Originally published on Advocate.com February 25 2004 12:00 AM ET
The Union Jack has been raised over the U.S. makeover TV series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, with a British version set to debut in May. The series, which features five gay men refashioning the looks, home, and lifestyle of a hapless straight man, has begun production in London. The five cast members, chosen after a four-month process, are Britons Julian Bennett (fashion expert) and Tristan Eves (grooming), Australians Dane Bailey (interior design) and Jason Gardiner (culture), and American Christopher Peyton (food and drink). There is one additional team member--Bennett's pet miniature dachshund, Lulu. "It was not easy to cast because we were looking for five talented and unique individuals who have great chemistry together," said Leslie Jones, director of international sales at NBC Enterprises. "We spent four months casting this in Britain, and that's a long time by UK standards. We also received thousands of applications for the straight guy."
NBC Enterprises, the sales arm of Bravo's NBC parent, is partnered on the project with the U.S. show's producer Scout Prods. The show will debut in May on the Flextech-owned entertainment channel LivingTV, which already airs the U.S. version. Jones said the British series might also air in the United States, though no firm plan is in place for such an arrangement. The British production is the first of numerous international versions of the Queer Eye format. Broadcasters in France, Australia, and Spain also are working with NBC Enterprises to produce their own versions. The original U.S. version has been sold in more than 30 territories worldwide.