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Friday, 23 October 2020

David Tennant and Michael Sheen, or should that be Michael Sheen and David Tennant return with more Staged for BBC One

Actors Michael Sheen and David Tennant return with more Staged from Infinity Hill and GCB Films for BBC One.

The new series sees the pair attempt to navigate their 'new normal' at home with their increasingly exasperated families whilst simultaneously trying to tackle the world of 'virtual Hollywood' and their ever more fragile egos.

Also returning for the new series are Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg and Lucy Eaton alongside Nina Sosanya and Simon Evans with new addition to the regular cast Primetime Emmy-winner Ben Schwartz, playing the assistant to Michael and David's American agent.

Following on from the surprise appearances in series one of Judi Dench and Samuel L Jackson this series sees the regulars joined in their virtual hell by a whole host of unexpected guests.

The series hopes to capture our shared feelings of frustration and confusion at a world not quite ready to re-open. Moments that promise normality dashed before they can take hold. The tantalising prospect of comfort kept at bay.

Michael Sheen says: "It's been so great to see how much people enjoyed the first series. Seemed like the laughs were much appreciated. It made us really excited about taking it further and going in some surprising and hopefully enjoyable directions this time."

Georgia Tennant adds: "The prospect of getting my husband back into employment alongside the divine Ben Schwartz and the hairy, Welsh legend that is Michael Sheen all makes me very happy to be back for series two!"

Created by Simon Evans and Phin Glynn, Staged is written and directed by Evans and is an Infinity Hill/GCB Films/No Mystery production for BBC One. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer. The producers are Phin Glynn, Victor Glynn and Georgia Tennant. David Tennant and Michael Sheen are also executive producers of the series. Executive Producers for Infinity Hill are Axel Kuschevatzky and Cindy Teperman and for GCB, Geoff Iles.

Transmission details for Staged will be announced in due course.

I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!​ new promo

Ant & Dec star in a brand-new trailer for the upcoming series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! This year's series will come from stunning Gwrych Castle in North Wales rather than its usual New South Wales location in Australia.

However, it seems that neither Ant or Dec are aware of the show's change of location.

Continuing their journey north to Gwrych Castle, Ant & Dec spot a telephone box and decide to call Kiosk Kev for directions but they don't get the response they were hoping for!

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! will start on ITV in November 2020.

Channel 4 announce Stath Lets Flats Series 3

Channel 4's BAFTA award-winning comedy Stath Lets Flats back on the market

Critically acclaimed and BAFTA award-winning comedy, Stath Lets Flats from award-winning writer-performer and comedian Jamie Demetriou (Fleabag) and BAFTA award-winning RoughCut TV has been recommissioned for a third series for Channel 4.

Joining Jamie in reprising their roles are Natasia Demetriou (What We Do In The Shadows), Al Roberts (King Gary), Christos Stergioglou (Dogtooth), Katy Wix (Ghosts), Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Ghosts), and Ellie White (The Other One).

The series (6x30') will pick up from the shock cliff-hanger ending of series two, as incompetent letting agent Stath (Demetriou) is faced with rescuing the family business, Michael & Eagle, and his relationship with Katia, while expecting his first child by Carole. Meanwhile his sister, Sophie, and best friend, Al, deal with the fallout of finally declaring their feelings for each other.

Stath Lets Flats took home three prestigious awards at this year's BAFTA ceremony: Best Male Actor in a comedy, Best Writer of a Comedy and the programme itself won the award for Best Scripted Comedy.

Jamie Demetriou said: "This is lovely. I love Channel 4. Thanks so much for having us back for a series 3. Sorry the title is still hard to say. Love Jamie Demetriou from Stalph Les Flav".

(Stath) added: "Thank you so truly for this energetically and development news. I never seen something on Channel For (4) in my life, but someone told me they done a programme about people being embarrassed about their body. Which is a shame. I'm proud of my body, even though my eyebrow is a bit too wide and I'm panickin' it's joinin' to my head hair."

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

ITV announces new Yorkshire Ripper drama

Following the phenomenal ratings success and critical acclaim of Des and White House Farm, ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill has commissioned The Yorkshire Ripper  from the same producers, award winning independent production company, New Pictures in association with all3media international.

The drama will depict one of the most notorious and shocking serial killer cases in the world, the hunt for Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, between October 1975 and January 1981, police undertook the biggest manhunt in British criminal history. The search for Sutcliffe lasted five years, involved over a thousand officers and changed the way the British police worked forever.

Written by acclaimed screenwriter George Kay (Criminal), The Yorkshire Ripper is a true crime drama which will follow the desperate, cat and mouse hunt for Sutcliffe focusing upon the police investigation and the lives of the victims who fatally crossed his path.

Commented Polly Hill: "I am delighted to be working with Willow and Paul again, after they made the brilliant White House Farm. This promises to be a definitive look at this infamous case, and will be sensitively dramatised for ITV by this formidable team, who have a proven track record in bringing these true stories to screen."

The Sister Episode 1 Preview - Starring Russell Tovey

Mon 26 Oct 2020
9.00pm - 10.00pm

Series overview
How far would you go to keep a secret?

One rainy evening, Nathan is surprised by an unwelcome face from the past.

Nathan has never been able to forget the worst night of his life: a party that led to the sudden, shocking death of a young woman.

Only he and Bob, an eccentric old acquaintance, know what really happened… and they've resolved to keep it that way. But years later, Bob appears at Nathan's door with terrifying news that threatens to tear Nathan's world apart. Because Nathan has his own secrets now.

Secrets that could destroy everything he has desperately fought to build for himself and his family.

