Saturday, 15 February 2020
Netflix dropped a Valentine’s Day treat on Friday morning in the form of a teaser for “Stranger Things 4.”
The teaser, aptly titled “From Russia With Love,” reveals that David Harbour’s Hopper is alive … and in Russia.
About The Protector Season 3:
In season 3, Hakan enters into a fierce battle to save Istanbul from returning to hell by his brother, who carries the blood of “The Protector”. While the city suffers from a fatal virus, Faysal and Ruya are getting closer to their evil plans. Hakan has to reach Nisan (Funda Eryiğit) to find an antidote and on this path Burak (Taner Ölmez) joins Hakan on this adventure to save the citizens of the city. Trying to survive against all this, Hakan must also find Vezir, the infamous immortal, the rebel, who is getting ready to conquer Istanbul with a fury of six hundred years. The history of Hakan's ancestors sheds a light to his battle today and he gets ready for his journey between the past and the present.
Starring Cagatay Ulusoy, the 10-episode super hero fantasy also stars Hazar Erguclu, Funda Eryigit, Taner Olmez, Okan Yalabik, Bige Onal and Burcin Terzioglu.
Following the huge success of The Rap Game UK, BBC Three is teaming up with contestants Ransom and F.O.S., as they drive across the British Isles to collaborate with local rappers whilst discovering some of the most overlooked rap scenes.
F.O.S. and Ransom know how difficult it is to be taken seriously as a rapper when you’re not from London. Ransom captured hearts on the first series of BBC Three’s The Rap Game UK as the charismatic Nigerian Scottish rapper who was determined to prove you could be a successful Scottish MC. Freedom of Speech AKA F.O.S. hails from Scunthorpe, which is far better known for its steel production than its music scene. Frustrated with the lack of access to recording studios in his hometown, F.O.S. built his own mobile music studio in his car.
In The Rap Trip, Ransom and F.O.S. will travel in their very own customised campervan, kitted out with a mobile recording studio and ready to uncover local grime and rap hotspots; from underground rap battles to homemade music video shoots. They’ll also take a look at the scenes that are reshaping rap in the UK and Ireland.
F.O.S. says: "There’s never been a better time to be a rapper or MC in the UK. But being from Scunthorpe, making it in the industry has not been easy. London has claimed this scene for too long, and I’m looking forward to going on this rap trip to hear the sounds and discover artists outside London."
Ransom says: “The way that UK Rap music has captivated the attention of the whole world is insane! We’re finally at a stage where cities all over the UK are starting to express themselves in their own unique way. This is our chance to give these MCs the exposure they deserve - we’ll be coming to a town or city near you. So if you feel like you're always being overlooked then this is your time to shine. It’s your boys Ransom and F.O.S., Show some love for the cause!”
Posted by JD at 10:44
Friday, 14 February 2020
The Trouble with Maggie Cole is a new drama series starring Dawn French that will start airing March on ITV.
The new series will star Dawn French, Mark Heap, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Vicki Pepperdine, Patrick Robinson, Phil Dunster, Gwyneth Keyworth and Kerry Howard.
The Trouble with Maggie Cole is set in a picturesque small coastal town called Thurlbury with a close-knit community. It follows the stories and fall out for Maggie Cole (played by Dawn French) who doesn’t pay attention to the cautionary adage that ‘those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’.
When a radio journalist interviews her for a small reportage piece about local life she gives him far more detail (and embellishment) about the locals and their personal lives than he was counting on. In the days and weeks following the show’s broadcast, Maggie sees the butterfly effect of how her very public gossip-fest affects various figures around the town and disrupts their lives.
The BBC has commissioned Fizz and Nice One TV to produce Lightning, a new teatime entertainment show hosted by award-winning comic Zoe Lyons.
Lightning sees the traditional quiz show collide with gameshow, in a fast-paced and frantic format designed to leave contestants’ nerves in tatters.
Six challengers battle it out across six adrenaline-pumping rounds while a ruthless spotlight patrols the studio eliminating contestants.
The challengers’ motivation is simple: do whatever it takes to stay out of the light.
With dramatic lightning and a thundering soundtrack, Lightning will combine quick-fire questions with physical trials bringing a new pace and tone to the teatime quiz slot on BBC Two.
Zoe Lyons will preside, supporting contestants as they strive to reach the ultimate goal of £3,000 prize money.
Lightning is filmed in Northern Ireland with support from Northern Ireland Screen.
Zoe Lyons says: “It’s incredibly exciting to be the host of Lightning. It’s a dream job for me as I’m a massive quiz fan and - unlike the contestants - I love being in the spotlight.”
Thursday, 13 February 2020
Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard star in a new Sky original comedy, exploring the paradox that every parent knows but never admits; you would willingly die for your children, but quite often you also want to kill them. Martin Freeman stars as Paul, a caring father discovering he’s not quite the man he thought he was. His partner in this impossibly steep parental climb is Ally (Daisy Haggard), who runs a recording studio, makes Paul laugh and can read a story to their children while she's technically asleep. In this honest and uncompromising comedy Paul and Ally are juggling full-time careers, aging parents, a mortgage, upheavals in their relationship and the unenviable curveballs of parenting their young children.
Martin Freeman, Daisy Haggard, Alun Armstrong, Michael McKean and Patrick Baladi
Sky today revealed the first look trailer and images of its new visceral, action-packed thriller, Gangs of London, which takes audiences on an immersive journey into the hidden heart of the capital. Starring a multi-talented ensemble cast featuring Sope Dirisu, Joe Cole, Colm Meaney, Lucian Msamati and Michelle Fairley.
This nine-part Sky original drama which is co- production with Cinemax, will launch on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV later this year.
Gangs of London was created by visionary award-winning filmmaker of The Raid film franchise, Gareth Evans and his creative partner Matt Flannery and executive produced by Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa for Pulse Films and Jane Featherstone for Sister. This epic saga, with family at its heart is unlike anything seen on TV before, as Gareth’s unique brand of cinematic action explodes on to the small screen for the first time.
