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Friday, 28 February 2020

BBC Three signs Drag Race UK and Strictly star Michelle Visage for a brand new series Michelle Visage: Get Off Your Ass

BBC Three has given Michelle Visage her own show, produced by the award-winning World of Wonder and centred around her personal mantra of ‘Get Off Your Ass’.

Michelle Visage is a woman of many talents. Aside from vogueing on Strictly and being RuPaul’s trusted sidekick of many years, she is a former doyenne of the New York Ballroom scene, a former girl band member, an experienced radio DJ and chat show host, a bio-queen and LGBTQ+ champion, a long standing Drag Race judge, and most importantly, a wife and a mother.

In short, Michelle Visage has a lot of life experience. Combine that with her New Jersey sass, warmth, wit, wisdom and candour about her own personal struggles, it becomes clear that Michelle Visage is the perfect host with her own super power: she gives great counsel.

Each episode, Michelle will invite BBC Three viewers to join her at Club Visage where she will share her wisdom and dish out her unique brand of advice.

She will also be joined by a celebrity guest for a spot of real talk and, drawing on their own experiences, together they will workshop the audience’s dilemmas and problems.

In addition, one extra special viewer in need of a little extra boost will receive a bit of M.V.T - that’s Michelle Visage Treatment. She will listen and do her best to advise, and as a little extra perk she will throw in a fun 'immersive' challenge to help get her subject back on track.

To do this she will enlist the help of the UK’s First Drag Race Superstar, The Vivienne. Together they will get their subject off of their ass, and at the very least give them a night to remember...

Michelle Visage says: “I am THRILLED to be bringing my kind of chat to a show on the amazing BBC Three in the country that literally owns my own heart! It’s 2020 and we can no longer sit back and complain, it’s time to stand up and GET OFF YOUR ASS with Michelle Visage! See you soon on the iPlayer nearest you *wink*”

Frank of Ireland with the Gleeson Brothers

Frank of Ireland, a brand-new series from Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman starring Brian Gleeson. A co-production between Channel 4 and Amazon Studios, the 6x30 series is the first comic vision penned by brothers Brian and Domhnall Gleeson and Michael Moloney.

Frank Marron, played by Brian Gleeson (Peaky Blinders, The Bisexual), is a 32-year-old catastrophe. A misanthropic, narcissistic, fantasist in arrested development who thinks the world owes him something. But, nonetheless, he’s our hero. They don’t all wear capes, okay?!

Frank lives in Dublin with his mother Mary (Pom Boyd, Rosie, Rialto,Snakes and Ladders), and that’s fine. He is single and his pocket money hasn’t increased in a decade or more, but you know what?! That’s fine too. Frank is a musician, understood? He hasn’t written a song or played a gig in seven years and five months, but that is totally, 100% fine. His ex-girlfriend Aine (Sarah Greene, Dublin Murders, Rosie, Ransom) has a new boyfriend Peter-Brian (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Dublin Murders, Rialto, Avengers: Endgame) for the first time since they split, and Frank may be finding that a tad difficult, alright? When did they part, you ask? About seven years and five months ago, give or take a day, but that’s a total coincidence, just in case you’re wondering. It’s all absolutely fine. Frank is fine.

Frank is also fine because of his wingman (read gopher) Doofus, played by Domhnall Gleeson (The Revenant, Ex-Machina, The Force Awakens). Doofus foolishly thinks they are best friends and it’s his job to blow smoke up, facilitate and attempt to fix the relentless debris in Frank’s wake. It’s a big job for such a fellow.

Frank of Ireland is a physical and ridiculous brand of humour with an original twist. Filming in Dublin and Belfast has just begun with the transmission date on Channel 4 to be announced in due course (probably when Frank feels like it).  It will be available on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada and Australia.

Brian, Domhnall, and Michael Moloney said: 
“We’re so excited to work with MJ, Sharon, and Clelia on this, our first and (we’ve been told) last television series.”

Sharon Horgan, Merman Co-founder, added:
“Working with the Gleeson Brothers has been like living in a very funny, existential dreamscape.  I laughed so much making the pilot that it became annoying. So Clelia and I are very glad and relieved they still chose to make this series with us.”

Thursday, 27 February 2020

BBC One Daytime’s Crimewatch Roadshow Live returns for new series

Crimewatch Roadshow Live, with Michelle Ackerley and Rav Wilding, is back on BBC One Daytime from Monday 9 March (9.15am) for three weeks. The programme will be appealing to the public to help tackle everyday crimes as well as crack some of the UK’s biggest unsolved cases.

Every weekday morning the programme will feature dramatic reconstructions of cases, designed to generate calls from viewers with crucial information to help police investigations.