The four-part series is written by Neil Cross and is inspired by the novel Burial, also written by Neil Cross (Luther, Hard Sun, Spooks, Mama). Executive Producers are Euston Films Managing Director Kate Harwood (Dublin Murders, Hard Sun, Baghdad Central), alongside Executive Producer for Euston Films, Noemi Spanos (Dublin Murders), and Neil Cross. The series is directed by Niall MacCormick (The Victim, The Durrells, Doctor Thorne) and produced by Jonathan Curling (Tin Star, Baghdad Central).

The Sister is a Euston Films production for ITV and is distributed internationally by Fremantle. The series was commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill.

Episode 1
Nathan seems to have it all — a loving wife, a beautiful home and a solid, if unexciting, career. But Nathan has never been able to forget the worst night of his life: a party that led to the sudden, shocking death of a young woman… the sister of the woman who is now his wife. Only he and Bob, an eccentric old acquaintance, know what really happened — and they've resolved to keep it that way. Until one rainy evening, years later, when Bob appears at Nathan's door with terrifying news. They're digging up the woods.

Nathan (Russell Tovey)
Bob (Bertie Carvel)
Elise (Simone Ashley)
Holly (Amrita Acharia)
Jacki (Nina Toussaint-White)
June (Amanda Root)
Graham (Paul Bazely)

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

EUPHORIA returns to Sky and NOW TV with two special episodes

Emmy® award-winning drama series EUPHORIA will return to Sky with two special episodes, with the first debuting this December on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.

In the aftermath of being left by Jules at the train station and relapsing, the first special episode follows Rue (played by Emmy®-winner Zendaya) as she celebrates Christmas. Written and directed by series creator Sam Levinson, the episode, titled "Trouble Don't Last Always," also stars Colman Domingo, who appeared in season one. The title and date of the second episode are forthcoming. Both special episodes were produced under COVID-19 guidelines.

EUPHORIA received three Primetime Emmy® Awards this year, including Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series (Zendaya), Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.

EUPHORIA is created and written by Sam Levinson, who also serves as executive producer; executive producers Ravi Nandan, Kevin Turen, Drake, Future the Prince, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Ron Leshem, Daphna Levin, Tmira Yardeni, Mirit Toovi, Yoram Mokady and Gary Lennon; Will Greenfield serves as a co-executive producer. Produced in partnership with A24 and based on the Israeli series of the same name, which was created by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin, from HOT.

This Morning's Phil Vickery goes in search of 'Britain's Best Tart'

This Morning's resident chef Phil Vickery will undertake a new mission this October as he travels the length and breadth of the nation to discover Britain's Best Tart in a brand new four-part strand of the same name.

Throughout the new series Phil - a firm favourite on This Morning for 21 years - will also discover the history behind some of the best traditional tarts that Britain has to offer including the Bakewell tart, the Manchester tart, the Gypsy tart and finally the Yorkshire curd tart.

Each week Phil will visit the birthplace of these sweet treats and take viewers on a historic journey to the Derbyshire Dales, Manchester, Kent and Yorkshire, where he will meet those in the know who will share the secret recipes that date back hundreds of years. Once equipped with the local knowledge, an inspired Phil will return to the kitchen to create his own version of each tasty tart.

Phil, tell us about this new series and how it came about…

"Well, a couple of weeks ago on This Morning I did an almond tart and I hadn't done a lot of baking on the show for a while, but Phillip [Schofield] and Holly [Willoughby] loved it and said it was really lovely, and on the back of that I was asked by my bosses 'We'd like you to do a thing on Britain's traditional tarts' to which I laughed at first and then they explained further 'the culinary version'. I did a bit of research and narrowed it down to the Manchester Tart, Bakewell Tart, Yorkshire Curd Tart and the Gypsy Tart - which I remember at school! And then we went off and filmed up and down the country, all within Covid guidelines."

What can This Morning viewers expect to see?  

"So I do a bit of research, and we go to the place where we believe they do one of the best or the best tart in the area, and it's not so much as judging it, it's going there, looking at what they do, and coming back and making my own version in the studio. I mean some of these tarts have such old recipes, I think the Bakewell Tart one for instance is from around 1870 so you have to modernise things a bit. And for the show I like to be careful with calories and things, so if I can lighten them and make them a lot less heavy then that's what I'll try and do. But also, a lot of the 'old' ingredients you can't get, for example, the Yorkshire Curd tart, to get fresh curds is quite difficult so my version on that tart I used cottage cheese. But also, I am kind of going on a history tour as well, I've definitely learnt things - there's a Bakewell pudding and a Bakewell Tart and I now know the history of both of them now! I'm still learning as I go on these trips for This Morning. Never too old!" 

You are a master of a pudding, is this what makes you the best person for this series?

"When I was a young chef I trained in pastry and I had a flair for it. I remember making so much by hand back then; brioche, croissants, danish pastries… everything. And I ended up working for about twelve years mainly doing pastry, and actually a lot of chefs around - I won't name names - but they can't do it. They hate pastry! It's such a finite thing… an extra half an ounce of yeast can destroy bread for instance and 0.5g of salt can make a big difference, so it's very very specific and a lot of chefs don't have the patience!"

Did you have in mind what your favourite tart might be before filming? 

"Not really… but I have always liked Bakewell Tart even though I don't really like almond essence, but I make mine without that because I think the natural flavour of almonds is there, you don't need to enhance it. So Bakewell is pretty high up on my list, if I'm being honest."

Do you think the humble tart is underrated or being slightly forgotten about in the UK?

"It is perhaps underrated, but because a lot of them are now so old, I guess people don't see them as fashionable anymore. For instance, in Bakewell they make a small Bakewell tart probably about 5cm across and 2cm deep and because it only had butter, sugar, egg and almonds in it, it was around 2,000 calories! So some are hugely calorific and so for a lot of people they find them too heavy. I tried one and I struggled to sleep that night!"

What kind of tart is your personal favourite to cook and why?

