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Monday, 9 December 2019

Take Off With Bradley And Holly

Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby will be spreading the festive joy in new family entertainment show, Take Off on BBC One.

The hosts will be giving lucky audience members the chance to win a magical trip to Lapland.

The show will be jam packed with games, incredible surprises, celebrity guests and much more leading up to a spectacular end of show finale.

Q&A with Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby

Can you tell us about Take Off?

Holly: Okay. Well, Take Off. We're both very, very excited about it.

Bradley: Oh, I'm so excited.

H: It is our brand new show. It's going to be Christmas fantastic.

B: It’s about Christmas, fantastic.

H: It's out on Christmas Eve, we're basically giving families the chance to win an opportunity to fly to Lapland.

B: On a plane obviously not on their own, people can’t fly, its physically impossible.

H: Or in a sleigh.

B: Or in a sleigh, yes that’s true. I know nothing about this show, I only came out for a loaf of bread. You’ll have to ask Holly. Okay Holly, over to you!

H: Yeah, wish me luck… thanks!

What makes the show so special?

B: Well, I think working with Holly makes it so special for me.

H: Aww, that’s so nice.

B: Alright love. I haven't worked with Holly for a long, long while. The last time I worked with Holly we worked on...

H: Play To The Whistle

B: We did, yeah, Play To The Whistle, that was quite a funny show. Holly took the mickey out of me the whole time and treated me like an an elderly person, which I'm not by the way.

H: But I have to somewhat take control of the situation. I mean, you might have noticed that a little bit here. So, you know, working with Bradley I really have to be on my toes and pay attention because I'm keeping us both in line.

B: I don't agree with that. I don't know what you mean. What d'you mean? Is it because I've got a very juvenile sense of humour?

H: A little bit and it's sort of like you just need to make sure you’re on track with things.

B [laughing]: What, because I’m sort of off-piste sometimes?

H: Yes you are off-piste and you play - which I love, like, I love that. But I think that what people will love about this show is that it's the dream to go to Lapland and see Father Christmas at Christmas, it’s the perfect thing to do.

B: Yep

Are there any surprises in store?

H: There are lots of surprises on the night; lots of you will recognise we've got Johannes from Strictly Come Dancing; we’ve got Curtis (Pritchard from Love Island). We've got an aeroplane in the studio you see, so they're kind of in charge of the aeroplane, serving drinks and canapes.

B: It's got a flypast by the Red Arrows. They're coming into the studio, they're good. That’s all happening.

H: Jamie Cullum as well.

B: Yeah, Jamie Cullum’s coming he's going to play the piano. Yeah. Yeah, it's gonna be good.

H: He's gonna be singing and you [turns to Bradley] might do a little bit of singing?

B: No, I'm not going to be doing any singing at all.

H: You’re not?

B: No, no, no.

H: Okay, you sure?

B: Yes, next question please.

What can viewers expect from the show?

B: This show's going to be fun, I think it might be - I mean I don't know about [gestures to Holly]. I’m really looking forward to it. And of course the irony is that Christmas is all about Holly... And the Holly and the Ivy, and I’m going to change my name by deed poll to Ivy [laughs] so we can have this show running every year, Christmas With Holly And Ivy [laughs].

H: That’s the commitment I’m looking for [laughs].

B: That’s what I’m doing. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

H: Is it too late to change the name of the show? That's it, you've got it!

B: I’m going straight down to Somerset House in the morning changing my name, down to county court, to Ivy Walsh... I used to have an auntie Violet...

H: That doesn't count.

B: No... It’s got a 'v' in it though!

A Christmas Carol - Interview with Charlotte Riley (Lottie/The Spirit of Christmas Present)

Tell us about your character...