In the studio, former detective Rav Wilding will reveal the latest crime fighting science, gadgets and techniques. He’ll also be calling on viewers to name more criminals caught on CCTV, and help the police track down individuals featured in a daily 'wanted faces' gallery.

Rav says: "I’m really excited to be bringing Crimewatch Roadshow Live back to viewers’ screens this March. Now, more than ever, it is hugely important - both in terms of the crucial role it enables the public to play in catching criminals, but also in getting vital crime prevention messages out to the people watching.

"For me, getting to speak to detectives and victims on the front line of crime is both a responsibility and a real privilege. The dedication of emergency teams up and down the country is also incredibly humbling and it’s great that we can showcase even just a fraction of their hard work on the programme.

Reporter Michelle Ackerley is also gearing up for three action-packed weeks of live shows. Michelle will travel the country, meeting detectives determined to solve crimes in their area - she’ll also go behind the scenes with police and emergency services, getting to experience first-hand the many ways they work to protect the public.

Michelle says: "I’m definitely looking forward to being back on the road with the Crimewatch Roadshow Live team. Not only do I get to see the incredible work of emergency crews up and down the country, but I also get to try my hand at all manner of things. This year is no exception - in fact if anything, they’ve ramped it up a notch! I don’t want to give too much away, but I think one of my endeavours is going to make a bit of a ‘splash’.

“And of course, once again we’ll be asking for viewers’ help to solve really important crimes from around the UK, so make sure you tune in - it could be your call that makes a difference."

James Newman "My Last Breath" is the United Kingdom Entry At The Eurovision Song Contest 2020

James Newman has been confirmed as the artist representing the United Kingdom at The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with his song My Last Breath, which premiered on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 this morning. The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in May 2020.

James Newman is a hugely successful Brit Award-winning and Grammy-nominated songwriter. James won a Brit for British Single of the Year for Waiting All Night, performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre. He has also written hit singles Lay It All On Me performed by Rudimental ft Ed Sheeran, Blame performed by Calvin Harris ft. John Newman, and Therapy, performed by Armin Van Buuren and James Newman.

James co-wrote My Last Breath with acclaimed British songwriters Ed Drewett, Iain James and Adam Argyle who have collectively written songs for One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs, Professor Green, Leona Lewis, Dua Lipa and James Bay, with Iain also having co-written the winning Eurovision song for Azerbaijan, Running Scared performed by Ell & Nikki in 2011.

James Newman says: 
"It’s such an honour to be representing the United Kingdom this year at Eurovision - I still can’t quite believe it! I’m also so proud to be taking My Last Breath as the song. I wrote it with some of my best friends, who are also amazingly talented songwriters in their own right. I knew it was ‘the one’ after first recording it, I just loved the simplicity and universal message of the song."

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Saturday 16 May in Rotterdam broadcast live on BBC One, with commentary by Graham Norton; and live on BBC Radio 2 with commentary from Ken Bruce.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

The Last Unicorn - New documentary hopes to discover extinct northern white rhinos

The Last Unicorn is a very special one hour documentary following the search to discover a previously unknown population of northern white rhinos, a species officially declared extinct in 2018.

BBC Two today announces The Last Unicorn, a very special one hour documentary from the Natural World strand, which will see BBC Studios Natural History Unit follow charity Saving the Survivors as they travel to South Sudan in the hope of discovering a previously unknown population of northern white rhinos, a species officially declared extinct in 2018 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: “Natural World on BBC Two has always covered the most urgent and important stories in conservation and this project could not be more timely.”

Vianet Djenguet, wildlife cameraman, says: “I am extremely excited to be involved in this search for this majestic and beautiful species - if we succeed it gives us a second chance to save the northern white rhino, a win in the war against reckless poaching, and fresh hope for the people of South Sudan.”

Doug Hope, Executive Producer for BBC Studios Natural History Unit, says: “It is a long shot, there is no denying that, but there are rumours of them out there, and in a place that is so remote, so unexplored. Yet, from what our sources are telling us, it remains prime rhino habitat, so surely there is still a chance? And until this search is carried out we can’t close the book on the northern white rhino.”

South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. Declared independent in 2013, it has seen conflict and civil war for the past 20 years. With a death toll in the millions, it was at one time the bloodiest and most dangerous place on Earth and is still, according to the UN, a high-risk country. No film crew has been allowed access for nearly ten years. It is a country with no infrastructure, no permanent roads, no electricity, no power grid, no phone networks and no internet.

Larger in area than France, it has a population of no more than seven million. It is also home to what is thought to be the second largest mammal migration in Africa (second only to the wildebeest of the Serengeti).

No access to wildlife NGOs means no survey or comprehensive search of any of South Sudan’s wildlife has been undertaken in over a decade.

So when recent reports surfaced indicating that local people are seeing an animal believed to be extinct, an expedition had to happen. Once the species’ stronghold, if there is going to be an undiscovered population of northern white rhino anywhere in the world, then South Sudan is the best and last chance we have.

