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Friday, 31 August 2018

Ariana Grande set to perform exclusive 'At The BBC' show

BBC Music have announced Ariana Grande At the BBC - a world-exclusive show coming to BBC One in the autumn, presented by Davina McCall.

The multi-award winning, Grammy-nominated American singer, TV and film actress will exclusively perform new material from her recent album Sweetener, as well as some of her biggest hits, accompanied by an all-female orchestra. Recorded live in front of a studio audience next Friday 7 September, the hour-long special will see Ariana talk to Davina about her music, life and career to date.

Davina McCall says: “Since I’ve been asked to do this show… I have been worried that someone is going to call up and tell me they’ve made a mistake and chosen the wrong presenter, because this seems just too good to be true. Ariana Grande is such an incredible talent. She’s very funny and incredibly kind and has achieved so much already in her career!!! I’m really excited about talking to her and, of course, hearing some of her amazing music.”

Jan Younghusband, BBC Music Head of TV Commissioning, says: “We are so delighted to have Ariana back on the BBC, she is an outstanding new talent so loved by audiences in the UK.”

Guy Freeman, Managing Director, Livewire Pictures, says: “Ariana Grande is a standout international artist of her generation and we’re delighted to be working with her to create a bespoke show for BBC One, including some very special orchestral performance moments.”

Ariana - who is currently number 1 in the UK album charts, with her previous album Dangerous Woman also reaching number 1 - will follow Adele At The BBC (which was nominated for Best Entertainment Programme at the Bafta Awards); Michael Bublé At The BBC, Harry Styles At The BBC; Sam Smith At The BBC; and U2 At The BBC.

Ariana last appeared on BBC One when she headlined the One Love concert in Manchester which paid tribute to those that lost their lives and were injured at Manchester Arena where she had just performed.

Ariana Grande At The BBC is a Livewire Pictures production. It is executive produced by Anouk Fontaine; Guy Freeman is Managing Director. The programme was commissioned by Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning, Music Television and Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, BBC Television.

Holly Willoughby to co-host this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Holly Willoughby to co-host this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

ITV today confirmed that Holly Willoughby will be joining Declan Donnelly in Australia to co-host this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Holly will join Dec for the upcoming series as Ant McPartlin takes a break from TV presenting.

Holly Willoughby said:
“I couldn’t be more excited to have been asked to stand alongside Dec for the next jungle adventure. I love Ant and want to send him my best wishes and support for a continued recovery. These are big shoes, not to fill, but just to keep warm for a little bit... Honestly, I’m a huge fan of ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and actually feel like I’ve won a competition to go and hang out on my favourite show! When is it a good time to tell Dec I’m scared of everything that moves?!”

Declan Donnelly said:
“I am hugely grateful to Holly for agreeing to accompany me to Australia this year. She was at the top of my list and I’m thrilled she said yes. It will be a different kind of series but we will try our best to ensure it is no less fun and eventful for our loyal viewers. I am also pleased to hear Holly is scared of everything. I am almost stupidly excited at the thought of watching her during the eating trials!”

ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo said:
“Holly is a brilliant presenter with a wicked sense of humour who has always enjoyed a great friendship and rapport with Ant and Dec – I have no doubt she will take to Jungle life, if not the critters, really quickly.”

Plans for This Morning will be announced in due course.

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! returns to ITV this Autumn.

Queen of the World - New ITV series Queen of the World will offer a unique insight into Her Majesty The Queen

New ITV series Queen of the World will offer a unique insight into Her Majesty The Queen’s role as a figure on the global stage and the baton she is passing to the younger members of the Royal Family as they continue to build the Commonwealth connection.

Filmed over more than a year by Oxford Films [whose ITV documentaries include Our Queen and Our Queen at 90 and Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy] with privileged access to The Queen, her family, her staff and her residences, this landmark series tells the story of how the Commonwealth has been a central focus and passion throughout Her Majesty’s life.

Queen of the World [2x60] features behind-the-scenes moments with the Sovereign and other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Princess Royal, and the Countess of Wessex.

As the family and world leaders discuss the importance of the Commonwealth to the Queen, the series will document the way in which she passes her knowledge and experience to the younger generations.

Drawing on cine footage from The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's private film archives and treasures of the Royal Collection, the series will offer a unique perspective on the Queen’s early years as Head of the Commonwealth when Her Majesty had the symbols of the then eight Commonwealth countries embroidered on to her Coronation gown. We will see how that number had risen to 53 by the time the Duchess of Sussex had flowers of the Commonwealth represented on her wedding veil in 2018.

The Queen of the World is commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment.

Jo said: “The Queen is a unique figure on the world stage, with a huge depth of experience having met more global leaders than any previous British monarch and serving longer than  all of them.  This film is a rare opportunity to see Her Majesty up close and behind the scenes in this role, which means so much to her and has been so significant for Britain and the Commonwealth.”

Nicolas Kent, Creative Director for Oxford Films and Executive Producer for Queen of the World, said: “The Queen is the most well-travelled monarch in history and it’s been fascinating to see how she has passed on her experience to the younger generations of the royal family.  With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about to embark on their first Commonwealth Tour to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific exactly sixty-five years after the Queen’s first Commonwealth Tour, this series could not be more timely.”

Thursday, 30 August 2018

9-1-1 Season 2 "Nowhere To Hide" Trailer (HD) Jennifer Love Hewitt joins cast

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”).

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The Great British Bake Off: the first baker leaves the tent

In Tuesday’s night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Manon was named Star Baker and Imelda, 33 was the first baker to leave the tent.

“I’m disappointed to be the first off, but it was better to be there for one week rather than not at all. Even though it was short and sweet, I feel that I learned a lot about baking and also meeting new people and making friends for life.

‘I have to say it was 100% one of the best experiences of my life. I didn’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would be a big tick off it!

‘I have always found social situations awkward, but since being on Bake Off they really don’t scare me as much. Being on the show has totally changed me as a personality, it has made me more confident. If I wanted to set myself a personal challenge – then this was it, and I would say it has really worked for me.

‘My best moment overall was meeting the other bakers, and when I got positive feedback from both Paul and Prue for my Signature challenge. I was beaming, as I am so proud of my oatmeal biscuits!

‘My worst moment was obviously when my name was called out, but I did know it was coming. I knew I was going home, I did mouth it to one of the other bakers, and that was all fine.

‘If I did it all again, I just wish I had done more with the Selfie Biscuit. I think I should have been a bit more creative, and I took the challenge too literally! Afterwards I didn’t want to take the biscuit home absolutely not, I never want to look at it again!

‘I definitely wanted to impress Paul the most as I have loved watching all his programmes over the years. I have grown up watching him on TV, and I am so impressed with his expertise on baking bread. I hated baking biscuits before I went into Bake Off, it’s always been my pet hate, and I couldn’t believe that I was facing biscuits in my first week, and I don’t think I will ever bake biscuits again! Just my luck that in this series, they decided to make Biscuit Week the first episode!

‘The family have been so pleased by the media reaction to the show and they are so proud of me. My daddy has enjoyed the whole experience, and he is super proud of me. Piaras my son is enjoying it and I think his friends think it is a bit cool, but I couldn’t ever say that! He has shown a bit of interest in baking, but his main interest is eating the bakes, and there are always clean plates in our house!

