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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

The Last Kingdom Season 3 will launch on Netflix on November 19


The third instalment of The Last Kingdom, based on Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling books, will launch on Netflix on November 19. 

For the first time, all ten episodes will premiere simultaneously on Netflix, and will feature a host of new characters including Ola Rapace (Skyfall) as Danish warrior Bloodhair, Thea Sofie Loch Næss (One Night in Oslo) as the dangerous seer Skade, Timothy Innes (Harlots) as King Alfred’s heir, Edward, and  Magnus Bruun (Sprinter Galore, The Bridge) as Cnut.

The new series will see King Alfred consider his legacy, as his dream of uniting the kingdoms of England is jeopardised by incessant Danish attacks. Alfred knows that the only man with the power to crush the uprising and secure the Wessex dynasty is the great warrior and hero Uhtred, but when their volatile relationship reaches breaking point, Uhtred must confront the difficult truth: if he deserts Alfred’s cause, everything he has fought for will be forever changed.

Produced by the award-winning Carnival Films, the ten-part season is adapted by BAFTA-nominated and RTS award-winning writer Stephen Butchard, who also serves as executive producer. The executive producers for Carnival are Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant. Chrissy Skinns is series producer and Cait Collins is producer.

The Last Kingdom Season Three will launch on Netflix UK and US on November 19, it will be released at a later date across Africa, Belgium, China, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Middle East, the Netherlands, the Nordics and Poland. The series is distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal International Distribution.

BBC One’s Bodyguard is the UK’s most watched drama since current records began


The finale of BBC One’s Bodyguard was watched by an audience of 17.1 million people, 28-day 4-screen consolidated figures have revealed.

This makes it the UK’s most watched episode of any drama series across all channels since current records began, in 2002. This is the largest audience recorded for a TV programme outside of sporting and national events since 2010.

Bodyguard is BBC iPlayer’s most successful box set ever, where it currently has over 38 million requests. The full series, written and created by Jed Mercurio and made by World Productions for BBC One, remains on BBC iPlayer exclusively in the UK as a box set.

Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, says: "Bodyguard continues to smash records and thrill new audiences everyday via the boxset, which is available exclusively on BBC iPlayer for the next five months."

Simon Heath, CEO & Creative Director of World Productions, says: “A big thank you to the BBC for their terrific support and to everyone who watched Bodyguard either live or on catch up. We’re hugely grateful”.

Figures are measured using BARB’s updated 4-screen 28-day measure, which was introduced in August 2018 and includes viewing through TVs, as well as online non-TV devices.

Measured using the previous standard 28-day consolidated method, the figure for Bodyguard's finale (15.9 million) still remains the highest number for an episode of a drama series since current records began in 2002.

Simon Mayo to leave BBC Radio 2


Jo Whiley to present new BBC Radio 2 show

Simon Mayo, who currently presents the 5-8pm weekday programme with Jo Whiley, has decided to leave BBC Radio 2 later this year to work on a variety of projects. He will continue to co-host Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review on BBC Radio 5 live with Mark Kermode on Fridays, 2-4pm.

Jo Whiley will launch a brand new show in January from 7-9pm, Monday - Thursday, placing her in the heart of the evening schedule, featuring the very best new music and amazing live sessions. Jo will continue to present the Radio 2 In Concert series and will also be standing in for Ken Bruce in 2019 when he is away.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2, says: "Simon is a fantastic broadcaster, and I’d like to thank him for entertaining millions of Radio 2 listeners with his wit and warmth over the years. Everyone at the station wishes Simon the very best of luck for what promises to be a very exciting future, and he'll be missed at Wogan House. With Simon leaving, we’ve taken this opportunity to take a fresh look at the schedule, and create a show for Jo which will focus on her passion for music."

Simon says: “Obviously, I’m very sad to be leaving Radio 2, and my good friend Jo. However, 2019 looks like being incredibly exciting for me. I have a new two book deal with Transworld, my children’s series Itch is being filmed for TV in Australia in early 2019, and I’m continuing to develop my novel Mad Blood Stirring for a movie with screenwriter Jack Thorne. Plus the film show with Mark Kermode continues on 5 live.

“Radio 2 has been a quite wonderful experience - my happiest in radio I think - but new adventures beckon and I cannot wait to get started.”

Jo says: "I’m incredibly sad that Simon has decided to leave Radio 2. He’s a brilliant broadcaster, a great friend and I really will miss working with him. However, I’m very much looking forward to hosting a new show for a new year which will have music at the very heart of it as well as guests and live sessions. Dream show, actually. Can’t wait!"

Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Radio and Music (and former Controller, Radio 2), says: “I brought both Simon and Jo in to Radio 2 many years ago, and they have been fantastic keystones in the Radio 2 schedule. I wish Simon good luck with his forthcoming projects, and congratulate Jo on her new show, which I look forward to listening to in January.”

From 2001-2007 Simon presented the Radio 2 Album Chart Show, whilst also presenting 5 live's afternoon show between 2001 and 2009. Simon presented Radio 2 Drivetime from January 2010 - May 2018, when he hosted a new extended 5-8pm show with Jo Whiley.

During his career, Simon has won a Sony Radio Academy Award in 2009 with Mark Kermode for the 5 live Film Review, the Sony Award in 2011 for Best Music Programme for Drivetime, the Sony Radio Speech Award at the 2008, as well Broadcasting Press Guild's Radio Broadcaster of the Year in 2008.

Earlier this year, the film rights for his first adult novel, Mad Blood Stirring, were acquired by House Productions and it is in development with screenwriter Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). The first in his trilogy of children’s novels, Itch, is to be adapted by ABC Television in Australia, and starts filming there early next year, which Simon will attend.

Jo Whiley was introduced to the Radio 2 audience from August 2009, when she covered for various presenters, and subsequently began hosting the In Concert series from April 2010. Jo launched an evening show in Feb 2011, and went on to co-host the network’s annual flagship music event Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. She is also one of the anchors of the BBC’s television coverage of Glastonbury.

In March 2014, Jo undertook a fundraising challenge for Sport Relief by walking and jogging (and broadcasting live at times) on a treadmill for 26 hours, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds, including a £260k donation from Coldplay. Jo is also an ambassador to Mencap, supports Tommy’s - The Baby Charity and is the Patron of the Cri du Chat Syndrome Support Group.

Further details of the early evening Radio 2 schedule will be announced in the near future.

Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff join Chris Harris as Top Gear unveils new presenting lineup


Following Matt LeBlanc’s announcement that he will leave the show after the next series, Top Gear has announced a new look line-up of hosts who are destined to cause comedic car chaos and take the world’s biggest motoring entertainment show to another level.

Lancashire lads Paddy McGuinness, the primetime entertainment host and comedian, and former Ashes-winning England cricketer and TV presenter Freddie Flintoff, will join motoring journalist and racing-driver Chris Harris in what promises to be one of television’s most explosive combinations of entertainment firepower and petrolhead fumes. And the all-British team were officially unveiled at a photocall this morning on the banks of the River Thames in central London, flanked by a red Aston Martin DSB Superleggera and a blue Porsche 911 GT2RS.

In a move certain to unnerve health and safety chiefs, the trio will begin production on Series 27 of the BBC Two show in early 2019 - with their inaugural series premiering later in the year.

Top Gear bosses promise petrolheads and fans that the car will remain the real star of the show but hint at an even further escalation of humour, jeopardy and insurance bills as they embark on some of the show’s biggest adventures to date.

Rory Reid, who has co-presented Top Gear since Series 23, will step down from the main presenting lineup but will remain part of the Top Gear family, along with Sabine Schmitz. He will continue to be the face of Top Gear’s companion Extra Gear - and will be at the heart of what will become a bigger digital presence for the show.

Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, says: “This is a thrilling manoeuvre from the Top Gear team and I’m relishing what this trio will deliver. Both Paddy and Freddie love their cars but more than that, they’ll bring a new energy and competitive spirit to Top Gear. Chris Harris might have the greater car skills, but when it comes to the infamous Top Gear challenges, he’s going to have to bring his A-game to have the beating of these two."

Paddy McGuinness says: “Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour and I’m thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity. To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them. Now let’s start up this Great British machine and see what it can do!”

Freddie Flintoff says: “It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”

Chris Harris says: “I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers - and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.”

The next series of Top Gear, LeBlanc’s last as lead host, will debut early in 2019 on BBC Two, before Paddy, Freddie and Chris premiere Series 27 later in the year.


Paddy McGuinness
Paddy has become a well-loved and established feature of the annual TV calendar. Today he is perhaps best known for his massively popular ITV dating show Take Me Out, which goes in to production for its eleventh series this autumn and will TX early 2019.

