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Friday, 27 November 2020

BBC One and BBC Music presents Idris Elba meets Paul McCartney

BBC One and BBC Music have announced Idris Elba meets Paul McCartney, a world exclusive show featuring music legend Paul McCartney in conversation with one of the most popular British actors of his generation, Idris Elba, to be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in December, and on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

This 60-minute entertainment special, to be recorded in London in the coming weeks, will see Idris interview Paul about his peerless career as the most successful musician and composer in pop music history, which began when he wrote his first song at the age of 14. The show will span Paul's incredible history-making journey right up to the present day, as he continues to influence new generations, including Paul's solo material and collaborations.

Paul will talk about his writing process which has produced some of the best loved and most performed songs ever. Idris will seek to find out what inspires Paul to continue to innovate creatively, on the eve of the release of his 26th post-Beatles album McCartney III, the third album in a trilogy of classics featuring Paul playing every instrument and writing and recording every song. Paul launched his solo career in 1970 with the release of McCartney.

Idris says: "When I was asked if I wanted to speak to Paul McCartney, after I realised it wasn't a joke, I immediately said yes… who wouldn't?! I am a massive fan of Paul's! His work has inspired and driven me as a musician, and once I get through the shock of sharing the stage with him, I'm excited to talk about his music and craft. What an honour! Looking forward to sitting with you Paul."

Paul says: "I'm looking forward to sitting down to a chat with the mighty Idris!"

Kate Phillips, Acting Controller, BBC One, says: "Paul McCartney has undoubtedly created some of the UK's best loved songs, songs which are known throughout the world, so I'm thrilled that he'll lift the lid on how he continues to create lyrics and music that will forever stand the test of time. The must see combination of Paul in conversation with one of our best loved actors and super fan, Idris Elba, as well as an incredible live performance from the Cavern, are the perfect Christmas presents for BBC audiences."

The original Cavern Club in Liverpool was where The Beatles played nearly 300 times between 1961-63. Over 50 years later in July 2018, Paul played a secret gig at the legendary venue, performing a 28-song set to 250 lucky gig-goers. Paul and his band performed songs from the 60s to (his then new album) Egypt Station, which was released 54 years after The Beatles had claimed their first hit Number One on the Billboard Album Charts. BBC One will broadcast this very special performance in December, with viewers being able to enjoy blistering performances of songs including I Saw Her Standing There, Lady Madonna, Band On The Run and Come On To Me.


Channel 4 Commissions New Scripted Comedy Big Boys

Channel 4 has commissioned Big Boys, a new six-part comedy series from the award-winning Roughcut Television (Stath Lets Flats).

The funny and heart-breaking new comedy created, written and narrated by Jack Rooke centres on an unlikely friendship between sweet, shy, closeted Jack (Dylan Llewellyn, Derry Girls) and boisterous, laddish and ever-so-slightly mature student Danny (Jon Pointing, Plebs).

Jack has spent the past year at home with his wonderful, potty-mouthed mum. He's been grieving for his father and she for her husband, but the time has now come for him to take his place at the local uni.

There he meets his roommate Danny as the pair are thrown together during Freshers week, watched over by an entirely over-enthusiastic Student Union head. Jack and Danny are at significantly different places on the spectrum of masculinity but closely bond during the inevitable chaos and frenzy of a first year.

Big Boys is based on comedy writer Jack Rooke's award-winning live comedy shows 'Good Grief', 'Happy Hour' and 'Love Letters'.

Jack Rooke, creator and writer said: "As a kid I'd stay up late to sneakily watch something a bit 'queer' on Channel 4. I'd ask Dad: 'Why does that bloke have his face in that other bloke's lap?' and he'd grin and say, 'They're just having a fun time!!' Now I am thrilled to have my first comedy series with Channel 4, writing and narrating Big Boys, based on the teen years after losing my dad with all the ups and downs of grief, sexual discovery, freshers' week and making one very special best mate. (And I'll be sure to include some of my own 'fun times' too!)"

Channel 4 announces Jo Brand’s How to Stay Sane in a Mad World to get us through the winter ahead

2020, it's been quite the year, which is why Channel 4 has commissioned Jo Brand to take an alphabetic romp through the most creative and Covid-friendly ways to help us stay sane over the months ahead via Jo Brand's How to Stay Sane in a Mad World (w/t), 1x60' from Two Rivers Media.  

Let's face it banana bread was so last March and we're all slightly puzzled at the number of jigsaws we've managed to complete over the last eight months. The nights have drawn in and we need new ways to lift our spirits and keep us going through the low-key winter that's set to come. So from health to horticulture, QR codes to UV rays, and hibernation to isolation this is the A-Z guide that you never knew you needed.

