Russell Tovey and Ruth Madeley celebrate graphic sex scenes in 'Years And Years' (exclusive)

Years And Years (Credit: BBC1)

Russell Tovey says television needs to show more gay sex in order to normalise it.

The actor is back on the BBC in new dystopian drama Years And Years where he plays one of four siblings who, along with the rest of the world, are thrown into chaos during one critical night.

Tovey’s character Daniel Lyons, a gay housing officer based in Manchester, has a pretty graphic sex scene in the first episode and he believes it’s important that TV shows reflect diverse romantic relationships.

“This is the world we're living in so we should be able to see this and your children should be able to,” the actor, who identifies as gay, tells Yahoo Movies UK. “Not that children are gonna watch this show as it's after the Watershed. It’s graphic-o!”

“Everything has to be shown because, otherwise, if you don't show diversity, if you don't show gay sex, if you don't show men in love, or women in love, or whatever, then how the hell do you normalise it?” Tovey says.

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“The only way for people to really get cultural references is through television.”

Co-star Ruth Madeley plays Rosie Lyons, who is a single mother to two boys (one white, one mixed Chinese) and happens to be disabled.

“Personally, I thought it was really important that Rosie had such an active sex life, and she has a disability,” says Madeley, who herself has spina bifida. “This character wasn't written with a disability in mind, it was just an audition.”

The first episode also sees Rosie enjoy some bedroom action and the actress loved that about the show because she rarely sees people with disabilities having sex on screen.

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Years And Years (Credit: BBC1)

“A massive part of her character is her sexuality, which is great and I loved that” she says. “As terrifying as it was, at the time, it was so important, because I had never seen that. I still don't think I do a lot on TV.

“So to be able to bring that across was really, really important. I think that everyone was really supportive and very respectful.”

The BBC series from Russell T. Davies offers arguably one of the most diverse casts on TV in terms of race, gender, sexuality, health, and social backgrounds.

“It's what society is,” Tovey says. “That's the nice thing about Russell, that's what he always does effortlessly without a second of it being tokenism.”

Years And Years (Credit: BBC1)

“We genuinely didn't even think about it,” Madeley added. “You don't think about it until someone mentions the whole range of diversity that is in the cast and you're just like, ‘Oh, yeah,’ because that's what it should be doing.

“It should be second nature.”

Years And Years premieres on Tuesday 14th May at 9pm on BBC1. The six-part series will air weekly.