‘I am from the West part of Northern Ireland so it’s been so lovely to represent the rural community and for them to get some recognition which they so much deserve. I regularly make soda bread, oatmeal biscuits, and a pie with seasonal berries, at the moment it’s blackcurrants. I make jam and pies with them, my auntie grows them and gives them to me, it’s truly a family affair.

‘If I had stayed in the tent, I was particularly looking forward to bread week, as I would say that’s my strongest area, but sadly it wasn’t to be. But hey, it won’t stop me making bread from here on.

‘Years ago, I remember watching the very first episode of Bake Off, and I thought yes this is my kind of TV, but never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be on it.

‘I am so thankful to have been involved in such a special group of people that have actually got into the tent and achieved the experience of all of that. I have to say for me it is a dream come true. I even genuinely enjoyed the audition process and especially meeting all the bakers. It’s really been phenomenal, and I won’t forget a moment of it.

‘I will be watching it every week from now, and seeing it as a viewer. And of course supporting all the bakers, that’s really important to me, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds from here.

‘I am so looking forward to going on An Extra Slice, I absolutely love Jo Brand, I think she is brilliant.

Imelda will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday 31 August - Channel 4 at 8.00 pm.

Imelda is one of four siblings and grew up in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, where she learned to cook and bake from her mother, in their family home. Now juggling a busy job and family life, Imelda spends her evenings and weekends making soda breads, biscuits and treats for her father and son, and cakes that she takes into work to share with her colleagues. She lives surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins, which means catering for friends and family at large sociable gatherings is just part of normal, everyday life.

BBC announces Autumnwatch New England

This year’s Autumnwatch is moving location. In a one-off co-production with BBC Studios Natural History Unit and PBS, the series will be coming from New England in America.

For one year only, stripped across a week on BBC Two in October, Autumnwatch New England will see presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke celebrate the natural phenomenon of the American Fall, as summer ends and billions of trees in the vast northeast forests simultaneously erupt in a riot of colour, painting the landscape gold and red.

With a mix of live ‘studio’ pieces from an authentic New England cabin studio on the shores of Squam Lake in New Hampshire, and seasonally shot VTs, each programme will bring the splendour of this colour explosion live into living rooms across the nation.

Strategically placed cameras throughout the forests, mountains and lakes of the Watches' location in New Hampshire will capture amazing behaviour as key wildlife species prepare for the winter months.

The programme will also examine the science behind this amazing natural spectacle, revealing how temperature affects the leaf colour and how the changing environment triggers specific behaviour in the local wildlife.

The traditional culture that surrounds the New England Fall will also feature in the series, as Chris, Michaela and Gillian discover how this natural phenomenon has affected all aspects of culture and how ancient traditions are still being celebrated by the Native Americans.

Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, says: "I'm thrilled that Autumnwatch is moving to New England for this very special week of live programming. The team are heading to one of the most iconic locations in the USA to experience the great American 'fall' for what promises to be an unforgettable chapter in the Watches' history.”

Julian Hector, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, says: “Our world-class Autumnwatch team, together with the unique chemistry of Chris, Michaela and Gillian, will bring the spectacle of the great American fall and the autumn animal characters to BBC Two audiences in an incredibly fresh and memorable way.”

Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming & Development, PBS says: “In Autumnwatch New England, audiences will experience exquisite outdoor adventures while surrounded by nature’s most picturesque imagery. The co-production partnership with BBC brings this American experience to television, and we look forward to presenting this ambitious live production together.”

Nominations open for BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero 2018

The search for great volunteers returns. Nominations for the 2018 BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award are now open.

The BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award celebrates the most inspiring, dynamic and dedicated volunteers driving participation in grassroots sports and fitness activities.

Returning for its 16th year, Unsung Hero 2018 seeks out volunteers who are inspiring people of all ages to get up and get active. Finalists will be drawn from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and each of the 12 English regions, with the winner receiving their award at this year’s ceremony live on BBC One.

For 2018, Get Inspired welcomes former Olympic and World champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra presenter Adele Roberts as Unsung Hero Ambassadors for the award. Jess, the golden girl of London 2012’s super Saturday, will also present this year’s winner with their award live on BBC One as part of December’s ceremony.

Last year, volunteer Denise Larrad from Leicestershire, was named the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero. Denise set up running and walking clubs for people aged 14 to 72 and has also run marathons and climbed Kilimanjaro, raising money for charity.

Denise said: "Winning the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award last year was so much of a shock, I hadn't even prepared what I was going to say on stage. The other nominees were all amazing and I don't think you really see that in yourself. Winning the award has given me confidence in what I am doing and made me realise that I am making a real difference.”

From volunteer fitness instructors who offer classes in communities, to the person who spends their free time running the social media accounts for dance clubs, or that one steward who turns up every week to cheer on the runners in the weekly 5km. The BBC is looking for your local sporting superhero who has an inspiring story to tell.

Mike Murphy, BBC Get Inspired lead says: “Unsung Hero is all about honouring the people who show up, bring people together and really make a difference in their community. It’s a hugely important aspect of any sport and it’s fantastic to give these people the recognition they truly deserve.”

For the first time, nominations can be made via video and audio submission. To nominate your Unsung Hero by video, audio, online webform or via email, simply visit www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero. Entries close on Sunday 21 October at midnight and the shortlist will be revealed in the days leading up to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in December.

The X Factor Returns 1st of September

ITV - 8.00pm - 9.15pm
The search for a new music superstar gets underway as The X Factor returns to ITV. Heralding the start of a new era for the nation’s most talked about entertainment show, is a brand-new panel with Robbie Williams, Ayda Williams and Louis Tomlinson joining music mogul Simon Cowell as judges.

Returning as host is Mr Saturday Night, Dermot O’Leary, who will be on hand to guide viewers and contestants alike through their X Factor journey, providing them with a word of advice or a much-needed hug as the contestants perform in front of the judging panel.

This series sees the return of the arena auditions at The SSE Arena, Wembley, where the hopefuls will have to perform not only for the judges but live in front of members of the public, making it the biggest audition of their lives. Should they impress and secure three or more ‘yeses’ they will go through to the judge’s deliberation, where the judges will review and decide who gets to perform in the Six Chair Challenge. This is all before the competition really heats up and culminates with the live shows later in the year.

Expect outstanding vocals and sensational performances, as the judges and contestants go all out in a bid to be crowned The X Factor Champion 2018.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Wanderlust - Is monogamy outdated? Can you love more than one person?

Is monogamy outdated? Can you love more than one person? After years of respectable marriage Joy and Alan are going to try doing what’s right for them.

Produced by Drama Republic (Doctor Foster, King Charles III, The Honourable Woman) and written by award-winning playwright Nick Payne (Constellations, The Sense of an Ending, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet), Wanderlust is an exciting new drama for BBC One. Starring Emmy and Golden Globe winning Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, About A Boy, Hereditary) as Joy Richards, Wanderlust is a searingly insightful and funny exploration of the relationships of a multi-generational family.

Joined by Steven Mackintosh (A Song For Jenny, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, The Halcyon), Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat, Not Safe For Work, Case Histories) and Royce Pierreson (Line of Duty, Our Girl, Murdered By My Boyfriend), Wanderlust looks at how we build and maintain happy relationships and asks if lifelong monogamy is possible - or even desirable.

Joy Richards is a therapist trying to find a way to keep the spark with her husband, Alan, alive after a cycling accident causes her to reassess their relationship. As we meet her family, friends, neighbours and clients, remarkable yet relatable stories of love, lust and forbidden desire emerge. Directed by Luke Snellin and Lucy Tcherniak, produced by Kate Crowther and executive produced by Roanna Benn and Jude Liknaitzky, Wanderlust is a 6x60' series for BBC One. Lucy Richer is executive producer for the BBC.

