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Monday, 20 August 2018

Single Parents (ABC) "Baby Cry" Promo HD - Leighton Meester, Taran Killam comedy series

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 cast in BBC drama Gold Digger

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.

Doctor Who announces writers and directors for all new series

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 Strictly Come Dancing 2018

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.

Cast announced for epic new six-part ITV drama Beecham House

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.

The Durrells return to Corfu

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.

Top 10 Gags Of The 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Revealed

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%

Sunday, 19 August 2018

BBC Four announces experimental AI and archive programming

BBC 4.1 AI TV will bring two nights of experimental programming to BBC Four on 4-5 September, featuring new and classic programmes exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI).

This includes Made By Machine: When AI Met The Archive, a new and experimental programme part-made by AI to help show how it works, and The Joy Of AI, where Professor Jim Al Khalili tells the story of the pursuit of AI, the emergence of machine learning and recent breakthroughs.

AI was also used to help discover a selection of hidden gems from the BBC’s vast archive that will be shown as part of BBC 4.1 AI TV. Using the latest AI technology from BBC Research & Development, BBC Four scanned programme information dating back to 1953 from well over 250,000 TV programmes. The AI learnt what BBC Four audiences might like, based on the channel’s previous schedules and programme attributes, and then ranked programmes it thought were most relevant.

Doing this manually would be impractical as it would take hundreds of hours, but the AI gave BBC Four a more manageable selection in a fraction of the time. This enabled researchers and schedulers to uncover programmes they may never have been able to find, and will broadcast a selection that haven’t been seen in years.

The same archive-scanning AI has been used to co-create Made By Machine: When AI Met The Archive - a new and experimental programme exploring how BBC R&D’s technology works. Presented by Dr Hannah Fry and a virtual co-presenter, it features four segments of archive clips sourced and edited together by the AI. It uses the following techniques to ‘watch’ footage and create each segment:

First, the AI learns to identify what a scene consists of, such as the type of landscape, what objects there are, whether people are featured and what they might be wearing. People will see how it attempts to create a compilation where each scene follows on from the last in some way.

The second segment follows the AI as it scans the subtitles of archive programmes and then looks for connections between words, topics and themes as it pieces footage together.

The third segment shows the AI analysing whether there’s a lot of activity on screen (high energy) or not (low energy). It then tries to create a compilation that moves back and forth between high and low energy scenes.
In the fourth segment, the AI draws on what it’s learnt using all three techniques to create a new piece of content.

The BBC has one of the largest broadcast archives in the world, and manually searching millions of hours of programmes would be impossible. As it becomes increasingly digitised, BBC R&D is developing AI to help programme makers and schedulers unlock this valuable resource. Relevant clips can be used to enrich News and Factual programmes, for example, while whole episodes or series can be re-released for audiences.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, says: “AI and machine learning sit at the centre of a huge ongoing debate. With its brief to experiment, BBC Four is grasping the nettle by the hand with this bold experiment to investigate just how AI might open up new creative opportunities. In collaboration with the BBC's world-beating R&D department, AI TV will explore the cutting edge of this new technology and demonstrate just how AI and machine learning might inform and influence programme-making and scheduling, while also resurfacing some gems from the BBC Four archive along the way. It's telly Jim, but not as we know it...”

George Wright, Head of Internet Research and Future Services, BBC R&D, says: “Helping BBC Four scour the BBC’s vast archives more efficiently is exactly why we’re developing this kind of AI. It can find very specific pieces of content in large libraries of programmes, which has massive benefits for BBC programme makers and audiences. BBC Four’s experimental night of programming is a great example of this, and Made By Machine: When AI Met The Archive gives people an unprecedented look under the hood.”

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Shameless Season 9 Promo (HD)

Shameless Season 9 premieres September 9th at 9/8c only on Showtime.

Kate Silverton is the tenth celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Kate Silverton is the tenth 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.

Kate says: “I’m excited to confirm that I will be swapping the newsroom for the ballroom and joining this year’s wonderful Strictly family. It’s something of a departure for a news journalist, shifting focus from the headlines to my hemlines and I suspect the only serious element of my life over the coming months will be in training hard and figuring out the foxtrot… but I am so looking forward to the fun, laughter and all the challenges ahead.”

Kate Silverton is one of the most popular and accomplished broadcasters in the country. She is a main anchor for BBC News across the One, Six and Ten o’clock programmes. An extremely experienced journalist she has reported from the frontline in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Her experience of motherhood has encouraged a return to her academic roots in child psychology and she now combines her journalism with her passion for raising awareness about mental health issues relevant to both children and adults.

The news was revealed this evening on BBC One’s The One Show.

The remaining celebrity contestants joining the new series will be announced in due course.

Monkman and Seagull go on a clever journey around Britain for new BBC Two series

University Challenge's Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull will travel up and down the country in search of Britain’s most remarkable scientific and technological achievements for their first TV series.

Monkman and Seagull's Genius Guide to Britain (4x30') is made by Label1, makers of RTS-winning and Bafta-nominated series Hospital.

Feeding their insatiable appetite for knowledge, the Cambridge graduates and best friends will drive off the beaten track through England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to find the hidden gems of British ingenuity.

From Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines to the world’s smallest museum in a phone booth, and from the Titanic’s little sister (used to ferry people to the ill-fated passenger liner) to the science of the deep-fried Mars bar, their road trip will showcase an assortment of remarkable inventions whilst giving the duo the opportunity to share their pearls of wisdom along the way.

Abigail Priddle, BBC Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, says: “We are thrilled to be able to join Eric and Bobby on their intellectual journey around Great Britain as they visit some of the scientific and technological gems of our nations, bringing with them their own special brand of insight on everything from time travel to Beethoven’s fifth to biscuits.”

Eric Monkman, says: “Curiosity is an approach to life. The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. My admiration for British genius is one of the major factors that led me to study in the United Kingdom. I am fortunate to now have the opportunity to see more of your beautiful country. I look forward to learning more about Britain’s scientific discoveries and to sharing what I learn with everyone."

Bobby Seagull, says: "The beauty of our friendship is that we’re both driven by the same thing… a curiosity about the world. We obviously faced off on University Challenge. Eric defeated me… but I’ve forgiven him now!”

