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Friday, 3 July 2020

BBC Two announces new drama Harlots - Starring Lesley Manville, Samantha Morton, Jessica Brown Findlay and Liv Tyler


Starring Lesley Manville, Samantha Morton, Jessica Brown Findlay and Liv Tyler, BBC Two will air all three series of the critically acclaimed period drama Harlots, acquired by the channel from ITV Studios.

Acclaimed actresses Samantha Morton (Fantastic Beasts, Rillington Place, The Last Panthers, Minority Report, Cider With Rosie), Lesley Manville (Mum, River, Maleficent) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Victor Frankenstein, The Outcast, Downton Abbey) star in the series, which is produced by Monumental Pictures, part of ITV Studios. Liv Tyler (Gunpowder, Lord Of The Rings) joins the cast in series two and three.

Set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, Harlots is a powerful family drama offering a brand new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity - sex. Inspired by the stories of real women, the series follows Margaret Wells (Morton) and her daughters, as she struggles to reconcile her roles as mother and brothel owner.

When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back, even if it means putting her family at risk. Brown Findlay stars as Charlotte, Margaret’s eldest daughter and the city’s most coveted courtesan, who begins to grapple with her position in both society and her immediate family.

Sue Deeks, BBC Head of Programme Acquisition, says: “Aided by a truly magnificent cast, Harlots brings 18th Century London to life with enormous style, wit, intelligence and humour. BBC viewers will become immersed in the gripping lives of business women Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley as they make their way in London’s grimy, decadent world.”

Harlots is written by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre, Tamara Drewe) and created by Moira Buffini and Alison Newman. Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward and Alison Owen serve as Executive Producers.

Each series of Harlots is 8x50’ episodes. Series one and two will be aired back to back on BBC Two later this year. Series three will air at a later date.

Musical greats from the past and the present brought together in one extraordinary Proms season

From Bernstein to Benedetti, Haitink to Hvorostovsky, Mackerras to Kanneh-Masons, musical greats, from the past and the present, are coming together in one extraordinary Proms season.
  • BBC Radio 3 opens this summer’s Fantasy Proms with a programme of great Proms moments including Iain Farrington’s world premiere for the BBC Grand Virtual Orchestra, putting Beethoven’s symphonies in a spin.
  • Nicola Benedetti, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Simon Rattle, Anoushka Shankar and Mitsuko Uchida, amongst artists performing live from the Royal Albert Hall.
  • Live performances from the RAH to begin with a momentous opening night conducted by BBC Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo.
  • A unique Last Night to unite the world led by Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska with South African soprano Golda Schultz
  • BBC Four selects six momentous Proms from across the archive from the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and Chineke! Orchestra
  • Katie Derham, Tom Service, Suzy Klein, Danielle de Niese and Josie d’Arby lead the line-up of TV presenters.
  • An ambitious, challenging and celebratory multi-platform season.
In the year that the Proms turns 125 years old, the 2020 season brings the spirit of the Proms to music-lovers at home. BBC Radio 3 and BBC Four broadcasts treasures from the past 30 years of the Proms across six weeks, before two weeks of incredible live performances at the Royal Albert Hall.
In challenging times, the BBC Proms aims to shine a beacon of hope, with its mix of seminal moments from Proms history alongside live performances from the Royal Albert Hall. The season will bring a summer of music to celebrate a wealth of talent, genres and styles, creating a line-up which brings together legendary performers from the past through its unrivalled archive, with a diverse line-up of the biggest stars of the present and future.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm - Official Trailer


Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm, the riveting new feature-length music documentary from award-winning Welsh production company ie ie Productions, and director  Hannah Berryman (The Brick in the Wall Kids), in her feature debut, produced by Catryn Ramasut (American Interior, Queerama), is set for its World TV Premiere on BBC Four and simultaneously on BBC Wales this July.

Black Sabbath, Queen, The Stone Roses, Oasis, Coldplay, Simple Minds, Robert Plant, Manic Street Preachers are some of the greatest bands and musicians of our time, but what is the one thing these titans of music have in common?

