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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Dean Andrews joins the cast of Emmerdale

ITV have announced that Acclaimed actor Dean Andrews is to join Emmerdale this Spring.

The details of Dean’s character are to be kept under wraps by the programme, but it is safe to say he will be stirring up trouble in the village and will soon find himself head to head with Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley).

Dean is known for his roles in Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Marchlands and Torvill & Dean.

Dean Andrews said: “I have always loved Emmerdale and am thrilled to be joining the cast. As a Yorkshire lad I have always watched the show and think that everything from the acting to the stories are consistently great and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Executive Producer, Jane Hudson said:  “We are absolutely delighted that Dean is joining the show. He is a superb actor and his character is certainly going to shake things up for some of our villagers. And as a Yorkshireman he is going to fit into Emmerdale perfectly.”

Winterwatch returns to BBC Two, coming live from its new location at the Cairngorms National Park

Winterwatch will return to BBC Two this year, broadcasting live from its new location in the wildest part of the UK, the Cairngorms National Park: the new, year-round home for The Watches.

Presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke will host the wildlife extravaganza, kicking off the year in the depths of winter in one of the toughest places in the country for our animals. The freezing temperatures and blanket of snow make this an extreme environment to call home, and the team will explore how the local wildlife adapts to get through this toughest of seasons. Naturalist and presenter Iolo Williams also joins the team in the Cairngorms to investigate some of the mysteries of the season.

Winterwatch is just the start however, as 'The Watches' will come back to the Cairngorms throughout the year to cover the changing seasons in Springwatch and Autumnwatch, catching up with some of the year-round residents such as golden and white-tailed eagles, red squirrels and pine martens, as well as meeting the seasonal arrivals as they flock to this wild landscape in spring and summer.

By staying for a full year, the team will get to know the area like never before, exploring the snow-capped mountains, ancient forests, raging rivers and deep, silent lochs in intimate detail, and building up a fuller and more rounded picture than a single visit allows.

As ever, the Watches will reflect the wildlife stories and spectacles across the UK in a series of pre-recorded films - showcasing the diversity of habitats and species that make this group of islands a truly unique place for wildlife.

This Winterwatch there is also a ‘Live Lesson’ run by BBC Teach - a live show broadcast into schools up and down the country based around the habitats and animals that the team will be looking at in the Cairngorms.

And this year, The Watches are thrilled to launch their biggest ever citizen science project - a year of action where viewers of the programme will be tasked with helping our conservation partners build the most comprehensive record of the nation’s wildlife ever assembled in a year.

New international dramas announced for BBC Four

BBC Four has announced new international drama series and returning favourites to the channel.

Safe Harbour - a four-part series from Australia - and returning series Trapped, Follow the Money and Cardinal.

Cassian Harrison, BBC Four Channel Editor, says: 
“As the original home of contemporary international drama on British television, BBC Four continues to fire on all cylinders, bringing choice new titles and returning favourites back to its established Saturday night slot. Ranging from the open seas of the South Pacific to the back-woods of Canada, with - of course - some Nordic wilderness stop-offs along the way, we hope audiences will enjoy our thrilling Spring selections as much as we do.”

Safe Harbour was produced by NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures and acquired from NBC Universal International Distribution. The powerful four-part psychological thriller begins when six friends set sail on a yacht trip from Brisbane to Indonesia. What begins as an enjoyable holiday adventure unexpectedly changes when they come across a fishing boat only a day’s sail from their destination. The friends come to the aid of a group of asylum seekers on the broken-down boat, but this encounter leads to a series of events that change their lives irrevocably.

After the success of the first series on BBC Four, series two of the acclaimed Icelandic crime drama Trapped returns. Outside Parliament in Reykjavik, a man throws himself at the Minister for Industry, setting fire to them both. Andri Olaffson, now working in Reykjavik, is assigned to the case and quickly learns the attacker was the minister’s twin. Their family’s roots are in the North, in the very area Andri had hoped to leave behind, where his old colleague Hinrika is now Chief of Police. Trouble is brewing in the town, with widespread anger at a power plant, drilling and a proposed aluminium plant. Shortly after Andri’s return the power plant’s foreman is found dead. Are the two incidents - the murder and the attack in Reykjavik - connected? Trapped is produced by RVK Studios and has been acquired from Dynamic Television

Jeppe Gjervig Gram (Borgen) is the showrunner behind Follow the Money (acquired from DR Sales) which returns for a third series. Across the course of the ten episodes, the series shifts from white-collar crime in the world of high financing to the more gritty and rough world of street crime and drug dealing, and focuses on two characters from the previous seasons: Nicky and Alf. Nicky has become a heavy-weight kingpin in the Danish underworld, while Alf is in a new job with one of the Police’s gang units, which The Fraud Squad lends out employees to when the narcotics investigators need to crack the kingpin’s accounts and finances. Alf and Nicky are in direct opposition to each other - and when one of them pulls a clever manoeuver, the other counteracts. A new main character is also introduced, Anna, who is the centre of her own arena - a bank. Anna is the proficient but overlooked bank employee, who is suddenly recognized for her abilities in alternative ways. Throughout the season, she will become an important accomplice in the laundering of the criminals’ money.

Acquired from co-producer and worldwide distributor Entertainment One (eOne), Cardinal also returns for a third series. Series three picks up in autumn and finds a grieving Cardinal torn between obsessive questions about his wife’s death and his loyalty to his partner, Delorme, when a spiralling double murder investigation turns Algonquin Bay into a danger zone, and pushes the two detectives to their limits.

Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives cast in Guilt - BBC Scotland

Scottish actors Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe, Line Of Duty and Unforgotten) and Jamie Sives (Chernobyl, Frontier, Game Of Thrones), will star in Guilt, a new four-part drama series written by Neil Forsyth (Eric, Ernie And Me, Bob Servant) - the first drama commission for BBC Scotland’s new digital channel.