What sets her aside from the other ghosts is that she was a human, she’s not an entity or an unknown spirit. Her spirit is that of a human, his sister. What I think is exciting is how Steven’s taken a character that I personally think is a bit dull in the book and created a connection with Scrooge. It’s made the journey that the two of them go on much more interesting because it personalises it. We see why he is the man that he is today, the bad choices in his life, and she feels the sadness about it that he does. So, it’s a very smart device that Steve’s used to freshen it up. In past versions this ghost has been quite benevolent, and she’s benevolent too, but she can also reach him in a way that nobody else can because of the love that they shared, and still share, for each other.

Can you tell us about working with Steven Knight again and why you wanted to be part of this drama?

We’ve worked together on Peaky Blinders, so I’ve gotten to know him well over the years and just knowing who he is meant I knew he would do something exciting with this story. I’ve also never done anything particularly for Christmas or Dickensian, and I loved the idea of doing that. I loved that in it we discover what’s underneath Scrooge and that, like the novel, it brings the macabre and the spooky to Christmas. I really enjoyed working with him and he really enjoys talking to actors and changing and moulding the script to whoever plays the part. Plus, I really wanted to work with Nick Murphy (Director) who I’ve come close to working with on projects before and we’ve never quite managed it, so that was amazing, he’s a fantastic director.

Do you remember the first time you came across the story of A Christmas Carol?

I remember that as a little girl I wanted to watch it because I loved the period it was set in, which really harked back to the ideal of Christmas, with the snow and the crackling fires, but then I always found it too scary to watch the whole way through. So, I’d always just watch the first bit and then run out the room and come back in when it was all nice. I hated scary things as a child, so my memory is patchy of it, of watching little snippets to quench the desire for the comfy cosy Christmas and then hiding from the spooky bits!

Can you tell us about the look of the show and the world that has been created?

There was a lot of fake snow and a lot of fires and we were in these incredible costumes sweating by these fires in the Summer, which was quite interesting! The tone is dark, and Dickensian but warm, like with the crackling fires, as well. It’s got more grit and reality to it than other adaptations, it’s got that Steve Knight feel and some bits are pretty terrifying!

Do you have any standout memories from filming?

One of the first scenes that I filmed was in a graveyard in North London and they’d transformed it into a winter wonderland, and everybody was stood around in their costumes and it just looked so beautiful and incredible. Everyone around was drawn to it, I think even Ricky Gervais came and had a look!

Why do you think the story of A Christmas Carol has resonated for so many years?

It’s a story of redemption, a story of a person who the world has given up on and, through moments of fear but also love, his heart opens to see what life could be if he stopped holding on to the pain of the past.

A Christmas Carol - Interview with Joe Alwyn (Bob Cratchit)

Do you remember the first time you came across A Christmas Carol?

When I was growing up I was very aware of A Christmas Carol and obviously Charles Dickens, but it wasn’t something that was a staple diet of my childhood. I knew the bones of the story, but it was this version, Steven Knight’s version, that was my first real experience of it. It’s an iconic story and I know how important it is to people, but it wasn’t something that I was overly familiar with as a child.

I’ve never sat down and watched another version and coming in to this, I didn’t want to be clouded by other interpretations or versions. I’ve seen snippets of the Jim Carrey one and I know Albert Finney was in one and Patrick Stewart and Richard E. Grant in another, but I’ve never sat down and watched them all. Maybe I should!

Now you are more familiar with it, what is about the classic story that you think is so loved and popular?

We keep coming back to it for several reasons. Thematically, it seems to tap into the universal theme of what it means to be a human being, it’s about our own humanity. The themes of redemption, hope, family and kindness, are ones we always return to in stories, particularly around Christmas time.

Tell us about your Bob Cratchit...

On the one hand he’s the man people are probably familiar with, the essence of him is a good, loyal, family man who toils away in Scrooge’s workplace and is paid next to nothing in order to provide for his family. He has a child who is sick - that’s Tim - and he has a daughter Belinda and his wife, Mary, that’s his family. But at the same time, there is a steeliness to him and a degree of pluckiness that is played around with in a way that hasn’t been seen before. His way of fighting back as much as he can is by biting back at Scrooge or being a little bit sarcastic or snide, never so much that he oversteps the boundary because he can’t afford to, but he isn’t completely subservient and weak either.