Lorraine Charker-Phillips, Head of Programmes, Label1, says: "We are delighted to be making this series with such engaging new talent. Bobby and Eric are kind, sincere, and very smart. We hope their warm on-screen dynamic will encourage knowledge-hungry viewers to join them on their journey through our nation's most unusual and enigmatic technological and scientific achievements".

Simon Dickson, Creative Director, Label1, says: "Forget travelogues in which ‘idiots’ go abroad. Here’s one in which two very smart guys show us what’s special on our own doorstep. Expect technological marvels, amazing inventions, and feats of engineering. And some pretty surreal motorway conversations."

Monkman and Seagull's Genius Guide to Britain (4x30') is made by Label1. The series producer is Merle Currie and the series director is Sam Palmer. It is executive produced by Label1 co-founders Lorraine Charker-Phillips and Simon Dickson. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History & Specialist Factual. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle.

Popcaan, Stefflon Don and Kojo Funds added to the 1Xtra Live line-up

BBC Radio 1Xtra has announced three additional artists for this year’s 1Xtra Live line-up. Hosted by the 1Xtra DJ family, the station’s flagship live music event will take place in London at the O2 Arena on Saturday 22 September.

Popcaan says: “The UK holds a special place in my heart so can’t wait to perform for you guys all my UK fans look out for a very special performance.”

Stefflon Don says: “So gassed to be performing at 1Xtra live at the O2 September 22nd - it’s gunna be hype.”

Kojo Funds says: “I’m excited to be playing at this year’s 1Xtra Live. The O2 is such a sick venue, can’t wait to perform there!”

Performing at 1Xtra Live in 2018 will be:
Chance The Rapper
Ella Mai
Jorja Smith
Kojo Funds
Mr Eazi
Pusha T
Stefflon Don
Yxng Bane
More names will be announced in the coming weeks.

1Xtra has supported Stefflon Don for several years and tipped her for huge success when she featured on 1Xtra’s Hot For list in 2017. From her track Envy Us feat. Abra Cadabra, 1Xtra has since followed Stefflon Don’s success right through to her hit with French Montana Hurtin’ Me. Stefflon Don’s track with Skepta Ding-A-Ling debuted on DJ Target’s 1Xtra show and her latest song Pretty Girl feat. Tiggs da Author is currently on the 1Xtra playlist.

1Xtra's Dancehall DJs including Seani B have heavily supported Popcaan over the years with big party anthems such as Ravin' and Only Man She Want receiving early daytime support, through to his new album Forever and tracks Body So Good and Wine for Me, which is currently on the 1Xtra playlist. Popcaan gained a huge fan base when he hooked up with Drake for their release Controlla.

This year, Kojo Funds featured on the 1Xtra Hot For list and his new track Who Am I feat. Bugzy Malone is currently on the 1Xtra playlist. Earlier this month, Kojo Funds performed at the 1Xtra Ibiza Takeover alongside B Young, Bugzy Malone, Lady Leshurr, Not3s, Ray BLK, RAYE, Wretch 32 and many more. Last November, Kojo Funds performed with Mabel in the 1Xtra Live Lounge for their successful track Finders Keepers, which spent 31 weeks on the Official Chart thanks to 1Xtra support.

Barbara Rafferty’s back in River City - but not as you know her!

After leaving River City over a decade ago, acclaimed actress Barbara Rafferty returns to BBC Scotland’s much-loved drama to play a brand new character, Bernie O’Hara, who will stir up trouble and turn heads in Shieldinch.

Barbara new role as Bernie sees her play the eldest daughter of Molly (Una McLean), sister of Scarlett (Sally Howitt) and Theresa (Maureen Carr) and auntie to Bob (Stephen Purdon). A true of O’Hara, Bernie’s quick to stick her oar in. She puts her uncanny perceptiveness down to a sixth sense but for some Bernie’s a shameless chancer.

Barbara, who first appeared in River City as Shirley Henderson between 2006-2008, is thrilled to be back as a new character: “I’m really excited about returning and looking forward to wandering the streets of Shieldinch again after all these years. I see Bernie as a cross between Wyatt Earp and Calamity Jane with a Glaswegian twist, of course. Going back to River City is a joy. It’s like a family down there with an amazing production team and I feel instantly at home already.”

Kieran Hannigan, Executive Producer for BBC Studios, says: “Barbara is one of Scotland’s finest actors and ten years feels like a long enough hiatus for her to be away from Shieldinch. Bernie is such a different character from her previous River City incarnation, it just felt like the time was right. Besides, if Doctor Who can cast Pete Capaldi twice then so can we!

“Barbara will brilliantly portray the Glasgow mix of amazing banter, inner steel and heart and soul which embodies Bernie O’Hara. We’re thrilled to have her back.”

Other new faces joining River City in the coming weeks include Kevin Mains (Outlander, The Outlaw King), Alison Peebles (Shetland, Psychos) and Jimmy Chisholm (The Angel’s Share, Mountain Goats).

Kevin takes on the role of Logan Caplan, cousin of Angus Lindsay (played by Scott Fletcher) and brother of policewman, Lou Caplan (Lesley Hart). A chef, Logan’s good looks and charm often land him in hot water. Jimmy Chisholm joins the drama in late 2018 as Logan and Lou’s dad, Sonny Caplan.

Alison Peebles will play Isobel MacKenzie, mother of Kim Monroe (Frances Thorburn) in a storyline which explores the reality of dealing with a parent suffering from dementia.

Also making a return to River City is Holly Jack who reprises her role as Nicole Brodie. Having left Shieldinch in 2014 for a new life in Aberdeen with her baby daughter, Nicole is back with a bang in episodes which air in October. She might be all grown up but Nicole’s still a drama seeker, leaving her Uncle Gabriel (Garry Sweeney) the seemingly impossible task of taming the firestarter that is Nicole Brodie.

Tom Urie also makes a one-off appearance in a future episode when the not-so-Big-Bob goes back home to Shieldinch. Having shed over 19 stone, Bob returns for an O’Hara family gathering which tests family ties to the limits.

Making their River City debuts are newcomers Lindsay Campbell and Zindi Hudson. Lindsay will play Poppy Paterson, Dougie’s daughter (Stewart Porter) while Zindi is Ruby McLean, Caitlin’s eldest daughter (Gayle Telfer Stevens).

Bringing together new and familiar faces to River City is wonderful news, says Kieran: “I’m delighted with the acting talent we’re welcoming to River City who’ll compliment our amazing core cast. Barbara Rafferty and Jimmy Chisholm are acting royalty and Kevin Mains is stand-out brilliant.

