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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will launch on Netflix Aug. 30

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will launch on Netflix Aug. 30

The 10-episode show is a prequel to the beloved Jim Henson and Frank Oz-directed 1982 puppet fantasy-adventure film, The Dark Crystal.

The show is once again set on the world of Thra and concerns three Gelflings who discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis' power and set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world. The Gelflings are voiced by Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nathalie Emmanuel.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Westworld Season 3 Trailer - Coming 2020

Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence.

Westworld will premiere in 2020

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Netflix launches the trailer for its latest drama series, Leila

Netflix have released the trailer of its upcoming drama series Leila.

Based on author Prayaag Akbar’s award-winning book of the same name, Leila stars, in pivotal roles, actors Huma Qureshi, Siddharth, Rahul Khanna, Seema Biswas, Akash Khurana, Sanjay Suri, Arif Zakaria, amongst others, and is helmed by Creative Executive Producer, Deepa Mehta. The series has been directed by Deepa Mehta, Shanker Raman, and Pawan Kumar and is based on the book (also called Leila) by Akbar.

India's first dystopian story, Leila is set in an imagined world, Aryavarta in which there is great suffering, extreme and totalitarian rules of engagement and fictional extremes constructed around an obsession with purity, communal and divisive societal dramas and grit.

Leila is the story of a mothers’ imperishable maternal love for her daughter set in the political and emotional dystopia of Aryavarta.

The series is set to release on the service worldwide across 190 countries on 14 June, 2019

First look trailer from upcoming Sky original British drama Temple

Find out just how far one man will go for love in the first look trailer for Temple, an emotionally complex and riveting Sky original drama.

Starring Mark Strong (Kingsman), Carice Van Houten (Game of Thrones) and Daniel Mays (Line of Duty), Temple tells the story of Daniel Milton (Mark Strong) a talented surgeon whose world is turned upside-down when his wife, played by Catherine McCormack (Braveheart), develops a life-threatening illness. Conventional options for treatment run out, yet Daniel refuses to accept the cards he’s been dealt. He partners with the obsessive yet surprisingly resourceful misfit Lee (Daniel Mays), to start a literal ‘underground’ clinic in the vast network of tunnels beneath Temple tube station in London.

They are soon joined by Anna (Carice Van Houten), a guilt-ridden medical researcher whose past is entangled with Daniel’s, and Jamie, played by Tobi King Bakare (Cursed), a young fugitive bank-robber. Daniel does his best to juggle this dysfunctional family as his moral boundaries between being a husband, friend and doctor are challenged. But it soon becomes apparent that it may be him and his desperate actions that finally bring the whole thing crashing down. Just how far will Daniel Milton go for love?

Additional cast include Wunmi Mosaku (Damiola Our Loved Boy), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty), Lily Newmark (Pin Cushion) Chloe Pirrie (The Victim) and Ryan McKen (The State). 

Written by Irish playwright Mark O’Rowe (Boy A) and produced by Hera Pictures, Temple is executive produced by Liza Marshall, Mark Strong and Mark O’Rowe for Hera Pictures and Gabriel Silver for Sky. Luke Snellin (Wanderlust), Shariff Korver (Fenix) and Lisa Siwe (Modus) direct. Barney Reisz (Black Mirror) produces. Temple is based on the critically-acclaimed Norwegian drama Valkyrien. The eight part series was commissioned by Cameron Roach, Sky’s Director of Drama and Sky Studios and Zai Bennett, Director of Programming for Sky Entertainment UK & Ireland. The series is co-funded and distributed internationally by Sky Vision.

Temple will air on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV this autumn.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Statement from ITV regarding The Jeremy Kyle Show


Statement from ITV regarding The Jeremy Kyle Show

Carolyn McCall, ITV's CEO, announced today: "Given the gravity of recent events we have decided to end production of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

"The Jeremy Kyle Show has had a loyal audience and has been made by a dedicated production team for 14 years, but now is the right time for the show to end.

"Everyone at ITV's thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Steve Dymond."

The previously announced review of the episode of the show is underway and will continue.

ITV will continue to work with Jeremy Kyle on other projects.

Hello possums!... Dame Edna brings her entertainment show back for one very special night on BBC One

Following her emotional farewell tour, Dame Edna has been enjoying luxury downtime on board her enormous yacht, sailing the seas without a care in the world. But now she's back for one very special night and she's bringing her legendary entertainment show to BBC One.

Filmed in front of an audience, Dame Edna will host a very exclusive evening with celebrity chat, music and of course a few surprises direct from her luxury yacht, staffed by some familiar faces.

On her return Dame Edna says: "The world needs sunshine so I am very happy to welcome you all on board. One hour on my yacht is better than a lifetime on a cruise liner."

Kate Philips, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, says: "There's nothing like a Dame Edna and I can't wait for this unforgettable one off special to hit our screens. With a whole host of celebrities bravely stepping on board to join the First Lady of Oz we're all in for an absolute treat."

Rachel Ashdown, BBC Commissioning Editor, says: "Over the past 50 years Dame Edna has got to grips with the world's biggest stars and I am looking forward to seeing her welcome the current generation of celebrities to her sofa."

Patsy Kensit and Luke Roberts return to Holby City for special episode

Patsy Kensit and Luke Roberts will reprise their roles as Faye Morton and Joseph Byrne in BBC One's Holby City for one episode as part of the programme's 20th anniversary celebrations.

Last seen on the Holby wards almost ten years ago, Faye and Joseph return to the hospital under dramatic circumstances and come face to face with Jac - Faye's nemesis and ex love rival. The turbulent history between the three of them doesn't bode well when certain events mean they need to come together as life hangs in the balance.

Patsy Kensit says: "It's a great honour to be asked back. As soon as I got the script I sat down and read it as fast as I could, which shows what a gripping episode it's going to be. Faye has changed quite a lot, it's very feisty and there are lots of surprises! It's also really exciting to be working with Rosie and Luke again; we always had a fantastic time together on set and that's not changed at all."

Luke Roberts says: "Actors take jobs for a number of reasons. Pay the bills, learn the craft, further the career, tackle a challenging role. Holby City ticked all of those boxes when I had the good fortune to join the cast in 2005. For five years it provided me with a much needed community of artists and technicians who always made me feel at home. It really was like a family. So it's been an absolute joy to slip back into the surgical scrubs, see so many familiar faces and reconnect with the likes of Rosie Marcel, Patsy Kensit, Jaye Jacobs, Bob Barrett, Guy Henry, Hugh Quarshie, Belinda Owusu and Alex Walkinshaw to name but a few of the mega talented folks working on the wards. Not to mention our brilliant director David Innes-Edwards who has the colossal task of keeping us all in line!"

