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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Netflix reveals the new series Space Force:

Workplace comedy centered around the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the armed services… Space Force.

Steve Carell, who co-created the series, will star and executive produce

Greg Daniels (The Office (U.S.), King of the Hill, Parks and Recreation), is the co-creator of the series and will serve as showrunner and executive producer

Howard Klein/3Arts (The Office (U.S.), The Mindy Project, Parks and Recreation) will also serve as executive producer

Robert James-Collier & Charlie Hardwick join Ackley Bridge

Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey) and Charlie Hardwick (Emmerdale) are joining the teaching staff at Ackley Bridge College and are bound to ruffle some feathers.

With the school being taken over by The Valley Trust it’s a new era with deputy head teacher Martin Evershed (Robert James-Collier) and director of behaviour Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick) being brought in to whip the pupils into shape. Mandy (Jo Joyner) just about remains at the helm of the school and is once again joined by returning cast members Sunetra Sarker, Poppy Lee-Friar and Amy Leigh-Hickman. Series 3 of the Channel 4 8pm drama has begun filming in Halifax and will return to screens for 8x60 new episodes later this year.

RTS Yorkshire Award winning Ackley Bridge was created by Ayub Khan Din (East is East), Kevin Erlis (Shameless) and Malcolm Campbell (Shameless, What Richard Did). The series will be directed by Penny Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping, Mischief Night, The Death of Klinghoffer, 1 Day), Sarmad Masud (My Pure Land, Hollyoaks), Rachna Suri (Snatches, Our Lad) and Dominic Leclerc (Babs, The A Word, From Darkness). Executive Producers are George Ormond (National Treasure, Kiri, Great Expectations), George Faber (National Treasure, Shameless, Skins), Alexander Lamb (EastEnders, Waterloo Road), Ayub Khan Din (East is East) and Hugo Heppell on behalf of Screen Yorkshire with Jo Johnson (Casualty, EastEnders) serving as Producer.

Robert James-Collier says, ““I am thrilled to be asked to play the part of Martin Evershed, the new Deputy Head At Ackley Bridge. Such fearless and talented young actors bring a special spirit and energy on set and I hope I can learn from that and add to it in my own way.”

Charlie Hardwick commented, “I'm absolutely over the moon to be joining Ackley Bridge, I was already a fan.  It has fantastic characters and brilliantly sharp story-telling which tackles the desires and concerns of a diverse school of young people and their community head on, in full-beam.  It's funny and moving in equal measures and has a huge heart.  Unlike the new director of behaviour Sue Carp.   She is belligerent and unwilling, and instead of dedicating her time to the well-being and development of her teenage students, she appears to be solely concerned with counting down the next ten years to her retirement.   She is unwittingly witty though, and somewhat unintentionally anarchic, which gets the school into deep doodoo and herself into dangerously sackable situations.  I can't wait to play her!  “

The Channel 4 Drama Commissioning Editor for series 3 is Manpreet Dosanjh. It is produced by The Forge in association with Screen Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Danny Dyer discovers he has the blood of a saint in new BBC One documentary

On Who Do You Think You Are? Danny Dyer discovered he was descended from King Edward III - but in new two-part series, Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family, Danny uncovers an ever bigger family tree with even more royal, aristocratic and saintly ancestors.

In episode one, Danny kicks off his journey by eating sheep’s tongue and fighting like his Viking 35 x great-grandfather, Rollo. Following in the footsteps of his ancestor William the Conqueror, Danny tries his hand at hunting on horse and foot, Norman-style, and finally, Danny heads to Paris to learn about his 26 x great grandfather King Louis IX - also known as Saint Louis of France.

Medieval historian Dr Emily Guerry meets Danny in Pigalle to tell him more about the saintly King Louis IX, who came to the throne in 1226. Emily explains: “He was very religious, very devout. He was anti-bad behaviour. He became a man who actually modelled himself on Jesus Christ and lived to imitate Christ.”

