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Channel 4 backs launch with 'queer marketing' drive

LONDON – Scantily clad, musclebound hunks handing out promotional flyers will rollerskate through the gay areas of London, Manchester and Brighton to promote the release of a special DVD and video box set of Channel 4's raunchy drama series 'Queer as Folk'.

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Channel 4 Video, which is producing the box set, is using a multimedia campaign to push the launch of the products.

The set is being released to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the series first airing. 'Queer as Folk' followed the traumatic relationship triangle of Nathan, Stuart and Vince in Manchester's gay scene in the 90s.

The four-piece DVD and video box set, called 'Queer as Folk, the Definitive Collector's Edition', comes out on September 8 making it available in the run-up to Christmas.

It features all episodes from both series and includes previously unseen footage, deleted scenes, interviews, cast commentary and a 32-page booklet from author Russell T Davies.

The hunky rollerskaters will distribute promotional flyers in key gay areas in the UK. Their efforts will be backed by press ads in celebrity gossip magazine Heat, The Guardian Guide, as well as gay titles such as Gay Times, Refresh and Boyz. These will be supported by washroom panels at nearly 50 gay venues across London, placed by Mediacom TMB.

David Root, sales and marketing director for Channel 4 Video. said: "'Queer as Folk' is a fabulous title and has allowed us to break out of our usual marketing routes for Channel 4 Video titles such as 'Big Brother', 'Ali G' and 'Phoenix Nights'. We have had a terrific response from the gay press, who really love this quality drama and we are looking forward to making lots of noise around the release in both Soho in London and Canal Street in Manchester."

The campaign will be backed by editorial across a range of publications, and visitors to the recent Mardi Gras festival in Manchester who stayed at the Novotel will have been given the chance to enter a competition to win the set, priced £39.99.

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