"Well, my personal favourite of all time is an egg custard tart. My mum used to do it for me when I was little and it was a staple in my restaurant too… I used to have a guy that came to my restaurant every Monday for lunch and he once said to me, 'Mr Vickery, if you ever take that egg custard tart off the menu, I'm never coming here again!' and it was always on the menu, so for me, that's my favourite go to. Although my mum still tells me hers is better!"

You are celebrating 21 years on This Morning, how does that make you feel?

"Yes, I am! Do you think I'll get a gold watch?... I'm not sure how it makes me feel because when Denise [Robertson] was alive, she, together with Dr Chris Steele are the longest serving contributors on the show, then I think it's me and Alison… and actually that's rather nice that I've done it for that amount of time and that they still want me! I'm getting on a bit now so I'm very lucky and I'm very appreciative of it. I think I've travelled to 37 countries in total so far for the show… how amazing is that? I've got to do so many amazing things during that time."

What have been your most memorable moments?

"There are hundreds! Just things like closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge early so we could film on top of it was incredible. Then in a catamaran moored outside the Sydney Opera House where I cooked burgers… that was quite special. We also went flying in a seaplane and landed on the Great Barrier Reef. Another time I went flying around Alaska to do the salmon run and watched all the bears coming out, and the whales came right up in front of us. I've cooked in the lowest point of the earth in the dead sea and I've also cooked 11,000ft up in Machu Picchu in Peru, and I remember the air was so thin that the gas wouldn't light and I was struggling for breath! I've been everywhere…"

He added, "The show has absolutely taken me to places I would never have seen or visited without it. Catching crabs in Norway, going to India, going to Hong Kong and then on to Bangkok where we went on the Orient Express from there to Malaysia and we cooked on the train! It's all just been absolutely fabulous. Wonderful memories." 

What are your top five ingredients you are never without?

"Well, I grow my own potatoes, strawberries and a few tomatoes so I'm not usually without those for most of the year. But generally the top five ingredients that I am never without are tinned tomatoes, fresh coriander, packed rice, stock cubes and clotted cream!"

What are you likely to cook if you are watching football with friends, seeing your mum or with your children?

"If I was watching football with friends, and hopefully Spurs are winning, I would normally do something really simple like rice with a bit of chilli, simple spoon food. And if I am with my mum I have to ask her what she wants because she's a bit particular my mum and she's a very, very good cook. And she's quite adventurous. My mum and dad stayed with me a few weeks ago actually and they ate me out of house and home! They had a mix of steak and chips, prawn curry, BBQ chicken, they had allsorts. They were eating like there was no tomorrow! As for the the kids, they have flown the nest, but they do come back every now and then and Winnie will say to me 'Oh dad, can we do a quick egg fried rice?' and it's just two eggs in a pan, cooked with basmati rice and soy sauce. She loves that!"

Please credit: 'Britain's Best Tart' will air on ITV's This Morning from Tuesday 27th October at 10am

Yorkshire firefighters heat up new documentary series for BBC England and BBC Two

A new BBC documentary series featuring Yorkshire firefighters will use the latest technology to bring viewers closer than ever to real emergencies and the men and women dealing with them.
The four-part documentary series has been commissioned by BBC England and BBC Two and follows the work of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The programme will be made by Leeds-based independent production company Wise Owl Films and will show what it means to be a firefighter in 2020 and the challenges they face every day to keep people safe.

With access to firefighters working at emergencies, the series will take viewers from the control room to the front line. Firefighters will wear the latest helmet-mounted heat resistant cameras, transporting viewers into the heart of the action.

The West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service has over 900 firefighters and is a close-knit community with a diverse range of personnel dedicated to serving the public - often in highly dangerous and life-threatening situations. A specialist Urban Search And Rescue Dog called Jessie and water rescue unit are part of a team responding to an increasingly wide range of incidents. Expect drama and jeopardy - but also plenty of Yorkshire warmth and humour too.

West Yorkshire Fire And Rescue Service serves some of England's biggest cities including Leeds and Bradford and some of the North's most beautiful countryside.

Aisling O'Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for England, says: "Being a firefighter is now so much more than fighting fires. We're going to use the latest technology to show viewers exactly what it takes to be a firefighter today.

"The programme will put audiences right at the centre of emergencies and the work of the fire service with special helmet-mounted 'firecams', footage taken from fire engines and the control room. I can't wait to see what unfolds."

Mark Robinson, Executive Producer for Wise Owl Films says: "In 2020, being a firefighter is so much more than just about fighting fires. Today's skilful and dedicated firefighters face a wider range of callouts than ever - from road traffic collisions to floods and water rescues.

"Using technology that wouldn't have been available just a few years ago, we want to show viewers just what daily life is like for a West Yorkshire firefighter. They often come from the communities which they serve, and there is a family spirit within each Watch which comes from putting absolute trust in each other on a daily basis."

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton says: "We are really excited to be part of this project and we hope it will give us a great opportunity to show what life is like behind the scenes of a modern day fire and rescue service, and to explode some dated myths."

Stacey Dooley to host new BBC One entertainment show This Is MY House

BBC One has commissioned This Is MY House, a new primetime entertainment format hosted by Stacey Dooley.

This Is MY House (6x60) is an addictive guessing game format created by Richard Bacon and Nick Weidenfeld, and produced by Expectation, in which four people walk into a home and say, "This Is MY House". The catch, only one of them is telling the truth.

Stacey Dooley will host the hour-long programmes which will see a team of celebrity judges work together to figure out who is the honest homeowner and who are the imposters.

A fresh modern show like no other, with a guessing game that will keep everyone playing along from their own homes. This Is MY House promises plenty of laugh out loud moments as each of the four opponents tries to prove that they are the real deal. It's a fun show that challenges our prejudices and asks a simple question. Can the truth win?

