Monday, 20 August 2018
An ensemble comedy that follows a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their seven-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood. The series begins when the group meets Will, a 30-something guy who’s been so focused on raising his daughter that he’s lost sight of who he is as a man. When the other single parents see just how far down the rabbit hole of PTA, parenting, and princesses Will has gone, they band together to get him out in the dating world and make him realize that being a great parent doesn’t mean sacrificing everything about your own identity.
Ben Barnes is cast opposite Julia Ormond in the new emotional thriller Gold Digger for BBC One.
Barnes, best known for his role as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia franchise, and currently in Westworld and the Marvel series The Punisher, returns to the BBC for the first time in more than a decade to star in Mainstreet Pictures's six-part series about a woman falling in love with a much younger man and the effect it has on her already damaged family.
Barnes plays Benjamin Golding, the thirty something copywriter with a shrouded past who becomes involved with an older woman Julia Day (Ormond). As the series progresses the impact their unconventional relationship has on her family is explored and the secrets of their past are revealed. Has Julia finally found the happiness she's always deserved? Or is Benjamin really the gold digger they think he is?
Written and created by Marnie Dickens (Thirteen) and made by Mainstreet Pictures. Tim Bradley (Unforgotten, Death in Paradise) will produce and Vanessa Caswill (Little Women, Thirteen) will direct the first three episodes.
Ben Barnes says: "I’m thrilled to be joining the exciting cast and creative team in telling this unexpected, modern relationship story with the opportunity to play such a complex and enigmatic character."
Marnie Dickens says: "Having Ben Barnes play the 'gold digger' of our title is a real coup. I'm very much looking forward to working with him."
Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Senior Commissioning Editor at BBC, says: “We're very excited that Ben Barnes is joining this fantastic show to play opposite Julia Ormond. Their characters' relationship at the heart of the series promises many unexpected twists and turns and I can't wait to see it come to life.”
Gold Digger Executive Producers are Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes for Mainstreet Pictures, Elizabeth Kilgarriff for BBC One and Marnie Dickens. Gold Digger was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.
The BBC today announced the full list of writers and directors for the new series of Doctor Who, launching this autumn on BBC One.
Showrunner Chris Chibnall, says: “We have a team of writers who’ve been working quietly and secretly for a long time now, crafting characters, worlds and stories to excite and move you. A set of directors who stood those scripts up on their feet, bringing those ideas, visuals and emotions into existence with bravura and fun.
“Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year.”
Former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults including the Noughts and Crosses series of novels, and her book Pig-Heart Boy, which was adapted into a Bafta-winning, six-part TV serial.
Malorie says: “I’ve always loved Doctor Who. Getting the chance to write for this series has definitely been a dream come true.”
Ed Hime was nominated for a Craft Bafta for his first episode of Skins, and won the Prix Italia for his radio play The Incomplete Recorded Works of a Dead Body.
Ed says: “Writing for this series comes down to the adventure really, and telling emotionally engaging stories to bring everyone along with you.”
Playwright and screenwriter Vinay Patel’s television debut, Murdered By My Father, won the 2016 Royal Television Society Award for Best Single Drama and was nominated for three Baftas.
Vinay says: “I grew up watching shows like Star Trek and Quantum Leap on the edge of my dad’s bed, and I loved how they managed to capture the imagination of a kid like me as well as acting as a moral compass. I never imagined that I’d get to write for Doctor Who - I was pretty thrilled.”
Pete McTighe is the originating writer of Wentworth, the female prison drama that has sold to over 150 countries. He’s written over a hundred hours of TV drama and been nominated for five Writers Guild Awards.
Pete says: "My entire television career has quite literally been an elaborate plan to get to write Doctor Who - and no one is more shocked than me that it paid off. I've been having the time of my life working with Chris, and writing for Jodie and the new team, and can't wait for everyone to see what we've been up to."