Paddy’s first outing was in a series of six one off episodes in Channel 4′s The Comedy Lab which aired in 1998. He appeared alongside Peter Kay. In 2000 he got the part as Paddy the doorman in That Peter Kay Thing. This led to the massive spin off series Phoenix Nights. Paddy then went on to co-write (with Peter Kay) the eagerly anticipated spin off to Phoenix Nights: Max and Paddy - The Road To Nowhere.

This led Paddy to embark on his first ever solo stand-up tour, The Dark Side. Paddy performed 108 dates, entertaining audiences across the UK with his sell out shows in 2005/6. The DVD Paddy McGuinness: Live was the bestselling comedy stand-up DVD at the time. A number of tours followed this in 2008, an arena tour in 2011 and most recently his 50 date UK tour 2015/16 Daddy McGuinness, which saw him receive a host of rave reviews.

Paddy is well known for his contributions to popular TV shows including This Morning, 71 Degrees North, Mad Mad World, Your Face Sounds Familiar, Stars In Their Cars and Coronation Street.

Most recently Paddy teamed up with Leigh Francis, producing two series of the much loved movie parody series The Keith and Paddy Picture Show.

Venturing over to the BBC, last year, Paddy hosted Even Better Than the Real Thing a head to head format featuring some of the world’s best tribute acts to see who would be crowned Even Better Than the Real Thing.

Earlier this year Paddy hosted Sport Relief alongside Claudia Winkleman and has recently completed production on a new gameshow (Catchpoint) set to launch in early 2019.

Paddy has regularly taken part in Soccer Aid for UNICEF and, alongside his wife, Christine, has been working closely with the National Autistic Society, most recently raising £200,000 from their annual Twinkle Ball which is organised and curated by the couple.

Freddie Flintoff
Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is a presenter, broadcaster and cricketing legend.

Andrew made his first class debut for Lancashire in 1995, and international honours came when he made his Test Match debut in 1998 vs South Africa. His One Day International debut followed in 1999 vs Pakistan. Andrew made his biggest impact for England in the summer of 2005, when he played a major role in regaining the Ashes from Australia. His contributions won him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in the same year. In 2006 Andrew was awarded an MBE, yet in September 2010, as one of the biggest players in the game, Flintoff retired from professional cricket due to a recurring knee injury.

Since his retirement Andrew has developed a strong broadcast career. In March 2010, Flintoff became a Team Captain, along with Jamie Redknapp, on the Sky One sports panel show A League of Their Own. The Bafta-winning show has been a huge success and is now about to film it’s thirteenth series. Andrew also worked with ITV2 in 2011 to produce the Freddie Flintoff versus The World in which he went head to head with some of the world’s sporting greats in a variety of daring challenges across the globe. Andrew also presented his own radio show in the summer of 2011 for BBC Radio 5 live entitled Freddie’s World of Sport.

Later that year, Andrew joined the team at Discovery to make the documentary Alone In The Wild. He was completely isolated without any aid or production team, making his way through the wilderness with a handheld camera to record footage. This spurned more adventures in 2012 with the channel in a spin off series Freddie Flintoff Goes Wild.

2012 also saw the BBC One documentary The Hidden Side of Sport, which took an insightful look at depression in the world of sport. Andrew met with some prolific figures for the documentary including Piers Morgan, Vinnie Jones and Ricky Hatton. In the same year, Andrew embarked on one of his greatest challenges to date; training to become a professional heavyweight boxer. This was broadcast in a documentary for Sky One; Flintoff: From Lord’s To The Ring. The culmination of this was a victory on his debut fight at The MEN Arena, Manchester, where he defeated his American opponent.

In 2013, he fronted his own show for BBC Radio 5 live; Flintoff’s Ashes Roadshow. He also expressed his expert opinion on each Test in a column for The Sun newspaper and worked with William Hill on cricket predictions. Later that year, Andrew embarked on a rainforest adventure for Sky One, accompanied by journalist Rob Penn. Flintoff’s Road Through The Rainforest, which aired in April 2014 and formed a part of Sky’s Rainforest Rescue initiative. 2017 saw Flintoff working with BBC Radio 5 live again, but this time a podcast alongside pals Robbie Savage and Matthew Syed named Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy, where the three discuss topical sports talking points. The podcast went on to win three times at the Radio Academy Awards for Best Podcast, Best New Show and Best Presenter for Freddie and is continuing into 2018.

After a chronic knee injury seemingly ended his cricket career in 2010, it was announced that Andrew would play for Lancashire again in the NatWest T20 blast squad in May 2014. Following on from his stint with Lancashire in 2014 Andrew continued his professional cricket comeback in the Australian T20 Big Bash league in December 2014 & January 2015. As well as playing in the tournament Andrew joined Channel TEN’s prestigious commentary team and made quite an impression with his on field commentary.

Following on from their adventure in the Amazon, Andrew and Rob were reunited in 2014, taking to the highways of Great Britain for a new series, Flintoff: Lord of the Fries airing on Sky One in February 2015. The show followed the boys serving up fish and chips to the general public in their eco-friendly chip van.

In March 2015 Freddie was crowned the King of the Jungle in the first series of the Australian version of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, and later that year fronted a new six part series for BBC Two, Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week, in which contestants were put through SAS tasks to find Britain’s toughest recruit. Due to popular demand and the success of their podcast, Andrew and TV producer friend Clyde Holcroft embarked on a live tour, 2nd Innings, to celebrate the ten year anniversary of England’s Ashes win. They travelled to theatres across the country in 2015, including performing at Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

Bowled over by the support of the Australian public, Freddie returned to Australia in November 2015 until early 2016 to reprise his role with Channel Ten on The Project twice weekly and to also join the commentary team on the Big Bash League.

In early 2016, Flintoff was elected the new PCA President of the Professional Cricketers’ Association at the PCA’s annual general meeting held in Birmingham. Andrew joined a very exclusive club as he succeeded his fellow Lancastrian David Lloyd in becoming the seventh President in the association’s history.

Freddie released his tell all autobiography Second Innings: My Sporting Life, a celebration of Flintoff’s 20 years in cricket. The much anticipated book reveals the unseen sides of his career and personality.

At the end of 2016, Nine Network announced that Flintoff was joining the adrenaline-charged competition series Australian Ninja Warrior, ahead of its debut season in 2017. In a coup for the internationally acclaimed Ninja Warrior format, Freddie joined the sport and entertainment series as a side line reporter, commentator and co-host alongside Rebecca Maddern and Ben Fordham. A second series was filmed in Sydney at the end of 2017 which will air in 2018.

In September 2017, Flintoff was the main presenter for Cannonball on ITV with Frankie Bridge, Radzi Chinyanganya, Ryan Hand and Maya Jama as poolside reporters. In December of that year, Flintoff hosted a new ITV primetime show which aired on Christmas Eve All Star Musicals.

2017 also saw Freddie take his hand in the acting and musical worlds. Flintoff made his acting debut in one episode of the BBC drama Kay Mellor’s Love, Lies & Records. He also made his stage debut in Kay Mellor’s musical Fat Friends, touring around the UK in 2018 playing the character Kevin alongside Jodie Prenger and Sam Bailey.

Since then, Fred took up the role of host for Sky One’s Carnage. The high-octane show saw teams of creative engineers, mechanics and drivers from throughout the UK and Ireland transform regular cars into weaponised battle-ready vehicles. Moving back to the world of cricket, Fred sung ‘on top of the world’ in this new video for the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of the cricket World Cup in 2019.

His new book, Do You Know What?: Life According to Freddie Flintoff is out November 2018. Here, Fred expels an eclectic and entertaining smorgasbord of anecdotes, impressions, reflections, ruminations, musings, cogitations, observations, rants, confessions and pearls of wisdom on all aspects of life’s rich tapestry.

Chris Harris
Chris Harris joined the Top Gear presenting line-up in 2016 for Series 23. He is probably best known for his popular YouTube channel, Chris Harris on Cars which he launched in 2014, and established with the help of long-time friend Neil Carey. Chris currently presents the online car review series Chris Harris Drives for topgear.com. Chris began his career in motoring journalism at UK-based Autocar magazine, becoming their official road-test editor. He started a website for fast cars the week Lehman Brothers went under in 2008, which obviously ended badly. He then looked to solve his new-found indebtedness at Evo magazine and then became a member of the Pistonheads.com crew, as well as a regular feature on YouTube’s DRIVE channel.

New four-part BBC Northern Ireland series, The Chronicles of Mourne


It’s a landscape of epic vistas and breath-taking panoramas. The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty that has inspired writers and artists, providing solace and a livelihood for visitors and those who call it home.

It’s a landscape of epic vistas and breath-taking panoramas. The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty that has inspired writers and artists, providing solace and a livelihood for visitors and those who call it home.

Narrated by Northern Ireland actor Colin Morgan - star of The Fall, Humans and Merlin - a new four-part BBC Northern Ireland series, The Chronicles of Mourne, takes viewers on a journey through the seasons and through the stunning scenery of the magnificent Mournes meeting the people who live, work and play there.