Guilt is a stylish, contemporary drama with riveting plot twists and a strong vein of black humour throughout. The series will premiere on BBC Scotland’s digital channel and follow on BBC Two later this year.

The story follows two disparate Scottish brothers Max (Bonnar) and Jake (Sives) who, while driving home from a wedding together one night, accidentally run over and kill an old man on a darkened street. After making the panicked decision to cover their tracks, the brothers seem to get away with their crime.

However, as neighbours and relatives of the dead man begin to suspect his death wasn’t as innocent as it initially seemed, the brothers find their lives rapidly falling apart, as their actions begin to catch up with them. Their increasingly desperate attempts to conceal their guilt lead them further into a world where everyone seems to have a hidden agenda and they discover they can trust no-one, ultimately including each other.

Mark Bonnar says: 
"I am hugely excited to be a part of Guilt and to be working with Neil again. The moment I read the first scene I was totally hooked. Neil has managed to write a captivating and breathless thriller which, even in its darkest, most dramatic moments, maintains a pitch black sense of humour. I don’t want to resort to hyperbole, but IT IS a total rollercoaster ride!

Added to that, to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Jamie Sives, whom I’ve known since we were at Leith Academy together aged 11, is joyful beyond words. In fact, Edinburgh plays a central role itself and I’m looking forward to revisiting some old haunts... I can’t wait to get started!”

Jamie Sives says: 
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be involved in what I’m sure will be a cracking drama. Neil has written brilliant scripts for Guilt and I can’t wait to get tangled up in the web he has so expertly woven. Our director Rob McKillop is a special talent and everyone I’ve met so far on this project has been so enthusiastic about it.

I’m also over the moon at the prospect of working with Mark Bonnar. Mark and I went to high school together. It’s really quite surreal to think that he and I sometimes walked to school together and now we’re about to lead up a terrific new drama together, and in the year of the launch of BBC Scotland’s brand new channel. It doesn’t get any better. I’ve been wanting to work with Mark for ages.”

Gavin Smith, Commissioning Executive, Scripted for BBC Scotland, says: 
“To be filming our first original drama locally for the new channel, and have Mark and Jamie starring with Robbie directing, highlights our commitment to Scottish talent. We’re thrilled to be working with Happy Tramp North and Expectation to bring this ambitious project to life.”

Gregor Sharp, Commissioning Editor for BBC Comedy, adds: “We’re delighted to be supporting this hugely exciting project. Neil Forsyth’s scripts are packed with tension, moral ambiguity and off-beat humour, and we can’t wait to see this fantastic array of talent bring them to life.”

Happy Tramp North Executive Producer Neil Webster says: “We’re very excited and proud to be co-producing the first drama for the new BBC Scotland channel. Neil Forsyth has crafted an incredibly gripping story with a brilliantly off-kilter sensibility that puts everyone - the characters and the audience - well and truly through the ringer.”

Kirstie Macdonald, Creative Director for Drama, Expectation, adds: “As soon as I read Neil Forsyth’s script, I was bowled over by the dynamic world he had created and the brilliant characters of brothers Max and Jake. I am delighted to be working with Happy Tramp North on the first drama commission for BBC Scotland’s new channel and to be bringing two of Scotland’s most talented actors Mark and Jamie home to film the project.”

Guilt will be internationally distributed by BBC Studios.

Michelle Keegan to reprise her role as Georgie Lane in BBC One’s Our Girl

You can get Series 1 & 2 from iTunes by clicking here
Series 3 if available on iTunes here

Written and created by Tony Grounds, Michelle Keegan (Our Girl, Tina And Bobby, Brassic) will return to BBC One to lead the fourth series of Our Girl. Made by BBC Studios, this six-part commission will take place one year on from 2 Section’s last tour in Bangladesh.

A positive Georgie is making leaps in her career, having been promoted to Sergeant, and now training a new bunch of medics. Happily living back in Manchester with her family, Georgie is insistent to her friends in 2 Section that she’s happy settled in her new job and will not be joining them on their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, no matter how much they want her to.

However, when a night on the town results in a near-fatal incident, she can’t deny that the painful memories of losing the love of her life, Elvis, to a Taliban attack, is the real reason she doesn’t want to go back. Georgie realises that she needs to return to Afghanistan to face her own fears.

Michelle Keegan says: “Being in Our Girl has been one of the highlights of my career so far. I feel very lucky to be part of the show and I’m really excited that it's coming back. The audience response has been so positive and I think Georgie is a character who resonates with viewers. I absolutely love playing the role. Be prepared for another incredible series - Georgie’s still got unfinished business.”

Tony Grounds, writer and creator, says: “I’m absolutely delighted that Michelle Keegan will be reprising her role as Georgie Lane for another tour of Our Girl. 2 Section are deployed to Afghanistan as part of Nato’s Resolute Support Mission to develop the military capability of the Afghanistan government’s armed forces. But with the Taliban controlling large swathes of the country and Georgie Lane’s haunting memories of Elvis lost last time she was in the country, this mission was never going to be easy."

Hilary Salmon, Executive Producer for BBC Studios, says: “The new series of Our Girl is an opportunity for us to see Georgie in a new stage of her life, as she comes to terms with life without Elvis and reassesses her relationship to the army and the emotional toll it has taken. We are thrilled that Michelle Keegan will once again star in this new six-part story that is both exciting and moving and contains unexpected twists.”

Mona Qureshi, Executive Producer for BBC One, says: “We’re thrilled to have Michelle Keegan return to BBC One for a new Our Girl tour. Tony’s storylines for this series bring fresh and exciting challenges for Georgie as she battles personal demons, and for 2 Section, who have some new members to accommodate.”

Filming will take place in April for four months in South Africa and other details will be announced in due course.

Our Girl is a 6x60’ BBC Studios production for BBC One. The producer is Yvonne Francas (Love, Lies And Records, Death In Paradise) and executive producers are Tony Grounds, Roberto Troni, Hilary Salmon for BBC Studios and Mona Qureshi for BBC One.