A team of experts led by Paul Naden (expedition leader Saving the Survivors), accompanied by wildlife cameraman Vianet Djenguet, vet Johan Marais and high security expert Aldo Kane are heading into this vast and unknown world. Using the latest technology and local knowledge to leave no stone unturned, they will do whatever it takes, to answer the question once and for all – do we have a second chance?

In addition to searching for the northern white rhino, the team from BBC Studios Natural History Unit will use camera traps and brand new drone technology which has never been used in the field before, which uses software to recognise different animals, to also film elephants, giraffe, leopards, honey badgers, antelope, warthogs and baboons.

Sport Relief

Will the identity of H finally be unveiled? Why are Steves around the UK being chased down by a blonde assassin? All will be revealed as Sport Relief returns to BBC One for 2020.

A star-studded night of music, entertainment and comedy
*A stellar line-up of hilarious sketches including, Line of Duty and a parody of Killing Eve feature in Sport Relief’s Night of TV
*New faces Alex Scott, Oti Mabuse, Emma Willis, Tom Allen, Maya Jama and Rylan Clark-Neal join Gary Lineker and Paddy McGuinness on presenting duties
*Sir Andy Murray joins comedian Romesh Ranganathan for a round of mini golf
*Special documentaries and programming to air in run up to the big night, including Greg James’ look back at some of the best-ever Sport Relief challenges
*Sport Relief 2020, live from Salford Friday 13 March, BBC One from 7pm

Live from Salford, the Night of TV will serve up some hilarious sketches giving the Sport Relief take on some of the country’s most loved programmes. A special visit to AC 12 sees Line of Duty’s Arnott, Fleming and Hastings grill corrupt cop Jason Isaacs. Will his famous, yet inept, lawyer be able to bail him out?

Meanwhile, Steves of the UK need to be on guard, as nobody is safe from the mysterious blonde assassin in a special Killing Eve spoof - Killing Steves.

The scenic setting of Salford Quays welcomes back the Clash of the Channels Boat Race - this time with celebrity rowing teams from Channel 4 and Sky in tow to give BBC and ITV a run for their money.

These are just some of the highlights as famous faces come together for sketches and live moments which see them being pushed out of their comfort zones to help raise money to tackle issues such as mental health stigma, domestic abuse, homelessness and child poverty, both in the UK and around the world.

Hosting the live show from 7pm will be newcomers Alex Scott, Oti Mabuse, Emma Willis, Tom Allen, Maya Jama and Rylan Clark-Neal as they join Gary Lineker and Paddy McGuinness for an evening filled with fun and fundraising.

Throughout the night, there will be a look into how money raised through Sport Relief can help vulnerable people in the UK and across the world live happier, healthier, safer lives, through a series of appeal films.

Outside the Night of TV, a number of special programmes are sure to whet the appetite; Greg James looks back at some of the most inspiring celebrity Sport Relief challenges to date in Greg James’ Sporting Heroes, Sport Relief: The Heat Is On follows a team of brave celebrities on a gruelling four-day 100-mile expedition across the Namib Desert, and a 30-minute special looks back at Gareth Thomas’ incredible cycling challenge as he cycled 500 miles to deliver the BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy to 2019 winner Ben Stokes to raise money for Sport Relief.

My Left Nut - A coming-of-age comedy drama about friendship, family, grief and testicles

Based on the award-winning stage play, My Left Nut is a coming of age comedy drama about friendship, family, grief and testicles written by Irish newcomers Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney in their first project for the BBC.

The story is based on real life events after Michael found a swelling on his testicle when he was 15.

The series follows schoolboy Mick (Nathan Quinn-O’Rawe) and his journey after discovering a swelling on his testicle. He can't tell his dad - he died seven years ago. He can't tell his mum Patricia (Sinéad Keenan) - she's got a million other things on her plate. He can't tell his schoolmates.... but there's an upside to rumours about the bulge in your trousers. And it’s not like it’s going to complicate things between Mick and his first girlfriend anyway, right?

Pictured: Patricia (Sinéad Keenan), Mick (Nathan Quinn-O’Rawe), Tommy (Oliver Anthony), Conor (Levi O'Sullivan)

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Ready Steady Cook Starts Monday 2 March at 4.30pm on BBC One

Ready Steady Cook is back on BBC One in a revamped format featuring Rylan Clark-Neal as host and exciting talent from the culinary world - Mike Reid, Romy Gill, Akis Petretzikis, Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh.

The new show reflects contemporary food themes, from cooking on a budget to eating healthily, managing food waste, to feeding the whole family - mirroring the changes in food and British cooking over the past decade.

In every episode, two contestants are each paired up with a chef, going head to head in the newly designed Ready Steady Cook kitchen. But in this new series, the chefs face two different taste tests and the clock is always ticking!