Set in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic and multicultural cities, Gangs of London tells the story of city being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs that control it and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated.
Watch the trailer below.
Ep1 - Monday 24 February: 9pm - 10pm
Ep2 - Tuesday 25 February: 9pm - 10pm
Ep3 - Wednesday 26 February: 9pm - 10pm
Ep4 - Thursday 27 February: 9pm - 10pm
Imelda Staunton (A Confession, Maleficent, Paddington, Harry Potter, Vera Drake), Francesca Annis (Home Fires, The Little House, Cranford), Russell Tovey (Years and Years, Quantico) and Stephen Rea (Dickensian, War & Peace, The Honourable Woman) star in Flesh and Blood - a darkly witty and gripping four-part drama created and written by Sarah Williams (The Long Song, Case Sensitive, Poppy Shakespeare), which explores family
dynamics and modern relationships as they spiral towards a tragedy and possible crime.
Joining the ensemble cast are Claudie Blakley (Manhunt, Grantchester, Lark Rise To Candleford), Lydia Leonard (Gentleman Jack, Absentia, Apple Tree Yard), Sharon Small (London Kills, Trust Me, Born to Kill), Lara Rossi (Cheat, Crossing Lines), Keir Charles (Man Up, Love Actually, Green Wing), Vincent Regan (Victoria, The Royals, Atlantis), Grace Hogg-Robinson (The Coroner, Mum) and David Bamber (Valkyrie, Doctors, The Bourne Identity).
Directed by BAFTA nominee and Grierson award winner Louise Hooper (Cheat, Vera, Cold Feet), Flesh and Blood is a modern story of three adult siblings - Helen (Claudie Blakley), Jake (Russell Tovey) and Natalie (Lydia Leonard) - who are thrown into disarray when their recently widowed mother Vivien (Francesca Annis) declares she’s in love with a new man, Mark (Stephen Rea).
In the aftermath of a family celebration, a body lies on the beach, terribly injured – perhaps dead. But who is it?
Just a few weeks earlier, a family of adult siblings is shaken when their recently-widowed mother, Vivien, announces her love for a new man, retired surgeon Mark. Tensions rise as the siblings’ question why Vivien hasn’t mentioned Mark before and are forced to reassess her entire marriage to their father. Mark seems devoted to her, but isn’t it all a bit sudden?
Even Vivien’s neighbour, Mary, is surprised by this turn of events and closely scrutinises the new arrival. She feels protective of Vivien and this family she has known so well and for so long.
At the same time, events in the siblings' own love-lives start to spiral out of control. Vivien’s eldest daughter Helen is overloaded at work, unaware that her family is fracturing as husband George and daughter Lily feel ignored.
Middle son Jake is a personal fitness instructor. His marriage with Leila hit the rocks months ago thanks to Jake’s gambling. In order to regain Leila’s trust and put his family back together, he'll need to pay back his debts. With this in mind, a wealthy client offers him a highly unorthodox solution.
Vivien’s youngest daughter, Natalie, has been involved with Tony for nearly five years now. However, she expertly conceals this as Tony happens to be her boss – and also married. Natalie’s growing worry that, despite his promises, Tony will never leave his wife, leads her down a dangerous path.
When Vivien suffers a health scare and Mark moves in to look after her, the siblings become alarmed about their mother's growing dependence on him and suspect that he’s only after her money. But can they overcome years of sibling rivalry to truly put their mother’s health and happiness first?
Meanwhile Mary is quietly watching events unfold from her garden next door and dispensing tea, sympathy and advice to them all.
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The 2020 shortlisted footballers are:
Lucy Bronze - England - Olympique Lyonnais
Julie Ertz - USA - Chicago Red Stars
Sam Kerr - Australia - Chelsea
Vivianne Miedema - Netherlands - Arsenal
Megan Rapinoe - USA - Reign FC
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English, says: “Last year was an extraordinary year for women’s football, and as it continues to grow in popularity, the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year celebrates the players at the very top of their game and underscores our commitment to supporting the sport. The award gives fans around the world the chance to vote for their favourite player and we can’t wait to see who will emerge as this year’s winner.”
The vote will close on Monday 2 March at 9am (GMT) and the winner of the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2020 will be revealed on Tuesday 24th March at 7am on BBC World Service (radio), BBC World News (TV).
Now in its sixth year, the award from the BBC World Service celebrates the very best in women’s football around the world. The shortlist is selected by a large panel of experts involved in the game from all around the world, including coaches, players, administrators and journalists based on performances in 2019, and the winner is then decided in a public vote.
The 2019 award was won by Norwegian footballer Ada Hegerberg who plays for Olympique Lyonnais and she also won in 2017. The 2018 winner was English footballer Lucy Bronze who plays for Olympique Lyonnais. The 2016 winner was Scottish footballer Kim Little who plays for Arsenal, and the 2015 winner was Nigerian footballer Asisat Oshoala who now plays for Barcelona Femení.
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, have commissioned writing duo Harry and Jack Williams’ brand new drama The Tourist for BBC One.
The Tourist is produced by award-winning production company Two Brothers Pictures (Baptiste, The Missing, Liar) in association with Stan - also announced as the Australian co-commissioning partner; Highview Productions; all3media international and the South Australian Film Corporation.
In the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, a British man is pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. An epic cat and mouse chase unfolds and The Man later wakes in hospital, hurt, but somehow alive. Except he has no idea who he is. With merciless figures from his past pursuing him, The Man’s search for answers propels him through the vast and unforgiving outback.
The Tourist is a character-driven mystery packed thriller, full of shocking, surprising, funny and brutal turns. Set in a world populated by quirky, enigmatic characters, off-beat black comedy punctuates high-stakes action. The six-episode series twists and turns through the dusty outback of Australia, to the frantic noise and lights of Singapore, and to the calm, luxury white-sand beaches of Bali.