Richard Bacon, Creator and Executive Producer says: "This Is MY House is a game show with only one contestant - the homeowner. To win all they have to do is prove 'This is MY house!'. But it's not that simple. Three actors will turn up, steal the contestant's name and claim that the house and everything in it belongs to them. They all have competing stories. Our judges have one job. To uncover the truth. It couldn't be easier. Right?"

Kate Phillips, Acting Controller BBC One says: "This terrific new format will give everyone the ability to join in alongside our celebrity sleuths, navigating red herrings and surprises throughout!"

Stacey Dooley says: "Feel so excited to be fronting this new entertainment show! I love to see inside people's houses so I'm made up to be involved in a gig that allows us to do that in a format that will bring some fun, humour and warmth at a time when we are all so craving escapism. Can't wait!"

Denise Welch joins the cast of Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks announces soap-star reunion as Denise Welch joins the cast to play Nikki Sanderson's on-screen mum.

A dance teacher by trade, 'Trish' arrives in Hollyoaks under the ominous shadow of boyfriend, Brad who immediately takes a shine to Maxine (played by Nikki). Will he drive a wedge between mother and daughter?

Denise and Nikki previously worked together on Coronation Street when they played Natalie Barnes and Candice Stowe.

But that's not Denise's only Hollyoaks connection, as she's also starred with Chelsee Healey (Goldie) in Waterloo Road and is a Loose Woman alongside Kelle Bryan (Martine).

Speaking about her new role, Denise said: "I am thrilled to be joining the cast of Hollyoaks in this, their 25th year.

"I'm looking forward to working with some old friends and making new ones. The character of Trish Minniver is an actor's dream and I can't wait to introduce her to you."

As well as acting credits including Soldier Soldier, Waterloo Road, ground-breaking Boy Meets Girl and Benidorm, plus 18 years as a panellist on Loose Women, Denise is also a Sunday Times bestselling author.

'Trish' will first appear on screen in January 2021 much to the shock of Maxine, who since arriving in Hollyoaks in 2012 and saying farewell to sister, Mitzeee (Rachel Shenton), has fought many battles without her immediate family around her.

The Mandalorian Season 2 | Disney+ Special Look | Official Disney UK

The next chapter begins. Start streaming the new season of #TheMandalorian Oct. 30 on #DisneyPlus.

The Mandalorian Season 2 trailer teases action-packed footage as Mando reunites with Cara Dune and Greef Carga to protect The Child.

Pedro Pascal returns as the title character, who continues his quest to find a safe home for the beloved character who has no official name, but has come to be known as Baby Yoda.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Celebrity Juice New Series and a Halloween Special

Thu 22 Oct 2020
10.00pm - 10.50pm
Episode 1:
Outrageous and inimitable host Keith Lemon returns with a new series of Celebrity Juice alongside brand-new team captains Laura Whitmore and Emily Atack.

Joining them this week for more games, fun and anarchy will be actor and Celebrity Juice legend Will Mellor, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, musician Tom Grennan and the hilarious Jimmy Carr.

Thu 29 Oct 2020
10.00pm - 10.50pm

Joining them this week for some spooky games, fun and plenty of tricks and treats will be Strictly's scariest judge Craig Revel Horwood, presenter Maya Jama, Queen of the Jungle Jacqueline Jossa and Take That's Howard Donald.

Ghost Bus Tours

Thu 29 Oct 2020
9.00pm - 10.00pm

A terrifying comedy travelogue in which rapper Lady Leshurr, comedian Darren Harriott and reality star Jordan Davies go on a ghost hunting mission in one of Eastern Europe's most haunted places, Kerotas Prison.

They'll be led by the Ghost Bus Tour guide Anton, a super freaky local who will introduce the celebs to a host of unhinged witnesses and experts.

Their goal is to summon three disturbing spirits - a cannibal who used to eat his cellmates, a demon cleaner who extracts the souls of only buff men and a sadistic scientist who was x-rayed to death by vengeful patients.

The Ghost Bus Tour culminates with the celebrities being abandoned and left to spend the night in the evil prison.

Will they ever see Anton again? Can they survive on their own? Will Jordan ever stop screaming? The three celebrities are left in no doubt that ghosts are real and they should not be annoyed.

Tim Vincent hosts new Radio 4 parenting series, The Likely Dads, with Russell Kane and Mick Ferry

The Likely Dads is a new, frank and funny series of conversations about parenting from the perspective of fathers, hosted by broadcaster, former Blue Peter presenter and father to twins, Tim Vincent.

Tim has undertaken many challenges throughout the course of his life - from painting Blackpool Tower and snow survival training with the army in Norway, to flying in Tornado jets and running the New York marathon. His latest challenge - being the middle-aged father to two-year-old twin boys.

Host Tim Vincent says: "The Likely Dads is a place where men can muse, pontificate and share humorous stories. The series shows that men can be good parents as well as sobbing emotional wrecks when it comes to their children. Not all is harmony and agreed opinions, there's a sharp divide and judgment on your preference of Bing versus Peppa Pig. Either way the show will make you laugh, maybe spit out your tea and hopefully have you nodding silently in agreement."

Sioned Wiliam, Radio 4's Commissioning Editor for Comedy adds: "Hearing these dads chat, let off steam and share the funny side of parenting makes for a really enjoyable and interesting listen whether you're a parent or not."

Joining Tim as regular panellists will be award-winning comedians Russell Kane and Mick Ferry. Guests across the series include actors Chris Bisson (East Is East, Shameless, Emmerdale), Craig Kelly (Queer As Folk, Titanic) comedians John Thomson, Prince Abdi, Che Burnley, Scott Bennett and Laurence Clarke, health and wellbeing coach Mr. Motivator and more.

In the first episode Chris Bisson recalls approaching fatherhood like his acting roles: "This kid malarkey, I thought I'll just do a bit of research, learn my lines and I'll be able to deal with it. Of course, none of that is true and they throw the most unexpected things at you."