It’s exciting to get to play a character that is so well-known and from a source material that is so important to so many people. I didn’t really look at other interpretations, it probably would have just made me feel intimidated as much as anything else, and I wanted to come at it fresh. Steve’s story is very much a world of its own and that goes with the characters too.

Tell us about Steven Knight’s scripts…

He’s such a talented writer. It’s one of the best things I’ve read. He obviously writes Peaky Blinders, and that doesn’t feel a million miles away in tone from this world. He’s explored a story that has been done so many times but has found a completely fresh approach, and he’s explored themes and elements that haven’t been looked at before and are really powerful.

Can you tell us about the look of the show and the world that has been created?           

It’s amazing working on anything and seeing what the heads of departments create with production design and with makeup and with costume, but particularly on period pieces because it is a new world you’re stepping into. It does so much for you. Streets were closed, they were covered in fake snow and there were horses and carts, and hundreds of children, men and women as supporting artists. And when you’re on those sets, in your costume and makeup, it helps you sink into that world so much more.

How do you feel about being involved in the show?

It’s been amazing to be a part of the show. It’s rare to read things like this and to work with a writer like Steve Knight, who is at the top of his game.

Apart from the two children who play my children, I was the youngest on set. So, to be surrounded by people like Guy Pearce, who I remember watching in Memento when I was 12 years old, Andy Serkis and Stephen Graham, was exciting. I was lucky to be a part of a story that means so much to people and is so iconic.

A Christmas Carol - a new interpretation of a timeless classic

Introduction by Steven Knight

It is a true privilege to have the opportunity to offer a new interpretation of a timeless classic.
This story has resonated with people all over the world for over one hundred and fifty years and that is proof that there is something as durable as a diamond at its heart. As someone in awe of Charles Dickens ability to create narrative and invent universally recognized characters, I have tried to stay faithful to the text. However, this has involved a close examination of what is written to find elements that perhaps Dickens in his own time was not allowed to write about due to contemporary sensibilities. I have asked why Scrooge is the man he is, what caused him to be so, and I have offered what I hope are challenging answers.

Every generation hands Dickens on to the next generation, and this evocation is offered with respect for whatever is deep and significant, and for all the many things that are fun, seasonal and festive. Expect some surprises and lots of snow.

BBC One announces brand new series on plants, The Green Planet

BBC One have announced that Sir David Attenborough is to present The Green Planet, a brand new five part landmark series from BBC Studios Natural History Unit.

The Green Planet will be the first immersive portrayal of an unseen, inter-connected world, full of remarkable new behaviour, emotional stories and surprising heroes in the plant world. This is Planet Earth from the perspective of plants.

David Attenborough says: “This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a neglected yet truly remarkable part of the natural world. Once again, the innovative approach of the BBC NHU and groundbreaking technology will reveal new and surprising wonders to the BBC One audience.”

Mike Gunton, Executive Producer, says: “This series will take viewers into a world beyond their imagination - see things no eye has ever seen. The world of plants is a mind-blowing parallel universe; one that we can now bring to life using a whole range of exciting new camera technology. This is Planet Earth for plants!”

Across the series, David will travel to the USA, Costa Rica, Croatia and northern Europe, from deserts to mountains, from rainforests to the frozen north, to find new stories and a fresh understanding of how plants live their lives. He will meet the largest living things that have ever existed; trees that care for each other; and plants that breed so fast they could cover the planet in a matter of months.

He will find time-travellers - seeds that can outlive civilisations, and plants that remain unchanged for decades. He will examine our relationship with plants, past, present and future, and reveal how all animal life, ourselves included, is totally dependent on plants.

Using brand new technological advances and over two decades of new discoveries, we take the viewer on a journey into a magical world. We discover that plants are as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as animals - locked in desperate battles for food, for light, to reproduce and to scatter their young. They are social - they communicate with each other, they care for their young, they help their weak and injured. They can plan, they can count, they can remember.