“In Lindsay Campbell and Zindzi Hudson we have two of the brightest rising stars and, of course, the amazing Holly Jack is coming back as the fiery Nicole Brodie and there’s a special appearance from the much-loved Tom Urie. Exciting times ahead for River City!”

Friday, 17 August 2018

BBC Hospital goes behind the scenes at NHS Trusts in Liverpool

The BBC has announced that series four of award-winning documentary series Hospital will return to BBC Two next year, filming across several Trusts in Liverpool. It will continue to unveil the incredible work that goes on at some of the country’s largest NHS Trusts to ensure patients get the best possible care and the challenges and pressures they face at a time when the NHS continues to be under scrutiny.
The hospitals opening their doors to the critically-acclaimed series, made by Label1, include The Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Broadgreen Hospital, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, The Walton Centre and the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. Conversations are ongoing with other key hospitals and healthcare providers in the city about their involvement.

The series has previously filmed at the Imperial College Healthcare Trust London and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Over the years Hospital has generated stories which have hit the headlines, including the chronic bed shortage and also going beyond the hospital walls with social services and local mental health care providers.

Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two, says: “Hospital has been a game-changing series, winning the RTS, bringing the audience the most urgent and important stories from the frontline of the NHS today, committed to the best documentary storytelling. It is now essential viewing on BBC Two. I’d like to thank Nottingham University Hospitals for their extraordinary trust and openness for the last series and I am very excited to announce the next series, exploring stories from across a network of hospital Trusts across Liverpool.”

Lorraine Charker-Phillips, Exec Producer, Label1, says: “We are privileged to be making the fourth series with Trusts from all across Liverpool. We look forward to bringing the audience new compelling stories that highlight the extraordinary work of the NHS and how the healthcare system functions across a whole city.”

Aidan Kehoe, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and chair of the North Mersey A&E Delivery Board, which includes all Liverpool’s trusts, says: “We are delighted that Liverpool is taking part in the next series of Hospital. There is some amazing work going on across our city, with cutting-edge treatments saving and improving the lives of our patients, carried out by incredibly dedicated and talented staff at a time of significant pressure in our NHS. We are working together to further improve the healthcare we offer and viewers will be able to see both the challenges and rewards that working in our NHS brings.”

Hospital is made by Label1, and Executive Produced by Simon Dickson, Lorraine Charker-Phillips and Jackie Waldock. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two, and Clare Sillery, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries.

In partnership with the Open University.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Mayans MC (FX) "Roadside" Teaser HD - Sons of Anarchy spinoff

Mayans MC is the next chapter in the Sons of Anarchy saga, Kurt Sutter’s award-winning series. The first season of the new drama from Sutter and Elgin James will premiere on FX in 2018. Set in a post Jax Teller world, where EZ Reyes -- fresh out of prison -- is a prospect in the Mayan MC charter on the Cali/Mexi border. Now EZ must carve out his new outlaw identity in a town where he once was the golden boy with the American Dream in his grasp.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Join BBC Radio 2’s All Star Party in Bridlington

Radio 2’s Saturday night dance music line-up is taking to the road once again for Radio 2’s All Star Party on Saturday 29 September, live from the Art Deco ballroom of Bridlington Spa.

Trevor Nelson, Craig Charles and Ana Matronic will broadcast their shows live from the venue, presenting a spectacular night of soul, R&B and dance music. The night will feature outstanding live performances by Clean Bandit, Incognito, Lemar, Kid Creole & The Coconuts and the Fantasy Funk Band featuring Gabrielle, Jaki Graham and John Turrell.

This year’s Radio 2 All Star Party follows last year’s inaugural event which took place at the Manchester Apollo, featuring live performances from Soul II Soul, The Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band with guest vocalists Shaun Escoffery and Omar, plus disco and funk legends Shalamar.

Lewis Carnie, Head of BBC Radio 2, says: “After the success of our first All Star Party last year to celebrate 50 years of BBC Radio 2, I am delighted that we are taking the party to the wonderful town of Bridlington with an amazing line-up and an evening of live DJing with our esteemed Saturday night presenters.”

Tickets for the All Star Party go on sale on Saturday 11 August - full details available at bbc.co.uk/radio2

8pm-10pm: Trevor Nelson’s Rhythm Nation
Trevor will deliver his unique mix of soul and R&B in front of a live audience and will introduce his personally invited guests to the All Star party - Incognito. The British acid jazz band have recorded 17 studio albums, collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jools Holland and Paul Weller, and have been one of the most enduring jazz acts of the past four decades.

Trevor Nelson says: “I can’t wait to kick off the second Radio 2 All Star Party. It’s always a blast taking my show on the road and I love DJing live. It’ll be fun having the whole Saturday night crew hitting Bridlington and I’m excited to introduce my pick for the party - the legends that are Incognito!”

Also performing live will be Kid Creole & The Coconuts. The American group incorporate a mix of disco, Latin American and Caribbean influences and have released 14 studio albums, including Tropical Gangsters which went platinum in the UK.

Brit and MOBO Award-winning Lemar will also be performing on the evening. With five studio albums and seven top-ten singles to his name, Lemar is one of the most defining contemporary soul singers in the UK.

10pm-midnight: Craig Charles’ House Party
Craig will be picking up the reins with his ultimate Saturday night party playlist at 10pm, with a performance from The Fantasy Funk Band featuring British soul legends Gabrielle, Jaki Graham and John Turrell.

Craig Charles said: “It’s a pleasure to be partying at the legendary Bridlington Spa, playing the best music and performing with some of my favourite musicians. This is not an evening to be missed!”

Midnight-2am: Ana Matronic’s Disco Devotion
Following a hit-filled performance from Clean Bandit, Ana Matronic will take us to her exclusive Disco Devotion afterparty with house, disco and other floor fillers.

In the UK, Grammy Award-winners Clean Bandit (pictured) have had the most consecutive Top 5 records from any artist since Girls Aloud in 2005 and the same amount of No.1s as Justin Timberlake, One Direction and Lady Gaga. They have secured more Top 5 records than Taylor Swift.

BBC statement on decision not to appeal the ruling in the Sir Cliff Richard case.