Fred & Rose West The Real Story with Trevor McDonald

Airing Thursday 31st Jan 2019

"Coming back to this story 25 years later, it's still as shocking as it ever was, if not more so". Sir Trevor McDonald
Presented by Sir Trevor McDonald this brand new and very powerful documentary features exclusive interviews and insights into one of most disturbing murder cases in British criminal history – Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors. 
A quarter of a century on from the discovery of the Wests' extraordinary crimes, in which they murdered young women and girls and buried the human remains under their home at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, people at the heart of the story speak for the first time.
Exclusive contributors include former Cromwell Street lodger Jayne Hamer who speaks of hearing screams from the cellar, and tells Sir Trevor how she feels lucky to have left the house alive. We also hear from families of murder victims, including two sisters of Juanita Mott in their first documentary interview. Their sister went missing in 1975, aged eighteen, and her remains were among the nine found at Cromwell St in 1994. Three more sets of human remains were found elsewhere bringing the total number of victims to twelve. 
Trevor McDonald asks the key questions: how did these crimes go undetected for so long, and what role did Rose West play? Viewers will see fresh evidence indicating that at times Rose may in fact have been the driving force in these horrific crimes. Returning to Cromwell Street with Sir Trevor McDonald, contributor and programme producer Howard Sounes explains, “The Wests terrorised their children into not saying anything — "You mustn’t go to the police, or something terrible will happen.’”
A host of other exclusive interviewees include odd-job man Fred West’s former bosses Derek and Wendy Thomson, who had no idea of their employee’s dark side; and John Fitzgerald, the senior social worker who investigated child care issues in the case, as he sheds new light on how the Wests got away with it for so long. Sasha Wass QC, who helped defend Rose in court, gives her first media interview on her client’s sensational 1995 trial. The film also features a powerful exclusive interview with a West family member who has never spoken before on camera.
This programme uncovers new evidence that Rose West was often as violent, if not more violent, than her husband. Although Rose was only fifteen when she met Fred, who was 27 and had already killed, psychologist Professor David Canter suggests in the film that Rose may have played a leading role in the relationship from the outset. 
He says: “I think it’s very probable that she was already very manipulative and she saw in Fred somebody she could manage in some way to achieve what she wanted.”
Although Fred West confessed to the killings in 1994, Rose denied it all – as she still does. Rosemary West was convicted of 10 murders and is one of the very few female prisoners with a whole life tariff meaning she will die in prison. 
A Blink Films production for ITV

Monday, 21 January 2019

Competition: Win Delicious Series 1-3 Complete on DVD

Delicious Series 1-3 Complete Boxset is released on  28th January

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

Passionate cook Gina (Dawn French) was once married to Leo Vincent (Iain Glen), a successful entrepreneur, chef and hotel owner in Cornwall. Now married to the glamorous Sam (Emilia Fox), Leo's business has continued to thrive. When Sam has suspicions that Leo is having an affair she confides in Gina, confident that she'll recognise the signs.

But the secrets and scandals that spill out are proof that sleeping with another woman's husband is never a good idea even if he was your husband first. As Sam and Gina try to fix their broken families, can a friendship rise from the ashes of betrayal? Also starring Sheila Hancock and Vincent Regan, Delicious is an honest and compelling story of love, sex, lies, betrayal and food - where things are never as they seem.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who stars as Gina in Delicious?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 04-01-19
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.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Pitching In screening brings the stars to Bangor

Gavin and Stacey stars Larry Lamb and Melanie Walters return to Wales for new family drama on BBC One Wales and BBC One Daytime. Fans have been given a first glimpse of the star-studded BBC Wales and BBC network family drama, Pitching In.

Larry Lamb and Melanie Walters were among the stars of the show who took to the red carpet for the special screening in Pontio Arts Centre, Bangor. The packed-out audience was given an exclusive first look at the programme in an event hosted by BBC Cymru Wales, Bafta Cymru, LA Productions and Wales Screen.

Set in a caravan park on the north Wales coast, Pitching In tells the story of Frank, a widower getting to grips with big changes in his life. It is due to air on February 12 on BBC One Wales, and on BBC One Daytime later this spring, and also stars Hayley Mills, Caroline Sheen and Ifan Huw Dafydd.

Larry Lamb says: “Pitching In was a joy to be a part of. Frank is a lovely character trying his best in a difficult situation, and it was wonderful to be back in Wales to play this part. Although the north Wales coast was as far away as possible from Barry where we filmed Gavin and Stacey, the Welsh welcome was as warm as ever.”

BBC Cymru Wales Head of Commissioning Nick Andrews says: “Pitching In is a wonderful comedy drama which brings together some of the UK’s best-loved actors. It’s superb to see Larry and Melanie together again in Wales for yet another heartwarming story of family and friendship.”

Dan McGolpin, BBC Controller of Programming and Daytime, says: “I can’t wait for people to see Pitching In. It’s packed with lovable and funny characters, played by an exceptionally talented cast.”

Channel 4 logs into The Circle for a second season

Channel 4 has commissioned a second series of ground-breaking reality gameshow series, The Circle with an extended run and a weekly live episode.

The first series – the biggest fixed rig, fast-turnaround show on British tv* – was Channel 4’s most popular new factual entertainment series for young viewers in 2018, proving a massive hit with young audiences on social and critics alike, becoming Channel 4’s youngest profiling show since 2012 with an average of 49.4% profile of 16-24s.  On All 4, The Circle was the biggest new original commission launch since 2012, with over 10 million views.

Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, The Circle is the first reality show where players communicate via a social network.  Contestants live in separate apartments in a single building and play games and chat with each other through a unique voice-activated social media platform, called The Circle.  They rate each other frequently, unpopular players are ‘blocked’ and ultimately the most popular player wins a cash prize. 