With 220 square miles of enchanted forests and spectacular scenery it is said that the Mournes inspired Belfast-born writer CS Lewis’ magical kingdom of Narnia. Starting on Monday, October 29 on BBC One Northern Ireland at 7.30pm the series, which was filmed over a year, charts a season in each programme, beginning with summer, and meets the people who have fallen under its spell.

Over the four weeks, viewers will be treated to stunning aerial shots and time-lapse photography of the natural beauty of the landscape as the series, made by Waddell Media for BBC Northern Ireland, follows the people who have a special relationship with the area.

The first programme meets a builder who lost his business in the 2008 financial crash. Leslie Hanthorne tells how he overcame personal difficulties by heading to the hills with his camera and his trusty canine companion, Buddy. Now a professional photographer, the Mournes are a special place for Leslie and he thinks nothing of climbing the mountains in the dark or in the depths of winter to get the perfect shot.

Every day - Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays included - Andy Crory goes looking for moths. Andy is the official moth recorder for Northern Ireland and keeps a record of which species visits his moth trap each day. The dunes of Murlough National Nature reserve are home to more than 700 species of moth and butterfly. The love of wildlife runs in the family - his father Peter is a bee keeper.

Every year thousands of people trek the network of stone paths that have been guiding walkers around the mountains for centuries. It’s now the job of Ranger, Katie Taylor, to maintain them.

One of the area’s most spectacular human endeavours is the 22 mile long Mourne Wall - a listed monument that passes over 15 peaks. Commissioned in 1904 it took 18 years to complete. Now, stone masons Andy and Brian Rooney are leading a team on a major two-year restoration project to repair the wall. The brothers are no strangers to the wall - they are the fifth generation of stone masons - their grandfather helped build the original more than 100 years before.

The series also follows local family the Murphys who have farmed in the shadow of the mountains for generations. It’s a tough landscape and it’s a lifestyle that’s getting harder to maintain and they have to take a gamble and diversify in order to ensure the farm’s survival.

Over the four weeks, the series will also catch up with mountain bikers, the red squirrel officer for the area, wildlife rangers and a father who makes a special pilgrimage each Christmas for his son.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Competition: Win The Music of Silence on DVD


Andrea Bocelli biopic 'The Music of Silence' arrives on DVD 29 October

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to give away.

Synopsis
Internationally renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli has been entertaining and thrilling audiences all over the world with his astounding voice for some 25 years, selling more than 20 million records, filling stadiums galore, and bringing joy to the masses.

Starring Game of Thrones’ Toby Sebastian, Hollywood favourite Antonio Banderas, and an appearance from Bocelli himself, who also provides his angelic singing.

Before he was Andrea Bocelli, he was Amos Bardi. Born nearly blind, Amos (Sebastian – Barely Legal) is separated from his family to attend an institute for the visually impaired, but a terrible accident occurs while he’s there, resulting in complete loss of sight. Despite being told that he will never be a serious opera singer, Amos is driven by great ambition and with the help of his maestro (Banderas – The Mask of Zorro, Puss in Boots), overcomes every obstacle and becomes one of the most renowned opera singers in the world.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who directs The Music of Silence?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 29-10-18
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, 21 October 2018

Dark Heart - ITV

Series overview
Tom Riley stars as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his parents when he was 16 years old.

 
Set in London and produced by Silverprint Pictures, the series is written for ITV by acclaimed screenwriter Chris Lang whose work includes award-winning drama Unforgotten, Torn, Undeniable and A Mother's Son.  Dark Heart is inspired by characters created by novelist Adam Creed, who has written a series of books featuring Will Wagstaffe.

 
Tom is joined in the series by Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders, Close To The Enemy), Miranda Raison (Murder on the Orient Express, Silk) and Anjli Mohindra (Bancroft, The Boy with the Topknot) and guest cast include Claire Goose (The Coroner, Unforgotten, Waking The Dead), Alex Carter (Cuffs, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks), Clare Foster (Taboo, Sherlock, The Crown) and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Three Girls).

 
Whilst devoting his life to his work, DI Will Wagstaffe, also known as Staffe to his colleagues, battles personal demons. He's haunted by the unresolved murder of his parents, which affects both his private and professional life including his on-off romance with sometimes girlfriend, Sylvie (Miranda Raison).  His closest relationship is with his sister Juliette, (Charlotte Riley) and young nephew Harry, who stays with him when Juliette has troubles with her boyfriend.


With no parents and no significant partner of his own, Juliette and Harry mean everything to Staffe. Determined and tenacious, Wagstaffe is an exceptionally good police officer, in spite of the fact he's been known for pushing the boundaries of what's considered acceptable policing.

 

Episode 1
DI Will Wagstaffe is at London City Airport when his travel plans are put on hold. His colleague, DC Josie Chancellor calls to inform him of a gruesome murder.

 
Staffe, along with Josie, DS Dave Pulford and DS Rick Johnson, are confronted by a horrific scene. RAY COLLINS, a man in his early-forties, has been brutally murdered.


As the team investigate further, they learn that the victim was arrested two and a half years ago on suspicion of sexually assaulting his young step daughters, Holly and Jasmine. He was remanded in custody for three weeks but there wasn't sufficient evidence and Collins was released. 


Returning home that evening, Staffe discovers his sister Juliette and nephew Harry at his house. Juliette and Harry are Staffe's world, he picks up on something that really bothers him and he knows their unscheduled stay means she's in more trouble with new boyfriend Paolo than she's letting on.


As the story unfolds, Staffe and his team delve deeper into the morally complex crime. But pressure builds as it's not long before a lawyer, Guy Dawlish is brutally attacked.


Dawlish's assault bears the same hallmarks of Ray Collins' murder, but the similarity doesn't end there, he was arrested two years ago over allegations of child sex abuse. There was insufficient evidence so he also wasn't charged. 

 
But just as a pattern begins to emerge, a historical case throws Staffe's theory of a single serial killer on its head. The suspected paedophile in this instance was John Statham. Like Collins and Dawlish he was attacked with unusual brutality. However this case appears to be closed. The father of the child Statham allegedly abused, Nico Cashell, is serving time for assaulting Statham and is adamant of his own guilt. 

 
With the anniversary of Staffe's parents murder drawing closer, knowledge of the fact that their killer is still at large weighs heavy on his mind. Little does he know that elsewhere in London, Mark Regis, walks free of child abuse charges on a technicality. Is the depraved killer preparing for their next victim?

Wed 31 Oct 2018
Time: 9.00pm - 10.00pm

Kare Adenegan wins BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2018

Kare Adenegan has been crowned BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year at the star-studded Radio 1 Teen Awards.


The trophy was presented to para-athlete Kare in front of thousands at the SSE Arena, Wembley. Being named Young Sports Personality of the Year comes after a successful year for Kare which saw her become T34 100m WPA European champion, winning her first gold medal in senior competition, and taking silver in the T34 800m.


She also set a new T34 100m world record at the London Anniversary Games - where she became the first female T34 athlete to complete the race in under 17 seconds.


To top off an incredible season, she beat long-time rival Hannah Cockroft for the first time in a championship race at the Diamond League in July.


The Young Sports Personality of the Year title was hotly contested this year with ten talented youngsters in the running for the prestigious award.


The ten were Kare Adenegan, Freya Anderson (swimming), James Bowen (horse racing), Max Burgin (athletics), Jack Draper (tennis), Georgia-Mae Fenton (gymnastics), Anna Hursey (table tennis), Georgia Roche (rugby league), Ryan Sessegnon (football) and Maisie Summers-Newton (para-swimming) with Freya and James making up the top three alongside Kare.


Kare follows in the footsteps of past winners and sporting superstars like Ellie Simmonds, Wayne Rooney, Tom Daley, Andy Murray, Ellie Downie, Eleanor Robinson and Phil Foden.


Kare will attend BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December when the prestigious awards show will take place in Birmingham at the Genting Arena.


The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year is awarded to an outstanding young sportsperson who was aged 17 or under on 1 January 2018.


The shortlist and winner was selected by an esteemed panel from nominations made by sports governing bodies via the Youth Sport Trust.


BBC Sports Personality of the Year takes place on Sunday 16 December at 7pm live on BBC One.


For voting criteria on all awards please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/sports-personality/45837427

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards 2018



The prestigious Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, returns this November on ITV.

Hosted by Carol Vorderman, celebrities and public figures including HRH Prince Charles, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and David Beckham will celebrate this year’s truly remarkable winners at the Grosvenor House in London's Park Lane.

Actor Sir David Jason, music mogul Simon Cowell, singing sensation Ellie Goulding, Major Tim Peake, BGT’s Amanda Holden, X Factor’s Dermot O’Leary, singer and presenter Rochelle Humes, The Voice’s Olly Murs, Love Island champions Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, singer Louise Redknapp, comedian John Bishop, I’m A Celebrity star Scarlett Moffatt, singer and actress Kimberley Walsh, radio DJ Roman Kemp, plus Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh will also be among those honouring the night’s heroes.