In a regular feature, the programme asks the children of one of The Likely Dads a series of questions to determine which of them knows their children better - and vice versa. Chris' four year old daughter Ella is asked how old her dad is, her response: "He's not very old, 800 maybe?"

Across the series The Likely Dads and guests cover topics such as parenting at different ages, education, holiday mishaps, keeping children entertained and much more.

Thursday 29 October
The Likely Dads
BBC Radio 4

Tim Vincent, Russell Kane and Mick Ferry with guests Chris Bisson and Che Burnley.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

The new HOW presenters are…

Following the news of the return of the iconic children's television show HOW, the presenting team are now revealed with Vick Hope, Sam Homewood and Frankie Vu in front of the camera along with a welcome back, for Fred Dinenage.

Produced by Terrific Television (TT), the new series will be shown on CITV and simulcast on ITV from November and available on ITV Hub.

Vick (The X Factor), Sam (Scrambled), Frankie (Disney Channel) and Fred bring a mix of freshness, experience and familiarity to HOW's target audience.  Nic Ayling and Driana Jones, Founders of Terrific Television, say the line-up of presenters brings together a great team worthy of the HOW brand, which occupies a unique place in children's television.

Vick Hope - As backstage presenter and of ITV's The X Factor 2019, Vick Hope will be known to HOW's young audience. A former Capital Breakfast presenter, she has also presented Crufts, The Voice UK, Trending Live, FYI Daily on ITV2 and was a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018.  A multi-talented TV and Radio presenter, Vick is also a journalist and published author.  

Sam Homewood - As well as presenting numerous programmes for adults, Sam is a familiar face in children's television.  He fronts ITV's CITV flagship kids weekend breakfast show, Scrambled and presented Use Your Voice Live – an online campaign to encourage young people to vote in the last election.

Frankie Vu - An obsessive sports fan, tech geek and music lover. A live sports presenter and regular on CBBC and Disney XD, he is your go-to guy for playful, intelligent TV presenting. Frankie appeared on Disney Channel US, taking audiences behind the scenes on the sets of the latest Disney blockbusters in Movie Surfers.

Fred Dinenage MBE – Television presenter, broadcaster and author Fred has earnt himself status as a UK national treasure having celebrated his 50th anniversary as reporter/presenter with ITV in 2014. Fred has presented the regional news for ITV in the south for 36 years and been a TV Presenter non-stop for 56 years.

Fred is part of the fabric of HOW and will be the only presenter to have appeared on all three versions of HOW. Fred has been a household name Co-Presenting ITV Meridian since 1993 and presented programmes including Tell the Truth, Pass the Buck, World of Sport, Gambit and appeared on Tiswas.

The Million Pound Cube

ITV's award-winning hit show The Cube is back and promising higher stakes than ever before with a life-changing one-million-pound jackpot.  

Host Phillip Schofield will return to preside over the high-octane gameshow, which sees contestants attempt seemingly simple tasks within the high-pressure confines of the iconic Perspex box.

Pairs of contestants, from the same household, take on The Million Pound Cube. As well as facing solo games, they will also face brand new two player challenges.

Each pair will have nine lives to complete seven games, each worth an increasing amount of money, as they move closer to the huge jackpot. Players will have to overcome extreme nerves and frustration as they take on deceivingly simple tasks such as throwing a ball into a container, balancing on a beam or stopping a clock at precisely 10 seconds. But will they have what it takes to beat the mighty Cube?

Episode 1

Brothers Adam and Jon have their teamwork put to the ultimate test, whilst twin sisters Priya and Shreya endure a nerve-shredding journey in their quest to win one million pounds. Just seven games stand between both pairs and a fortune – but can they handle the pressure and beat the Cube?

Friday, 16 October 2020

Scarlett Moffatt announced as the host of ITV2’s new cookery dating show, Love Bites

Scarlett Moffatt announced as the host of ITV2's new cookery dating show, Love Bites

ITV2 today announced that TV favourite Scarlett Moffatt will host brand-new cookery dating show - Love Bites - a 30 x 60" series made by Ricochet, a Warner Bros. International Television Production UK Company.

Airing this autumn, Love Bites will see three suitors battle it out to win a date by each cooking a three-course meal using the same box of ingredients, in a bid to win a date with a single foodie.

Culinary skills will be put to the test, and Scarlett will be there every step of the way as she guides the singletons through the experience as they cook up a storm in the pursuit of love.

Scarlett Moffatt said: "I am beyond excited to be hosting ITV2's new show Love Bites which is coming to your screens this autumn. I've always been obsessed with both dating and cookery shows so this rolled into one really is the dream gig for me.

"I've had such a blast filming with the daters and watching them whip up a storm in the kitchen. Make sure you stay tuned to check it out in all its glory, it's a culinary and dating delight served with lots of LOLs so perfect TV for the colder months."

Jimmy Carr, Alison Hammond and Amanda Holden announced as the celebrity panel for BBC One’s I Can See Your Voice

Trio join host Paddy McGuinness in the brand-new mystery music game show.

TV presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness will soon be taking the reins of the brand-new mystery music game show I Can See Your Voice and now, BBC One and producers Thames and Naked (part of Fremantle) can confirm joining Paddy on the series' celebrity panel will be the king of comedy Jimmy Carr, the inimitable Alison Hammond and national treasure Amanda Holden.

Jimmy Carr says: "I think a silly, crazy, fun hour of telly is just what we all need. And it doesn't come any more silly, crazy or fun than this."

Alison Hammond says: "I Can See Your Voice is going to be great fun and I am thrilled to be taking part. I'm a good judge of character and reckon I'll be able to spot who can sing or not straight away, so the players are in good hands if they hope to win that cash prize!"

Amanda Holden says: "I've seen first hand over my many years as a judge, how acts can shock you with an incredible voice. With my experience on stage, television and radio I think I have one of the best pair of eyes in the business for spotting talent so the masqureaders will really have to up their game to fool me!"