A co-production with Netflix, the series will premiere in the UK on BBC One and globally outside of the UK on Netflix.

First-look images released of Richard Gere, Helen McCrory and Billy Howle in BBC Two’s MotherFatherSon

First-look images have been released for MotherFatherSon, Tom Rob Smith’s forthcoming original drama series for BBC Two, made by BBC Studios Drama London.

Richard Gere is pictured for the first time as Max, the charismatic self-made American businessman with media outlets in London and around the world. Helen McCrory (pictured below) is shown as Kathryn, a British heiress estranged from Max following the breakdown of their marriage some years before. Their 30 year-old son Caden (Billy Howle, seen alongside Gere), runs Max’s UK newspaper and is primed to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the most powerful men in the world.

But when Caden’s self-destructive lifestyle spirals out of control, the devastating consequences threaten the future of the family, its empire, and a country on the brink of change.

Filming on MotherFatherSon is currently underway in London. Further casting for the eight-part series includes Sarah Lancashire, Sinéad Cusack, Paul Ready, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Danny Sapani and Joseph Mawle.

Legacies (The CW) Inside Preview HD - The Originals spinoff

For the last decade, the iconic heroes and villains of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals have captivated audiences worldwide. They left an enduring legacy of love and family in their wake, which continues in LEGACIES, a thrilling new drama that tells the story of the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted.

It’s here that Klaus Mikaelson’s daughter, 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie and Josie Saltzman; and other young adults — including political scion MG and the mysterious Landon Kirby — come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves…in spite of their worst impulses. Will these young witches, vampires and werewolves become the heroes they want to be — or the villains they were born to be?

As they fight to protect their secret, their town of Mystic Falls and eventually the world, they will have to rely on ancient folklore and tales to learn how to battle their far-reaching enemies. LEGACIES stars Danielle Rose Russell, Jenny Boyd, Kaylee Bryant, Quincy Fouse and Aria Shaghasemi, with Matt Davis.

Competition: Win Keeping Faith on DVD

Keeping Faith is out on DVD on 3rd September 2018. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

The hidden gem that’s been making waves in Wales, Keeping Faith, is set to arrive on BBC One and gets its UK premiere on DVD thanks to Acorn Media International.

Eve Myles star of Broadchurch and Torchwood, plays the eponymous lead, in this thrilling drama that was filmed simultaneously in English and Welsh. Originally airing on BBC Wales in its native tongue, as Un Bore Mercher, the series has become the most popular show on the channel in more than 20 years, and now makes its national debut on BBC One and arrives on DVD on 3 September 2018.

Set against the stunning backdrop of rural Wales, we meet Faith Howells (Myles), a lawyer on maternity leave after the birth of her third child. When her husband and business partner, Evan (Bradley Freegard – Under Milk Wood), mysteriously disappears, her life is turned upside down.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 10-09-18
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.

Competition: Win 100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes on Audio CD

100 Greatest Science Fiction Themes is out on CD on 31st August 2018. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on CD to give away.

Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic and London Music Works, this comprehensive 6 CD collection features music from the latest Sci-Fi blockbusters; from Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Blade Runner 2049, all the way back to 1950s classics The Day The Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet.

This release brings together the best selection of Science Fiction music spanning almost a century, through a thorough overview of musical styles, themes and techniques. It spotlights music from Hollywood heavyweights and classically trained legends (John Williams, John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Bernard Hermann), electronic experimenters (Bebe & Louis Barron, Vangelis) and Jazz influenced composers (Bill Conti, Henry Mancini) to the new generation, who combine orchestral sounds with electronics (David Arnold, Johann Johannsson, Ramin Djawadi, Steve Jablonsky, Hanz Zimmer, Clint Mansell).

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 10-09-18
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, 26 August 2018

Ozark Season 2 Trailer (HD) Jason Bateman Netflix crime drama

Ozark Season 2 releases August 31st on Netflix. After his business partner cheats a dangerous client, financial adviser Marty must devise a radical plan to save the lives of himself and his family.

Created by Bill Dubuque ("The Accountant," "The Judge"), this drama series stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, forcing him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. While the Byrde's fate hangs in the balance, the dire circumstances force the fractured family to reconnect.

Friday, 24 August 2018

ITV serves up a Full English - Starring John Barnes, David Seaman, Robbie Fowler, Mark Wright and More

Eleven big names and one big game, this could be the biggest comeback ever.

"They’re Slimming for England”

A team of England legends, whose waistlines have expanded since they hung up their boots, will take on the challenge of getting back in shape and back on the pitch for a brand new ITV series.

This England team, led by manager Harry Redknapp, is a who’s who of former 80's and 90's international legends including; John Barnes, David Seaman, Robbie Fowler, Mark Wright, Matthew Le Tissier, Chris Waddle, Rob Lee, Ray Parlour, Lee Sharpe,Mark Chamberlain, Paul Merson, and Razor Ruddock.  Our all-star eleven are getting together for one last job, but this time their goals are more about their waistlines than the touchlines.

Viewers will watch as the lads, who played in an era when a few pints and kebabs were all part of the working week, will be yanked out of their very comfortable zone and plunged into a new regime akin to that of present day professional footballers.

The extreme change to their fitness and diet routines will shed light on how important it is for everyone to maintain a healthy balanced diet and fitness routine as you approach middle age. The players will be constantly monitored to see how well they’re keeping on track ahead of the big match.

Will the pride of old English lions be able to fit back into their 90's England kits and beat a team of 90s international rivals?

ITV have commissioned Talkback to produce this exciting new two-part special. Can this group of old pro’s stick to the rigid training regime or revert back to their familiar unhealthy lifestyles – will they find it as easy as pie and bring home the bacon or is there only a slim chance they’ll have the stomach for the challenge?

Kate Teckman, ITV’s commissioning editor of Factual Entertainment says: "Classic ITV, entertaining, with scale and purpose, and moreover we are finally going to answer the age old question "Who ate all the pies?"

Leon Wilson, Managing Director of Talkback: “We’re thrilled to be working with ITV on this unique and epic new series. Bringing together some of England’s greatest footballers of all time, we’re looking forward to seeing if they can ditch their unhealthy habits, to get match fit, back in their kits and on the pitch, doing what they do best.”

ITV announces The Man, by Mike Bartlett. Ken Nwosu to star in the lead role

ITV and Tall Story Pictures today announced the commission of a new three-part Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, The Town) drama, The Man, to be directed by Julia Ford (Safe) with Ken Nwosu (Christopher Robin, Killing Eve, An Octoroon at the National Theatre) in the lead role of Thomas Benson.

Following the success earlier this year of Tall Story Pictures’ and Bartlett’s collaboration Trauma starring Adrian Lester and John Simm, the team have reunited to explore the corrosive effects of bullying in this brand new three-part contemporary workplace drama for ITV.

The three-part psychological drama is focused on the competitive world of middle management. Set in a business park in Reading, The Man centres on the personal and professional life of Thomas Benson; a hard-working father and husband. Reliant on bonuses and winning pitches, Benson often finds himself leading the team when trying to win new business.  When he freezes during a pitch the fall out is monumental.

