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Friday, 30 July 2021

Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker to leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials

Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker to leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials, culminating in an epic blockbuster Special to air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC's Centenary celebrations.

Having been in charge of the TARDIS since filming for the Thirteenth Doctor began in 2017, Showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, have confirmed they will be moving on from the most famous police box on Earth - and the universe.

With a six-part Event Serial announced for the autumn, and two Specials already planned for 2022, BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature-length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor, to form a trio of Specials for 2022, before the Doctor regenerates once more.

After taking the helm of the show, Chris Chibnall made the groundbreaking decision to cast Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor. He also brought in 'the fam' of Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham), and cast the acclaimed Sacha Dhawan as the latest incarnation of The Master, plus Jo Martin as the mysterious Fugitive Doctor, adding new characters, layers and twists to the mythology of the show.

Episodes such as Rosa, Demons Of The Punjab and Spyfall have thrilled audiences across the globe, garnering critical acclaim and award recognition, including two Bafta Must See Moment nominations, along with multiple National Television Award, BAFTA Cymru, TV Choice, Screen Nation, Hugo, Saturn. and Critics Choice nominations.

Under Chris' tenure, the series has been awarded the Visionary Awards TV Show Of The Year, the Canadian Rockie Award from the BANFF Television Festival for best sci-fi and genre series, while Mandip Gill and Vinay Patel were recognised with wins from the Eastern Eye Awards.

The 2020 series won Best Science Fiction Show voted for by readers at Radio Times.com, beating out competition from The Mandalorian, Lucifer and The Boys, as well as winning both Best Moment and Most Incredible Twist from the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2020, for Fugitive Of The Judoon and Ascension Of The Cybermen. In 2019, the entire current cast and crew were awarded Honorary Doctorates by Sheffield Hallam University for their work on the show.

As the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker stepped aboard the TARDIS to begin filming in 2017. As the first woman to play the iconic role, Jodie has thrilled audiences with her portrayal of the Time Lord, winning the hearts of Doctor Who fans across the globe. Jodie's multi-layered, warm, funny and inspiring depiction of the Doctor not only created a first in Doctor Who history, but in 2020, Jodie was voted Second Most Popular Doctor of all time, coming within a whisker of her friend David Tennant, in a poll of more than 50,000 fans for Radio Times.

Chris Chibnall says: "Jodie and I made a 'three series and out' pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we're handing back the TARDIS keys.

"Jodie's magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She's been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can't imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor - so I'm not going to!

"For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I'm so proud of the people we've worked with and the stories we've told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It's great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor's story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC's centenary celebrations.

"I wish our successors - whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose - as much fun as we've had. They're in for a treat!"

Jodie Whittaker adds: "In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life. And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories.

"We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don't think I'll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I've learnt forever.

"I know change can be scary and none of us know what's out there. That's why we keep looking. Travel Hopefully. The Universe will surprise you. Constantly."

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: "Over the last four years Chris and Jodie have made Doctor Who history and their time on the show is indelibly marked on our memories. From Rosa Parks to Ascension of the Cybermen, Chris and Jodie have given Doctor Who some of its most life-affirming and tear-jerking moments to date and we are beyond excited to see what they have in store for us in the new series this autumn.

"Jodie's final adventure to mark the BBC's Centenary in 2022 is set to be a Doctor Who Special to remember. I'd like to thank them both for their incredible work on the show."



Tuesday, 27 July 2021

BBC One announces Billie Eilish: Up Close

BBC One have announced Billie Eilish: Up Close, featuring the 21st century music phenomenon in conversation with BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo. Billie will also be making her debut in Radio 1's Live Lounge performing new music and an incredible cover.

In just three years, Billie Eilish has gone from recording music in her bedroom to becoming one of the biggest music stars in the world. At just 19 years old she has already amassed countless accolades and awards, as well as making history with her second Record Of The Year Grammy win in March of this year.

In this 45-minute entertainment special filmed in Billie's home town of Los Angeles, Clara will talk to Billie about her latest album Happier Than Ever (out Friday 30 July), her extraordinary rise to fame, looking back at her remarkable success, the effect it has had on her life and her role as an inspiration for young people all over the world.

