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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

Katherine Kelly and Sofie Gråbøl join Sally Wainwright’s BBC One drama Gentleman Jack, as a new image of Suranne Jones as Anne Lister is released

Katherine Kelly (Happy Valley, Mr Selfridge) and Sofie Gråbøl (The Killing, Fortitude) have joined the cast of Sally Wainwright's forthcoming eight-part drama Gentleman Jack. Gentleman Jack is a Lookout Point production for BBC One, co-produced with HBO.
Katherine Kelly plays Elizabeth Sutherland, the sister of Anne Lister's intended wife Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle), whilst Sofie Gråbøl will appear towards the end of the series as Queen Marie of Denmark. Her appearance will be shot on location in Copenhagen.

The news coincides with the release of a new picture from the series (above), featuring Suranne Jones in character as the remarkable Regency landowner. Filming on Gentleman Jack draws to a close in the weeks ahead, with the series due to air in 2019.

On joining Gentleman Jack, Katherine Kelly says: "I'm thrilled to be reuniting with Sally once again. I know how passionate she is about the life and times of Anne Lister, and I'm delighted to be portraying such a key historical character in Anne Lister's story."

Sofie Gråbøl says: "When asked if I would like to play the Queen of Denmark in Sally Wainwright's brand new series, I could not have said 'yes' fast enough! I'm excited to welcome the Gentleman Jack team to Copenhagen, and to film my scene as Queen Marie with the wonderful Suranne Jones."

Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack's creator, writer, and lead director says: "It's so exciting that Anne Lister's story has attracted such an extraordinary cast, and now we can add to that the unique talents of Katherine Kelly and Sofie Gråbøl! Anne Lister is taking us up to Scotland and across Europe!"

Kelly will be joined by Derek Riddell (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Gunpowder) as Elizabeth's husband, Captain Sutherland, and Veronica Clifford (Hurt By Paradise, GameFace) as mother-in-law Mrs Sutherland.

Also announced today are Sylvia Syms (Rev, One Night in Bath) as the Elderly Mrs Rawson, Brendan Patricks (Downton Abbey, Kiri) as the clergyman Thomas Ainsworth, Caspar Phillipson (Jackie, Mission: Impossible - Fallout) as Mr De Hagemann, Polly Maberly (EastEnders, Shakespeare & Hathaway) as Lady De Hagemann, Lucy Black (The Durrells, Jericho) as Mary Sowden, Stephanie Hyam (Bodyguard, Doctor Who) as Sophie Ferrall, Dino Fetscher (Humans, Paranoid) as Thomas Beech, Rupert Vansittart(The Children Act, Game of Thrones) as Charles Lawton, and Michael Xavier (Never Let Go, Into The Woods) as Dr. Steph Belcombe.

They join the previously announced extended cast, which includes Gemma Whelan, Timothy West, Gemma Jones, Stephanie Cole, Peter Davison, Amelia Bullmore, Vincent Franklin, Shaun Dooley,Joe Armstrong and Rosie Cavaliero.

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."   

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Radio 4 presents the world premiere of Alex Mackendrick’s Mary Queen of Scots featuring Glenda Jackson

Narration from multi award-winning actor Glenda Jackson; Bafta Breakthrough Brit director, Hope Dickson Leach; and a performance from rising star, Ellie Bamber - late film director Alex Mackendrick’s unmade movie Mary Queen of Scots airs on Radio 4 on Saturday 8 December.

The screenplay follows the tragic life of 16th century monarch, Mary Stuart; from exile to reign, to demise, and was developed with Jay Presson-Allen (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Marnie, Cabaret). Originally Mackendrick imagined Mary Queen of Scots as a western, a portrait of a woman trying to survive internecine battles for power between rival clans; but he also described the screenplay as "a gangster study".

Mackendrick first began the film’s development whilst at Ealing Films in the 1950s, but studio head Michael Balcon vetoed it as "too disrespectful of royalty." Later, at different points, Mackendrick worked on drafts of the script with Gore Vidal and Anthony Burgess. By 1969 Mary Queen of Scots was due to start production, backed by Universal Studios and with Sandy Lieberson producing. When this was derailed Mackendrick followed a new opportunity in a teaching position at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Whilst he never completed his final film project Mackendrick will be remembered for pivotal cinematic works including The Ladykillers and Sweet Smell of Success.

For this radio adaptation, director Hope Dickinson Leach and producers Dancing Ledge Productions have collaborated with the film’s intended producer, Sandy Liberson, and the Mackendrick estate. Glenda Jackson narrates, providing a theatrical parallel given her role as Elizabeth I in the 1971 BBC Two television drama series Elizabeth R. Bridging the generations of acting talent, Jackson is joined by stage and screen actor Ellie Bamber in the role of Mary Stuart. The cast for Radio 4’s production also includes Mark Bonnar as Scottish politician William Maitland, Emun Elliot as Bothwell and Kerr, and as Darnley, Edward Holcroft.

Alison Hindell, Radio 4’s Commissioning Editor for Drama and Fiction says: “Once again Radio 4 brings a script to life which may have otherwise languished in the archives. Mackendrick’s Mary Queen of Scots has a notable trio of brilliant women both in front of and behind the microphone and follows other unmade movies successfully adapted into radio dramas, including those by Arthur Miller, Orson Welles, Harold Pinter and Dennis Potter.”

Laurence Bowen, Producer, Dancing Ledge Productions, says: “Alexander Mackendrick’s very personal take on Mary Queen of Scots, set over just one treacherous year, presents us with an extraordinary portrait of the young twenty three year old Queen. Isolated, pregnant, betrayed yet still with a steely intelligence and instinct for survival that, for a moment, seems to triumph over the two warring gangs of men that surround her. It’s been an honour to bring it all to life.”

Glenda Jackson says: “I love radio, it’s my favourite medium - because you never have to learn your lines or wear make-up.”

Unmade Movies: Alex Mackendrick’s Mary Queen of Scots
Saturday 8 December, 2.30-4pm
Narrator… Glenda Jackson
Mary Stuart… Ellie Bamber
Maitland… Mark Bonnar
Bothwell/Kerr... Emun Elliott
Darnley… Edward Holcroft
Murray/Rizzio/Taylor/Scout… Kevin Guthrie
Morton… Bill Paterson 
Ruthven/Du Croc/Knox/Erskine… Struan Rodger
Paris/Porter… Jamie Quinn
Mary Seton/Mary Fleming… Katharine O’Donnelly

Saturday, 17 November 2018

BBC Children in Need’s 2018 Appeal raises a whopping £50.5 million

People from across the UK have come together once again to raise a phenomenal £50,595,053 for BBC Children in Need’s 2018 Appeal. The money raised during the evening means that the charity has now raised over £1 billion since the first major Appeal in 1980, all to help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK.

Live on BBC One and Two from 7.30pm on Friday until the early hours of Saturday morning, the 2018 Appeal show marked the crescendo of this year’s fundraising activities for BBC Children in Need with a special night of family entertainment to help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people in communities across the UK.

TV favourites Ade Adepitan and Tess Daly kicked off proceedings, before Mel Giedroyc and Graham Norton took over ahead of Rochelle and Marvin Humes, who were later joined by Rob Beckett. All seven presenters saw the stage came to life with performances from Boyzone, Jamie Cullum, Jonas Blue featuring Liam Payne, and Lennon Stella, Anne Marie and Sheridan Smith. A standout performance on the night saw Jamie Cullum take to the stage for a beautiful and emotive performance of the 2018 official single for BBC Children in Need, Love Is In The Picture. Jamie wrote the single especially for the 2018 Appeal and it is available to buy now.