Inspirational winners of 2018 include the selfless British divers at the heart of the Thai cave rescue, who earned global praise for their bravery while rescuing the trapped youth football team.

Further awe-inspiring stories centre on the remarkable efforts of a young widow tackling mental health issues in rural areas, a couple who dedicated their life to fundraising more than £230 million for children’s cancer research and a schoolboy who became the youngest person to scale the 440ft Old Man of Hoy in honour of his terminally-ill mum.

Host Carol Vorderman said: “Pride of Britain is a very important part of my life. I’m thrilled that it’s become a staple part of British culture. I never fail to be humbled by those who have often turned a tragedy into something pretty magnificent.”

Alongside uplifting stories of courage, selflessness and beating the odds, there will be plenty of surprises on the night. Dancing superstar and Diversity frontman Ashley Banjo joins Carol when he surprises one of this years winner’s in a very special stunt.

Stars of Strictly, X Factor, Coronation Street, EastEnders and members of the England World Cup football team will all come together to make this a truly memorable night.

Tens of thousands of people nominated their unsung heroes and the winners were chosen by a judging panel which this year included host Carol Vorderman, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, award-winning actor Michael Sheen, legendary broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, Good Morning Britain presenters Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard, retired professional footballer turned pundit Jermaine Jenas, Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, Chair of the Royal College of GPs Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard and Daily Mirror Editor Alison Phillips, Pete Markey, TSB Chief Marketing Officer, Executive Producers Paul Wright and Matt Cox and POB founder Peter Willis.

It's time for comedy 50:50


ITV’s Controller of Comedy Saskia Schuster hosted an event last night (October 18th) with RTS, The Writers' Guild, Era 50:50, Funny Women and BAFTA to launch Comedy 50:50, an initiative seeking to implement measures to address the gender imbalance in comedy, starting with writers.

The event brought together producers, writers and agents and was opened by Schuster, who talked about her plans to build on ITV’s Social Partnership agreement to increase the number of female writers in comedy teams on ITV productions. The event also heard from Deirdre Mullins, Bafta-winning actress and founding committee member for the Equal Representation for Actresses campaign (ERA 50-50).

The event gave producers, writers and agents the opportunity to network, including focussed introductory producer/writer meetings, with each producer hosting at least three, ten minute introductory meetings with female writers at the event.

The event also gave the attendees the opportunity to hear about and engage with a number of other aims Comedy 50:50 plans to drive forward, including:

Creating an independent database of female comedy writers, which can be accessed free of charge by producers.   This is not related solely to ITV productions, this is for use on any show for any broadcaster.

Setting up mentorships whereby established writers commission less experienced writers to write an episode of their show and will work alongside them in the storylining and writing process. This suggestion has come from more established writers who benefitted from this early in their careers and perceive that there is generally less occurrence of this practice in the industry today.

Regular targeted networking that sets up short introductory meetings between writers and producers to expand the network of contacts.

Saskia Schuster said "A few months ago a disgruntled female writer crossly pointed out to me that commissioners have the privileged opportunity to create change. She was right. And a bit scary. This is the start of that change, not with the ambition of meeting targets or quotas, but of changing our comedy culture. We can’t be making the best shows possible for our audiences if our shows aren’t inclusive or representative of the gender diversity of our viewers.”

Ade Rawcliffe, ITV’s Head of Diversity in Commissioning closed the event, which was held at ITV’s Waterhouse Square Offices in Holborn on Thursday night (October 18th).


Comedy 50:50 is supported by the RTS, BAFTA, The Writers' Guild, ERA 50:50 and Funny Women, who helped in extending invites to female writers with at least one TV, theatre or radio credit.

BBC announces Young Sports Personality Of The Year 2018 top three


The top three contenders for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2018 have today been announced as: Kare Adenegan, Freya Anderson and James Bowen.

Para-athlete Kare Adenegan, 17, became T34 100m WPA European champion, winning her first gold medal in senior competition, and also took silver in the T34 800m. She also set a new T34 100m world record at the London Anniversary Games, where she became the first female T34 athlete to go under 17 seconds - and went on to beat long-time rival Hannah Cockroft for the first time in a championship race at the Diamond League.

Swimmer Freya Anderson, 17, was part of the British teams who won gold in the mixed 4x100m medley and the women's 4x200m freestyle relays, and bronze medals in the mixed 4x200m freestyle and women's 4x100m medley relays at the 2018 European Championships. She also competed for England at this year’s Commonwealth Games, winning bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay events.

Horse rider James Bowen, 17, made history this year as he became the youngest rider to win the Welsh Grand National on Raz De Maree at Chepstow in January before securing a further 2018 victory in the Lanzarote Hurdle on William Henry during his first season. He also placed second in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival on Shantou Flyer.

The top trio was selected from a list of ten talented nominees including Max Burgin (athletics), Jack Draper (tennis), Georgia-Mae Fenton (gymnastics), Anna Hursey (table tennis), Georgia Roche (rugby league), Ryan Sessegnon (football) and Maisie Summers-Newton (para-swimming).

The overall winner will be announced at the Radio 1 Teen Awards on the 21st October at the SSE Arena, Wembley, before attending the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards on 16 December at the Genting Arena, Birmingham.

The shortlist and winner was selected by an esteemed panel from nominations made to the BBC and by sports governing bodies via the Youth Sport Trust.

The panel included Radio 1 presenters Greg James and Adele Roberts, Blue Peter’s Radzi Chinyanganya and a Blue Peter Young Judge, double Winter Olympics gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold, BBC Sport presenter John Inverdale, Olympian Katharine Merry, former footballer Mark Schwarzer, boxer Anthony Ogogo, gymnast Claudia Fragapane, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and two representatives from the Youth Sport Trust.

The BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year is awarded to an outstanding young sportsperson who was aged 17 or under on 1 January 2018.

New cast join Peaky Blinders for series five


Sam Claflin (The Nightingale, Adrift, Journey’s End), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Miniaturist, Split, The Witch) and Brian Gleeson (Phantom Thread, Logan Lucky) are among the new cast joining the acclaimed Bafta award-winning drama series Peaky Blinders, currently filming its fifth series.
Claflin, Taylor-Joy and Gleeson join Neil Maskell (Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, In Darkness), Kate Dickie (The Cry, The Witch), Cosmo Jarvis (Calm with Horses, Lady Macbeth) and Emmett J Scanlan (Butterfly, Safe) on Steven Knight’s acclaimed crime family saga.

Other new cast include Elliot Cowan (The Spanish Princess, Krypton), Charlene McKenna (Ripper Street, Pure Mule), Andrew Koji (Warrior, The Innocence) and Daryl McCormack (A Very English Scandal, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre).

Sam Claflin says: “From Steven Knight’s writing to the consistently brilliant production, I couldn’t feel more privileged to be invited to join this iconic show.”

Anya Taylor-Joy says: “I could not possibly be more excited to be joining such a talented group of people. I can’t wait to get in and play this character.”

Brian Gleeson says: “Looking forward to kicking around in the mud of Northern England with an exceptional cast and crew. The scripts are wild and pertinent - a classic Peaky brew.”

The new cast join the previously announced returning cast members Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Finn Cole, Kate Phillips, Natasha O’Keeffe, Aidan Gillen, Jack Rowan, Charlie Murphy, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Harry Kirton, Packy Lee, Ned Dennehy, Ian Peck and Benjamin Zephaniah.

Series five finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP (Cillian Murphy) is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation.

The fifth series is directed by Anthony Byrne (In Darkness, Butterfly, Ripper Street) and produced by Annie Harrison-Baxter (Marcella, In the Flesh, The Secret of Crickley Hall).

Peaky Blinders is produced by Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Drama for BBC One; executive produced by Caryn Mandabach, Steven Knight, Jamie Glazebrook, David Mason, Cillian Murphy, for Tiger Aspect Drama, Patrick Spence, and for the BBC, Tommy Bulfin.

The show is represented internationally by Endemol Shine International, has sold across 183 countries and airs widely on Netflix internationally including the USA.

Wildfire - Cathy Brady's highly anticipated first feature announced


Pre-production is underway on WILDFIRE, the highly anticipated feature debut from award-winning Irish director Cathy Brady (Morning, Small Change, Wasted) and a multi award-winning team of producers: Tempesta Films’ Carlo Cresto-Dina (The Wonders -Cannes Jury Grand Prix, Happy As Lazzaro - Cannes Best Script), Cowboy Films’ Charles Steel (Oscar and BAFTA-winning The Last King of Scotland, Marley) and Samson Films’ David Collins (Oscar and Sundance winner Once, Float Like A Butterfly).