The second series will see The Circle become more mischievous increasing the gameplay, drama and jeopardy.  Viewers will also be given greater control and increased interactivity with the game.  They will be able to influence how the contestants play – leading to unexpected and surprising consequences…

Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes and Head of Popular Factual commented: “It was a genuine risk to take on such an innovative new reality format, but The Circle absolutely struck a chord with young viewers who were utterly gripped by the drama and relationships that unfolded on screen – even though the players never met.  The second series will have more of what the viewers loved – warmth, humour, more live elements and even more surprises. I’m excited to see how it will build on the success of series one.”

“We were blown away by the love on social media for our entertaining cast and the nightly drama of the show,” says Studio Lambert creative director, Tim Harcourt.  “This year we have some thrilling twists and turns in both our casting and the gameplay. We will also have a weekly live show that offers our audience more chance to engage and make a big impact on the narrative.”

“We have partnered with producers of some of the world’s biggest formats,” says Richard Foster, CEO of the Motion Content Group. “We believe The Circle is one of the most innovative formats for many years and with the support of Channel 4 and Netflix has a bright future in the UK and around the world.” 

In the live final last year, catfishing Alex Hobern, who took on the persona of Kate throughout the series, won a total prize of £75,000.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Netflix reveals the new series Space Force:

Workplace comedy centered around the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the armed services… Space Force.

Steve Carell, who co-created the series, will star and executive produce

Greg Daniels (The Office (U.S.), King of the Hill, Parks and Recreation), is the co-creator of the series and will serve as showrunner and executive producer

Howard Klein/3Arts (The Office (U.S.), The Mindy Project, Parks and Recreation) will also serve as executive producer

Robert James-Collier & Charlie Hardwick join Ackley Bridge

Robert James-Collier (Downton Abbey) and Charlie Hardwick (Emmerdale) are joining the teaching staff at Ackley Bridge College and are bound to ruffle some feathers.

With the school being taken over by The Valley Trust it’s a new era with deputy head teacher Martin Evershed (Robert James-Collier) and director of behaviour Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick) being brought in to whip the pupils into shape. Mandy (Jo Joyner) just about remains at the helm of the school and is once again joined by returning cast members Sunetra Sarker, Poppy Lee-Friar and Amy Leigh-Hickman. Series 3 of the Channel 4 8pm drama has begun filming in Halifax and will return to screens for 8x60 new episodes later this year.

RTS Yorkshire Award winning Ackley Bridge was created by Ayub Khan Din (East is East), Kevin Erlis (Shameless) and Malcolm Campbell (Shameless, What Richard Did). The series will be directed by Penny Woolcock (Tina Goes Shopping, Mischief Night, The Death of Klinghoffer, 1 Day), Sarmad Masud (My Pure Land, Hollyoaks), Rachna Suri (Snatches, Our Lad) and Dominic Leclerc (Babs, The A Word, From Darkness). Executive Producers are George Ormond (National Treasure, Kiri, Great Expectations), George Faber (National Treasure, Shameless, Skins), Alexander Lamb (EastEnders, Waterloo Road), Ayub Khan Din (East is East) and Hugo Heppell on behalf of Screen Yorkshire with Jo Johnson (Casualty, EastEnders) serving as Producer.

Robert James-Collier says, ““I am thrilled to be asked to play the part of Martin Evershed, the new Deputy Head At Ackley Bridge. Such fearless and talented young actors bring a special spirit and energy on set and I hope I can learn from that and add to it in my own way.”

Charlie Hardwick commented, “I'm absolutely over the moon to be joining Ackley Bridge, I was already a fan.  It has fantastic characters and brilliantly sharp story-telling which tackles the desires and concerns of a diverse school of young people and their community head on, in full-beam.  It's funny and moving in equal measures and has a huge heart.  Unlike the new director of behaviour Sue Carp.   She is belligerent and unwilling, and instead of dedicating her time to the well-being and development of her teenage students, she appears to be solely concerned with counting down the next ten years to her retirement.   She is unwittingly witty though, and somewhat unintentionally anarchic, which gets the school into deep doodoo and herself into dangerously sackable situations.  I can't wait to play her!  “

The Channel 4 Drama Commissioning Editor for series 3 is Manpreet Dosanjh. It is produced by The Forge in association with Screen Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Danny Dyer discovers he has the blood of a saint in new BBC One documentary

On Who Do You Think You Are? Danny Dyer discovered he was descended from King Edward III - but in new two-part series, Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family, Danny uncovers an ever bigger family tree with even more royal, aristocratic and saintly ancestors.

In episode one, Danny kicks off his journey by eating sheep’s tongue and fighting like his Viking 35 x great-grandfather, Rollo. Following in the footsteps of his ancestor William the Conqueror, Danny tries his hand at hunting on horse and foot, Norman-style, and finally, Danny heads to Paris to learn about his 26 x great grandfather King Louis IX - also known as Saint Louis of France.

Medieval historian Dr Emily Guerry meets Danny in Pigalle to tell him more about the saintly King Louis IX, who came to the throne in 1226. Emily explains: “He was very religious, very devout. He was anti-bad behaviour. He became a man who actually modelled himself on Jesus Christ and lived to imitate Christ.”

In an attempt to live like Louis IX for a day Danny dresses in a humble robe, and walks the backstreets of Paris barefoot. Emily explains: “The reason Louis IX dressed in this humble manner was to honour his reception of the relic of the crown of thorns of Christ himself, which he was meant to have worn before his crucifixion. He led this jubilant procession through the city of Paris and the people marvelled at the appearance of their king, as he looked like a monk or friar.”

Danny remarks: “I can be told all sorts of information but to actually walk in King Louis IX’s footsteps, to think that he did this as a King... I admire him because he does exactly as he preaches and is showing everybody. He walked for six miles barefoot, in pain, and that you’ve got to respect. Considering the money and power he had and the life he could have lived, I think it’s very brave. Bless him.”

Danny and Emily then visit the Sainte-Chapelle, which was Louis’ personal chapel.

Noting the splendour of the gothic royal chapel, Danny marvels: “When you first walk in here, it made me feel a bit sick. All this beauty. This overwhelming, guttural feeling of *gasps*. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a building that’s more god-like where you think you could see God plotting up in here. If God was gonna have some windows, they’d be his windows [points towards the chapel’s stained glass windows].”