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Ranganation - Q&A with Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan is the host of a brand new BBC Two topical comedy show which takes a humorous look at the week’s biggest talking points, from front page news to trending topics and the smaller stories you might have missed.

To help Romesh understand what the nation really think on a wide range of topics he will be consulting with his very own focus group, The Ranganation. This rambunctious group of 25 lovable, outspoken and passionate characters represent a real cross-section of modern Britain so expect to hear from people such as 'Cockney Geezer', 'Vicar’s Daughter', and ‘Romesh’s Mum' - who is a key member.

Each week he’ll also be joined by other comedians and expert guests to get their take on modern Britain and how stories in the news are affecting us all. Together, they workshop the lighter end of the news spectrum and discuss the stuff that we actually talk about, other than Brexit and Trump.

A Q&A with Romesh Ranganathan

Tell us about your new series, The Ranganation

I wanted to do a topical show not a political show. So how the show works is, I have a focus group of 25 people who come from different walks of life from across Britain, and they help me chew the fat over whatever has been going on that week.

So it could be political, but - for example - in the pilot we talk about people putting up England flags during the World Cup and how that makes people feel, because in the week we filmed it Royal Mail banned their staff from putting flags on their vans because of the connotations or whatever.

We discussed that and it’s interesting to see how different people, based on their background, reacted. For some people that flag was a symbol of patriotism and they thought it was amazing or disgusting that it was banned. And other people saw it as a sign of slightly distasteful nationalism. So it’s me discussing these issues with people from all different backgrounds, with a few other guests each week.

How did you choose the 25?

We have a team of people who cast all across the UK and we wanted people from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds. We held auditions, basically a very informal version of the show in an office so they could meet me and other Ranganation members and we could figure out who would be right.

It’s not just about them being good on TV necessarily, as people who are too TV savvy probably aren’t right. We are looking for regular people who are opinionated and passionate. Also there may be more than 25 members who might rotate.

Why did you want to make a topical show?

It’s because you sort of get pissed off with things, well maybe not pissed off, but there are certain things that dominate your conversations but they’re not always political. And I sort of thought there isn’t a show, a comedy-entsy [comedy-entertainment] sort of show - ‘comedy-entsy’ is one of the worst things I have ever said - that deals with topical stuff.

I don’t want to say we’re not going to talk about Brexit, or that it’s banned or anything, but, for example, me and my friends fiercely debated the recent spate of all-female reboots, and nerds getting upset about Captain Marvel. It’s those sort of things that people are talking about. It’s not necessarily political, it's watercooler chat for want of a more modern phrase, but it’s those things that aggravate people and I wanted to explore that. And I wanted to be the host of another show and so those two selfish motives married together to form The Ranganation.

What’s it like working with your mum again?

It’s great! The honest truth is that it is great having my mum there. Does it grate slightly when people go on about how naturally funny she is? Yes it does. Is it annoying that she has more time in hair, makeup and wardrobe than I do? Yes it’s annoying. But she loves it, she loves getting recognised and I’m happy for her to be successful. Up to a point.

Is she ever going to take on projects without you?

I suspect so. She’ll deny it but I think that’s very much in her plans. We did an interview the other day and she was saying she doesn’t want to ever do anything without me but I believe that’s a lie. She would step over my dead body to get a cookery show, I can tell you that for nothing.

If you could invite anyone in the world to join The Ranganation who would it be and why?
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister. I like everything about him: he’s charming, I like what he’s about, he’s a good looking bloke, which normally puts me off people as I just think ‘you’ve had an easy life’, but I like him and think he’d be a good guy to have on. The only thing is he doesn’t qualify because he doesn’t know what it’s like to be British, it’s meant to be a cross-section of Britain. He would qualify if he decided to move to Britain, but we can’t just have him turning up, swanning in to do the show and effing off again back to Canada. That’s not what The Ranganation is about.

If you have to choose someone to be in The Ranganation that adheres to the rules of the show, who would it be?

Idris Elba. I think he’s got interesting things to say, he’s a good-looking guy and now he has got married it’s safe for me to be on a thing with him and not be annoyed that my wife is drooling over him. My mum fancies the pants off of him but is also very highly moral, so it would be quite nice watching her internal struggle with the fact she is absolutely obsessed with him but also respects the sanctity of marriage.

Do you have any pre-show rituals that you perform before the cameras start rolling?

I have an app on my phone that’s a brain training thing, and it does these little number and shape tests and I read somewhere ages ago that if you’re trying to get mentally sharp for something then it’s a good thing to do because it gets your brain revving. Whether or not it does something I don’t know, but I have got into this superstitious thing where I have to have a go on that.

What do you enjoy most about working with the public when you’re doing TV shows?

It's like pretending that I consider them equals but inside knowing I’m better than them; you look so humble because you’re in amongst them but actually you know you’re of a different quality. I’m joking, joking!

I like unfiltered people and people being honest, and members of the public often are, so that’s what is so great about the show. We’re not getting views from people who are worried about how they come across on screen, or worried about a career in television, they’re just saying what they think, and so that is quite refreshing and interesting as people are less guarded. It makes the show more exciting.

Which category, for want of a better word, would you represent if you were in The Ranganation?

We try and summarise people, so I guess mine would be overweight misanthrope. That would be the filter I’m approaching everything from I reckon. But the names are actually a lot catchier than that, so perhaps ‘fat sad’? ‘Sad fat man’? ‘Obese sad’?

Are your kids allowed to watch you on TV?

My eldest kid is nine and they’re allowed I guess. When I did The Misadventures Of Romesh Ranganathan for BBC Two they were interested in the places I had gone to and my wife thought actually this is one of the few things I have done that has any educational merit. So she watched it ahead and then would watch it with them with her finger on the fast-forward button because for a travel show I have a real inclination to drop the f-bomb, so she had to be mindful of that. They don’t go anywhere near my stand-up.

Are you already quite engaged with the news or are you going to have to ramp it up for the show?