Determined to win back the client Thomas goes to increasingly desperate lengths to remain successful. But as he does, he begins to feel undermined, under attack and out of control. Has he lost his confidence and just feeling paranoid or is his own team, and maybe the wider world, now out to get him?

Executive Producer, Catherine Oldfield, said, "After the success of Trauma, I'm delighted to be reunited with Mike to work on The Man for ITV. Mike's created a fantastically taut, contemporary thriller about bullying. Given the current climate, it feels exactly the right time to explore something that affects so many people, all with Mike’s brilliant ability to mix dark humour with intense paranoia to dramatic effect. I can't wait to see the hugely talented Ken bring Thomas to life"

Mike Bartlett added, “Having written about bullying in the workplace previously for the stage, it feels fantastic to tell a new story that explores the potential cruelty of commercial competition, and the effect that has on our psychology, and humanity."

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill said, “The Man is another gripping story by Mike, that explores the complex subject of workplace bullying. It brilliantly moves between being very funny to very painful, and will have viewers hooked. I am also delighted that the very talented Ken Nwosu is playing Thomas and that Julia Ford is directing. Together with Tall Story, this is a fantastic team that promises to make an unmissable drama.”

The Man is a Tall Story Pictures production for ITV and will be produced by Colin Wratten (The Witness for the Prosecution, Killing Eve). Catherine Oldfield (Trauma, Tutankhamun) will executive produce the new series alongside Mike Bartlett. The Man has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill. ITV Studios Global Entertainment is handling international distribution. Tall Story Pictures is part of ITV Studios.

The series begins filming in September 2018.

Jameela Jamil to present new Radio 4 programme on sex and consent

This autumn BBC Radio 4 will broadcast three new programmes examining sexuality and consent in the modern age.

Two-part programme The New Age Of Consent will be hosted by actress and broadcaster Jameela Jamil and will look at recent explosive conversations around sexual assault whilst trying to determine what consent in sex and relationships should look like in a modern, digital world. Jameela explores the current understanding of consent, particularly amongst a new social media and sexually literate generation who behave differently, and expect different standards of behaviour.

In part one, Crossing The Lines, Jameela investigates different attitudes towards sex and relationships, hearing stories from women and men who talk about how their boundaries were crossed by partners, and looking at the different responses such cases have provoked.

In part two, Re-writing The Rules, Jameela looks at what might need to change to improve our shared understanding about consent starting with education and speaking to sex educator Jimanekia Eborn. She also looks at matters such as revenge pornography and the law, talking to playwright Nina Millns, psychologist Dr Nina Burrowes, and sex and relationship experts Meg-John Barker and Justin Hancock.

Jameela says: “I think this is a time in which, thanks to the Me Too movement, the conversation has finally opened up about sex and consent. This documentary strives to educate without scolding or belittling. It’s full of empowering and extremely interesting information and accounts from our excellent participants. This documentary means a lot to me and I’m so glad we are finally talking about something so important, properly.”

Forty years ago, a study conducted by academics investigated gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers, and found that men were much more likely than women to agree to sex with a stranger. In Would You Go To Bed With Me?, The Times’ Science Editor Tom Whipple reflects on that infamous experiment forty years on, asking whether it’s true that, when it comes to sex drive, not everyone is created equal. Tom investigates the social repercussions of biological inequality if men really do have a higher sex drive than women, drawing on contributions from Henrik Hogh-Oleson, who repeated the study in 2010; feminist and socio-biologist Sarah Hrdy; Qazi Rahman, an academic from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; and philosopher, psychologist and writer Cordelia Fine.

And novelist Eimear McBride presents The Art Of Consent, which looks at how sexual consent is viewed in today’s society, particularly since the #MeToo movement, through the historic depiction of consent and refusal in great works of art and the relationship between that portrayal and modern western culture.

The New Age of Consent
Monday 3 and 10 September, 8-8.30pm
Produced by Anishka Sharma
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Would You Go to Bed With Me?
Friday 21 September, 11-11.30am
Produced by Sue Nelson
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

The Art of Consent
Tuesday 30 October, 11.30am-midday
Produced by Faith Lawrence for BBC Radio 4

BBC Three's Fleabag series two cast announced as filming commences

Filming for series two of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, the multi award-winning hit series produced by Two Brothers Pictures, has begun.
Returning to the principal cast are Olivia Colman (Godmother), Sian Clifford (Claire), Bill Paterson (Dad), Brett Gelman (Martin), Jenny Rainsford (Boo) and Hugh Skinner (Harry). Andrew Scott joins the cast for series two.

Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge says: "I can’t believe they let me do this AGAIN. I’m so happy to be back with the incredible Fleabag team and I’m as surprised as anyone about where this series has taken us… thank God for Andrew Scott."

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, says: “The series two scripts are knockout - sparkling with Phoebe’s unique voice that combines a whip smart complexity of character with pin sharp funny lines scattered everywhere. The themes of this series are very distinct from the first series which delivers on the challenge Phoebe set herself. It’s a superb team and cast from top to bottom and with Fleabag you can never escape a reference to the bottom.”

Two Brothers Pictures say: “We are beyond thrilled to be back in Fleabag’s company. Phoebe has created a show that’s so well loved, we can't wait for fans to see what she has in store this time around.”

Fleabag launched as BBC Three’s most popular and acclaimed show of 2016 and has since gone on to sweep the boards at awards ceremonies in 2016 and 2017 winning a BAFTA, two Royal Television Society awards, two Broadcast Awards and a British Press Guild Award, among a string of other accolades. Fleabag Season 1 was a Critics’ Choice TV Awards nominee for Best Comedy Series and Best Actress in a Comedy Series.

Since series one aired, Phoebe Waller-Bridge has played the role of L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and has adapted and executive produced two-time Emmy Award nominated series Killing Eve from the novellas ‘Codename Villanelle’, which launched to widespread acclaim in the US earlier this year and will be available in the UK on BBC One and BBC Three soon.

Fleabag is written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Harry Bradbeer. The producer is Sarah Hammond, and executive producers are Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Harry Bradbeer, Lydia Hampson and Jack and Harry Williams for Two Brothers Pictures. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Kate Daughton. The series was ordered for BBC Three by Controller Damian Kavanagh and Controller of Comedy Commissioning Shane Allen.

Fleabag is a Two Brothers Pictures production in association with DryWrite for the BBC and Amazon Studios. all3media is Two Brothers Pictures’ international partner, handling global sales for Fleabag.

Series 2 of Fleabag will debut on BBC Three in 2019.

Bodyguard - The threat is closer than you think

Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat?

Bodyguard is written by Jed Mercurio and made by World Productions for BBC One.

David Budd (Richard Madden)
Sergeant David Budd serves as a Principal Protection Officer (PPO) in the Royal and Specialist Protection Command of London's Metropolitan Police (RaSP). A Helmand veteran, David hides the psychological scars from his time in the army behind a cool and forceful demeanour, but the cracks show at home, where he is separated from his beloved wife Vicky and their two children.

Mistrustful of politicians, especially those who voted in favour of the conflict in the Middle East, David is ambivalent about his ‘step-up’ to protect the Home Secretary - Julia Montague. Torn between dedication to his job and his political ideals, and prone to volatile behaviour, he must decide where his loyalties truly lie.

Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes)
The Right Honourable Julia Montague is Home Secretary and a Conservative MP. Divorced, Julia lives alone in her London constituency.