I Can See Your Voice will see two players aiming to win a cash prize by guessing who can and can't sing from a group of mystery singers standing before them. But there's a catch… can they predict who has the voice of an angel or who will leave them covering their ears in horror all without ever hearing them sing a note? Alison, Amanda and Jimmy will be helping the players along the way and will be joined each week by a different popstar.

As the singing sensations and musical masqureaders navigate through a round of lip sync challenges, they will be offering entertaining hidden clues to the celebrity panel who will help the players whittle down the group until there's only one singer left. The chosen one will then perform a duet with the popstar to reveal whether they can or can't sing. If the players have picked a good singer then they will take the prize… but if a bad singer is revealed, the imposter will pocket the cash.

I Can See Your Voice promises a whole new take on the singing game show genre as well as lots of music, comedy and play-along fun for the whole family to enjoy. It's the show that will prove that when it comes to singing talent, what you see isn't always what you get!

The show will be co-produced by Thames and Naked (part of Fremantle) for the BBC and will air in 2021. The 8x60' series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content and Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Comissioning. The Executive Producers are Amelia Brown and Louise Hutchinson for Thames. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Rachel Ashdown.

The series is based on a South Korean format from CJ ENM, debuting on Mnet in February 2015. Since the premiere, it has widely received acclaim with an International Emmy nomination for Best Non-scripted Entertainment Program, and increasing interest for local adaptations. It has been successfully commissioned in over 10 countries including Germany and the USA with a popular launch for the Amercian version this September. The show was number one show in it's time slot and the best unscripted Autumn debut in the all important 18-49 demographic.

First look image of Ridley Road

A first look image is released today for BBC One and PBS MASTERPIECE from the upcoming series, Ridley Road, a thriller set against the backdrop of a swinging sixties London we haven't seen: an East End world where far right fascism is on the rise.

Written by Sarah Solemani, produced by RED Production company and adapted from the Jo Bloom novel, the series is currently in filming in the UK. Rory Kinnear, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Eddie Marsan, Samantha Spiro, Rita Tushingham star in the brand new thriller which is due to air in 2021.

The image features a distressed Vivien Epstein played by Aggi O'Casey throwing a battered suitcase from a roof top. Inspired by the struggle of the 62 Group, a coalition of Jewish men who stood up against rising neo-Nazism in post-war Britain, Ridley Road sees Vivien starting to work with them when she realises that Jack, her missing boyfriend (played by Tom Varey), has been badly injured. Vivien infiltrates the NSM, a neo-Nazi movement which is becoming increasingly prominent in London, risking everything for her beliefs and for the man she loves.

Photo credit: Aggi O 'Casey as Vivien Epstein in Ridley Road, photographer Ben Blackall.

Taskmaster: Interview with Greg Davies and Alex Horne

Where did the idea for Taskmaster come from?

Alex: Eleven years ago, my wife and I had had a baby, so I didn't go to Edinburgh Fringe for the first time in years.  

Tim Key won the comedy award and I was sat at home with the baby feeling very jealous, genuinely. So, I set up a show for the following year and I invited 20 comics. I sent them all emails secretly, didn't tell them who each other was, and said, 'I'm starting a new competition which you can enter, I'm going to set you a different task every month'. 

Mike Wozniak won it and Tim didn't, so I was happy. And none of the comedians was Greg Davies.

Greg: I'd love to tell you it wasn't noted at the time, but it was noted at the time. I

was in a sketch group, We are Klang, and one of the members had been invited by Alex, so I knew about it.

Alex: That must have looked like a quite cliquey sort of thing.  

Greg: Yeah, it felt like there was a real Edinburgh clique going on and I was in the early stages of my career, excluded by someone I would have thought was a monster.

Alex: I think I would have been scared of you. I didn't ask any of the bigger boys.

Greg: I wasn't even that fat back then!

Alex: You were quite lanky weren't you, but I just meant, we didn't really know each other, is probably the truth.

Greg: We didn't know each other at all but it didn't stop me from feeling excluded.  



It was obviously a successful show…

Alex: It was on at midnight and only 150 people watched it but it got more word of mouth than it probably merited. It was one of those quirky Edinburgh things. So we did it again the following year, then Avalon said, 'There's something in this', and we started pitching it as a TV show with Greg hosting.


Why Greg?

Alex: Well, I would challenge you to name anyone else who could do that job. He had all the elements that role needed, as well as being very funny and good off the cuff. I'd say his physical attributes lend itself to the role, but also the headmasterly qualities.

Greg: I've basically spent the majority of my adult life pretending to have authority. I certainly was like that in the sketch group I was in and on stage I tend to turn the volume up on everything I do. So, some bombastic tall shouty man setting tasks seemed like a very natural fit.

Alex: There's a moment in every show where Greg does have to say, 'That's it, we're moving on now'. And most comics…  even Johnny Vegas in this series listened to Greg and moved on, which I've seen him not do on many other shows.

Greg: Once I put the Taskmaster suit on, I become someone else.

Alex: Yeah, even our relationship: it's odd but we do instantly have a different relationship.

Greg:  It is odd because it's all very cordial off set, but as soon as I step onto set, there's just a natural irritation I feel towards you. 


How would you describe your relationship on-screen?

Greg: Someone asked Phil Wang what surprised him about doing Taskmaster, and he said 'I'm surprised that Greg really is bullying Alex'.

Alex: I've never felt it like that actually. I've always felt more scrutinised. It's definitely not bullying, because you can see how much I enjoy it. The moment we're off set, there's a real brotherly love there.

Greg: Uncle and nephew.


How much of the studio show is scripted and how much is totally improvised?

Greg: We do sit down and discuss what we're going to do, but I think the vast majority of that goes out the window in the studio. I'd feel pretty confident in saying there's very little faux-spontaneity. If a comment seems off the cuff, or a judgement seems to be made in the moment, then it was.  

