Page last updated at 23:31 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 00:31 UK

Profile: Russell T Davies

Russell T Davies
Russell T Davies oversaw the 21st Century relaunch of Doctor Who

Writer Russell T Davies, who put Doctor Who back at the heart of Saturday evening TV, has been appointed OBE by the Queen for services to drama.

To many fans of Doctor Who, he's known simply as RTD.

But you don't have to be a sci-fi fanatic to know that Russell T Davies is the man who regenerated Doctor Who.

When he brought back the series in 2005 - after a break of 16 years - it was a commercial and critical success with Davies as lead writer and executive producer.

Although 45-year-old spent much of his early career working in children's television, it was his adult drama Queer as Folk that first put him on the map.

DAVIES' CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Children's Ward (1993-1995)
Touching Evil (1997)
Queer As Folk (1999)
Casanova (2005)
Doctor Who (2005-2008)
Torchwood (2006-2008)

The 1999 Channel 4 series about gay men living in Manchester became one the UK's most complained about TV shows for its scenes of explicit sex.

The son of two teachers, Russell T Davies was born in Sketty, Swansea, and from an early age showed an interest in the performing arts. He was educated at the city's largest comprehensive, Olchfa.

"I avoided getting beaten up because I'm so tall," 6ft 6in Davies told the Daily Telegraph in 2007. "I just sort of kept my head down, immersed myself in TV and comics - Marvel comics, loved them - and all sorts of comic strips, like Schulz and Uderzo.

"I spent a long time wanting to be a graphic artist, because I can draw, and it took me until I was about 20 to realise that it was the writing I liked, not the drawing."

Bafta winner

In 1984, Davies graduated in English from Oxford and, after a brief stint in the theatre, was soon taking his first steps in TV production at the BBC, including the children's programme Why Don't You?

After success with Dark Season - a children's drama for BBC One - RTD left the BBC for Granada where, in 1996, he won a Bafta for his ITV hospital drama Children's Ward.

He gradually made the transition from children's to adult drama, writing for Coronation Street and The Grand before the controversial Queer as Folk.

Other writing credits include Casanova, starring Doctor Who actor David Tennant, mini-series Touching Evil and romantic comedy-drama Bob and Rose with Alan Davies and Lesley Sharp.

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Russell T Davies on the cult of Doctor Who

But the name Russell T Davies is now most associated with the 21st Century relaunch of Doctor Who, which originally ran from 1963 to 1989.

Speaking after the first series in 2005 - which starred Christopher Eccleston as the Time Lord - Davies said Doctor Who had been in desperate need of regeneration.

"Even with all that love, you have to admit that the name of the programme had become a joke and its reputation had become a cheap joke at that - you know, rubber monsters and shaky sets."

He added: "It's been everything we planned and more, and it's very rarely in life you get the chance to have that happen."

Other spin-off dramas created by Davies include Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Bafta-winning writer Steven Moffat will succeed Davies as lead writer and executive producer of the fifth series of Doctor Who, which will broadcast on BBC One in 2010.


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