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Wednesday, 23 September 2020

New Sky original comedy Bloods begins filming in London Starring Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks

Lucy Punch, Julian Barratt, Adrian Scarborough, Kevin Garry, Sam Campbell and Aasiya Shah join the cast of Sky’s new paramedic comedy

Filming has begun on new Sky original Bloods. Starring BAFTA nominated Samson Kayo (Famalam, Truthseekers) and Golden Globe nominated Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous, Little Voice), the series follows a pair of seemingly mismatched paramedics and their fellow ambulance station colleagues through the life-saving world of a south London emergency service. Made for Sky by Bafta award-winning Roughcut TV (Stath Lets Flats, People Just Do Nothing, Cuckoo) Bloods will air on Sky One and NOW TV in 2021.

Joining Kayo and Horrocks for emergency callouts, the ensemble paramedic cast will include; Lucy Punch (Motherland), Julian Barratt (Mighty Boosh) Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey), Kevin Garry (Absolutely Fine), Sam Campbell (Melbourne International Comedy Festival Barry Award winner) and Aasiya Shah (Raised By Wolves) .

The six-part Sky original is shot on location in South London and follows tough-acting loner Maleek (Kayo) and his over-friendly divorcee paramedic colleague Wendy (Horrocks). Their partnership looks dead on arrival. But pretty soon they’re giving each other life support. An ensemble comedy, set within the fast-paced, never-ending rush of 999 call outs, Bloods charts Maleek and Wendy’s struggle to gain the respect of their fellow paramedics. Each 30-minute episode will bring humorous relief to the world and characters of the paramedic service and recognises the talent of those who put their own lives at risk in an emergency to help keep us safe and healthy.

Samson Kayo said: “I’m super excited to show the world Bloods especially because I almost became a paramedic. Lucky for the NHS, I chose to play the character instead! I’m looking forward to hopefully bringing a bag of laughs to Sky with the lovely team at Roughcut who have some quality comedies under their belt!”

Jane Horrocks said: “I am very much looking forward to working on Bloods and being paired with the extremely funny Samson Kayo. I know nothing of the world of paramedics, but maybe I need to overcome my fear of blood before I start.”

Dancing on Ice 2021 contestants revealed

Returning to ITV in the new year, each week twelve celebrities will skate live with their professional partners as they try to impress both the panel and the viewers who will ultimately decide who wins the show. 

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby once again return to present the show and the expert panel of Torvill and Dean, John Barrowman and Ashley Banjo will all resume their roles as judges.

Announced to appear so far.

Sunday 20 September:

Myleene Klass is Dancing On Ice 2021's first celebrity contestant 

Tuesday 22 September:

Emmerdale actor Joe-Warren Plant is the second celebrity skater confirmed to be taking part in Dancing on Ice 2021

Wednesday 23 September

Denise Van Outen has become the latest star confirmed for Dancing On Ice.

Little Mix The Search - Q&A

Little Mix The Search will see the multi-award winning group (Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock) creating bands and becoming mentors to a new wave of talent.

The singers who make it into new bands will live together and gain access to Little Mix’s inner circle who have contributed to their phenomenal success, including creative directors, vocal coaches, music directors, choreographers and producers.

What’s your ambition for the series? 

Leigh-Anne: To find the next best big group and be the best mentors that we can be. 

Perrie: We wanted the show to be different and unique, and feel fresh and young. We also hoped we would find amazing talent, as if we haven't got amazing talent it doesn’t work. Luckily the talent was so good. The show is everything we wanted it to be. 

How is LMTS different to other talent shows? 

Jesy: I think it’s more current and fresh. It’s nice to see mentors who can relate to everything, who are living proof that a show like this can make you successful.

Leigh-Anne: The format is completely different to any other talent show. Us girls have been through it, we've been in their shoes and auditioned before. We’ve been successful - we’ve lived it. We can help them and guide them, and hopefully they can follow in our footsteps in terms of success.

Jade: It’s really authentic. We’ve lived the experience ourselves. As mentors we're hands on and want to support them during and after the show. It’s a new way of doing things and we don’t follow the stereotypical rules of a talent TV show. We want to really support the acts, and I think that will really resonate with the audience watching. 

How do you hope fans will react when they tune into Little Mix The Search? 

Jesy: I hope they love it as much as we love it. I hope they think the talent is good. I feel confident they will! 

Jade: I think they’ll be quite overwhelmed at how much talent there is on the show. We’ve had so many incredible singers and artists. It will give people an insight into our friendship as a group. It will be nice for people to see us open up more. People don’t see that side of us all the time.

How was filming the audition stages of the show? 

Leigh-Anne: It was really fun. It was actually amazing to know all these incredible singers wanted to be on our show. We were really happy with the talent we found.

