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Friday 30 November 2018

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! - Rancid Race

The campmates undertake tonight's Immunity Games challenge - Rancid Race

Friday 30  November at 9pm on ITV

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing… the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV’s toughest entertainment challenge.

Leaving their plush pads and luxuries far behind, our celebrity campers will spend up to three weeks taking on the harsh surroundings of the Australian Jungle, with a whole host of brand new nasty surprises created just for them.

Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby will present all the big stories live from the Jungle every night.

The celebrities heading into the Jungle for the new series are:

Football manager – Harry Redknapp
Corrie star– Sair Khan
TV presenter – Nick Knowles
Singer – Fleur East
Popstar – James McVey
TV’s ‘The Governess’ – Anne Hegerty
Hollyoaks actor –Malique Thompson-Dwyer
Comedy actor – Emily Atack
Actor & entertainer – John Barrowman MBE
Actor – Rita Simons
TV Legend - Noel Edmonds

E4 set the ultimate relationship test with Baewatch

Everyone can recall that nerve-wracking first time they met the in-laws. But what if the make or break moment is already taking place and you have no idea?

For brand-new E4 series BAEwatch, Thames and Motion Content Group will test unsuspecting couples who not only think they have the perfect relationship, but also believe that they’re away on a romantic break just for two. Unbeknown to them, this is a couple’s holiday like no other, as they will be secretly observed by their in-laws, who will be hiding out watching and setting challenges behind-the-scenes to see what the relationship is really like, all before they have even met for the first time. 

Each self-contained episode sees the unknowing couple fly out to a luxury villa where they believe they are taking part in a gameshow where they will be challenged to prove how strong their relationship is.  While taking part in the fictional series, every cringey comment, every awkward PDA and every last squabble is being remotely monitored by their in-laws who will set entertaining challenges and questions in order to find out all they can about their beloved child’s partner.

As if that’s not tough enough, the series sees both sets of parents meet up to discuss their offspring’s relationship and their holiday antics before finally surprising the blissfully unaware couple face to face.  The unsuspecting pair will discover just how much they’ve been watched as they view back the most cringeworthy moments of their holiday as one big happy family.

With the chance for first impressions out the window, will the baes impress their in-laws enough to be invited over for Sunday lunch? Or will they disappoint and be struck off the Christmas card list forever?

Phil Harris, Creative Director, Thames said: “We are so excited to bring this new dating show with a sunshine twist to E4. We decided to take the moment you meet your in-laws and explode it E4 style to create a truly funny, cringey and memorable show. We are going to see the Instagram generation completely unfiltered in front of the people they want to impress the most.”

Martin Oxley, Executive Producer, Motion Content Group said: “For some meeting the in-laws is the most stressful part of getting serious in love. The amazing team at Thames have found a unique way for families to interrogate the love in their off-spring’s lives, and the results of the hilarious secret tests will have viewers hiding behind their cushions and thanking their lucky stars it’s not them.”

Vivienne Molokwu, Commissioning Editor, Formats and Features Channel 4 commented: “The series takes a humorous look at a relationship milestone almost everyone can relate to – meeting the parents but multiplies the awkwardness of that often dreaded moment by 100%.”

BAEwatch is an 8x60’ part series co-produced by Thames (part of Fremantle in the UK) and Motion Content Group for E4. Commissioned by Vivienne Molokwu, Commissioning Editor, Formats and Features, Channel 4, with Amelia Brown, Phil Harris and Ben Stevens Executive Producers for Thames, Georgina Hinds, Series Producer for Thames and Martin Oxley, Executive Producer for Motion Content Group.

Wednesday 28 November 2018

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - Dreaded Deliveries

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - Dreaded Deliveries

Malique Thompson-Dwyer and Sair Khan undertake tonight's Bushtucker Trial - Dreaded Deliveries

Wednesday 28  November at 9pm on ITV

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing… the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV’s toughest entertainment challenge.

Leaving their plush pads and luxuries far behind, our celebrity campers will spend up to three weeks taking on the harsh surroundings of the Australian Jungle, with a whole host of brand new nasty surprises created just for them.

Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby will present all the big stories live from the Jungle every night.

The celebrities heading into the Jungle for the new series are:

Football manager – Harry Redknapp
Corrie star– Sair Khan
TV presenter – Nick Knowles
Singer – Fleur East
Popstar – James McVey
TV’s ‘The Governess’ – Anne Hegerty
Hollyoaks actor –Malique Thompson-Dwyer
Comedy actor – Emily Atack
Actor & entertainer – John Barrowman MBE
Actor – Rita Simons
TV Legend - Noel Edmonds

Netflix announces new live action series Cowboy Bebop

Based on the Japanese original animated series.

Based on the worldwide phenomenon from Sunrise Inc., Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals.  They'll even save the world…for the right price.

Episodes: 10 

Co-Production: Netflix and Tomorrow Studios (a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios).   Netflix will handle physical production.  

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Bear’s Mission with Gareth Southgate

Global Adventurer Bear Grylls will take on the wild with England football manager Gareth Southgate for an ITV special, Bear's Mission with Gareth Southgate.

The leader of the Three Lions squad and former Premier League player - who guided England to the World Cup semi-finals this year - will swap the football field for some of the UK's toughest terrain, to tackle the ultimate challenge, as he joins Bear on a mission across some of the country's most rugged, unspoilt moorlands. 

Bear's mission will test Gareth's composure and poise under pressure, as they battle the wilderness together. 

Gareth Southgate said: "Ahead of the 2018 World Cup campaign, we took the England squad to the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre for a weekend of military training in the wilderness. It was hugely beneficial for the team and something I was keen to repeat. Bear's mission has not disappointed by presenting me with some great physical and mental challenges over the past few days."

Bear Grylls said: "Gareth's shown incredible strength in his life becoming England manager and our mission together certainly challenged him on so many levels. The wild always rewards commitment and courage, and Gareth has both of these qualities in spades. It was an honour getting to know this great national hero on this journey together."

David Harrison, Executive Producer for betty, added: "We were all transfixed watching the super-professional, unflappable Gareth Southgate in action during the World Cup, and we're delighted we had the opportunity to take Gareth out of his comfort zone and see a whole new side to the England manager." 

This programme follows on from other specials including Bear's Mission with Anthony Joshua. 

Thu 20 Dec 2018
9.00pm - 10.00pm

I'm A Celebrity scores highest launch audience ever, consolidated data reveals

The launch episode of the 2018 series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! is now fully consolidated to a massive 13.7 million viewers and a huge 52% share of viewing - making it the most watched launch episode ever, up on last year's launch by 1 million viewers and 4 share points.

