‘It’s a Sin’ characters guide: Who’s who in new ’80s AIDS crisis drama?

It’s A Sin is a brand new drama from the writer of A Very English Scandal, the award-winning Russell T Davies.

The five-part mini-series from the producers of Happy Valley and Gentleman Jack follows the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and charts the joy and heartbreak of a group of friends across a decade in which everything changed.

Watch the trailer:


It’s 1981, the start of a new decade and Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin begin a new life in London.

Strangers at first, these young lads, and their best friends Jill and Ash, find themselves thrown together, and soon share each other’s adventures.

But a new virus is on the rise, and soon their lives will be tested in ways they never imagined. As the decade passes, and they grow up in the shadow of AIDS, they’re determined to live and love more fiercely than ever.

It’s the story of these boys’ friends, lovers and families too, especially Jill, the girl who loves them and helps them, and galvanises them in the battles to come. Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced throughout the decade.

There are terrible losses and wonderful friendships. And complex families, pushed to the limit and beyond. This is a series that remembers the boys we lost and celebrates those lives that burned so brightly.

Here’s a guide to the characters of It’s a Sin and who plays them


Ritchie Tozer

Olly Alexander (Ripper Street) is 18 year old Ritchie, the golden boy of a middle-class family from the Isle of Wight, heading off to University to study law.

His family don’t know that he’s gay, but when Ritchie hits London, and freedom, his life explodes in all sorts of directions.


Jill Baxter

Lydia West (Dracula) plays Ritchie’s friend from college, Jill, 18 yrs old, from Surrey.

Straight-talking, funny, with a big smile and an endlessly patient nature, she is destined to be the great friend and confidant of these boys. Even if that means keeping some terrible secrets…


Roscoe Babatunde

Newcomer Omari Douglas plays Roscoe, a wild, brittle party boy, 18 yrs old.

Born in Peckham, from a Nigerian family. Independent and fiercely secretive, Roscoe runs away from home, determined to never look back.


Colin Morris-Jones

Newcomer Callum Scott Howells plays Colin, a quiet, unassuming, 18 year old boy from Wales.

Owlish, shy and modest, he lives in digs in suburban Elstree and he’s about to start his new job in a tailor’s on Savile Row, though he yearns for more fun.


Ash Mukherjee

Newcomer Nathaniel Curtis plays Ash, a faithful friend through thick and thin. 19 yrs old, tall, slim, clever, thoughtful.

Ash is a drama student at University, aiming to be a teacher… but it’s just before the school system introduces Section 28.


Gregory Finch

David Carlyle plays Roscoe’s mate, Gregory, 31, wild and fun, the life and soul of the party.

Gregory grew up in Glasgow and works as a bus conductor.


Henry Coltrane

Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) plays Henry, 48, thin, elegant, a true gentleman. He’s senior floor staff at Culver & Hound and becomes Colin’s friend.

Henry lives in Hackney with his boyfriend of 30 years, Juan Pablo.


Valerie Tozer

Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) plays Ritchie’s mum, 43.

She tries to be kind, polite and happy, but life’s got a few surprises in store for Valerie.

Read an interview with Keeley about It’s a Sin here.


Clive Tozer

Shaun Dooley (Gentleman Jack) plays Ritchie’s dad, Clive, who’s 45.

Bullish, opinionated, king of his own little world. He’s even a bit jealous of his son.


Arthur Garrison 

Stephen Fry (Wilde) plays Arthur Garrison, a 60-year-old MP for Richfield South.

He’s one of Thatcher’s men, keeping secrets from all around him.

Read an interview with Stephen about It’s a Sin here.


It’s a Sin is airing on Channel 4 in the UK on Friday nights, with all five episodes available to watch on demand on All 4 from 22nd January.

US viewers can watch the series on HBO Max later this year.

A Very English Scandal is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.