In the first challenge, each contestant is armed with their bag of ingredients, all bought within a range of prices from £3.50 to £10. They have just 20 minutes to create delicious, surprising and inspiring dishes ready to wow the discerning studio audience.

There are further twists along the way including wildcard ingredients. The revamped second challenge is even faster, as each pair has just ten minutes to create yet more amazing dishes, this time based on audience ingredients cards.

With unlikely combinations always a possibility, the pressure is on to create yet more flavour sensations. And in true Ready Steady tradition, the casting vote on the show’s winner is left to the audience who have their say on the best dishes by voting with the iconic red tomato and green pepper voting cards.

BBC Two announces a new documentary on the 1970 Miss World contest

BBC Two announced a new one hour documentary about the 1970 Miss World contest, when a dramatic protest by the Women’s Liberation Movement created headlines around the world.

The Miss World Protests (w/t), made by BBC Studios, tells the story of the infamous 1970 Miss World contest, when protestors dramatically disrupted the show - kick-starting a feminist revolution in front of an audience of millions. It was also a time of growing anti-apartheid protest, and the first ever black South African contestant was sent to the contest with the dubious title ‘Miss Africa South’, alongside the white Miss South Africa.

Directed by Hannah Berryman (Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal), the film offers an entertaining, thought-provoking and timely look at a moment of game-changing anarchy. Told through archive, animation and contributions from the key players, including compere Michael Aspel, protesters and beauty queens, the documentary coincides with the theatrical release of Misbehaviour, a film dramatisation of the story starring Keira Knightley.

Seven D-List Celebrities embark on a pilgrimage to Istanbul for BBC Two

Hot on the heels of the first two critically acclaimed series that saw well known D-Listers embark on a journey of discovery, to Santiago and Rome, Pilgrimage returns to BBC Two this spring.

The new facers who let's be honest you will struggle to recognise will take to the open road, as they follow a completely different pilgrimage. This time, in Pilgrimage: The Road To Istanbul, journalist Adrian Chiles, a converted Catholic; former politician Edwina Currie, a lapsed Jew; Olympian Fatima Whitbread, a practicing Christian; broadcaster Mim Shaikh and television presenter Amar Latif, both Muslims; and two confirmed atheist’s, comedian Dom Joly and actor Pauline McLynn; will live as simple pilgrims following an ancient military route to the historic city of Istanbul, which has been transformed into a modern-day path of peace.

Formed just over ten years ago and designed to promote tolerance for all faiths and cultures, Pilgrimage: The Road To Istanbul will be a journey of discovery and adventure for our pilgrims. Donning backpacks and walking boots, they’ll stay in basic hostels, sleep in shared dorms, and follow a largely untrodden route. Starting in Serbia’s capital city Belgrade, the pilgrims will travel through Bulgaria and the mountainous Balkans, before crossing the border into Turkey, with their goal of reaching Istanbul and the magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque.

This year’s celebrity pilgrims have just over two weeks to complete their pilgrimage. They’ll visit historical monuments and buildings and see first-hand how religions have clashed over centuries from the Ottomans, right up to more recent conflicts.

With over 1,000 kilometres to cover, how will the pilgrims cope with the physical challenge and will this journey change how they feel about themselves and their beliefs?

Monday, 24 February 2020

ITV commissions four-part evocative thriller, Hollington Drive

ITV today confirmed commission of four-part evocative thriller, Hollington Drive, from acclaimed screenwriter Sophie Petzal.

Produced by West Road Pictures, the All3Media scripted production label fronted by Managing Director and Executive Producer, Jonathan Fisher, Hollington Drive focuses on the lives of two sisters, Theresa, and her older head teacher sibling, Helen. 

Both women appear close and their families enjoy spending time together.  We open on a warm, balmy evening, barbecue sizzling on the patio, the perfect family setting. The atmosphere is chilled, as they lounge in Theresa and her partner Fraser’s perfectly manicured garden.  Apart from Fraser’s brother Eddie winding everyone up, there’s hardly a hint of tension, but this is the calm before storm. 

When Theresa’s ten-year-old son, Ben, asks to play in the nearby park with his cousin Eva, the adults begin to niggle.  Fraser is relaxed and is fine for them to go, but this doesn’t help Theresa’s fears of foreboding and growing feelings of anxiety.  

As expected the children don’t return on time, and Theresa goes in search.  Her suspicions are heightened when she finds the children on the edge of a woodland area and they appear to be fighting.  Immediately her instincts tell her something terrible has happened.  

This is all too realised when later that evening distraught neighbour, Jean, calls on the family.  Her ten-year-old son Alex has gone missing…….