With an additional 479,000 viewers on ITV Hub the total audience rises to 14.2 million viewers for the launch episode.

For 16-34s the launch episode averaged 3.8m viewers with a fantastic 74% share of 16-34 year old viewing, the second biggest 16-34 year old audience of the year after England's World Cup match against Croatia.

Only one episode in the series' history has beaten the 2018 launch in the ratings - the finale of the 2004 series on February 9th, which was watched by 14.7million viewers, with a 55% share.

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is created and produced by ITV Studios.

Singer Wanted! First look at The Voice UK 2019 promo

Ahead of The Voice UK returning to ITV in January, here is a first look at the promo the channel will debut tonight.

The trailer heralding the start of the 2019 competition sees the four iconic coaches form a supergroup.

With will.i.am on keytar, Sir Tom Jones on drums, Jennifer Hudson on the keyboard and Olly Murs on bass guitar all they need is The Voice.

Emma Willis takes control of the sound desk as the band play the opening bars to the Eurythmics’ hit Sweet Dreams and anxiously await someone who will step up to the mic.

Wondering if a singer will ever come forward Olly nearly takes on the task but his fellow coaches have him hold back.

This band needs a brand-new singer and as of January 2019 the search is on.

Monday 26 November 2018

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - The Quest - VIDEO

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - The Quest

James McVey, Rita Simons and John Barrowman undertake tonight's Bushtucker Trial - The Quest

Monday 26 November at 9pm on ITV

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing… the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV’s toughest entertainment challenge.

Leaving their plush pads and luxuries far behind, our celebrity campers will spend up to three weeks taking on the harsh surroundings of the Australian Jungle, with a whole host of brand new nasty surprises created just for them.

Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby will present all the big stories live from the Jungle every night.

The celebrities heading into the Jungle for the new series are:

Football manager – Harry Redknapp
Corrie star– Sair Khan
TV presenter – Nick Knowles
Singer – Fleur East
Popstar – James McVey
TV’s ‘The Governess’ – Anne Hegerty
Hollyoaks actor –Malique Thompson-Dwyer
Comedy actor – Emily Atack
Actor & entertainer – John Barrowman MBE
Actor – Rita Simons
TV Legend - Noel Edmonds

Sunday 25 November 2018

Competition: Win Blood on DVD

Blood arrives on DVD 3rd December

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies to give away.

Line of Duty favourite Adrian Dunbar returns to our TV screens in a brand new darker than dark drama, Blood

This tense psychological series sees Unforgotten’s Carolina Main in a stand out turn as Cat Hogan, an estranged daughter who must return to the family home, in rural Ireland, following the sudden, seemingly accidental death of her mother.

Made to feel like an outsider who can’t be trusted, by her controlling father, Jim Hogan (Dunbar – Ashes to Ashes, Broken) a local GP, her brother Michael (Diarmuid Noyes – Borgia, The Tudors) and sister Fiona (Grainne Keenan – Titanic, Black Mirror), Cat is thrown back into the fractured family dynamic she’s spent the past 10 years trying to escape.

When demons from Cat’s past start to plague her, she begins to question how her mother died and whether her father is guilty of murder.

Released in its original six-part format, Blood, written by Sophie Petzal

This gripping, brooding drama will keep you guessing… Who has Blood on their hands?

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 10-12-18
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.

Friday 23 November 2018

Jamie's Quick & Easy Christmas interview

In this hour-long Christmas special, Jamie applies his quick and easy principles to the festive season. Each recipe will either be quick to cook or easy to remember, focusing on genius combinations of just five ingredients to create the most fabulous Christmas feast. Jamie's Quick & Easy Christmas is brilliantly simple and delivers utterly delicious results – all of the flavour but none of the fuss. An easy way to an impressive Christmas.

What's the thinking behind Quick & Easy Christmas?

Quick & Easy was all about listening to the public and where they are at with their work/life balance. People are busy nowadays, so the idea was you could flick through the book, find something you fancied and you'd probably have three out of the five ingredients at home already, so you'd just need to pick up a bit of salmon or some mushrooms on the way home from work. Clever recipes, genius combos and ingredients that work hard. And the idea really worked. The series and book went ballistic out of nowhere, so it was understandable that Channel 4 asked if I could do a Christmas special. Although my immediate reaction was no!

Why was it no?

Because to my mind, Quick & Easy is about midweek meals for busy people. Whereas Christmas is a time for indulgence when nobody wants to compromise. Everyone trades up at Christmas, regardless of their budget. But then I thought, the heart of my job is keeping cooking alive and Christmas is a time of year when everyone cooks - even people who normally don't. You see it in all the statistics, even in data about food poisoning and knife cuts. Over 12m people came through my website last Christmas. Whether you're a good cook or not, everyone's nervous. You've got in-laws coming round or it's your first time hosting Christmas dinner. There's a lot of emotion in the air. So Quick & Easy Christmas is about doing an awesome Christmas with five-ingredient recipes. Empowering people to have more confidence, more free time and get a bit more organised. Christmas is the one day of the year when cooks and non-cooks can stand in solidarity. Everyone's Christmas is chaotic. Often a TV exec will say "We wanna do a stress-free Christmas show" and I'll say "Impossible". But we can make it a little bit less stressful.

Will it involve spending less money too?

It can. Have a shorter shopping list that means you can either spend less, or spend the same by having fewer general ingredients but trading up on them quality-wise. So we do everything from five-ingredient awesome turkey to veg dishes to a dessert that's just an incredible celebration of chocolate. You'll shop less but buy ingredients that give more bang for your buck.

Is it strange filming a Christmas special weeks before Christmas?

We filmed this one in October. I've done Christmas specials for 18 years now, so that's just become a weird reality of my life.

Will your five children be making an appearance?

TV people think you can just schedule in kids to be in a show but it just doesn't work like that, bruv. The intention is to include them but if they don't wanna come, they ain't coming. If it all goes feral, it's nuts. Even in the real world without cameras there, probably only three out of 10 meals go according to plan. Nobody tells you when you're getting pregnant for the first time that it's survival of the fittest and actually you should be taught by the SAS to problem-solve the myriad things that get thrown your way. But we shot it at home, the kids rocked up and the newest member of the Oliver family - River, who's two-and-a-half - gets involved. He's decided I'm great, which is lovely and I'll take it while it lasts! So he does one recipe with me, then Jools tries to take him away again but he doesn't want to go and kicks off, so he ends up staying. The same happened with Petal eight Christmases ago when she was the same age. Me and River do home-made doughballs with baked Camembert. It's a lovely dish, people go nuts for it and we've done it in the shape of a Christmas tree. I make it one-handed with River in my arms and every time I got it looking nice, he'd just thwack it and squash it! But we get there eventually.

