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Friday, 22 March 2019

Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson shares her struggles with mental health in new BBC documentary


Jesy Nelson, a member of the world’s biggest girl band Little Mix, will explore body image and mental health in a brand new documentary for the BBC.

Jesy Nelson: My Story will look at how growing up in a social media-fuelled age of selfies, body shaming and trolling is having a profound impact on the mental health of young people.

Having lived in the spotlight and under the intense scrutiny of the media for the past seven years, Jesy will bring this unique insight and passion to the documentary, as she shares her very personal experiences and talks to young people who have been affected.

Jesy says: “This is a project really close to my heart, and I’m delighted to be working with the BBC on a documentary that will both challenge me personally and also highlight a hugely important issue affecting young people today.”


First-look image of Eva Green in BBC Two’s The Luminaries


BBC Two has released a first-look of Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful, Sin City, A Dame To Kill For) as Lydia Wells in The Luminaries, the adaption of Eleanor Catton’s 2013 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.

Currently filming in New Zealand, the six-part series also stars Eve Hewson (Robin Hood, The Knick, Bridge Of Spies) as Anna Wetherell, Himesh Patel (The Aeronauts, EastEnders) as Emery Staines and Australia’s Ewen Leslie (The Cry, Top Of The Lake: China Girl) as Crosbie Wells.

They are joined by an ensemble of antipodean acting talent, including Marton Csokas as Francis Carver (The Equalizer, Lord Of The Rings, Into The Badlands), Erik Thomson (The Code, Packed To The Rafters), Benedict Hardie (Hacksaw Ridge, The Light Between Oceans), Yoson An (Mortal Engines, Dead Lucky) and New Zealand newcomer, Richard Te Are.

The series will be broadcast on BBC Two in the UK and TVNZ1 in New Zealand. Produced by Working Title Television and Southern Light Films, it is being adapted for the screen by novelist Eleanor Catton and director Claire McCarthy (Ophelia, The Waiting City).

The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes. It is a 19th century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush.

The story follows defiant young adventurer Anna Wetherell, who has sailed from Britain to New Zealand to begin a new life. There she meets the radiant Emery Staines, an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain. As they fall in love, driven together and apart by fateful coincidence, these star-crossed lovers begin to wonder: do we make our fortunes, or do our fortunes make us?

The Luminaries (6x60’) will be produced by Working Title Television - a joint venture between NBCUniversal International Studios, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Southern Light Films for BBC Two, in association with TVNZ, Fremantle and Silver Reel. The series will be executive produced by Mona Qureshi for the BBC; Eleanor Catton, Andrew Woodhead, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for Working Title Television; Christian Vesper for Fremantle, Claudia Bluemhuber for Silver Reel and Tim White for Southern Light Films with Producer Lisa Chatfield.

The series will be sold internationally by Fremantle. The Luminaries has been supported by the New Zealand Film Commission.

Second series of Abi Morgan’s original BBC One drama The Split begins production


Joining Nicola Walker (River, Last Tango In Halifax), Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Deborah Findlay (Leaving), Fiona Button (Lip Service), Annabel Scholey (Being Human), Rudi Dharmalingam (Our Girl), Barry Atsma (Hector And The Search For Happiness), Chukwudi Iwuji (Zander) and Ellora Torchia (Maggie Lavelle) are Donna Air (Hotel Babylon) and Ben Bailey Smith (Cleaning Up, Doctor Who) as the second series of BBC One’s The Split enters production in London.
Production has started in London on series two of The Split, helmed by award-winning writer Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour) and executive producer Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, River, Humans).

Set in the fast-paced, messy world of London’s high-end divorce circuit, The Split is an authentic, multi-layered, witty examination of modern marriage and the legacy of divorce. Exploring the often complex realities that bind families together, and tear them apart, the series follows the three Defoe sisters, Hannah (Nicola Walker), Nina (Annabel Scholey) and Rose (Fiona Button) and their formidable mother Ruth (Deborah Findlay).