At its heart however, is a story of self-discovery with a ticking timebomb underneath: As The Man starts to uncover the mystery of who he was, he’s also forced to ask who he is now - and fast. Will he unlock the secrets of his identify before those who are trying to kill him catch up with him?
Existential questions sit alongside breathless storytelling, in a very real and very human story that everyone can relate to, played out across the almost mythic, landscape of the outback, a modern-day Wild West.
Harry and Jack Williams, Writers and Managing Directors of Two Brothers Pictures, say: “The Tourist is a departure from anything we’ve written before. It isn’t an easy show to categorise - so we won’t. We are, however, hugely excited to have Chris Sweeney on board as director, and to be making this for the BBC. We’re thankful for their support of this ambitious project.”
Stand-up comedian Athena Kugblenu is the recipient of this year’s Felix Dexter Bursary scheme.
The six-month bursary, run by BBC Comedy and supported by BBC Writersroom, is awarded to aspiring comedy writers, with the aim of making a positive intervention to address an under-representation of BAME professionals in comedy production in broadcasting. She will be based in BBC offices across the UK whilst on the bursary.
Now in its third year, the Felix Dexter Bursary is designed to find writers with a fresh, unique point of view and the potential to help shape the future of comedy. It is open to black, Asian and other ethnic minority writers or writing duos who are aged 18 or over.
Athena Kugblenu is a stand-up comedian and emerging comedy writer. In 2015, she was the BBC New Comedian of the Year finalist. Her stand-up style leads with intelligent, topical and thought-provoking jokes, with an edgy sting. Her first solo show, KMT, played the Edinburgh Fringe to four and five-star reviews, as did her 2018 follow-up Follow The Leader. Both featured in The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph’s best jokes compilations.
As a regular co-host on The Guilty Feminist podcast, Athena is an exciting voice bringing her unique perspective on the subjects of race, gender and how equality shapes our modern lives. Athena is prominent on twitter and has also written content for Time Out and Stylist Magazine where she brilliantly showcases her wit and wisdom both online and in print.
Athena Kugblenu says: “I'm thrilled and a little bit stunned to be awarded this bursary, especially one in the name of an indisputable comedy genius. This is a huge opportunity to develop my comedy writing and further my career, and I can't wait to get started.”
Sarah Asante, BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor, says: “We’re very excited to welcome Athena to the third year of the Felix Dexter Bursary and hope that the training on offer leads to finding her voice and cementing her place in the scripted world.”
The first Felix Dexter Bursary was launched in 2017 after Paul Whitehouse (Trustee of the Felix Dexter Foundation) and BBC Comedy Commissioner Shane Allen agreed that supporting and encouraging writers from an ethnic minority background would be a fitting tribute to the late comedy actor and writer, who featured in iconic BBC comedies including The Fast Show and The Real McCoy.
On a practical level, the bursary gives up-and-coming talent the chance to make comedy writing their main focus for six months, while immersed in comedy production. They hone their skills while gaining experience on a range of BBC comedies across radio, TV and online, on panel shows, shorts, sitcoms or comedy entertainment shows. The programme offers the writers the support they need to take the next step in their career.
Channel 4 is to return to Victorian London for a second helping of Year of the Rabbit. The 6x30 comedy series will once again focus on tough booze-hound detective Rabbit (Matt Berry), his hapless partner Strauss (Freddie Fox) and the country’s first female police officer Mabel (Susan Wokoma) as they fight crime in London’s east end.
You can catch up on Series One by clicking HERE (Link opens in a new window)
At the end of the first series Lydia (Keeley Hawes) had pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes, with Strauss thinking they were lovers and Mabel joining Lydia’s secret female society, mistakenly thinking it was a power for good. After Rabbit and the gang foiled Lydia’s plot to take down London, saving the day. But, with Lydia still at large and Her Majesty requesting an audience with Rabbit, Strauss and Mabel for a secret job…anything could happen.
Matt Berry commented: ”I’m looking forward to Inspector Rabbit returning back to our screens to fight crime in the past. This time he’ll deal with all sorts of unearthly forces, including the Royal Family! Victorian London is presently very much where it’s at.”
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, says: “Year of the Rabbit is one of the most glorious, gutsy and audacious comedies on TV, made by a fantastic cast and crew who relish every detail. We're thrilled to welcome it back. Here's to more absurd capers in the dark underbelly of Victorian London.”
IFC and Sundance TV Executive Director Blake Callaway added: “Ever since he guest starred on Portlandia, we knew we wanted more Matt Berry on IFC. An often-drunk, frequently filthy, and always foul-mouthed Victorian detective hits the perfect ‘slightly off’ spot.”
The Secret Life of the Zoo returns on Thursday 13 February at 8pm on Channel 4
The Secret Life of the Zoo returns, as cameras once again lead viewers into the places that Chester Zoo’s visitors never get to see. In this week's first episode there's a deep dive into the aquarium where a battle for survival is brewing, and alpha male Arnie, king of the Indian mudskipper fish, rules the roost among these extraordinary creatures who can exist both in and out of water. Gentle Danny is being bullied, and blacklisted from the food supplies. Can he survive?
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Filming has begun on Bloodlands, a major original crime drama for BBC One, created by exciting new writer Chris Brandon and produced by HTM Television (co-owned by Jed Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions).
Joining James Nesbitt (The Missing, Cold Feet) in the drama are Lisa Dwan (Top Boy, Trust), Lorcan Cranitch (Fortitude, The Dig), Charlene McKenna (Ripper Street, Vienna Blood), Ian McElhinney (Derry Girls, Game Of Thrones), Lola Petticrew (My Left Nut, Come Home), Chris Walley (The Young Offenders, 1917), Michael Smiley (Luther, Death and Nightingales), Kathy Kiera Clarke (Derry Girls, The Pale Horse), and Susan Lynch (Happy Valley, Save Me).
