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On This Gay Day | Neil Tennant is celebrating his birthday

Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant was born on this day

Neil Tennant celebrates his birthday today, turning 70. Tennant is one half of pop duo Pet Shop Boys who have delivered over a dozen albums, as well as a musical, a cabaret show, a ballet, a couple of film soundtracks, remix albums, and productions for other artists.

Tennant started off his career in publishing where he first worked for Marvel comics. His job was to adjust the dialogue so British readers understood the comics. He then went on to work publishing cookbooks, before landing a job at teen magazine Smash Hits. 

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In the early 1980’s teenagers eagerly awaited each issue of the magazine to find out the latest news about their favourite pop stars. It was while on a trip to New York City for the magazine that he met producer Bobby Orlando. Tennant told him that he and friend Chris Lowe had started writing music and Orlando ended up produce Pet Shop Boys first tracks.

Over their career Pet Shop Boys have sold over 50 million records, and delivered 14 studio albums, their most recent was 2020’s Hotspot. The prolific band has also released two double albums of b-sides and several discs of rarities and studio outtakes.

Pet Shop Boys have also written and produced music for Eighth Wonder, Morten Harket, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minelli, Boy George, Pete Burns, Alcazar and Kylie Minogue. They’ve produced remixes for Blur, David Bowie, Madonna, Lady Gaga and many others.

Outside his work with Lowe in Pet Shop Boys, he’s also collaborated with The Pretenders, Robbie Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Tom Stephan and DJ Fresh. He also collaborated with the band Electronic alongside Bernard Summer from New Order and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.

Tennant came out in an interview with Attitude magazine in 1994.


Novelist Marcel Proust was born in 1871

Valentin Louis Georges Eugene Marcel Proust was born on this day in Paris.

One of the most influential authors of the 20th century his epic novel In Search of Lost Time was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.  Alongside this he wrote short stories and essays.

While Proust never spoke about being homosexual, his friends and later confirmed his sexuality and there are gay and lesbian theses and characters through out his works. He died in 1922 aged  51. His unfinished three volume novel Jean Santeuil was published posthumously.


Actor Gale Harold from Queer as Folk is celebrating his birthday

Gale Harold is best known for playing Brian Kinney on the popular TV series Queer as Folk. He was born on this day in 1969.

The role was Harold’s first significant acting role, and he stayed with the show for its five year run.

After Queer as Folk ended he was cast as the lead in the TV series Vanished, appearing alongside Rebecca Gayheart and Ming-Na Wen. Harold’s character was killed off in the show’s eighth episode and the show was cancelled soon after with the final four of its 13 episodes only appearing on social networking site MySpace.

He’s gone on to have guest appearances in Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives, and picked up more roles in The Secret Circle and Defiance.


Actor Roger Rees died on this day in 2015

Rees, an acclaimed stage actor was most widely known for his recurring role on the TV series The West Wing where he played British aristocrat Lord John Marbury.

He also had a recurring role on the TV series Cheers playing the character Robin Colcord.

Live theatre is where the actor had his greatest success. Rees began his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company and he enjoyed a career in both England and the United States. He received a Tony award for his lead performance in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby in 1982 and acted in the debut performance of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing.

In 2010 he impressed Perth audiences when he appeared opposite Sir Ian McKellen in Waiting for Godot at His Majesty’s Theatre.

Rees made regular appearances in film and television including playing substitute teacher Mr Racine in My So Called Life and he showed his comedy skills as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Mel Brook’s Men in Tights.

In 2014 he was diagnosed with brain cancer, while undergoing treatment he kept his commitments to the Broadway musical The Visit which he starred in opposite Chita Rivera. The musical was the final work from writers Kander and Ebb, with a book by Terrance McNally.

He is survived by his husband, playwright Rick Elise. The couple married in 2011.

OIP Staff, this post was first published in 2022 and has been updated.

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