Ambitious, smart and undaunted by opposition, Julia is pushing a controversial new counter-terrorism bill through parliament which would give the security services unprecedented powers of surveillance. Some of her colleagues believe Julia is on course to challenge the PM for party leadership.

Vicky Budd (Sophie Rundle)
Vicky is a ward sister at a London hospital and loving mother of two young children. Married to police officer PS David Budd, they are separated due to his unpredictable moods and issues with PTSD since he returned from the Afghanistan war. While Vicky still loves and cares for David, she also wants to move on with her life.

Commander Anne Sampson (Gina McKee)
Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, Sampson reports directly to the Home Secretary, Julia Montague. A woman of seemingly unimpeachable professional standards, Sampson is horrified when Julia threatens to move the investigation into recent terror events over to the Security Service. Caught between policing and politics, Sampson must find a way to cut through the machinations of those around her and get to the truth.

Paul Abbott's No Offence returns for Series 3

The third series of Paul Abbott‘s award-winning Channel 4 series NO OFFENCE returns with the brilliant and unbreakable crime fighting family of Friday Street coppers in 6 brand new episodes.

The extremities of DI Viv Deering’s (Joanna Scanlan) world are governed not only by thugs, but by politicians too. Same goes for all of us. In our crowded world enemies can be almost invisible. Deering and her team adopt equally covert tactics to expose a few bare-faced truths.

Paul Abbott says: “Series 3 is about the void left by political parties, clusters of ignorance streamlined in to soldier ants. Whether it’s a real or perceived void doesn’t matter. Predators will always exploit a weakness. Viv Deering really earns her wages in making her voice heard to diverse cultural factions.”

The fabulous three return: “let’s not pigeon shit all over the facts” Deering (Joanna Scanlan), impulsive DC Dinah Kowalska (Elaine Cassidy) and astute DS Joy Freers (Alexandra Roach). At their sides in the crumbling Friday Street cop-shop are the adrenaline fuelled team: moral compass DC Spike Tanner (Will Mellor), genius Miller (Paul Ritter); and the uniforms big hearted Jonah (Ste Johnston), switched on Stuart (Tom Varey), force of nature Tegan (Saira Choudhry), off-the-wall Dr Peep (Kate O’Flynn) and gentle office manager Gavin (Conor MacNeill). Swooping in to micromanage the Friday Street team is the sharp new Superintendent Marilyn Merchant (BAFTA-nominated Claire Rushbrook - My Mad Fat Diary, Home Fires, Whitechapel). They’re having to play smarter than ever to keep the lid on a city at fragile breaking point.

Mayoral hustings in Cinderly, an inner-city area of Manchester, is a tinderbox ready to ignite. Fuelling the chaos in the community is leader of the extreme Far Right group Albion, Dennis Caddy (Neil Maskell - Utopia, Humans, The Mimic), his outspoken girlfriend Bonnie (Tamara Lawrance – Cordelia, Ian McKellen’s King Lear CFT; Viola - Twelfth Night RNT) and his mouthy sister Faye (BAFTA Scotland-winning Sharon Rooney - My Mad Fat Diary, Two Doors Down, Brief Encounters).

The febrile atmosphere in Cinderly ignites as the mayoral candidate anti-establishment, local girl-done-good politician Caroline McCoy (Lisa McGrillis - Inspector George Gently, Mum, Hebburn) goes head to head for the high-stakes electoral ward, with woolly liberal Mayor Karim Hassan (Ace Bhatti – Love, Lies And Records, EastEnders). In their midst is the master puppeteer, mercenary Far Right fanatic Ralph Beckett (Darren Connolly – Moorside, Peaky Blinders), forcing Viv and the team to fight toe to toe as he wages his war on both the cops and culturally-vulnerable targets - with devastating consequences.

Viv and Friday Street find themselves pawns in a political chess match, which is the last thing they need as incidents of hate crime soar in the city. Clashing once more with the underworld and the upper brass alike, Viv's never had it so tough and finds she must deploy every weapon in her arsenal to keep her team together and restore peace to a community wracked with political and xenophobic uncertainty.

Further casting includes: Patrick Baladi (Marcella, Stella, The Office), Phil Dunster (Murder On The Orient Express), Dave Johns (Title role in I, Daniel Blake), Bethany Black (Cucumber, Banana and Tofu), Charlotte Harwood (Deep State, Doctors), Kate Coogan (Emmerdale), Nigel Lindsay (Victoria, Four Lions), Elizabeth Lomas as Dinah’s now wayward teenager Tessa and 15 year old Sophie Andrews as Miller’s daughter Lena.

NO OFFENCE is written and created by Paul Abbott and produced by his company AbbottVision. Executive Producers are Paul Abbott, Martin Carr and Paul Coe for AbbottVision; with Philip Leach as Producer. Directing episode 1 and 3 is Catherine Morshead (No Offence, Fungus The Bogeyman), Rob Quinn (DCI Banks, Jekyll And Hyde) directs episodes 2 and 4 and Misha Manson-Smith (Kiss Me First, Barbados) directs episodes 5 and 6. Head of Channel 4 Drama is Beth Willis, Commisioning Editor is Lee Mason and Commissioning Executive is Jonny Richards. Writers: Paul Abbott, Paul Tomalin, Tom Grieves and Julie Rutterford. NO OFFENCE was filmed on location in Manchester.

Castlevania: Season 2 | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Raise hell! Castlevania Season 2 — join our awakening October 26, only on Netflix.

A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly beasts controlled by Dracula himself. Inspired by the classic video games.

Starring: Richard Armitage, James Callis, Graham McTavish

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Channel 4 recommissions The Big Narstie Show

Following a successful first outing, Channel 4 has commissioned a brand new series of The Big Narstie Show, the alternative late night anarchic entertainment show presented by Grime musician Big Narstie and stand-up comedian Mo Gilligan.

The studio series, from Expectation and Dice Productions Entertainment, will feature more celebrity guests and musical performances alongside straight-talking segments on the news of the week, TV, showbiz, trends and food and laugh out loud sketches.

Previous guests across the first series included Ed Sheeran, David Schwimmer, Thandie Newton, Richard Ayoade, Craig David, Not3s, Giggs, Krept and Konan and Lady Leshurr.

The Big Narstie Show was one of Channel 4’s most popular programmes for young audiences. It was up 94% on share of 16-24 years old viewers, up 129% on share for BAME viewers and up 144% on share for black audiences.

Big Narstie and Mo will be back later this year with a one off Christmas special.

Big Narstie said, “If you thought the first series was GASSED this ones gonna be MAJORLY gassed with some intergalactic flavours with base.”

Syeda Irtizaali, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 says, “Six episodes of The Big Narstie Show wasn’t quite enough to showcase the inimitable and captivating talents of Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan so we’re delighted to be bringing it back for a second run. Every week of series one was an adventure in itself and I can’t wait to see how series two develops.”

Ben Wicks, Creative Director, Comedy Entertainment at Expectation and Executive Producer, added, “Big Narstie brought so much chaos and charisma to series 1 – everyone involved in the show is still reeling. He and the outstandingly quick Mo Gilligan have re-energised the chat show and I’m thrilled that thanks to Channel 4 we get to make a second series which will be bigger, bolder and continue the evolution of an on screen duo who love nothing more than pausing any interview to slam each other, with the guest looking on, in bits. This is 100% what TV should be. Bring on series 2.”

Obi Kevin Akudike and Nathan Brown, Joint MDs of Dice Productions Entertainment said, “Making The Big Narstie Show was a great experience – in series 1 we made history and with the next, we want to leave a legacy!”