Along with a host of famous faces and brimming with expert advice to keep you fighting fit and mentally strong Jo will have tips, quips and tonnes of takeout to hopefully make surviving a pandemic that little bit easier.

Louisa Compton, Head of News, Current Affairs and Sport says: "With coronavirus restrictions set to impact our lives for months to come – this guide will be the perfect companion to help us get through the gloomy winter months".

Jo Brand adds: "I did suggest we stop after A is for Alcohol and C is for Cake but I'm assured there are 23 more suggestions to follow so stay tuned."

Channel 4 announces Jack Thorne’s ‘Help’ starring Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer

Channel 4 has commissioned Roadkill producer The Forge in association with One Shoe Films to produce Help (w/t), a new 1x120' drama from the BAFTA award-winning writer Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials, National Treasure) and BAFTA award-winning director Marc Munden (The Third Day, Utopia).

Help, set in a fictional Liverpool care home, tells the moving story of the relationship between a young care home worker (Comer) and a patient (Graham), whose lives are changed forever by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring.

Sarah (Jodie Comer – Killing Eve, Doctor Foster) is smart, but she's never fitted in, not in education and not in work. Her family told her she'd never amount to anything but she unexpectedly finds her calling as a carer at Sunshine Homes. Sarah has a special talent for connecting with the residents, including one in particular, 47-year-old Tony (Stephen Graham – Save Me, This is England). Tony's Young Onset Alzheimer's has left him living out his days in care as his mind slowly deteriorates. His illness causes periods of confusion and violent outbursts, which the other members of staff can't handle, but with Sarah he begins to build a real bond. Sarah's success at managing Tony and the other patients helps build her confidence and restore her self-belief.

Then March 2020 hits and everything Sarah has achieved is thrown into doubt with the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic. She and her colleagues tirelessly fight tooth and nail, ill-equipped, poorly prepared, and seemingly left helpless by the powers that be. A determined Sarah goes to extraordinary lengths to protect those in her care, whose conditions make their suffering and isolation all the more traumatic. But the staff's unwavering commitment, compassion and heroic efforts can only do so much, and Sarah is pushed into a dark corner and desperately looks for a way out.

Caroline Hollick, Head of Channel 4 Drama says: "This extraordinarily powerful show is right at the heart of what Channel 4 drama is all about – it will shine an unflinching light on the terrible events of 2020 through telling us a compelling, heart-wrenching relationship story. And to have Jack Thorne bringing Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham to our screens, directed by Marc Munden and produced by The Forge, is a level of talent I would be lucky to even dream of."

Jack Thorne says: "About two years ago Stephen Graham came to me with an idea to write something for him and Jodie Comer. I tried to think of something and got nothing. Then this crisis happened, and we saw care homes getting squashed and battered by the government. It's been both a long process and a short one, trying to find a way to tell this story, the amazing thing has been sharing in working out the story with Stephen, Jodie, the amazing Marc Munden, Beth Willis and everyone at the Forge and Channel 4. 30,000 people have died unnecessarily in these care homes because of the indifference and incompetence of our government. Hearing the stories of those at the frontline, having people break down in tears on zoom in front of us has been incredibly moving and galling. Getting the story right will be incredibly important, we are aware of the pressure upon us, this has to be written and made with anger and precision. We hope we do it justice."

Marc Munden says: "It's a privilege to be working with Jack Thorne and The Forge again on so urgent a subject and to have the incredible honour of directing Jodie and Stephen. Help is an angry and immediate film with an unlikely tender relationship at its heart and it responds to the government's abandonment of care homes as a result of the pandemic, a Play for Today for our times."

Stephen Graham says: "Jack is one of the greatest and most truthful writers of our generation and in Help he has crafted a profoundly important piece of social realism. I've wanted to work with Jodie for ages, and together we're hugely passionate about shining a light on one of the biggest tragedies of our time and the people at the heart of it."

Jodie Comer says: "I am, of course, thrilled to finally be working alongside Stephen and the supremely talented Jack, Marc and those at Channel 4. For us to be able to explore such a relevant and emotive story through the eyes of such beautifully real characters, and in our home city of Liverpool, is a real honour. We're determined to do justice to so many of the untold stories and heroes that have been affected as a result of this crisis and to handle them with care."