Jade: It was really bizarre being on the other side of it and having to judge people. It was very emotional knowing you’ve had to let someone down. At the time when you get a no it can feel the worst thing ever. It was emotionally draining going home knowing you’ve let someone down. But at the same time, it’s amazing when you find insanely talented people so it's rewarding at the same time.

What are you looking for in the contestants of LMTS? 

Perrie: We’re looking for someone who has that dynamic they can bring to the group. A friendly personality, but their talent needs to be off the scale. We’re looking for the full package. 

Jade: It isn’t just enough to be an amazing singer. You need authenticity, people love to love the person behind the music. Someone that has something very interesting about them. I love the people that come to the show knowing what sort of artists they are. That confidence and awareness is appealing to me. 

You’ve filmed the auditions already, are you happy with your line up?

Perrie: Completely! The whole time we were doing the auditions, we kept looking at each other and saying we can’t believe these people have auditioned for our TV show. 

Have there been any moments that have really stood out to you so far? 

Leigh-Anne: Every now and again you get that one audition that sticks out. My favourite audition was two boys; they are brothers and an r'n'b rap group. It was really emotional. Sometimes people just connect with you, and it was a nice moment. 

Perrie: Certain people when they auditioned made me cry. When you have that connection vocally, it really moves you. We all feel something unique, and we all react differently.

Jade: When we chose the final bands line up. Seeing their journey from their first audition to on stage, we were blown away by how well they gelled. I love that feeling you get when something really special happening in front of you, it’s really exciting. 

How was it being on the other side, and judging rather than auditioning? 

Jade: With great power comes great responsibility. We all felt it at the beginning with our first nos, it was so hard to say it. As we got into it we realised there was only a certain amount of spaces and we had to decide if people were ready. It's exciting to give someone a platform. 

Jesy: I really enjoyed it because I felt we could give a lot of advice that they genuinely took on board. They know we’ve been in that position, which I think helps put them at ease.

Do you have any regrets from auditions? Anyone upon reflection you wish you’d put through? 

Leigh-Anne: Yes I do have some regrets. It's annoying when you watch it back and think 'why did I say no to them'. There are also people that the other girls didn’t put through which I'm sad about.

Perrie: I went into this saying I just wanted to be true to myself. There were times when people would fight hard for their place and I'd think - go on then! I wish I’d been more stern but it’s hard when you see how much they want it. Certain people won me over, but deep down I knew it wasn't right.

Did you have any disagreements between yourselves during the auditions? Did you fall out at all over decisions on who to put through to the next stage? 

Leigh-Anne: There’s quite a few times where my face says it’s all! We all have different tastes in music, so we’re bound to disagree sometimes.

Jesy: We didn’t fall out, but we defo had disagreements. It didn’t surprise me though, as we all have different taste in music.

Jade: We definitely had disagreements. A couple of times maybe I went off in a huff! There are moments we couldn’t believe someone wouldn’t put someone through. It’s inevitable that we’re not always gonna agree on certain people. But we all respect each other's opinion.

Did you feel bad having to let anyone go/give negative (constructive) feedback?

Perrie: I found that really difficult. Difficult being the decider. Because I’ve been there and I know how much that 'yes' means. I rang my mum crying at one point, as I found it so hard saying no to people. I know how hard it hits when it’s something you're passionate about.

Leigh-Anne: Yeah there was one girl, I felt she was too young. It’s not like we’re giving negative feedback, it’s all very constructive. Sometimes people just aren’t ready, and it would be unfair to put them through if we know that. 

Jesy: It wasn’t nice to send people home. I struggled with that, because we know exactly how that feels.  

Can you give us any intel about the live shows?

Jade: There’ll be a few surprises. It’s six completely different bands, different genres, and they’ll each bring their own thing, and each be in control of what they want to do. Oh and defo expect some Little Mix performances!

Leigh-Anne: They’re gonna be massive! We’re excited because the performances are gonna be HUGE. 

Jesy: It’s gonna be really different because each group will bring their own vibe and their own style of performance.

Did you have memories of your time auditioning on a talent show? 

Perrie: I didn’t want to do it, but my mum forced me. I’m really thankful now! I was painfully shy and didn’t wanna do anything that would embarrass myself. 

Jade: I just remember being terrified. And when you're nervous it affects your vocals. I sympathise with people whose nerves get the better of them. I remember thinking 'if you nail this it could change your life', which is quite a surreal feeling to have. 

Quite a few of the contestants were really nervous; do you have tips on how you overcome your own nerves if you’re ever in that position? 

Leigh-Anne: Some nerves are good, as it shows you care. It’s all about breathing techniques. It’s so hard to control nerves, but you can overcome it. Once you feel the support it definitely helps.