When a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of Strangford Lough, Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) quickly connects it to an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance. Bloodlands follows his hunt for the legendary assassin known as 'Goliath', an explosive cat-and-mouse game where the stakes have never been higher.
Additional cast include Peter Ballance, Asan N’Jie, Cara Kelly and Flora Montgomery.
BBC today announced that Sir David Attenborough is to present A Perfect Planet, a brand new five-part natural history super-landmark from Silverback Films.
David Attenborough said: "Oceans, sunlight, weather and volcanoes - together these powerful yet fragile forces allow life to flourish in astonishing diversity. They make Earth truly unique - a perfect planet. Our planet is one in a billion, a world teeming with life. But now, a new dominant force is changing the face of Earth: humans. To preserve our perfect planet we must ensure we become a force for good."
Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, says: "BBC One continues to lead the way in natural history programming, and I’m thrilled that Sir David Attenborough will be our trusted guide to A Perfect Planet. It will be a breathtaking series celebrating the intricate systems that allow our planet to thrive, bringing together a unique perspective with groundbreaking camera technology."
Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery, says: "We at Discovery are proud to be a part of A Perfect Planet. With Sir David Attenborough leading the journey, audiences will be in awe of our world and the perfect conditions that created it, and will be reminded what we need to do to preserve it."
Planet Earth is perfect. It orbits at the perfect distance from the sun; it tilts at just the right angle and has a decent sized moon to hold it in place. On top of that, the day-to-day workings of the planet naturally serve to nurture animals and plants. For instance, a global weather system circulates and distributes fresh water to all corners, and a cycle of marine currents delivers nutrients to even the deepest reaches of the ocean. As a result, there is literally no corner of our planet where life can’t be found.
A Perfect Planet - in a unique fusion of blue chip natural history and earth sciences - explains how the living planet operates. This five-part series will show how the forces of nature - weather, ocean currents, solar energy and volcanoes - drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of life. In doing so, it will reveal how animals are perfectly adapted to whatever the environment throws at them.
From the white wolves of Ellesemere Island to bears in Kamchatka, vampire finches of the Galapagos to golden snub-nosed monkeys of China, the series will combine a global view of the planet from space with intimate animal stories from the most spectacular habitats. From the Indian Monsoon to Hawaiian volcanoes, tidal islands of the Bahamas to the extremes of the Arctic winter, A Perfect Planet will take the audience on a stunning visual journey that will change the way we see our home.
The final episode in the series looks at the dramatic impact of the world’s newest global force of nature - humans.
Monday, 10 February 2020
BBC Radio 3 announces star-studded dramas including a never before produced Anthony Burgess script starring Christopher Eccleston
The new audio dramas will feature leading voices in British theatre and television including David Suchet, Maxine Peake, Christopher Eccleston and Toby Jones, and award-winning 20th century writers, thinkers and playwrights including Roy Williams OBE.
The forthcoming commissions tackle bold issues ranging from a women’s journey joining an all-female militia in Northern Syria, to Shakespeare’s play Othello staged in a contemporary world and a drama following the social history of a Notting Hill neighbourhood and location of the Grenfell Tower fire, Notting Dale, told through the eyes of one family.
“I’m chuffed to bits to be playing Schreber in Anthony Burgess’s unproduced screenplay. The role was originally meant to be played by a personal acting hero of mine - Burt Lancaster - and deals with male mental health and challenges traditional gender roles and thinking.”
BBC Studios’ award winning Science Unit announces a brand new series with Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg at Showcase 2020 event.
The series will follow Greta’s international crusade, which takes her to the front line of climate change in some of the most extraordinary places on earth, as she explores what actions could be taken to limit climate change and the damage it causes.
Scientists across the world agree that global temperature rise needs to be limited to 1.5 degrees, to give us the best possible chance of avoiding irreversible chain reactions. Throughout the series a chorus of these experts will lay out the science that lies beneath this unambiguous statement.
As she travels Greta meets not only leading scientists but political leaders and business heavyweights, exploring the scientific evidence with them and challenging them to change.
The films will also charts her own journey into adulthood as she continues to be confronted by the real world consequences of inaction; and will share some of the quiet moments as she writes the impactful speeches that are now broadcast and analysed around the world, as she lives a teenage life like no other.
Rob Liddell, BBC Studios Executive Producer said: “Climate change is probably the most important issue of our lives so it feels timely to make an authoritative series that explores the facts and science behind this complex subject. To be able to do this with Greta is an extraordinary privilege, getting an inside view on what it’s like being a global icon and one of the most famous faces on the planet.”
10th February 2020 – ITV Studios’ and Motion Content Group’s award-winning, record-breaking format Love Island has been commissioned by Antena in Romania, which becomes the 15th territory to broadcast a local version.
In 2020, ITV2 in the UK are showing two series of the show (series 6 & 7), while it will also debut in France on Amazon Prime in March and return on CBS in the US following a successful launch in 2019. Last year it also launched in Belgium, Netherlands, Poland and Hungary. It has run for three series in Germany, two in Australia and Norway, and has also been commissioned in Sweden, Denmark and New Zealand.
Maarten Meijs, President, Global Entertainment at ITV Studios, said:
“We’ve consistently said that the essence of Love Island is about the road to finding love, and this is something audiences the world over can relate to, as it’s increasing international reach and popularity proves. Love Island has been a game-changer. It has broken viewing records across the globe and we are really excited about the new international launches coming this year.”
Love Island is based on a format owned by ITV Studios and Motion Content Group Ltd and is distributed internationally by ITV Studios.
Full of flirting, jealousy, rejection and fun, Love Island sees its occupants living in a stunning villa in a beautiful location. They are on the lookout for romance but as always, the road to love never runs smoothly, as they must not only choose their partner wisely but also win the hearts of the public. It’s up to the viewers to decide who they want to stay in the show as they watch the relationships develop and ultimately which pair they want to crown the hottest couple on the island.