A very special highlight came from the cast of EastEnders, who spread some movie magic across Albert Square with a delightful Disney medley which celebrated Mickey Mouse’s 90th Anniversary. In what was the most dazzling EastEnders medley yet, the cast took on roles inspired by classic Disney characters whilst performing in The Square. There was also an added sprinkle of Disney animation and special effects bringing extra magic to the scenes.

The 2018 show also saw Boyzone bidding to win the Pudsey Glitter Ball trophy in the Strictly Come Dancing BBC Children in Need special. The special saw the band taking to the dancefloor with the Strictly pros, with Shane Lynch and professional partner Luba Mushtuk lifting the 2018 Pudsey Glitterball trophy.

In a fitting tribute to the charity’s Life-President, the show also saw the presentation of the third Sir Terry Wogan Fundraiser Of The Year Award. The accolade recognises the charity’s fundraisers, of whom Sir Terry was a huge champion, and went to Keeley Browse who has fundraised for BBC Children in Need for many years, putting on charity gala nights for the whole community.

The show also saw the finale of The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge, as the team arrived at the finishing point in Salford. During the challenge Matt Baker and six inspirational young people who have beneffited from BBC Children in Need funding, cycled the rickshaw 423 miles, from Calais to Salford, raising an amazing £4.3 million along the way.

Another very special moment on the show saw an incredible young girl who has been supported by a BBC Children in Need funded project visit the Doctor Who film set. On the visit she entered the TARDIS and met the entire cast before being surprised by the Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker.

The 2018 Appeal show also saw world-famous music artists come together for deserving project workers funded by BBC Children in Need. The Project workers being surprised by some of the biggest names in music including Olly Murs, Craig David, Little Mix, Sheridan Smith and Alfie Boe. The artists joined the project workers in song, giving them the opportunity to duet with their musical idols.

Actor and comedian Stephen Mangan hosted a special episode of Mastermind in support of BBC Children in Need. For the first time ever the questions were tackled by pairs made up of four children who have been supported by a BBC Children in Need funded project, alongside a celebrity partner. The celebrity partners included David Bradley, Tony Clay, Steve McManaman and John Thomson.

During the evening, Michael Ball and Jo Whiley came to the stage to announce the Radio 2 fundraising total for 2018, which was led by Chris Evans. The Radio 2 team raised an absolutely phenomenal £9.2 million. The staggering amount of money was raised after a series of fundraising activities including Chris Evans’ extraordinary auction prizes, Carfest, and some of the station’s biggest names lending their support to raise money for the charity.

Celebrities including Rob Brydon, Alesha Dixon, Sue Johnston, Little Mix, Naomie Harris, Keeley Hawes, and Katie Piper reminded viewers about where their money goes with stories of the children and young people who have received support from BBC Children in Need funded projects, thanks to the generosity of people across the UK and their fundraising efforts.

Other highlights of the evening included:
Over 1,400 children came together across ten different UK locations to sing in unison in the Children’s Choir performing A Million Dreams, from the musical The Greatest Showman.

Actors Eddie Redmayne and Zoë Kravitz undertook an interview with Alex Jones for The One Show which took a surprising turn when they were fed answers through an ear-piece by three cheeky school-children.
School Of Rock opened the show with a spectacular medley of exclusive songs.

Call The Midwife stars Jenny Agutter, Helen George and Jennifer Kirby came together onstage to give an exclusive first-look at the Call The Midwife 2018 Christmas special.

Audiences were given an exclusive first-look at Doctor Who’s forthcoming episode.

Straight from London’s West End, there was a fantastic musical performance from the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

The total raised for Children in Need Rocks 2018 was announced, an incredible £632,000.
Countryfile presenters John Craven and Ellie Harrison announced this year’s total for Countryfile, a phenomenal £2.9 million.

A whole host of stars including James Argent, Nadine Coyle, Spencer Matthews, Vogue Williams, Greg Rutherford and Georgia Toffolo joined Marvin, Rochelle and Rob for fun and games towards the end of the evening.

Thank you messages to fundraisers and schools across the UK who have pulled out all the stops in their fundraising this year and are currently on track to raise £4.75 million and £5.5 million respectively.

Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need, says: “Once again, people across the UK should be feeling incredibly proud of what has been achieved. The remarkable generosity shown this evening will go on make a lasting difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people all across the UK who really do need our help. Thank you!”

Tonight’s total represents an exciting culmination of fundraising activity for BBC Children in Need - but this evening’s total will continue to rise as the money pours in from the thousands of events already held, or scheduled to happen, across the UK. And it's not too late to get involved! Organise a fundraising event or donate at bbc.co.uk/Pudsey or 0345 733 2233.

The BBC Children in Need Appeal Show is a BBC Studios production, executive produced by Clare Pizey and Leanne Witcoop.

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.”

Friday, 16 November 2018

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

Sneak peek at I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Trailer

This is the first look at Dec & Holly in the Jungle, this new on air promo will be seen during tonight's (Friday 16th November) Coronation Street.  I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! starts this Sunday at 9pm on ITV.

Britain’s Youngest Football Boss

Britain’s Youngest Football Boss (w/t) follows top flight football club West Ham United women’s team and their 19-year-old Managing Director Jack Sullivan.

As women’s football explodes into the mainstream in the run-up to next summer’s World Cup, Jack’s dad David Sullivan, one of the richest men in Britain and the Chairman of West Ham United, has tasked Jack with transforming the club’s fortunes.

Filming on and off the pitch across the season, the series will follow the progress of a squad of female players as they debut in the professional Women’s Super League. Having leap-frogged two divisions from the part-time third tier into the newly-revamped league, West Ham United women’s team will now, for the first time, compete at the highest level of the sport, against some of the toughest teams in the world.

Jack’s first full-time job since leaving school at 16 will be overseeing a squad of 18 outspoken, powerful women, and trying to raise the profile of a growing sport often dismissed and derided by male fans. With exclusive access to the club, players and backroom staff, as well as to Jack and his larger-than-life family, this is a revealing and inspiring behind-the-scenes story of what it takes to be a professional female footballer in today’s game, and whether a loveable but inexperienced teenager can change the face of women’s football.

Britain’s Youngest Football Boss (w/t) is made by Curious Productions for BBC Three. Charlie Russell and Dov Freedman are the Executive Producers. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three and David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment. The BBC Commissioning Executive is Michael Jochnowitz. The first two episodes will be released on BBC Three on Wednesday 5 December 2018.

Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast is back and jam-packed with celebrity guests

BFFs Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty return to Channel 4 with a brand new series of Friday Night Feast to help motivate the nation to cook up a storm every weekend this winter. Over twelve weeks, and housed in their pop-up caff at the end of Southend Pier, the boys will be joined in the kitchen by a host of famous faces from Hollywood film heavy-weights and British TV Royalty to top notch comedians and world-class athletes.

From across the pond, Jimmy and Jamie welcome Hollywood icon, Danny DeVito and Academy Award ® winning actor Jessica Chastain to join them in the kitchen during the series.

British talent flexing their culinary muscles will include Hollywood stalwart - star of stage and screen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Black Panther and Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, and new ‘Doctor’ and Broadchurch star, actor Jodie Whittaker. Also doing their utmost to impress the lads are actor / writer / presenter / activist Stephen Fry, actor Stephen Mangan, and the boys welcome their first Dame into the Southend bolthole, Olympian Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.

And trying their best to distract Jamie and Jimmy are funny people Harry Hill, Russell Howard and ‘serial guest’, comedian / actor Romesh Ranganathan, who will no-doubt laugh off any cooking mishaps and distract, or impress the café customers with their gastronomic skills.