Emily then reveals to Danny that his ancestor was much more than just a king: “There’s actually one more thing I need to tell you about Louis IX. He wasn’t just a king… he was a Saint. Twenty-seven years after his death, the Pope canonised him Saint Louis. There are very few saints that aren’t virgins or martyrs, so to have the blood of a saint in your blood is an extraordinary thing.”

Astounded, Danny says: “It is isn’t it. It’s just so much to take in. I’m related to a saint.”

Emily tells Danny: “That blood is sacred blood. It works miracles in the church.”

Danny replies: “And I’ve got it coursing through my veins.”

Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family - begins Wednesday 23 January 9pm on BBC One.

Stath Lets Flats returns to C4 for your viewing pleasure

Britain’s worst letting agent Stath will once again be unleashed on the London property market, as writer-performer and rising star Jamie Demetriou's (Fleabag, Paddington 2) Stath Lets Flats is recommissioned by Channel 4 for a brand new 6 x 30 series.

The hopeless Greek-Cypriot lettings agent will face his biggest challenge yet at the family business Michael & Eagle Lettings.

Having been denied the manager’s position by his own father, Vasos (Christos Stergioglou), Stath (Jamie Demetriou) - along with Carole (Katy Wix) and the rest of the team - is forced to work under his arch rival Julian (Dustin Demri-Burns) - and re-think his life goals. His sister Sophie (Natasia Demetriou) is also searching for a new direction after failing at Dance College and publicly denying her feelings for Al (Alistair Roberts).

Stath Lets Flats has been nominated for Best Comedy Programme at the 2019 Broadcast Awards.

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, says: “We did originally say no to this, but he just kept turning up, trying to get into the building.  Sometimes it’s just easier to give in isn’t it?  In all seriousness, we’re thrilled to back Jamie and this gem of a show again.”

Ash Atalla, Managing Director, Roughcut TV, adds: “So happy to be going again on Stath Lets Flats. Jamie is a star. And we’ve all felt the pain of terrible flat viewings, so this is our revenge."

Jamie Demetriou commented: “Lovely to have been given a series 2, mate. Thank you Channel 4 for the ongoing support and faith, and thank you everyone who worked on it. I would formally like to announce that series 2 MIGHT be about Stath and Peter Andre trying to make it in Miami.”

Stath Lets Flats was commissioned by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 and will be overseen by and Jack Bayles and Jon Petrie as Commissioning Editors at Channel 4. Roughcut TV is the production company. The series will be executive produced by Ash Atalla and Jamie Demetriou and produced by Seb Barwell. Series 2 will be written by Jamie Demetriou and the Script Editor will be Robert Popper (Friday Night Dinner).

Stath was developed from Channel 4’s Blaps, the online comedy showcase that uncovers the brightest new comedy stars and freshest TV ideas.

Monday, 14 January 2019

BBC Four announces new programmes that celebrate British diversity

BBC Four has announced a season of new programmes that celebrate British diversity and explores the secret tribes and communities that have helped shape modern British history.
The new programmes which will air on BBC Four across February include A Very British History, a new series unpacking the untold stories of communities across the UK, a series of monologues produced in collaboration with Sir Lenny Henry and The Young Vic, Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, new contemporary dance piece titled Windrush: Movement Of The People by Phoenix Dance Theatre that celebrates its arrival in the UK in 1948 and Don McCullin: Looking for England which follows the celebrated photographer on his journey to document the country.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, says: "BBC Four is a unique proposition within British TV and we’re always proud to celebrate voices and stories that are less known and often unheard. This season of programming will take viewers into a whole series of hidden corners of our nation and its story. It’s a treat to be working with both established voices such as Sir Lenny Henry and Don McCullin and introducing a new generation of talent to our screens."

A Very British History explores key moments in the 20th century for minority communities across Britain - including the Jewish community in Leeds, Afro-Caribbeans in Birmingham, Romany Gypsies around the home counties and Ugandan Asians in Leicester and beyond. Produced in collaboration by BBC England productions and fronted by presenters from those communities, the series explores the harsh reality many people faced when searching for a new life in Britain. We hear untold stories, from the joyful to the tragic, and follow emotional journeys back in time. Each film is a quest to discover more about the history of communities in multi-cultural Britain.

In association with BBC Arts and in partnership with Sir Lenny Henry’s production company Douglas Road and the Young Vic Theatre, Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, is eight 15-minute heartfelt monologues set in the front room of an Afro-Caribbean home. The monologues follow the highs and lows of one family from their arrival in England in the 1940s up to the present day as they explore their hopes and desires, challenges and shattered dreams.

They have been curated by the Young Vic’s Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah (Elmina’s Kitchen) and feature some of the UK’s finest acting talent including Sir Lenny Henry (The Long Song), Vinette Robinson (Doctor Who), Montserrat Lombard (Upstart Crow), Danielle Vitalis (Attack the Block), Clifford Samuel (McMafia), Gamba Cole (Damilola: Our Loved Boy), Elliot Barnes-Worrell (Jericho), Jonathan Jules (Invasion Earth), and Olivia-Mai Barrett (Penny On M.A.R.S). The series is produced by Douglas Road and follows similar partnerships - Queers (2017, curated by Mark Gatiss) and the highly-acclaimed Snatches (2018, curated by Vicky Featherstone of the Royal Court Theatre).

The eight films are written by a team of leading writers for television and stage: Carmen Harris (EastEnders), Angie Le Mar (Funny Black Women on the Edge), Roy Williams (Clubland), Juliet Gilkes Romero (Creative Fellow at RSC), Carol Russell (The Story Of Tracy Beaker), Clint Dyer (Sylvia Plath for Royal Court), Nathaniel Martello-White (Blackta for Young Vic), and Kwame Kwei-Armah .