The Big Narstie Show S2 was commissioned for Channel 4 by Ed Havard, Head of Entertainment with Syeda Irtizaali, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment and Events and Shaminder Nahal, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual. It is a co-production with Expectation and Dice Productions Entertainment, executive produced by Ben Wicks for Expectation and Obi Kevin Akudike and Nathan Brown for Dice Productions Entertainment and series produced by Aoife Bower.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Vanity Fair | This September | ITV

ITV commissions seven part drama Vanity Fair from Mammoth Screen, starring Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharp
“A world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having.”
A new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s, Vanity Fair, has been commissioned as a seven-part drama for ITV by the broadcaster’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill.
Written by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel, The Girl, Miss Austen Regrets) and produced by leading production company Mammoth Screen, Vanity Fair is being made with Amazon Studios.
Olivia Cooke - the 23 year old Oldham-born actress and star of Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film Ready Player One - plays Thackeray’s timeless heroine Becky Sharp. 
Gwyneth Hughes’ adaptation of Thackeray’s literary classic is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and follows Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English Society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing”, takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

C4 commissions second series of hit drama The End of the F***ing World

Channel 4 has confirmed that the RTS Award-winning and BAFTA-nominated series The End of the F***ing World will return. As well as being All 4’s best performing exclusive single series (which enjoyed the best launch week ever for any All 4 exclusive single series or stunt launch) the show garnered a legion of committed fans, making it All 4’s most-binged show of any exclusive single series. The End of The F***ing World was co-commissioned by Netflix and Channel 4.

The first series saw teen outsiders James (Alex Lawther - Black Mirror, The Imitation Game) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden - The Lobster, Ellen, Penny Dreadful) embark on a road trip which descended into darkly comic chaos. After finding themselves embroiled in a series of violent events they are soon trailed by two uniquely mismatched police detectives, played by BAFTA-winning Wunmi Mosaku (Damilola Our Loved Boy, Kiri) and Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones, The Moorside). After a shocking series finale, only one thing is certain…expect the unexpected.

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes at Channel 4, said: “Lurching between black and joyous, The End of The F***ing World was one of the most original and beguiling pieces of drama to emerge from Britain in years. I’m so proud that Channel 4 brought it to the screen and beyond excited that Charlie and the brilliant team at Clerkenwell are giving us a second helping.”

Beth Willis, Head of Drama at Channel 4, commented: “The End of The F***ing World is a truly special show that constantly intrigues. It has an almost alchemical blend of pitch-black humour and beautifully warm tenderness which marks it out as a truly unique show. We’re so proud that this global success story began at Channel 4 and that a second series is on its way. Charlie’s witty, wonderful world is back and we can’t wait to see where she takes it next.”

Murray Ferguson, Chief Executive of Clerkenwell Films: said: “The love for this show is amazing and has gone from strength to strength, and from right across the globe. We can’t wait to tell the next chapters of the story…”

Charlie Covell, writer, added: “I’m completely thrilled that we’re going again and I’m delighted to be back working with such a great team."

The End of the F***ing World series 2 will be written by Charlie Covell and inspired by the characters from the award-winning series of comic books by Charles Forsman. The series will be produced by Clerkenwell Films and Dominic Buchanan Productions. The Executive Producers will be Murray Ferguson, Ed Macdonald, Andy Baker, Charlie Covell, Dominic Buchanan and Jonathan Entwistle. The series is commissioned by Beth Willis, Head of Drama at Channel 4 and Lee Mason, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Drama.

Channel 4 commissions a third series of Ackley Bridge for 2019

Channel 4 has confirmed that Ackley Bridge will return for a third series in 2019, with 8 brand new episodes commissioned from The Forge.

The first series was nominated for an RTS Award for Best Drama Series and won Best Drama, Best Actor, Best Director Fiction and Best Music and Use of Music at the RTS Yorkshire Awards. Series two, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, concluded on Tuesday 21st August.

The idea for Ackley Bridge was inspired by schools in Lancashire and Yorkshire that were set up to integrate the white and Asian communities in some of the most divided towns in the country. It has won praise for the way it explores the lives of pupils and teachers alike with irreverence, wit, close to the knuckle humour and punchy, big hearted stories.

Manpreet Dosanjh, Commissioning Editor, says, “We’re thrilled that our beloved Ackley gang are returning to Channel 4 next year for what is sure to be another joyful, outrageous and unmissable series. This bold and ballsy show reflects modern Britain in all its diverse glory and does so with wit, grit and its heart firmly in the right place.”

George Ormond, Executive Producer, says, “Making Ackley Bridge gives us the chance to tell stories about a part of multicultural Britain that doesn’t get seen on TV very often, and do it with humour, guts and a big heart. We’re particularly proud to have given six writers their first hour of television drama in the first two series, five of whom are from diverse backgrounds.”

Ayub Khan Din, Executive Producer, added, “I'm so pleased to be given continued support by Channel 4. The Ackley Bridge curriculum gives you the three "R's" Race! Religion! and Rioting! Like a good Chicken Tikka Massala it has all the best ingredients with just the right amount of spice!"

Martin Compston, Midge Ure and Amy Macdonald amongst the guests set to appear in the last ever Still Game series

Stars of TV, film and music including Martin Compston, Midge Ure and Amy Macdonald will appear as guest cast in the ninth series of Still Game, made by BBC Studios in Scotland for BBC One.

Acclaimed TV actors Martin Compston (Line of Duty) and Taggart’s James MacPherson take on new one-off character roles while music chart-toppers Midge Ure, Amy Macdonald, Clare Grogan make cameo appearances in the new six-part series along with DJ and presenter Des Clarke. The stellar array of guest stars appear alongside the original cast including writers and stars, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill who play evergreen pensioners, Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade.

Filming on the series began last week at BBC Scotland’s Dumbarton Studios and the six-week shoot will also see filming take place in locations across Glasgow in what promises to be a ‘must-see’ finale for fans across the country.

Midge Ure, who filmed his comedy scenes earlier this week, is delighted to make a cameo appearance in Craiglang: “I’ve been a fan of Still Game for a while. My friend, Danny Mitchell, who I co-wrote ‘If I Was’ with sent me a DVD of the first couple of series a long time back and I fell in love with it then.

“The fantasy and the reality of acting are two very different things, however. In your head you’re Robert DeNiro but in reality you’re something very, very different! It’s amazing how quickly you clam up.

“Watching the whole process of filming was amazing, I always find that stuff fascinating. It’s very different from doing pop promos. This supersedes the OBE. Being in Still Game is like the comedy version of getting a Blue Peter badge which I wear with pride. The way I see it, if you’re going to be humiliated it might as well be in a comedy you love.”

Steven Canny, BBC Studios Comedy, Executive Producer, says: “We’re delighted that such brilliant performers from the worlds of music, comedy and gritty television crime are coming to join us. Alongside our brilliant core cast they look well set to give the show the send-off it deserves. I can’t wait for everyone to see these episodes.”

All of the original cast - Ford Kiernan, Greg Hemphill, Jane McCarry, Gavin Mitchell, Paul Riley, Mark Cox and Sanjeev Kohli - return alongside Still Game favourites Methadone Mick (Scott Reid), Sheathing The Undertaker (Bruce Morton), Peggy (Lynne McCallum), Edith (Maureen Carr), Meena (Shamshad Akhtar), Shug (Paul Young), Stevie the bookie (Matt Costello) and Frances (Kate Donnelly).