Billie Eilish: Up Close will broadcast on BBC One on Saturday 31 July at 10.30pm BST and will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer. It is produced by So Television, the Executive Producers are Graham Stuart and Andy Rowe and it is directed by James Merryman. It was commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor for BBC Music.

This brand-new film will be accompanied by Radio 1 Live Lounge: Billie Eilish Special which will see Billie make her debut for the world-famous Radio 1 Live Lounge to perform a selection of tracks. This will be available to watch on Radio 1's iPlayer channel from Saturday 31 July 11.15pm BST.

The performance will also be played in Radio 1's Live Lounge show, hosted by Clara Amfo, on Thursday 5 August at 12pm BST which will include an exclusive cover that will be broadcast for the first time.

BBC heads Back In Time For Birmingham

Commissioned to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, the series will be presented by BBC Asian Network's Noreen Khan, alongside social historian Yasmin Khan, and offers a celebratory look at the city and the vital contributions made by arrivals from the Indian sub-continent over the last 75 years. Today nearly 250,000 Brummies, more than a quarter of the city's population, have Pakistani, Indian or Bangladeshi heritage.

Starting in the 1950s when immigration from the Indian subcontinent began in earnest, the family will fast forward through five decades of rapid change, exploring every facet of British Asian family life. They'll take on the jobs of their predecessors, living where they lived, cooking what they ate, learning what they were taught at school and facing the same difficulties (how do you produce authentic home cooking when there's only swedes at the greengrocers and no-one sells chilli?).

They'll also devote their spare time to the same activities that were previously enjoyed - from celebrating Pakistan thrashing England at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, gawping open-eyed at what passed for 70s entertainment in the form of Mind your Language and bunking school for a 90s daytime bhangra rave complete with glow sticks.

Presenter Noreen Khan says: "I'm genuinely so excited to be a part of this incredible series! Taking viewers on an insightful, emotional journey over 5 decades of the South Asian story will be fascinating. Can't wait for everyone to watch this!"

Nasfim Haque, BBC Commissioning Editor, says: "I'm really looking forward to telling the story of Birmingham through the eyes of the British Asians who have made the city the vibrant and exciting place it is."

Casting and first look image revealed on James Graham’s compelling new BBC One drama Sherwood

David Morrissey leads an all-star ensemble in a six-part series also starring Joanne Froggatt, Robert Glenister, Alun Armstrong, Lesley Manville, Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook, Kevin Doyle, Lorraine Ashbourne, Phillip Jackson, Perry Fitzpatrick, Adam Hugill & Stephen Tompkinson

Casting has been announced and the first pictures from set revealed, as filming gets underway on James Graham's new BBC One drama, Sherwood.

Inspired in part by real events and set in the Nottinghamshire mining village where Graham grew up, at the heart of Sherwood lie two shocking and unexpected killings that shatter an already fractured community and spark a massive manhunt. As suspicion and antipathy build - both between lifelong neighbours and towards the police forces who descend on the town - the tragic killings threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the miners' strike three decades before.

Sherwood is at once a compelling, contemporary crime drama that explores for the first time the controversial deployment of so-called 'spycops' around Britain, and a distinctly human story of a community forced to re-examine the terrible events of decades ago, for which it still bears the scars.

It is also a powerfully resonant and timely examination of the frayed social and political fabric of modern day, post-Brexit Britain. From the often ignored former 'red wall' towns and communities, whose lives and futures can be reduced to political footballs and endless discourse from the commentariat, to entrenched anxiety that can define the relationship between marginalised communities and the police force, to the evolving role and uncertain future of protest itself, Sherwood explores and exposes some of the most urgent fractures and discords threaded through modern British society.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ian St Clair (David Morrissey - Red Riding, Britannia, The Missing, State Of Play, The Walking Dead), is a lifer in the Nottinghamshire constabulary, having risen through the ranks. Canny and a good judge of character, he is a formidable and empathetic detective with an impressive track record to prove it. When he is tasked with finding the link between these two killings, he is forced to reunite with DI Kevin Salisbury, an old rival from the Metropolitan Police, whose return to the town threatens heightens the already febrile tensions running through the community.