Windrush: Movement of the People is a timely new contemporary dance piece by Phoenix Dance Theatre which celebrates the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush which brought the first large numbers of Caribbean migrants to the UK. The work marks not just the story of the 492 people who arrived from Jamaica at Tilbury dock on 22 June 1948, but also the subsequent stream of migration from former British colonies and the rise of multicultural Britain. It tells the collective history of the immigrants’ dreams, hopes and pain, while celebrating the complexities of their struggle for identity, equality and belonging. The story is retold for the first time through dance on film and performed by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 10 Company dancers.

The show is the first narrative work created by Artistic Director, Sharon Watson and is underscored by a soundtrack that spans the 70 years with calypso, jazz, blues, ska, gospel, reggae and pop: the music that accompanied the lives of the Caribbean British people and the wider black British communities.

Also from BBC Arts for BBC Four is Don McCullin: Looking For England. It follows the 83 year-old photographer, on a journey to document his country from inner cities to seaside towns. Sixty years after starting out as a photographer, he returns to his old haunts in the East End of London, Bradford, Consett, Eastbourne and Scarborough. Along the way he encounters an array of English characters at The Glyndebourne Festival and Goodwood Revival and photographs a hunt and a group of sabateurs aiming to disrupt them. McCullin’s journey is punctuated by scenes in his darkroom, a place he is allowing cameras into for the first time.

A Very British History is a 4x60' production for BBC Four. It was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, and Commissioning Editor, Clare Paterson. Executive Producer is Tony Parker.

Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle is a 8x15' production by Douglas Road Productions, in partnership with BBC Arts and the Young Vic theatre for BBC Four. The Executive Producers are Sir Lenny Henry, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Angela Ferreira. Lamia Dabboussy is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

Windrush: Movement Of The People was devised by Phoenix Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sharon Watson with musical compositions by Christella Litras. The Executive Producers are Emma Cahusac (BBC), Helen Spencer (The Space), and Mark Hollander (Phoenix Dance Theatre). The Producer is Martin Collins and Ross MacGibbon is the Director.

Don McCullin: Looking For England is a 1x60' Bright Yellow Films/Oxford Films production for BBC Four. It was commissioned by Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, and Mark Bell, BBC Commissioning Editor, Arts. The Executive Producers are Sam Hobkinson and Nicolas Kent.

Rick and Morty get schwifty on Channel 4, E4 and All 4

The brand new and highly anticipated fourth series of Emmy, Critic’s Choice and IGN award-winning Rick and Morty will make its UK premiere on Channel 4, with the first three series airing on E4 from February - the first time ever on free-to-air UK television. This is part of a new brand partnership that will also see hundreds of hours of Adult Swim content being made available to stream for free on All 4.

Described as “the world’s most ingenious animation” (Guardian), and “one of the best shows on television” (Vulture), UK viewers can get up to speed with the duo’s universe-hopping antics on E4. Series 1 to 3 will have the UK flying around Anatomy Park, turning into sentient pickles and bingeing on Interdimensional Cable with our favourite terrified grandson and maniacal genius grandfather from February.

Ian Katz, Channel 4 Director of Programmes, said “Rick and Morty is one of the most anarchic, ingenious and original shows around and the breakthrough animated hit of recent years. I’m thrilled that it’s coming to Channel 4 and E4.”

Rick and Morty will be accompanied by the UK premiere of the Robot Chicken: The Walking Dead Special on E4. This will be the first of a regular new ‘Adult Swim hour’ block on E4, showcasing episodes from different Adult Swim shows that will be available to stream, as full series boxsets, exclusively on All 4 in the UK.

Karl Warner, Controller E4 said, “Adult Swim’s amazing mix of original ideas and anarchic comedy is the perfect brand partner in E4’s evolution.”

Charlie Palmer, Managing Editor All 4, said, “Adult Swim is a fantastic brand with a clear proposition and a devoted fan base. I’m delighted to have it join VICE and Walter Presents as a featured channel on All 4.”

Over 300 episodes of Adult Swim content will be made available at launch, with hundreds more being added over the next three years, sitting in an Adult Swim-branded ‘Featured Channel’ alongside VICE and Walter Presents. The Adult Swim channel will be available on the All 4 app across Channel 4 owned and operated platforms including iOS and Android devices, on big screens such as Amazon Fire TV, Freeview Play and Samsung TVs, as well as games consoles and online at All4.com

Game of Thrones | Season 8 | Official Tease: Crypts of Winterfell (HBO)

Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14. #ForTheThrone

The eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones was announced by HBO in July 2016. Unlike the first six seasons that each had ten episodes and the seventh that had seven episodes, the eighth season will have only six episodes.

Friday, 11 January 2019

New Sky comedy series Code 404 greenlit for Sky One

Stephen Graham and Daniel Mays are set to star in Code 404, a new Sky original production, for Sky One, set in the in the Special Investigation Unit at the London Met.

The 6x30” police comedy series, co-produced by Water & Power Productions and Kudos, part of the Endemol Shine Group, is set in the near future and will revolve around two Detective Inspectors, DI John Major (Daniel Mays) and DI Roy Carver (Stephen Graham), who are the top crime fighting duo in the Unit. But when an undercover sting goes horribly wrong, Major is gunned down on the job and killed.

How will the SIU function without Major? It doesn’t have to. As an ‘asset’ considered too valuable to lose, Major’s body is fast-tracked into an experimental Artifical Intelligence project to bring him back from the dead. The only problem is, Major 2.0 may look like and sound like the original, but something has been lost in translation - quite a lot actually. His arrogant demeanour and gung-ho approach remain but his crimefighting instincts have completely deserted him. Somehow, Major’s error-strewn hunches and Carver’s scrambling to make good allows them to just about scrape by. But while the experiment might be hailed as a success, on the front line Roy Carver is left dealing with an increasingly deluded partner.

Jon Mountague, Head of Comedy, Sky Entertainment, said: “What a coup, Stephen Graham and Daniel Mays are the dream team - the perfect Carver and Major. Danny Peak’s scripts are endlessly hilarious and very, very arresting. Can’t wait.”

