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Friday, 16 April 2021

Channel 4 commissions Secret Spenders from South Shore

The  4x30  series will be presented by Anita Rani.  It will surprise families across the UK who are secretly spending too much money and, whilst they're away from home, will send in a team of experts to transform their finances.

From Amazon addicts to take-away junkies, thousands of us wonder where our money has gone at the end of each month. In Secret Spenders we'll secretly film the spending habits of four families. Is Mum's Zara addiction to blame or should the finger be firmly pointed at Dad's fixation with football? After gathering evidence of the families spending habits Anita will stage an intervention, taking them out of their home and confronting them with our findings.

While they're away a team of financial experts will go through every detail of their lives to give them a full financial makeover. From downsizing the gas guzzling car to renegotiating their Sky subscriptions, the Secret Spenders team will leave no stone unturned in their quest to save our families hard earned cash. 24 hours later how much money could they save and will they agree to make the changes they need?

In addition to the families stories Secret Spenders will also feature topical VT's giving consumer advice about the best deals available in the market that week alongside money saving tips and practical ways of cutting costs.

Adam Vandermark, Channel 4 commissioner, News and Current Affairs said:  "How many of us regularly wonder where has the money gone? And who at home is spending too much? This exciting format will not just expose the secret spenders, but look forensically at how we all can get better deals. At a time when many families finances are under pressure, this series is perfectly timed to help everyone save more than they thought possible."

Melanie Leach, Executive Producer, South Shore added: "From daily Deliveroo to on the hour Amazon arrivals, the explosion in home delivery has made it even easier to lose track of the family finances. This timely series, packed full of money saving advice, will show us how to make the most of our hard earned cash.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Sky Sports reveals talent line-up for The Hundred

With 100 days to go until the launch of The Hundred on 21st July, Sky Sports has today revealed a star-studded talent line up to complement the existing cricket team.

Sky regulars such as Nasser Hussain, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Rob Key, Ian Ward, David Lloyd, Nick Knight, Mike Atherton and Mark Butcher will be joined by cricketing stars from around the world including Dinesh Karthik, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, Tammy Beaumont, Daren Sammy, Mel Jones, Wasim Akram, Lydia Greenway and Kumar Sangakkara alongside presenters Andrew Flintoff, Kass Naidoo, Zainab Abbas and Jacqueline Shepherd.

Bringing you the best build-up, live action and post-match analysis, the Sky Sports team will offer viewers sensational coverage of The Hundred tournament, with all the action, drama and entertainment live from cricket grounds across the UK.

Fans will be able to tune in to all 68 games live on Sky Sports' dedicated channel Sky Sports The Hundred as well as on Sky Sports Mix. All women's matches and a significant number of men's games will be streamed live on the Sky Cricket YouTube channel.

Director of Sky Sports Cricket Bryan Henderson said: "We are so excited to help launch this fantastic new tournament this summer. It's going to be an incredible standard of cricket played at some of the best grounds in the world and everyone's invited. Hopefully the competition will inspire many girls and boys to pick up a bat and ball. We've put together an amazing line up of presenters and commentators; there's a completely fresh graphics look and some exciting new broadcast technology. We very much hope you enjoy the coverage."

The Hundred is an action-packed, unmissable, new 100-ball cricket tournament created by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and set to kick off on 21st July 2021. By simplifying the format and creating a new never-before-seen type of cricket, The Hundred's aim is to open up the game to everyone, everywhere, with the winning combination of world-class sport and entertainment.

The Hundred will offer equal prize money for the men's and women's tournament and will be the first major UK team sporting competition in history to launch with a standalone women's fixture.

Aside from the two opening games, the women's and men's teams will play back-to-back on the same day, same venue with the ambition to elevate women's cricket through The Hundred.

Domina - New Trailer released ahead of 14 May launch

Sky today released the official trailer and art for brand new Sky original, Domina, and confirms the series will debut on 14 May on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

The epic historical drama series brings to life the power struggles of Ancient Rome from a different perspective; that of the women. It follows the life and extraordinary rise of Livia Drusilla, who overcame adversity to become the most powerful woman in the world.

Kasia Smutniak plays Livia Drusilla, with the young Livia played by Nadia Parkes (The Spanish Princess).  They are supported by an international stellar cast including Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) playing Livius, Livia's father, and Colette Tchantcho (The Witcher) as Antigone, Livia's best friend, ex-slave and closest ally.

The ensemble cast also includes Matthew McNulty, Christine Bottomley, Ben Batt, Enzo Cilenti, Claire Forlani and Alex Lanipekun. Isabella Rossellini makes an appearance as Balbina, an early enemy of Livia.

Domina is produced by Fifty Fathoms (Fortitude), Tiger Aspect and Sky Studios, with Cattleya providing executive production services. The series is created and written by Simon Burke with acclaimed Australian filmmaker Claire McCarthy as lead director.


ITV announce compelling new crime drama, Redemption

Acclaimed actress Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, Ray Donovan, Deadwood) will take the lead role in Redemption, a six part drama jointly commissioned by ITV and Virgin Media Television, Ireland in association with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland.