Across the series Jamie and Jimmy will also be back on the campaign trail to highlight a range of food issues and Jimmy will using his DIY prowess to create some imaginative solutions to foodie dilemmas. 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Children in Need Rocks 2018: Q&A with Rita Ora

Presenters Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo and performers All Saints, George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Olly Murs, Tom Odell, Rita Ora and Sir Rod Stewart will take to the stage for a spectacular night of entertainment in Children in Need Rocks 2018 coming to BBC One, 15 November at 8.30pm.

A glittering array of covers and classic songs will feature as part of the concert, recorded on Wednesday 7 November at The SSE Arena, Wembley, including a performance of George Michael's iconic song Freedom, performed by Rita Ora.

Rita Ora Q&A

What is your favourite example of an artist covering a song and why?

I think it’s every artist, when you sing something that isn’t yours, and you get to do your own thing on it, it’s really fun because the pressure is off, you can be as creative as you like and pay homage to the artist and the song.

Why have you chosen to cover George Michael’s song Freedom and what inspires you about George Michael?

George Michael and the song Freedom changed my life, it made me feel like I was able to do anything, take over the world. He is an icon, I hope my cover honours him and reminds people of his incredible talent.

What song means the most to you?

The song that means the most to me is pretty much every Adele song. Like the rest of the world, they always bring me to tears. She really is the best, and her lyrics really resonate with me.

What artist, past or present would you most like to duet or collaborate with?

I would love to do something with an icon like George Michael of course, but for the present, I think there are so many artists from the UK which are doing such a great job, we really are representing, especially the girls and the pop-stars, so it would be hard to pick, but I am definitely down for a big-collab!

Who is your favourite artist in the charts at the moment and why?

I love everyone, but Sam Smith is my boy, and I love his song Promises, with Calvin Harris.

Other covers being featured include:
An exclusive performance by All Saints of The Police's much-loved hit  Message In A Bottle
Jess Glynne’s interpretation of soul music legend Otis Redding's Hard To Handle, especially for Children in Need Rocks 2018
A re-imagination of George Michael's iconic song Freedom, performed by Rita Ora
George Ezra will cover Rudimental's 2018 hit These Days
Viewers will see Olly Murs cover Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling and Rock Your Body
Tom Odell will treat the audience to his version of True Colours by Cyndi Lauper
Classic songs performed on the show will include Sir Rod Stewart’s Maggie May and Nile Rodgers & CHIC’s Le Freak.

The spectacular show is in aid of BBC Children in Need and will be broadcast on BBC One, 15 November at 8.30pm.

Tiffany Calver is the new host of the BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra Rap Show

Snoochie Shy to take over the 1Xtra late-night show

Tiffany Calver has been named as the new host of The Rap Show on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra (Saturdays, 9-11pm). The 24 year-old Hip-Hop DJ is the newest young face to join the Radio 1 and 1Xtra family.

Starting on January 5, Tiffany is the first female presenter to host the biggest show in Hip-Hop, previously presented by Charlie Sloth and Tim Westwood, and will bring a fresh new take to the famous Saturday night slot. Tiffany has been associated with the hottest acts in the music scene having opened for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On The Run tour earlier this year and is the official DJ for Fredo, who recently has a UK number one with Funky Friday with Dave.

Her network in the music scene extends beyond the UK with Tiffany gaining the global spotlight last year when she was the first female to curate a mix for Drake’s OVO Sound radio show.

Tiffany Calver says: “I’m honoured to be taking over the slot that has pretty much soundtracked my life. I look forward to carrying on the legacy of such a prestigious and highly respected show while also having the opportunity to add my own flavour (and sound effects) to it. This is a new beginning in so many ways; dreams really can come true.”

The Telford-born DJ started her career at Radar Radio and most recently presented the Hip-Hop show on KissFresh. Tiffany has been described as "the future of the music industry" by i-D Magazine.

Also securing a brand-new 1Xtra show is 26 year-old Snoochie Shy, who will take over the 1Xtra late-night slot Monday-Thursday, 11pm-1am. The South Londoner originally joined the 1Xtra Residency last year and brings a wealth of broadcasting experience having previously hosted the breakfast show on Radar Radio and presents for YO MTV RAPS!. She has also hosted live events including the MOBO Awards red carpet. A broadcaster, DJ and model, expect lots of energy and style to the new show.

Snoochie Shy says: “I’m super super gassed to be given this show! This is honestly the dream show for me! I can’t wait to get started and make it my own. The sickest music that I’m feeling and a lot of crazy features. It’s gunna be a show like no other; a mad chat/entertainment show meeting a rave in your radio.”

Starting in April 2019, Snoochie Shy will bring the best music, entertainment and late-night laughs from the hottest UK talent, with regular guests and scene characters passing through the studio.

Ben Cooper, Controller BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, says: “Fantastic to welcome Tiffany - a new presenter, for a new generation of Hip-Hop fans. Tiffany and Snoochie continue our mission to give new young talent the opportunity to grow into the stars of tomorrow.”

The TARDIS is set to land once more - and this time it will be Who Year's Day...

With 2018 marking a brand new era for Doctor Who it is only right that 2019 kicks off in spectacular style.
So to mark the occasion, in this year’s festive episode the TARDIS will travel through the time vortex from its traditional timeslot on Christmas Day and will land in style on New Year’s Day.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, says: “We’re delighted the Doctor and her companions will be welcoming BBC One audiences into 2019 with this exciting new episode. The Doctor's fans are in for a special treat on the first day of the new year.”

Showrunner Chris Chibnall says: “We’re thrilled to be starting the New Year with a bang on BBC One, as Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and friends face a terrifying alien threat in an action-packed, hour-long special adventure for all the family.”

As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?

Written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Wayne Yip. The Doctor is played by Jodie Whittaker, Ryan by Tosin Cole, Graham by Bradley Walsh and Yaz by Mandip Gill.

Adrian Dunbar stars in 'Blood' a gripping new psychological TV drama

Line of Duty favourite Adrian Dunbar returns to our TV screens in a brand new darker than dark drama, Blood, which arrives on DVD this December following its run on Channel 5, starting on Monday 19 November.

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 (Riviera, Medici: Masters of Florence, Wolfblood), will be released on DVD on 3 December 2018.

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

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Meet Kiosk Kev - I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!

This year, there's a new man in the Jungle - introducing Kiosk Kev, the new owner of the Outback Shack.

Kiosk Kev has already taken over the Outback Shack and viewers will meet him next week on Monday night's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! show (9pm on ITV).

We asked Kiosk Kev if he was happy to have his picture taken, he grunted and just looked at us, which we took as a yes.

Jack Ryder and Amy Lennox to join the cast of BBC One's Holby City

Former EastEnders heartthrob Jack Ryder and Olivier Award nominee Amy Lennox are due to join the cast of the long-running medical drama Holby City next year.

Amy Lennox will play Chloe Godard, a doctor at neighbouring hospital Capel Cross, who arrives at Holby to help her mother Ange, played by Dawn Steele, with a tricky patient. Jack Ryder will play Evan, Chloe’s on-off boyfriend, who arrives at Holby to try to convince her to take their relationship seriously.

Jack says: “I am delighted to be joining Holby City and look forward to working with such a talented group of people. I can’t wait to give a voice to this exciting new character and serve a show that people love.”

Amy says: “I’m thrilled to be joining Holby as Chloe Godard and working with such an amazing cast and crew over at BBC Elstree. Chloe has some really great storylines coming up that I can’t wait to share with you all. So excited!“

Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, says: “We’ve been talking to Jack for a while to find the right part for him on Holby and his powerful, nuanced audition for Evan blew us away. He’s both a household name and a superb actor, and fans who remember him as Jamie in EastEnders are in for a big treat and quite a surprise seeing him in this very different role. Evan is a complex, alpha surgeon who makes some major waves in Holby. ”

“It’s so exciting to welcome Amy to the Holby family and see this leading West End star burst onto the scene in her first big TV role. Her performance as the strong yet deeply vulnerable Chloe is terrific as she brings to life this fascinating, multi-layered character at the heart of a huge story for 2019.”