BBC Three has ordered a second series of Ladhood, the coming-of-age comedy from the Bafta-nominated writer, actor and comedian, Liam Williams.
Adapted from his original BBC Radio 4 series, Ladhood straddles two timelines as Liam explores the roots of modern-day masculinity, by delving into the memories of his own misspent adolescence in the Leeds suburb of Garforth during the early noughties.
Across the series Liam and his best mates Ralph, Addy and Craggy go through many of the teenage rites of passage. Getting get drunk, trying drugs, ending up in fights, falling in love and falling apart.
Ladhood launched in December 2019 on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer with a slot on BBC One in January 2020.
Liam Williams says: "I'm excited and honoured to have another chance to work with a tremendously talented cast and crew in giving my own grubby memories far more gravitas than they deserve."
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, says: “Ladhood has a terrific concept which audiences have found really engaging. Liam’s deft writing manages to both excoriate and celebrate the trials and tribulations of those formative late teen years as he traces back the roots of the person he then became in adulthood. With a superb cast and a soundtrack to boot, this keeps the BBC Three comedy flame burning brighter than ever.”
As revealed by Top Gear presenters Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris on BBC Breakfast today, Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content has confirmed that the world’s biggest motoring entertainment show is moving to the nation’s favourite channel for its 29th series later this year.
The new line up of Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris has been a hit with viewers and critics alike, and their debut series on BBC Two in June last year attracted an average consolidated audience of 3.8 million viewers, making it the channel’s most popular programme of 2019. The long-running factual entertainment show, produced by BBC Studios, was also hugely popular amongst young audiences, occupying a spot in the top four shows on British television for 16-34-year olds during each week of its run.
Following the success of this first series, the trio recently returned with even higher audience ratings, seeing the opening episode of their second series pull in an audience of more than 4.3 million (consolidated), the highest for the show in four years. In between seasons they also filmed the Top Gear Nepal Christmas Special, which saw the team embark on an epic high-altitude voyage from Kathmandu to the Forbidden City of Lo Manthang, thrilling UK audiences when it aired in December.
Paddy, Freddie and Chris’s debut series of Top Gear has already been snapped up globally by over 100 countries including China, the U.S., South Africa, India, Australia and Germany.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says : "The time is right to move the world's best motor show to the nation's most popular channel and bring it to an even broader audience on BBC One. Freddie, Paddy and Chris have revitalised the hit series with their escapades and banter; and we couldn't have asked for a better response to their series so far and the impact it's had with young audiences."
The Brokenwood Mysteries Series 6 is out on DVD on 17th February.
BROKENWOOD, NEW ZEALAND: Population 5000 and declining – slowly – one by one, or two by two, depending on the murder rate that week. Series Six of hit New Zealand crime drama The Brokenwood Mysteries recently aired on UKTV’s Drama Channel, and arrives on DVD 17 February 2020, alongside the Series 1 to 6 Box Set, courtesy of Acorn Media International.
Four-times-divorced, country-music-loving, big city cop Detective Inspector Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea – Go Girls) has settled into the rural town of Brokenwood. He was first brought in to solve the case of a dead farmer suspected of foul play, and never left. There’s no rest for the wicked and the crimes keep on coming. Along with his by-the-book young partner Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland – The Almighty Johnsons), Mike delves into the quaint community’s dark underbelly, where shadows lurk beneath the surface.
A murder at a Victorian dress-up Steampunk event, a renowned crime author falling victim to a killing right out of his books, an animal activist found dead on the first day of duck hunting season, and run-ins with some familiar faces as they are called in to investigate a suspicious suicide at Brokenwood Women’s Prison – can Mike and the team get to the bottom of these gruesome goings-on?
Featuring a soundtrack of Mike’s favourite soulful country music to match the rural setting, each series contains four gripping stand-alone, feature-length stories.
Murder lurks in the most unlikely of places in The Brokenwood Mysteries.
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Who plays Detective Mike Shepherd in The Brokenwood Mysteries?
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Friday, 7 February 2020
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m from Carmarthen. I moved to London after school to train at the Guildhall. Since graduating in 2017, I’ve been in a few films, a couple TV series and travelled the world taking three plays on tour with Shakespeare’s Globe! But Hidden was by far the largest project I’ve been involved in, in terms of scale and ambition it was on another level. The locations and the storyline really stretched me and I learnt a lot from the whole process. I hope you enjoy it!
Your character Connor is new to the series, can you describe him and how he fits into the storyline?
Without giving too much away, Connor has moved to Blaenau from south Wales with his Mam and brother. Let’s just say he’s fallen in with the wrong crowd and from the moment we meet him we know he’s found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can’t say more than that!
Tell us about the locations featured in series two...
The series is based in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which is such a unique place in north Wales. It’s surrounded by enormous slate piles that create a sort of mini climate of its own. When you get up out of the town and see what’s all around, the scenery is breath-taking.
What was the most challenging aspect of filming Hidden?
The weather we were faced with was so erratic; we had mini heatwaves, some snow, hail, storms all within a single month. I remember being soaked through getting back to my hotel at night on numerous occasions. Another challenge is shooting bilingually, flipping back and forth to shoot everything twice is tricky, especially at the start, you find yourself speaking the wrong language quite often. But by the end, they seem to offer different insights into the characters and their mentalities.
What did you enjoy most about being part of the new series?
It was a long shoot, five months. During that time you create such a team effort mentality. Everybody chipping in when we’re all freezing in a quarry at 4am. We felt like a big unit by the end, getting it done together, it was lovely.
Thursday, 6 February 2020
Filming began today on Mandy, a brand new comedy series from Diane Morgan, made by BBC Studios.
Mandy (6x15') debuted as part of Comedy Shorts on BBC iPlayer in 2019 and stars Diane Morgan (Cunk On Britain, Motherland, After Life) in the title role. As well as appearing as the lead character, Diane writes and directs the series - the original Comedy Short being her first foray behind the camera.