Plants are the stars of this series but there will also be box-office animals - plants are the arch-manipulators of the natural world. They bend the actions and lives of animals, including ourselves, to their own ends.

We will use new developments in robotics, moving time-lapse, super-detail thermal cameras, deep focus ‘frame-stacking’ and ultra-high-speed to travel beyond the power of the human eye and make visible the amazing, hidden life of the green planet.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

We’re seeing double! Mel B & Mel B reflect on what a f***in’ year 2019 has been in new E4 special

For the first time in more than 10 years, Leigh Francis' most memorable Bo' Selecta impersonation comes face to face with his intended parody – Spice Girl Mel B - in a one-off 90-minute special on 17 December at 9pm on E4.  

What a F***in' Year on TV with Mel B & Mel B celebrates an entire year packed full of 'reet good' telly as the two Mels hang out together in her apartment in Leeds. Donning the classic leopard print dress, surrounded by party food and a fridge full of bevvies, the Mels will give their honest and brutal opinion on the TV moments that have made us laugh out loud and shed a tear over the past year.

What a F***in' Year on TV with Mel B & Mel B will be filled to the brim with famous catchphrases, outrageous TV clips, satirical sketches and a few celebrity cameos dropping by for a gossip.

Melanie Brown said: "I'm so excited to do this show because 2019 has been one hell of a year and I get to share all of it with ME - or rather Leigh as me. It's going to be funny, fabulous, fantastic and completely crazy. Even I don't know what to expect except it's going to be hilarious. Fasten your seat belts for a review of the year like no other."

Monday, 2 December 2019

First-look of Lennie James as Nelly Rowe in Sky original Save Me Too

Here is the electrifying first-look photograph of Nelly Rowe in the second instalment of BAFTA nominated and RTS multi-award-winning Sky original, Save Me, as Lennie James reprises his role in the critically acclaimed London-based drama.

At the end of series one, which achieved an army of fans and became the most rapidly binged boxset in the broadcaster’s history, Nelly is left devastated when his desperate search for his daughter Jody is unsuccessful. To find Jody he has been dragged into a dark underworld, taken risks dangerous to himself and those closest to him, and challenged him to re-evaluate many of the decisions he has made about his life.

In the next gripping chapter of his quest we re-join Nelly seventeen months later.  Is he still looking for his daughter?  What hope is there of finding her? And if new evidence were to emerge what would it force Nelly to do next?

Showcasing bold, British drama at its finest, Save Me Too, produced by award-winning World Productions (Line of Duty, Bodyguard) will see Lesley Manville (Mum, Harlots) join the all-star cast as Jennifer Charles, the wife of Gideon (Adrian Edmondson). Jennifer is forced to make an almost impossible choice that will place her in direct conflict with Nelly, following the return of the vulnerable girl, Grace (Olive Gray), whom Nelly rescued whilst searching for Jody.

Suranne Jones returns as Jody's mum Claire who faces the dire possibilities of her daughter’s fate and Stephen Graham is back as Melon, who is attempting to start a new life with Bernie (Alice Feetham). Also returning are; Thomas Coombes (Goz), Kerry Godliman (Teens), Nadine Marshall (D.I O'Halloran), Susan Lynch (Stace) and Jason Flemyng (Tam), all contributing to the vibrant community that viewers came to know and love in the first series, which is currently available to watch on demand on Sky and streaming service NOW TV.

Save Me Too will air on Sky Atlantic and Now TV in 2020

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Monday 2 Dec preview (video)

Nadine Coyle undertakes tonight's Bushtucker Trial - Movile Home

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! continues Monday 2 December at 9pm on ITV

Shetland to return for two more series on BBC One

Acclaimed BBC One murder-mystery drama Shetland will return for two more series with Douglas Henshall reprising his role as DI Jimmy Perez alongside series regulars Alison O’Donnell and Steven Robertson. The series is made by Silverprint Pictures for BBC One.