Speaking today at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Charlotte Moore announces Scarborough and 'king Gary.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: "These two new shows highlight BBC One's continued commitment to breaking new comedy on the channel. Both are real gems; Scarborough, from sitcom writing heavyweight Derren Litten and 'king Gary's writer performer Tom Davis pens a mainstream sitcom with tons of heart."

Shane Allen, Controller, BBC Comedy, says: “Its a real coup to have someone of Derren’s great experience land a broad sitcom with a Northern comedy heart to it, it’ll do Scarborough very proud. With ‘king Gary we also get a big daft southern comedy voice in Tom Davis at the centre of a very exciting cast. The Comedy Playhouse strand has been really prolific in launching series with the very best of emerging UK comedy talent."

Scarborough is a brand new comedy series from Derren Litten, the creator and writer of the award-winning sitcom Benidorm. It follows the lives and loves of a small handful of residents in Scarborough, the sometime sunny beach resort in North Yorkshire, who meet most nights in the local karaoke bar where they swap gossip and sing 80’s classics.

Made by BBC Studios, the 6x30' comedy series will feature an ensemble cast which will be announced in due course and filming is set to take place on location in summer 2019.

Gregor Sharp is the BBC's Commissioning Editor with Chris Sussman and Stephen McCrum both Executive Producers for BBC Studios.

‘king Gary
A new sitcom pilot has been commissioned as part of BBC One’s Comedy Playhouse series from Shiny Button Productions, part of Endemol Shine Group.

‘king Gary is a larger than life working-class sitcom with a big heart for BBC One, from the creative team behind the Bafta award-winning Murder in Successville. The series is written by Tom Davis and James De Frond, and will star Davis as the lead and be directed by De Frond. Joining the cast is Simon Day (The Fast Show), Camille Coduri (Him & Her), Laura Checkley (Bridget Jones’s Baby) and Romesh Ranganathan (The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan).

The story follows childhood sweethearts Gary and Terri King, a husband and wife comedy double act, and their aspirations to achieve social acceptance and moderate material success in competitive suburbia. This, accompanied by drama queen Gary’s constant need to impress his prehistoric old school Dad, Big Gary, and attempt to fill his big boots, equals a massive ‘try hard’ douchebag.

‘king Gary is a study of how the small things in life can be blown up to absurd proportions as the pressures of the modern world, and how we think we must exist within it, spiral out of control. A big comedy about life’s small and often petty dramas.

‘king Gary is a Shiny Button Productions show for BBC One, written by Tom Davis and James De Frond, and produced by Rupert Majendie. Executive producers are Andy Brereton, Tom Davis and James De Frond. ‘king Gary is commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller Comedy, BBC.

Peaky Blinders to move to BBC One

Speaking today at the Edinburgh TV Festival Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content announced that this year's Bafta award-winning drama series Peaky Blinders will move to the nation’s favourite channel for its fifth series next year.

The hit series, written and created by Steven Knight and produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions has become a cult phenomenon on BBC Two since launching in 2013. It’s played a key part in the incredible resurgence of drama on the channel over the last five years.

The most recent series was the best performing so far and BBC Two's top drama of 2017, attracting an average consolidated audience of 3.3m - almost 1million more than series three. Peaky Blinders is one of the top BBC dramas for 16-34s, and has grown series on series; series four increased its 16-34 audience by 56% from series three.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: "Peaky Blinders is world class drama at the top of its game and the time has arrived for it to move to the UK’s biggest channel. Steven Knight's epic storytelling is authentic and utterly compelling and I want to give it the chance to be enjoyed by an even broader audience on BBC One. We couldn't have asked for a better response to series four and the impact it had with young audiences. This move will also give BBC Two more creative headroom to experiment with new drama."

Steven Knight, Writer and Executive Producer, says: “I am thrilled that our precious Peaky Blinders is moving to BBC One. Peaky is a show nurtured and grown by the audience who have found us through word of mouth. Hopefully this move will help us reach even more people.”

Caryn Mandabach, Executive Producer, Caryn Mandabach Productions, says: “Peaky Blinders has touched the minds and hearts of everyone who's watched it and we are honoured to bring a whole new audience with us as we move our merry gang to BBC One for the next series."

Charlie Heaton is The Elephant Man

BBC One announced The Elephant Man, a two-part drama starring Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) as Joseph Merrick - better known as The Elephant Man.

Commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, the 2x90’ series is produced by New Pictures and written by Neil McKay (Moorside).

The Elephant Man follows the compelling and extraordinary life of Joseph Merrick from his working-class beginnings in Leicestershire, through the work-houses, music halls and freak shows that punctuated 19th Century culture and society; to his time at the London Hospital and his vital friendship with Dr Frederick Treves. Starting with his birth and ending with his death, McKay’s adaptation covers the true events of Merrick’s personal odyssey, his extreme courage, determination and human dignity despite challenges arising from his disability. It explores the mysteries that surround Merrick and the man behind the myth.

Charlie Heaton says: “I’m extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the portrayal of Joseph Merrick in the BBC’s adaption of The Elephant Man. This is such a special role and a challenge for any actor. Joseph has such an incredible story and I can’t wait to go on this journey and bring him to life.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Neil’s scripts, chronicling Joseph’s life in its entirety, will shed new light on this story bringing greater depth and humanity to it than ever before. Charlie Heaton promises to be extraordinary in the lead role and we are excited to be telling this powerful, resonant story on BBC One.”

Elaine Pyke, Executive Producer for New Pictures, says: “It wasn’t until we started the research that we realised there was such a rich story to tell about this wonderful man. Joseph’s determination to be his own man, to earn a living, to find a sense of freedom and to express himself is inspiring to all. Neil McKay’s beautiful script captures this extraordinary story and we are thrilled that Charlie Heaton is going to play Joseph."

Joseph Merrick has been the subject of many medical studies, documentaries and works of fiction. Born in Leicester in 1862, at the age of five years old he began to develop physical deformities to his skin, face, arms and feet. When he was 11 years old, his mother died from bronchopneumonia, his father soon remarried and by 17 he was a resident of the workhouse after his relationship with his father deteriorated. Seeking to escape the workhouse several years later, Merrick found his way into a human oddities show in London where he was exhibited as 'The Elephant Man’. He met Dr Frederick Treves in 1884, after he had witnessed Merrick being exhibited in a shop across the road from the London Hospital. Treves brought Merrick to the London Hospital where he lived until his death in 1890, aged 27.

There have been numerous depictions of Merrick on stage and screen, with the first performance originating from David Schofield in a 1979 play written by Bernard Pomerance. It was a definitive performance with many well-known actors taking on the iconic role since, including David Bowie, Mark Hamill, and most recently Bradley Cooper for his West End theatre debut. In 1980, David Lynch directed John Hurt in the lead role in a motion picture picture based on Merrick’s life for which it won BAFTAs for Best Film and Best Actor.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, announces three brand new drama series written by three female writers authoring diverse and original shows for BBC One, Two and Three

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, has today announced Nicole Taylor will pen emotional thriller The Nest for BBC One, while Michaela Coel - who is due to give the MacTaggart Lecture at Edinburgh TV Festival this evening, is writing a landmark drama for BBC Two Jan 22nd (w/t), and Sally Rooney will be adapting her forthcoming novel Normal People for BBC Three.

