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British broadcaster Channel 4 is celebrating the start of same-sex weddings in England and Wales in the most appropriate way possible: by televising an hour-long special, titled “Our Gay Wedding: The Musical”. Same-sex marriages will be legalized on Sunday, March 29th (when filming is expected to take place), in England and Wales, with the broadcast date of the special taking place as soon as possible after the event, The Independent reports.
The wedding itself will celebrate the union between grooms Benjamin TIll and Nathan Taylor, who have been in a relationship for over a decade. The pair are not only starring in the special, but writing the music and lyrics, too. Till, a composer, and Taylor, a West End actor, will pen the music and lyrics which will be sung during the wedding. Their family and friends will make up the musical’s ensemble cast, and there will be musical vows, readings and messages from around the world during the ceremony.
“We’ve been together for nearly 12 years and never thought we’d get the chance to get married, for real,” the grooms-to-be said. “Doing what we both do for a living has meant that we’ve spent our entire lives expressing emotion through song, so getting married in a musical, particularly one that we’re writing ourselves, felt like the most natural thing in the world.”
Commissioning editor for the arts John Hay emphasized the importance of gay rights to Channel 4: “We are proud to be marking a huge milestone for gay rights – a cause that has long been close to Channel 4’s heart.”
Channel 4 also teased the appearance of several famous faces during the musical, but have yet to announce any further details. Actor, comedian and writer Stephen Fry will narrate the special, which is appropriate given Fry’s stance as one of the nation’s most preeminent openly gay public figures.
The broadcaster also stressed the importance of the musical in the broad spectrum of gay rights both in the UK and around the world: “This extraordinary TV musical is not only a celebration of Benjamin and Nathan’s relationship, but also bears witness to a major step forward for gay rights that will see more personal parts of the service interwoven with songs about the historical journey to this point, tributes to the other gay and lesbian couples getting married at the first opportunity and reminders of the struggles faced by those in countries where homosexuality is still a crime.”
Above all else, it looks to be a fabulous way of welcoming same-sex marriage into British society. Here’s hoping Channel 4 will see fit to make it available for broadcast or streaming in the U.S.
Image credit: Channel 4