Joy Wilkinson has been selected as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow and has had two screenplays featured on the Brit List. Her TV scripts include the critically-acclaimed BBC five-parter The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby, while her theatre work has won prizes including the Verity Bargate Award.
Joy says: “I loved the show and felt like it might be a good fit for me, but I knew it was really hard to get onto. So quite frankly I’m still pinching myself to be here!”
Sallie Aprahamian has been directing television for over two decades with critically acclaimed shows including: Extremely Dangerous, The Sins, Real Men, The Lakes, Teachers and This Life.
Sallie’s memories of Doctor Who go right back to the 1960s, when William Hartnell created the role. She says: “I watched the First Doctor from behind the sofa through my fingers, frightened and exhilarated. I was really delighted, as a fan and as a director, to be invited to work on the first female Doctor’s series. What a brilliant time to be on the show!”
Jamie Childs, who directed Jodie Whittaker’s reveal as the Thirteenth Doctor, returns for the opening episode of the new series.
Jamie says Doctor Who represents an important part of our television landscape. “We tend to avoid making many shows in Britain that really allow the audience to properly escape, and Doctor Who has been doing this for decades. So yes, sign me up - I’ve always wanted to be part of that! There really aren’t many shows made over here that allow the viewer to travel to another universe.”
Jennifer Perrott wrote, directed, produced and executive produced her award-winning 35mm short film The Ravens. Since finishing Doctor Who she has been directing Gentleman Jack, a forthcoming BBC One/HBO historical drama series created by Sally Wainwright.
Jennifer says: “Doctor Who is an iconic show and one I’d loved as a child, especially when Tom Baker was the Doctor. Space travel has become more a part of modern life and this has opened the door for more human stories to be told amidst the escapist fantasy of saving the world from alien invasion. The aliens are now as emotionally complex as the humans, and I was really excited by that.”
Mark Tonderai went to school in Zimbabwe and architecture school in Kingston, before landing a job at the BBC as a trainee presenter. Mark has directed the full season of The Five, Impulse, Lucifer, Gotham, Black Lightning, George RR Martin’s Nightflyers and Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street.
Mark says: “What was really crucial in my decision to direct the show was Chris Chibnall. I’m a huge fan of his and I like the way he sees the world. He has this ability to entertain and also deliver truths - questions, too - about who we are. And he does it all with a hint of a smile.”
The new series of Doctor Who begins on BBC One this autumn, made by BBC Studios in Wales.
Lee Ryan is the twelfth celebrity contestant confirmed for the brand new series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The 16th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.
Lee says: “I'm so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly line-up. It is a real honour for me and I can’t wait to get out on the dance floor.”
Lee Ryan is most well-known for being a part of super successful boy band Blue and more recently playing EastEnders bad-boy Woody Woodward. Lee rose to fame in the early 2000s as part of Blue along with Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Duncan James. The band had three UK number one albums and sold 16 million records worldwide. After a six-year hiatus they reunited in 2011 to represent the UK in the Eurovision song contest with their track I Can, coming 11th in the competition. Since taking part in the 2013 show The Big Reunion (ITV) they have released a further two albums, Roulette and Colours. During his time away from the band, Lee embarked on a solo singing career, his self-titled album charting at number six in the UK charts in 2005. In 2017 fans were sent into a frenzy when Lee made his EastEnders debut playing bad-boy “Woody” Woodward. He played the role for just over a year and went on to receive the 2017 Inside Soap Award nomination for Best Newcomer.
The news was revealed this afternoon on ITV’s Loose Women.
The remaining celebrity contestants joining the new series will be announced in due course.
Beecham House - co-created, written and directed by one of the UK’s most respected filmmakers, Gurinder Chadha OBE
Tom Bateman, Lesley Nicol, Gregory Fitoussi, Adil Ray, Marc Warren, Pallavi Sharda, Dakota Blue Richards, Leo Suter and Bessie Carter have been cast in ITV’s epic new drama Beecham House, from award winning production company, Bend It TV.
