T-shirt inspired by Channel 4 hit It’s A Sin raises £20,000 for HIV charity

Sales of a T-shirt inspired by a catchphrase from hit TV show It’s A Sin have raised over £20,000 for an HIV charity in 24 hours.

The Channel 4 series, created by Russell T Davies, is set in London during the HIV/Aids crisis of the 1980s and focuses on a group of three 18-year-olds who move in together in the city in 1981.

The show, released earlier this month, has drawn praise for its poignance and social importance, and “La” – the single note sung by the youngsters to greet each other – has stayed with viewers.

The catchphrase has now been printed on a T-shirt designed by artist Philip Normal in collaboration with Terrence Higgins Trust, with £20 donated to the HIV and sexual health charity for every £25 T-shirt sold.

Mr Normal, who is also Mayor of Lambeth, representing the Labour Party, described the response since the T-shirt’s launch on Tuesday as “amazing”.

“I just hope people know it is just me in my studio making these – I am going to be one busy mayor,” he said.

Explaining the significance of the “La” catchphrase, he added: “Everyone has their cliques and friends, we all look after each other. ‘La’ encapsulates that love and mutual support.”

The Graham Norton Show – London
The Graham Norton Show – London

Ian Green, chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “It’s been incredible to witness the impact It’s A Sin has had in such a short space of time.

“We at Terrence Higgins Trust are so grateful for the level of support we’ve received in the past week, especially the astounding £20,000 Philip’s ‘La’ T-shirts have raised for us so far.

“The show’s legacy will be felt for years to come, especially through the support we’ve had for the life-changing services we offer – whether it’s online counselling sessions for people living with HIV, providing HIV testing kits, or simply being able to offer education and advice around the virus.”

The series, which began on January 22, sees Years & Years singer Olly Alexander debut as Ritchie Tozer, while Omari Douglas features as Roscoe Babatunde – with Keeley Hawes as Ritchie’s mother, Valerie.

Russell T Davies also wrote the groundbreaking 1990s series Queer As Folk.