At the end of the first series, which averaged 5.7 million viewers , Hannah’s formerly rock-solid marriage was beginning to crack following the devastating revelation of Nathan’s (Stephen Mangan) affair. For the rest of the family, and Hannah, joy had turned to tragedy as estranged father Oscar (Anthony Head) passed away the night of Rose and James’ (Rudi Dharmalingam) wedding. Struggling with the grief of losing her father for the second time in her life and with Christie (Barry Atsma) having made his feelings for her clear, Hannah was torn between her past and the promise of a different future.

Now the Defoes are back, at newly merged law firm Noble Hale Defoe, and as former rivals now find themselves on the same side of the table, Hannah’s latest case is set to put NHD firmly on the map.

Locked into an aggressive NDA by her controlling husband Richie Hansen (Ben Bailey Smith) when she was young and naive, Fi Hansen (Donna Air), one half of the UK’s most powerful celebrity couples, now wants out of her marriage. Hiring Hannah to help prepare to leave her dangerously coercive and manipulative partner, their divorce is set to be all the things the press love: public and messy. As the curtain is pulled back from the glossy veneer of their meticulously constructed public image, the pain that lies behind Brand Hansen is slowly revealed and Hannah must invest more than just her billable hours in helping Fi reclaim her life.

Meanwhile, Rose and James return from their honeymoon with ambitions to start their own family and Nina teeters on the edge, as the consequences of her erratic behaviour finally catch up with her. With the merger now complete, Ruth forced out from her role as head of the family firm, must search for a new purpose in life. And, as Hannah fights one of the most public cases of her professional career, the fight to save her own marriage is a deep, intensely, private battle.

Conducting a passionate affair with Christie, Hannah feels trapped; struggling to forgive Nathan, whilst ridden with guilt about her own infidelity. Will she take a course which could result in the end of her marriage, or can she in fact have it all?

On the joy of returning to this gorgeous world Abi has created, and Donna Air and Ben Bailey Smith joining the cast, Executive Producer and Founder of Sister Pictures, Jane Featherstone says: “I love these characters so much and can’t wait to spend time with them again as we watch them struggle through life’s complicated relationships.”

Abi Morgan says: “Sitting on set on the first day of filming I am always reminded what a joy and privilege it is to do what we do - tell stories. Returning for the second series of The Split, the world of high end law and the stories of love, marriage and divorce in the metropolis ricochet through the lives of Hannah and her sisters. Relationships are challenged, friendships are tested and the lines between work and home blue. It’s great to be back."

Created and written by Abi Morgan, The Split is produced by Sister Pictures for BBC One, co-produced with SundanceTV, and was re-commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content. Series Two is executive produced by Sister Pictures Founder Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River), writer and creator Abi Morgan (River, Suffragette, The Hour), Lucy Dyke (Black Mirror, Ripper Street) and Lucy Richer for the BBC. Paula van der Oest boards as director with Natasha Romaniuk producing.

David Dimbleby to guest present Have I Got News For You for the first time


The first episode of the brand new series of Have I Got News For You (airing on BBC One at 9pm on Friday 5 April 2019) will see journalist and broadcaster David Dimbleby make his HIGNFY guest presenting debut, in what will also be his first presenting role on the BBC since retiring from his role as chair of Question Time.
Topical pabel show returns to BBC One on 5 April 2019
David Dimbleby to guest present opening episode
Joining Dimbleby and regular team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop as the opening episode’s guest panelists will be journalist and documentary filmmaker Stacey Dooley and comedian Henning Wehn.

On guest presenting the programme for the first time, Dimbleby says: “It is an intriguing invitation. When chairing Question Time I became used to dealing with difficult panellists - but Ian Hislop and Paul Merton are another matter. They have turned disruptive subversion into an art form. It will be quite a challenge to keep the show on the road but whatever happens it will be fun.”

The new series (nine episodes) will air weekly on Friday nights from 5 April at 9pm. The extended version of the programme, Have I Got A Bit More News For You, will air on Mondays on BBC One, from 8 April.

Have I Got News For You is produced by Hat Trick Productions for BBC One. The Series Producer is Jo Bunting, the Producer is Mike Rayment, the Executive Producer is Richard Wilson and the Executive Producer for the BBC is Pinki Chambers.

Have I Got News For You returns to BBC One on Friday 5 April at 9pm, guest presented by David Dimbleby.