Audiences will already be familiar with Jack from his EastEnders reign as Jamie Mitchell. Prior to joining Holby, Amy has appeared as a guest cast member in Casualty and Shetland - as well as performing in the original West End casts of Legally Blonde and Kinky Boots.

The comedy continues as BBC Wales confirms second series of Tourist Trap

BBC Wales announces the re-commission of the popular comedy series Tourist Trap.

Starring acclaimed comedy actor Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Miranda and Smack the Pony) as Elaine Gibbons - the hapless boss of a fictional Welsh tourism board, the mockumentary will again be written by Gareth Gwynn, Sian Harries and Tudur Owen.

The Tuckers, originally a one-off special for BBC Wales, was written by and starred Steve Speirs (Stella and Upstart Crow). BBC Wales also confirms today that the sitcom - telling the story of a family of chancers, low on cash but high on spirit - will now be developed into a full series.

Both productions were part of BBC Wales’ recent Festival of Funny - a season celebrating the new and established range of comedy that exists in Wales.

Paul Forde, Commissioning Executive for Comedy, says: “The recent Festival of Funny demonstrated the wealth of comedy talent that exists in Wales. Tourist Trap, the first comedy on BBC Wales TV in nearly a decade was so well received by the audience that we wanted to establish it with a second run. We’re also pleased to greenlight a full series of The Tuckers with a writer and performer of Steve Speirs’ calibre.”

In addition, BBC Wales has announced the launch of a new development budget aimed at commissioning the next phase of its comedy strategy.

Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning, says: “Audiences are consuming comedy across multiple devices and platforms and we want BBC Wales to be leading the charge and developing the generation defining comedy of tomorrow. This development fund will allow us to discover and then incubate the very best of Welsh comedy talent.”

E4 commissions: Spencer and Vogue: Adult(ish)

E4 will air a new series with exclusive access to the lives of Spencer Matthews and Vogue Williams as they make their debut into parenthood, it was announced today (Wednesday 14th November).

The three-part reality series, Spencer and Vogue: Adult(ish) (w/t), which has been commissioned from Rumpus Media and Money Group Entertainment, follows the joys and occasional struggles as Spencer and Vogue adapt to life with their new arrival - baby Theodore.

The couple, who married in June, welcomed baby Theodore into the world in September. This funny, frank and intimate series will cover the couple’s preparation for the new arrival, Vogue’s dramatic labour, and their domestic life as they adjust to juggling modern parenting alongside their hectic careers in the public spotlight.

Vogue Williams commented: "Spencer has wanted to work with me on something for some time now. He's been relentless. I thought the baby would suffice but apparently not."

Spencer Matthews added: "I'm delighted that E4 have given me the opportunity to have my own show. For legal reasons I am having to share this opportunity with my wife. I can say no more at this time."

Emily Hudd, Rumpus Media Joint MD, said “Spencer and Vogue have turned achieving life’s milestones into a competitive sport – in the last year alone they’ve managed to get engaged, get married, celebrate Spencer’s 30th and have a baby. This series is a funny, unfiltered celebration of the joy and the chaos that comes next. We’re really excited to be working with them and E4 on this series.”

Spencer and Vogue: Adult(ish) is produced by Rumpus and Money Group Entertainment. Emily Hudd is the Executive Producer and Jim Hickey is Series Editor. The series was ordered by Karl Warner for E4 and the commissioning editor is Sarah Dillistone.

Fwends reunite and bus wankers gather – it’s The Inbetweeners 10th Birthday Party

Channel 4 has today announced the ultimate celebration of everyone’s favourite hapless sixth-formers as they mark a decade since The Inbetweeners hit our screens.

The original gang of four – Simon Bird (Will), James Buckley (Jay), Joe Thomas (Simon) and Blake Harrison (Neil) – will be back together for one night only for a two hour studio show celebrating 10 years of futile teenage crushes, clunge, fwends and a lot of drinking as we look back on one of the most iconic sitcoms of recent years.

Featuring behind the scenes VTs, the story behind the show, surprise guests, celebrity fans, unseen footage and plenty of embarrassing stories, The Inbetweeners 10th Birthday Party will be the ultimate treat for fans.

Reminiscing with the cast, introducing celebrity fans of the sitcom, looking back at the life lessons the show has taught us and of course paying tribute to the unforgettable lingo the show has given us.

To celebrate those must see moments from Rudge Park and beyond, they'll also be honouring the funniest moments across the three TV series and two films in the coveted Inbetweeners Awards where categories will range from Best Sex Scene and Best Bullshit to Best Ever Moment.

The Inbetweeners 10th Birthday Party (1 x 120’ w/t) was commissioned by Ed Havard, Head of Entertainment at Channel 4 and Tom Beck, Channel 4’s Head of Live Events and Commissioning Editor for Entertainment. It is a Fudge Park and Monkey Kingdom co-production and the Executive Producers for Fudge Park are Damon Beesley, Iain Morris and Simon Wilson, and David Granger and Will Macdonald for Monkey Kingdom.

Tom Beck, Channel 4’s Head of Live Events and Commissioning Editor for Entertainment said, “Will, Jay, Simon and Neil spent years failing to sneak into the best parties, so I’m very pleased to throw one that they’re definitely invited to. I just hope Will brings his Mum.”

Simon Wilson from Fudge Park added, “We can’t wait to throw The Inbetweeners the 10th Birthday Party they deserve, and we’re thrilled that the original four comedy superstars are joining us as guests of honour.”

Will Macdonald from Monkey Kingdom said: “The love for The Inbetweeners is huge, the kind of love that Jay would boast he’s had many times – big celebrities, millions of viewers and loving fans from across the globe. And it’s so exciting the boys will be back together to feel that love from all those people and enjoy it first-hand. What could possibly go wrong?”

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show - Series four - Q&A with Michael McIntyre

Michael McIntyre's Big Show returns to BBC One for the biggest series to date.

Filmed in front of a live audience at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the show is packed with celebrity guests, musical performances, stand-up comedy and surprises.

Q&A with Michael McIntyre

What can you tell us about the new series of Michael McIntyre's Big Show?

Everything about the new series is bigger and better than the last. Send to All is back where I send some very silly texts to all the contacts in celebrities' phones and we see what hilarious replies they get. Unexpected Star returns! So many people have nominated people for us to surprise that we have been able to pick some wonderful people. There's a married couple, a pilot, the oldest Unexpected Star at 92 years old and the youngest at 11 years old. And the hilarious Midnight Gameshow is back where I creep in to people's bedroom's in the middle of the night and wake them up with a gameshow, if they snooze they lose!

What stunts can we expect for the Unexpected Star this series?

We are doing more and more elaborate things and its crazy the way we're surprising people in the theatre. Last year we turned the theatre into a hotel and the attention to detail was incredible. This series we have an actual aeroplane fuselage on stage and the Unexpected Star, who is a pilot, sits in a seat and the front of the plane falls down for him to find himself in the middle of the stage. We've turned the theatre into a haunted house complete with a ghost train ride that travels through a set of doors straight on to the stage. We also turned the theatre in to a cinema and built an actual auditorium on the stage. The Unexpected Star sat in her seat with her popcorn and the screen fell down to reveal the packed Theatre Royal on their feet applauding her. All the Unexpected Stars have been incredibly shocked but have bought the house down with their amazing performances at the end of each show. I can't wait for people to see them!

Has the surprise for the Unexpected Star ever gone wrong?