Did the success of Quick & Easy take you by surprise?

Yeah, it really did. It's not planned like this but I tend to alternate between books from my heart and ones solving a problem on behalf of the public. So I did speed with 30-Minute and 15-Minute Meals, I did health with Super Food and recession cooking with Save With Jamie. They were all fairly obvious things that would get people going. But it took me 19 years to realise that camouflaged within recipes was the number of ingredients and I could tackle that. And it's worked. Quick & Easy has definitely got more people cooking.

Didn't your nan have an incident with her hair one Christmas?

Bless my nan, she passed away five years ago. She was named Betty but I always called her Tiger. We did a lot of cooking together and she was incredible. Great on telly, too. I dedicated my Christmas Cookbook to her. My earliest memories of Christmas are when we served people in the pub until 2.30pm, then we'd close up, draw the curtains, gather around the fire and cook our Christmas dinner. I'll never forget one time when we'd just started eating and suddenly my dad was beating my nan up. I knew as a seven-year-old that it wasn't right, your dad to be bashing your nan around the head, but I quickly realised that he wasn't abusing her, he was trying to put her out! She'd enthusiastically gone for the stuffing or the sprouts, leant over and her hair ablaze. It was a blue rinse, quite bouffant and required lots of hairspray to keep it structurally sound. She was highly flammable and she'd set herself on fire, so the old man wasn't being an arsehole, he was being a hero.

What's been your own biggest Christmas cooking disaster?

I used to make banoffee pie for dessert, which involved boiling tins of condensed milk for hours in a pan of water. I let it boil dry once and as I'm sure you know, if you heat a tin long enough, it'll explode. Normally it might contain tomatoes or something quite innocent but when it's boiling black caramel, it's really dangerous. Luckily, no-one was in the kitchen at the time but I came back to find stalactites and stalagmites of caramel all over the room. It looked quite impressive actually! Getting distracted is your enemy, for men in general and also at Christmas.

Is planning important when it comes to Christmas cooking?

I hate plans generally in life but at Christmas, even I do a plan. Schedule it all backwards, from the moment when you put the first morsel of food in your mouth, back to carving, back to resting for that golden hour-and-a-half when you take the turkey out, free up the oven and do your other bits. Keep building your plan right back to the start of the day, back to Christmas Eve, even back to the week before. I do it on a chalkboard and it really helps. There are apps you can use and there'll be a Christmas bot on my website that can answer questions, give you cooking times and anything else you need. Planning is a life-saver at Christmas.

Do you get stressed by cooking Christmas dinner?

Only a little bit. Not so much by the cooking as the occasion. The default Oliver Christmas is 30-odd people. If I haven't got my shit together by the turn they turn up, it's manic. They all turn up and want to hug and kiss and talk, which is lovely, but I want them to get tasty hot food as well. Cooking for 12 or 15 people is very common in Britain, which is kind of like running a small restaurant. It's a lot of pressure, so you have to get prepped. If you're clever enough and get enough done beforehand, you can actually have a nice time and enjoy the moment.

What's your favourite recipe from the show?

I'm biased but our Quick & Easy stuffing with five ingredients is a game-changer. Guaranteed you'll love it. We cook it in a bundt tin, so it just looks like an edible crown. Camp, fun and extravagant but also really easy to do. And by taking the stuffing out of the bird, a lot of those problems with undercooked birds start to go away.

Why is cooking turkey often tricky?

It's a weird one. The one day when more people are cooking than at any other time of the whole year, you're presented with the biggest object to cook. And the oddest shape, too. Little skinny breasts and little fat breasts all-in-one - like, how does that work? - and these legs that have been supporting the weight of this big old bird. If you overcook it, it's a nightmare and if you undercook it, it's a problem.

What are the biggest mistakes people make with the turkey?

Never cook a turkey that's just come out of the fridge. Get it out at least an hour-and-a-half beforehand. You read stories about people running turkeys under the hot tap but that's the worst thing you can do. Salmonella everywhere. You'll all have the shits. A lot of people still don't let the turkey rest after cooking, which is dangerous. People think resting the bird is some peripheral, optional, luxury cheffy nonsense but it's not. It's still cooking inside with what we call carry-over heat and it's also relaxing, so juices are going back in. A rested bird is a much nicer, better-cooked, more delicious thing to eat. Don't waste your money buying turkey crowns. People do, because they're scared of the whole bird, which is fine if it's more convenient for you, but you're still paying for the whole bird so there's no value gain. And if you can afford it, trade up to a higher welfare bird. Free range and organic birds aren't just better ethically but have better flavour, you'll get better gravy from its bones and it cooks about 15% quicker.

Tell us about putting up the Christmas tree…

If you think The Osbournes is funny, the Olivers is madness. Peaks and troughs of happiness and tears. I always post an Instagram picture of a lovely tree but because I don't like to bullshit, I say "If you knew the chaos that happened before this picture…" Once I switch the lights on, everyone goes quiet and they're happy. But the build-up to that is carnage: kids stepping on glass baubles, electric shocks from dodgy fairy lights, squabbling over who gets to do what. It's exhausting. Afterwards, I invariably collapse on the sofa with a nice glass of whisky and fall asleep.

Doesn't your wife Jools have a quirk when it comes to Christmas trees?

Jools is so into Christmas. She gets really nostalgic. Christmas was very important to her as a kid because her dad wasn't very well, so it was important to get Christmas right and of course, that carries on into her own family. She's an amazing woman but she has this massive problem of feeling sorry for Christmas trees which, let's be honest, isn't normal! When we go to get our tree, she'll find the saddest tree that looks like it's been neglected and she'll have to buy it. Then I'll have to take it home and erect it. Last year, Jools found one that was like a bush. It didn't have a top, just the bottom half. A Christmas bush. But as per usual, she was right and it ended up looking awesome. A lot of families are like that - they have their own little sentimentalities and traditions.

What other little traditions do you have?

Hacking my Christmas crackers by sticking new jokes and little gifts in there. Strategically giving the most prudish person the most outrageously filthy joke. Taking out the rubbish little nail-clippers and putting in a box of Viagra. We did that every year with my nan.

Christmas tends to be a time for over-indulgence - how would you balance that with your healthy eating message?

I think we give ourselves time off at Christmas and rightly so. The joy of food is indulgence and comfort. It's buying, cooking and eating for deliciousness, not righteousness. And let's be honest, life without cake would be really boring. I love sugar, by the way. My problem was the misuse of sugar. Besides, healthy recipes aren't really the issue at Christmas, the issue is eating too much. It's not ingredients, it's sheer volume! Most of us get that wrong at Christmas, including me, and then we all waddle into January the same way every year.

Is there any festive food you would say is overrated?

Controversially, Christmas pudding. It doesn't work for me. It's too heavy, like an edible cannonball. But by fixing my hatred of it, I came up with my version: I introduced stout, chocolate and more breadcrumbs, which means lightness. And I'm telling you, my one's badass.

What's your festive guilty pleasure?

Cream soda. It's the only time I buy cream soda. Buddy's like "What is this? This is amazing." I'm like "Don't get used to it."

What's your favourite Quality Street?

The purple one. I don't know how this happened or how it got to me but yesterday, I got presented with a box of Oliver Street with just purple ones inside.

Do you enjoy giving foodie gifts at Christmas?

Definitely. Normally a little hamper of stuff I've made at weekends over the last month or two. Damson gin, crab apple jelly, quince jam, gingerbread, hot chocolate, things like that. Olive oil is picked in October and November, so if you can get hold of new season stuff, it's unbelievable: luminous, viscous and just tastes different. I like gifts that keep on giving, like a pestle and mortar. That will still be making your food taste amazing years later.

What's the best Christmas present you ever received?

It's a toss-up between two. When I was seven, I got an AT-AT and a bunch of Star Wars figures. That was a big landslide moment for me. Then when I was 12, I got a drum kit and that became a massive part of my youth. Basically I spent my whole childhood in kitchens or rehearsing. That kept me out of trouble and gave brought me such joy and camaraderie.

And what's the best Christmas present you ever gave?

Probably the coolest was to Gennaro Contaldo, nine years ago. His birthday and Christmas come around the same time and he was turning 60. He'd been such an incredible friend, mentor and support to me and I just wanted to repay him somehow. His dream as a kid was to own an E-type Jag and I managed to find a good one at a fairly decent price, then spent a year doing it up in preparation for his 60th. It was just another level: perfect, black, beautiful. I knew it was going to break him. I got my book at the time, which was Cook With Jamie, got a Stanley knife, cut out the middle to hold the car keys, wrapped it up and gave him the book. I gave it to him in the office and he was confused when he unwrapped it - but then when he realised, he just went. He was in bits. I took him outside and one of the guys roared up in the Jag, with Pavarotti playing on the stereo. Everyone knew it was happening and they were all leaning out of the windows to watch. A brilliant moment for a brilliant man. Gennaro's still got the car and keeps telling my son Buddy he's going to leave it to him in his will.

What's your favourite Christmas pop song?

Band Aid. It might not be the best but I was the right age when it came out and it still pulls on my heartstrings.

And your favourite Christmas film?

The Goonies.

And favourite Christmas TV?

Only Fools & Horses. And The Queen's Speech if we can.

Will you be making any New Year's Resolutions?

Ooh, I've not set any yet but it's bound to be dropping the kids off at school more, that kind of stuff. I'm not bad but I could probably do better.

Celebs Go Dating Season 6 singletons revealed

E4's Celebrity Dating Agency is back as seven celebrities get ready to put their hearts on the line for love…

It's time to meet E4's seven unlucky-in-love Celebrity singletons as Celebs Go Dating Season 6 returns to your screens next year.  On the journey to find 'the one' are popstar and Jungle Queen Kerry Katona, Hollyoaks actress Chelsee Healey and Love Island's very loyal contestant, Georgia Steel.

Joining the girls on their quest for love are three single guys, The Only Way is Essex's Pete Wicks and Ibiza Weekender head rep David Potts.  Back at the agency for a second time is Made in Chelsea's recently single Sam Thompson - is he finally ready to take dating seriously and find someone to settle down with?

The seventh and final mystery celebrity joining the line-up will be announced this Friday (23rd November 2018) LIVE at the first mixer event where all the celebs will be set loose on a room of singletons tasked with bagging their first date.  

Award-winning matchmaker Paul Carrick Brunson is joined by new agent and life coach Anna Williamson. With their expertise in relationships, dating and personal development they will put a fresh batch of celebs through their paces as they embark on one-to-one, double and mixer dates across the UK. Sit back and watch as they teach the celebrities the do's and don'ts of relationships and dating etiquette as they aim to finally rid them of their disastrous dating cycles.

Tom Read-Wilson returns as the agency's Junior Client Coordinator and with a sympathetic ear, listens to the Celebrities' dating woes and triumphs during their post-date debriefs. 

Kerry Katona comments "I've never done anything like this before. If what I've been doing before hasn't been working I may as well try something new! I've been on dating apps but to be honest they didn't work. I'm so excited to be joining the agency and see who Anna and Paul set me up with!"

Sam Thompson comments "I've had a rough old run in the love stakes so I'm back to my spiritual home at the dating agency! It's about time I got lucky in love, so let's see if this time round I can find that special someone!"

Celebs Go Dating confirm new dating agent

Broadcast Journalist, TV Presenter and Life Coach Anna Williamson joins dating expert Paul Carrick Brunson at the Celebrity Dating Agency

Celebs Go Dating returns to E4 next year for its sixth series with a brand new dating expert. Television presenter and best-selling author Anna Williamson will take on seven, brand new, unlucky-in-love celebrities (to be announced later this week).  Anna, an experienced life coach and accredited counsellor, will join Oprah Winfrey's personal dating expert Paul Carrick Brunson and Junior Client Co-Ordinator Tom Read-Wilson in the UK's most glamorous dating agency.  

With a passion for tackling dilemmas across family, relationships, parenting and teen issues, psychology expert Anna is tasked with helping the dating agency's new celebrity clients as they face up to the real reasons behind their failed and non-existent relationships, in a bid to help them to find love in 2019.

Anna comments; "I am so excited to be joining Paul and Tom in the Celebrity Dating Agency.  I've been a big fan of the show since it launched.  Celebrities are known for not being backwards in coming forwards in their work life, however being unlucky in love seems to be the common theme amongst many of the celebrities I've met throughout my career.  I'm looking forward to taking them under my wing, dishing out some tough love where needed, and making changes to help them bag the date of their dreams - and this time, keep hold of them!''

Thursday 22 November 2018

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - Emperor - Noel Edmonds (video)

On tonight's Bushtucker Trial - Unleash The Beast,  Noel Edmonds enters as Emperor.

Continues tonight - Thursday 22nd November at 9pm on ITV

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing… the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV’s toughest entertainment challenge.

Leaving their plush pads and luxuries far behind, our celebrity campers will spend up to three weeks taking on the harsh surroundings of the Australian Jungle, with a whole host of brand new nasty surprises created just for them.

Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby will present all the big stories live from the Jungle every night.

The celebrities heading into the Jungle for the new series are:

Football manager – Harry Redknapp
Corrie star– Sair Khan
TV presenter – Nick Knowles
Singer – Fleur East
Popstar – James McVey
TV’s ‘The Governess’ – Anne Hegerty
Hollyoaks actor –Malique Thompson-Dwyer
Comedy actor – Emily Atack
Actor & entertainer – John Barrowman MBE
Actor – Rita Simons
TV Legend - Noel Edmonds

Channel 4 announces line up of new arts programmes

Channel 4 bolsters its arts slate by announcing a range of new programmes tackling contemporary issues with the question of identity as a central theme. For Grayson Perry being an outsider is at the heart of Culture Wars (w/t), which sees the acclaimed artist and broadcaster travel across the US, applying his unique artist-anthropologist’s eye to unpicking the tribal and cultural conflicts that underlie this deeply divided nation. Turning  closer to home with Superkids: Breaking Away from Care, writer and performer Lemn Sissay goes on a mission to help young people in the care system find new ways for expressing their often fraught life experiences. In a taboo-breaking project 100 Vaginas (w/t), documentary artist Laura Dodsworth photographs and interviews women about how their vagina has shaped their lives. The question of identity cuts across this strand. In The Curry House Kid (w/t) one of the world’s leading dancers and choreographers Akram Khan seeks to tell the epic story of immigrant success by immersing himself in a very specific precinct: the Bangladeshi-owned curry houses of London's Brick Lane. And maintaining its commitment to nurturing exciting new creative voices, Channel 4 announces that Random Acts will return with 50 new short films commissioned for next year.

Shaminder Nahal, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, said: “All of these films are trying to say something new about the messy, extraordinary times we live in - whether it’s politics, bodies, or immigration. I’m so excited that Grayson Perry will be getting under the skin of America as it heads for another scintillating election. In 100 Vaginas women talk about their bodies in ways you don’t often get to hear, and we see vulvas in a new light. Akram Khan uses dance to explore his own family’s story as immigrants from Bangladesh. Lemn Sissay helps kids in care write about their lives and perform their own poetry in a powerful and uplifting piece. A slate of arts films that all have something to say about the world - relentlessly topical, challenging and full of passion.”

Grayson Perry: Culture Wars (w/t) will dig behind the political controversies around President Trump, to the deeper tribal and cultural conflicts that lie beneath them. Each of the three films will be a self-contained geographical trip through a particular part of the US. Grayson will be journeying across the major fault-lines of American life in his own distinctive style: on a flamboyant customised motorbike he has recently designed himself.

Production Company: Swan Films
Series Director: Neil Crombie
Executive producer: Joe Evans

Superkids: Breaking Away from Care sees writer and performer Lemn Sissay travel to Coventry to meet seven young people currently in the care of the council. Lemn spent his first 18 years bouncing between foster families, children’s homes and assessment centres. Since then he has come to terms with his trauma by telling his story around the world. His mission here is to help the teenagers express their experiences through words and put on an epic performance for a packed theatre.

Production Company: Expectation Factual
Director: Guy King
Producer: Emily Turner
Executive Producers: Amy Flanagan and Colin Barr

100 Vaginas (w/t) has documentary artist Laura Dodsworth photograph and interview 18 women (from ages 18 to 70) about how their vagina has shaped their lives. Their stories are intimate, shocking, moving, powerful and funny. These women share their experiences of starting periods and pubic hair grooming, the trauma of rape and FGM, the joy of orgasms, the secrets of the clitoris, the wonders of birth and the impact of porn, gender, sex and religion – to better understand this part of themselves and its definitive role in women’s lives.

Production Company: Burning Bright
Director: Jenny Ash
Developed by and Executive Producer: Susanne Curran

The Curry House Kid (w/t) brings world-renowned choreographer Akram Khan back to the curry houses of his youth to create a new piece of dance that tells the story of immigrant identity. Khan, who grew up as the son of a Bangladeshi immigrant restauranteur, meets the chefs and OCs (“onion cutters”) who created the great British curry house in the face of hostility and, often, violent racism. Exploring their stories of immigration, he comes face-to-face with his own past, his family history, and the reasons he became a dancer.

Production Company: Swan Films
Producer and Director: Nick Poyntz
Executive Producers: Neil Crombie and Joe Evans

Random Acts - Channel 4’s weekly late-night TV show and online short film strand- continues to be a platform for exciting new talent to be discovered by the wider industry. In 2018, the multidisciplinary arts strand worked with talent including Adam Thirlwell, Lily Cole, Adeyemi Michael, Marianna Simnett, Asa Butterfield, Adham Faramawy, The Otolith Group, Botis Seva, and in partnerships with arts organisations including Frieze, Sadler's Wells and the Jarman Awards, delivering films directed by 60% female directors and 40% BAME lead creative talents, to an audience of 89% under 35s online, and playing at locations around the world including Antarctica.

Production Company: Little Dot Studios 

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Death and Nightingales - Interview with Matthew Rhys (Billy Winters)

Tell us about your character Billy Winters?

Billy Winters is a number of things - I’m not sure he knows who he is. He’s a very troubled man who lost his wife ten years ago in a horrific accident and raised his step-daughter on his own, sadly we’re not quite sure when, but his feelings for his step-daughter have crossed over into a slightly dark place. He’s wrestling with that along with a number of other things domestically - as Northern Irish Republican terrorist organisations were coming into the fore at that time and posing a number of problems for him.

What was your initial attraction to this project?

There were a number of reasons I was drawn to this one. I hate to say it but it’s true - you are always drawn to a very good script and a dark, complex, interesting character. It’s a huge challenge because I looked at Billy and thought: "Ooh, can I pull this off?" I always liken it to people who do far more adventurous things than myself - you know when people climb Everest and they go: "ah, well". I just wanted to see if I could (I’m not saying that acting is like climbing Everest!) but I just wanted to see if I could pull it off.

What was it like to work with Jamie Dornan?

I’m staggered by Jamie Dornan’s calves. He has calves that a farmer would be proud of. It’s quite a shock. So physically, he’s intimidating let alone any other attribute. He’s kind of perfect for Liam Ward, he’s really stepped into the role effortlessly. You can’t take your eyes off him - well, I can’t. But I’m human. He’s dreamy.

What was it like to work with Ann Skelly?

I always find it slightly embarrassing when actors talk about other actors because we always go: "Oh they are fantastic." But I can sincerely say she is fantastic in this part as Beth. I'm ashamed that I didn't know her body of work before, I'll show my age by saying she's a real find - a young, emerging talent. She has an incredible talent of doing wisdom and innocence at that same time, which is no mean feat. And she can tread water in a Victorian costume in a very cold quarry lake which is commendable.

What do you hope the audience take from the show?

I think as a piece it’s incredibly textured. It’s kind of a love triangle, it’s not, but it is. There are a lot of elements to this one and it certainly made it an interesting read. It’s very layered and my hope is that at the end, as an audience you are torn. Allan has done this beautifully; you aren’t led in one very definite direction. Those pieces for me are always the ones that are the most interesting.

What was it like to work alongside Allan Cubitt?

Having been a fan of Allan Cubitt and his writing for a long time, it was as they say rather crassly, a no-brainer to work with someone like him. Having done the adaptation from the novel himself and then to direct, he has that wealth of information, opinion and knowledge and everything that goes with it is such a help for a director-actor relationship. He’s very astute in his choices. He knows when you need help and when you don't which is a skill.

Did you enjoy working in Northern Ireland?

I think one of the most incredible things of working in Northern Ireland is that you’re a very short distance from any kind of location you need on a very dramatic scale. It’s a little big country in that sense. It has everything you need. It’s one of the nicest crews I’ve ever worked with and I’m not just saying that! You can understand why so many big productions are coming here. They have set up shop where they can offer everything. It’s not home, but for me it’s close to home so that’s a great bonus.

Death and Nightingales - Interview with Ann Skelly (Beth Winters) and Jamie Dornan (Liam Ward)

What’s it like working on a period piece?

I’ve done two period pieces and I like the costumes and the hair and all those wonderful things and the look of it. I think it’s interesting to work within the confines of a certain lack of expression you are allowed in that time, particularly regarding corsets.

Tell us the story of Death and Nightingales?

I play Beth Winters, she lives in Fermanagh with her protestant stepfather. She’s a catholic, as was her mother who died in tragic circumstances. She’s living under a very constricted environment as it was in those days for women. Liam Ward walks into her life and starts a chain of events where she plans to run away with him.

What attracted you to the project?

I’ve never read a script like it before and I can’t believe that book existed and I didn’t know about it. It’s such a beautiful adaptation by Allan and it’s really remarkable. It’s a different take on a period piece with a young woman at the centre. It’s not just looking over misty hills, there’s a lot of action and terrible things happen.

What was it like working with Jamie Dornan and Matthew Rhys?

To work with Jamie is great as I’m a big fan of The Fall. There’s a lot of craic between takes which is great as a lot of days are very intense. Matthew Rhys is a lot of fun to do the tragic scenes with as sometimes it’s hard to find actors who are so present.

What’s it like to work with Allan Cubitt?

Allan Cubitt has adapted it and directed it too. I really liked The Fall and I think he’s a bit of a genius! He’s so brilliant to work with and lets you act. He’s not intrusive at all; he’s the perfect actor’s director and has the perfect vision for the show. His references are lovely and this feels like a special thing to work on.

Tell us the story of Death and Nightingales?

Death and Nightingales is a three-part adaptation of the book by Eugene McCabe, adapted by Allan Cubitt (who’s also directing it). It’s a dark drama centred on a relatively dysfunctional family called the Winters. Beth is the protagonist and on the eve of her 23rd birthday, things have culminated and she's at a point where she wants to make a huge decision. I play Liam Ward, who comes into her life a year before and turns it upside down. We don’t know a huge amount about him, he’s quite mysterious and you get a sense that there’s something lurking underneath that isn’t very nice, maybe a little bit sinister. He changes the dynamic of the whole story.

Tell us about your character?

We don’t know what his intentions are but there's an undercurrent of something sinister. He has a big impact on the proceedings of the story from when we first meet him until the end.

Do you enjoy playing complex characters?

You want every character you play to be multi-faceted and complex. Allan and I have history, with me playing one of the most complex characters that I may ever have the chance to play. Anytime you have the opportunity to play a character where there’s more to them than meets the eye you have to jump at it, they don’t come along that often. You see a lot of two dimensional characters on screen but Liam Ward is so much more than that and there’s a lot of juiciness to get stuck into. He was a real treat to play.

What was it like to reunite to work with Allan Cubitt?

With Allan, I didn’t really have to think about working with him again. If he wants me to do anything for the rest of my career then I will do it because in many ways he gave me my career. He cast me in The Fall and he had to very much fight for it. That changed my professional life in a huge way; I’m eternally indebted to him. When Allan came knocking for Death and Nightingales and I knew quite far in advance he was writing it with me in mind and I felt very lucky. I just love him and we have a shorthand and understanding of each other on how we both like to approach the work. It’s invaluable when you work with someone you’ve worked with for six years and it makes things a lot easier on set when he doesn’t have to say much to know what he wants from me. It’s a lovely thing to be back working with him again.

What was it like to work with Ann Skelly?

She’s only 21 and she’s incredible, I feel very old around her! Oddly enough she’d been recommended to me for another project. When I knew they were casting this, I texted Allan to say that he should check out this girl Ann Skelly, I didn’t know a huge amount about her but from what I’d seen she was brilliant. Cut to two weeks later, Allan texts me to say that she was doing it! She’s lived up to the hype and she’s so fun, which is important. She looks unbelievable in every image and I think she’s going to be quite something. She’ll be amazing in this and I think she will be a big deal.

How was the script?

I was very drawn to the script due to the tone and eloquence of it. It has beautiful use of beautiful sounding language in it. I was worried about my American agent reading it as there’s so much slang from the North of the country that even I don’t know all of it, so I thought they are going to think it’s a whole other language. It’s been lovely using that speech - you should only do something if the script resonates with you, as does the character. I’ve been in a lovely position as Allan has been whispering in my ear about it while he’s been writing about Liam Ward - so I knew I was going to like it and that doesn’t happen often. I like the way Allan writes and the words fit in my mouth. It’s very comforting.

Did you enjoy filming back in Northern Ireland?

I love working in Northern Ireland, anywhere in Ireland. The magic thing for me is the crew, as a lot of them worked on various series of The Fall. It’s a huge benefit when you are comfortable with people around you on set, you have a laugh with them and have something personal with each one of them and socialise together. Every job you do feels like a very odd family but when you have history together it’s great - they are a great bunch. I love people from this part of the world; they are the best people in the world!