No I won’t have to ramp it up, I’m pretty engaged already. I did Question Time a while ago, I’m not engaged enough to just wander in to that and freestyle it, but I knew enough to go on it. I am informed but I am not like Nish Kumar who is across everything and so politically minded, I’m not that way inclined. I do read the news, but not with any great purpose, rather I read it because it interests me, so I have a potted understanding of what’s going on. Combine that with my, I would say, sub-par intellect and you get quite an interesting take.

Where do you get most of your news from? Which sources do you use? Twitter?

I tend not to get it from Twitter. I do actually, and I’m not just saying this because we’re talking about a BBC programme, but I do tend to go to the BBC News website first thing and then I’ll go to the newspaper websites to see what their takes on stories are based on their leanings. And then I may go to Twitter to see what the worst-informed, most-reactionary group of people I follow have to say about everything.

Is that the kind of atmosphere you’re going to try and capture on the show?

I like the idea that the show will be a combination of people being informed, but also just shooting from the hip. We all go through life knowing what we should think about things, but sometimes that doesn’t coincide with what you actually feel about something, and I think it will be interesting to see that mixed in the show. We assume that people from certain backgrounds will think a certain way about issues, and in the pilot I was surprised by the way not everyone had a set-in-stone take on the things you'd expect them to because of where they’d come from.

Eurovision 2019 on the BBC - Michael Rice - Bigger Than Us

The world’s biggest music competition returns this May as the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the longest-running and most-watched non-sporting events in the world, is broadcast live from Tel Aviv across the BBC.

Tel Aviv will play host to the competition for the first time following the country's victory last year in Lisbon with Netta who sung and performed Toy. Israel has won the Eurovision Song Contest four times with Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta in 1978 with A-Ba-Ni-Bi and Milk and Honey and Gali Atari with Hallelujah in 1979, Dana International with Diva in 1998 and Netta with Toy in 2018.

This year marks the 64th edition of the competition, with a total of 41 countries competing in the contest, including two semi-finals that will be broadcast on BBC Four, and the Grand Final which will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC Radio 2.

As one of the Big Five countries (United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy), the United Kingdom does not have to qualify from the semi-final stage of the competition and will gain automatic access to the Saturday Grand Final. Israel, as the incumbent champion, will also not need to qualify from the semi-final stage and will gain automatic entry to the Grand Final.

In order to find a song to represent the United Kingdom, this year the BBC undertook a massive song search via a public song submission as well as Eurovision song writing camps held by Music Consultant Greig Watts. Ten songs were then shortlisted and were given to an international jury of music experts who chose the final three songs to put forward to Eurovision: You Decide 2019 on BBC Two. Each of the three songs were then performed in two musically different ways, by two different acts. After all six acts performed the expert judges chose the best version of each song which went forward to face the public vote.

Michael Rice was chosen to represent the United Kingdom after winning the public vote in Eurovision: You Decide.

Michael will head to Tel Aviv to perform his song Bigger Than Us, an epic power ballad on behalf of the United Kingdom this May. Bigger Than Us was written by Jonas Thander, Anna-Klara Folin, John Lundvik and Laurell Barker.

The result of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will be decided for 50% by you, the public, and for 50% by a group of music industry professionals. Each jury member ranks all entries, except for their own country's contribution. The jury names who will be voting on behalf of the UK jury from home are:

Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Jury Chairperson) - Artist
Pete Watson - Musical Director, Kylie Minogue/Hurts/Leona Lewis
Jai Ramage - Vocal Coach
Adele Roberts - BBC Radio 1 DJ
AJ Bentley - Singer and Musical Performer

Channel 4 serves up sixth series of Friday Night Dinner

Channel 4 has commissioned Big Talk Productions and Popper Pictures to produce a sixth series of the critically-acclaimed and multi-award winning comedy, Friday Night Dinner with Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal returning as the Goodman Family, with Mark Heap as Jim.

Friday Night Dinner is written and produced by Robert Popper, who co-created and starred in BBC Two’s Look Around You with Peter Serafinowicz, produced the Bafta-winning Peep Show, wrote on season 14 of South Park, and script-edited The Inbetweeners, The IT Crowd and Him & Her. Robert also wrote the bestselling The Timewaster Letters books under his pseudonym, Robin Cooper.  Recently, he co-wrote several episodes of Channel 4’s Stath Lets Flats, with Jamie Demetriou.

Robert Popper said: “I’m really looking forward to exploring new avenues with series 6. Inspector de Vries (Paul Ritter) will still be working on the Rynsburger case, but this time he's joined by new partner-in-crime, Mees Janssen (Tom Rosenthal), fresh out of Rotterdam Police Academy. Eva de Bruin (Tamsin Greig) is now trying to regain control of her pharmaceutical company, after an aggressive takeover-bid by the always-cunning Sem Teuling (Simon Bird). But can ‘Vos’ (Mark Heap) and his faithful dog, ‘de Welson’ save the day?”

Friday Night Dinner is executive produced by Kenton Allen, Chief Executive of Big Talk Productions and Caroline Leddy. Martin Dennis returns as director.

Kenton Allen, Big Talk CEO said: "Friday Night Dinner has grown into a monster hit for Channel 4 and it’s incredibly exciting to see the audience growing every season as new viewers fall in love with the antics of the Goodman household. It’s also incredible that Robert has singlehandedly written and produced all 31 episodes so far, which must make him one of the most prolific comedy writer/producers working today.  We’re incredibly grateful to Channel 4 for letting him have another go. Fingers crossed!"

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, said: “We’re delighted that audiences love Friday Night Dinner as much as we do at Channel 4, and are thrilled that it will be returning. It’s always brilliant when audiences for a show grow over time and we’re thrilled that more and more people are falling in love with the Goodmans. We are so pleased to be making a new series with Robert and Big Talk.”

Friday Night Dinner is one of Channel 4’s longest running sitcoms. Series 5 is the second highest rating series for the show so far, beaten only by Series 1. It also attracted the biggest audience share across all series. The series averaged 1.9m / 11.4% per  episode – up +19% on slot average and up +27% for share - outperforming the series 4.

Launching in 2011 the series went on to win Best Situation Comedy at the 2012 Rose D’Or Festival and was nominated at Best Situation Comedy and Best Female Performance in a Comedy for Tamsin Greig at the 2012 BAFTA TV Awards. Other nominations include Best New Comedy Programme, Best Sitcom, Best Comedy Actress for Tamsin Greig and Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist for Tom Rosenthal at the British Comedy Awards 2011. Best Situation Comedy at the National Television Awards 2011, and gained a Best Comedy writer nod for Robert Popper at The Royal Television Society Award 2012. The recent series won the British Comedy Guide award for Best returning TV Sitcom.