An Irish-UK co-production, WILDFIRE was supported through development and production by the BFI (using funds from the National Lottery), Screen Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and the Wellcome Trust. Film4, Sulcata Productions, Illium and Lexis Media also co-financed production. Lizzie Francke, Celine Haddad, Lauren Dark, Emma Duffy, Robert Halmi and Jim Reeve are the executive producers. WILDFIRE will shoot on location in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for 6 weeks later this year. Award-winning cinematographer Crystel Fournier (Girlhood, Nico 1988) is the DOP.

WILDFIRE is the story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious Irish border. When one of them, who has been missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is re-ignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past but uncovered secrets and resentments which have been buried deep, threaten to overwhelm them.

Cathy Brady’s journey in making this film began by casting the lead actors Nika McGuigan (The Secret Scripture, Traders) and Nora-Jane Noone (Brooklyn, The Magdalene Sisters, The Descent). From there, over a year-long workshop process of improvisations, transcript, rehearsal, voice and dance drills, she created the story and wrote the script.

“What excited us by WILDFIRE was firstly Cathy’s energy and talent,” said the producers, “but also the unique generative process Cathy wanted for this: trying to create a film that is different because it’s made differently. “

Great Point is handling world sales and Head of Sales Nada Cirjanic and her team will be introducing the project to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market. Cirjanic said: “We were moved by the piercing emotional truth of this story of a family in crisis, and captivated by Cathy’s clear and powerful vision for bringing it to life.”

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

ITV Studios Australia enters its biggest production year to date with four new and returning series commissioned by Nine Network


Smash Hit Love Island to Return, Along With Award-Winning 90s Drama SeaChange, The First Ever ITV Studios Australia Scripted Production

17 October, 2018 – ITV Studios Australia is set to enter its biggest production year to date with four new and returning shows commissioned by Nine Network, in addition to several more previously announced.

Following the stand out success of Love Island Australia on 9Go – which smashed viewing records and became Nine’s most streamed show of 2018 outside sporting events – a second season of the fun and flirty dating show is being lined up for 2019 to air on Channel 9. Other returning entertainment favourites to be produced by ITV Studios Australia include Talpa Global’s phenomenal talent show The Voice (season eight) and the inter-generational game show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (season two).

ITV Studios Australia will also make its first ever foray into scripted content with the revival of the enormously popular, multi award-winning 90s drama, SeaChange. As a co-production with Every Cloud Productions (Miss Fisher Murders, Mystery Road) SeaChange will be steered by the show’s original creator Deb Cox, alongside CEO and Co-Founder Fiona Eagger, who will serve as Executive Producers alongside David Mott, CEO of ITV Studios Australia and Sigrid Thornton. It will commence production in 2019.

SeaChange will star its original lead, Sigrid Thornton, as Laura Gibson, a city lawyer who moves to a sleepy seaside town called Pearl Bay with her children, after her professional and personal life breaks down. It was the winner of three coveted Logie Awards for Outstanding Drama Series (1999 – 2001), becoming one of Australia’s most iconic franchises. The series will see a number of previous characters returning to screen, alongside some new faces for a new generation of fans.

David Mott, CEO ITV Studios Australia said, “I couldn’t be more delighted that our deepening relationship with Nine Network has led to several of Australia’s favourite shows returning to air in 2019 including the record-breaking SeaChange, with our partners at Every Cloud Productions, as we diversify our Australian operation into scripted.”

The commissions follow the recent announcement of the first seasons of ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s Sunday Night Takeaway and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! for Network Ten, as well as Mad as Hell (season 10, ABC) and The Chase (season seven, Seven Network).

Love Island Stars Join The ITV2 Blood Squad

ITV2 and NHS Blood and Transplant spearhead a Halloween campaign.

To appeal for young blood donors, please add the signup link in all copy
www.itv.com/itv2bloodsquad
#ITV2BloodSquad

As the nation prepares to adorn fake blood and gory costumes for Halloween, ITV2 and NHS Blood and Transplant have come together to create the ITV2 Blood Squad.

The ITV2 Blood Squad has been created as part of a fantastic new campaign that will work to alleviate young people’s fears and misconceptions about blood donation and encourage them to register and book an appointment at a local donation centre.

Love Island stars’ Dani Dyer, Jack Fincham, Wes Nelson, Dr Alex George and Laura Anderson have come together to star in a series of promos to take the fear out of blood donation and help dispel the myths associated with giving blood.

The Halloween themed promos made by ITV Creative, will run on air and across social media from Tuesday 16 th October in the lead up to Halloween. Alex Mathieson, ITV2 Creative Director says: “ITV2 are always trying to connect to young people’s lives and when we spotted an opportunity to help the NHS Blood and Transplant with such a great cause, we pulled out all the stops to gather together a great team of talent and crew to make it happen.” Adding: “Our Love Islanders blew us away with their support and generosity inhelping make the campaign come to life, and it’s great we can use ourplatform to help so many others.”

Joanna Deadman, ITV2 Marketing Executive says: “Every October our audience tune in to ITV2 for our Halloween themed programming. We wanted to use this great opportunity and buzz around the blood- thirsty Halloween season to encourage young people to donate their blood and ultimately, help save lives."

As Halloween approaches, ITV2 and NHS Blood and Transplant are urging young people to become donors and combat an ageing donor population. 600 new donors are needed every day to keep the country going, so NHS Blood and Transplant is inviting young people to come forward and allay their fears by proving that giving blood is not scary.

Love Island’s Dr Alex George comments: “6,000 donors are required daily to save lives, that is scary. As a doctor in the NHS, I’ve seen first-hand how important blood donation is. It is quick and easy, you will only feel a small scratch.”

Laura Anderson added: “I didn’t think I would be able to donate blood as I have a tattoo, but then discovered that you can give blood four months after an inking or piercing. I was apprehensive to start with,but can confirm there is
nothing to be scared of.”

Dani and Jack say: “People can get a bit squeamish about giving blood but from being involved in this campaign we’ve seen it’s really not scary and is so simple. Just an hour of your time can save up to three people’s lives, which is
just amazing.”

Wes Nelson says: “It’s such a great campaign and I’m delighted to be involved with it. It’s so important to dispel the myths that discourage people from giving blood and I want to help get that message across.” In a poll of 1,000 adults, the fear of giving blood surpassed a list of widely known fears amongst the younger generation, with 33 per cent claiming to be afraid of public speaking, 28 per cent terrified of heights and 19 per cent petrified of going to the dentist. Although, unsurprisingly, the fear of creepy crawlies topped the list, with 51 per cent admitting to the fear of spiders.

There are many myths associated with giving blood, which have resulted in fear. The main obstacle to donation is a fear of needles with 26 per cent scared of the process, however, encouragingly, 86 per cent of blood donors have admitted that the process of giving blood was much easier than originally expected proving it was more treat than trick.

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant says: “There are many myths associated with giving blood, but it really isn’t scary.

“There is a particular need for O negative and B negative donors. O negative is the only blood type that can be given to anyone, regardless of their blood type and used in emergencies. B negative is one of the rarest blood groups and only 2% of population have this. If you are aged 17 or over, please register to donate and help us save lives.

“If you live or work near to one of our fixed site donor centres, please book an appointment to give there as we have a higher number of appointments available at these centres.”

Join by visiting www.itv.com/itv2bloodsquad

To sign up to the blood donation register and book an appointment today. If you can’t book an appointment straight away, please don’t worry. Blood donors are needed every day so please book an appointment in the future.

Save a life. Give blood #ITV2BloodSquad

ITV to celebrate 20 years of The Black Eyed Peas


One-hour spectacular will be hosted by their friend, Joanna Lumley
The tribute will be both a music special and portrait of one of the biggest groups in the world
Transmitting in late 2018

One of the best-selling groups of all time, with a phenomenal 76 million record sales, The Black Eyed Peas have won the love of the UK and the world. This year will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo celebrate 20 years at the top, and viewers are being invited along to chart their incredible journey. Joanna Lumley presents this very special one-hour spectacular to feature exclusive performances of some of the global super group’s greatest hits.

A whole host of international celebrities and faces from the music industry, as well as the friends and family that have shaped their lives, will share their insights into the group and what makes them such a unique and special act. Away from the bright lights on stage, the show will take a look back at how The Black Eyed Peas came to be.

Starting with going right back to their childhoods, friends and family share their memories of those early beginnings and how they watched the group grow. The story will pick up from how and when they met, right through to their breakout album Elephunk and the ongoing international success they enjoy today, including their highly anticipated “Masters of The Sun” European Tour that kicks off October 27 in London at the Eventim Apollo.  See www.blackeyedpeas.com for additional dates and cities in UK.

Returning to Los Angeles, the trio will all be going back to their childhood neighbourhoods. They’ll be taking a trip back to the club where they were discovered - Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip - and first got signed to a record deal. And they’ll also be revisiting the studio where they recorded many of their big hits and reminiscing about that time.