Set on the cusp of the 19th century in Delhi before the British ruled in that region, the drama depicts the fortunes of the residents of Beecham House, an imposing mansion surrounded by acres of exotic woods and pristine lawns.
Tom Bateman (Vanity Fair, Jekyll and Hyde) takes the role of enigmatic, soulful John Beecham, a handsome former soldier who has purchased the magnificent mansion, Beecham House, to begin a new life with his family.
Wealthy and distinguished, John has witnessed profiteering and exploitation during his time with the controlling East India Company and has resolved to conduct his business as a trader in a more equitable manner. Determined to escape his previous life, John appears haunted by his past, but is inspired to become an honourable member of the region’s trading community.
In spite of John’s good intentions his life is shrouded in mystery and when he arrives at the house with an ‘olive-skinned‘ child named August and two Indian nursemaids, Chanchal (Shriya Pilgaonkar) and Maya (Trupti Khamkar), it causes speculation and gossip amongst the servants that he may be the boy’s father. One of the Indian nursemaids, the beautiful Chanchal, is overly protective and particularly fond of the child. Could she be John’s lover and the mother of August?
Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) is John’s robust, interfering mother Henrietta who has travelled from England to India to stay with her son. She is accompanied by a young family friend Violet, played by Bessie Carter (Les Miserables) who she is determined to help form a union with John.
The pair are accompanied by an old friend of John’s, Samuel Parker, played by Marc Warren (Safe, Hustle) who has also left the East India Company and has returned to India for a fresh start. Samuel helps John to find his brother Daniel who he has not seen for 10 years. John convinces Daniel, Leo Suter, (Victoria) to leave the East India Company and join him at Beecham House.
Gregory Fitoussi (Mr Selfridge, Spiral) plays General Castillon, a French mercenary working for the Emperor at a time when the French are challenging the East India Company for India. Castillon is suspicious of John and his motives and conspires to stop John being granted a trading licence.
Adil Ray (Citizen Khan, Ackley Bridge) is John’s neighbour Murad Beg who dislikes General Castillon intensely and agrees to help John secure a trading licence. Murad’s daughter, Roshanara, (Kanika Kapur) has an English governess Margaret Osborne, played by Dakota Blue Richards (Endeavour) whose beauty and intelligence catches John’s attention. However, when beautiful Chandrika (Pallavi Sharda) arrives at Beecham House with her entourage she is shown to luxurious guest quarters and immediately insists on seeing August. What secrets does Chandrika bring with her to Beecham House?
Beecham House has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill.
ITV returns to the blue skies of Corfu for more animal antics next month as filming begins on what has been confirmed to be the final series of much-loved drama, The Durrells.
Produced by successful drama indie, Sid Gentle Films Ltd. in a co-production with Masterpiece, the new series will see acclaimed actress Keeley Hawes (The Missing, Bodyguard) reprise her role as matriarch, Louisa Durrell, for a final set of sun-soaked episodes.
She will once again be joined by young acting talents Josh O’Connor (Les Miserables), Callum Woodhouse (Cold Feet), Daisy Waterstone (And Then There Were None) and Milo Parker (Mr Holmes) who play her unruly and spirited on-screen children in the ITV drama.
Other cast set to return include Alexis Georgoulis (My Life In Ruins) as the charming Spiros, Miles Jupp (Howards End) as hapless cousin Basil, Anna Savva (Genius) as housekeeper Lugaretzia, Yorgos Karamihos (Love Is...) as Dr. Theo Stephanides and Lucy Black (Jericho) as Florence Petridis.
Based on conservationist and author Gerald Durrell’s trilogy of books about his family’s time in Corfu during the 1930s, the fourth series will once again be written by BAFTA award nominee Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly, Reggie Perrin) and filmed on the beautiful Greek island.
Following the events of the last series, the future is looking bright for the Durrells, with all of the family channelling their heartbreak in different ways. Choosing to keep herself busy, Louisa has opened the doors of the family villa as a guest house, but with Basil as their only paying guest, the business is still to find its feet and customers.