Mandy is a woman with dreams. Big dreams. Most of all she dreams of breeding Doberman Pinchers. But there are hurdles to overcome before that dream can become a reality. So, in this series we'll see her go on a health kick, rent out her small back room on Airbnb and attempt a series of short-lived jobs in the modern gig economy.
The series also stars Michelle Greenidge (After Life, Code 404) as Lola, Mandy's friend and confidante in the local nail bar, with further cast members that will be announced in due course.
Diane Morgan says: "Why do they insist on sticking mayonnaise in everything? That's not a question that this series of Mandy will answer, but surely someone should be looking into it? Panorama?"
Ian McElhinney and Steve Toussaint are set to appear in the explosive two-part finale of Doctor Who as the Doctor comes face-to-face with one of her most dangerous and relentless enemies once more: The Cybermen.
Entitled Ascension of the Cybermen (part one) and The Timeless Children (part two), the two-part finale sees the Doctor and her friends face one of their biggest and most dangerous challenges yet, but will they be able to defeat one of the Doctor's deadliest foes?
Ian McElhinney, best known for his roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Fall, and Game Of Thrones, says: "I very much enjoyed my time on Doctor Who. The team were a delight to work with and everyone was very supportive and welcoming. All in all it was a blast."
Steve Toussaint, who is best known for Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Judge Dredd, and Mutant Chronicles, says: "It was an honour to play a part in the giant of British (and world) TV that is Doctor Who. What's not to like? I had such a great time working with Jodie and 'the Fam'; another one off the bucket list!"
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, says: "We were delighted to have Ian and Steve on board the TARDIS for the drama filled two-part finale. Their wide-ranging talent and versatility as actors help bring series 12 to a dramatic conclusion. They were an absolute joy to work with and we can't wait for viewers to see them in action."
Doctor Who continues on BBC One on Sunday 9 February at 7.10pm.
In the half hour special, A Winter's Tale From Shaun The Sheep, Shaun's seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings for the Flock inadvertently leads to Timmy going missing.
Can Shaun get Timmy back before he becomes someone else's present? Prepare for a 'Santastic' adventure as everyone learns the true value of Christmas!
To accompany the announcement, Aardman have released a festive image picture featuring Shaun, Timmy and his teddy making snow angels.
Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition, says: "Aardman lovingly produce stories with warmth, personality and humour, so we are truly delighted that, following the huge success of The Farmer's Llamas, the next project in our continuing relationship is another wonderful Shaun the Sheep special."
Sean Clarke, Managing Director of Aardman, says: "Aardman films have come to be synonymous with the festive period, which is a real honour. We're delighted to be continuing this tradition with a Shaun the Sheep seasonal special that will premiere on the BBC for Christmas 2021."
The half hour special will start shooting in late 2020.
Can you tell us a bit about you?
I'm from Penarth, with my mother's side from Llanfyllin, and my father’s side from Swansea. The 'Elwy' part of my name refers to Llanelwy, north Wales, where my grandfather came from.
I trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and after graduating I spent a few years doing various plays, including at The Royal Court in London, which had always been my ultimate dream when I was training, and fully lived up to it. I then decided I wanted to return to screen and keep learning, so I did a few smaller TV roles, before landing the role of Beth in the BBC/PBS production of Little Women, which was huge for me. Since then I’ve filmed two feature films - The Toll, and Gwledd - both of which are due for release in 2020, as well as Hidden of course!
Tell us about your character Mia...
She's certainly not like any character I've played before. The upbringing she's had has left its mark on her, and has left her with very little respect for anyone. She's fearless, because as far as she can see, she has nothing to lose. She's bright, articulate, artistic, eloquent, brave, and fiercely independent. She also seems to have more emotional intelligence than anyone around her - so it's easy for her to manipulate, and run rings around the whole village.
As one of the main antagonists, how did you approach playing a character like Mia? How difficult is it playing a baddie?
I think it took more preparation. I had to ask a lot of questions, answer a lot of questions, and build a back story strong enough for me to understand, make peace with, and follow the same journey of thought and emotion that leads Mia in what she does. Once the prep work was done, playing 'a baddie' really is a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the scenes in episode six, the mind games. Mia doesn't speak all that often, but when she does, watch out! She's a force to be reckoned with.
Are you worried that the audience will not like you? How do you get the audience to empathise with your character’s journey?
In a way, it's quite freeing not having that worry. If people had disliked Beth when I played her in Little Women, or had disliked my character Jen in the stage play YEN, I would have taken that to mean I'd failed really, because their likeability is crucial, its completely central to their characters. Mia, on the other hand, wouldn't care about being liked, and therefore neither did I. If people can empathise with her, even if they don't like her, well that'd be great.
What drew you to the part?
I'd been wanting to work with Ed and Gareth again for years. They gave me my first job after I left drama school (The Passing), and it was a job that gave me space to learn about film sets, and my role, as an actor, within that. I feel very safe working with them, and that meant I could relax, which meant I could be more 'in the moment' and deliver a better performance. Usually you spend the whole job wondering if the director is regretting giving you the job, desperately trying to please and second guessing your performance in every scene! I hadn't worked with Chris Forster before but he was wonderful too, and I can't wait to see what he goes on to film, I think he's a great director. Aside from the team, it was also, obviously, a really dynamic part to play, and a huge contrast to the other parts I've played, so as soon as I read the script, I was really keen to play Mia.
How did the dramatic landscape in which the series is set impact on the drama of the series?
I've always loved Blaenau. It's breath-taking, like nowhere else, and the people there are so welcoming, so generous. My own personal feelings aside, putting myself in Mia's mindframe, I can totally understand how unescapable it'd feel, seeing black mountains surround you and tower over you, from every window, 360 degrees. At that age especially, without a driving licence, how small your world would feel, and how futile it would feel to have hopes and ambitions.
The second series features a younger cast, how did you find working with the other cast members?