The new six part series will shoot late 2019 and transmit next year on Channel 4.

The Hunt for Jihadi John: Interview with the producer Richard Kerbaj

You’ve made a film about the terrorist known as Jihadi John [real name Mohammed Emwazi]. Explain a bit about the programme. 

The wider picture is that this is about the formation and collapse of Isis, and the impact that the ISIS ideology had on the recruitment of young men and women who left heir countries, particularly in the West, to go out and fight on the front lines in Syria and Iraq. They were given numerous promises about the caliphate, what it represented, and the religious underpinnings that it had. That’s the base outline if the story. But I wanted to tell the story through a particular character, and of course Jihadi John became such an enormous, symbolic character for Isis. Not because of the military value that he had, but because of the propaganda war that he helped wage. He became a very beneficial propaganda tool for them.

I think the very first video of him beheading the US journalist Jim Foley became such a great hit for them. It created such an enormous wave and generated so many headlines. It was an experiment that worked. So they replicated that on a number of occasions, with the beheadings of several other journalists and aid workers, and that helped them drive the propaganda machine. I’d made a couple of films before this. My Son the Jihadi was my first film, and again, I told the story of the radicalisation of young men through a single perspective, the perspective of a mother who’s longing for the return of her son who converted to Islam and went on to become a terrorist. The second film I made was about the hunt for Litvinenko’s killers. I always try to tell the story from a single perspective, and I think we’ve done that here by using the Jihadi John story. It’s not just about him, it’s telling the wider story about the threat of Islamist extremism and Islamist terrorism. It in no way glamourises him. In every element of his story there is analysis from experts or people who knew him, including his teachers, including his hostages. It’s the story of a kid who went from being fairly ordinary, on the fringes – in one case he was described as ‘a passenger in life’ – to becoming this symbolic figure for the world’s most brutal terrorist organisation. It’s about the transformation that took place, (a) because of his inclination but (b) because of the radicalising influences he encountered. And also because of some of the admitted failures within the systems of the security services. 

Looking at his back story, do you think it’s a fairly typical story of jihadi recruits? Is there a typical back story, or a type? 

It’s typical in the sense that what ISIS managed to do by creating this so-called caliphate was that they were able to draw thousands of people over to it. So typical in that sense that yes, they were fighting a war which initially started off for different purposes. Initially they were fighting the Assad regime. That was their initial purpose, which then expanded and they went on to fight the West. So from that perspective yes, he was typical – many young men and women were going at around the time that Jihadi John went out there, around 2013. At that time there were many people going out to fight, but also people going out there for humanitarian reasons. So it was a difficult thing for the security services and the police to determine who was going out for what reason. In some cases, they were able to stop people. In others, they weren’t. But what’s not typical about him is the transition he made from being a fairly ordinary and low-level radical – and there are many of them – to becoming such a poster boy for the brutal organisation that is ISIS. That’s not typical. There was only one of him. So in that sense, he was extraordinary. And what made him extraordinary was the power of the propaganda campaign he was able to launch. He was given the resources to do this by ISIS, as were some others. But with him, he had the most number of hits on social media.

Why did they alight on him? Obviously it was partly because he was British, but was it because he was eloquent or brutal or what? 

I don’t think eloquence is his thing, he wasn’t necessarily eloquent. But he was willing to be brutal. He brandished his credentials early on. He was loyal and he was brutal. And he was there at a time when they had taken about 300 people hostage, and he was carrying out acts of brutality. So he definitely demonstrated that he was able to be brutal, but also demonstrated that he was able to assemble these videos. And that’s why they decided he was quite effective. But I think, in a way, it was an experiment. Before his video came out, the most iconic video that had been released by ISIS featured three men from Cardiff. It was almost the world premiere of the caliphate, telling everyone to come and join. That went around the world and generated a lot of interest. But it was the sheer brutality of the first jihadi john video that was so shocking. You could hear the voice of this British man, and there was something familiar about it. And also, it was the way he conducted his terrorist act, and the person that he was conducting it on. He was one of us, a journalist. That caught the attention of news outlets. 

I presume you’ve seen these videos in full. Is that a difficult thing to do? 

Totally. We went through hundreds and hundreds of hours of brutal imagery. The problem with that imagery is that over time, it all ends up looking the same, it’s just brutal. It’s there to dehumanise the victims. There’s only so much that you can do for the sake of taste and measure, in terms of how you reflect them in a film like this. It’s quite harrowing, going through that footage.

In some senses, is being a Jihadi just an extreme form of being in a gang? 

That’s something that has been expressed by some people. There are many similarities between gangsters and Jihadis, but I think the one thing that really drives jihadis is ideology. Ideology is much more radicalising than, say, the need for profile, or the need for financial growth. The way gangs operate, it’s all about street cred, whereas for a Jihadi it’s all ideologically driven, to the point of blindness. To go out there and carry out brutal acts because they believe in their warped interpretation of their religion. They believe they’re doing it for the right reasons, in the name of god. 

You’ve attracted the most extraordinary roll call of talking heads for the documentary. That must have taken some doing… 

Yeah. I’ve been covering national security now for about fourteen years now, having started in Australia, before I moved to the Sunday times. So naturally my contact list is fairly wide. But the difference between a print newspaper and a film is that in a newspaper you might get a soundbite or you might get a quote on or off the record, for a film, you’re hoping to get people to actually sit down in front of a camera. So that took some doing. I started working on this film in June 2017, and I had a number of people who were committed to it, and as we continued filming, more and more people came on board. And they really were the people who had skin in the game. These are people who were involved in the hunt of Jihadi John, and what was fascinating about their revelations was that they were so honest – even when it came to them taking a look at their own performance. And they were so self-critical, whether it was from a military perspective, about Britain’s unwillingness or failure to properly fund the right part of the militant movement there, or whether it was about the missed opportunities by the police and security services to allow the likes of Jihadi John to be able to get to Syria. That raises its own questions, because if you look at the way the counter-terrorism police were operating, they had, in some cases, up to 50 people leaving a month. To track each one of them down is a very difficult thing. So they had a lot on their plate. But even by their own admission they made some errors, and I think that’s going to be quite revealing. 

One of the subjects then film touches on is whether the actions of the security forces may have alienated and further radicalised Emwazi. Do you believe that to be the case? 