They’ve all created music at Rockfield, a recording studio on a farm in Wales, run by two farming brothers who had a dream…a dream that led to Rockfield becoming the birthplace of some of the biggest hits ever made. It's where Queen recorded their seminal Bohemian Rhapsody and featured in the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name, but Rockfield’s own story has never been told…until now.

Rockfield: The Studio On The Farm features the studio’s founders, Kingsley and Charles Ward, recounting how their humble farm became the stuff of legend. They’re joined by a cast featuring some of the biggest names in rock history through the ages, from heavy metal and psychedelic rock, punk and new wave, to Madchester,  Britpop and beyond. The film takes us to this unlikely inner sanctum of rock n roll history, where songs everybody knows and loves were made, songs such as I Am The Resurrection, Wonderwall, Yellow, If You Tolerate This, to name but a few…

A starry cast, including Ozzy Osbourne, Liam Gallagher, Chris Martin, Robert Plant, Dave Brock, Jim Kerr, Tim Burgess and James Dean Bradfield, give us the inside story of their wild – and hugely creative – sessions in the middle of nowhere in Wales. The course did not always run smoothly, for the bands or the family at the helm, and the film tells the tale of struggles stuck on this isolated farm. But  maybe this was the key to creating these moments of musical genius, this isolation surrounded by awe-inspiring nature: “It’s about being a part of something way bigger than you…Very important for rock stars!” says studio front-of-house Lisa Ward. Now this slice of musical history is set to entertain from the comfort of your own home as it premieres on BBC Four and BBC Wales on Saturday 18 July 2020 at 9pm, it will also be available to view on BBC iPlayer.

Synopsis
This is the unlikely tale of how two Welsh farming brothers turned their dairy farm into one of the most successful recording studios of all time, producing four decades of legendary rock music.

Fifty years ago, deep in the Welsh countryside, brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward were starting out in the family dairy farming business. But they yearned to do something different – they wanted to make music. So they built a studio in the attic of their farmhouse and started recording with their friends. Kingsley’s new wife, Ann, left her job in the local bank to do the books, and they continued farming all the while. Animals were kicked out of barns and musicians were moved into Nan’s spare bedroom. Inadvertently, they’d launched the world’s first independent residential recording studio: Rockfield.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Netflix confirms that there will be a second season for Into the Night.


Into the Night tells the story about retaining humanity in the face of a cosmic disaster, as a flight departs Brussels.

Netflix have confirmed that there will be a second season of this high-concept thriller.

Creator and writer Jason George:
"We’ve been thrilled by the global response to Into the Night, and I’m excited to share that we’ll be doing a second season. It’s been amazing to see how fans across the world have connected with the multinational passengers and crew of BE Airways Flight 21. We are excited to continue their journey."


There She Goes - Q&A with David Tennant and Jessica Hynes


There She Goes is a comedy-drama based on the real life experiences of writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, whose daughter was born with an extremely rare and, to date, undiagnosed chromosomal disorder.

The series follows the day-to-day life of Rosie Yates (Miley Locke), a severely learning disabled girl and her family; dad Simon (David Tennant), mum Emily (Bafta Award-winning Jessica Hynes) and older brother Ben (Edan Hayhurst), as they cope with everyday situations like encouraging her to talk and persuading her that not every day is Christmas.

Series one, which debuted on BBC Four in 2018, chronicled the dual timeline of Rosie as a newborn and aged nine. This new series will be set around 18 months on and will focus on Rosie at the ages of three and 11.

There She Goes begins on Thursday 9 July, 9.30pm on BBC Two.


Q&A with David Tennant

The new series picks up 18 months after the first series, can you tell us what’s in store for the family?
We are back with the family as they continue to try to cope with everything life, fate and Rosie throws at them.