In a plot thick with secrets, lies, twists and turns, Theresa can’t help thinking her son knows more than he is saying. Could Ben and his cousin Eva be implicated in Alex’s disappearance?  Why are they both so subdued and now behaving out of character? The neighbourhood are compelled to help with the search for Alex, but what if he’s been murdered and her own son is his killer?

Hollington Drive has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill.

Commented Polly Hill:

“I am delighted to be making Sophie's brilliant script for ITV.  It’s a beautifully written thriller that looks at maternal love and sisterly love, in a story that will compel and surprise the audience.  I am also pleased to be working with Jonathan Fisher and our first ITV drama with West Road Pictures.”  

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Liar Returns This March! - Liar Series 2 Episode 1 Preview

Series 2 Starts Monday 2nd of March.

Series overview
Three weeks after damning evidence was uncovered proving Andrew Earlham sexually assaulted nineteen women, his body is found in the Kent marshes. As one of Andrew’s more recent victims, Laura Nielson can’t help feeling relieved by the news of his death. The last three weeks spent knowing Andrew was somewhere out there and missing have not been easy.

Yet the seaside community is rocked when the case quickly becomes a murder investigation. Out of town officer DI Karen Renton is put in charge of the case, and together with DS Rory Maxwell, they begin to unpack the events of the three crucial weeks leading up to Andrew’s death. The news cast a shadow over those who knew Andrew, all of whom, like Laura, are trying to move on with their lives.
As the search to find Andrew’s killer gains momentum, the community will be forced to face up to the secrets of their recent past, secrets many of them hope will stay buried. Soon, Laura finds herself thrown deep in the mire of Andrew’s destructive path, and once again must fight to be believed.

Episode 1
Three weeks after his disappearance, Andrew’s body is found on the Kent marshes. His throat slit, it’s declared he was murdered. Laura meanwhile is trying to move on from her ordeal. She’s slowly growing in confidence in her new relationship with Ian and has returned to work. Yet her initial relief upon learning of Andrew’s death is cut short. As DI Renton and DS Maxwell seek to determine who killed him, Laura finds herself drawn into Andrew’s destructive path and once again must fight to be believed.

Laura Nielson - Joanne Froggatt
Andrew Earlham - Ioan Gruffudd
DI Karen Renton - Katherine Kelly
DS Rory Maxwell - Danny Webb
Oliver Graham - Sam Spruell
Winnie Peterson - Amy Nuttall
Carl Peterson - Howard Charles
Katy Sutcliffe - Zoë Tapper
Liam Sutcliffe - Richie Campbell
DI Vanessa Harmon - Shelley Conn
Jennifer Robertson - Jill Halfpenny
Ian - Kieran Bew
Luke Earlham - Jamie Flatters
Ruby Allen - Sian Clifford

Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby Take Off for a series on BBC One

Get ready to pack those cases as Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby are back to make even more holiday dreams come true as Take Off With Bradley And Holly returns to BBC One.

Made by Hungry Bear Media, each week some lucky studio audience members will see their names appear on the Take Off departure board. Competing in a variety of entertaining games, they will have the opportunity to win seats on a plane for an unforgettable global getaway.

The shows will be jam packed with fun challenges, incredible surprises, inspirational stories, celebrity appearances and much more.

Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby say: “We’re really excited to be working together again on Take Off. We had so much fun last time and can’t wait to give more families the chance to win an amazing holiday.”

Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, BBC, says: “I’m so pleased that Brad and Holly will be returning to BBC One with more Take Off. With memorable, play along games and our hosts’ infectious energy, Take Off will give everyone a lift.”

Want the chance to jet off on an amazing trip? Potential passengers can register for their boarding cards by either:

Nominating team mates (partner/friends/family/colleagues)
Secretly nominate someone deserving and inspirational
Secretly nominate someone for a fun prank
Email take-part@hungrybear.tv to find our more.

Watchdog moves to new regular slot on The One Show

BBC One’s consumer rights brand, Watchdog is to be given a year-round presence on The One Show - the channel’s flagship live, nightly show.

Matt Allwright and Nikki Fox will continue to be the faces of Watchdog and will investigate and expose the companies, institutions and fraudsters who’re ripping viewers off. Rather than being limited to having their concerns addressed within two limited series a year, viewers will now be able to contact the Watchdog investigations team throughout the year, enabling the brand to be even more responsive to consumer complaints.

Alison Kirkham, Controller, BBC Factual, says: “Nikki and Matt will continue to be the viewers trusted guide as the nation’s leading consumer champion moves to The One Show where it will achieve even greater prominence and success in raising awareness of their rights."

Carla-Maria Lawson, Head of Daytime and Early Peak, says: “Watchdog has been tenaciously fighting for viewers rights since the strand started 40 years ago within Nationwide, so it's fitting that in its anniversary year we are able to open up the potential for viewers to connect with the brand through The One Show.”