By Richard Walton’s own admission, and he was the then head of counter terrorism at Scotland Yard, he says it’s a fine line between trying to recruit someone and pushing them over the edge. If you don’t successfully recruit them, then what you do is contribute to their world view and the conspiracy theories they have about western security Services. I think, in Emwazi’s case, certainly he knew he was being approached by the security services, and he opposed it. Would he have become a terrorist had he not been approached? Everything in his pattern of behaviour suggests that he would have become a terrorist, because the reason he came on to the security services’ radar to begin with was because he was raising funds for jihadists in Somalia, and then subsequently he was arrested when he went out to fight in Somalia. He pretended he was going out to check out animals on a safari. So he had every intention of becoming a terrorist because of the people he mixed with. 

Did you try and get any of his family to talk? 

Yes, we did try. We had no success, they didn’t want to discuss it. 

Among those who you do talk to are some of the hostages who were held by ISIS. How do you think they are coping in the aftermath of what happened to them? 

I think what you see of them in the film is very much unfiltered. It had an enormous emotional impact on them, and that’s affected them to this day. They were beaten, tortured, forced to beat each other up, starved in some cases, made to feel almost like animals. That had a massive impact on them. So I suppose from a PTSD perspective, it must be quite debilitating for them. However, what’s really fascinating is how they’ve managed to turn it around, in a way. They’ve decided to tell their story. It’s gives you an insight into the brutal nature of those who had taken them hostage.

What’s your motivation for telling this story as a film. Rather than sticking with the print medium? 

My entry into documentary film making comes from my studies many years ago. I studied script-writing and film back in Australia. It’s a fairly familiar world, even though I didn’t go into documentary-making until later on. The one thing that films present that newspapers don’t is that you’ve got time to tell a big story. A big story of this nature requires numerous things like cultivating the right relationships and building the right amount of trust. And there are certain things you can express visually on the screen that you could never express in writing. There are certain facial expressions or reactions that you just need to be able to see. There are moments like that in the film with the hostages, and there’s a moment like that with Diane Foley [who’s son James was a journalist who was killed by Emwazi]. There’s a moment when she’s lost for words, and it’s about three seconds, and that kind of tells you everything about what she’s feeling in that moment. So, from that perspective, that’s why film-making is very appealing. 

The Hunt for Jihadi John, Monday 20th May at 9pm on Channel 4

Monday, 13 May 2019

Competition: Win Warren, Series 1 on DVD

Warren, Series 1 is released on DVD on May 20th

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

TV favourite Martin Clunes returns to our screens as another man behaving badly: Warren, a hilariously pedantic driving instructor who thinks the world is against him, in prime-time sitcom currently airing on BBC One and coming to DVD and digital courtesy of Acorn Media International.

Created and written by upcoming British writing team Jimmy Donny Cosgrove and Paul McKenna (no, not that one), this original six-part comedy drama centres around Warren Thompson, who suddenly finds himself in his mid-50s, forced to up sticks from the south to Preston when his partner Anne’s (Lisa Millett – Robin Hood, Peterloo) father falls ill. Not blessed with patience, empathy, or any kind of paternal instinct whatsoever, cantankerous, blunt and grumpy, he just about tolerates his students, not to mention the two teenage stepsons he never wanted.

To put it delicately, Warren’s naturally difficult personality means he’s constantly finding himself in sticky situations. Set in his ways, he’s happy with a clean house, a neat garden, and a nice cup of tea…but always seems to end up on the verge of absolutely losing it. From neighbourly disputes to vendettas in both his personal and professional life, this uniquely British, crabby comedy hero will have you clutching your sides and clutching your pearls in equal measure.

Warren arrives on DVD and digital (to download and keep from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play) so stick on your L plates and get ready for a bumpy ride.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who stars as Warren?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 27-05-19
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Chimerica on DVD

Chimerica is released on DVD on May 20th

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

EARNING PLAUDITS galore and described as an ‘electrifying thriller’ by The Guardian, Olivier award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s stage play Chimerica is set for the small screen treatment, as a powerful and timely four-part series. Airing on Channel 4 this Spring, this unique drama is set to arrive on DVD and digital from Acorn Media International.

Adapted by Kirkwood for TV, this fictional story about true events has been brought up to date using the notorious 2016 US Presidential election as a back drop. It explores the murky borders between fact and fiction, truth and censorship, political manipulation and personal sacrifice.

Award-winning actor Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle, Disobedience) stars as Lee Berger, the photographer behind the seminal Tank Man of Tiananmen Square photo, captured during the deadly 1989 protests in China. Now working as a dedicated photojournalist in America, accusations of fake news are levelled against him, and he sets out to reclaim his credibility by searching for the subject of his most famous picture.

Joining Lee on his frantic search are seasoned reporter Mel Kincaid (Cherry Jones - Transparent, The Handmaid’s Tale), corporate market researcher Tess Kendrick (Sophie Okonedo - Hotel Rwanda, The Hollow Crown) and cynical newspaper boss Frank Sams (F. Murray Abraham - Homeland, The Grand Budapest Hotel). Lee also enlists the help of an old friend, Chinese activist Zhang Lin (Terry Chen - Jessica Jones, Birth of the Dragon), who has troubles of his own. Can he uncover the elusive truth before it is too late?

Exploring not just the relationship between East and West, but also some of the most pressing and important issues affecting society today, the series delves deep into the new world of fake news, censorship and the power of political protest, with the rise of Trump and the suppression of Chinese human rights protests mirroring each other in unexpected and unsettling ways.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

What is the name of the character played by Alessandro Nivola?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 27-05-19
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Sharkwater Extinction on DVD

Sharkwater Extinction is released on DVD on May 20th

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

Following its highly praised theatrical bow, the eye-opening, feature documentary Sharkwater Extinction from Rob Stewart the award-winning director of Sharkwater and Revolution, is out now on digital on Amazon, Sky Store, iTunes, Virgin On Demand and Google Play.

More than 150 million sharks are being killed every year. The oceans are in danger. Sharks play a hugely important role to the environment. Who is the real enemy: shark or human? Sharkwater Extinction takes us on one man’s mission: to protect sharks from extinction and save the oceans before it’s too late.

We join the courageous filmmaker and renowned activist on a hugely inspirational, thrilling but hazardous journey, as he dives deep into oceans and travels across four continents to investigate the eye-watering scale of corruption, destruction and danger that the multi-billion-dollar pirate fishing industry and vast illegal shark fin trade bring.