Adapted from Ann Cleeves’ celebrated novels, Shetland debuted on BBC One in 2013 and has gone from strength to strength over the last five series, becoming a firm favourite with fans in the UK and across the world. The series has evolved to original six-part character driven narratives, set against the striking elemental landscapes of Shetland, one of the most remote corners of the British Isles.

Series six and seven will film in 2020 and 2021 in locations on The Shetland Isles and around Scotland, and will again feature six hour-long episodes each. Both series will be written and created by David Kane (Stonemouth, The Field Of Blood) who originated the first series of Shetland and has written on every series since. Paul Logue (Vera, Death In Paradise) will also write on both series and the producer is Louise Say (Les Miserables, Dracula).

Gaynor Holmes, Commissioning Editor for BBC Drama, Scotland, says: 
"We are really proud of Shetland, the crime series led by DI Perez and his team has proved hugely popular with audiences both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK. BBC One viewers are set for an unmissable series from David Kane when it returns next year.”

Kate Bartlett, Executive Producer, Silverprint Pictures, says: 
“I’m so thrilled to be making two more series of Shetland for the BBC, with our wonderful Scottish cast and crew. David Kane creates distinctive and emotionally complex narratives that unfold against the stunning, evocative landscapes of Shetland, with DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) at the heart of it all.”

Doctor Who to land on Who Year's Day in Spyfall

The Thirteenth Doctor is in her TARDIS on her way back to BBC One for a thrilling ten-part series which will land on New Year’s Day 2020, with subsequent episodes airing on Sundays.

Starting with a blockbuster action packed two-part episode entitled Spyfall, the Thirteenth Doctor is well and truly back with a bang. As Jodie Whittaker takes charge of the TARDIS once again, the Doctor will be joined by her friends Tosin Cole (Ryan), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Bradley Walsh (Graham). The twelfth series will also welcome a host of famous faces including Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Robert Glenister and Goran Višnjić to name just a few.

Add to that some familiar faces including the Judoon and the Cybermen, series twelve is set to be an epic action packed rollercoaster for everyone, just don’t stray too far from behind the sofa…

Spyfall has been written by Chris Chibnall, Showrunner.

Competition: Win Plebs - Series 5 on DVD

Plebs - Series 5 is out on DVD on 9th December.

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

Plebs follows the lives of three hapless young men from the suburbs as they try to get laid, hold down jobs and climb the social ladder in the big city...of Rome in 23BC. Penned by Sam Leifer (How Not to Live Your Life) and Tom Basden (Fresh Meat) and starring Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner), Ryan Sampson (Brassic) and Jonathan Pointing (London Kills) alongside a stellar cast and inspired guest stars.

Series five sees Amanda Holden (Wild at Heart) feature as lusty aristocrat Rufina who takes a liking to Jason (Pointing) when he gate-crashes a banquet…and he doesn’t seem to mind too much. Marcus (Rosenthal), Aurelius the water-boy man (Basden) and lazy slave Grumio (Sampson) are still trying to turn the Crown and Toga into the trendiest nightspot in the city, even if it means getting in with a rowdy bunch of sports hooligans including Leo Gregory (Green Street Hooligans).

Developing schemes and side-hustles aplenty, the gang are joined on their adventures by Emilia Fox (Delicious) who guest stars as a detective and Tony Robinson (Blackadder Goes Forth) who, of course, plays an archaeologist. Returning characters include series favourites Landlady (Maureen Lipman – Coronation Street), Landlord (Karl Theobald – GameFace), Sylvia (Samantha Spiro – Sex Education) and Lepidus (Danny Webb – Humans).

With Marcus wooing Gloria (Ellie Taylor – The Mash Report) who runs the laundrette next door, Jason and Aurelius trying their luck at a male escort agency, and Grumio inventing the first hands-free parasol: The Grumbrella, you know you’re in for a right Roman riot.

Buy from Amazon by clicking here (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who plays Rufina in series 5 of Plebs?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 16-12-19
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.