This list consists of series that feature an LGBT character as the protagonist.Following this criteria, programmes as diverse as Brideshead Revisited (1981), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), Six Feet Under (2001-05), The Wire (2002-08), Glee (2009-) and Modern Family (2009-) don’t make the cut, despite their strong secondary queer characters (the international success of Modern Family in particular, broadcast in countries where homosexuality is still illegal, could help liberalise attitudes, following the marriage of Cameron and Mitchell, two of the most popular characters).Some series, despite huge followings, didn’t make the cut.
The Line of Beauty (2006) was too coy, losing the hedonistic sexiness of Alan Hollinghurst’s source novel.
A glut of sitcoms feature LGBT characters, but so many are patchy, or dated.
Will Grace (1998-2006) was a huge hit, but its portrayal of gay men was clichéd and too few of the jokes landed (although try telling that to the often hysterical studio audience).
The New Normal (2012-13) started strong but lost its way, leading to a swift cancellation.
The less said about Rhona Cameron’s and Sue Perkins’ forays into sitcom, the better, while Vicious (2013-), starring Derek Jacobi and Ian Mc Kellen, is bewilderingly awful.
There are some glaring omissions – space wouldn’t allow for sci-fi series Torchwood (2006-11) or Orphan Black (2013-), although both have fantastic, interesting LGBT characters.The joyous Tales of the City (1993-2001) was narrowly edged out.Bad Girls (1999-2006), despite its camp reputation, had a terrific lesbian storyline in the romance between prisoner Nikki and governor Helen, but lost momentum when both characters left.Cucumber, Banana and Tofu, three major series focusing on queer lives from creator Russell T.Davies (Queer as Folk, Doctor Who), recently screened on British TV and online.Comedy drama Cucumber (on Channel 4) follows the glitch in a relationship between two longtime partners (played by Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri).