Welcome to JONN.CO.UK, the UK's best website for all things TV, Gaming and Music.

Social Media

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

Reverend Richard Coles to guest star in BBC One’s Holby City

Love is in the air at Holby City Hospital in a special episode of BBC One’s long-running medical drama, due to air at 8pm on Tuesday 11 December. A wedding is planned - and the happy couple need a Reverend to officiate the ceremony.

Can Serena (Catherine Russell) and Bernie (Jemma Redgrave) overcome their issues? With their plans in chaos, what’s next for Jason (Jules Robertson) and Greta (Zoe Croft)? And when Dom (David Ames) realises he must fight for his relationship, will a grand gesture be enough to win Lofty (Lee Mead) back?

Reverend Richard Coles says: “Thrilled to be invited finally to exercise my ministry of healing at Holby City, which has been my healthcare provider of choice for twenty years - and to officiate at an occasion so joyous even the late Professor Gaskell would have cracked a smile.”

Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, says: “After a dark year for the hospital, Holby is now revving up for Christmas and 2019 in this joyous episode celebrating love and commitment in all their diverse forms. As to which Holby couple ends up actually tying the knot, I couldn’t possibly divulge, but I can say it’s an incredible honour to have the iconic Reverend Richard officiating!”

Further guest names are also confirmed to appear in this episode, including Gemma Oaten as Sydney Somers, Amanda Henderson as Robyn Miller and Jenny Howe as Alexandra ‘Lexy’ Dunblane.

Six acts, three songs, You Decide - United Kingdom’s Eurovision song selection show returns in 2019

Exciting changes are set for the United Kingdom’s Eurovision song selection show as a brand new location and format details are revealed for Eurovision: You Decide.

Presented by Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw, BBC Music’s Eurovision: You Decide will be broadcast live from Dock10, MediaCity UK in Salford as the show comes to the North West of England for the very first time.

As well as a new home, there are also exciting format changes coming too, as from the hundreds of songs that have been submitted, three will be performed on the night by six different artists. The six acts will compete for the honour of representing the United Kingdom at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In the exciting new format, each of the three songs will be performed in two musically different ways, by two different acts. There will be three rounds of 'song-offs', with six acts performing in total.

Mel Balac, Creative Director, Entertainment at BBC Studios and Executive Producer of Eurovision: You Decide, says: “This year the three songs presented to the United Kingdom have been selected with the help of an international jury. Our exciting 'euro-version' format will give fans the chance to compare and contrast these fantastic songs in a fresh, new way and deliver the United Kingdom the artist it deserves to fly the flag out in Tel Aviv in May.”

Kate Phillips, Controller of Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC, says: “Next year it’s all about the song-off as we once again try to marry a great singer with a great song, one which could finally get us on the left hand side of the leader board. We may be leaving the EU but we are still determined to win Eurovision again one day!”

All of this including live music performances from guest artists and lots more besides, plus with BBC Radio 2’s Ken Bruce broadcasting his show live from Salford on the morning of the show, Eurovision: You Decide 2019 will be bigger and better than ever before.

Eurovision: You Decide (1x90') will be broadcast on BBC Two in February 2019, as part of BBC Music’s programming on the channel.

The BBC’s Eurovision coverage is produced by BBC Studios.

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.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Something for the Mammys and Daddys: Mrs Brown's Boys and Ken Dodd special added to BBC Christmas tour

The biggest Christmas show on TV and a special tribute to Sir Ken Dodd have been added to the BBC’s Christmas cinema tour.

Mrs Brown’s Boys, often the most watched Christmas show on TV, and Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were have been added to a special tour taking place across England this December.

The BBC has already announced that family favourites Zog and The Midnight Gang will be screened at premieres in nine locations across the country as part of a children’s Christmas content tour. And now there will also be festive crackers for the grown-ups.

Fans of Mrs Brown’s Boys will have chance to see two seasonal specials of the Irish sitcom before anyone else with free screenings across the country.

The screenings start in Newcastle on Saturday 15 December 2018 and finish in York on 23 December 2018.

And in Liverpool, people will get an extra Christmas TV treat with the chance to see a new documentary about local comedy legend Ken Dodd.

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were will be shown on BBC Two over the festive holidays but fans in Liverpool will be able to get a first-look at a premiere on 19 December.

Fans will also be able to walk the red carpet and pose for photos with famous props from some of the BBC’s biggest shows.

In Newcastle, Sheffield, Bradford and Liverpool the screenings will take place inside a specially built BBC Christmas cinema.

Tickets to the screenings will be available through a ballot which will be open from Tuesday 27 November for seven days via the BBCShows and Tours website:

Mrs Brown's Boys tickets
Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were tickets
In the first of this year’s Mrs Brown’s Boys festive specials, Exotic Mammy, Father Damian has organised a Christmas decoration contest to support the local football team. Agnes is keen to enter, especially as it might mean getting one over her old nemesis Hilliary Nicholson. Though she’s soon distracted when Dermot and Buster give Agnes a “wifi assistant” and she has trouble figuring out what to do with it.

The second episode, Mammy’s Motel, sees a flood in Winnie and Sharon’s house when a pipe bursts during a storm. Thank goodness for Mrs Brown who is on hand to offer a roof over their heads while repairs are carried out. However, it isn’t long before there’s a storm brewing in the Brown household too as Agnes and Cathy discover living with best friends isn’t the picnic they’d imagined. Plus, there’s Bono’s thirteenth birthday to host. It might all seem too much for Agnes, until Buster drops a bombshell…

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were explores the life and work of the man described by many as “the last great music hall entertainer”. Sir Ken Dodd’s performing career spanned over 60 years, from his first professional stage engagement in September 1954 to his final performance in his home city of Liverpool in December 2017.

This special documentary tells Sir Ken’s story from his boyhood growing up in the 1930s in Knotty Ash, through his big break into show business and then on to his unrivalled career in entertainment. Poignant and uplifting, the programme features interviews with the people who knew Sir Ken best - friends and family in Liverpool and beyond, and his many colleagues, admirers and fellow-performers from the world of entertainment. The programme also features an interview with Sir Ken’s wife, Lady Anne Dodd.

The Mrs Brown’s Boys screening schedule is as follows:

Date & Time
Saturday 15 December, 2.30pm
Central Station, Newcastle
Sunday 16 December, 5.30pm
Tudor Square, Sheffield
Monday 17 December, 6.30pm
City Park, Bradford
Tuesday 18 December, 6pm
Birmingham Town Hall
Thursday 20 December, 6pm
MediaCityUK, Salford
Friday 21 December, 6.45pm
Cinema City, Norwich
Saturday 22 December, 3.30pm
Waterside Centre, Lincoln
Sunday 23 December, 7pm
City Screen, York

Ken Dodd: How Tickled We Were will be screened at 5.30pm on Wednesday 19 December in the BBC Christmas pop-up cinema in Williamson Square, Liverpool.

The ticket ballot will close on Monday 3 December.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Claes Bang is cast as Dracula in BBC One Show

Award-winning Danish actor Claes Bang (The Girl in the Spider’s Web, The Affair, Borgen) will take on the role of Dracula in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ brand new mini-series inspired by Bram Stoker’s classic novel.

Commissioned by BBC One, Dracula will be produced by Hartswood Films and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix.

Three feature length episodes will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.

Claes Bang says: “I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock. I'm so excited that I get to dig in to this iconic and super-interesting character. Yes he's evil, but there's also so much more to him, he’s charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy. I realise that there's a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged, to be taking on this incredible character.”

Hartswood and the Writers say: “It was one of those moments - who else could it be than Claes! He has it all. Brilliant, gorgeous, charismatic, lethal. Tall, dark and gruesome all at once. Hell has a new boss."

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Hell has a new boss... and BBC One has an outstanding new leading man. To say we have lucked out with Claes would be to underestimate the supreme talents of Steven, Mark and the team at Hartswood and their knack for choosing the right actor to redefine an iconic role. Seriously exciting stuff...”

Larry Tanz, Vice President, Content Acquisition, Netflix, says: "Claes will bring Dracula to life with chilling charm and evil elegance. With his talents and Steven and Mark's brilliant storytelling, Netflix members around the world will love to fear this dark and complex anti-hero."

Dracula was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. It is written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss; executive producers are Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue for Hartswood Films, Ben Irving for BBC and it will be handled by Larry Tanz for Netflix.

The series will premiere on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix outside of the UK.

Filming begins next year.

Claes Bang biography
Claes Bang is a Danish actor. Trained at Denmark’s National Theatre School, he was a familiar face on stage and screen in Northern Europe before his breakout role as Christian in Ruben Östlund’s The Square, winner of the 2017 Cannes Palme d’Or. The film was also nominated for an Oscar and Claes himself won Best Actor in the European Film Awards.

In 2019, Claes will be starring alongside Claire Foy in The Girl in the Spider’s Web; opposite Elizabeth Debicki, Donald Sutherland and Mick Jagger in The Burnt Orange Heresy; with Guy Pearce in Lyrebird and Carice van Houten in The Glass Room. In The Bay of Silence, Claes will star opposite Olga Kurylenko and Brian Cox.

Television credits include Borgen and The Bridge and the German series Sibel & Max. He will be starring in Season 5 of the Showtime series The Affair.

Claes has appeared on stage throughout Northern Europe and in London at The St. James’s Theatre and the Riverside Studios.

Fluent in five languages, he is also a talented singer, songwriter and pianist.

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.  

Madness rocks Big Ben live

Welcome to BBC One's night of fun for New Year's Eve! Great British Pop band Madness are set to brighten up the night with a live concert on BBC One, performing their biggest hits as they kick off the New Year celebrations.

The Madness story began in Camden Town in 1979 with a group of young boys making music. They are now one of the top 20 selling UK groups of all time and will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary in 2019. Madness have a huge number of hit singles under their belt including My Girl, House Of Fun, The Prince, and over six million album sales to their name.

Band members include Graham 'Suggs' McPherson, Lee 'Kix' Thompson, Mike 'Barzo' Barson, Chrissy 'Boy' Foreman, Daniel 'Woody' Woodate, Mark 'Bedders' Bedford and they continue to entertain fans with their tours of great British institutions, from Buckingham Palace to Glastonbury, to the 02 to closing Television Centre and beyond!

Madness are really excited to be performing at the New Year's Eve concert - they say: "Hold onto your sofas, your chaise lounges, your couches - NYE and Madness, it's going to go off like a packet of crackers... what a ding dong ding dong... "

Jan Younghusband, head of BBC Music TV Commissioning, says: "We are so delighted that Madness will head up our New Year Celebrations this year on BBC One - and with the Kingdom Choir too - will have us all up dancing in our living rooms to the early hours to welcome in the year ahead."

As well as music from Madness, London's famous fireworks will light up the night sky over the River Thames as Big Ben strikes midnight. The spectacular firework display will be choreographed to fit a specially edited medley of music before the action switches back inside as Madness continue the party with their much loved anthems.

There will also be a special treat for viewers to witness a unique collaboration with Madness and The Kingdom Choir as they perform together. The Kingdom Choir are a London based collective best known for their unforgettable performance at the Royal Wedding for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

A limited number of tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday 30 November.

Please visit bbc.co.uk/newyearseve  for further details.

First look at The Nine, BBC Scotland’s new nightly news programme

The first official pictures of The Nine set have been released, highlighting the look of the news hour which will launch on the new BBC Scotland channel in February 2019, bringing national and international news to audiences across Scotland.

The Nine set is a permanent open-plan studio space on the third floor at BBC Scotland's Pacific Quay, Glasgow headquarters and the programme will be anchored by two of the country's leading journalists, Rebecca Curran and Martin Geissler.

Hayley Valentine, Editor of The Nine, reveals plans for the news programme: "The Nine aims to be a world class programme combining international, UK and Scottish news with the needs of a Scottish audience at the heart of everything we do. We hope to bring the audience the best of the BBC both from Scotland and around the globe, plus some exciting new on screen talent.

"We want to bring audiences stories they won't find anywhere else. We are looking at fresh, creative and engaging ways of telling stories that matter to Scottish audiences."

The flagship news programme will be at the heart of the schedules, broadcasting Monday-Friday between 9-10pm in addition to weekend bulletins. Rebecca and Martin will co-present Monday-Thursday while Laura Miller and John Beattie will present the news hour each Friday.

Weekend coverage comprises a 15-minute bulletin on Saturday evenings at 7pm followed by a 45-minute review programme presented by Fiona Stalker and Nick Sheridan. On Sundays, the 15-minute 7.00pm bulletin will be presented by Lucy Whyte. The programme will have a distinct social media presence and audiences will be able to access the best of The Nine on digital platforms.

Rebecca Curran says: "I am thrilled to be a part of this programme. It is an amazing opportunity for me personally and professionally, at what is such an exciting time for broadcasting in Scotland. The Nine will have a real focus on original journalism, and the whole team is looking forward to bringing our audience a fresh format with stories they won't see elsewhere."

Martin Geissler adds: "It's been fascinating watching The Nine grow from concept into reality. What we're offering is something completely different, a bold new programme with its own unique character and personality, covering international news in a style that's accessible to everyone.

"We're assembling an exciting team of journalists, our newsroom is currently buzzing with enthusiasm, ideas and ambition. I just can't wait to get started."

The Nine is part of the biggest investment in the BBC in Scotland for a generation. This investment includes 80 new jobs in news services in Scotland, covering a range of roles both in front of and behind the camera. Journalists have been hired across the whole of Scotland, enhancing news teams at Holyrood and Westminster and, for the first time in 20 years, BBC Scotland will have a dedicated Europe Correspondent.

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

Sean Bean joins the stellar cast of new landmark World War II drama

BBC One and Mammoth Screen today announced that Emmy and Bafta-winner Sean Bean (Broken, Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings) will be joining the cast of the epic drama World On Fire by multi-award winning writer Peter Bowker (Eric And Ernie, Blackpool).

Sean Bean says: "I am thrilled to be part of this ambitious drama. Peter Bowker's study of the human stories that thread through this huge global conflict is fascinating and something I look forward to being part of on screen."

Bean joins already announced Academy Award-winner Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets, Mad About You) and Academy Award-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Mum).

Also joining the cast is Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal, The Inbetweeners), poet and actor Yrsa Daley-Ward (Today Will Burn), Ansu Kabia (The Long Song) and Ewan Mitchell (The Last Kingdom).

Already announced are rising British stars Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, Howard's End) and Julia Brown (The Last Kingdom), Polish Academy Award-winner Zofia Wichłacz (Warsaw 44, Amok) and Brian J. Smith (Sense8), along with Parker Sawyers (Southside With You, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe), Tomasz Kot (Gods, Cold War), Bruno Alexander (Eden, Der Verlorene Bruder), Johannes Zeiler (Faust, Codename Holec) and Eugénie Derouand (Genius, Beatrice).

Adam Smith (Trespass Against Us) is directing episodes one and two, Thomas Napper (Jawbone) is directing episode three, Chanya Button (Burn Burn Burn) is directing episodes five and six, and Andy Wilson (Unforgotten) is directing episodes four and seven.

World On Fire is an adrenalized, emotionally gripping and resonant drama following the first year of World War II told through the intertwining fates of ordinary people drawn from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States as they grapple with the effect of the war on their everyday lives.

Filming started in September in Prague and other filming locations include Manchester and Paris.

World On Fire is produced by Mammoth Screen which is part of ITV Studios.

Peter Bowker says: "World On Fire tells the hidden human stories within the big historical events we think we know. From Harry, a young English translator in Warsaw caught up in negotiations with the Nazis and trying to smuggle his Polish lover Kasia out of the country, to Lois, the girl who is waiting for him at home, a young Mancunian factory worker who will come to take all the opportunities the war can offer to live a different kind of life...

"...to Nancy, a female US war correspondent who can't find peace unless her life is at risk, to the Rossler family in Berlin, worried for their soldier son and willing to do anything to protect their disabled daughter from the attentions of the ruling Nazi regime. These are the stories of the ordinary people who shaped our world. Stories of loyalty and brutality, courage and fear, hopes, stories of love and loss, hopes and dreams forged in extraordinary times."

Damien Timmer, Mammoth Screen Managing Director, says: "We're thrilled by the talent and breadth of the incredible cast and production team that have come together to tell this extraordinary story. A drama that pieces together World War II with Pete's characteristic irreverence and humanity, tracing the connections between allies and enemies, and the huge battles we thought we knew. From the siege of Warsaw, to Dunkirk, the fall of Paris and the battle of Britain, here is an epic story told on a human scale, with a truly international cast."

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: "Pete's funny, humane and poignant writing gives us a perspective on those early days of the Second World War which we have never seen before. Spanning four nations, the canvas for the drama is vast, but the experience Pete gives us is boots on the ground, granting us special insight into one of the most pivotal and seismic moments in twentieth century history. It is an honour to be working with Pete, director Adam Smith and producers Mammoth Screen as they bring this story to life."

World On Fire is a 7x60' series produced by Mammoth Screen for BBC One. It is written by Peter Bowker, developed by Mammoth's Creative Director Rebecca Keane and executive produced by Peter Bowker, Damien Timmer and Helen Ziegler for Mammoth Screen and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The Series Producer is Chris Clough.

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

Rickie, Melvin and Charlie to join BBC Radio 1 to host late night show

Rickie Williams, Melvin Odoom and Charlie Hedges will be joining BBC Radio 1 as the new hosts of the station’s late night show (Monday-Thursday, 9pm-11pm) starting next year.

The trio, who currently present The Kiss 100 Breakfast Show  - the biggest commercial breakfast show in London - will take over the late night slot previously hosted by Charlie Sloth, on a permanent basis. Their show will feature candid conversations between friends - after the watershed - while playing new music chosen by Rickie, Melvin and Charlie.

Rickie and Melvin, who met at university, are regulars on the entertainment scene, presenting for the likes of BBC Three, ITV 2, Channel 4 and MTV, and have hosted the MOBO Awards. Melvin has also hosted The Xtra Factor and even donned his glad rags for BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing and ITV’s Take Me Out celebrity edition.

Charlie began her music career DJing at international events and festivals such as Ministry of Sound, Global Gathering, V Festival and Space Ibiza, playing alongside some of the biggest names in dance, including Carl Cox and Steve Aoki and others.

Rickie, Melvin and Charlie say: “We’re so excited to be joining the Radio 1 family and bringing all our energy and entertainment to the station. Hearing a new side to us as we get to showcase the music we love.”

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 & 1Xtra, says: “Radio 1 needs to keep disrupting, keep changing, keep surprising our audiences and our industry. I can’t wait to tune in to hear Rickie, Melvin and Charlie on Radio 1 with an exciting mix of late night humour and great new music.”

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.

Neil MacGregor presents new series As Others See Us on BBC Radio 4 this January

At the start of 2019, a year of potentially momentous change for the United Kingdom, Neil MacGregor explores how five major countries see Britain through the prism of historical events, cultural influences and objects.

Across five programmes in the first week of January, MacGregor visits different countries - Germany, India, Egypt, Nigeria and Canada - and talks to leading political, business and cultural figures to find out how they, as individuals and as members of their broader communities, see Britain. MacGregor asks whether the essence of their relationship with Britain can be traced back to key events or cultural influences and explores what impact those events still have on the nature of relationships today.

The contributors discuss what they learnt about Britain at school, their first encounters with British cities and culture and key historical moments and objects which have shaped their perception of Britain now. Whether it is reading Dickens, watching Monty Python, the Suez Crisis or the 1966 World Cup Final, these are a few examples of what influences the way that Britain is perceived abroad and may inform how these countries approach diplomatic and commercial conversations in the future.

Contributors include the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamid Sanusi; Nigerian writer and the first African Nobel Laureate for Literature Wole Soyinka; German President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble; German TV host, writer and cultural commentator Thea Dorn; French-Canadian film director Denys Arcand; Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland; Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif; Ram Narasimhan, publisher of the Hindu Newspaper and Shobana Kamineni, first female president of the Confederation of Indian Industries.

Neil MacGregor says: "For several hundred years, the United Kingdom has been closely connected with every part of the world, as the British travelled and traded, conquered and settled in every continent. Britain has played a significant part in the history of all of the five countries discussed in this series, a part often forgotten in the UK, but very much not forgotten there. We found a quirky but extremely well-informed mix of affection and admiration, irritation and bewilderment. And whether they were for or against, everybody had a very clear view about the decision to leave the EU."

Gwyneth Williams, Controller of Radio 4, says: "Radio 4 is proud to start the new year with an ambitious global series presented by one of our most compelling scholars. In As Others See Us, Neil MacGregor brings his knowledge and authority to give a fresh perspective on ourselves and our society; the chance to pause, look up and out, and to reflect on and re-evaluate our place in the world."

Saturday, 24 November 2018

BBC investigation looks at 'forgotten' Thai workers in Israel

A yearlong BBC News Thai investigation has discovered many Thai nationals living and working on Israeli farms are being exploited and abused. Tens of thousands of Thai labourers work in Israel under a scheme organised by the two governments. Many are subjected to unsafe working practices and squalid, unsanitary living conditions. Some are overworked, others underpaid, and there are dozens of unexplained deaths.
In The forgotten Thai Workers In Israel, published on bbc.com/thai, BBC News Thai journalist, Issariya Praithongyaem, zeroes in on the hardships they face, talking to them, their employers, Israeli and Thai officials and non-government organisations.

Israel grows fruit and vegetables which are sold in supermarkets across the globe. Since the start of the Thailand-Israel Cooperation on the Placement of Workers (TIC) programme in 2012, Thais have made up a big part of Israel’s agricultural workforce. Today, their number exceeds 25,000.

Issariya Praithongyaem has travelled extensively in Israel, speaking with hundreds of Thai workers at more than 50 farms.

Thai workers are allowed to work in Israel for up to five years, and during their stay, they are entitled to expect a reasonable level of comfort and safety. However, not many accommodations meet the standard housing requirements.

The Israeli farmers, who agreed to talk to the BBC, blamed their Thai workers for the state of their accommodation and insisted that they were paid as required by law and that it was their preference not to wear protective gear when performing potentially hazardous work.

Israel’s Population And Immigration Authority (PIBA) explained that it does its best to ensure that employers fulfil their responsibilities according to the law, and that complaints are immediately investigated.

“I think that there is kind of an attitude toward the workers… as tools to provide the work,” says Sophie Shannir from Kav Laoved, an Israeli NGO. She says they are treated like “they are here to work, they are not human with needs that can be harmed… have needs like nobody cares enough.”

Since the TIC programme began in 2012, more than 170 Thai workers have died while in employment in Israel. Many of the death certificates describe the deaths as undetermined.

The full BBC News Thai investigation is published on bbc.com/thai. The investigation also features on BBC World Service radio, BBC World News TV (Our World documentary slot: Who Cares About Israel’s Thai workers?), and the website bbc.com/news.

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

Last ever series of Still Game to premiere on new BBC Scotland channel in February 2019

Iconic BBC comedy Still Game will premiere its ninth - and final series - on the new BBC Scotland channel when it launches on Sunday 24 February 2019.
The six-part comedy series, made by BBC Studios, will debut on the new channel followed by BBC One when it airs Still Game later in the year, giving fans two chances to bid a fond farewell to pensioner pals Jack and Victor, as they go into TV comedy retirement.

This is the first official confirmation of the channel's launch date following BBC Director-General Tony Hall's 2017 announcement that there would be a new BBC television channel created for Scotland.

Comedy partners Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill - the writers and stars of Still Game - are thrilled the series will be part of the new channel's launch.

Greg says: "Jack and Victor are a bottle being smashed on the bow of a beautiful ship and we're absolutely thrilled to be launching Scotland's brand new digital channel with the last ever series of Still Game."

Ford adds: "Scotland is where Still Game's roots began and it's right the story comes to an end here. From the early beginnings on radio, through to TV, we started to build Still Game in Scotland - so we're honoured our show will be part of the launch of a new BBC channel from Scotland. We're looking forward to our audience joining us at the end of our fabulous adventure."

Steve Carson, BBC Scotland's Head of Multi-platform Commissioning, says: "To have this iconic Scottish comedy launching on BBC Scotland is great news for our audiences and a fitting farewell to the gang that have made the nation laugh for over a decade. Ford and Greg are bringing Still Game home to Scotland and we are thrilled to have the final series at the heart of the BBC Scotland channel launch.

"This last series will be a truly fitting send-off, with twists and turns along the way and life changing surprises in store for our favourite regulars - it's a real must-see for all Still Game fans."

Shane Allen, Controller, BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: "Still Game's huge and enduring popularity has earned its place as a modern sitcom masterpiece. These much loved characters deliver the famous Glaswegian humour to screens across the nation with a show that bows out on a hilarious high and will be enjoyed by audiences for years to come."

The last-ever Still Game once again reunites all of Craiglang's comedy pals including Jane McCarry (Isa), Sanjeev Kohli (Navid), Gavin Mitchell (Boabby), Paul Riley (Winston) and Mark Cox (Tam) for six new episodes.

It also features guest stars including Martin Compston (Line Of Duty), singer-songwriters Midge Ure and Amy MacDonald, James McPherson (Taggart) and DJ Des Clarke alongside Still Game favourites Scott Reid (Methadone Mick), Bruce Morton (Sheathing The Undertaker), Lynne McCallum (Peggy), Maureen Carr (Edith), Shamshad Akhtar (Meena), Paul Young (Shug), Matt Costello (Stevie The Bookie) and Kate Donnelly (Frances).

In 2017, Tony Hall, BBC Director-General announced a new BBC television channel for Scotland. The channel is part of the BBC's additional £40m a year investment into the BBC in Scotland which will increase output for the UK. The initial budget for the channel is just over £32m. BBC Scotland will be multiplatform. It will have a home on iPlayer and be connected to BBC Scotland's full range of Radio, Online, Social and other TV services.

Since making its TV debut in 2002, Still Game has become a comedy phenomenon. When it returned in 2016 after a nine year hiatus, it became the most-watched TV programme in over a decade in Scotland attracting more than half of the viewing audience.

Still Game was commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content. It is executive produced by Steven Canny for BBC Studios and Gregor Sharp is the Commissioning Editor for BBC Comedy and Gavin Smith for BBC Scotland. The series is produced by Jacqueline Sinclair and directed by long-term Still Game collaborator, Michael Hines.

Still Game highlights the BBC's continued commitment to production made in Scotland for UK-wide audiences including productions like Shetland, The Cry, The Victim and Two Doors Down.