It’s a Sin: Kate Bush gave Russell T Davies permission to use her music

Russell T Davies got permission “directly” from Kate Bush to use her 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” in It’s a Sin.

Bush’s song is about a man and a woman swapping places to better understand each other’s experiences, and it has been adopted by many LGBT+ people as a queer anthem.

The song plays in the fifth episode of Davies’ Channel 4 AIDS drama It’s a Sin – and it’s all thanks to Bush herself that “Running Up That Hill” made the cut.

Speaking to The Guardian, director Peter Hoar and Davies said it “felt right” to include Bush’s classic song in the series.

Hoar said: “I knew I was being cheeky putting Kate Bush in. Russell had written [songs] in and everyone knew that as they were in the script and were going to be paid for.

“Others such as Kate Bush hadn’t. But this song felt right.”

The song was originally used in a scene where Jill sits around the table with her gay friends to have a discussion about threat of AIDS.

The wonderful Kate Bush gave Russell permission to use it directly.

However, the song was moved because Hoar felt that it was “saying the same thing as that scene”.

They eventually settled on using the song in episode five – and then came the difficulty of securing permission from Bush. But that task didn’t turn out to be so difficult after all.

“The wonderful Kate Bush gave Russell permission to use it directly,” Hoar said.

Davies replied: “You do have to ask permission and she doesn’t often give it.”

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Songs were almost cut from It’s a Sin because of the enormous cost

Peter Hoar added that all the songs they used in It’s a Sin are still being played today in clubs and pubs.

“The way that many of them have been embraced by queer people is incredible. These songs weren’t written for those reasons, but they now have another life and language to them, which is ours.”

The hugely popular series debuted on Channel 4 in January and quickly won plaudits from queer viewers for its devastating depiction of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

The series has also won praise for its soundtrack of ’80s hits. In their Guardian discussion, Hoar and Davies also said they had to have “discussions” about all the music they were using due to the enormous cost of doing so.

“We lost a lot of tracks,” Davies revealed. “But a lot of people also worked very hard to get the money to put the songs in there. At one point, we were going to be stripped of an awful lot of them because it was so expensive. The bill was enormous.”