Filmed in Ireland, Redemption will be produced by leading independent production company, Tall Story Pictures, part of ITV Studios and producers of successful returning ITV drama The Bay. The project is being co-produced by Metropolitan Films, one of Ireland's leading film and television production companies.

Created by Sean Cook (The Last Ship, The Code, Holby City) and executive produced by Tall Story Pictures' Creative Director Catherine Oldfield (The Bay, Sticks and Stones, Trauma) and Executive Producer Patrick Schweitzer (Bancroft, Save Me, SSGB), the drama introduces plain speaking, no nonsense DI Colette Cunningham, whose fearless approach to policing has earned her the respect of her Merseyside Police Serious Crime Squad colleagues.

Career driven and dedicated, Colette is unflappable and an absolute force of nature. Until she takes a call from Garda Sergeant Luke Byrne in Dublin.  The body of a young woman has been found and Colette is listed as the next of kin.

The name of the victim means nothing to Colette so she continues to efficiently go about her day job.  Persisting with his enquiry, the young officer calls again and begins to describe the young woman rendering Colette speechless.  She takes the next ferry to Dublin to identify the body of her missing daughter, Kate.

She's experienced this exact situation a million times, but never from this side.  Kate left home 20 years ago aged 16, and clearly didn't want to be found.

Always a police woman and with 30 years of experience kicking in, Colette has some searching questions.   But is she prepared for what she finds?

With her life turned upside down, and grief consuming her every thought, Colette resolves to stay in Ireland to work for the Garda.  But what will she unearth about the events leading up to Kate's death, and the life that her daughter chose to build for herself?  Consumed by feelings she may have failed Kate in life, Colette is determined to do right by her now.

BBC confirm full line-up for Eurovision 2021

Graham Norton will return for the Grand Final on BBC One, produced by BBC Studios, where he will be commentating live from Rotterdam. While Ken Bruce will continue his long-running coverage over on BBC Radio 2.

Grammy-nominated singer songwriter and presenter, Chelcee Grimes will be joining Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills for the semi-finals live on BBC Four. Presenting live from London, they will oversee proceedings as 33 countries compete for their place in the Grand Final. The semi-finals will air on 18 and 20 May on BBC Four, with UK viewers able to vote in the second semi-final on 20 May.

Graham Norton returns for his 12th Eurovision Song Contest on BBC One. After commentating last year on Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, he will return to his coveted post for this year's live Grand Final.

Actress and singer, Amanda Holden will be taking the reins of the Eurovision Spokesperson, where she will be delivering the results of the UK professional jury vote live from London. She follows in the illustrious footsteps of Nigella Lawson, Mel Giedroyc, Richard Osman, Alex Jones, Cheryl Baker, Katrina Leskanich from Katrina & The Waves, and Lorraine Kelly.

The last Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final to be broadcast on BBC One in 2019 was the most watched music programme on the BBC that year and it was the most popular music TV show of the year amongst 16-34s.

Multi-platinum selling, Brit award-winning and Grammy nominated singer-songwriter James Newman will be representing the UK with his single Embers, released by BMG after the renewed collaboration with BBC Studios for the contest.

This year the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live from Rotterdam, after the competition was cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Graham Norton says: "I'm so excited for Eurovision to return, after the past year we've had it's exactly the kind of joy the world needs. The UK have a great entry with James Newman and Embers, it's a banger and represents everything that Eurovision is. It's arguably the best night of the year and I can't wait - bring it on!"

Ken Bruce says: "Radio 2 is getting right behind Eurovision 2021 with shows galore to delight all the fans. We're all so delighted the competition is back this year. On the night I'll be presenting the live show from my hot seat at Wogan House - bringing listeners all the entries, all the drama and, of course, the ultimate winner! Will it be the UK's year to finally win again? I can't wait to find out!"

Rylan Clark-Neal says: "There was a big Eurovision shaped hole in my life last year, so I am super excited to see what everyone brings to the table for 2021 - it's the best time of the year! I am looking forward to being reunited with Scott for the semi-finals and to welcome Chelcee to the team! Plus Embers is an absolute tune - I can't wait!"

Scott Mills says: "Eurovision week is my favourite of the year and I cannot wait for the biggest entertainment show on the planet to return! Although we won't be in Rotterdam ourselves, Rylan, Chelcee and I will definitely make sure we're still throwing the ultimate can't miss celebration for this year's semi-finals"

Chelcee Grimes says: "I am super excited to be joining the Eurovision family, I can't wait to host the semi-finals alongside Scott and Rylan, it's going to be awesome. I have always been a fan of Eurovision, and I can't wait to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to seeing all the weird and wonderful performances, as well as cheering on my mate James who is waving the flag for the UK! James and I have written together for a previous Eurovision winner and we've also penned some songs for the Romanian entrant so he is the best person for the job. JAMES TO WIN!"

Amanda Holden says: "What an honour to announce the UK's votes this year. I'm utterly thrilled. It's an ambition ticked after 45 years of watching it! Now, what to wear…"

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Semi Finals will be broadcast on 18 and 20 May on BBC Four. The Grand Final will be broadcast on 22 May on BBC One and also on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.