Rob Unsworth, Editor, The One Show, says: ”Bringing the quality, investigative journalism of the much-loved and trusted Watchdog brand to viewers year-round is an exciting move and a great opportunity for The One Show; and means that more than ever the team can react on behalf of consumers whenever stories come up."

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Official trailer for Sky original series Devils, starring Alessandro Borghi and Patrick Dempsey is revealed

The first official teaser trailer for the Sky original production, Devils, has been revealed starring Alessandro Borghi (The First King: Birth of an Empire, Suburra) and Patrick Dempsey (The truth about the Harry Quebert Affair). Filmed between Rome and London, the teaser provides a preview of a story about finance, power and disenchantments.

Alessandro Borghi is Massimo Ruggeri, the ruthless and ambitious Head of Trading of one of the most important investment banks in the world, the New York – London Investment Bank (NYL); Patrick Dempsey plays Dominic Morgan, one of the most powerful men in global finance, Massimo’s mentor and CEO of the bank. Their deep bond, however, begins to crack when Massimo gets involved in an inter-continental financial war, due to Dominic’s hidden agenda. Eventually, the Italian Head of Trading will be forced to choose between standing behind his mentor or stopping him.

The series, based on Guido Maria Brera’s bestseller “I Diavoli”, is a Sky Italia and Lux Vide production financed by Sky Studios, in collaboration with Orange Studio and OCS. NBCUniversal Global Distribution holds the international rights.

Kasia Smutniak (Loro, Perfetti Sconosciuti) is Nina, the sophisticated and strong-willed wife of Dominic Morgan. She is joined by a wider international cast including: Lars Mikkelsen (The Killing, Sherlock, House of Cards), Laia Costa (Victoria), Malachi Kirby (Roots), Paul Chowdhry (Live at the Apollo, Swinging with the Finkels), Pia Mechler (Everything Is Wonderful), Harry Michell (Chubby Funny) and Sallie Harmsen (Blade Runner 2049).

Devils is directed by Nick Hurran (Sherlock, Doctor Who, Fortitude, Altered Carbon) and Jan Michelini (I Medici). The series is written by Alessandro Sermoneta, Mario Ruggeri, Elena Bucaccio, Guido Maria Brera, Chris Lunt, Michael Walker, Ben Harris, Daniele Cesarano, Ezio Abate and Barbara Petronio.

Westworld III trailer launch

Westworld will return for its third season on 16 March on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV, simulcasting in the UK the same day as the US for all eager fans, with the full trailer now available to view:

The show’s third season will see many of its stars return, including Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores, Thandie Newton as Maeve, Ed Harris as the Man in Black, Jeffrey Wright as Bernard, Tessa Thompson as Charlotte, and Luke Hemsworth as Stubbs.

Joining the cast for the new series are Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Lena Waithe (Master of None), Scott Mescudi (Need for Speed), Marshawn Lynch, John Gallagher, Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Michael Ealy (2 Fast 2 Furious) and Tommy Flanagan (Gladiator).

Created for television by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the film written by Michael Crichton, Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the birth of a new form of life on Earth. The theme for this new season is “New World” and Nolan comments: “Dystopia can look pretty beautiful in the world. Just because the world is corrupt inside, doesn’t mean it can’t be smothered over and pretty. We wanted to find a version of dystopia that we hadn’t seen before.”

ITV commissions high octane thriller, Trigger Point, starring Vicky McClure

Counter terrorism policing and the terrifying work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad are the breath-taking backdrop for new ITV drama commission, Trigger Point, starring Vicky McClure, written by Daniel Brierley and produced by Jed Mercurio’s company, HTM Television. 

Set in contemporary London, Trigger Point, is a high-octane six-part thriller series focusing on the Bomb Disposal Squad. Known as “Expo”, officers risk their lives daily on ‘the long walk’ towards danger.  Death is always just a heartbeat away.

Vicky McClure (Line of Duty, I Am Nicola) will play front line officer Lana Washington, who is an experienced bomb disposal operative. Reckless and out of control, Lana is ex-military and pushed to breaking point dealing with a series of improvised explosive devices which threaten the capital during a terrorist summer campaign. 

Under extreme pressure and searching for answers, Lana can’t help but become suspicious that the bomber is premeditatedly targeting her unit.  It’s a terrifying thought, but against all odds how does she prove it and discover the bomber’s real identity?

Commented Vicky McClure:

“So grateful to be working with Jed again. I’m really looking forward to creating a strong, bright and troubled character in Lana Washington. Daniel Brierley has produced a brilliant and nail-biting script. I can’t wait to get started later this year.”

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

The BRIT Awards 2020 Winners' list

The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard took place last night (Tuesday 18th February), marking a night of ‘firsts’ for the 40th show, and celebrating the achievements and success of both British and international artists and musicians over the past twelve months, live from The O2 Arena in London and broadcast exclusively on ITV and YouTube worldwide.  The show featured more music than ever before with three stages and back-to-back world class performances.