I’m quite rubbish about coming home unless I have to work, I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been back here since finishing The Fall series three, so it’s been brilliant and seeing parts of the country that I didn’t know existed. The weather has been glorious the entire time and I love the light here, it stays light until 11pm. It helps you to finish your days and it's good for your soul.

Death and Nightingales - Interview with Allan Cubitt (Writer and Director)

Tell us about the themes of Death and Nightingales?

It’s a complex novel that has at its heart a kind of twisted love story and triangle. It’s essentially about treachery and betrayal and how it impacts on people across generations. It also dramatises relationships across a sectarian divide in Ireland in the 1880’s, it’s a book that also has a lot to say about the political situation in Ireland and does it through this incredibly engaging story of love and hate. It’s an extremely powerful, almost mythic tale in a way.

What attracted you to this project?

I love the book and always felt it would make a wonderful film or TV adaptation. Across the years, Jonathan Cavendish (producer) came back to me and asked what we could work on together; I always said the same thing which was Death and Nightingales. I’ve always felt a great loyalty to Eugene and the book itself. I think it’s a wonderful novel. The quality of the material is the thing that’s made me stick to the project across the years. Working on it as a writer but also as a director is a privilege.

What was it like working with Jamie Dornan again?

I’m a great fan of Jamie’s. He’s told the story many times of how integral I was to launching his career back in the day when we cast him for The Fall. I’m always struck by how good he is. The camera loves him and he looks great on film. Seeing Matthew’s work, from meeting Ann and from working extensively with Jamie I knew I had three actors who were all equally concerned to be truthful and seek out the truth of any scene in any situation. It’s an interesting part for Jamie and he’s a joy on set. He only had one short scene with Matthew which is a shame as they are friends and would have loved to have worked more together but he was incredibly supportive of Ann and makes things easy for the people that he works with.

What was it like working with Matthew Rhys?

Matthew is a wonder. He is one of the most technically proficient and professional actors that I’ve ever worked with. He has an incredible understanding of the process and the craft. Lovable and likeable and good natured, who everyone felt was a huge pleasure to work with. He was interesting to cast as we offered it to him and he said yes. I didn’t previously hear his accent as Billy but I had a sense that he is the sort of actor who wouldn’t have taken it if he didn’t think he could do it. I’ve heard his American and hearing his English and other accents I could tell that he had an incredible ear but I was extremely pleased by his version of Billy. He was drawn to the part because of the contradictory nature of Billy’s character, he is complex and interesting and somewhat a monstrous character but interestingly and particularly with Matthew’s performance, he is still a character that people feel for.

What drew you to Ann Skelly?

I was very struck by Ann the moment I met her. I thought she was perfect for Beth and it made me realise, as we auditioned other actresses, that if Beth was not young and didn't have (in some respects) an element of naivety about her, it would be difficult to believe that she would invest her future in Liam Ward.

Ann has an extraordinary mixture as she can look and is very young - but what is remarkable about her performance is that when we flash back to a year earlier she seems younger. She is an extraordinary actress of incredible integrity and range, so for someone so young that has not done an enormous amount of work she was a revelation. I could not be more pleased with her performance and that was reflected in the way that both Matthew and Jamie felt about working with her. I’m excited by the prospect of having the opportunity of presenting her in this role. It’s her film; she is the central role and leads the piece.

Tell us about the writer, Eugene McCabe?

Eugene is a wonderful man. I don’t know him very well but when I was towards the end of The Fall and working in Northern Ireland I drove out to meet him for the first time. I felt I was making a pilgrimage really. He proved to have the spirit that I expected him to have. He was born in Scotland and is now in his mid to late 80’s. Death and Nightingales is his only novel, he is a playwright and a short story writer. His playwriting skill is there in every line of dialogue in the book. I’ve used an enormous amount of his writing. Largely with the adaptation I structured and moved things around. I’ve made a couple of telling plot changes which are right from a dramatist’s point of view but I’ve relied on his descriptions of the world he’s writing about.

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - Scary Rose - John Barrowman

John Barrowman undertakes tonight's Bushtucker Trial - Scary Rose

Continues tonight - Wednesday 21st November at 9pm on ITV

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing… the time has come for a brand new cast of celebrities to head down under and battle it out in TV’s toughest entertainment challenge.

Leaving their plush pads and luxuries far behind, our celebrity campers will spend up to three weeks taking on the harsh surroundings of the Australian Jungle, with a whole host of brand new nasty surprises created just for them.

Declan Donnelly and Holly Willoughby will present all the big stories live from the Jungle every night.

The celebrities heading into the Jungle for the new series are:

Football manager – Harry Redknapp
Corrie star– Sair Khan
TV presenter – Nick Knowles
Singer – Fleur East
Popstar – James McVey
TV’s ‘The Governess’ – Anne Hegerty
Hollyoaks actor –Malique Thompson-Dwyer
Comedy actor – Emily Atack
Actor & entertainer – John Barrowman MBE
Actor – Rita Simons
TV Legend - Noel Edmonds

Channel 4 commissions brand new daytime format, Beat the Chef

Twofour and Motion Content Group have secured a 20 x 30’ series with Channel 4 for brand new daytime format, Beat the Chef (w/t). The cookery gameshow will be presented by Andi Oliver.

Beat the Chef (w/t) sees amateur cooks go head to head against a professional chef in fast-paced cook offs to win a £10,000 cash prize. The four house chefs to beat are Michelin starred Mark Sargeant, Celebrity chef Clodagh Mckenna, award winning chef James Tanner and Roux Scholar Frederick Forster.

Each round sees passionate home cooks battling to win over members of a tasting jury who will blind taste the dishes. It’s a gastronomic gamble - if they cook well, they’ll climb up the money ladder, but lose, and they walk away with nothing.

This brand-new format promises to unite game show and cookery competition in a unique and compelling way.

Dan Adamson, Director of Programmes, Twofour Group, said: “We’re really excited that this format marries the jeopardy of a cooking competition with the drama of a money ladder game show. Beat the Chef will pit passionate home cooks against professional chefs in an exciting head to head with big money on the line.”

Melanie Darlaston, Executive Producer for Motion Content Group said: “It’s great to be working with Twofour and Channel 4 on this new format. Will the amateur chef be up to the challenge of taking on the big boys and girls of the culinary world? With money at stake and reputations on the line, it’s going to be a compelling watch!”

The series was commissioned by Head of Daytime, David Sayer and Commissioning Editor, Features and Formats, Tim Hancock. The executive producers are Dan Adamson for Twofour and Melanie Darlaston for Motion Content Group. The show will be stripped with the air date to be confirmed.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Through The Christmas Keyhole

Keith Lemon is back with a sixth series of Through the Keyhole, kicking off with a Christmas special.  Join Keith as he rummages around three mystery celebrity houses unearthing clues for the studio panel to guess 'who habitates in a house like this.