Detective Inspector Kevin Salisbury (Robert Glenister - Hustle, Spooks, Law & Order UK) has little desire to return to Ashfield. There are too many reminders of what happened in 1984, and he's unlikely to get the warmest of welcomes from the local police force nor the local community. But he has orders to follow, and he's determined to prove that he stands for honour and integrity.

Gary Jackson (Alun Armstrong - Breeders, Year Of The Rabbit, Frontier, New Tricks) is a committed NUM member and one of the few miners from Ashfield on the picket line in the 80s. He won't let anyone forget it, even decades later, which sets him at odds with his neighbours. His wife, Julie Jackson (Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread, Harlots, Mum, Save Me Too, and recently confirmed to take over the role of Princess Margaret in The Crown for series five), estranged from her sister Cathy over their divided loyalties during the miners' strike, is as stubborn as her husband, but fiercely proud of the warm household she has created for her family.

Mickey Sparrow (Philip Jackson - Brassed Off, Raised By Wolves, My Week with Marilyn, Poirot) is an entrepreneur, proud of his portfolio which includes an axe throwing range and taxi firm. However, as much of the town suspects, most of his income comes from other, less-legal means. So, when suspicion points to the Sparrow family, Mickey's empire comes under threat. Daphne Sparrow (Lorraine Ashbourne - Bridgerton, The Crown, I Hate Suzie, Alma's Not Normal, Unforgotten) is the matriarch. Forthright and fearless she will do whatever it takes to protect her family. When everything and everyone she holds dear comes under threat, it becomes apparent just how far Daphne will go for them, including her son, Rory (Perry Fitzpatrick - Line Of Duty, This Is England 90, Man Like Mobeen).

Cathy Rowley (Claire Rushbrook - Genius: Einstein, Don't Forget The Driver, Enola Holmes, Home Fires and Ali and Ava) has always lived slightly in her sister's shadow. The miners' strike tore the pair apart when Cathy fell in love with UDM working miner Fred Rowley (Kevin Doyle - Downton Abbey, Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey), a quiet and reserved man. Her relationship with her introverted and deeply private stepson Scott (Adam Hugill - The Watch, 1917) is also strained. But when tragedy strikes close to home, Cathy is forced to reckon with the woman she has become, and the dark secrets that have been hidden behind closed doors.

Andy Fisher (Adeel Akhtar - Murdered By My Father, Sweet Tooth, Utopia) is a delicate and shy man who lost his wife years ago and has struggled to cope with that loss, ever since. He leans on his son Neel (Bally Gill - Wanderlust, Romeo & Juliet, NW) for emotional support, and though Neel is much obliging, Andy feels like he's losing his son to his son's fiancée Sarah (Joanne Froggatt - Downton Abbey, Liar, Angela Black), who struggles to hide how uncomfortable she is in her soon-to-be father-in-law's company.

And it's not just the arrival of the Met police which stirs up old memories. With the reappearance in the town of Yorkshireman and staunch NUM member Warnock (Stephen Tompkinson - The Split, Brassed Off, DCI Banks) new seeds of suspicion surrounding the events from 1984 are sown when he alludes to activity of the Met Police's undercover police unit during the strikes.

James Graham has written all six parts and will be an executive producer on the series. Lewis Arnold (Time, Des) is lead director and executive producer, and the producer is Rebecca Hodgson (The Irregulars, Deep Water). Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross and Harriet Spencer are executive producers for House Productions and Ben Irving will executive produce for BBC. Sherwood was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. BBC Studios will distribute the series internationally.

BAFTA Award-Winning, The Great House Giveaway returns to Channel 4 with New Hosting Talent, Tayo Oguntonade

Following a hugely successful first series, which earned Welsh indie, Chwarel, a BAFTA Award in the Daytime category, The Great House Giveaway is back and welcomes a new presenter, Tayo Oguntonade, it was announced today (TUES).