Jack Whitehall was back for a third turn to steer the show through nine awards presentations and nine performances, which included a stunning show opener from Mabel - who went on to win Best Female Solo Artist - for her Gold-certified hit single ‘Don’t Call Me Up, which she performed alongside a hundred dancers, and the global exclusive and spine-tingling live debut of ‘No Time To Die’, the official theme song for the new James Bond theme, performed by Billie Eilish along with her brother FINNEAS, Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr. Billie was later presented with International Female Solo Artist.

In a first, The BRITs gave the artists performing on the night creative control over their performances - leading to some of the most unique and memorable performances The BRITs has ever seen.

The highly sought after Mastercard Album of the Year award went to Dave, for his critically acclaimed and chart-topping debut Psychodrama. He performed the album’s first single ‘Black’ earlier in the show, a politically-charged, stripped down version accompanied by just a pianist.

Lewis Capaldi - who performed his breakout No. 1 single ‘Someone You Loved’ - followed last year’s Critics’ Choice nomination with a double win, for Best New Artist and Song of the Year. Ahead of the main show, the Scottish singer-songwriter was the first artist to ever perform on The BRITs’ red carpet with an exclusive performance for the ITV2 Red Carpet show broadcast and as part of TikTok’s exclusive red carpet live-stream.

As well as celebrating the biggest moments in music in 2019 the night was a celebration of discovery and opportunity too. Tonight, the BRITs Rising Star award (formerly Critics’ Choice) was presented as part of the main show, which also saw winner Celeste perform her single ‘Strange’ - both BRITs firsts.

Stormzy was honoured with Male Solo Artist, following his win in the same category in 2018, ahead of a show-stopping medley performance featuring hundreds of dancers, a choir and guest appearance from Burna Boy.

The show also saw an exhilarating performance from Lizzo, and Sir Rod Stewart was back at The BRITs to perform solo as well as being joined by Faces bandmates Ronnie Wood and Kenny Jones to close the show with their hit song ’Stay With Me’.

Towards the start of the show, Whitehall addressed the audience to pay tribute to presenter and broadcaster Caroline Flack.

Earlier in the day, Fred again.. was presented with Producer of the Year on the red carpet; the youngest ever recipient of the award.

The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard took place at The O2 Arena in London on Tuesday 18th February and were broadcast live on ITV and streamed on YouTube across the world (excluding the UK and Ireland) for the seventh consecutive year.

Amazon Music are the digital music partner for The BRIT Awards 2020 with Mastercard. Alongside being hosts of the Official BRIT Awards 2020 playlist, they’ll exclusively host live music from the show - available to stream post-event on Amazon Music Unlimited. Further playlists celebrating the best of The BRIT Awards over the past 40 years including - Best of the BRIT Awards: 80s, Best of the BRIT Awards: 90s, Best of the BRIT Awards: 00s and Best of the BRIT Awards: 10s are available to stream on Amazon Music now.

As well as being the digital music partner for The BRITs 2020 with Mastercard, Amazon Music are sponsors of the Best Male solo artist & Best Female solo artist award categories.

And The Winners Are…. (in order presented on the night)...


BEST NEW ARTIST - Lewis Capaldi
Presented by Clara Amfo and Niall Horan

Presented by Jorja Smith and Ellie Goulding

Presented by Ronnie Wood

Presented by Kiefer Sutherland and Paloma Faith

Presented by Hailee Steinfeld, Courtney Love and Anne-Marie

Presented by Sam Fender and Adwoa Aboah

Presented by Melanie C

SONG OF THE YEAR - Lewis Capaldi ‘Someone You Loved’
Presented by Sir Tom Jones

Presented by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

Miriam Margolyes, Julia Deakin and Simon Day to appear in the new series of The Windsors

Miriam Margolyes (Call the Midwife, Miriam’s Big Fat Adventure) to guest star as Queen Victoria, Julia Deakin (Spaced, Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Simon Day (The Life of Rock with Brian Pern, The Fast Show) to play Carole and Mike Middleton in the new series of The Windsors on Channel 4.

Wills (Hugh Skinner) is torn when the older royals decide to go on strike and Charles (Harry Enfield) tries to persuade him to join forces. When trying to make his decision Wills is given advice by a portrait of Queen Victoria played by Miriam Margolyes.

Charles and Camilla (Haydn Gwynne) reluctantly agreed to visit the Middletons’ house with Wills and Kate (Louise Ford). While there Charles thinks he hears Mike threatening to chop off his and Camilla’s heads! Charles informs Camilla who takes matters into her own hands and plots to kill the Middletons but will Wills stop Camilla’s evil plan before it’s too late?