Tom Miller from Water & Power Productions, said: “Danny and Stephen are an electric double-act, and with Daniel Peak’s brilliant scripts we can’t wait to bring this to life for Sky One.”

Phil Temple from Kudos, said: “We couldn’t be more delighted to have such outstanding actors bringing heart and passion to these joyful scripts – this really is going to be great!”

Code 404 will be directed by Al Campbell and written by Daniel Peak. Executive producers include Tom Miller and Sam Myer for Water & Power Productions, Phil Temple and Diederick Santer for Kudos and Morwenna Gordon for Sky. The series was commissioned by Jon Mountague, Sky’s Head of Comedy and Zai Bennett, Director of Programming for Sky Entertainment UK & Ireland.

Code 404 will air on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV in 2020 and will be internationally distributed by Sky Vision. Filming begins in March 2019.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

The New Pope - First official photo

Jude Law and John Malkovich in the Sky, HBO and CANAL+ original co-production, The New Pope, created and directed by Academy Award®  winning director Paolo Sorrentino.

The first official image from Sky, HBO and CANAL+ original co-production, The New Pope, has been revealed, featuring two-time Academy Award® nominees Jude Law and John Malkovich.

All eight episodes are being directed by Academy Award® winning director Paolo Sorrentino, director, among others, of “The Great Beauty” and "The Young Pope".

The cast features two-time Academy Award® nominees Jude Law and John Malkovich, returning cast from The Young Pope including Silvio Orlando, Javier Cámara, CĂ©cile de France, Ludivine Sagnier, Maurizio Lombardi. New cast joining the limited series are Henry Goodman, Ulrich Thomsen, Mark Ivanir and Massimo Ghini.

The New Pope is written by Paolo Sorrentino with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Bises and marks Sorrentino’s second limited series set in the world of the modern papacy.

The New Pope, an original production of SKY-HBO-CANAL + is produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and co-produced by Haut et Court TV and Mediapro. Fremantle will act as the global distributor for The New Pope.

Monday, 7 January 2019

New image reveals Helen Mirren alongside Jason Clarke in upcoming Sky and HBO drama Catherine the Great

Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic in 2019, a new image has been released of Helen Mirren as sovereign ruler Catherine the Great alongside her longstanding lover and Russian General Grigory Potemkin played by Jason Clarke.

The image features the pair on location in Russia where filming for the four-part Sky and HBO Original Production recently took place alongside palaces and historic venues in Latvia and Lithuania, some of which have never been filmed in before.

Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by multi Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine the Great follows the latter years of the Empress’ reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin amid a backdrop of scandal, intrigue and immense conflict.  Unable to publicly marry and famously promiscuous, Catherine and Potemkin’s story is one of obsessive love for each other and their country as they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries to build Russia’s reputation as one of the great European powers of the 18th Century.

The series is the third commission from Sky and HBO’s high-end global drama partnership and produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures. It will air on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland in 2019. Sky Vision will handle international sales and distribution.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

New image reveals Helen Mirren alongside Jason Clarke in upcoming Sky and HBO drama Catherine the Great

Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic in 2019, a new image has been released of Helen Mirren as sovereign ruler Catherine the Great alongside her longstanding lover and Russian General Grigory Potemkin played by Jason Clarke.

The image features the pair on location in Russia where filming for the four-part Sky and HBO Original Production recently took place alongside palaces and historic venues in Latvia and Lithuania, some of which have never been filmed in before.

Written by Nigel Williams (Elizabeth I) and directed by multi Award-winning Philip Martin (The Crown), Catherine the Great follows the latter years of the Empress' reign and her passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin amid a backdrop of scandal, intrigue and immense conflict.  Unable to publicly marry and famously promiscuous, Catherine and Potemkin's story is one of obsessive love for each other and their country as they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries to build Russia's reputation as one of the great European powers of the 18th Century.

The series is the third commission from Sky and HBO's high-end global drama partnership and produced by Origin Pictures and New Pictures. It will air on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK and Ireland in 2019. Sky Vision will handle international sales and distribution.

The Farmers’ Country Showdown returns to BBC One

BBC Press Release:

BBC One daytime series The Farmers' Country Showdown is set to return for a third series this winter. This year we have travelled the length and breadth of the UK to celebrate the agricultural industry, with a focus on everything from traditional livestock and fresh flowers to artisan food and alpacas.

Produced by Sidney Street Productions and due to broadcast in January, the popular show will follow the journeys of inspirational farming families as they showcase their produce and compete to win awards at some of the UK's most prestigious farming events.

Each episode will feature two families who farm similar produce or have diversified in similar ways, as they get ready for the same major event in the agricultural calendar. Some families are multi-generational, carrying on a legacy going back hundreds of years, whilst others are new to the land, but equally as passionate.

The show will shine a spotlight on the UK and meet farmers from a variety of specialist industries to discover what success means to them. For some it may be the first time they have exhibited, as they look to make an impression in an increasingly competitive market, while for others it could be the pressure of maintaining success to retain precious silverware.

The series will also enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes access to The Farmers Weekly Awards, where contestants will battle it out to win the coveted titles: Diversification Farmer Of The Year, Farm Worker Of The Year and Young Farmer Of The Year.

Carla-Maria Lawson, Commissioning Editor for Programming and Daytime, says: "We are proud to showcase the best of British farming talent with a unique insight into one of the most fascinating industries in the UK. These hard-working, devoted farmers are the backbone of the rural economy - this series perfectly illustrates the changing face of farming as well as celebrating the traditional ways of working the land."

Karen Ross, Managing Director, Sidney Street Productions, says: "This series we travelled from Wales to Northern Ireland and everywhere in-between to meet over 40 hardworking farming families and follow their incredible stories. We were lucky enough to attend a bigger range of agricultural shows, food fairs and award ceremonies than ever before, and film just how challenging farming life can be. What we unearthed in our third outing of this series is heartwarming and inspirational, and we hope the viewers will love watching it as much as we loved making it."