This action-packed story takes us from the seas of West Africa to Spain via Panama, Costa Rica, France, and even North America as Stewart exposes a shocking truth that is leading the oldest remaining predator to extinction. Shark finning is still rampant, shark fin soup is still being consumed and endangered sharks are now being used to make products for human consumption.

Sharkwater Extinction stands as Rob Stewart’s legacy as he was tragically killed in a diving accident, in the final stages of shooting the film in January 2017, his parents Brian and Sandy Stewart have dedicated themselves to completing the film.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who Directs Sharkwater Extinction?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 27-05-19
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.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

ITV announces AEW “DOUBLE OR NOTHING” wrestling event for ITV Box Office

All Elite Wrestling's highly anticipated PPV show will ignite the screen with Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, Cody, SCU, and more

ITV, the largest commercial television network in the UK, announced a partnership today with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the new wrestling promotion headlined by members of The Elite, to broadcast the highly anticipated DOUBLE OR NOTHING event on its ITV Box Office channel.

Fans across the UK can look forward to seeing all the drama, action and entertainment live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on the night of Saturday 25 May going into Sunday 26 May.  DOUBLE OR NOTHING, which sold out in under 30 minutes, features an electrifying card packed with stars including the headline clash between Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho.  The wrestling world will rock as Cody takes on his brother Dustin Rhodes, The Young Bucks battle the Lucha Bros for the AAA World Tag Team Championship, Hangman Adam Page clashes with PAC, and Britt Baker, Nyla Rose and Kylie Rae compete in a three-way match.

Additionally, before the live pay-per-view event begins at 1:00 a.m GMT, Sunday, May 26, the hourlong live pre-show special  BUY-IN will air for free on ITV4 at midnight.  BUY-IN includes the first ever "Casino (Battle) Royale," which will see 21 competitors including Jimmy Havoc, Billy Gunn, MJF, Michael Nakzawa, Jungle Boy, Glacier, Sonny Kiss, and Joey Janela entering the ring in waves of five wrestlers every three minutes followed by one final entrant, lucky number 21, all fighting it out in the ring until there is one winner, whose reward will be a future title shot against the first ever AEW World Champion.  BUY-IN will also feature a pair of high-flyers squaring off one-on-one as the UK's own Kip Sabian will face Sammy Guevara.

"We're delighted to announce this partnership with AEW, whose entry into professional wrestling is already making a massive impact on the industry and promises to deliver an electrifying event later this month, and a fantastic experience for our viewers and wrestling fans in the UK," said Niall Sloane, Director of Sport, ITV.  "Joining forces with AEW for this event is faithful to ITV's More Than TV strategy to develop direct relationships with viewers through big events available on its platforms."

"We've stated since our launch that we want to make this the greatest time ever to be a professional wrestling fan, and part of this plan is to make our product as accessible as possible to a global audience," said Tony Khan, President/CEO of AEW.  "Since our launch in January, we've signed the best talent, sold out our debut show in record time, and we've built relationships and formed bonds with the best media partners like ITV.  This collaboration with ITV is so important to AEW, ITV is the best in the UK, they were always my first choice to be our international PPV partner for DOUBLE OR NOTHING, and we're looking forward to a great show."

In addition, a special pre-event show "Before the Bell" will air for free on ITV4 and ITV Box Office in the build up to the DOUBLE OR NOTHING broadcast.  Details about how to access DOUBLE OR NOTHING on ITV Box Office can be found at www.itvboxoffice.com

ITV2 announces brand new chat show - Shopping With Keith Lemon

ITV2 announces brand new chat show - Shopping With Keith Lemon

Celebrity guests include…Mel B, Amanda Holden and Busted

ITV2 has commissioned Shopping With Keith Lemon, from Talkback, part of Fremantle. The brand new 8x30' series will see the irrepressible Keith Lemon (Celebrity Juice) let loose on his own chat show…but one with a difference.

Shopping With Keith Lemon will see the chat show format move away from the constraints of a studio setting and will instead see Keith and his celebrity guests taking to the streets and hitting the shops, where along the way they will be interviewed by the host in his own inimitable style. 

Airing on ITV2 in June 2019, each of the eight episodes will see Keith meeting up with two famous faces, before getting to know them better - as only Keith could - as they go about their respective shopping trips.

Keith will join celebrities including: Spice Girl Mel B, as she heads off on her weekly food shop, pop-punk band Busted, who are on the hunt for a new guitar, and Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, who Keith interviews as she travels over the Channel to France on a booze cruise.

Providing the perfect opportunity to delve into the shopping habits of the rich and famous, whilst having a good old gossip, Keith and his celebrity friends will be let loose in shops around the UK and overseas, where viewers will get to see how the other half love to spend their money, on everything from beds to cars to hummus.

Host Keith Lemon says: "I'm a shopper-holic that likes gossiping! What better way to spend my day than shopping and gossiping with famous people? Perfect job for me!"

Other celebrities off shopping with Keith, include: Fearne Cotton, who will re-unite with Keith for the first time since leaving Celebrity Juice, Caroline Flack, comedian Rob Beckett, Emily Atack and David Dickinson, with more star shoppers to be announced.

Casting announced for A Christmas Carol as BBC One and FX partner on new adaption of the Charles Dickens classic written by Steven Knight

BBC One and FX are partnering on a new adaptation of the timeless classic, A Christmas Carol.

The three-part special is a unique and original take on the Charles Dickens' iconic ghost story by Steven Knight (Taboo, Peaky Blinders) and a haunting, hallucinatory, spine-tingling immersion into Scrooge's dark night of the soul. It will be produced by FX Productions, Scott Free, Hardy Son & Baker for BBC One.

The star-studded ensemble cast joining A Christmas Carol includes Guy Pearce (Mary Queen of Scots) playing Ebenezer Scrooge; Andy Serkis (Black Panther) as Ghost of Christmas Past; Stephen Graham (This is England) as Jacob Marley; Charlotte Riley (Peaky Blinders) as Lottie; Joe Alwyn (The Favourite) as Bob Cratchit; Vinette Robinson (Doctor Who) as Mary Cratchit; Rutger Hauer (True Blood) as the Ghost of Christmas Future; Kayvan Novak (What We Do In The Shadows) as Ali Baba and Lenny Rush (Old Boys) as Tim Cratchit.

