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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Rob Lowe stars in new ITV drama Wild Bill - Trailer

Internationally renowned actor, Rob Lowe, in new ITV drama Wild Bill, in which he takes the leading role and executive produces.

Joined by stage and screen actress Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle, Detectorists) who takes the role of Lady Mary Harborough, and Angela Griffin (Ordinary Lies, Brief Encounters) who will play local journalist, Lisa Cranston. Tony Pitts (Peaky Blinders, Line Of Duty) will play Crime Commissioner Keith Metcalfe and rising star Bronwyn James (Harlots, The ABC Murders) takes the role of DC Muriel Yeardsley.

Also joining the cast are Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard, Dark Heart) as Deputy Chief Constable Lydia Price, Steffan Rhodri (A Very English Scandal, Apple Tree Yard) as DS Alex Blair, Divian Ladwa (Lion, Detectorists) as PC Drakes, Anthony Flanagan (Versailles, Humans) as PC Sean Cobley and Vicki Pepperdine (The Windsors, The Woman In White) as pathologist, Broadbent.

Rob Lowe’s character is Bill Hixon, who has been appointed Chief Constable of the East Lincolnshire Police Force. Landing in Boston, Lincolnshire with teenage daughter Kelsey, he’s hoping they can flee their recent painful past. However, this unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him wondering if it's Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston?

Wild Bill is a co-production between 42 (Traitors, Watership Down), Anonymous Content (13 Reasons Why, Maniac) and ITV Studios label, Shiver (Come Dine With Me, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories) and marks the first occasion the companies have collaborated to produce a drama series for ITV. Created by David Griffiths (The Hunted, Collateral Damage), Kyle Killen (Halo, Awake), Dudi Appleton & Jim Keeble (Silent Witness, Thorne: Sleepyhead & Scaredycat), it will be written by lead writers and show-runners Keeble and Appleton.

As an Executive Producer on Wild Bill, Rob Lowe will work alongside Eleanor Moran (Rome, Being Human, Watership Down) and Rory Aitken (Watership Down, Traitors) who are Executive Producers on behalf of 42, and fellow Executive Producer, Tim Carter, (Traitors, Garrow’s Law, Privates) Managing Director of ITV Studios label, Shiver. Writers Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble, creator David Griffiths, Kyle Killen, Scott Pennington and Keith Redmon from Anonymous Content also join the team as Executive Producers.

They’re back! The Judoon are returning to Doctor Who to face the Thirteenth Doctor!

When Jodie Whittaker returns to Doctor Who next series, the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends won’t be the only familiar faces.

The show, currently filming, is set to welcome back The Judoon as one of the Doctor’s fearsome adversaries.

More than twelve years after they stampeded onto screens to terrorise the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones on the moon in 2007’s Smith and Jones, the rhino-headed, brutish intergalactic police are returning to cause havoc and thrill children and adults alike.

These ruthless enforcers are on a deadly mission: But what for? And why has it brought them to present-day Gloucester?

The episode will also star acclaimed actor Neil Stuke. Neil has an established career on stage, television and films, and is a two times Bafta nominee. Neil’s recent credits include Doctor Foster, Silk and Silent Witness.

Chris Chibnall, Showrunner says: “No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe. If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: One of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series. And we’re over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as guest star. We can’t wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor."

BBC Four wants another Big Night Out

Legendary double-act Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are bringing another blast of high octane comedy to BBC Four with a second series of Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out.

The studio-based show will burst into life with special effects, songs, stunts and plenty of surprises. During their time off screen, Bob has been working hard on his musical dance routines and can’t wait to impress Vic and the audience with his latest skills.

Novelty Island will be back as well as fan’s favourite Judge Nutmeg who once again presides over the Wheel of Justice. There will also be the return of hit sketches The Free Runners and Mostly UnHaunted alongside a host of new characters and guest stars.

The legendary comedy duo will be joined once again by hapless Vaun (Vaun Earl Norman) who still doesn’t have a clue what’s going on… and probably never will.

Following a highly successful series last year marking their 25th anniversary at the BBC, the pair that has entertained generations of comedy fans proved they still have the skill to surprise and delight audiences with their unique brand of surreal humour.

Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out is a reimagining of the original Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out which was a seminal force in British comedy. First broadcast in 1990 it was an original, maverick & very silly stage show which transferred to television and introduced the world to the outlandish comedy duo.

Vic and Bob say: “We’ve had so much fun writing this series, the chemistry between us has never been so explosive and we can’t wait to get going - for our writing to make it on screen and see how it all works out.”

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning, says: “Vic and Bob continue to pioneer, dazzle and reduce audiences to helpless laughter. Who knows what inventive brilliance is in store, it’s not like the scripts will give us much of a clue. They return at the height of their comedy powers with more audience love than ever.”

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor BBC Four, says: “I am overjoyed to welcome back Vic and Bob to BBC Four. Their big night out was a must-see moment on the channel last year and we’re looking forward to even more of their inimitable anarchy.”

Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out is a BBC Studios production for BBC Four. The producer is Lisa Clark, the executive producer is Ben Caudell, the studio director is Mat Whitecross. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody.