Viewers saw some pretty tense moments in Simon and Emily’s relationship in the earlier timeline in series one, what was it like to film those scenes?
I think Jess and I were always very aware that we were telling Shaun and Sarah’s story. It’s pretty much autobiographical, and knowing that you are retelling often quite painful moments in the life of someone who is sitting round the corner watching on a monitor feels like a big responsibility. But that very truthfulness is what made the scripts so powerful and drew me to the story in the first place.

How was it being back on set with all the cast again?
Great. It felt like we’d never been away. I feel like we summon up the feeling of a genuine family quite readily.

We meet Simon’s father (played by Gregor Fisher), what was it like working with him?
I first worked with Gregor on Rab C Nesbitt about 400 years ago. I’ve always thought he is an exceptional actor and he has been a bit of a hero of mine. I was so pleased he agreed to play my dad. He was as delightful and brilliant as I’d hoped and creates a distinctive and memorable character.

What reaction did you get to the first series?
I think people were surprised, moved, shocked and charmed. Families with similar challenges were often particularly delighted to see an honest depiction of the unique difficulties and particular mixture of experiences they face.

Where you surprised at the reaction you got?
Not at all, when I first read the script I knew it was something special and not really like anything I’d seen before. I just hoped we could make the show as it was written and preserve that unique voice.

There She Goes has a perfect balance of making the viewers laugh one minute and crying the next. Do you think it’s important to show the humour as well as the drama?
I think it’s important that the story is told truthfully and honestly. There is very little in the show that hasn’t happened to Shaun and Sarah’s family, so it’s not about manufacturing comic moments or emotional scenes, it’s just about honestly reflecting what happened.

What is it about Shaun and Sarah’s writing that makes this show so appealing to you?
I think the reason this works is all down to Shaun and Sarah’s honesty. Their willingness to be completely candid about their own shortcomings and difficulties, and indeed their achievements and victories, is what makes this story so identifiable.

What do you hope viewers will take away from the series?
For those who didn’t see series one, I hope they’ll take the chance to meet the Yates family. For those who know the show already I hope they’ll be as keen to return to them as I was. I’m very proud to be part of There She Goes and want as many people as possible to see it.


Q&A with Jessica Hynes

Jessica, firstly congratulations on winning the Bafta* for best There She Goes - how did it feel?
It was a wonderful night. I laddered my tights right before the ceremony began so I had to go up on stage bare-legged which I felt a bit self-conscious about. A very very kind old friend texted after the show and said her husband had just said "Legs!" in a slightly Sid James way when I went up - I was pathetically grateful and happy when she told me this. I was also extremely grateful to get a Bafta for the show. It is one of the shows I'm most proud of being in.

Can you tell us what’s in store for the family this series?
More fun, frolics and sleepless nights. Ben and Rosie are growing up and Emily and Simon meet those challenges in their own inimitable way: wine, jokes, Game of Thrones, wine more jokes and wine.

Emily had some pretty emotional scenes in the first series, what was it like filming those scenes?
It was challenging in the best possible way - I wanted to do the brilliant script, story and character justice. I tried to do my absolute best work.

How was it being back on set with all the cast again?
Great - I love them. Simon the director was incredible with the children. He has the patience of a saint.

What’s it like working with Miley Locke who plays Rosie?
She's a brilliant actress and a wonderful girl. I am devoted to her.

What reaction did you get to the first series?
Overwhelming - it was extremely moving and humbling to be part of a comedy that reached people that felt they'd never had a voice before. I well up just thinking about it.

Where you surprised at the reaction you got?
I knew Shaun and Sarah Pye had created something special. Simon and the team at Merman put the whole thing together so brilliantly that when I first saw it I did have an inkling that people would take to it and I was so happy that they did.

There She Goes has a perfect balance of making the viewers laugh one minute and crying the next. Do you think it’s important to show the humour as well as the drama?
The truth is never all sad or all funny - it's usually a mix of the two.

What is it about Shaun and Sarah’s writing that makes the show so appealing to you?
The honesty, bravery, intelligence and wit.