Perrie: It’s easier said than done, but if you’re gonna let your nerves get in the way, you’re not gonna do well. It’s 30 seconds, so fake it 'til you make it! Put on a character, pretend it’s not you. 

Do you think these shows are the best way to break into the music industry? 

Jesy: Not necessarily, but I do think it gives people a massive platform. You get to build a fanbase and showcase your talent for people in the industry like management and labels, so it's all exposure.

Leigh-Anne: It’s what you do after that is important. You have to create music that people will buy into and show who you are as an artist.

Jade: For someone like me from a working class background, I couldn’t afford to move to London, or pay for studio time. My resources were limited. So doing a show like this gives big opportunities. The Search puts people through their paces, and that experience is priceless even if you don’t win. There’s so much experience to be had. 

What has been your most memorable experience during your career so far? 

Perrie: Just being in the group, with all the laughs and success we’ve had. Doing it together has made it incredible.

Jade: When we won our first Brit award. That was such a whirlwind couple of weeks. We were on tour with Ariana in the USA at the same time, and that moment I thought we’d really made it. It was one of those pinch me moments! We were used to being the underdog up until that point. When we were given that Brit, it was like we were seen and recognised as artists.

What top qualities do you think it takes to be in a globally successful band? 

Leigh-Anne: Dedication, drive and commitment. You need to basically want it and work hard. 

Jade: It’s essential you’re all on the same wavelength about what you wanna be as a group. To be able to see the bigger picture and support each other. You’ve got to work hard for it, support each other and let each other shine.

Who would be in your dream pop super group - if you could take members from any different pop group ever?  

Leigh-Anne: Mel B, Normani, Emma Bunton, Beyoncé and all of Little Mix!

Perrie: Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Mel C, Gary Barlow, Diana Ross 

Jesy: Missy Elliot, Normani, BeyoncĂ© and myself! 

Jade: Normani, Missy Elliot, myself and TLC’s Left Eye 

What’s the best piece of advice about the industry/your career you have ever been given and who gave it to you? 

Leigh-Anne: Know your power, believe in yourself and don't let anyone dim your light. 

Jesy: 'Don’t read comments'. Nicola Roberts told me that.

Sum the show up in three words 

Jade: Fun, fresh, authentic 

Leigh-Anne: Electrifying, trailblazing, fun 

Perrie: Fresh, fun, exciting 

Jesy: Unique, current, fun 

Introducing Aggi O'Casey and Tom Varey who lead in gripping new thriller Ridley Road for BBC One

Further cast includes Rory Kinnear, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Eddie Marsan, Samantha Spiro and Rita Tushingham.

The 4x60' thriller Ridley Road, adapted for BBC One and PBS Masterpiece by award-winning writer Sarah Solemani (Barry, Aphrodite Fry), from the critically acclaimed novel by Jo Bloom, has gone into production.

Bringing together an award-winning cast including Rory Kinnear, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Eddie Marsan, Samantha Spiro, Rita Tushingham, Danny Hatchard and Tom Varey, Ridley Road tells the story of a young Jewish woman, Vivien Epstein, played by Aggi O’Casey, in her first television role.

After falling in love with a member of the 62 Group, she rejects her comfortable middle-class life in Manchester and joins the fight against fascism in London, risking everything for her beliefs and for the man she loves.

Inspired by the struggle of the 62 Group, a coalition of Jewish men who stood up against rising neo-Nazism in post-war Britain, Vivien is working with them when she realises that Jack, her missing boyfriend (played by Varey) has been badly injured. Vivien infiltrates the NSM, a neo-Nazi movement which is becoming increasingly prominent in London. As Vivien descends further into the fascist organisation her courage and loyalties are challenged.

Aggi O’Casey says: “Sarah Solemani has blown me away with the detail, sensitivity, and complexity with which she has written Vivien. I can’t wait to bring this vital and little-known story to life.”

Playing Jack Morris, Tom Varey, says: “I’m so proud to be working on such a powerful, beautiful, important story. The scripts are amazing, and I can’t wait to bring them to life. I’m excited to be in the company of actors that I have looked up to and admired for so long.”

Rory Kinnear (Years And Years) plays Colin Jordan, leader of neo Nazi movement NSM. An imposing and forthright activist who, through his fanatical and passionate speeches, incites racism and rioting.

Taking on the role, Rory says: “When I received the scripts from Red Production Company, I was already looking forward to working with them again. Sarah’s scripts had me hooked and to work with so many interesting characters is something that was hugely appealing. I can’t wait to get started.”

Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan) is cast as hot headed, sharp-witted cab driver Soly Malinovsky - leader of anti-fascist organisation 62 Group. Marsan says: “‘I'm honoured to be playing the role of Soly, the leader of the '62' Group of Jewish anti-fascists who took on the National Socialist Movement in Ridley Road. In recent years anti-Semitism has re-emerged and now, more than ever we need to hear the stories of how normal men and women put their lives on the line to stamp out this cancer.”

Further cast includes:

Tracy-Ann Oberman (Friday Night Dinner) joins as Soly’s wife Nancy, a smooth operator who plays a crucial role in the 62 Group operations.

Samantha Spiro (Sex Education) is Vivien’s mother, Liza Epstein. Her life is about to dramatically change when she learns of her husband’s secret involvement with the underground movement.

Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders) plays Barbara Watson, the owner of a hair salon where Vivien gets a job. She has witnessed racism first-hand towards her mixed-race son.

Rita Tushingham (The Pale Horse) plays Nettie Jones, Vivien’s landlady in London. Although self-sufficient, she is lonely after her three sons were killed in WW11 and is afraid of the pace of the changes happening around her.

Danny Hatchard (EastEnders) plays Lee, Colin Jordan’s driver. The NSM is family to him, he is loyal to Colin even though the feeling isn’t mutual.

Writer, Sarah Solemani, says: “A young hairdresser from Manchester makes an unlikely hero in this little known slice of British history. But in these unprecedented times, it is the unlikely heroes whose stories are now worth telling.

"Britain's relationship with fascism is closer and more alive than we like to think. Fortunately, so too is our rich heritage of beating it. Honoured to bring the story of Ridley Road to the BBC and Masterpiece.”

Barbarians - Official Teaser - Netflix

During the battle of the Teutoburg forest in 9 AD the fates of three lives are connected to each other when the Germanic tribes attempted to halt the spread of the Roman Empire.

Gaetano Aronica - Varus

Bence Ferenczi - Berulf Buddy Y

Jeanne Goursaud - Thusnelda

Tibor Milos Krisko - Berulf Buddy

Jeremy Miliker - Ansgar

Laurence Rupp - Arminius

Barbarians only on Netflix October 23.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

TikTok Statement On Proposed Deal Blessed By Donald Trump

"We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the US Administration and settle questions around TikTok's future in the US.

"As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider, responsible for hosting all US user data and securing associated computer systems to ensure US national security requirements are fully satisfied. We are currently working with Walmart on a commercial partnership as well. Both companies will take part in a TikTok Global pre-IPO financing round in which they can take up to a 20% cumulative stake in the company. We will also maintain and expand TikTok's Global headquarters in the US, while bringing 25,000 jobs across the country.

"TikTok has won the hearts of hundreds of millions of people around the world, including 100 million Americans, because it's a home for entertainment, connection, and expression. We're delighted that the individuals who've turned their creativity on TikTok into thriving careers, the small businesses using TikTok to reach customers during the pandemic, and the families who've found joy and connection through our platform will be able to use TikTok for many years to come.

"Our team works tirelessly to provide a safe and inclusive platform and we're thrilled that we will be able to continue serving our amazingly diverse and creative community."

Ghosts returns to BBC on September 21 at 8:30pm

BBC One's hugely successful sitcom Ghosts returns to screens in September for a six part series as well as a Christmas special at the end of the year.

Made by Monumental Television, the hugely popular sitcom features a young couple, Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe), who unexpectedly inherit a grand country estate only to find it is both falling apart and overrun with ghosts.

The crumbling country pile of Button House is home to a troupe of restless spirits who have died there over the centuries, each ghost very much a product of their time, resigned to squabbling with each other for eternity over the most inane of daily gripes.

This series Alison and Mike are trying to find a semi-harmonious routine with the ghostly housemates of Button House: the ghosts have found a way to make their new situation work for them, while the couple are working towards a new money-making venture to fund the house's never-ending renovations Without the money to continue the extensive building work and the hotel still a distant dream, Alison and Mike decide to try to rent the place out for events.

Ghosts is the first BBC One project for the creators and stars of Yonderland, the feature film Bill and the comedy series Horrible Histories: Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond. The cast also includes Lolly Adefope and Katy Wix. Its consolidated series average of 3.7m made Ghosts the highest rating comedy series on UK television in 2019.

The Grey Lady
2 Episode 1 of 6
Alison and Mike are trying to find a semi-harmonious routine with the ghostly housemates of Button House and are working towards a new money-making venture to fund their perpetual renovations. But after a paranormal photo of the house goes viral, Alison and Mike spot their opportunity to bring money in more quickly by using the ghosts' 'talents' to create an authentic haunted house experience. Will they be able to convince the ghosts to help them?

Release date: 21 September 2020