We've had things nearly go wrong, we surprised a group of nurses the Christmas before last, they thought they were getting into a lift, the doors would open on the other side and they would find themselves on the stage. Only the lift doors wouldn't open the whole way so I had to climb in and get them all out.  It almost went wrong this series with our oldest star to date, David (92) who thought he was going to buy a new walking frame and Lionel Blair, who was part of the prank, called him by his name.  David kept saying, "How does he know my name?" But we got away with it!

Have you ever felt emotional watching the Unexpected Star perform?

So many times people say things like it's a dream come true to perform for so many people and on TV. But when the Unexpected Star is in their 90's like David is it felt that much more real and poignant because he really had waited a lifetime for this moment and he was determined to make the most of it and he really loved it. I was watching the monitor at the side of the stage and thought this is amazing, this is everything the unexpected star can be, it just encapsulated it perfectly and I did well up.

Who have you got playing Send to All this series?

Send to All has been hilarious this series. We've got Holly Willoughby, Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Josh Groban - who's our first American, Anton du Beke and Bradley Walsh and we're recording Cheryl playing it next week. The texts have been really fun and the replies brilliant.

Who's been your most memorable Send to All so far across the four series?

There's been so many that have been brilliant across the four series it's hard to pick just one. I really liked Jamie Oliver as I felt it was a really clever text. Ed Balls had some of the funniest replies but people's favourite tends to be Danny Dyer's, everyone loves Danny Dyer, it was so much fun to watch. There's been so many that have been brilliant; Ronan Keating, Carol Vorderman's, Geri Horner, all of them really. It's just so fun to nose around people's phones who never know where the comedy is going to come from. Alan Shearer has alarms set every few minutes on his phone; on this series Bradley Walsh has weather from about 15 different places on his phone.

The Midnight Gameshow was a huge hit last year, can you tell us about some of the surprises in store this year?

We've been doing a new thing called who's singing in your shower? We've been getting people out of bed and taking them to their bathroom where there's been a popstar singing in their shower and they have to identify who it is. We've had some great special guests for The Midnight Gameshow like Mr Motivator who made people exercise in their bed, Timmy Mallett  playing Mallets Mallet, SpongeBob SquarePants, Joey Essex, Wayne Sleep, Derek Acorah to name just a few. We were playing the Midnight Gameshow with a woman from Merseyside and Mr Tickle came into the bedroom and I asked her which of the Mr Men he was. She didn't know, so to give her a clue he tried to tickle her husband but couldn't move his arms so instead of tickling he just kept bouncing into him which gave me the giggles.  She named every Mr Man apart from Mr Tickle whilst Mr Tickle was trying to tickle her husband without the use of his arms. It was hilarious. We've also filmed a special celebrity Midnight Gameshow for this series with Gino D'Campo which is as funny as you would imagine and are filming another one, but obviously can't say as it will be a big surprise for them but it's a great one!

Do you have a most memorable contestant from The Midnight Gameshow?

We did four last year that went really well, it's about how people react, there's so many layers of excitement to a midnight gameshow. The lady in Merseyside could not stop laughing and that's just wonderful, that's what you want really, she might be my favourite. We had a guy in Wales who never really woke up, he didn't have a clue what was going on the whole time which made it very funny. There was a girl in Essex, she was incredible as well, complaining about her eyelashes not being on the whole time, hitting her husband with a pillow because she couldn't believe she was going to be on TV without her eyelashes in.

Which music guests have you got on this series?  

We've got amazing music performances this year from Nile Rodgers, Rita Ora, Kylie, George Ezra, Paloma Faith, Little Mix, Cheryl, Michael Bublé. I had a great moment with Michael Bublé where I asked him if he could teach me to sing like him and he said why we don't sing together, so we did! It was great because my wife and children came to watch his performance.  I did every dance move I could think of in-between, I even greatly embarrassed my children by doing that floss dance very badly. It certainly felt very showbizzy, what a charming, lovely man he was, very generous and game for a laugh.

When you first started the show, did you imagine you would be going for this long - four series?

We had a lot of new ideas and didn't know if they would work but as soon as they did on the first recording it was very exciting. We've just tried to make every show and series better than the last as we get more experience and confident. I initially made the show because I was watching TV with my kids on a Saturday night and I liked the dynamic of the whole family watching TV together and found trying to create a show that everyone can enjoy really appealing.

BBC Radio 4 announces array of exciting new comedy programmes

Radio 4 has announced an extensive line up of new comedy commissions, with programmes from exciting new talent and well known favourites including Suggs, Bridget Christie, Twayna Mayne, Joe Lycett (pictured), Tom Allen, Rowan Atkinson, Geoff Norcott and Joanna Lumley.

Highlights of the programmes announced by Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Radio 4 comedy:

A Comedy Playhouse featuring 12 exceptional, brand new scripts from a mix of both established and new writersGreat new comedy talent with an assortment of stories to tell, including Rosie Jones, Twayna Mayne and Ellie TaylorStand Up Sunday returns for a second series, including shows from Phil Wang and Sofie HagenBrand new programming from well-known names such as Marian Keyes, Suggs, Rowan Atkinson and Hugo Rifkind

Radio 4 presents a new comedy playhouse to showcase 12 standalone half-hour comedies from a selection of the best script writers in the business. The run includes No Gods, No Golf by Zoe Lyons, which tells the story of 46 year-old singleton Zoe, a gay criminal defence lawyer who, with no kids, religion or golf club membership to occupy her, often finds herself wondering what life is really all about.

The Specials by Jenny Laville features Henry, a boy living with his mum, his grandad, his obsession with The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, and his autism, while Amna Saleem's sitcom Beta Female explores the multiple identities young women from ethnic minorities must follow to navigate their way through life. Support, written by and starring Bridget Christie, tells the tale of an enthusiastic but incompetent do-gooder who wants to help people in her local town and Jack Bernhardt's British Troll Farm is set in a secret Government unit dedicated to fighting a cyberwar by the power of a million snarky Tweets.

The Mayoress, a merry satire of local politics, daft bureaucracy and small-time power, is written by Brenda Gilhooly and stars Harry Hill, Jack Dee and Michelle Collins. Unite explores class, compromise and step-sibling rivalry when a working class South Londoner falls in love with an upper class property developer, written by and starring Mark Steel, his son Elliot and Ivo Graham. City of Tomorrow sees Craig Archer return to the Television Workshop in Nottingham where he began his career, to help disadvantaged kids. Two problems, they don't want his help and he's got the wrong keys to unlock their potential.

Stand Up Sunday will return for a second series following a successful first run in 2018. This series brings some of the nation's popular comedians to Radio 4 with a version of their touring stand up show and this year includes shows from BBC New Comedy Award 2017 winner Heidi Regan, Phil Wang, Suzi Ruffell, Sofie Hagen and Jacob Hawley.

Radio 4 has long identified and supported new UK comedy talent. Several comics have secured their first radio series, including Rosie Jones, Twayna Mayne and Ellie Taylor. Rosie, who has cerebral palsy, presents Rosie Jones: Far From An Angel about her view on the world, while Twayna Mayne's Black Women will explore black British female identity through Twayna's own experiences growing up with a middle class, white family. In Ellie Taylor's Safe Space, Ellie tackles society's perceptions of marriage, monogamy, motherhood, and masculinity. Birmingham comedian Darren Harriott will also debut his first radio stand-up series Black Label.

In addition to upcoming comedy talent, Radio 4 attracts well known names from across comedy, entertainment and culture to our comedy programming. Next year Suggs will present a four-part series, where the Madness frontman shares a love letter to multicultural London through music, history and comedy. Louise Ford and Yasmine Akram will write #GODSWORK, a comedy focusing on three different vicars, all played by Rowan Atkinson, whose churches are based in the North East of England.

Journalist Hugo Rifkind has his first Radio 4 series in Hugo Rifkind's Search For Power which explores what it means to have power in modern Britain.

