Yeah, you know. So it's not as though you sort of had..."

Tubridy quipped: "You're the only gay in the village?" to which Fee responded: "Well, you know, it turns out that I'm definitely not!"

Fee humorously recounted: "Once I came out, they came out in their droves. Big time! But it's completely understandable, though, because, you know, there was no, like, visibility, and even, like, when I was watching TV as a teenager."

But one champion of visibility for queer identity on tv was Ireland's own and former Virgin Radio host, Graham Norton.

Fee continued: "I mean, Graham Norton was such a hero because he was, you know, an out and proud and brilliant, brilliant sort of media personality and actor, you know, and Father Ted and everything, yeah, that was sort of it.

"Then any sort of gay story or queer story represented on soaps or anything was really harrowing, and if they were to kiss, the whole nation seemed to go like, 'This is this is outrageous!' It's the front page of every newspaper. And as a young gay teenager, 'what's this about? Like, Am I really that much of a freak?'"

Fast forward 20 years, and Fee is starring in a story that celebrates love in all its forms.

Fee rounded out his thoughts with: "Years later to be doing this story that's just so unbelievably positive, you know? And I think that's why I find it such a profoundly moving thing to do, because Gabriel and Andy are deeply, deeply in love with each other. It's a beautiful relationship. It just just so happens that they're two men."

Fee's co-star Sion Daniel Young, a Cardiff native and first-language Welsh speaker, has returned to his roots for this role.

Having starred in National Theatre productions like War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Young has a knack for powerful performances.

He played Gethin in BBC3’s The Left Behind, a role that allowed him to keep his Welsh accent, something he’s proud to do again in Lost Boys & Fairies.

Young dived deep into his role by discussing adoption experiences with Daf James. Although he’s not a parent or gay, he believes the desire to start a family is universal.

He told Tubridy: "I think I just remember thinking like, 'Well, I never approached it going, right, this is a gay relationship, so I have to approach it, very conscious of that.'

"All I ever saw on the page was just this really intense, beautiful, deep love between these two people and and that's kind of all we focused on throughout like we were never having big conversations about the fact that they were gay."

He continued: "It’s just love between two people who are so desperate to root for each other and for everything to be OK. If I wasn’t the person Daf James wanted, then I wouldn’t be playing the part. It’s really straightforward for me."

Young is confident that viewers will connect with the story: "All three episodes, they're absolute gems of scripts, and the first time I read them, the nice thing is that what I felt when I first read them seems to be what the audiences are getting from watching the episode.

"So it's nice that that's translated to the audiences, but they're really special. And Daf James, the writer has got a really unique voice, and I'm really glad that we found this platform on BBC One that it's getting such a wide viewing, you know, because it's, it's a big part of his life that he's put into this story, and to get to share it with people now is it's really special."

Daf James, the creative force behind Lost Boys & Fairies, recently gushed about his journey with the show on Virgin Radio Pride.

Speaking with Steve Denyer, James shared his amazement at seeing his story come to life on prime-time TV.

He said: "It’s massive! When I grew up [with] Section 28, a lot of queer people’s stories during that time were of being bullied and trauma and all that kind of stuff," he explained.

"And to now have a story about you know- first of all that we can adopt, [and second] we can get married, and that it’s on prime-time… I would not have dreamt of that when I was a kid."

LOST BOYS & FAIRIES is on BBC One, the second episode airs tonight