We were sent the following press release by the BBC Press Team

Statement on the BBC's decision not to appeal the ruling in the Sir Cliff Richard case.
The BBC is already on record in saying that we are sorry for the distress that Sir Cliff has been through. We say so again today. We fully appreciate the impact this has had on him. There are lessons for the BBC in how we reported this story and we will think very carefully about our approach in the future - both in tone and style. We recognise there are things we got wrong - even if all the facts we reported were right.

Despite this, the judgment creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom. In his ruling, the judge himself stated “the case is capable of having a significant impact on press reporting”. It raises significant questions over how the media can report investigations in the future - and creates huge uncertainty over what might qualify as being in the public interest.

We accept the BBC and the rest of the media have a duty to be sensitive to the rights and position of those who are under investigation, and in some cases there will be little public interest in naming individuals. However, this ruling will limit the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations - many cases of which have resulted in further complainants coming forward. It will make it harder to scrutinise the conduct of the police and it will undermine the principle of the public’s right to know. These concerns have been widely echoed by many other media organisations.

With these significant principles at stake, the BBC has taken legal advice from very experienced counsel on the prospects of a successful appeal. The advice we have received is not promising. The legalities are complex, but essentially even though we are advised and believe that the judge erred in law in finding that broadcasters and journalists normally have no right to publish the name of a person who is the subject of a criminal investigation, it will be very difficult to persuade the Court of Appeal to isolate this issue of principle from the judge's broader findings in this case. The judgment has been written in a way that makes the two indivisible.

At best, an appeal could recognise that the judge made an error of law on the important issue of the media being able to name suspects, but is unlikely to overturn his overall decision given all the other factual findings made against the BBC. This would still leave much uncertainty about what the media can legitimately report. At worst, the Court of Appeal could endorse the findings of the trial judge.

Given this advice the BBC will not be appealing. It would inevitably mean an expensive legal cul de sac and one that would simply prolong Sir Cliff’s distress. Instead the BBC is writing today to ask the Government to consider a review of the law in this important area to protect the right to properly and fairly report criminal investigations, and to name the person under investigation. There is a fundamental principle of press freedom at stake here and one upon which we believe Parliament, as our lawmakers, should decide.

Vick Hope is the fifth celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing 2018

Vick Hope is the fifth 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.

Vick says: "I’m so excited about being a contestant on this year’s Strictly. I’ve always been such a massive fan of the show so it’s a huge honour to be part of this series. Dances like Ballroom and Latin are totally outside my comfort zone but I love dancing, it makes people happy - myself included. To be able to perform every Saturday is such an incredible opportunity - I couldn’t be looking forward to it any more and I will be throwing myself into it, working hard and learning from the judges every week.”

A Nigerian-Geordie with a degree from Cambridge University, Vick is a multilingual, multi-skilled and multifaceted young presenter making waves in the multi-platform world of broadcast. She is currently presenting the Capital Breakfast show every morning with Roman Kemp and also hosts 4Music Trending Live and Box Fresh. Vick is also a mainstay reporter for ITN where she produces, scripts, edits and presents news and entertainment bulletins. In 2018 Vick joined the Voice and The Voice Kids as the digital reporter, as well as fronting Sky One’s Carnage alongside Freddie Flintoff and Lethal Bizzle.

The news was revealed this morning on the Capital Breakfast show presented by Roman Kemp, Vick Hope and Sonny Jay.

The remaining celebrity contestants joining the new series will be announced in due course.

BBC returns to Mount Stewart Conversations to talk everything from Westminster to the White House

The BBC will host a range of discussions on Saturday 1 September as part of the annual Mount Stewart Conversations - a joint initiative with the National Trust which reflects the County Down property’s long, and sometimes controversial, associations with domestic and international politics.

The BBC will host a range of discussions on Saturday 1 September as part of the annual Mount Stewart Conversations - a joint initiative with the National Trust which reflects the County Down property’s long, and sometimes controversial, associations with domestic and international politics.

The BBC sponsored talks will focus on recent developments in Russia and the United States; Prime Minister’s Questions and Westminster politics; and some of the issues around the impact of new digital technologies, junk news and social media on all our lives.

William Crawley will be the host for this afternoon of topical conversations and he’ll be joined by a stellar line-up of guests.

Contributors to the BBC @ Mount Stewart Conversations 2018 include: Angus Roxburgh (who has written extensively about Russian politics and was the BBC’s Moscow Correspondent); Professor Sarah Churchwell (an academic, critic and author who has published acclaimed books about American history and culture); Caitríona Perry (who was RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent and has written about the background to Donald Trump’s Presidency); Ayesha Hazarika (a former special adviser to leading Labour politicians and currently a columnist, commentator and comedian); Tom Hamilton (who worked as a policy specialist, speechwriter and political adviser with the Labour Party); Timandra Harkness (a writer, comedian and regular BBC programme presenter with a passion for science and maths); and Samantha Bradshaw (an academic with a specialist interest in junk news, social media and how digital technologies are affecting politics at home and around the world).

Tickets for each conversation will be distributed by random draw and can be registered at any time until 10pm on Tuesday 21 August at bbc.co.uk/tickets

Applicants can apply for a maximum of two tickets per session.

Lee Mead joins the line-up for BBC Wales' Proms In The Park 2018

West End star and Holby City actor Lee Mead is joining this year’s line-up for BBC Wales’ Proms in the Park in Colwyn Bay on Saturday 8 September.

Already on the bill are mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, 16 year old pianist and winner of BBC Young Musician 2018 Lauren Zhang and Only Kids Allowed - who will all perform with the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales.

Lee says: “I am thrilled to be invited to perform at Proms in the Park in Wales this year. It is always such a special event and I am really excited to see everyone in Colwyn Bay.”

Cllr Louise Emery, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, says: “It’s great that BBC Wales has secured high profile artists for Proms in the Park in Colwyn Bay, and are again highlighting we have the right environment for great events. Events are extremely important to Conwy County as they provide significant economic benefit for many of our businesses. I encourage those who haven’t as yet bought your ticket to do so as you won’t be disappointed.”

Visitors are invited to bring picnics, deck chairs and flags to celebrate the Last Night of the Proms. The evening will end with fireworks and the Last Night medley of sing-a-long numbers, joining with the audience at the Royal Albert Hall and with parks across the UK.