In an attempt to live like Louis IX for a day Danny dresses in a humble robe, and walks the backstreets of Paris barefoot. Emily explains: “The reason Louis IX dressed in this humble manner was to honour his reception of the relic of the crown of thorns of Christ himself, which he was meant to have worn before his crucifixion. He led this jubilant procession through the city of Paris and the people marvelled at the appearance of their king, as he looked like a monk or friar.”

Danny remarks: “I can be told all sorts of information but to actually walk in King Louis IX’s footsteps, to think that he did this as a King... I admire him because he does exactly as he preaches and is showing everybody. He walked for six miles barefoot, in pain, and that you’ve got to respect. Considering the money and power he had and the life he could have lived, I think it’s very brave. Bless him.”

Danny and Emily then visit the Sainte-Chapelle, which was Louis’ personal chapel.

Noting the splendour of the gothic royal chapel, Danny marvels: “When you first walk in here, it made me feel a bit sick. All this beauty. This overwhelming, guttural feeling of *gasps*. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a building that’s more god-like where you think you could see God plotting up in here. If God was gonna have some windows, they’d be his windows [points towards the chapel’s stained glass windows].”

Emily then reveals to Danny that his ancestor was much more than just a king: “There’s actually one more thing I need to tell you about Louis IX. He wasn’t just a king… he was a Saint. Twenty-seven years after his death, the Pope canonised him Saint Louis. There are very few saints that aren’t virgins or martyrs, so to have the blood of a saint in your blood is an extraordinary thing.”

Astounded, Danny says: “It is isn’t it. It’s just so much to take in. I’m related to a saint.”

Emily tells Danny: “That blood is sacred blood. It works miracles in the church.”

Danny replies: “And I’ve got it coursing through my veins.”

Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family - begins Wednesday 23 January 9pm on BBC One.

Stath Lets Flats returns to C4 for your viewing pleasure

Britain’s worst letting agent Stath will once again be unleashed on the London property market, as writer-performer and rising star Jamie Demetriou's (Fleabag, Paddington 2) Stath Lets Flats is recommissioned by Channel 4 for a brand new 6 x 30 series.

The hopeless Greek-Cypriot lettings agent will face his biggest challenge yet at the family business Michael & Eagle Lettings.

Having been denied the manager’s position by his own father, Vasos (Christos Stergioglou), Stath (Jamie Demetriou) - along with Carole (Katy Wix) and the rest of the team - is forced to work under his arch rival Julian (Dustin Demri-Burns) - and re-think his life goals. His sister Sophie (Natasia Demetriou) is also searching for a new direction after failing at Dance College and publicly denying her feelings for Al (Alistair Roberts).

Stath Lets Flats has been nominated for Best Comedy Programme at the 2019 Broadcast Awards.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, says: “We did originally say no to this, but he just kept turning up, trying to get into the building.  Sometimes it’s just easier to give in isn’t it?  In all seriousness, we’re thrilled to back Jamie and this gem of a show again.”

Ash Atalla, Managing Director, Roughcut TV, adds: “So happy to be going again on Stath Lets Flats. Jamie is a star. And we’ve all felt the pain of terrible flat viewings, so this is our revenge."

Jamie Demetriou commented: “Lovely to have been given a series 2, mate. Thank you Channel 4 for the ongoing support and faith, and thank you everyone who worked on it. I would formally like to announce that series 2 MIGHT be about Stath and Peter Andre trying to make it in Miami.”

Stath Lets Flats was commissioned by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 and will be overseen by and Jack Bayles and Jon Petrie as Commissioning Editors at Channel 4. Roughcut TV is the production company. The series will be executive produced by Ash Atalla and Jamie Demetriou and produced by Seb Barwell. Series 2 will be written by Jamie Demetriou and the Script Editor will be Robert Popper (Friday Night Dinner).