Back in the UK, as they take to the stage to perform, there will be surprises in store with some of music's most renowned names joining them for special performances of their biggest hits.

will.i.am said: “I have my family, my Black Eyed Peas family and my Voice UK family. I’ve always felt at home in the UK and, as a group, we continue to feel Big Love from our fans over here.  We are excited to be sharing the backstory of our journey to success with you all.”

apl.de.ap said: “It’s very special to be celebrating this landmark moment in The Black Eyed Peas story. There’s nothing better than performing with my best friends on stage. We’re looking forward to everyone joining us for this party, and we know our UK fans know how to party.”

Taboo said: “Twenty years of Black Eyed Peas and so much more. will.i.am and apl.de.ap are my brothers. We have incredible memories to be treasured and we’re excited for everything to come with the ‘Masters of the Sun’ European tour.”

Joanna Lumley added: "I'm both a friend to and a big fan of The Black Eyed Peas. It's very exciting to be part of this and I'm looking forward to it enormously."

Katie Rawcliffe, Creative Director, ITV Studios commented: “will.i.am is a much-loved part of the ITV family and we are delighted to be producing this one off special that pays tribute to one of the world’s greatest groups. Combined with the wonderful Joanna Lumley, this will offer a unique celebration of twenty years of the Black Eyed Peas.”

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

I'm A Celebrity... Extra Camp returns to ITV2

ITV2 today confirms that Scarlett Moffatt, Joel Dommett and Joe Swash will all be returning to host I'm A Celebrity…Extra Camp this Autumn.

 
The show will be hosted live every night by the straight talking Jungle fanatics who will each bring their own unique take on what's happening in camp. They'll get all the latest behind the scenes gossip with unseen clips, exclusive interviews and the insiders guide to the dreaded Bushtucker Trials.

  
Viewers are invited to join the lively debates via social media and the app as well as putting their questions directly to the campmates live in the studio once they've left the Jungle. The hosts will also be joined in Australia by various celebrity guests.

 
Scarlett Moffatt said "I'm so excited to be back working with Joe and Joel for another year on Extra Camp, I absolutely adore them both. We have such a laugh doing the show together, I can't wait to get back out there and meet our new celebrity jungle campmates."


Joel Dommett said "So excited to see my jungle family again! Scarlett is like the sister I never had and Joe is nothing like the brother I already have.  Plus I left a 2p coin under a log on set. Can't wait to see if it's still there."


Joe Swash said "Good times! Me, Joel and Scarlett are going to be reunited again on Extra Camp. I loved working with them last year, we had such a laugh both on and off screen! I can't wait to see what celebrities are going into the jungle."

 
I'm A Celebrity…Extra Camp has been commissioned for ITV2 by Paul Mortimer Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions and ITV's Head of Entertainment Siobhan Greene. The show will be Executive Produced by ITV Studios Entertainment Creative Director Richard Cowles and Toni Ireland.


I'm A Celebrity…Extra Camp is an ITV Studios Entertainment production for ITV2.

Trevor McDonald and the Killer Nurse


In Sir Trevor McDonald's first year reading News at Ten, he covered the extraordinary case of one of Britain's worst serial killers: a young, female nurse.

In 1991, 22-year-old nurse Beverly Allitt murdered four children in her care, and attacked a further nine, at Grantham Hospital in Lincolnshire.

Now, 25 years since he reported on her conviction, Trevor is able to shed new light on a case that has fascinated him ever since.

Trevor is given access to the original police interviews with Beverly Allitt, and tracks down several of her surviving victims, some of whom are speaking for the first time about their traumatic experiences, and the impact it has had on their lives.

Bradley Gibson was 5 years old when Allitt tried to kill him, in the children's ward of Grantham Hospital.

Now 32, Bradley tells Trevor how his heart stopped beating for thirty-two minutes, long after many doctors would have given him up as dead.

"They had to use adult doses of shock for me because I was not coming round at all."

When Trevor plays Bradley the police tapes of Allitt's interview, he says, "She’s trying to get away with it any way she can. To me that screams out almost psychotic."

Kayley Asher was just fifteen months old when Beverly Allitt attacked her. She was already suffering from a serious disability affecting her development.

Her adoptive mother Sharon tells Trevor that "Kayley was injected with air underneath her armpits that made her lungs collapse".

She says that Beverly Allitt is still a major presence in their lives: "Kayley has...flashbacks of what happened. She sort of looks under her bed, in drawers looking for Nurse Allitt although (she’s) told time and time again she’s not there, she still looks the whole time."

When Trevor asks Kayley what it is that frightens her now, Kayley replies, "in case she comes back for me."

Trevor also meets the detective that caught Beverly Allitt, and hears the extraordinary story of an investigation against the odds.

Former Detective Superintendent Stuart Clifton tells Trevor how he pushed on with his enquiry, despite pressure to give up: "One very senior officer said to me, 'you’re chasing rainbows'. Detectives develop a sixth sense, I think, and particularly experienced detectives, and there was something that just rankled with me that didn’t seem quite true."

Trevor also sits down with the officers who interviewed Beverly Allitt, and plays them the interview tapes. They talk him through this extraordinary archive material, in which a soft-spoken 22-year-old woman flatly denies allegations of murder, smiling and joking with the officers.

Trevor also investigates Beverly Allitt's detention and punishment.

He uncovers a document that suggests Beverly Allitt was faking the original symptoms that had her transferred from jail to hospital while on remand, and he hears from experts who suggest she should be in prison, rather than Rampton Secure Hospital.

Trevor finds Beverly Allitt's surviving victims troubled by her apparent lack of confession, but in the course of making this film he discovers a document which shows that she has in fact confessed to all of the crimes of which she was convicted.

Victim Michael Davidson says, "I didn’t know about that. It makes me feel better, but it was more in her self interest. It would mean more if she'd pleaded guilty at trial".

Kayley Asher's father agrees: "Too little, too late".

Wed 24 Oct 2018
9.00pm - 10.00pm

Monday, 15 October 2018

ITV commissions six-part drama, A Confession, starring Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton


ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, has announced commission of six-part drama, A Confession, from acclaimed screenwriter, Jeff Pope, starring Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton to be co-produced by ITV Studios and Urban Myth Films.

The series tells the story of how Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, played by Martin Freeman (StartUp, The Hobbit, Sherlock, Fargo), deliberately breached police procedure and protocol to catch a killer, a decision that ultimately cost him his career and reputation.

Set in Swindon, Wiltshire, ‘A Confession’, details the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in March 2011.  On a night out with girlfriends, Sian left a nightclub in Swindon Old Town to walk the 15 minutes home to boyfriend Kevin Reape, played by Charlie Cooper (This Country). Worried for her safety, Kevin reports Sian missing when she fails to come home in the early hours or respond to his increasingly frantic texts. 

With the police investigation underway, officers arrive on the doorstep of Sian’s mother, Elaine O’Callaghan, played by Siobhan Finneran (Cold Feet, The Moorside, Happy Valley), who at first thinks her daughter must have stayed overnight with a girlfriend. Described as a ‘family girl’, it was uncharacteristic of Sian to be out of touch with her loved ones. 

Senior Investigating Officer Steve Fulcher leads a team which begins to piece together Sian’s last movements, scouring CCTV footage from the club and re-tracing her steps home. Cell-site analysis reveals her mobile phone signal bouncing off a mast 14 miles away in Savernake Forest.  With the missing person’s enquiry in full  swing Fulcher, orders a full-scale search operation.

Believing Sian may still be alive, Fulcher operates on the premise that Sian is being held somewhere against her will. If she is, he knows it will be a race against time. Through diligent and painstaking police work Fulcher and his team discovers CCTV footage of her in the High Street, which leads to vital clues in the investigation.

Meanwhile, Karen Edwards, played by Imelda Staunton (Maleficent, Paddington, Harry Potter, Vera Drake, The Girl), the mother of Becky Godden, a 20-year-old who disappeared a decade previously in 2003, is watching the investigation unfold on the local news and in the town centre.  Reminded of Becky’s disappearance, she becomes gripped by fear that her daughter will somehow be involved in what is unfolding before her eyes as the search for Sian goes on.

A known drug addict and prostitute, Becky had disappeared many times before and although Karen had tried to help her daughter, staging interventions and paying for rehabilitation, sadly Becky continued to lapse back into addiction.

Coincidentally, the property where Karen lives with her second husband, Charlie, backs on to the home of Elaine O’Callaghan and her then partner.  Although they don’t know one another, their lives become tragically intertwined when Fulcher and his team edge closer to their chief suspect, local taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, played by Joe Absolom (Doc Martin, The Level, Suspects).

The investigation culminates in a standoff between Fulcher and Halliwell at a remote location, before Halliwell is taken back to the police station and given a solicitor. Just as Fulcher is about to give up, Halliwell suddenly makes a startling confession. But this moment of apparent triumph takes on sinister consequences and steers the investigation in a completely unforeseen direction.