Wenger says: “I am honoured to be today announcing three brand new and contrasting dramas for BBC One, Two and Three.

"To BBC One comes The Nest. Nicole Taylor’s talent for creating complex, compelling characters and for getting deep under the skin of modern Britain will make The Nest one of next year’s most thrilling and provocative dramas. We feel enormously fortunate to be working again with Sue Hogg and Nicole, the world class writing and producing team behind Three Girls - their track record speaks for itself...

"Over on BBC Two, I am thrilled to announce the BBC is working with Michaela Coel on her next project for television. Jan 22nd (w/t) will be must-see TV for anyone with an interest in modern gender politics or anyone who is struggling to get to grips with the new rules of sex and dating. We are enormously lucky to have a writer-performer of Michaela's courage, vision and wisdom to help us navigate such complex and confusing terrain. This is something really special.

"Finally, on BBC Three, Sally Rooney will be adapting her forthcoming novel Normal People for the channel. Sally is fast becoming the voice of her generation and the BBC is thrilled to be working with her on her first piece for television. Normal People is a beautifully crafted story of love and friendship. It was a thrill to read it ahead of publication, and see how she has started to adapt this story of millennial angst for BBC Three.”

The Nest
Bafta award-winning writer Nicole Taylor pens brand new emotional thriller The Nest for BBC One
From the multi-award-winning producer behind Three Girls
Commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, The Nest is a brand new thriller written by Bafta award-winning Nicole Taylor (Three Girls, The C Word, Wild Rose) and exec produced by multi-award-winning Susan Hogg for Studio Lambert (Three Girls, The Feed).

The Nest is a six-part fictional drama that explores the consequences of a pact between a wealthy couple and a teenage girl that changes all of their lives forever.

Dan and Emily are crazy about each other. They live in a huge house in the nicest part of Glasgow and want for nothing. All that’s missing is a baby - and they’ve been trying for years. Through a chance encounter they meet Kaya, an 18 year old from the other side of the city, whose life is as precarious at theirs is comfortable. When Kaya agrees to carry their baby, it feels like they were meant to meet but was it really by chance?

Who is Kaya and what has brought her to this couple? Can the dreams of Kaya, Emily and Dan be fulfilled or have all three embarked on a relationship of mutually assured destruction?

The Nest is an emotional thriller about love and money, and the price of being able to buy whatever you want.

Writer, Nicole Taylor, says: “The Nest forces an emotionally combustible confrontation between two Glasgows - and it’s the story I’ve wanted to tell all my life. I’m so excited to continue my collaboration with executive producer Sue Hogg and to be bringing my first original series to BBC One.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: "Following the game changing Three Girls, Nicole Taylor returns to BBC One with her first original fictional drama series that will take audiences on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as it delves into surrogacy."

Susan Hogg, Head of Drama, Studio Lambert, says: “Having worked closely with Nicole on Three Girls and The C Word for the BBC, I am beyond excited to be collaborating once more with such an extraordinary talent. The Nest is a thrilling exploration into how we live now. Nicole has created a fascinating cast of characters in a breathtaking story which promises to take the audience on an emotional roller coaster. The Nest will be both challenging and hugely entertaining.”

Nicole Taylor wrote the multi award-winning BBC One drama Three Girls about the Rochdale grooming scandal, which won five Baftas including the Bafta for Best Writer. Prior to writing Three Girls, Nicole’s multi-Bafta nominated single BBC One drama The C Word starred Sheridan Smith. Her original feature Wild Rose directed by Tom Harper and starring Julie Walters, will be released later in 2018.

The Nest (6x60’) is written by Nicole Taylor and will be produced by Studio Lambert for BBC One. It will be Executive Produced by Susan Hogg for Studio Lambert and Lucy Richer for the BBC.

Jan 22nd
Brand new drama series created by, written by and starring Michaela Coel
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, have commissioned Michaela Coel’s Jan 22nd (w/t), a brand-new landmark drama for BBC Two, produced by Various Artists Ltd and co-produced with FALKNA Productions.

This fearless, frank and provocative series explores the question of sexual consent in contemporary life and how, in the new landscape of dating and relationships, we make the distinction between liberation and exploitation.

Set in London, where gratification is only an app away, the story centres on Arabella (Coel) whose raw and personal experience of consent sits at the heart of the story. Through Arabella we meet a group of fictional friends and colleagues whose sexual adventures frequently collide with a world in which new codes of sexual practice are emerging...

Creator, Michaela Coel says: “I feel weirdly overwhelmed and honoured to be making something again, something I’m making myself, with a great team.”

Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, says: “Michaela Coel is a unique talent and her writing for this drama explodes from the page. It promises fearless, provocative and gripping storytelling exploring one of the defining issues of our times. I am absolutely delighted that Michaela is bringing this to BBC Two.”

Phil Clarke, Executive Producer, says: “It’s incredibly exciting to be working with Michaela again. She has a brave and original vision, something mature and relevant to say; about gender politics, about consent, about gratification, about social media, about her generation. It’s an explosive package.”

Produced by Various Artists Ltd the series is a co-production with FALKNA Productions for BBC Two. It will be Executive Produced by Michaela Coel for FALKNA Productions, Phil Clarke for Various Artists Ltd and Piers Wenger for BBC Two.

Normal People
BBC Three
Adaptation of Sally Rooney’s highly-anticipated forthcoming novel Normal People for BBC Three
Directed by Oscar-nominated Irish film Director Lenny Abrahamson
Just 18 months after Sally Rooney’s critically acclaimed debut novel Conversations with Friends, BBC drama has announced an adaptation of her forthcoming novel Normal People, adapted by Sally Rooney herself. The series will be directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Room, Frank) and produced by Element Pictures (Room, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster).

Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person's life and about how complicated intimacy can be. Over several years, we follow Marianne and Connell - both from a small west of Ireland town, but from very different backgrounds – as they embark on an on-off romance that starts at school and continues through college, as they test their relationship, experiment with other partners and explore different versions of themselves.

The book is full of all the awkwardness, humour and confusion that accompanies love and sex and offers the opportunity to make a television show about being young that is frank, smart and intoxicating.

Sally Rooney, says: “I feel very privileged to be working with such an extraordinary team on the adaptation of “Normal People.” I’m looking forward to the challenge of working in a new form, and of thinking about these characters and their lives in new ways.”

Normal People will be directed by Irish film director Lenny Abrahamson who said: “Sally is a writer of the highest calibre and in ‘Normal People’ she captures the ebb and flow of intimacy and desire with extraordinary skill. I’m proud to be part of bringing her work to the screen audience it deserves.”

Ed Guiney of Element Pictures, says: “Sally’s novel is a beautifully written, utterly beguiling exploration of an incredibly intense love story, the subtlety and specificity of which is breathtaking . There is no better film maker than Lenny Abrhamson to realise its potential for the screen. We are delighted to help bring this brilliant project to life.”

Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three, adds: “At BBC Three we are 100% committed to providing a platform for fresh contemporary new voices like Sally Rooney. Her new novel Normal People is a wonderfully brilliant depiction of young love, friendship and the journey towards adulthood and I cannot wait to see how Sally, Lenny Ed and the team bring it to life on screen for the BBC Three audience.”

Winner of the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends was the Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard’s Book of the Year, alongside one of Vogue’s 10 Best Books of 2017. Normal People will be published by Faber & Faber in September 2018 and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.

Normal People will be produced by Element Pictures for BBC Three.