Tickets for the event are on sale and available from Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

To keep up to date with event news including artist and ticket details, see bbc.co.uk/promsinthepark

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

9-1-1 Season 2 "Have You Ever Seen Anything Like This?" Promo (HD)

From creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (the “American Horror Story” franchise, “Nip/Tuck”), new procedural drama 9-1-1 explores the high-pressure experiences of police officers, paramedics and firefighters who are thrust into the most frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. These emergency responders must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in their own lives. The provocative series stars Academy and Emmy Award nominee Angela Bassett (“American Horror Story,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It”) and Emmy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actor Peter Krause (“The Catch,” “Six Feet Under”).

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks presents Morality In The 21st Century on Radio 4 this September

Radio 4 will explore morality in the 21st century with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who presents a series of five programmes examining this topic in early September.

Over the daily episodes Rabbi Sacks and a host of expert contributors will explore topics that include ideas around moral responsibility and who still has it; the impact of social media on young people; Artificial Intelligence and the future of humanity; the impact of individualism and multiculturalism on communities and who young people see as their moral role models.

In each episode Rabbi Sacks will also speak to groups of young people between 16 and 18 years old, who will provide commentary on the discussions and share their insights into their moral, social and political outlook, and examine with them what the implications of their opinions might be.

Contributors to the series will include American philanthropist Melinda Gates; Jordan Peterson, the Canadian clinical psychologist; Noreena Hertz, English economist and broadcaster; Steven Pinker, cognitive psychologist, linguist and author; Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology and author; David Brooks, author and political and cultural commentator; Michael Sandel, political philosopher; Mustafa Suleyman, British artificial intelligence entrepeneur; Nick Bostrom, philosopher; Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist; Robert Putnam, American political scientist and Heather Templeton-Dill, president of The John Templeton Foundation.

Rabbi Sacks says: “I want to thank BBC Radio 4 for giving me the opportunity to explore some of the most pressing moral issues of our time. It has been a privilege and honour to be joined on this journey by so many of the world’s leading thinkers, as well as impressive representatives of the next generation who are going to have to be at the forefront of addressing these challenges.”

Christine Morgan, Head of Radio, Religion and Ethics at the BBC, says: “Last year we said we’d broaden the impact and reach of our programming on religion and ethics and that’s exactly what this ambitious Radio 4 series does. With contributions from a range of deeply thoughtful people and the views of a brilliant group of youngsters, the series explores the huge topic of morality and its role in modern life. I can think of no better person than Rabbi Sacks to help to lead this investigation and give audiences a greater insight into the big issues of our time.”

TX details
Morality In The 21st Century
Monday to Friday, 3-7 September, 9am-9.45am
Presenter: Rabbi Sacks
Producer: Dan Tierney for BBC Radio 4
Editor: Christine Morgan

Interview with Lenny Henry - The Lenny Henry Birthday Show

In 1975, a 16 year-old Lenny Henry bunked off school to appear on TV talent show New Faces, beginning a long and glittering career in comedy, theatre and film. In 2018 Sir Lenny is 60 - the perfect excuse to celebrate a man who has made a unique impact on British entertainment.

Hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald in front of a studio audience, the programme takes a lighthearted look back at a career that started 43 years ago and hasn’t stopped since, as well presenting some brand new sketches on a range of topical subjects.  

Happy birthday Lenny! How does it feel to reach 60 and have a celebratory show about your life and career?

It’s fantastic. It’s a real honour. You never imagine you’re going to be 60 when you’re a kid. I started when I was 15 years old, so to be 60 years old and having a commemorative show is a fantastic thing. It was a joy to do and I got to be interviewed by one of my heroes, Sir Trevor McDonald, and to do some silly sketches. It was lovely.

What can you tell us about the show?

It’s a lot of me talking to Sir Trevor about things that have happened to me, my love of music, growing up in Dudley, my audition for New Faces, my relationship with my mum, and what it was like growing up in a Jamaican household and then suddenly having to integrate with a predominately white Dudley. I talk about diversity - it’s quite a wide-ranging conversation. There are a lot of funny things but there are some serious things too. I didn’t want to rely on archive, I wanted to do some stuff that was present.

I’m crazy about Marvel comics so I wanted to do Black Panther. I thought Bishop Michael Curry at the wedding was hilarious, and I’m a fan of Stormzy. I’ve met him a couple of times - he always calls me uncle - so we did him and Stevie Wonder, who I’m also a big fan of. I always did music parodies so I wanted to do that.

Can you give us a sneak preview or hints into any new additional characters that make an appearance in this celebratory show?

There are some treats! There’s lots of me reminiscing and talking to Sir Trevor McDonald. There’s a lot of laughing - there are some lovely little sketches and there’s an extended opening sequence which I can’t wait for people to see!

We’ll be going to Wakanda in the interview. We’ll be revisiting the recent royal wedding with one of the stars from that… although there’s no stand-up in the show there's a lot of me chatting about stuff. It’s more sit-down now though. I don’t charge around like I used to, especially when I can sit down and tell you stories, it’s fun.

I think there is lots to look forward to in this show - although I would say that!

Can you share with us some of your all-time favourite clips?

I remember Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was freezing cold and we shot during the night between one and four o’clock in the morning. It was such fun - I like direct parodies, they’re great.

I remember the Prince video. We did Purple Rain and I was a huge guy trying to be Prince. It was not right to have Prince be that big. I did Barry White and Prince for Comic Relief!

Working with Robbie Coltrane on Live & Kicking was wonderful. Robbie had this energy. For a big guy he was incredibly light on his feet, and when he was fighting you he was fighting for real! When he was grabbing your nipples - he literally grabbed them, he didn’t just pretend to grab them. But working with Robbie was a joy - he was spot on.

And anything with Tracey Ullman. Any sketches when we were husband and wife, or boyfriend and girlfriend, she invested them with such truth and honesty you couldn’t help but rise to the occasion.

Working with Ellen (Mrs Johnson) - she’s good fun to work with!

Is it easy to get back into the swing of things with classic characters?

Because the characters generally come out of me it’s quite easy to slip in and out of them. Mr Donovan is based one of my uncles so they’re all me really.

But doing Chadwick Boseman Black Panther, because they’re is a certain thing he is doing which is kind of Nelson Mandela, part new African, sort of Zulu, sort of South Africa - it’s a mixture of things.

And Bishop Michael Curry is by turns sonorous and incredible deep and then incredible excited and he starts to move his hands around a lot. He’s very dramatic! I really like silly stuff so to me they’re all aspects of me that give me chance to act the goat. I just tend to act now, so acting the goat is fun!