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters return in Bulletproof: South Africa as three-part special comes to Sky One

After two hugely successful series of Sky Original, Bulletproof, Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters are reprising their roles as cop buddies, Pike and Bishop, for a special event, Bulletproof: South Africa. The three-part special, produced by Vertigo Films, is set to air on Wednesday 20 January 2021 on Sky One and NOW TV, and sees the boys take a much-needed vacation from their London day-job and head to Cape Town, South Africa.

Unfortunately for our two holidaymakers, things don't quite go to plan. While trying to relax after a tough year, Bishop, Pike and his family soon find themselves caught up in the frightening kidnap of a young girl. Having befriended the young girl's parents earlier that day, Bishop and Pike decide it's their duty to use their expertise to help the couple win their daughter back. The kidnappers demand an unreasonable reward for the safe return of the girl, but have no idea who they're now up against.

Paul Gilbert, Executive Producer for Sky, said: "We're really excited to see TV's favourite cop duo back in action, but transported from the mean streets of London to one of the most beautiful coastlines on the planet. Played brilliantly by Noel and Ashley, Bishop and Pike will offer a New Year thrill ride to die-hard fans of the show and new viewers alike, as they navigate their way through an unfamiliar world to seek justice in their inimitable style."

Allan Niblo, co-founder of Vertigo Films, said: "I'm thrilled to have Bishop and Pike burst onto our TV screens with a ray of sunshine to brighten up any dull January. Expect carnage, mayhem and comradery as they take on formidable new enemies."

Bulletproof: South Africa is to air on Sky One on Wednesday 20 January 2021 and will also be available on streaming service and NOW TV.

Filming wraps on Line of Duty series six, as first images of Kelly Macdonald as DCI Joanne Davidson are revealed

The sixth instalment of Jed Mercurio's hit crime thriller - which resumed filming at the end of August - wrapped yesterday afternoon in Northern Ireland and will air on BBC One in 2021.

To mark the news, two images of Kelly Macdonald as Line of Duty's next guest series lead have been released. The pictures show Macdonald as Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer on an unsolved murder case whose unconventional conduct attracts the attention of AC-12.

Line of Duty showrunner Jed Mercurio says: "Thanks so much to our brilliant cast and crew who applied rigorous Covid safety measures to deliver Line of Duty six to our wonderful fans. We're all immensely grateful to World Productions and the BBC for the unswerving support they've given us in a time of unprecedented challenges to UK television production."

Simon Heath, executive producer for World Productions says: "Huge praise has to go to Jed, Kelly, Vicky, Martin, Adrian and the brilliant Line of Duty cast and crew who completed filming on series six yesterday, after five months of lockdown and three more of shooting under the most trying of circumstances. The audience is in for a treat next year"

A premiere date for the new series will be announced in due course. Series one to five of Line of Duty are available to stream in the UK exclusively on BBC iPlayer.


New cast confirmed for Guilt as filming begins on the second series of BBC Two and BBC Scotland’s multi award-winning drama

Filming is underway in Scotland on the second series of multi award-winning BBC Two and BBC Scotland drama, Guilt, with new cast including Sara Vickers, Phyllis Logan, Stuart Bowman and Ian Pirie joining returning cast Mark Bonnar, Jamie Sives and Emun Elliott.

The new four-part series is once again written by Neil Forsyth (Eric, Ernie And Me, Bob Servant), co-produced by Expectation and Happy Tramp North and is supported by Screen Scotland's Broadcast Content Fund. The second series is another twisting, surprising story which picks up the action two years after the dramatic finale which saw two disparate brothers, Max (Mark Bonnar) and Jake (Jamie Sives) face the consequences of their guilt after accidentally killing an old man.

In this new second series, characters old and new will battle the consequences of their guilty actions, amidst shocking new developments. The new cast includes Sara Vickers (Watchmen, Endeavour, Shetland), Phyllis Logan (Downtown Abbey, Doctor Who), Stuart Bowman (Bodyguard, Deadwater Fell), Ian Pirie (Chernobyl, Nothing To Declare), Greg McHugh (The A Word, Gary Tank Commander), Rochelle Neil (Episodes, Doctors) and Sandy McDade (EastEnders, Father Brown). The new series of Guilt is expected to air on both BBC Two and BBC Scotland in 2021.

Mark Bonnar, who plays flawed lawyer Max, is delighted to be back filming Guilt again: "I'm completely overjoyed that Guilt is getting a second series! Neil has crafted four amazing scripts with some cracking new characters and an immensely involving plot, full of twists and turns. He's really putting us through the mill! And of course, I'm over the moon to be working with Jamie again.

"We've assembled a fantastic crew - many returning from series one - and I know they're just as excited as us to be a part of this wonderful show."