A Christmas Carol is written and executive produced by Steven Knight, executive produced by Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Dean Baker, David W. Zucker, Kate Crowe and Mona Qureshi for the BBC. It is directed by Nick Murphy and produced by Julian Stevens. The 3x60' adaptation airing this Christmas on the BBC in the UK and FX in the US is the latest collaboration between the two broadcasters and the creative team behind acclaimed drama series, Taboo.

Steven Knight says: "This production of A Christmas Carol will respectfully present what we believe to be a timely interpretation of a timeless story."

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: "We're incredibly excited that filming has begun on Steve Knight's brilliant interpretation of A Christmas Carol, with Nick Murphy directing a phenomenal cast in what promises to be an iconic version of the classic tale."

Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions, say: "We are incredibly proud to join the BBC in this latest creative venture, which builds on our expansive programming partnership to bring the best in television to audiences in the US and UK. Charles Dickens' classics, including A Christmas Carol, are timeless tales that have been re-imagined generation after generation. We couldn't imagine a better team to undertake this enormous task than Steven Knight, Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, and their formidable production companies. What an incredible way to close out 2019 with the television event for A Christmas Carol."

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Chernobyl Official Trailer (2019) Stellan Skarsgård

Brave men and women act heroically to mitigate catastrophic damage when the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffers a nuclear accident on April 26, 1986.
Director: Johan Renck

Monday, 6 May 2019

Competition: Win Flack - Series 1 on DVD

Win Flack - Series 1 is released on 13th May

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

Meet Robyn, a sharp and witty high-flying publicity guru who can make her clients bad situations better with some expert spin, but when it comes to her own life things aren’t quite so straightforward.

Hollywood star Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood, X-Men) takes the lead in Flack, a brand-new darkly comedic drama that delves deep into the wild world of high stakes public relations.

Robyn is a senior publicist at Mills Paulson PR, under the tyrannical, but awe-inspiring boss Caroline, played with relish by  Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, Wanderlust, Chimerica). Then there’s the rest of the team: the tirelessly hedonistic yet brilliant PR powerhouse Eve, in a hilarious turn by Requiem’s Lydia Wilson, and the endlessly willing intern, Melody (Rebecca Benson – Game of Thrones).

Damage limitation is Robyn’s game, as she’s tasked with babysitting her clients and dealing with a litany of scandals that threaten their careers. Whether it’s bringing a footballer’s hook-up back from an overdose, saving a teenage pop singer’s career with a fake sex-tape, rescuing a comedian’s sell-out tour after an ill-judged performance that’s gone viral, or the influencer who needs to borrow a baby, Robyn and the agency will do anything to keep their clients’ reputations intact.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Which character does Anna Paquin play in Flack?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 20-05-19
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Deutschland '86 on DVD

Deutschland '86 is released on 13th May

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

Deutschland ’83 saw viewing figures in excess of 2.5 million, exceeding that of the seminal Nordic noir hit The Killing and putting Germany at the forefront of must watch television. This epic coming-of-age story is set against real events, culture wars and the political realities of Germany in the early 1980s and sees Jonas Nay (Line of Separation) as a spy at the centre of this suspenseful Cold War thriller. The series also features an era defining 1980s pop soundtrack that hits all the right nostalgic buttons (99 Red Balloons anyone?).

Deutschland ‘86 is an epic 10-part drama that catapults audiences into the tumultuous political landscape of 80s East Germany. We join Martin Rauch (Nay) in 1986 and East Germany is broken, Perestroika is real, terrorism plagues Europe, the AIDS crisis intensifies and the struggle against apartheid rages on. Banished for his sins in 1983, Rauch wallows in limbo until his Aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader – Aimée & Jaguar, The City and the City) conscripts him into her plan to drum up hard currency abroad. They set off on an adventure through Africa, Western Europe and finally home to East Germany. Can mafioso-style Capitalism save Communism just in the nick of time?

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Which actor plays Martin Rauch in Deutschland '86?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 20-05-19
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.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Yellowstone Season 2 Trailer (HD) Kevin Costner series

Yellowstone Season 2 starring Academy Award winner Kevin Costner returns Wednesday June 19th on Paramount Network.

Yellowstone follows "the Dutton family, led by John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders—land developers, an Indian reservation, and America's first National Park. It is an intense study of a violent world far from media scrutiny—where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world's largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news: they are a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both."

Kevin Costner as John Dutton, the 6th generation patriarch of the Dutton family which controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. He is confronted with challenge of defending his land from those who would seek to take it from him while also overcoming the recent death of his son and a recent diagnosis of colon cancer. Josh Lucas portrays a young John Dutton in a recurring role.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Competition: Win Line of Duty - Series 1-5 Boxset DVD

Line of Duty - Series 1-5 is released on 6th May

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

Line of Duty Series Five sees the return of AC-12 investigators Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) to tackle another major case of police corruption. The team are joined by some familiar faces, alongside a stellar line up of new characters, but who can they trust?

One of Britain’s great acting talents Stephen Graham gives an awe-inspiring turn as John Corbett, the ruthless leader of an Organised Crime Group (OCG) who hijack a seized drugs convoy. When three police officers are shot dead during the heist, AC-12 move in to investigate possible police collusion.  As the body count rises, AC-12 realise they could be facing their most vicious adversary yet.

With its intricate plots, and shocking twists that keep everyone guessing, there’s huge excitement building for the new series of the gripping Line of Duty, the show that everybody is talking about.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Which actor plays Superintendent Ted Hastings in Line of Duty?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 13-05-19
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Friday, 26 April 2019

DARK Season 2 launches globally on Netflix Friday, June 21, 2019

Jonas finds himself trapped in the future and desperately tries to return to 2020. Meanwhile, his friends Martha, Magnus, and Franziska are trying to uncover how Bartosz’ is involved in the mysterious incidents occurring in their small hometown of Winden. More and more people are drawn into the events orchestrated by an obscure figure who seemingly controls everything that is connected throughout different time zones.

About Dark
Children start disappearing from the fictional German town of Winden, bringing to light the fractured relationships, double lives, and dark past of four families living there, and revealing a mystery that spans three generations. The series follows Jonas Kahnwald, a teenager struggling to cope with his father's suicide; police officer Ulrich Nielsen, whose brother disappeared 33 years earlier; and police chief Charlotte Doppler.

The story begins in 2019 but spreads to include storylines in 1986 and 1953 via time travel, as certain characters of the show's core families grow aware of the existence of a wormhole in the cave system beneath the local nuclear power plant, which is under the management of the influential Tiedemann family. During the first season, secrets begin to be revealed concerning the Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann families, and their lives start to crumble as the ties become evident between the missing children and the history of the town and its citizens.