Do you have an all-time favourite character?

I think Deakus was a good character - he was based on the guy who used to deliver bread to our house. It was a nice higher voice. It’s very funny because when I used to do Deakus I’d be in makeup for ages and now if I was to do him they’d be like, ‘yeah you’re fine’. He was about 60 and I thought, oh he’s an old man, but now I’m 60 I don’t feel like Deakus, I feel like Len who’s relatively young still. He was always wonderful to do.

Sir Trevor McDonald is hosting your birthday special. You’ve both come a long way from when he surprised you as Trevor McDoughnut on Tiswas - how was it to reminisce with him again?

I’ve known him since he appeared as the real Trevor McDoughnut on Tiswas and he’s a friend of mine. We don’t see each other a lot but when we do meet we chat warmly about the past and what we’re doing now so he’s very good company. The only bit that was missing from the interview was a nice bottle of red wine and a bag of crisps. We really enjoy each other’s company, and he’s a great host. He makes easy transitions between subjects so it wasn’t difficult to be with him, and he laughed a lot which is lovely.

How important is it to keep reinventing characters for a new younger audience?

I think it keeps me on my toes. If you’re a comic its really easy to become complacent and think, well, I’m just going to act now and not do that stuff that I used to do, but it’s very important to know what you like. I watch The Bridge, Game Of Thrones, The Handmaids Tale. I pop in on EastEnders, Corrie, and Junior MasterChef. As a comic you need to know what you like so you can transfer that into your performance. If you’re not watching telly anymore and you’re being a bit lazy then the things don’t spring to mind.

When I was a kid it was like, well I’m going to do Michael Jackson - it was no-brainer. And you need to have that when you’re a comedian. You need to be aware of what people are watching and listening to.

Music is very important. I’ve seen most videos and I know what’s going on music-wise. There are some surprises in the show!

BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook returns

BBC One’s brand-new cookery competition for home cooks, Britain’s Best Home Cook, has been recommissioned from KEO Films, it was announced today.

The queen of home cookery, Mary Berry, returns with top chef Dan Doherty and produce expert, Chris Bavin, to judge more of the nation’s best home cooks in the search to crown one of them the winner. Claudia Winkleman also returns as presenter as the contestants create dishes celebrating modern British home cooking in all its variety.

Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content and David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, the eight-part series will see the cooks showcase recipes that have been passed down through generations and that they share with family and friends every day.

Charlotte Moore says: "It’s a delicious recipe: one Mary Berry, add two judges, ten contestants and then Claudia Winkleman. And it’s exciting to be growing a new cooking show on BBC One; the search for Britain’s Best Home Cook continues."

David Brindley says: “This competition truly celebrated what home cooks are creating daily, up and down the country. What we saw in the last series were incredibly passionate cooks who’s influences from their experiences and cultural backgrounds were the basis for a range of recipes that wowed our judges. We’re delighted to be bringing another series back to BBC One.”

KEO Films' Chief Creative Officer and Executive Producer, Andrew Palmer, says: “What made this series so endearing was that the food being made was from the heart. Our contestants demonstrated cooking that we haven’t seen in other cookery shows and we are looking forward to seeing what our next home cooks will create.”

The contestants will compete to follow in the footsteps of Oncology Research Biobank Technician, Pippa Middlehurst, who won the competition with a winning menu of Massaman curry with jasmine rice, grilled prawns and a Thai herb salad, followed by a Mary Berry inspired Mango and Raspberry cake. Her dishes inspired by her grandmother and grandfather who introduced her to Asian cuisine at an early age.

If you would like to apply for the next series please visit www.britainsbestcook.co.uk  or email cooking@keofilms.com

The commissioning editor for Britain’s Best Home Cook is Catherine Catton.

Stephen Buchanan has been announced as the winner of the BBC New Comedy Award 2018.

Six acts competed in the final of the competition, which was hosted by Mark Watson at the Edinburgh Fringe and broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday evening from 6.15pm. An expert panel of judges, comprised of Mark Steel, Rachel Parris and Radio 4’s Commissioning Editor for Comedy Sioned Wiliam, came together to crown the next winner. Lost Voice Guy, aka Lee Ridley, who won the award in 2014, returned to perform a special set on the night.

Scottish comic Stephen took his debut solo show to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, exploring his darkest fears, from commitment to children's literature. On winning the BBC New Comedy Award, Stephen says: “I’m really shocked, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It’s been an incredible experience to take part in this competition - to get to the final and actually win it was amazing. Shout out to my mum who was the one screaming all the way through."

Sioned Wiliam, BBC Radio 4’s Commissioning Editor for Comedy and judge of the BBC New Comedy Award final, says: “This year’s New Comedy Award finalists were all incredibly strong candidates, each with their own distinctive voice. All six performers were wholly deserving of their place in the final. In the end, Stephen impressed us with his wonderfully original material and professional style. It was a faultless performance and he is absolutely a worthy winner. I’m really proud that Radio 4 is able to provide a platform for exciting new comedians to launch their careers, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from all six finalists in the near future.”

Mark Watson, who once again hosted the final, says: “It was such a strong final and there’s a lot of pressure on all the acts because you’re live on Radio 4 and there’s a real sense of danger! All of the finalists dealt with it really well. Stephen had a great gig - he was really strong and a very popular winner.”

In addition to the much sought-after accolade, Stephen takes home £1,000 and a 15-minute script commission from BBC Studios. Stephen and his fellow finalists will also be mentored by the BBC Studios comedy team across the year and receive advice, guidance and the chance to write for and appear in slots across the BBC.

The BBC New Comedy Award exists to uncover the next big names in comedy, and its track record speaks for itself with previous winners and finalists including Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Russell Howard, Joe Lycett, Josie Long, and Nina Conti.

More than 600 hopefuls applied for this year’s competition, with just 50 making it through to one of the six regional heats held across London, Manchester and Cardiff in June. Ten of the best acts from the heats were put through to the semi-finals, also held at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Morven Christie to star in new six-part drama The Bay

Morven Christie to star in new six-part drama The Bay, from Tall Story Pictures.

