The True Story Behind Lost Boys & Fairies

By Olivia Emily

3 weeks ago

Everyone is talking about this brand new tender musical drama


Can you think of any Welsh-English bilingual dramas? Not only is Lost Boys & Fairies the first example of this on primetime TV, but it’s also the BBC’s first gay adoption drama. Here’s everything you need to know about Lost Boys & Fairies, plus when and where you can watch it.

Everything To Know About Lost Boys & Fairies

Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG) & Andy (FRA FEE) in Lost Boys & Fairies

Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG) & Andy (FRA FEE). © BBC/Duck Soup Films/Simon Ridgway

What Is Lost Boys & Fairies About?

Set in Cardiff, Lost Boys & Fairies tells the story of Gabriel (Sion Daniel Young) and Andy’s (Fra Fee) journey to adoption. Inspired by Welsh playwright Daf James’ own experiences adopting three children with his husband, Gabriel and James are desperate to adopt a child, but to do so they must convince their social worker Jackie (Elizabeth Berrington) that they’re up to it.

Gabriel is a singer and artiste-extraordinaire, so we can expect lots of songs sprinkled throughout the three-part drama – often used in surprising ways. But he struggles with internalised shame, the result of growing up in a society that overwhelmingly treated being gay as a sin. Written by Daf James, the series is best described as a ‘coming of middle-age’ story, which is both heart-rending and humorous in equal measure.

Jackie (ELIZABETH BERRINGTON); Andy (FRA FEE); Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG)

Jackie (ELIZABETH BERRINGTON); Andy (FRA FEE); Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG). © Duck Soup Films/Simon Ridgway

Is It Based On A True Story?

Lost Boys & Fairies is fictional, but it is inspired by real events in Def James’ life, the creator of the series. ‘As with a lot of the stuff that I’ve written it’s very personally inspired,’ he told the BBC. ‘Though I draw from lived experience, I always adapt the story. The themes and emotions resonate with my life but it’s not my autobiography; and roles like Andy, Emrys and Jake aren’t depictions of my family.

‘My husband and I first adopted eight years ago now,’ James said. ‘When we went through this process, my world changed forever as a human, but also as an artist. I felt like I hadn’t seen adoption represented authentically on screen, so it’s something I feel really passionate about bringing to the television. That first year after adopting my kids was a challenging period because I went through so many emotions and feelings. My identity completely shifted; my frames of reference in this world shifted. I wanted to be able to put all of those things into a story.’

(L-R) Jake (LEO HARRIS); Llinos (MALI ANN REES); Claire (SHARON D CLARKE) in Lost Boys & Fairies

(L-R) Jake (LEO HARRIS); Llinos (MALI ANN REES); Claire (SHARON D CLARKE). © BBC/Duck Soup Films/Simon Ridgway

Lost Boys & Fairies is a queer, bilingual drama, and these facets make the whole adoption narrative all the more important, James says. ‘It’s important for me to put this story on screen because it’s a queer, bilingual, Welsh/English drama about adoption on the BBC, which absolutely blows my mind,’ James said. ‘If somebody would have told me that as a kid, that this kind of representation was going to be in the mainstream in this way, I wouldn’t have believed it.

‘This will be the most Welsh you’ve ever heard in a primetime BBC drama,’ James added. ‘I think it’s so important that we get to see these minority perspectives in the mainstream. It’s my identity: I’m a queer, Welsh-speaking Dad. This is my normal. But also, though it’s a story about gay adoption specifically, I think these are themes that resonate with everyone. Everyone knows what it is to be a child. Many people contemplate if they want to become parents or not; and we’ve all been children to somebody. Also, I’m a huge advocate for adoption, it’s changed my life completely. If this story can encourage more people to look into it, I think that would be a brilliant thing.’

(L-R) Jackie (ELIZABETH BERRINGTON); Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG); Andy (FRA FEE); Claire (SHARON D CLARKE); Llinos (MALI ANN REES).

(L-R) Jackie (ELIZABETH BERRINGTON); Gabriel (SION DANIEL YOUNG); Andy (FRA FEE); Claire (SHARON D CLARKE); Llinos (MALI ANN REES). © BBC/Duck Soup Films/Simon Ridgway

Who Stars?

  • Sion Daniel Young as Gabriel
  • Fra Fee as Andy
  • Elizabeth Berrington as Jackie
  • Sharon D Clarke as Claire
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy as Sandra
  • Arwel Gruffydd as Berwyn/Fanny Ample
  • William Thomas as Emrys
  • Shaheen Jafargholi as Celyn
  • Mali Ann Rees as Llinos
  • Gwyneth Keyworth as Becky
  • Leo Harris as Jake
  • Gwawr Loader
Fanny Ample (ARWEL GRUFFYDD) in Lost Boys & Fairies

Fanny Ample (ARWEL GRUFFYDD). © BBC/Duck Soup Films/Simon Ridgway

Where Was It Filmed?

Lost Boys & Fairies was filmed in and around Cardiff, Wales.

Where Is It Streaming?

All episodes of Lost Boys & Fairies are streaming now on BBC iPlayer. bbc.co.uk

When Is It On TV?

Lost Boys & Fairies kicks off on 3 June at 9pm on BBC One. The next two episodes will then air weekly at the same time.

Release Schedule

  1. We’re All Just Children | 9pm 3 June 2024, BBC One
  2. With or Without You | 9pm 10 June 2024, BBC One
  3. Look at Your Kind Face | 9pm 17 June 2024, BBC One