We spent many months in each other’s company, many days of which were spent sat in that blue car, in our own little bubble, keeping warm and out of the way. It became our little green room. We laughed more than you can imagine, and though you never see us even smile on screen, a lot of those scenes, for no apparent reason, were filmed on the verge of a fit of giggles. We've remained great friends, of course!
Wednesday, 5 February 2020
Were you surprised by the success of the first series?
Not so much surprised as proud. While filming it felt like we were making something of high quality and so it was lovely to see that people really enjoyed it and wanted more. And it’s great to see how well it’s been received in other countries - knowing that we’ve played a part in bringing Welsh drama onto the international stage is wonderful.
Were there any new challenges for you personally and for Cadi in the new series?
Series two picks up around nine months after series one ends. We find Cadi trying to deal with the grief of losing her father, while trying to keep her head in her work.
It’s a difficult time for her - just as one begins to come through the initial shock of losing someone and start to try and deal with it, that’s the time that everyone around you starts to forget and move on. She’s also faced with dealing with the estranged daughter of the victim of the case, and the parallels she sees between the two of them are difficult for her to navigate professionally.
What was different, if anything, for you in series two?
It was just so great to come back and revisit a character to see how she’d changed in that time. And it was a joy to be working with the same team again - we’d all been so proud of the work we’d achieved with series one, so for us all to come back together for a second series was really exciting.
The second series introduces a whole new set of characters and plots. How did that suit you?
Obviously, with a new case, we had a new cast of guest leads so it did feel strange for a time to be without the brilliant actors we had first time round. But it means it keeps it feeling fresh - almost like a brand new job. And our new guest leads were all so brilliant that it was just lovely to come to work every day knowing we had something exciting and new on our hands.
The new series is set in new location in the form of Blaenau Ffestiniog. How was that?
Obviously the weather in north Wales can be challenging at times! But it serves the show so well that it’s impossible to complain - it looks so great on screen. And the people of Blaenau were so welcoming and happy to have us. We had a great time.
Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Amy Huberman (Cold Feet, Striking Out) writes and stars alongside Aisling Bea (This Way Up, Living with Yourself) and Jenny Rainsford (Fleabag) in a new, hilarious six-part comedy series Finding Joy, that follows the trials and tribulations of a journalist turned accidental superstar vlogger. Finding Joy arrives on DVD 16 March 2020 courtesy of Acorn Media International following its UK premiere on UKTV’s W Channel.
Joy (Huberman) may have just broken up with her long-term boyfriend, Aidan (Lochlann O'Mearáin – Vikings), and her best friend Trish (Hannah James-Scott – Crumble) is busy having a baby, but she’s totally fine…no matter what her dog, Canine Aidan (Peter McDonald – Dublin Murders), thinks.
Joy is perfectly happy with her secluded and orderly life as a back-room news editor. That is until her quiet life is turned upside down as she is summoned to step into the position of the media corporation’s sexy and adventurous lifestyle guru and Ireland’s most beloved vlogger, Flora the Happy Hunter (Laura Whitmore – Love Island presenter). Joy is catapulted headlong into the unknown and unwelcome world of social media stardom.
Forced to share her fears, feelings, and wardrobe malfunctions with the world, maybe the vlogosphere can help Joy solve the problems plaguing her personal life: tackling breaking boundaries through full-contact wrestling and ex-boyfriend induced insanity through hot yoga – what could go wrong?
With straight-talking manager Charlene (Rainsford) and quirky new roommate Amelia (Bea) at her side, Joy pushes herself outside of her comfort zone, all in the name of learning about the crazy, uncomfortable and new-age methods people use to find – well joy.
The Trip is returning to Sky One and streaming service NOW TV on 3 March 2020 at 10pm with a fourth instalment of the multi award-winning and much-loved comedy series, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
The Sky original series, from Revolution Films and directed by Michael Winterbottom, will see Steve and Rob’s fictionalised characters embark on a road trip around Greece for a fresh helping of gastronomic adventures. The six part series is succulently seasoned with laughter, impressions and scintillating conversation.
The Trip to Greece is sure to satisfy viewers’ palettes as the duo lock horns over tragedy, comedy, myth and history. All while dining on cuisine traditional to beautiful Greek hot spots including Assos, Kavala, Stagira, Athens, Epidaurus, Hydra and Plyos among many, many others.
“What a joy to go island hopping with the incomparable Steve and Rob. Greece is the birthplace of democracy but more importantly the birthplace of Michael Winterbottom’s latest vision, which we can’t wait to share with our customers. Yamas!”
Director of Comedy, Sky Studios
ITV’s hugely popular detective drama, Endeavour, returns for a seventh highly-anticipated series.
Sun 09 Feb 2020 - 8pm to 10pm
The latest series of critically-acclaimed drama, which is produced by leading drama indie Mammoth Screen - part of ITV Studios - in partnership with Masterpiece, will consist of three, brand new interconnecting feature-length films. Each film has once again been written by Russell Lewis who has penned all 27 Endeavour screenplays to date.
Shaun Evans reprises his role as DS Endeavour Morse, alongside Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday, for a new set of compelling cases. Following the success of his directorial debut on the drama during series six, Shaun Evans has also directed the first film of the new series.
In addition, Anton Lesser (Game Of Thrones) returns as CS Reginald Bright, Sean Rigby (Gunpowder) as DS Jim Strange, James Bradshaw (Close To The Enemy) as Dr Max DeBryn, Abigail Thaw (I Want My Wife Back) as Dorothea Frazil and Caroline O’Neill (Last Tango In Halifax) as Win Thursday.
The new trilogy of films mark Endeavour and his colleagues entering a new decade and era of change. Opening on New Year’s Eve 1969, normal order has been resumed and the team reunited at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge.
However, the events of the past year have left their mark, and the new series will see old friendships challenged and new relationships blossom.