Written by award-winning writer Daragh Carville

ITV and Tall Story Pictures today announced casting for The Bay, an original drama written by award winning writer and playwright Daragh Carville (Being Human, The Smoke, Cherrybomb) and co-created by Richard Clark. Morven Christie (The A Word, The Replacement) will lead the cast as Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong, a fierce and hard-working Family Liaison Officer. Joining Christie are; Jonas Armstrong (Troy, Ripper Street), Tracie Bennett (Scott & Bailey, Coronation Street), Lindsey Coulson (Funny Cow, Bullet Proof), Chanel Cresswell (This is England ’90, Murdered For Being Different), Louis Greatorex (Last Tango in Halifax, Safe), Adam Long (Happy Valley, Peterloo), Taheen Modak making his professional screen debut, and Daniel Ryan (Mount Pleasant, Black Sea).

The Bay is set in the unique coastal town of Morecambe and will be executive produced by Catherine Oldfield (Trauma, Home Fires) for Tall Story Pictures. Produced by Philip Leach (Wire in the Blood, No Offence) with episodes 1-3 directed by Lee Haven Jones (Shetland, Vera) and episodes 4-6 directed by Robert Quinn (Home Fires, Endeavour, No Offence). Filming will begin in August in and around the Morecambe area, and Manchester.

When Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong is assigned to a missing persons investigation, at first it seems like any other – tragic, but all too familiar. As a Family Liaison Officer, she’s trained never to get emotionally involved. Her job is to support families during the worst time of their lives whilst also to be the eyes and ears of the police investigation; a cuckoo in the nest. But there’s something very different about this particular case. With horror Lisa realises she’s got a personal connection with this frightened family; one that could compromise her and the investigation. As she grapples to get justice for the grieving family, Lisa discovers it could come at a cost.

Morven Christie said: ““Lisa is such a refreshingly real character - brilliant and flawed, trying to make everything work, and often failing. I adore her. And I loved Daragh’s scripts, rooted in the families and community of this distinctive town. I can’t wait to get stuck in with Lee and the team, and this fantastic cast he has put together. I hope we’re going to make something that feels raw and real, as well as being a hugely compelling story.”

Executive Producer Catherine Oldfield said: “We are so thrilled to have the hugely talented Morven Christie to lead the cast as DS Lisa Armstrong. Daragh's wonderful writing and Lee's brilliant vision for the show have drawn this amazing cast to The Bay and we can't wait to see them bring the scripts to life for ITV.”

Daragh Carville added:  “I’m beyond proud that this brilliant cast is coming on board to tell the story of The Bay. I can’t wait to welcome them to Morecambe.”

The Bay has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill.

Commented Polly Hill: “It’s always a challenge to find a fresh take on crime, but Daragh Carville has written a very real crime story about family and community, which is distinctive, compelling and beautifully crafted. I’m delighted Morven Christie has agreed to play DS Lisa Armstrong alongside a very impressive ensemble cast.”

ITV Studios Global Entertainment is handling international distribution. Tall Story Pictures is part of ITV Studios.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Competition: Win Picnic at Hanging Rock on DVD

Picnic at Hanging Rock is out on DVD on 20th August 2018. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

Joan Lindsay’s iconic and timeless Picnic at Hanging Rock is set for its hugely anticipated TV reimagining featuring a mesmerising performance from Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer. Following its run on BBC Two.

Peter Weir’s seminal, haunting big screen adaptation gained global critical acclaim following its release in 1975 and now a trailblazing new series is set to re-tell the story of the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and their governess in 1900s Australia.

On Valentine’s Day, a group of schoolgirls from Appleyard College take a day trip to dark and brooding Hanging Rock. When three girls and their governess go missing during the picnic, the event rocks not just the school, but the whole town. Theories abound, dangerous secrets are exposed and hysteria sets in, until eventually, the lives of all involved unravel.

Click here to buy from Amazon (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Which actress plays the headmistress in Picnic at Hanging Rock?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@jonn.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 27-08-18
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.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Tom Daley to explore surrogacy for new BBC One film

With the recent arrival of his baby son, BBC One has commissioned a single film, Surrogacy (w/t) with Tom Daley, to be made by Raw Television.

When Tom announced he was having a baby with his husband Dustin Lance Black, he became one of a growing number of parents who are having children through surrogacy.

Tom is an 'expert through experience' and now, in this hour-long film, he and Lance are setting out to examine a modern phenomenon that they have a strong personal connection to.

First, Tom will explore how surrogacy works in the UK, where it’s illegal to advertise for or pay surrogates except for reasonable expenses.

He’ll also travel to California, where commercial surrogacy, complete with contracts between surrogates and want-to-be parents, is much more the norm. His journey will also take him to one of the European countries where surrogacy is totally illegal.

Tom wants to find out why some women are prepared to become surrogates. He wants to explore the extraordinary relationships that develop between those wanting to become parents and their surrogates. He wants to meet the people who oppose surrogacy, asking why they want to stop people like him and Lance having a child via a surrogate. And, with commercial surrogacy currently illegal in the UK, he’ll meet those who want to change the country’s laws.

Throughout his journey Tom will question whether the American or British system works best and whether surrogacy in the UK needs updating in any way.

Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, says: "Surrogacy is one of the most complex issues in modern society and the laws which govern it are radically different across the world. As new fathers through surrogacy, Tom and Lance are both committed to exploring all of the nuances around this very emotive subject. I'm thrilled that Tom is going to be our guide in this deeply personal and intelligent film."

Surrogacy (w/t) is a Raw Television production for BBC One. The executive producer is Tom Barry. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual.

It is due to air in 2019

Last Man Standing Season 7 "Campfire" Teaser Promo (HD) Tim Allen FOX Comedy Series

Multi-cam comedy LAST MAN STANDING, starring Tim Allen, will air on FOX during the 2018-2019 season. A fan-favorite for six seasons, LAST MAN STANDING stars Allen as MIKE BAXTER, a married father of three girls, who tries to maintain his manliness in a world increasingly dominated by women. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television, the series also stars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

BBC Two recommissions Romesh Ranganathan adventure series and Mortimer and Whitehouse on fishing

David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, and Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, have announced the recommission of hit series The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan and Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

Airing on BBC Two earlier this summer, both series are due to return next year, promising more adventure, more laughs and most likely many more mishaps along the way.

David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, says: “The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan and Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing have been real summer highlights for us and we couldn’t be happier to be re-commissioning both.

"The response from critics and viewers alike has been fantastic, and often followed by ‘surely there will be a second series?’ - well, we’re thrilled to oblige. Each of these titles was an effort by the brilliant production teams and our department to try to continue the evolution of the travel genre, and I’m pleased these efforts were met with such a warm reception. To have the likes of Romesh, Bob and Paul on such glorious form on the channel is a sheer delight. Here’s to more adventures.”