As a result of Channel 4's Black to Front project, property expert Tayo permanently joins the hosting team alongside returning presenter Simon O'Brien (Find It, Fix It, Flog It; Lost and Found), and S4C's presenter Carys Davies (S4C's Ar Werth/For Sale).

In this game-changing property format, which partners with finance experts Together, The Great House Giveaway sees two people, who have never met and have never owned a home, given a lump sum to buy a property at auction. The pair then have six months to revive the property into a habitable and desirable home with the aim to split any profits. If they don't sell – the house goes back to auction.

Five episodes are set to air in September as part of the project, where we'll see experienced Mortgage Broker, Property Expert, and Investor, Tayo, on hand to offer advice and handy tips to our DIY hopefuls.

Tayo Oguntonade said: "helping to get people on the property ladder has been a passion of mine for a long time, one of which I've been doing throughout my career. I am so excited to be joining The Great House Giveaway team and getting to share my advice with not only the renovation new-comers on the show but also the viewers at home!"

Hollyoaks commence filming Channel 4-commissioned special hour-long episode, directed by Patrick Robinson

Hollyoaks commence filming Channel 4-commissioned special hour-long episode, directed by Patrick Robinson to air on Friday 10 September


'Overstanding other people's cultures, I believe, is one giant step towards an inclusive society and drama is one of the best tools to do that.' – Patrick Robinson

'Once cultural differences are understood, this can often dissipate hatred, racism or bigotry simply, by telling truthful stories we can all relate to.' – Kelle Bryan

Filming has commenced on an hour-long special that will play a pivotal part in Channel 4's Black to Front, the ground-breaking diversity project culminating in a special day of content on Friday September 10th. Across the day Channel 4 will broadcast programming fronted by Black talent and featuring Black contributors, to champion Black voices and stories, and the incredible Black talent that make, shape and star in British TV.

Planned over a year, and working with numerous production partners, Black to Front is part of Channel 4's on-going commitment to improve Black representation on and off screen. From breakfast right through to late night, some of Channel 4's most iconic shows will have Black talent at the forefront, offering viewers a new perspective of much-loved programmes.

Hollyoaks will air a special episode - written by Hollyoaks core team writer Thabo Mhlatshwa - anchored around the pivotal Black Deveraux family and joined by characters past, present and future, played by Black and of Black heritage talent.

It will be directed by Patrick Robinson, whom fans of continuing drama will know from his early acting career playing consultant Martin 'Ash' Ashford in Casualty for a number of years. He first began directing in 1998 on the short film, Monument, also playing the lead character. This will be his first major directorial debut for a continuing drama.

Patrick said: "I'm very excited to be directing this hour long special of Hollyoaks, featuring characters who share my background and heritage.

"Overstanding other people's cultures, I believe is one giant step towards an inclusive society and Drama is one of the best tools to do that. Music, Dance and Art also play a vital part in giving greater insight basically because we feel it…Heart, body and soul.

"Love is the theme of the episode, which I hope we can all relate to. And my litmus test for any good work? Did I feel…"

COMPETITION: Win Hudson & Rex: Season 1 on DVD



Hudson & Rex Season 1 - Released on DVD from 9th August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and a copy on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Own the action-packed, hit television series Hudson & Rex, and meet this loveable crime-fighting duo in their very first season…

Detective Charlie Hudson (John Reardon, Van Helsing, Continuum), a cunning Major Crimes detective for the St. John’s Police Department, teams up with an unusual partner, Rex, a former-K9 German Shepherd whose heightened senses keep Charlie hot on the trail of his suspects. Together, they investigate puzzling crimes, from a kidnapping which reveals a much larger conspiracy at play, to an art theft murder which runs deep into the world of high society. With Charlie’s deft detective work and Rex’s keen canine senses, this crime-fighting pair is unstoppable.

Providing plenty of action and excitement for the whole family, Hudson & Rex became the highest-rated original scripted series for Canadian television network Citytv and is shown in more than 100 territories worldwide. 

Dazzler Media presents Hudson & Rex: Season One on DVD and Download-to-Own from 9th August

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rzJ9GO

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

What breed of dog is Rex?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 16-08-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.