Film 1 - Oracle
As Endeavour sees in the new year – 1970 – at an opera house in Venice, a murder on an Oxford towpath speaks to Thursday’s intuition, and convinced he has the man responsible, he vows to bring him to justice. Returning home, Endeavour makes a new acquaintance, and old friendships show signs of strain.
Later, when an exciting new educational television programme appeals for Academic presenters, a contentious college project develops into a fatal battle of the sexes. On investigating, Endeavour and Thursday discover a potential link between the department and a young woman’s troubling premonitions.
DS Endeavour Morse - Shaun Evans
DI Fred Thursday - Roger Allam
CS Reginald Bright - Anton Lesser
DS Jim Strange - Sean Rigby
Dr Max Debryn - James Bradshaw
Dorothea Frazil - Abigail Thaw
Win Thursday - Caroline O’Neill
Mrs Bright - Carol Royle
Violetta - Stephanie Leonidas
Ludo - Ryan Gage
Jenny Tate - Holli Dempsey
Professor Blish - Angus Wright
Dr Naomi Benford - Naomi Battrick
Dr Jeremy Kreitsek - Reece Ritchie
Dr Dai Farman - Richard Harrington
Carl Sturgis - Sam Ferriday
Mrs Carlin - Beverley Klein
Saward - John Hales
Molly Andrews - Lucy Farrar
Reet Ellison - Nicola Duffett
Bridget - Flora London
Mrs Blish - Lucy Briers
Tony - Oliver Boot
The hit crime drama Hidden continues this year with a six-part second series following the success of the chilling first series.
Returning to BBC One Wales on Tuesday 11 February at 9pm and BBC Four on Saturday 15 February at 9pm, the second series will see the return of DCI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) and DS Owen Vaughan (Siôn Alun Davies).
When the brutal murder of an ex-teacher is discovered following an anonymous phone call, Cadi leads an investigation in the slate-strewn mountains of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
While Cadi and Vaughan have a new case on their hands however, three young friends (Mia - played by Annes Elwy, Connor - played by Steffan Cennydd and Lee - played by Siôn Eifion) have blood on theirs. As their lives - and the investigation - unravels, they soon find out there is nowhere to hide.
Made by Monumental Television the hugely successful sitcom features a young couple, Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe), who unexpectedly inherit a grand country estate only to find it is both falling apart and overrun with ghosts...
The crumbling country pile of Button House is home to a troupe of restless spirits who have died there over the centuries, each ghost very much a product of their time, resigned to squabbling with each other for eternity over the most inane of daily gripes.
Ghosts was the first BBC One project for creators and stars of Yonderland and the feature film Bill: Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond. The cast also includes Lolly Adefope and Katy Wix.
Ghosts will film over the winter. transmission details will be confirmed in due course.
The cast say: "We were thrilled with how warmly series one was received and can't wait to creak open the doors of Button House again and share another clutch of ghost stories."
The series is commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Head of Comedy Kate Daughton.
Ghosts is a Monumental Television production in association with Them There for BBC One. The producer is Matthew Mulot, the director is Tom Kingsley, and the creators serve as Executive Producers alongside Monumental's Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward and Alison Owen.
Series one is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.
Regarded as one of the most influential sitcoms, Seinfeld will find a new home on All 4 from 7 February 2020, as part of a streaming deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT).
Originally airing between 1989 to 1998, Seinfeld stars Jerry Seinfeld as a stand-up comedian whose life in New York City is made even more chaotic by his quirky group of friends who join him in wrestling with life's most perplexing, yet often trivial questions.
Described by The Guardian as ‘the greatest US sitcom ever written’, the show also features Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Jerry's ex-girlfriend and current platonic pal; Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Jerry's neurotic hard-luck best friend; and Michael Richards as Jerry's eccentric neighbour, Kramer.
Originally running for nine seasons and a total of 180 episodes, the first three seasons of this nostalgic hit will drop onto All 4 on 7 February, with the remaining six made available every Friday until mid-March when the full nine will be available to stream for free.
Charlie Palmer, Managing Editor of All 4 said: “I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off 2020 than with the addition of Seinfeld, one of the most influential sitcoms of all time, to All 4. In making it available for free, we hope to bring a whole new audience to a show that has already earned an enduring and loyal fanbase.”
Monday, 3 February 2020
Britannia - Series 2 is out on DVD on 10th February.
RUTHLESS ROMANS, drugged-up Druids and capricious Celts…welcome to Britannia. Olivier award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth (The Ferryman) pens this rich historical series that blends fact and fantasy to create a fever-dream drama. Recently returning for its second series on Sky Atlantic, Britannia Series II comes to DVD and digital from Acorn Media International on 10 February 2020 alongside a Series I & II Box Set.
Series one begins in 43AD, as Roman General Aulus Plautius (David Morrissey – The Missing) arrives in Britannia, determined to conquer it where Julius Caesar lost to the Druids 90 years earlier. He leverages rivalries between Celtic tribes: the Regnii led by Queen Antedia (Zoë Wanamaker – Harry Potter), and the Cantii led by the aging King Pellenor (Ian McDiarmid – Star Wars).
As Cantii royal siblings Phelan (Julian Rhind-Tutt – Harlots) and Kerra (Kelly Reilly – True Detective) vie over their right to the throne, there are greater forces at work. High Druid Veran (Mackenzie Crook – Detectorists) summons spirits with gruesome rituals to achieve his own ends, while chosen child Cait (Eleanor Worthington-Cox – Gwen) seeks to fulfil a prophecy with the help of demon-possessed madman Divis (Nikolaj Lie Kaas – The Killing).
The second series follows two years later as the Roman hold over Britannia grows stronger and while some Celts continue the fight to reclaim their land, others are happy to be Romanised rather than face extinction. But when a dead man wakes, it triggers an epic battle of wills between two Druid brothers that puts everyone in danger, and jeopardises Cait’s chances at saving Britannia from the Romans once and for all…
Who will rule Britannia?
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Which actress plays Queen Antedia in Britannia?
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