What do you hope viewer will take away from the series?
That love is the only reality.

*Jessica won Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme at the 2019 Baftas.


Monday, 29 June 2020

COMPETITION: Win Agatha Raisin Series 3 on DVD


Agatha Raisin Series 3 is out on DVD on 6th July.

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis
INTERNATIONAL STAR Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, After Life) returns as the titular, beloved amateur detective Agatha Raisin, in the hit series, that sees her solve murder mysteries in a sleepy Cotswolds village, all while sporting a fabulous wardrobe and dangerously sharp wit.

Based on the best-selling novels by M.C. Beaton, the third series of Agatha Raisin airs this June on Sky One and new streaming service AcornTV, and consists of four brand-new, feature-length mysteries. Agatha Raisin Series Three arrives on DVD and digital alongside the Agatha Raisin Complete Series One – Three Box Set on 6 July from Acorn Media International.

Glamorous PR-executive Agatha Raisin turns sleuth in the picturesque Cotswolds after her planned retirement to the country sees her become the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Armed with her trademark tenacity and fashion flair, along with help from her assistant Roy (Mathew Horne – Gavin & Stacey) and her trusty roster of friends: ladies’ man Sir Charles Fraith (Jason Merrells – Waterloo Road), cleaner Gemma (Katy Wix – The Windsors), nosy neighbour Mrs Boggle (Marcia Warren – Don’t Forget the Driver) and paramour James (Jamie Glover – Waterloo Road), Agatha takes up the detective mantle to uncover the perpetrators of a series of heinous and strange murders,  lurking in the quaint village of Carsely.

The new series sees Agatha drumming up business for her new detective agency by investigating a legendary haunted house and even enrolling in dance lessons after disaster strikes a young woman’s engagement party. She must put her detective skills to the test when she investigates the death of a woman James is seen arguing with, in an attempt to clear his name, and when a roast pig at the Winter Fayre turns out to be a human corpse, DC Bill  Wong (Matt McCooey – Invizimals) must lead the investigation under strict instructions to keep Agatha out of it…luckily for him, Agatha’s not so easy to keep away from the action!

Buy from Amazon by clicking here (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

What is the name of the actor that plays Agatha Raisin?

Please send you name, address and answer to the question to competition@jonn.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 13-07-20
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.

COMPETITION: Win Code 404 - Series 1 on DVD


Code 404 is out on DVD on 6th July.

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis
BRITISH ACTING greats Stephen Graham and Daniel Mays join forces as the ultimate dream team, taking the buddy cop genre to another dimension in hilarious new sci-fi mash-up Sky Original comedy series Code 404, which arrives on DVD and digital 6 July 2020 from Acorn Media International.

Detective Inspectors DI John Major (Mays – Temple, Good Omens) and DI Roy Carver (Graham – Line of Duty, The Irishman) are the top crime fighting duo in the Met's Special Investigation Unit, but when an undercover sting goes horribly wrong, Major is gunned down on the job and killed. How will the SIU function without him? Well, it doesn't have to.

As an 'asset' considered too valuable to lose, his body is fast-tracked into an experimental Artificial Intelligence project to bring him back from the dead. The only problem is, Major 2.0 may look like and sound like the original, but something has been lost in translation – quite a lot actually. His arrogant demeanour and gung-ho approach remain, but his crimefighting instincts have completely deserted him.

Somehow, Major's error-strewn hunches and Carver's scrambling to make good allow them to just about scrape by. But while the experiment might be hailed as a scientific success, on the front line Carver is left dealing with an increasingly deluded partner, hellbent on revenge for his own death. Not to mention in the year since his death, Major’s wife (Anna Maxwell-Martin – Motherland, Line of Duty) has moved on, and her new boyfriend could cause Major problems...

Get ready for a rollicking ride, Code 404 will crack you up.

Buy from Amazon by clicking here (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

What is the name of the character played by Stephen Graham in Code 404?

Please send you name, address and answer to the question to competition@jonn.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 13-07-20
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.