Alex: The conceit is that Greg's seeing everything for the first time on the night and it's not far from that.

Greg: There are some tasks that will require some thought and my lumbering brain sometimes needs to let it marinate overnight but you're largely seeing us flying by the seat of our pants.

Alex: Greg never knows anything I'm going to say before the show, so when he's reacting to me it's completely off the cuff and we obviously never know what the contestants are going to say at any point.

Greg: It's one of the exciting things about it. I might have some discussion points in my head beforehand, because I know there's a certain task coming up, but more often than not they won't even get used. The group gels as the series moves on and they have such a distinct language and way of responding and the characters emerge so beautifully that very quickly it feels like a gang.


How do you get such good names to take part?

Alex: Word of mouth has really helped us. I do quite often thank Frank Skinner because he agreed to do the very first series and that was a real stamp of approval. He had a nice time on it, which really helps, so that set the ball rolling.  And the fact that Jo Brand did it has helped, of course.

Greg: The word's just out now that people aren't being brought onto the show to be humiliated. Well, they are, but it's very much with their consent and they know the boundaries of that humiliation. There's a very caring approach to the people that are on the show. They're not fodder. 

Alex: I think Andy Devonshire the director deserves credit too. He really makes people look the best they can in terms of the creative tasks where people make little movies or whatever. Sometimes they're a work of art.


You've also featured comedians who are on the cusp of a huge career, such as Romesh Ranganathan and James Acaster. It's a step up for them, doing Taskmaster, isn't it?

Greg: Because it's a ten-week series, by the last episode you really feel you know these people inside out. A lot of stand-up comedy fans watch it then follow them. It's been really nice to introduce some people.  

Alex: I wouldn't hesitate to take full credit for Romesh's career. I wouldn't hesitate to say that man owes us everything. To the extent that I think a reasonable man would think about financial remuneration for it.  


Several former Taskmaster contestants, such as Mark Watson, talk about

Taskmaster in their stand-up afterwards. It's quite a big part of their lives.

Alex: Yeah. I think instead of a brief trip to Manchester to record one show, they spend ages with us, and they might be having a baby or getting married or getting unmarried at the time. They do their tasks over several different filming days between November and March and then they come to the studio for five full days.

They spend ages in the make-up room spilling, then they talk about their lives during the tasks because they bring in personal items or whatever. So, you always remember what you were doing the year you did Taskmaster. 

Greg: The tasks don't give people anywhere to hide. Stand-ups usually have absolute autonomy on what they want to put out and the persona they want to be. It's very controlled. So, Taskmaster becomes memorable for them because they're not performing according to the rules that they've drawn out for themselves, and they're showing other aspects of their character.  That can work negatively and positively for them of course, but I think a lot of people find it memorable because they're performing and not in a way that they traditionally would.


The best example of that has got to be David Baddiel, who basically had a very slow breakdown over 10 weeks, didn't he?

Alex: That was absolutely fascinating.

Greg: I mean, David Baddiel, that series, said to me on three separate occasions offcamera, 'I'm really intelligent, you know'. He started listing his books and even his academic qualifications at one point. I think he is the most stupid 'clever' person we've had. But that's wonderful and I think that anyone that watched David making those mistakes would just love seeing someone who's normally so cerebral be such a klutz. I think people really warm to another side of the man.


Talking of crossovers with their personal lives: does Josh Widdicombe still have your name tattooed on his foot?

Greg: I think he's got that for life. I'll never quite get over that. 

Alex: It was a good choice of tattoo, very funny. Not 'Taskmaster' or anything, just 'Greg'.


The show has moved from Dave to Channel 4. Why the move?

Alex: It was all fairly natural. We came to the end of our contract there. UKTV were very generous. We're so grateful they commissioned us not just once, but then for nine more series.

It wasn't like we broke off and said, 'We're heading somewhere else'. Even the advert breaks help because that's what everyone's used to.  Channel 4's a comedy channel, or at least historically it is, so the chance of more people watching it felt like a natural time to try to grow.  


Will fans notice any changes?

Alex: No. We haven't been pushed into booking any different names, we haven't changed any element of the show except some COVID stuff, like having to put the chairs two metres apart. There's a slight sadness to ending any relationship, but it's all very amicable and when the BAFTAs happened, we were on a Zoom call with them and they were getting drunk celebrating with us, which all felt lovely.


Congratulations on the BAFTA. Is it all the sweeter for waiting ten series to get one?

Alex: I think it's nice to be nominated a couple of times before winning it, because you don't take it for granted. And you don't expect it either.

Greg: I don't think any of the team expected it. It was a genuine surprise, but it's nice to have it recognised and especially for my little bearded friend there who devised the whole thing and so consistently sits in his jacuzzi and comes up with amazing tasks.


How was it to be given your award over Zoom by Kermit and Miss Piggy?

Alex: I like that it was them. It could have been anyone, it could have been a Spice Girl or a Bond actor, but everyone knows the Muppets.

Greg: It's funny, even getting such a wonderful accolade as a BAFTA, there was part of my brain going, 'Miss Piggy's voice is different'.

Alex: I was slightly troubled by that. I liked the Zoom element because we were all on a Zoom call and my kids were watching and lots of the team who would never normally be involved in the ceremony, because the ceremony is normally quite exclusive and only a few of you can go. They do all the work and then the execs and us go and pick up the award which never feels quite right.

Greg: I have to say I was Zooming with Alex and his family, and I'm not convinced his kids are into the show.

Alex: No, they're pretty big fans of Romesh [who was also nominated for The Ranganation] so they were slightly disappointed.

Greg: We had a lot of drinks. It was a really exciting internet party. Alex even got in his jacuzzi during it.