Meanwhile, Larry (Josh O’Connor), struggling to get his risqué Black Book published, is enjoying the love of two ballet dancers, whilst heartbroken Leslie (Callum Woodhouse) has thrown himself back into his job and shooting. True to form, Gerry (Milo Parker) continues to collect animals, ambitiously planning to open a zoo with a new owl and some lemurs joining the menagerie, and Margo (Daisy Waterstone) seeks a new challenge, starting her own beauty salon.
Reflecting on this being the final series of the acclaimed drama, Executive Producer Sally Woodward Gentle says: “We’re going back to Corfu for one last firefly fuelled adventure of love and mishap. It has been such an incredible journey following this warm and enchanting family come of age, but their adventures on the island have reached a natural conclusion. I can't think about it without crying though...”
Actor and Executive Producer, Keeley Hawes added: “I'm delighted to be heading back to Corfu for a final series of The Durrells. It's been such a wonderful series to work on and I'm so pleased that viewers have taken the family to their hearts as much as we have. I have no doubt that the brilliant Simon Nye will give the family a fitting and fabulous farewell.”
ITV’s Senior Drama Commissioner, Victoria Fea, also commented: “We are going to Corfu for one final sojourn with the Durrells - where they will entertain us with more emotional highs and lows, family spats, mishaps and romantic tribulations. It's been a privilege and a pleasure to have them on ITV, and this valedictory series promises to be the best yet."
Described as “pitch-perfect period escapism” by The Guardian and “a warm-hearted creation with a steely core and mischievous twinkle” by The Times, The Durrells has received critical acclaim and proven hugely popular since its launch in 2016.
The fourth series of The Durrells will be executive produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd.’s CEO Sally Woodward Gentle (Killing Eve) and Managing Director Lee Morris (SS-GB), together with Keeley Hawes and Simon Nye. Roger Goldby (Call The Midwife) directs and Steve Barron (Treasure Island), who directed the first episode of season one will return to direct the series finale. Christopher Hall returns as producer.
UKTV's award-winning entertainment channel Dave has announced the winner of the eleventh annual Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe award.
Adam Rowe's witticism about the irony of being fired from a job centre was voted the winner:
Working at the JobCentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day.
It was crowned the funniest of the Fringe with 41% of Brits voting it the top tickler, after it was nominated from his show Undeniable at Just The Tonic @ The Caves.
In its mission to find the most hilarious one-liners, Dave enlisted the help of an expert panel of ten judges, consisting of the UK's foremost comedy critics. They scoured venues at the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe to nominate their six favourite jokes, with the shortlisted gags, which are listed anonymously, then voted on by 2,000 Brits to reveal the jokes they found funniest.
Dave's Top 10 Funniest Jokes of the Fringe Festival 2018:
1. Working at the JobCentre has to be a tense job, knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day. Adam Rowe: 41%
2. I had a job drilling holes for water - it was well boring. Leo Kearse: 34%
3. I took out a loan to pay for an exorcism. If I don't pay it back, I'm going to get repossessed. Olaf Falafel: 29%
4. In my last relationship, I hated being treated like a piece of meat. She was a vegan and refused to touch me. Daniel Audritt: 28%
5. What do colour blind people do when they are told to eat their greens? Flo and Joan: 26%
6. I've got a new job collecting all the jumpers left in the park at the weekends, but it's not easy. They keep moving the goalposts. Darren Walsh: 25%
6.Trump said he'd build a wall but he hasn't even picked up a brick. He's just another middle-aged man failing on a DIY project. Justin Moorhouse: 25%
8. I lost a friend after we had an argument about the Tardis. I thought it was a little thing, but it seemed much bigger once we got into it. Adele Cliff: 24%
8. Why are they calling it Brexit and not The Great British Break Off? Alex Edelman: 24%
10. I think love is like central heating. You turn it on before guests arrive and pretend it's like this all the time. Laura Lexx: 24%