Love Island to launch in Hungary

Love Island will launch in Hungary on RTL Klub this year, while MTV3 has also confirmed it will return for a second series in Finland.

Love Island Hungary, which will be produced by Paprika, takes the total number of original commissions of the format to 13. It has also been recommissioned by MTV3, produced by ITV Studios Finland, following a successful first series on SUBTV last year which averaged a 6.2% share overall (up 15% on the slot share) and an average share among 15-34s of 22.6%.

Since the beginning of 2018, Love Island has tripled its overall number of international production hours. On air in seven territories last year, with all versions produced by ITV Studios’ local production labels in those countries, the format is now launching in six more countries in 2019. In addition to Hungary, the show is set to debut in the U.S. on CBS this summer, as well as in Belgium (SBS), Holland (RTL) Poland (Polsat) and New Zealand (Three). Love Island will also return for a fifth series in the UK on ITV2, a second series in both Australia and Sweden on Nine and TV4 respectively, and a third run in Germany on RTL II.

Mike Beale, MD Nordics and Global Creative Network at ITV Studios, said: “We’ve consistently said that the essence of Love Island is about romance and finding love, and this is something audiences the world over can relate to. This is evident in the show’s ongoing global reach and we are really excited about the new international launches coming this year. ”

Viewing records were smashed in several territories last year, with Germany joining the UK and Australia in achieving huge ratings success. In Australia, the first episode secured the highest-ever Video Player Measurement (VPM) ratings of any Australian reality series on catch-up service 9Now within 24 hours of broadcast, while the second series on RTL II became the most streamed show on Germany’s TV Now catch-up service. In the UK, the launch of series four delivered ITV2’s highest overnight ratings since records began and was the highest-rated show across ALL channels in the 9.00PM slot.

Full of flirting, jealousy, rejection and fun, Love Island sees its occupants living in a stunning villa in a beautiful location. They are on the lookout for romance but as always, the road to love never runs smoothly, as they must not only choose their partner wisely but also win the hearts of the public. It’s up to the viewers to decide who they want to stay in the show as they watch the relationships develop and ultimately which pair they want to crown the hottest couple on the island.

Filming begins on the second series of Liar. Who killed Andrew Earlham?

The second series of ITV and Sundance TV’s award-winning six-part thriller Liar, written by Harry and Jack Williams, returns.

9.1m viewers were left reeling at the discovery of Andrew Earlham’s murdered body at the climax of season 1.  Series 2 picks up three weeks after an arrest warrant was issued for Andrew Earlham for the sexual assault of 19 women.  When Andrew’s body is found in the Kent marshes, Detective Renton alongside DS Rory Maxwell are tasked with uncovering clues about Andrew’s past and unpacking the events of the three crucial weeks leading up to his murder.

Joining Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd for this final chapter are a number of new characters including Katherine Kelly (Cheat, Mr Selfridge, The Night Manager) as DI Karen Renton, Howard Charles (The Widow, Musketeers) as Carl Peterson and Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey, My Fair Lady) as Winnie Peterson.

Harry & Jack Williams commented:
“It has been a joy returning to Liar and our reunion with Joanne and Ioan. Equally we are thrilled to have Katherine Kelly on board as DI Renton after her stellar performance in Cheat.”

Liar is commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill. Commented Polly Hill:
“We’re delighted both Joanne and Ioan are returning to Liar as Laura and Andrew with Katherine Kelly joining the cast as DI Karen Renton.  We’re sure audiences will once again be gripped by the story as Harry and Jack Williams keep you guessing over who killed Andrew.”

“We are thrilled to be working once again with our partners at ITV, Harry and Jack Williams and this exceptionally talented cast on a thrilling new season that will dive deeper into the complicated relationship between Laura and Andrew and the mystery surrounding his death,” said Jan Diedrichsen, Executive Director, SundanceTV and Sundance Now.

The first series of Liar was ITV’s highest rated new drama of 2017. The final episode consolidated to 9.1m and a 34% audience share.  The series averaged 8.3m viewers. The first series is also available in the US and Canada on Sundance Now, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service.

Blue Peter announces new presenter

The new presenter of the world’s longest-running children's TV show is today revealed as Richie Driss who joins Blue Peter for his first live show on CBBC next month.

Richie is the 38th Blue Peter presenter and will co-host alongside Lindsey Russell and new Blue Peter dog, Henry, from Thursday, May 16 on CBBC at 5.30pm.

Richie, 30, previously worked as a presenter and producer for Joe Media, where he fronted weekly broadcasts interviewing Hollywood A-listers and taking on challenges such as commando training.

Originally from St Albans, Richie studied Film and Television at University of Wales, Aberystwyth, before eventually ending up in local radio and launching his own series on GRM Daily. He then joined Joe Media in 2016 before landing his dream job on Blue Peter.

Richie says: “To say that becoming a Blue Peter presenter is a dream come true doesn’t even begin to describe it. To be named presenter of the longest running children's television programme in the world is a far bigger achievement than I ever dreamt possible. I cannot wait to get started and follow in the footsteps of the 60 years of iconic presenters who have worn the famous Blue Peter badge before me. I am going to give it my all, no matter what the job throws at me.”

Matthew Peacock, Acting Editor, Blue Peter, says Richie stood out at his auditions because he wasn’t fazed by anything they threw at him. “Richie really impressed us during his auditions and showed that he has plenty of Blue Peter spirit when he came face to face with a Burmese python and took on a ninja assault course. We’re sure he will be a big hit with the legions of Blue Peter fans.”

Richie has already been filming for the programme and has been thrown in at the deep end with his very first challenge - singing with The Kingdom Choir in front of a live audience.

He joins Blue Peter following the departure of Radzi Chinyanganya on April 18 who had been with the show for five and a half years.

Head of BBC Children’s In House Productions, Helen Bullough, says: “Richie has that Blue Peter ‘can do’ attitude that has inspired so many generations of children over the past 60 years and which still remains at the heart of the show today. He is going to be a fantastic addition to the programme alongside Lindsey and Henry.”

In the run up to Richie’s first show there will be two guest presenters joining Lindsey in May. Broadcaster and former England star, Alex Scott, will co-host on May 2, and actor and presenter, Cel Spellman, will present with Lindsey on May 9.