Stath was developed from Channel 4’s Blaps, the online comedy showcase that uncovers the brightest new comedy stars and freshest TV ideas.

Monday, 14 January 2019

BBC Four announces new programmes that celebrate British diversity

BBC Four has announced a season of new programmes that celebrate British diversity and explores the secret tribes and communities that have helped shape modern British history.
The new programmes which will air on BBC Four across February include A Very British History, a new series unpacking the untold stories of communities across the UK, a series of monologues produced in collaboration with Sir Lenny Henry and The Young Vic, Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, new contemporary dance piece titled Windrush: Movement Of The People by Phoenix Dance Theatre that celebrates its arrival in the UK in 1948 and Don McCullin: Looking for England which follows the celebrated photographer on his journey to document the country.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, says: "BBC Four is a unique proposition within British TV and we’re always proud to celebrate voices and stories that are less known and often unheard. This season of programming will take viewers into a whole series of hidden corners of our nation and its story. It’s a treat to be working with both established voices such as Sir Lenny Henry and Don McCullin and introducing a new generation of talent to our screens."

A Very British History explores key moments in the 20th century for minority communities across Britain - including the Jewish community in Leeds, Afro-Caribbeans in Birmingham, Romany Gypsies around the home counties and Ugandan Asians in Leicester and beyond. Produced in collaboration by BBC England productions and fronted by presenters from those communities, the series explores the harsh reality many people faced when searching for a new life in Britain. We hear untold stories, from the joyful to the tragic, and follow emotional journeys back in time. Each film is a quest to discover more about the history of communities in multi-cultural Britain.

In association with BBC Arts and in partnership with Sir Lenny Henry’s production company Douglas Road and the Young Vic Theatre, Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, is eight 15-minute heartfelt monologues set in the front room of an Afro-Caribbean home. The monologues follow the highs and lows of one family from their arrival in England in the 1940s up to the present day as they explore their hopes and desires, challenges and shattered dreams.

They have been curated by the Young Vic’s Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah (Elmina’s Kitchen) and feature some of the UK’s finest acting talent including Sir Lenny Henry (The Long Song), Vinette Robinson (Doctor Who), Montserrat Lombard (Upstart Crow), Danielle Vitalis (Attack the Block), Clifford Samuel (McMafia), Gamba Cole (Damilola: Our Loved Boy), Elliot Barnes-Worrell (Jericho), Jonathan Jules (Invasion Earth), and Olivia-Mai Barrett (Penny On M.A.R.S). The series is produced by Douglas Road and follows similar partnerships - Queers (2017, curated by Mark Gatiss) and the highly-acclaimed Snatches (2018, curated by Vicky Featherstone of the Royal Court Theatre).

The eight films are written by a team of leading writers for television and stage: Carmen Harris (EastEnders), Angie Le Mar (Funny Black Women on the Edge), Roy Williams (Clubland), Juliet Gilkes Romero (Creative Fellow at RSC), Carol Russell (The Story Of Tracy Beaker), Clint Dyer (Sylvia Plath for Royal Court), Nathaniel Martello-White (Blackta for Young Vic), and Kwame Kwei-Armah .

Windrush: Movement of the People is a timely new contemporary dance piece by Phoenix Dance Theatre which celebrates the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush which brought the first large numbers of Caribbean migrants to the UK. The work marks not just the story of the 492 people who arrived from Jamaica at Tilbury dock on 22 June 1948, but also the subsequent stream of migration from former British colonies and the rise of multicultural Britain. It tells the collective history of the immigrants’ dreams, hopes and pain, while celebrating the complexities of their struggle for identity, equality and belonging. The story is retold for the first time through dance on film and performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 10 Company dancers.

The show is the first narrative work created by Artistic Director, Sharon Watson and is underscored by a soundtrack that spans the 70 years with calypso, jazz, blues, ska, gospel, reggae and pop: the music that accompanied the lives of the Caribbean British people and the wider black British communities.