A Confession will be filmed in Wiltshire and the Home Counties with Paul Andrew Williams (Strangers, Broadchurch) directing each of the six episodes. The drama will be executive produced by Jeff Pope (Little Boy Blue, writer and executive producer, The Moorside, executive producer, Cilla, writer and executive producer) for ITV Studios, Johnny Capps (Merlin, Atlantis and Sugar Rush) and Julian Murphy (Atlantis, Merlin and Demons) for Urban Myth Films with Tom Dunbar as Producer.

Commented Jeff Pope: 
“I found this is a fascinating story to tell on a number of levels. On one hand it is a brilliant piece of detective work, but in order to find both girls Fulcher felt he had to deny Halliwell his rights as a suspect. It brings into question how we want our police to behave when someone goes missing. Should Fulcher have been praised as a courageous officer fighting for the life of a girl, or lose his career for riding rough shod over the law?”

Commented Polly Hill:
“It is wonderful to be working with Jeff Pope again on this compelling and important true story.  I’m delighted that the brilliant Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton are leading the cast, making this an unmissable drama for next year.”

ITV Studios Global Entertainment announces pre-sales of The War of the Worlds to multiple territories


ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) has arrived in Cannes with pre-sales for one of its key drama launches, The War of the Worlds, secured across over 80 territories.

The drama is a Mammoth Screen production for the BBC co-produced with Creasun Media in association with Red Square, and has pre-sold across Europe, including France, Spain and Russia, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and across Africa.

Adapted by Peter Harness (Wallander, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell), The War of the Worlds will air in Europe on TF1 (France), Movistar+ (Spain), LaF via Sky Italy, Channel 1 (Russia) RUV (Iceland), YLE (Finland) and on Epic Drama, in key territories across CEE.

It has also been picked up by Foxtel in Australia, TVNZ in New Zealand and Blue Ant Media in Canada, while a deal in Africa with M-Net, means the show will be available in over 50 countries across the continent.

Ruth Berry, Managing Director, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: “The War of the Worlds is an internationally recognised story and this is the first British television adaptation of H.G Wells’ classic tale. It is an incredible and truly ground-breaking production full of mood and atmosphere, which is bringing to life some of literature’s most notorious foes. It is event television at its best that viewers won’t want to miss.” 

Set in Edwardian England, the 3x60 series stars Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Loving Vincent) and Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Big Short) alongside Robert Carlyle (T2: Trainspotting, Once Upon A Time) and Rupert Graves (Swimming with Men, Sherlock).

When Horsell Common in Surrey, England, is struck by a huge meteor, the inhabitants of Earth slowly fall victim to a vicious alien invasion. The War of the Worlds follows one couple's attempt to escape the ruthless Martians who are determined to destroy all human life as they attempt to conquer the earth.

This new adaptation of H.G. Wells' seminal tale - the first alien invasion story in literature - follows George (Spall) and his partner Amy (Tomlinson) as they attempt to defy society and start a life together, and face the escalating terror of an alien invasion, fighting for their lives against an enemy beyond their comprehension.

The War of the Worlds is directed by award-winning director Craig Viveiros and produced by Betsan Morris Evans (NW, The City and The City).  The executive producers are Damien Timmer, Preethi Mavahalli, Peter Harness and Craig Viveiros for Mammoth Screen, part of ITV Studios, and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC. The Executive Producer for Creasun is Minglu Ma and for Red Square, Jamie Brown.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

BBC announces Why Slavery? Season

The BBC has today announced a series of powerful films about slavery in the modern age for the Why Slavery? season.


Timed for International Anti-Slavery day on 18 October, and in collaboration with The Open University, the BBC has commissioned and produced six new films for BBC Two, BBC Four and BBC iPlayer and has resurfaced films for BBC Three and BBC World News that will uncover aspects of the various forms of slavery that exist today. With an estimated 40.3 million people living in some form of slavery today, these films will provide a heart-breaking insight into human struggles, but also look at the systems that allow modern slavery to exist.


Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: "The Why Slavery? season is a hugely important range of films illuminating and questioning slavery in our modern world. Films like the extraordinary factual drama Doing Money reveal how coercion and control operates in plain sight, demanding that we look and listen harder. I am proud that BBC Two sits at the heart of this season and for our partnership with the Why Foundation and the network of global broadcasters committed to highlighting this issue."


Mandy Chang, Editor, BBC Storyville, who oversaw the season says: "These programmes are important because they shine a light on slavery in our contemporary times. The overall picture painted by these films is a terrible indictment of the systems that allow slavery to take place. Slavery is a human rights abuse that is more common than we realise and the films we commissioned go some way to addressing why and how such misery is inflicted on the human beings who find themselves enslaved. From children forced into sexual and manual slavery across the rapidly developing Indian continent, to domestic servants, in places like the Middle East and EU countries like Hungary, we wanted the message of the existence of slavery in today's world to be shared with our British audiences, to highlight the suffering of victims and the exploitation perpetrated by those who enforce it."


As part of the season, BBC Two will be showing the previously announced drama, Doing Money, which focuses on the true story of Ana, who was snatched in broad daylight from a London street, trafficked to Ireland and used as a sex slave in a series of 'pop up' brothels. Whilst Maid in Hell exposes the secretive inner workings of the Kafala System, a set of laws governing migrant labour in the Middle East that binds labourers to their employers.


On BBC Four, award-winning documentary strand Storyville, will present two films, A Woman Captured and Selling Children. A Woman Captured focuses on the story of Marish, a 52-year-old Hungarian that has been kept by a family as an entirely unpaid domestic slave for a decade. In Selling Children, Pakaj Johar travels India to try and understand how, in the world's largest democracy, it is possible for vulnerable children to be bought and sold with such ease.


Also on BBC Four is Jailed in America, where filmmaker Roger Ross Williams goes on an a deeply personal journey into the heart of the US prison system to try and understand how it works and to evaluate the human cost and impact prison has on families on the outside. Whilst I Was a Yazidi Slave tells the story of Shirin and Lewiza, two Yazidi women captured by IS who were forced into slavery.


Dollar Heroes will be available on BBC iPlayer and tells the story of one of the world's largest forced labour systems, the 'Work Brigades' in North Korea.


Additionally, films from across all four BBC channels that have been resurfaced for the season. These include Simon Schama: Rough Crossings on BBC Two, Making a Slave on BBC Three and Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners on BBC World News.


The Why Slavery? season follows the two previous, award-winning (Peabody, Oscar and Emmy awards) global documentary seasons Why Democracy? (2007) and Why Poverty? (2012), both shown by the BBC. The BBC has collaborated on a partnership with the Open University to fund and oversee the films and they will also be broadcast by eight International Public Service Broadcasters who have co-produced the project. The broadcasters include DR Denmark, SVT Sweden, EO The Netherlands, CBC Canada, NHK Japan, NRK Norway and SRF/RTS Switzerland as well as the BBC. The global broadcasts will be timed for International Anti-Slavery day on 18 October.


Dr Avi Boukli, Lecturer in Criminology at The Open University, says: "The ever-expanding notion of slavery tests our legislation, and it is fascinating to see how notions of freedom and slavery are being redefined and for what political purposes. You may agree or disagree with the series, but you will find the ways in which the series questions what 'slavery' is today thought provoking".

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Emmerdale's Kim Tate. She’ll be back and this time she’s here to stay

Kim Tate has duped us all. Having ordered the death of Joe Tate, this Emmerdale bad girl will be back to wreak more havoc early next year and this time she's set to stay.


Having left chaos in her wake, Kim will spend the next 6 months behind bars but having already ruffled a few feathers, there won't be many celebrating her return. With her claws soon to be firmly back in Home Farm, what does Emmerdale's super bitch have in store for the rest of the village?


On her character's return Claire King said:  

"You knew she wasn't going to go away quietly, so I'm so pleased to announce Kim will be back. It's been great fun keeping it under wraps but now she can really get down to business!"

 
Executive Producer, Jane Hudson said:

"Although Kim's initial return was fleeting, she caused such mischief and chaos that we simply couldn't resist bringing her back. Kim Tate is just getting warmed up for an explosive 2019 which will see her hell-bent on getting exactly what, and who, she wants."

ITV commissions crime drama, Wild Bill, starring and executive produced by internationally renowned actor Rob Lowe

New drama produced by 42, Shiver and Anonymous Content introduces high-flying US cop who will shake up the East Lincolnshire force


ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill today confirmed commission of six-part crime drama, Wild Bill, starring Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor, Rob Lowe as high-flying US cop, Bill Hixon, who is appointed Chief Constable of the East Lincolnshire Police Force.