The second series was hugely popular, peaking with 1.65 million viewers enjoying the show.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Riot Girls returns to Radio 4 with powerful women-led dramas and Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman

Political activist and founding member of Pussy Riot Maria Alyokhina, acclaimed journalist and author, Caitlin Moran and award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon feature in the latest instalment of Riot Girls on BBC Radio 4.

Starting on Saturday 12 January, the series’ two adaptations and original drama celebrate the distinct voices of three female writers. Each of them brings to Radio 4 a very different story, from Aloykina’s account of punk protest, Moran’s candid reflections upon womanhood, and Menon’s international crime drama examining sexual assault.

Alison Hindell, BBC Radio 4’s Commissioning Editor for Drama and Fiction says: “This year Riot Girls is distinctly contemporary and centres on women with provocative views of the world we live in. Each series of Riot Girls has challenged and entertained and this year - at a time when debate sparked by women demands full attention - it seems more relevant than ever. With the writing of Maria Alyokhina, Caitlin Moran and Ayeesha Menon - 2019’s Riot Girls will not disappoint.”

Maria Alyokhina's Riot Days - an account of her activism, trial and imprisonment, as part of Russian feminist punk protest group Pussy Riot - kicks off the Riot Girl season on Saturday 12 January. Dramatised by E V Crowe and starring Katie West, Kerry Gooderson and Kathryn Drysdale; Riot Days brims with idealism. Alyokhina’s autobiographical tale stares into the face of oppression with a cool confidence, unafraid to raise a hand and challenge the status quo. The full series of Riot Days will be available first on BBC Sounds following the broadcast of part one.

How To Be A Woman is the second book and first memoir published by Caitlin Moran, a title she has now herself adapted for radio specially for the Riot Girls season. Also narrated by Moran, it stars Louise Brealey (Sherlock) as a young Caitlin making her way from adolescence to adulthood. How To Be A Woman showcases Moran’s relatable humour and honesty whilst delivering a powerful message on feminism. After episode one, airing on Monday 14 January, a boxset of all five episodes will be exclusively available first on BBC Sounds.

Into the Maze, from award-winning writer Ayeesha Menon, is an international thriller spanning London, Saudi Arabia and Mumbai. Jamila and Saira are two sisters who grew up in a traditional Muslim village in India but when Saira is raped her life is thrown into turmoil. Jamila starts to vlog about her sister’s case in her determination to bring the perpetrator to justice, but she starts to receive menacing phone calls and death threats. Menon’s feminist thriller interrogates the struggles faced by women across the globe when it comes to sexual assault, harassment and independence. The cast includes Aysha Kala (Indian Summers), Maya Sondhi (Line of Duty, The Split) and Silas Carson (Trust).

Get Obsessed - 2019 BBC Drama

BBC Drama is set to bring audiences even more top British drama in 2019, and is the place to find your next drama obsession…

2019 kicks off with Idris Elba making his long-awaited return in the award-winning Luther, while BBC One fan favourites Call The Midwife and Silent Witness also return this January.

The Missing writers are soon to bring to screens thrilling new drama Baptiste starring Tchéky Karyo and Tom Hollander, and Suranne Jones will star as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack, the remarkable Regency landowner who sets her sights on marrying Ann Walker, played by Sophie Rundle.

Hotly anticipated Line of Duty returns with Stephen Graham as the new guest lead and Peaky Blinders makes its move to BBC One.

Dublin Murders will introduce Killian Scott and Sarah Greene as detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox, the characters drawn from Tana French’s bestselling Dublin Murder Squad novels, and Emma Thompson leads a dynamic cast for new drama Years & Years, a unique and ambitious drama charting one family surviving the future.

Richard Gere will star alongside Helen McCrory and Billy Howle in political and psychological thriller, MotherFatherSon. As much a family saga as it is savage, it is an unflinching study of power, and how even the mightiest of empires can be in peril when a family turns on each other.

Babou Ceesay and Jill Halfpenny lead the cast of Dark Mon£y, a new topical drama which sees an ordinary London family decide to accept a substantial pay-off from a renowned filmmaker to keep silent about the abuse of their youngest son.

Julia Ormond and Ben Barnes star in distinctive emotional thriller Gold Digger, telling the story of a wealthy 60-year old woman falling in love with a man 26 years her junior, and Holby City celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Further BBC Drama highlights include an adaptation of critically acclaimed young adult novel Noughts and Crosses, Trigonometry – a love story about three people who are made for each other, the fifth and final series of Poldark, and Golden Globe nominated and BBC iPlayer box set smash hit Killing Eve will also return to screens for a second series. Other 2019 BBC Drama titles will be announced in due course.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “We have been working hard to bring you more standout unmissable drama in 2019. Across our BBC channels and BBC iPlayer we have something for everyone. Whether you choose to watch television drama to escape from the real world, learn about a part of history, explore contemporary social issues, or watch your favourite novel being adapted for screen – we have a range of new and returning programmes coming that you do not want to miss.”

This follows a standout year in 2018 for BBC Drama, which saw original drama Bodyguard smash records to become the most requested ever programme on BBC iPlayer, whilst A Very English Scandal was also a global hit, with both shows garnering multiple Golden Globe nominations; Informer and The Long Song introduced brand new leading stars of tomorrow Nabhaan Rizwan and Tamara Lawrence; Mrs Wilson became the highest rating Tuesday night drama of 2018; Doctor Who introduced Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor with record ratings; EastEnders shined a spotlight on the topical issue of knife crime while Casualty tackled the subject of rape and Holby City raised awareness of male mental health; and BBC Two featured a range of original authored drama which pushed the boundaries from Black Earth Rising, an international thriller about the prosecution of international war crimes and the West’s relationship with contemporary Africa; to Doing Money which told the shocking true story about slavery in modern Britain and political thriller Collateral which looked at the waves of migration in the UK.