You're signed for six series with Channel 4 including this one. Given how popular the show is with comedians, are you able to pretty much pick and choose names at this stage?

Greg: More or less, yeah. There's still people we're desperate to get, and there are also people that are asking to do it, but they can't make the dates work. It's fiddly. 

But we're also trying to keep the line-ups interesting. No-one's ever predicted what the line-up's going to be and that's part of the joy of it.  There's lots of voices in the room about selecting the right make-up of people but I think most people who we've approached say 'yes' to an extent. It's not very often that people give us an absolute 'no', anyway.

Alex: The likes of Jo Brand really opened a few doors and the cast of series 11 is as good as any we've had in terms of not just the big names, but interesting people that you wouldn't normally see on this sort of show.


Is there a tiny tease you can give us for the next few series, any hints you can drop?

Alex: There's someone in the next series that I get asked about the most, I suppose.


Interesting. Johnny Vegas must have been up there for a while though, right?

Alex: Yeah, although I was nervous, in terms of him causing damage to himself or someone else on tasks days, and on the studio days I didn't quite know what sort of Johnny we'd get. Luckily, we got the tender Johnny, the funny Johnny and the artistic Johnny a few times. He's a proper poet. He puts himself out there.  His heart is on his sleeve throughout and joyously so.


What was Daisy May Cooper like?

Greg: I'll tell you now, Daisy May Cooper, as far as I can work out, for the vast majority of the prize tasks she just fell into her kitchen and grabbed the first thing she could. So, I was absolutely fuming with her before we started the record. I like that. It gives me something to sharpen my teeth on.

Alex: We've had 45 people on before, and we haven't had anyone like Daisy May Cooper. My wife is pleased with her, more than anyone we've ever had. She's very naturally funny. We always talk in comedy about people who've got funny bones and people who haven't, and Daisy is just a funny, funny person.

Greg: And she doesn't edit. I think her responses are very real and in the moment.

Alex: She made a film for us which she believed was a work of art, and as soon as we showed it, it was clear to everyone in the room it was dreadful. But she insisted it was and refused to speak for the rest of the show at one point.

Greg: She's not lacking in self-belief.  

Alex: She's also the most pregnant person we've ever had on the show.


What about Katherine Parkinson?

Greg: She's 90% strait-laced and then another side comes out when you push her, which wouldn't come out on most shows. 

Alex: She's very poised, she's a very elegant woman, but there again - a swan is an elegant bird until you put it in roller skates… My point is, it doesn't matter how poised someone is in their day to day life, the tasks will find them out.  And they did with Katherine and she responded mightily impressively.


What about Mawaan?

Alex: There's no doubt he will be a star. He is one of those triple threats, because he can do the singing, dancing, comedy thing, but he can also paint, he's got amazing dress sense, he's very confident and very funny.

He's quite quiet and quite often says the thing that shines through. He was a constant joy. With the younger people you don't want them to be dwarfed by anyone and he wasn't, he stood up for himself.

Greg: He was quite frustrated at being referred as 'the young man' throughout, by us suggesting he's got boyish charm. At one point he shouted, 'I'm 29!'


And Richard Herring?

Greg: I just really like him. He's quite a sensible man who does stupid things, so it's a perfect show for him. He's one of the mega-fans we've had on, who knows the show inside out. I think Richard is the only person I've ever met who, during the space of one task, can appear both 70 and 12 years of age at once.

Alex: That's true. I guess that's the same as all men. Men are always little boys and grumpy old men at the same time, but he is a particular example of that.

Greg: He said to me at one point, 'It's strange, Greg, you say such awful things to me and yet I'm not offended'.


Contestants often say they love doing Taskmaster because it's like being back at school.

Alex: Yeah, and they don't have to clear up either. They get permission to do silly stuff, they don't have to pay and then they just walk away and get given a sandwich.


There's a Taskmaster board game which is excellent, but it does involve making a lot of mess.

Alex: I know, I'm so sorry. i played that once with my kids, we have a massive row and we put it away!


The show's very popular with families, though. There's a PG version of Taskmaster on Dave so kids can watch.

Alex: Yeah, they were showing that at 7 o'clock every day during lockdown which is great and we're hoping Channel 4 are going to do the same. It's one of the few shows you can sit down as a family and watch, except for the swearing.

Greg: I'm amazed that I haven't had the expense of editing those taken out of my wages, because largely it's me being incapable of controlling my potty mouth.  


And the home-tasking that you did on Twitter during lockdown was also a success all over the world.  

Alex: We were amazed by the amount of different countries that responded to the tasks. I liked that there were lots of families, but there were also lots of people who were by themselves, which I almost found more touching. There was some bloke in his flat desperately trying to compete against a family of six…It formed real communities which was very sweet.


Alex, are you looking forward to being called Little Alex Horne by a whole new audience?

Alex: It's funny, it's not the words as such, it's the way he says it that annoys me. Because that's what people copy, they copy the high-pitched shouting. People are so disappointed when they meet me. They go, 'You're not very little', and they're cross with me.


Remind people how tall you actually are?

Alex: Way over average height.  

Greg: He's not. It's a lie.


Finally, who's on the hit list for more Taskmaster?

Greg: Well, go on, say it.  

Alex: Jack Dee.  

Greg: He always says Jack Dee, I think he's absolutely obsessed with the man.

Alex:  Greg and I had a chat yesterday and we threw some names back and forth. People like Lorraine Kelly.

Greg: Lorraine Kelly is my version of Alex's total obsession with Jack Dee. I have for many years thought I would love to see Lorraine Kelly responding to a task. I sense an inner steeliness and it excites me.

Alex: We had a very funny session, me saying names to Greg and him saying instantly yes or no. It's amazing that people like Debbie McGee and Krishnan Guru Murphy got through.

Taskmaster, starts 9pm Thursday 15th October on Channel 4. Catch series 1-9 on All 4