Marian Keyes brings her world-class storytelling to Radio 4 in Between Ourselves with Marian Keyes, while David Sedaris returns for another series of Meet David Sedaris.

Anneka Rice stars in a one-off programme, The Clemmie Hart Years, which explores the mystery of Anneka's agent, Clemmie Hart.

Joanna Lumley and Roger Allam star in the first full series of Conversations From A Long Marriage, written by Jan Etherington. They play a couple who have been married for over 40 years. Children of the sixties, they're still free spirits, drawn together by their passion for music - and each other.

Sioned Wiliam, Radio 4's Commissioning Editor for Comedy, says: "Radio 4 is the home of comedy and once again we've got some of the biggest comedy names and writers as well as up-and-coming comedians from across the UK who are the stars of tomorrow. Our range of Radio 4 comedy attracts over five million listeners each week, and is hugely popular with a younger audience both on air and in our podcasts, which are regularly near the top of the charts."

Marian Keyes says: "What an opportunity - I was delighted to be asked. I love Radio 4, so many great stories and storytellers - and now me! It'll be great fun to work with the fabulous Tara Flynn, too. We've so much in common and so much to talk about."

Twayna Mayne says: "Having a radio series commissioned by the BBC is brilliant, I never thought that as a hip hop loving teenager who also liked listening to The Archers that one day I'd have my own show on Radio 4. I'm looking forward to bringing my stories about identity and a love for farming dramas to a wider audience."

The new comedy commissions are expected to air on BBC Radio 4 in 2019/20.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories airs its first ever signed episode

Comedian, actor and writer Rob Delaney reads a CBeebies Bedtime Story, which he also signs in Makaton - a first for the much loved show.

Rob reads and signs Ten In The Bed by Penny Dale, all about ten cuddly friends trying to go to bed. Young viewers will love to join in with the bouncy, counting bedtime rhyme when the story airs on Children in Need day, Friday 16 November on CBeebies.

Rob says: "My family loves to read together so naturally we're fans of CBeebies Bedtime Stories. I am beyond honoured to be the first person to read and sign a book using the Makaton language. Our family learned Makaton to be able to communicate with our son Henry, who couldn't speak due to a tracheotomy. We're sad Henry isn't here to see it but we're happy other families will get to enjoy a story told in Makaton."

CBeebies Bedtime Stories is on daily at 6.50pm.

Hollyoaks: will Russ and Mercedes get married?

Secrets, lies and a Serial bride… Mercedes McQueen has planned the perfect wedding with the love of her life Russ Owen. what could possibly stand in their way…

Goldie and Sylver McQueen are supporting Mercedes on her big day, but will either of them cause any trouble? The family went to Magaluf this summer for Mercedes' hen do, and ex-convict Sylver was finally reunited with first love… the bride to be. After she had a row with Russ, Sylver and Mercedes ended up sleeping together. They've managed to keep it secret for months, but there is no denying the chemistry between the pair.

More recently, Goldie discovered the affair and told Russ the truth, only to feel guilty about upsetting her brother, forcing her to take it back. Russ is insecure and doesn't know what to think, and in the heat of the moment, sleeps with Goldie... and gets her pregnant! He freaks out once he discovers the news and persuades her to have an abortion. Mercedes is determined to find out who knocked up her little cousin, and Goldie uses Joel as a scapegoat for the baby daddy.

It's the big day, Mercedes is determined to make this wedding the best one yet… unfortunately it's off to a rocky start as the priest cancels last minute. Cleo asks Joel to ordain the marriage, unaware that Goldie's put the baby daddy blame on him.

Russ catches his wife-to-be gobbing off to the photographer, and they sneak off to the love boat for some pre-wedding passion. After a heartfelt speech from Myra, Mercedes is ready to get married.

She is a vision of beauty as she walks towards the church, but her face turns to stone once she spots Joel at the end of the aisle. Meanwhile, Janet Street-Porter and Linda Robson sneak in and wind up their disposal cameras, ready for a good show.

Her anger increases as she walks closer to Joel, a man she believes got her cousin pregnant and forced her to get an abortion. As the ceremony starts, Mercedes, never one to shy away from a fight, can't seem to control her anger… Will this be her most explosive wedding yet?

Tune in to Channel 4 at 6pm on Friday 16th November (6.30PM E4 first-look on Thursday 15th) for an hour long special episode, and watch the drama unfold…

Friday, 9 November 2018

Albert Square is turned into A Whole New World as the cast of EastEnders perform a special medley for Children in Need

The cast of EastEnders is set to spread some movie magic across Albert Square on this year’s BBC Children in Need, with a delightful Disney medley to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary.
In what is the most dazzling EastEnders medley yet, the cast will be taking on the roles inspired by classic Disney characters performing in The Square. There’s an added sprinkle of Disney animation and special effects bringing extra magic to the scenes, including an incredible flying carpet, as Tilly Keeper (Louise Mitchell) and Zack Morris (Keegan Baker) take on the roles of Jasmine and Aladdin.

Tilly Keeper says: "It was a dream come true to be a Disney Princess for BBC Children in Need! We had so much fun filming the performance, it was such a special day. Let’s hope we all raise lots of money on the night for this fantastic charity.”

Zack Morris said: "Never in a million years did I think I would be playing Aladdin as I danced round Albert Square. I had so much fun taking part and it's such an honour to be part of something so special. I really hope it helps to raise lots of money for BBC Children in Need."

The medley will also feature songs such as Friend Like Me from Aladdin with Lorraine Stanley (Karen Taylor) performing as Genie, whilst Jessie Wallace (Kat Moon) will entertain viewers with an unforgettable performance that will take centre stage as she performs the hit song Let It Go from the much loved Frozen. Also not to be missed, Shona McGarty (Whitney Dean) delivers another breathtaking performance as she performs as Belle from Beauty And The Beast with Davood Ghadami (Kush Kazemi) as Gaston and Nitin Ganatra (Masood Ahmed) as LeFou.

The musical performance culminates with Letitia Dean (Sharon Watts) interacting with the ‘True Original’ Mickey Mouse in a bid to share the magic!

This magical musical medley follows a great tradition by BBC Children in Need of taking on the challenge of transforming much loved musicals and films - from Star Wars to James Bond - all for a truly fantastic cause.

Viewers will be able to watch the full medley on BBC Children in Need’s 2018 Appeal Night which starts on 16 November on BBC One at 7.30pm.

Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule returns

Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule will return to ITV next year for a third series of the popular comedy panel show.

Each week Harry Hill presides over two teams of celebrities tasked with saving planet earth from alien invasion!  Guests coming up in the new series include Les Dennis, Bill Roache, Charlie Dimmock, Tom Courtenay, Amanda Barrie, Pam St Clement, Chelsee Healey, Stephanie Beacham, The Krankies and Patrick Mower.

Previous guests have included Kathy Burke, Robert Preston, Alex Brooker, Des O’Connor, Lorraine Kelly, Josh Widdicombe, Raleigh Ritchie, Una Stubbs, Cannon & Ball, Moira Stewart and Joe Lycett.

Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule was commissioned by ITV’s Comedy Controller Saskia Schuster. It will be produced by Nit Television, the joint venture between Harry Hill and CPL Productions (Red Arrows Studio company) with Mobashir Dar, Murray Boland, Danielle Lux and Harry Hill, executive producing.

Harry Hill said: “I’m thrilled to be spending another seven weeks protecting the earth from alien invasion but can’t help feeling that this does leave us vulnerable for the other 45 weeks of the year.”

Saskia Schuster, ITV’s Comedy Controller added: "Harry’s quest to save planet earth has become a firm favourite with ITV viewers.  We’ve got some great celebrity guests lined up for the new series and as usual, anything can happen - and it often does.”

