Ch. 4 lineup reflects on gay milestone

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LONDON -- Channel 4 is heading its summer schedule with a look at the hidden lives of homosexuals at a time when sexual relationships between men were deemed criminal, the broadcaster said Wednesday.

Headlining the drama slate will be "Clapham Junction," a film about the mixed experiences of several gay men during one 36-hour period in London -- and the consequences that unfold when their lives collide.

Penned by award-winning playwright Kevin Elyot, the program will be broadcast to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales.

Also marking the anniversary will be "The Last Gay Trial," which combines dramatic reconstructions with witness testimony to reflect the realities of gay life in 1950s Britain, and "How Gay Sex Changed the World," which documents the evolution of social attitudes toward homosexuality in the last four decades.

The summer slate also will see director Ken Loach in a new collaboration with the broadcaster, "It's a Free World," a drama about illegal immigrant workers that follows a Polish migrant worker as he tries to survive the fault line between crime and legitimacy.

In addition, acquisitions scheduled to air during the period include "Brothers and Sisters" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

Factual highlights include a look at the political legacy of exiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who comes in for political dissection in "The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair," a documentary fronted by political commentator Andrew Rawnsley, and "Ten Years of Blair," which sees artist and filmmaker Alison Jackson offer a satirical take on the most contentious episodes of Blair's reign.

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