The drama is the first time 42 (Traitors, Ironbark, Watership Down) Anonymous Content (13 Reasons Why, Maniac, Mr. Robot) and ITV Studios label, Shiver, have collaborated to produce a drama series for the channel.  Rob Lowe is internationally renowned for his work in film and television including The West Wing, Parks and Recreation, Code Black and St. Elmo's Fire.  His iconic career spans four decades in film, television and theatre. He also is an acclaimed author and has been awarded two Screen Actors Guild Awards during his illustrious career. 


When high-flying US police chief Bill Hixon lands in Boston, Lincolnshire, with his 14 year-old daughter Kelsey in tow, he's hoping they can flee their painful recent past. But this unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him asking whether it's Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston? 

 
Commented Rob Lowe: 

"As an actor, Wild Bill is a larger than life character who's outrageously articulate, has nothing to lose and revels in being an American fish out of water. As a Executive Producer, I'm excited to work with such talented partners and to come back to work in the UK, which I always love."


With a first class degree in Criminology, a Masters in Psychopathology and a Doctorate in Statistical Mapping, Bill Hixon is impressively qualified to tackle the county's crime figures with his graphs, charts, algorithms and a tapestry of digits. Whip-smart, acerbic and unstoppable, Bill is very good at what he does. America's Top Metropolitan Police Chief three years running is the ideal candidate to make his mark on the East Lincolnshire Force, not least by driving through drastic cuts. From the outset Bill isn't about making friends. He's here to get the job done and get the hell out as quick as his spin-class-toned legs will carry him.


But Bill discovers the people of Boston are just as smart-mouthed, cynical and difficult to impress as he is. They don't suffer fools, authority or algorithms gladly. And the man who's spent his life keeping the messiness of human intimacy at arm's length is reluctantly propelled into frontline policing and forced to reconsider his relationship with those closest to him. It's funny and dangerous in equal measure. 


Writers and creators Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton said: 

"Wild Bill gives us an chance to write about modern Britain and modern crime through unique eyes. We wrote this for Rob Lowe, for his smart-talking, anarchic, soulful voice. Displacing Rob in Brexit Britain and specifically in Boston, Lincolnshire allows us to tell stories that are leftfield and unexpected. We wanted to write something that couldn't take place anywhere else, or at any other time."

 
Commented Polly Hill: 

"I'm delighted to have Wild Bill on ITV, as it's a really fresh take on police procedure and introduces a brilliant new cop to be played by the wonderful Rob Lowe. It's a fantastic team and an exciting new drama for next year."


The drama will be directed by Lead Director Charles Martin (Marcella, Skins, Wallander) and produced by Chris Thompson (Emerald City, The Fear, Eric and Ernie).

 

Eleanor Moran and Rory Aitken of 42 commented: 

"Wild Bill is a sharp-witted and original take on the police procedural show which audiences have yet to see in this genre. Rob Lowe has a magnetic screen presence which is perfectly suited to bring the character of Bill Hixon to life: a blunt, take-no-prisoners police chief who shakes up the Lincolnshire Force. We can't wait to get started."


Commented Tim Carter, Managing Director of ITV Studios label, Shiver, and Executive Producer: 

"Wild Bill is Shiver's first scripted project and brand new territory for the label. Having been fortunate to partner with the innovative and inspiring 42 on other scripted projects before coming to ITV Studios, I am delighted to be working with them again and hope this collaboration will be the first of many. Add the peerless track record of US super-producer Anonymous Content into the mix, genius show-runners in Jim and Dudi, and of course a Hollywood legend …it's beyond exciting." 


Filming will take place around London and in Lincolnshire from November 2018.  Further casting details will be available prior to filming commencing. 

Amber and Dolly: 9 to 5 - starring Love Island winner Amber Davies 

Love Island winner Amber Davies has landed the role of a lifetime in Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5, and ITVBe's cameras are on hand to capture every moment, from audition to opening night.


As Amber achieves her dreams of West End stardom in the hotly anticipated stage show, ITVBe has access all areas, following Amber as she heads to Nashville to meet Dolly Parton herself, and sets about preparing for the biggest moment of her life.


Having trained in musical theatre before embarking upon her Love Island journey, Amber is going back to her first love, to rekindle her passion for the stage, working '9 to 5' to make her big dream come to fruition.


This one off special will feature appearances from Amber's co stars Louise Redknapp and Brian Conley, both of whom will perform alongside Amber in the musical when it opens at the Savoy Theatre in January 2019.


Chronicling every step of the journey, from vocal coaching to a rigorous rehearsal schedule, to curtain up itself, ITVBe viewers have a front row seat as Amber prepares to make 2019 her biggest year yet, with an intimate insight into the goings on in Amber's professional and personal life.

 
Amber said "Performing on the West End has long been a dream of mine, and something I have been working towards my whole life. There really is no better role to play and having the opportunity to meet and work with Dolly Parton is another lifetime's ambition fulfilled. I can't wait to share this dream come true with ITVBe's viewers."


Amanda Stavri, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment said "It's very exciting to follow Amber as she takes her first bold steps as a West End leading lady, and having the legendary Dolly Parton on board for this one off special is a huge treat."


Dolly and Amber: 9 to 5 is an ITV Studios production for ITVBe. The show was  commissioned by Paul Mortimer, Head of Digital Channels & Acquisitions and Amanda Stavri, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment. 

C4 commissions drama anthology series by Dominic Savage

From writer-director Dominic Savage and starring a trio of Britain's leading female actors –Samantha Morton (Minority Report), Vicky McClure (This is England) and Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians)- comes a dramatic anthology series (3x60').


Created by BAFTA winning filmmaker Dominic Savage (The Escape), the stories for each film has been developed and co-authored with the leading actors, with themes including relationships, identity and empowerment. The trilogy explores the experience of three women in moments that are emotionally raw, thought-provoking and utterly personal.


Channel 4 has commissioned Me+You Productions with Richard Yee and Dominic Savage acting as executive producers, and Manpreet Dosanjh and Beth Wills from Channel 4 overseeing. Series producer is Me+You co-founder Krishnendu Majumdar with co-producers John Pocock (Chewing Gum) and Faiza Tovey (Uncle). The series was co-funded by Sky Vision, who will also handle global distribution.


Krishnendu Majumdar, Series Producer and co-founder of Me+You Productions, says: "Dominic Savage's work always speaks to the most contemporary and urgent of questions, taking a scalpel to modern life. We are thrilled to produce Dominic's latest series of films and to help realise his unique vision which fits into Me+You's remit of making authored cinematic work."


Richard Yee, Executive Producer and co-founder of Me+You, says: "This is exactly the sort of contemporary risk-taking drama that embodies C4's DNA. Everyone at Me+You Productions is very appreciative of the support from Channel 4 and Sky Vision in bringing this timely series of films to the screen."


The series was shot over the summer and autumn of 2018 with TX and further casting details to be announced at a later date.

Friday, 12 October 2018

BBC acquires second series of spy thriller Killing Eve

BBC Press Release

BBC has acquired the second series of the critically acclaimed female-led spy thriller Killing Eve. Series one made its debut on BBC One and as a boxset on BBC Three on BBC iPlayer last month and has become a massive hit with audiences - there have been over 26 million requests for the series so far.


The eight-part action thriller has also been hugely popular in attracting younger viewers, with over a third of those watching aged under 35.


Emmy-nominated and Bafta-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge adapted the first series of Killing Eve and will return for the new series in an executive producer role with writer-actor Emerald Fennell (Monsters, The Drifters) taking over as lead writer. Based on the Codename Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve is a Sid Gentle Films Ltd production for BBC America and was financed by and acquired from Endeavor Content.


Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy) and Jodie Comer (Doctor Foster) resume their cat-and-mouse game in the next series along with Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter) - and joining them are Nina Sosanya (Good Omens), Edward Bluemel (A Discovery Of Witches) and guest star Julian Barrett (Mindhorn).


The first series of Killing Eve was shot across Europe, with the second series currently shooting in locations including Amsterdam, London and Paris.


Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: "A truly genre-busting series that's had viewers hooked and craving more, thanks to the distinctive voice of Phoebe Waller Bridge brought to life by an incredible cast. We're really excited to have it back on the BBC next year."


Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three, says: "The first series of Killing Eve has been a huge success for us on BBC Three. The writing is exceptional, the performances first-class and our young audiences have loved and binged right through it - we can't wait to see what series two has in store."


Sue Deeks, BBC Head of Programme Acquisition, says: "We are thrilled that Killing Eve will be returning for series two. The series has beguiled our viewers with its distinctive take on the spy drama and we cannot wait to see what Killing Eve's brilliant team has in store for us next!"


Sally Woodward Gentle, CEO of Sid Gentle Films Ltd, adds: "We are thrilled by the audience reaction to series one and are so excited to be back on this adventure with Eve and Villanelle, alongside such an extraordinarily talented cast and creative team. With Emerald Fennell leading the writing team, series two is set to be just as wickedly addictive and naughty as the first."