Stormzy joins cast of BBC drama Noughts + Crosses


British musician Stormzy has joined the cast of the much anticipated BBC One drama Noughts + Crosses, a Mammoth Screen adaptation of Malorie Blackman's award-winning young adult book series currently being filmed in South Africa.
Stormzy will play newspaper editor Kolawale, a character created for the TV series, and admits: "As a diehard fan of Malorie's novels, being a part of this important show is a dream come true."

Malorie Blackman says: "The first time I met Stormzy he informed me he was a huge fan of my Noughts and Crosses series of books. I’m thrilled he will now be a part of the Noughts + Crosses TV production. It's so exciting!”

Executive producer Preethi Mavahalli adds: "As an icon of black British culture, we are honoured to have Stormzy play a part in this adaptation of a novel he's such a fan of."

A gripping story of first love in a dangerous, alternate world where racism divides society Bafta Cymru winner Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders, Born to Kill) will play Callum McGregor and newcomer Masali Baduza has been cast as Sephy Hadley. Other cast include Helen Baxendale, Paterson Joseph and Ian Hart.

Mammoth Screen is part of ITV Studios. International distribution is handled by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


Channel 4 confirms full line up for SAS: Who Dares Wins - SU2C Celebrity Special


This year SAS: Who Dares Wins has partnered with Stand Up To Cancer for its very first celebrity special. The team of ex-Special Forces operators, led by Chief Instructor Ant Middleton have put 12 brave celebrities, both male and female, through an intensive seven-day course to see if they’ve got what it takes to pass this unique version of SAS Selection.

Channel 4 has today announced the final five celebrity names completing the line-up. They are, former premier league and England footballer, Wayne Bridge; television presenter, AJ Odudu; War Horse and Mama Mia actor Jeremy Irvine; broadcaster and life coach Jeff Brazier; and Heather Fisher, an English rugby union and rugby sevens player.

The other names already announced, include Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendleton; England Rugby International Ben Foden, former MP, Louise Mensch; Loose Women’s Andrea McClean, BBC Radio 1’s Dev Griffin, Love Island’s Camilla Thurlow and Made in Chelsea’s Sam Thompson.

Instructor Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox says, “We took great pleasure bringing these celebrities into our world and giving them as hard a time as we give anyone.”

There’s been no allowance made for fame or status, the celebrities have had to push themselves to the limit and reveal themselves like never before. We’ve learnt about each Celebrity’s strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, and come to an understanding of who they really are.

Chief Instructor Ant Middleton says, “Celebrities go through their lives showing the public a front and face they want them to see but this process stripped all that away. They've importantly turned up to raise money for SU2C but also to learn something about themselves by facing extreme experiences.”


Danny Dyer, Miriam Margolyes among those exploring the world of sex education


With sex education becoming mandatory for all secondary school children in England from September 2020, Channel 4 are sending a cast of parents and their children including Danny Dyer and his 11-year-old daughter Sunnie and Ulrika Jonsson and 14 year old Martha back to the classroom in Let’s Talk About Sex. 

The 3 x 60’ series from Spelthorne Community Television will take the most outrageous, unexpected and unintentionally hilarious sex education videos both past and present and show them to a diverse range of pupils and parents. Others sharing their candid opinions and fascinating anecdotes of their own personal experiences are Miriam Margolyes OBE, Stephen Mangan, Alastair and Grace Campbell, Phil Wang, London Hughes and Kieron Richardson.

Together they’ll discuss what works and what doesn’t and what they think should be on the syllabus next year as they have some very frank conversations about what each of them knows about sex. From watching how sex educators have handled erections and managed menstruation to how they’ve dealt with the LGBT+ issues and the challenges of masturbation – no subject will be off limits.

From September 2020 relationship and sex education will for the first time become mandatory for all school children in England. To coincide with this, next year the government plans to release new statutory guidance to replace the current “outdated” regulations last updated at the turn of the century in 2000. Using a wealth of video archive, this informative and entertaining series examines what young people have been taught to date an uncovers exactly what school children today do and don’t know about relationships and sex.

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX STARTS ON FRIDAY 5TH APRIL AT 10PM ON CHANNEL 4