The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan - which followed Romesh as he travelled beyond his comfort zone to some of the most unlikely places on earth to go on holiday - boasted a strong performance on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this summer. Made by Rumpus Media, it aired in three parts in July, and as well as impressive TV figures the series had an exceptionally strong performance on BBC iPlayer, with over one million requests for the first episode, making it one of the highest performing Factual programmes for BBC Two on the service since 2015.

Romesh says: “While I am grateful for this show being recommissioned, it’s obviously not as good as being asked to do a show called The Luxury Adventures Of Romesh Ranganathan."

Rumpus Media Joint Managing Director, Emily Hudd, says: “We’ve loved building a creative partnership with Romesh over the past four years for the BBC - from exploring his family heritage with Asian Provocateur to hitting the road less travelled in his Misadventures. We’re thrilled that despite risking his life and dignity multiple times in the first run, Romesh will be back bringing his uniquely smart and funny take on more of the world’s unlikely tourist spots for series two.”

The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan is a Rumpus Media production for BBC Two. The Executive producers are Emily Hudd and Morgan Roberts. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, and David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment. The Commissioning Editor is Catherine Catton.

Lifelong friends and comedic royalty Paul Whitehouse and Bob Mortimer were reunited by a common experience of heart disease, and after Paul invited Bob out fishing, the series was born. There will now be another series of six half-hour episodes next year of Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, exploring more of the UK’s finest fishing spots whilst again discussing life’s big questions and sharing their personal experiences in their inimitable way.

Paul Whitehouse says: “The response has been a little bit overwhelming. We’ve had the most incredible messages from people who have suffered similar issues with their hearts or have had long-term illnesses and have found something in the series that has resonated with them. We’re really pleased that people can see the joy that fishing can bring and I’m also very proud that people who wouldn’t normally watch a fishing programme can enjoy the series too.”

Bob adds: “I absolutely loved making the series and can't wait to depart for a new set of adventures in the beautiful countryside, with wonderful company and a fresh menu of heart healthy meals... who wouldn't sign up for that?"

The series saw strong performance, with the first episode launching with 1.8m viewers - and 800,000 requests on BBC iPlayer.

Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (6x30) is an Owl Power Production for BBC Two. The Executive Producer is Lisa Clark. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two and David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Mayans MC (FX) "Skull" Teaser HD - Sons of Anarchy spinoff

Mayans MC is the next chapter in the Sons of Anarchy saga, Kurt Sutter’s award-winning series. The first season of the new drama from Sutter and Elgin James will premiere on FX in 2018. Set in a post Jax Teller world, where EZ Reyes -- fresh out of prison -- is a prospect in the Mayan MC charter on the Cali/Mexi border. Now EZ must carve out his new outlaw identity in a town where he once was the golden boy with the American Dream in his grasp.

Roll in with the Mayans M.C. Sept. 4 on FX.

Timewasters returns to ITV2

The second series of award-winning time-travelling comedy Timewasters will start shooting from next week with the series due to air on ITV2 in 2019. The first series was the most watched new comedy in 2017 for 16-24’s on any digital channel in the UK.

Described as ‘a breath of delightful fresh air’ by HEAT and ‘charmingly odd, provocative, stylish and silly’ by SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE, Timewasters has gone from strength to strength since it launched to over 1 million viewers last year.

In 2018, Timewasters was nominated for Best Comedy Series at the BAFTAs and won Daniel Lawrence Taylor the RTS award for Breakthrough Talent as well as a nomination in the same category at the Edinburgh TV Awards (winner to be announced this summer).

In series one, our gang ended up in 1920’s London high-society after getting into a urine-sodden South London lift - that just happened to be a time machine!

This time round our time-travelling jazz band are transported to 1950’s London where the future has arrived: the birth of the teenager, slick-haired Teddy Boys, the vibrant Windrush crowd, box-fresh televisions and - crucially - the dawn of Rock n’ Roll. 

The band are back for another spin through time in series two: Daniel Lawrence Taylor (Cockroaches, Uncle) plays Nick, Kadiff Kirwan (Chewing Gum, Crims) plays Jason, Adelayo Adedayo (Skins, Some Girls) as Lauren and Samson Kayo (Famalam, The Javone Prince Show) as Horace. 

A host of new stellar talent joins the cast for the second series including BAFTA/Olivier award nominated actress Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Hour), Javone Prince (PhoneShop, The Javone Prince Show), Ellie White (The Windsors) and BAFTA award winning actor Daniel Rigby (Eric & Ernie).

In a 1950’s world of budding pop sensations, our band start a jazz club, Nick desperate to rival those in the swinging heart of Soho by booking jazz legends of the day.  Jason discovers that his one true love from the 1920’s, Victoria, is alive and well and now has a thirty-two-year-old son – Jason Junior!  Is it finally time for Jason to grow up and become a Dad?  Lauren is on a roll with more get-rich-quick schemes but finds herself developing feelings for stiff upper lipped soldier Jason Junior. And can Nick save the future of Jazz when Horace inadvertently introduces garage music to a young Ronnie Scott who decides MC Horace is now the one to follow?

But in an atmosphere of post-war Cold War paranoia our gang wonder if their time-travelling antics will be spotted - someone seems to be on their tail.  With their typical mix of brazen opportunism and massive incompetence, they’re going to have to work much harder this time round to keep their adventures on the down-low.  It’s not until our gang accidentally start the Notting Hill Riots that they realise it might be time to get home – but can they?

Timewasters is created by Daniel Lawrence Taylor and produced by multi award-winning Big Talk Productions (BAFTA award winning REV and Him & Her, Back and Friday Night Dinner).

Episodes 1-3 written by Daniel Lawrence Taylor and Barunka O’Shaughnessy Episode 4 written by Daniel Lawrence Taylor with Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis and Stuart Lane
Episode 5-6 written by Daniel Lawrence Taylor
Executive Producers are Big Talk Chief Executive, Kenton Allen (Rev, Him & Her, Mum) and Victoria Grew (Yonderland, Goodnight Sweetheart). Jim Poyser is Producer (The Job Lot, Shameless) and George Kane returns as Director.

Timewasters has been commissioned for ITV2 by Paul Mortimer, Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions and Saskia Schuster, ITV’s Comedy Controller.