Trans Athletes: A Fair Playing Field? Martina Navratilova in new BBC One documentary

When Martina Navratilova called for an open debate about male to female transgender athletes competing in women’s sports earlier this year, a heated and passionate debate was sparked creating global news headlines.

In this one off special commissioned from Brook Lapping for BBC One, Martina sets out to open up the debate and find answers to some of her own questions by meeting a range of athletes, scientists and sporting officials to get to the heart of why the subject is so controversial.

Martina meets Dr Gemma Whitcomb and Dr Emma O’Donnell at Loughborough University who are leading the sports science research into transgender athletes and have a team dedicated to looking at the emerging issues around gender and fair participation in sport.

She discusses the complexities with Joanna Harper, a Medical Physicist who specialises in research into trans athletes and is a trans woman herself. Joanna knows first-hand the impact of gender transition on athletic performance - an elite runner all her life, Joanna explains how her run times dropped by 12% when she transitioned from male to female in 2004.

The film also includes contributions and opinions from elite female athletes like Sharron Davies, who has been very outspoken on the issue, as well as medical experts and sporting bodies.

Martina Navratilova says: “I hope that this documentary enables everybody to be more knowledgeable about the overall transgender and sport debate and hopefully brings us closer to a solution that makes as many people as possible happy.”

The Crystal Maze unveils brand-new Eastern Zone

The Crystal Maze will return in 2019 with all new celebrity episodes and an all new zone: The Eastern Zone. Influenced by the historic art, architecture and monuments of East Asia, the zone will feature five games rooms for eight new games, set around a lily pond, cherry blossom trees and ornate vases. The new zone will join the Futuristic, Aztec and Industrial Zones, with all four featuring a host of challenging new puzzles in the forthcoming series. It’s the first time a new realm has been added to the show since the Ocean Zone was introduced in the fourth series of the original 1990s run.

Richard Ayoade as Maze Master will be again welcoming teams of five celebrity contestants, who will take on a host of skill, physical, mental and mystery challenges, in the hope of winning crystals that can be exchanged for time in the iconic Crystal Dome. The celebrity specials will once again see the teams aiming to win a prize sum for Stand Up To Cancer. The production of 13 new episodes will include a Christmas special, with filming taking place at the 30,000 sq. ft. studio space at The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol.

The Eastern Zone has been designed by production designer, James Dillon, who has designed all the zones featured on the series since its original run in the 1990s. He and the programme’s team of games designers have come together to create a fantasy microcosm of pre-modern East Asia complete with challenging themed games.

James Dillon comments: “It’s very exciting to be asked to design a new zone for The Crystal Maze. The challenge, to create a zone referencing such an ancient and beautiful part of the world, and to bring those intense, rich colours and textures to the mix of zones that make up the Maze, has been most enjoyable.”

Neale Simpson, Executive Producer at Fizz adds: “We’re thrilled to be back with more maze-based madness and especially excited to share our new zone, all-new games and some frankly ridiculous new nonsense involving an over-sized crystal.”

The Crystal Maze is executive produced by Neale Simpson for Fizz, a Banijay Group company and is a Banijay Group format. The series is commissioned for Channel 4 by Tom Beck and Karen Murdoch, Commissioning Editors, Entertainment.

The Crystal Maze will return to Channel 4 later this year.

Ground-breaking animal science for Channel 4

Channel 4 have commissioned My Gay Dog and Other Animals (w/t) (1 x 60 min) from Arrow Pictures, the film explores something that traditional evolutionary theory cannot explain -  gay behaviour in animals.  With more than 1,500 animal species displaying same-sex  behaviour, the programme highlights recent research from leading scientists in the field to find out more about this largely unexplained phenomenon.

Challenging many pre-conceptions about animals and procreation the documentary features a wide range of experts, who specialise in Evolutionary Anthropology, Sexuality, Sex-differences and Gender-differences, and scientists leading the pioneering study of the genetics of homosexual behaviour in animals. In addition, the documentary also hears from non-academic experts including zoologists, farmers and more.

Siobhan Sinnerton, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 News and Current Affairs, says: “This hugely enjoyable film explores the complex science and associated controversies around same sex behaviour in animals in a totally refreshing way."

Nick Metcalfe, Executive Producer, Arrow Pictures, says: “Even though  it was observed by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, same-sex behaviour in the animal kingdom has since largely gone unreported and unanalysed.  From domestic pets to the kings of the jungle, it was thought that the animal may just be showing its dominance or higher social status.  British scientists now believe that they are close to identifying the combinations of genes that explain why there may be evolutionary advantages to an animal being gay.  This documentary builds on Arrow’s reputation of presenting pioneering science in an accessible and compelling way, so we are delighted to be working with scientists to bring this ground-breaking discovery to the screen.”

My Gay Dog is Exec Produced by Nick Metcalfe for Arrow Pictures and commissioned by Siobhan Sinnerton at Channel 4.  It is distributed internationally by Blue Ant Media.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will launch on Netflix Aug. 30

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will launch on Netflix Aug. 30

The 10-episode show is a prequel to the beloved Jim Henson and Frank Oz-directed 1982 puppet fantasy-adventure film, The Dark Crystal.

The show is once again set on the world of Thra and concerns three Gelflings who discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis' power and set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world. The Gelflings are voiced by Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nathalie Emmanuel.