MUAs and guest judges revealed for series three of BBC Three’s Glow Up

Dolli, Sophie, Alex, Xavi, Elliot, Ryley, Samah, Nicole, Jack and Craig make up the brand new cast of Glow Up's aspiring MUAs, in a year when more applications than ever were received to join the competition.

Presenter Maya Jama also joins resident judges Val Garland and Dominic Skinner for the first time, as they welcome a glittering array of guest judges and experts from across the worlds of beauty, TV, music and fashion, including:

Ateh Jewel, award-winning beauty journalist and trail-blazing diversity campaigner
Sherri Laurence, Emmy award-winner and make-up department head on Pose
Les Child, choreographer and voguing pioneer
Cate Hall, lead hair and make-up designer on The Crown
Abby Roberts, TikTok's biggest make-up star
Vanessa Spence, ASOS design director
Loz Schiavo, Bafta-winning make-up designer on Peaky Blinders
Rankin, globally-renowned photographer and director
Jonas Blue, DJ and music producer
Awa, singer
Lisa Eldridge, one of the world's leading make-up artists

The new ten MUAs are hopeful to impress the judges and be tipped as Britain's Next Make-Up Star, winning a contract to work alongside some of the world's biggest artists.

Series three will see the battle of the brushes take place across multiple real-world assignments and challenges, as the MUAs get to work on everything from studio shoots and campaigns with Superdrug and Asos, through to period make-up and prosthetics on set with Pose, The Crown and Peaky Blinders. Internationally recognised photographer Rankin invites the MUAs to work on a look for a music video with Jonas Blue and Awa, while global TikTok superstar Abby Roberts teaches them what works on social media. Finally, Lisa Eldridge, one of the world's most experienced and respected make-up artists, completes the line up for the final challenge: a masterclass in make up.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Emily Watson and Denise Gough get 'Too Close' in the enthralling psychological drama - starts tonight on ITV


Emily Watson and Denise Gough get 'Too Close' in the enthralling psychological drama - starts tonight on ITV

Psychological thriller starring Emily Watson as dedicated forensic psychiatrist, Emma Robertson, who is assigned to work with Connie Mortensen, a wife and mother accused of a despicable crime. Her assessment of the ‘yummy mummy monster’s’ sanity will determine whether Connie faces life in jail, life in a secure psychiatric hospital, or the chance of rehabilitation and release.

Emma hopes that the high-profile case will make her career, but her sessions with Connie quickly become a complex psychological game of cat and mouse with confusing sexual undercurrents.  Connie has a searing insight into Emma’s insecurities and brutally exploits them. 

It isn’t clear whether she is hoping to manipulate Emma to gain her freedom, or simply toying with Emma for her own entertainment, as she probes into Emma’s own dark past. 

Emma gradually starts to understand what drove Connie to her crime, but it also seems that she may be getting too close to a woman who is beyond redemption - can Emma see to it that justice is done without destroying herself in the process?

Too Close is about a powerful – but dangerous – closeness between two women.

Episode 1

Connie Mortensen commits a terrible, unimaginable, crime. 

Forensic Psychiatrist, Emma Robertson, is having a sneaky cigarette in her child’s bedroom, when her husband, Si, calls. She lies about her whereabouts and tells him she’s been asked to take on the Mortensen case. Connie is now being held in a secure psychiatric unit awaiting trial, and Emma’s been tasked with assessing her state of mind on the night of her offence. During their first session, however, Connie claims to have no memory of that night; instead, she mocks Emma and begins probing into her personal life.

During their second session, Emma digs into Connie’s relationship with friend and neighbour, Ness Jones, discovering how they first met. In turn, Connie needles Emma about her sex life with Si, suggesting that her marriage is devoid of passion. On her way home, Emma obsesses over Connie’s words, and attempts to prove Connie wrong. 

During their next session, Emma unearths an obsessive element to Connie and Ness’s relationship, but Connie also senses that Emma is grieving deeply. When Connie is confronted with indisputable photographic evidence of the consequences of her crime by her solicitor, she reacts violently, and Emma is the one caught in the firing line. 

Yet during a dinner party with Si’s sister, Hattie Robertson, and other guests, a drunk Emma is surprised to find herself protecting Connie against their vitriol. Si and Emma’s resulting strained communication makes it clear that Connie’s case is painfully close to home for them.

For her next session with Connie, Emma turns up hungover from the dinner party. She asks Connie about her husband, Karl Mortensen, and we see Connie in the midst of busy domestic life with Karl and their children, Annie and Josh. It transpires that Connie is on antidepressants and Karl reveals to her that he’s unhappy too.

Connie and Ness go on a daytrip, and when their car breaks down, they find themselves taking a romantic walk where they get stoned and almost kiss. Are they going to begin an affair? 

Back in the therapy session, Emma is severely hungover, and Connie is able to take advantage of her unprofessional state. As Emma leaves the unit, she passes some visitors for Connie, revealing that the affair isn’t quite as we might have suspected.