On this week's festive star-studded panel is the king of chat Jonathan Ross, presenter Lorraine Kelly and comedian Jimmy Carr.

Fri 14 Dec 2018

9.00pm - 10.00pm

Channel 4 reconnects with a Celebrity Call Centre Christmas Special

The Celebrity Call Centre is re-opening its 'phone lines for the festive season, in partnership with Age UK, with eight new stars tackling dilemmas large and small, from Christmas quandaries to troublesome affairs of the heart. 

Taking calls from the great British public this time round will be Strictly Come Dancing finalist Debbie McGee, Countdown's Nick Hewer, Goggleboxers Steph and Dom Parker, Coronation St legend Amanda Barrie, Ackley Bridge star Sunetra Sarker, comedian James Acaster and Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney. 

The all-star agony aunts will be staffing the telephone helplines providing advice to callers, never knowing who'll be at the other end of the 'phone or what problem they'll be faced with. 

Celebrity Call Centre Christmas Special 1 x 60' was commissioned by Channel 4 Factual Entertainment Commissioning Editor Lee McMurray, and produced by Kerfuffle TV, with Steven D Wright as Executive Producer.

 "It's a simple but really effective way of gaining some great insight into the personal – and often very moving - experiences of our celebrities, whilst tackling the sorts of everyday dilemmas that so many of us face, especially at Christmas – one of the most challenging times for families up and down the country" commented Lee McMurray.

Steven D Wright added: "Using wit, humour and honesty, our celebrities give great advice about every aspect of the yuletide season – ranging from practical tips on, say, how to cook a turkey to offering genuine emotional support to callers struggling with loneliness on Christmas day."

Kathi Hall, Head of Content Strategy & Brand at Age UK, commented: "We're really excited to be working with Channel 4 again, especially so because the concept of this show is so unique and entertaining. While Christmas can be a time of great celebration, it can also be a difficult time, especially for those who are alone or whose families are far away. Some of the calls that the celebrities answered were quite poignant and hopefully this will bring a greater awareness of what older people have to face if they have no one to turn to, which is why the Age UK advice line is open 365 days a year."   

Saturday 17 November 2018

Jamie Oliver interview on Jimmy & Jamie's Friday Night Feast

Jimmy & Jamie's Friday Night Feast starts Friday 7th December at 8pm on Channel 4

Tell us a bit about the new run of Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feast…

It’s the sixth series and feels like it’s getting better and better as time goes on. People are getting creative in how they consume TV content - on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, catch-up, in all sorts of weird, wonderful and dynamic ways - but I think actually many of them want regular, trusted programmes at certain times of the week. And on Friday evenings, it just fits. It’s a nice balance of cooking, celebrities and campaigning. It’s great to have that seven-minute soapbox campaign slot, rather than an hour-long documentary. The show has achieved amazing, important things because of a light-hearted little Friday night rant. And we genuinely work hard to make the audience happy.

Are the slots to be diners in the café still vastly over-subscribed?

It’s always a  massive response. The series is just a joy to make: the right show at the right time. People have a little extra spring in their step on Fridays. They shop and cook differently at weekends, when it’s more about comfort good and indulgence. We celebrate food in the same way. Plus we’re getting amazing superstar guests.

You’ve got some fantastic guests this series, including Danny DeVito. How was he?

Hilarious. He’s a Hollywood legend and he came especially to see us - at the end of Southend Pier, two hours out of London, for a six-hour filming. That isn’t normal. On Jonathan Ross, you can get in and out in two hours, so our show is a major time commitment. But people come because they like what we do and they love food. Danny calls everyone baby - “hey baby, thanks baby”.

What do you cook for him?

You’re going to love Danny’s story. We go back to his roots in Basilicata, where his grandparents came from. He’s never been there himself but that particular part of southern Italy was tough and full of poverty, especially after the war. We get pictures in front of his grandparents’ old house with the town’s mayor. The mayor’s also the local baker and the deputy mayor makes olive oil and wine. Every morsel of food cooked in the café that day was from the town where his family comes from. We got a traditional pasta shape and recipe that his grandparents would definitely have cooked. We had archive pictures on the walls. He was genuinely moved. The mayor wrote him a letter saying the town was so proud of everything he’d achieved, how they always seen him as one of their own and giving him the keys to the city.

Harry Hill is another guest this series. How was he?

Brilliant. As funny and chaotic, as you’d expect. His story was an interesting one. He used to be a doctor, spent some time working out in India and talked about his memories of how good the hospital canteen food was. Our job was to try and relive that for him. So we found the hospital and one of the chefs from Harry’s time was still there. We got the actual recipes from him, then we recreated this thali, which is like a platter of different curries, with the bread that he remembered. On Southend Pier.

What about Stephen Fry?

He was on banging form. I don’t know how we’re going to edit that show because it was too funny. Utterly brilliant. We talked about everything from cake decorating to personal hygiene.

And Jodie Whittaker, aka the new Doctor Who?

She was wonderful. What you see is what you get with Jodie. She’s a grafter, she’s enthusiastic and she’s everything you want her to be. Just like Jessica Ennis, who’s also on this series. Gold standard. Our first Dame on the show. As a dad of girls, it’s amazing to have these extraordinary female role models on the show.

How’s your old mate Jimmy Doherty?

He’s so good. I’m so lucky to work with Jimmy. I’ve got the advantage of having grown up with him since the age of two, so I know him inside out, frontwards and backwards. Jimmy’s always got a few shows on the go and he does more days’ filming than anyone I know, so technically he’s on fire but still loads of fun and beautifully daft. He’s a farmer, a butcher and nobody on the planet travels to as many farms and food businesses around the world as he does. Combine that knowledge with my cooking and we’re a really good twosome.

Is he going to be your best man? Because you’re getting married again…

Yeah! Me and Jools are going to renew our vows to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We don’t get out much or have too many parties, so we thought we’d give it a go. She loves the idea and thinks it’s romantic. I think 20 years is a massive achievement. And if we get to 40 years, we’ll do it again.

What have you learnt in 20 years of marriage?

Bloody good question. To never hold grudges. Move on. And just hang about. Don’t go anywhere. It’s genuinely a wonderful thing and I’m so grateful to her. I couldn’t do what I do without her nailing all the kids and family stuff. We’re a good team. She keeps me on my toes, doesn’t take any shit, she’s kind, she’s funny… At some point in life, you have to go “I did good there. Lucked out and punched well above my weight.”