Internationally renowned actor, Rob Lowe, has commenced filming in the UK on new ITV drama Wild Bill

Internationally acclaimed actor, Rob Lowe, is joined by Rachael Stirling, Tony Pitts, Bronwyn James and Angela Griffin in new ITV drama series, Wild Bill

Internationally renowned actor, Rob Lowe, has commenced filming in the UK on new ITV drama Wild Bill, in which he takes the leading role and executive produces.

He will be joined by stage and screen actress Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle, Detectorists) who takes the role of Lady Mary Harborough, and Angela Griffin (Ordinary Lies, Brief Encounters) who will play local journalist, Lisa Cranston. Tony Pitts (Peaky Blinders, Line Of Duty) will play Crime Commissioner Keith Metcalfe and rising star Bronwyn James (Harlots, The ABC Murders) takes the role of DC Muriel Yeardsley.

Also announced as joining the cast are Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard, Dark Heart) as Deputy Chief Constable Lydia Price, Steffan Rhodri (A Very English Scandal, Apple Tree Yard) as DS Alex Blair, Divian Ladwa (Lion, Detectorists) as PC Drakes, Anthony Flanagan (Versailles, Humans) as PC Sean Cobley and Vicki Pepperdine (The Windsors, The Woman In White) as pathologist, Broadbent.

Rob Lowe’s character is Bill Hixon, who has been appointed Chief Constable of the East Lincolnshire Police Force. Landing in Boston, Lincolnshire with teenage daughter Kelsey, he’s hoping they can flee their recent painful past. However, this unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him wondering if it's Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston?

Wild Bill is a co-production between 42 (Traitors, Watership Down), Anonymous Content (13 Reasons Why, Maniac) and ITV Studios label, Shiver (Come Dine With Me, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories) and marks the first occasion the companies have collaborated to produce a drama series for ITV. Created by David Griffiths (The Hunted, Collateral Damage), Kyle Killen (Halo, Awake), Dudi Appleton & Jim Keeble (Silent Witness, Thorne: Sleepyhead & Scaredycat), it will be written by lead writers and show-runners Keeble and Appleton.

As an Executive Producer on Wild Bill, Rob Lowe will work alongside Eleanor Moran (Rome, Being Human, Watership Down) and Rory Aitken (Watership Down, Traitors) who are Executive Producers on behalf of 42, and fellow Executive Producer, Tim Carter, (Traitors, Garrow’s Law, Privates) Managing Director of ITV Studios label, Shiver. Writers Dudi Appleton and Jim Keeble, creator David Griffiths, Kyle Killen, Scott Pennington and Keith Redmon from Anonymous Content also join the team as Executive Producers.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Casting announced for new BBC One drama Noughts + Crosses

The much anticipated adaptation of Malorie Blackman's award-winning young adult book series Noughts + Crosses has begun filming in South Africa for BBC One.

Mammoth Screen is producing this gripping story of first love in a dangerous, alternate world where racism divides society. The six-part series is written by Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Lydia Adetunji (Riviera), Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri).

Noughts + Crosses follows two young people Sephy and Callum, who are divided by their colour but united by love. Sephy is a 'Cross', a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a 'Nought', a white member of the underclass. The two have been friends since early childhood but their relationship grows ever more complicated as they come of age. It's the story of two families separated by power and prejudice but forever entwined by fate.

Bafta Cymru winner Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders, Born to Kill) will play Callum McGregor and newcomer Masali Baduza has been cast as Sephy Hadley.

Paterson Joseph (Timeless, Peep Show) plays Sephy's father, the Home Secretary Kamal Hadley, Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) plays her mother Jasmine and her sister Minerva is played by Kike Brimah (Love Type D).

Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Cuckoo) and Ian Hart (The Last Kingdom, The Secret Agent) play Callum's parents Meggie and Ryan and Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Little Stranger) will play his older brother Jude.

Shaun Dingwall (Goodbye Christopher Robin, The Long Firm) plays Liberation Militia leader Dorn. The cast also features Jonathan Ajayi and Rakie Ayola (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, No Offence).

Malorie Blackman, author of the Noughts + Crosses novels, says: "I’m thrilled that the TV dramatisation of Noughts + Crosses has such an amazing cast to bring the story to the screen. It will be so exciting to see how the writers and actors open up the world I created, adding new breadth and detail."

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Noughts + Crosses is a novel that leaves an indelible impression on anyone who reads it. It’s fantastic that we have such an electric cast and crew bringing this powerful story to the screen for the first time on BBC One.”

Executive producer, Preethi Mavahalli says: "It is an absolute honour to be adapting this treasured novel for television. We are delighted to have such a phenomenal cast bringing this iconic love story to the screen for both existing fans and a whole new audience."

The adaptation is based on the first book in the Noughts + Crosses series for young adults, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. The author, Malorie Blackman OBE, was the Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.

Rylan Clark-Neal to launch new Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 2

Rylan Clark-Neal will present a brand new Saturday afternoon show (3-6pm) on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, starting in January 2019, bringing his own fun, feel-good hits and ample amounts of chat to the programme.

Rylan will be replacing Zoe Ball, who is moving to host the weekday Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

Rylan says: “I’m so excited and honoured to be joining the BBC Radio 2 family. After stepping in for the amazing Zoe Ball over the summer, working with her fantastic team, I’m thrilled that I’ll be working with them again to fill listeners’ Saturday afternoons with fun, great music and a lot of laughter. I wish Zoe every success as the station’s new Breakfast Show host and I’m sure she’s going to be as brilliant as she always has been. I can’t wait to get started and look forward to being in the studio from the New Year.”

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 says: “I’m delighted that Rylan can join Radio 2 and we will give him a warm welcome in his new presenting role. Our listeners can expect a wonderful mix of fun and Rylan’s inimitable style on Saturday afternoons.”

Since coming fifth on The X Factor in 2012, Rylan won Celebrity Big Brother in 2013 and has been a presenter across TV and radio. Earlier this year, Rylan joined Radio 1’s Scott Mills as the co-host of BBC Four’s Eurovision coverage out in Lisbon, following his appearance as a guest judge on the BBC’s Eurovision: You Decide. Rylan was nominated for Best Presenter at the 2016 and 2017 National Television Awards and won the title of Radio Times TV Presenter Champion 2017.

He is also the host of Step Back in Time with Rylan Clark-Neal, a six part series created especially for BBC Sounds, which launches on 16 November 2018. Rylan invites a showbiz pal into his time-machine to whizz back to a momentous year from the 80s, 90s or 00s for a celebration of its pop culture highlights. Each year is sprinkled with era-defining music, television, adverts, toys and tech, along with all-but-forgotten gems, surprise reunions and offbeat recollections.

Stars take on never before seen covers for BBC Children in Need concert coming to BBC One

BBC Children in Need has revealed the surprises in store for audiences ahead of the broadcast of Children in Need Rocks 2018.

Presenters Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo and performers All Saints, George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Olly Murs, Tom Odell, Rita Ora and Sir Rod Stewart will take to the stage for a spectacular night of entertainment in Children in Need Rocks 2018 coming to BBC One, 15 November at 8.30pm

A glittering array of covers will feature as part of the concert, recorded on Wednesday 7 November at The SSE Arena, Wembley, including never-before-seen performances especially for Children in Need Rocks 2018 from All Saints who will perform The Police's Message In A Bottle and Jess Glynne covering Hard To Handle by Otis Redding

BBC Children in Need has revealed the surprises in store for audiences ahead of the broadcast of Children in Need Rocks 2018. The unmissable show, produced by BBC Studios, will see presenters Fearne Cotton and Clara Amfo and performers All Saints, George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Olly Murs, Tom Odell, Rita Ora and Sir Rod Stewart take to the stage to help raise money for the charity. What’s more, the concert will treat viewers to some of the world’s biggest names in music performing a variety of classic tracks and covers. The concert is coming to BBC One on 15 November at 8.30pm.