Also from BBC Arts for BBC Four is Don McCullin: Looking For England. It follows the 83 year-old photographer, on a journey to document his country from inner cities to seaside towns. Sixty years after starting out as a photographer, he returns to his old haunts in the East End of London, Bradford, Consett, Eastbourne and Scarborough. Along the way he encounters an array of English characters at The Glyndebourne Festival and Goodwood Revival and photographs a hunt and a group of sabateurs aiming to disrupt them. McCullin’s journey is punctuated by scenes in his darkroom, a place he is allowing cameras into for the first time.

A Very British History is a 4x60' production for BBC Four. It was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, and Commissioning Editor, Clare Paterson. Executive Producer is Tony Parker.

Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle is a 8x15' production by Douglas Road Productions, in partnership with BBC Arts and the Young Vic theatre for BBC Four. The Executive Producers are Sir Lenny Henry, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Angela Ferreira. Lamia Dabboussy is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

Windrush: Movement Of The People was devised by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson with musical compositions by Christella Litras. The Executive Producers are Emma Cahusac (BBC), Helen Spencer (The Space), and Mark Hollander (Phoenix Dance Theatre). The Producer is Martin Collins and Ross MacGibbon is the Director.

Don McCullin: Looking For England is a 1x60' Bright Yellow Films/Oxford Films production for BBC Four. It was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, and Mark Bell, BBC Commissioning Editor, Arts. The Executive Producers are Sam Hobkinson and Nicolas Kent.

Rick and Morty get schwifty on Channel 4, E4 and All 4

The brand new and highly anticipated fourth series of Emmy, Critic’s Choice and IGN award-winning Rick and Morty will make its UK premiere on Channel 4, with the first three series airing on E4 from February - the first time ever on free-to-air UK television. This is part of a new brand partnership that will also see hundreds of hours of Adult Swim content being made available to stream for free on All 4.

Described as “the world’s most ingenious animation” (Guardian), and “one of the best shows on television” (Vulture), UK viewers can get up to speed with the duo’s universe-hopping antics on E4. Series 1 to 3 will have the UK flying around Anatomy Park, turning into sentient pickles and bingeing on Interdimensional Cable with our favourite terrified grandson and maniacal genius grandfather from February.

Ian Katz, Channel 4 Director of Programmes, said “Rick and Morty is one of the most anarchic, ingenious and original shows around and the breakthrough animated hit of recent years. I’m thrilled that it’s coming to Channel 4 and E4.”

Rick and Morty will be accompanied by the UK premiere of the Robot Chicken: The Walking Dead Special on E4. This will be the first of a regular new ‘Adult Swim hour’ block on E4, showcasing episodes from different Adult Swim shows that will be available to stream, as full series boxsets, exclusively on All 4 in the UK.

Karl Warner, Controller E4 said, “Adult Swim’s amazing mix of original ideas and anarchic comedy is the perfect brand partner in E4’s evolution.”

Charlie Palmer, Managing Editor All 4, said, “Adult Swim is a fantastic brand with a clear proposition and a devoted fan base. I’m delighted to have it join VICE and Walter Presents as a featured channel on All 4.”

Over 300 episodes of Adult Swim content will be made available at launch, with hundreds more being added over the next three years, sitting in an Adult Swim-branded ‘Featured Channel’ alongside VICE and Walter Presents. The Adult Swim channel will be available on the All 4 app across Channel 4 owned and operated platforms including iOS and Android devices, on big screens such as Amazon Fire TV, Freeview Play and Samsung TVs, as well as games consoles and online at All4.com

Game of Thrones | Season 8 | Official Tease: Crypts of Winterfell (HBO)

Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14. #ForTheThrone

The eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones was announced by HBO in July 2016. Unlike the first six seasons that each had ten episodes and the seventh that had seven episodes, the eighth season will have only six episodes.