The show will see stars perform current tracks as well as a surprising cover or one of their classic hits. Covers being featured include:

An exclusive performance by All Saints of The Police's much-loved hit Message In A Bottle
Jess Glynne’s interpretation of soul music legend Otis Redding's Hard To Handle, especially for Children in Need Rocks 2018
A re-imagination of George Michael's iconic song Freedom, performed by Rita Ora
George Ezra will cover Rudimental's 2018 hit These Days
Viewers will see Olly Murs cover Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling and Rock Your Body
Tom Odell will treat the audience to his version of True Colours by Cyndi Lauper
Classic songs performed on the show will include Sir Rod Stewart’s Maggie May and Nile Rodgers & CHIC’s Le Freak.

Speaking of the televised concert George Ezra said: “I hope people tune in and donate to Children in Need Rocks 2018, it’s all for a great cause.”

Speaking of her exclusive performance, Jess Glynne said: “I’ve always been a huge fan of Otis Redding and Hard To Handle is one of my favourite songs. I don’t normally sing covers but I feel like this will be a fun one to sing!”

Commenting on the upcoming broadcast, Shaznay Lewis from All Saints, said: “We can’t wait for viewers to see our cover of The Police's Message In A Bottle - Children in Need Rocks 2018 will be the first time we’ve ever performed it. We hope people across the UK are encouraged to tune in and help raise some money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.”

Olly Murs commented: “Children in Rocks 2018 is unmissable TV, a fantastic line-up all coming together to raise money to help support children and young people experiencing disadvantage in the UK.”

Speaking of the show, Tom Odell said: “I had such a great time performing at Children in Need Rocks in 2013 and I am so excited to be involved with Children in Need Rocks 2018 to help raise money for this special cause.”

Speaking on the night of live show Nile Rodgers said: “I feel amazing about being here for Children in Need Rocks 2018!”

BBC Children in Need is currently supporting 2,700 projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma. The show will also share moving stories from some of the children and young people, who are experiencing disadvantage around the UK, and have been supported by projects funded by BBC Children in Need, as the concert raises money for the good cause.

One of the stories shown during the concert is Connie’s: Connie, aged nine from Cumbria, has Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD). Due to this cruel degenerative condition, Connie has lost the ability to walk or talk but she can still hear. As such, music has become increasingly important to her. Connie and her family have been attending Sunbeams Music Trust’s music sessions for four years. The sessions, which are currently funded by BBC Children in Need, provide interactive music, dance and British Sign Language (BSL) children with life-limiting illnesses, and complex needs. Attending the sessions allow Connie to express herself, without judgement, through the powerful gift of music.

Viewers will be invited to donate to help raise money for the charity and all proceeds after costs will benefit BBC Children in Need.

Children in Need Rocks is a BBC Studios production, executive produced by Suzy Lamb, Managing Director, Entertainment and Music, commissioned by Kate Phillips, Controller, BBC Entertainment and Rachel Ashdown, Commissioning Editor, BBC Entertainment and series produced by Cerrie Frost.

The spectacular show is in aid of BBC Children in Need and will be broadcast on BBC One, 15 November at 8.30pm.

Six famous faces to put their artistic skills to the test in BBC One’s Celebrity Painting Challenge

Six famous faces will be putting their artistic skills to the test in a bid to be crowned champion of BBC One’s Celebrity Painting Challenge.

Competing for the title are Jane Seymour; George Shelley; Phil Tufnell; Amber Le Bon; Josie D’Arby and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Mariella Frostrup will present the four-part series, on air in 2019, joined by judges Daphne Todd OBE and Lachlan Goudie

Presented by Mariella Frostrup, the series will bring together contestants from across the world of acting, music, presenting and sport. Baring their souls on canvas will be actor Jane Seymour, musician and presenter George Shelley, cricketer and broadcaster Phil Tufnell, model and DJ Amber Le Bon, presenter Josie D’Arby and TV personality Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Mariella will be joined by Daphne Todd OBE, former winner of the BP Portrait award, and acclaimed figurative painter Lachlan Goudie, who will return as the discerning judges.

With filming due to start this autumn, the six contestants will take part in a range of tasks, masterclasses and challenges designed to test their painting prowess. Challenges will range from traditional artistic mediums, such as portraits, self-portraits, landscapes, still life and life drawings - to fun challenges with humour and a twist. Along the way they will be supported by artists and mentors Diana Ali and Pascal Anson, who will be on hand to push their creativity to the limit.

The grand finale will see the toughest challenge of the series, and at the end, the winner of Celebrity Painting Challenge will be announced. As part of the finale a selection of paintings from the six artists will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to charity.

Mark Bell, Head of Arts Commissioning, BBC, says: “Our multi-talented contestants have achieved renown in their different fields, but what is less well known is their love of art. This series will put them through their paces as painters, and test whether they can achieve the levels of excellence on canvas that they have achieved on the stage, catwalk, screen and cricket pitch.”

Kat Lennox, Executive Producer, Factual Entertainment at BBC Studios Productions, says “I’m excited to be working with such a talented team to create a celebrity version of this much loved competition format which will see talented celebrity artists swap their glamorous jobs in the limelight to get behind an easel. The challenges will be designed to test their creativity and there will be some surprises in store, but I’m also looking forward to seeing our celebrity artists grow across the competition.”

Celebrity Painting Challenge is due to air Spring 2019. It is a BBC Studios production, the Executive Producer is Kat Lennox and the Series Editor is Chi Ukairo. It was commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content and Mark Bell, Head of Arts Commissioning. The Commissioning Editor is Michael Jochnowitz.

First look trailer for Brexit drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Channel 4’s timely and compelling behind-the-scenes drama about the Brexit referendum campaign, from award-winning writer James Graham.

Brexit: The Uncivil War follows the campaign from the perspective of the largely unknown strategists in both the leave and remain camps as they plot to gain advantage over each other, while dealing with politicians jostling for the limelight and controversial financial backers.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Doctor Strange, Patrick Melrose) is Dominic Cummings, the lead strategist and Campaign Director of Vote Leave. Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game, Skyfall) co-stars as Craig Oliver, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Director of Communications, overseeing the Remain campaign’s communications strategy.

At a time when explosive revelations about the mining of personal data and the corrosive effect of fake news and micro-targeted advertising through social media feeds are at the forefront of the news agenda, Brexit (w/t) explores how modern data-driven campaigning techniques contributed to one of the most unexpected, highly-charged and controversial decisions in modern political history.

Brexit: The Uncivil War is written by RTS and Olivier Award-winning writer James Graham (Quiz, Ink, Coalition), and is directed by the award winning Toby Haynes (Black Mirror, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Sherlock).

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

BBC Two drama Death and Nightingales trailer released starring Jamie Dornan and Matthew Rhys

Based on Eugene McCabe’s modern Irish classic, Death And Nightingales is a riveting story of love, betrayal, deception and revenge, set in the beautiful haunting countryside of Fermanagh in 1885.
A place where neighbours observe each other and inform, a world of spies, confessions and double dealing, where a pervading sense of beauty is shot through with menace and impending doom.

Set over a desperately tense 24-hour period, it’s Beth Winters’ (Ann Skelly) 23rd birthday - the day she has decided to join the charming Liam Ward (Jamie Dornan) and escape from her limited life and difficult and complex relationship with her Protestant landowner stepfather Billy (Matthew Rhys). As decades of pain and betrayal finally build to a devastating climax, Death And Nightingales is a powerful and gripping drama that follows a woman struggling to control her own destiny and will illuminate tensions that tear both families and nations apart.