Miriam Margolyes commented: “Queen Victoria has always been one of my heroes. I hope she’ll forgive my irreverent portrayal.”

Julia Deakin said: “I am shocked they let me have a go at this. I love the show and everyone wonders how they get away with it, the answer is…because it’s funny!  Carole is a gift, an enigma wrapped in a riddle.  So little footage of her actually speaking exists! Less is definitely more.  The Windsors version is far from this. Mix Carole and Mike on a weekend with Camilla and Prince Charles. Oh dear!”

Simon Day added: “Great to be appearing in The Windsors as Mike Middleton. I never thought I would get this close to the royal family.”

The Windsors series 3 will air from Tuesday 25th February at 10pm Channel 4 and all episodes will be available to stream on All4.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

MasterChef returns for 16th series of TV’s biggest cooking competition on BBC One

MasterChef returns Monday 24, Wednesday 26 and Friday 28 February at 9pm, BBC One
Over eight exciting weeks, judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are once again primed to discover the UK’s best amateur cook.

The 60 contestants starting the competition range from a cattle farmer and hairdresser to a music festival producer and an architect - all with the common goal - to prove their worth in the MasterChef kitchen and take home the prized trophy.

Kicking off the competition, the cooks this year face two brand-new challenges in the heat rounds. Success will earn them the right to wear a MasterChef apron. Their first test is the Signature Dish round - in which the six contestants bring from home the ingredients they need to put their best culinary foot forward. They have an hour and 15 mins minutes to deliver an impressive plate of food. The best two cooks, who wow John and Gregg from the start, earn themselves a MasterChef apron and go straight through to the third round cooking for past MasterChef winners and finalists. The remaining four get a second chance to prove themselves in another new test - the Three Ingredients Challenge. They must think on their feet and create a dish that includes all three of the ingredients included in the mystery box in front of them. It’s crucial they make an impression because at the end of this challenge, two more cooks earn themselves a MasterChef apron and two are sent home.

The remaining four contestants must now produce their own two-course menu to impress not only John and Gregg, but three exceptional MasterChef finalists and winners, who have all gone on to work professionally in food and vividly remember their own experiences, having walked in the shoes of this year’s aspiring chefs. With three quarter final places up for grabs, nobody wants to be sent home.

The six best cooks from the heats return for the quarter final - where they come face to face with a one of the UK’s top food critics - (in order of appearance) Jay Rayner, Grace Dent, William Sitwell, Tom Parker Bowles and Jimi Famurewa. Each critic sets the home cooks a challenging brief that they have 90 minutes to deliver. Only the best contestants will be judged worthy by the critic and the MasterChef judges of continuing in the competition.

After the five heat weeks, it’s knockout week, where the strongest 16 cooks from the competition return. Split into two groups of eight, over two episodes, the cooks are tasked with creating a dish that they would put on their own restaurant menu or feature in their own cookbook, to keep their place. It’s a high stakes cook off - three go home and the remaining five survivors of each round go on to experience working in a professional kitchen for the first time. They will be cooking in a restaurant service delivering dishes to paying diners. The first group will cook at Da Terra, in East London, which was awarded a Michelin star just eight months after opening, and the second at Wood in Manchester under the watchful gaze of MasterChef Champion 2015, Simon Wood. Simon knows full well the pressure of the competition and what it takes to succeed in the professional world.

Rounding off knockout week, the remaining 10 contestants come together for a gruelling cook-off, aiming to secure a place in the semi finals, and one cook’s journey ends.

The pressure is ramped up for the nine semi finalists. Any small mistake could cost them their competition. First, they are split into three teams cooking for special Trafalgar Night dinner. Each team must cook a fine-dining course in the galley of HMS Diamond for over 100 of the ship’s company. Then it’s back to the MasterChef kitchen for a cook-off centred around John and Gregg’s favourite ingredients, after which, two contestants must go home.

In the second semi final, the seven remaining hopefuls are challenged with cooking at an entirely new level - recreating the exquisite dishes of a Michelin-starred guest chef, Tom Kitchin. For two cooks, their MasterChef journey will come to an end.

The finals are in sight, but not before one last nail-biting semi final test - the infamous Critic’s Table. The five cooks must produce a fine-dining dish for the judges and exacting critics, William Sitwell, Grace Dent, Jay Rayner and Jimi Famurewa. Holding their nerve or cracking under the pressure decides their fate - only four can make the finals.

After seven demanding weeks, the four MasterChef finalists must give their all for the ultimate drive to culinary glory.

The finalists’ first daunting culinary challenge is on the island of Mauritius - a gastronomic melting pot that fuses the cuisines of Africa, Europe, China and India to create a style of cooking that is truly unique. The finalists have to keep their culinary wits together as they are challenged to recreate both high-end Mauritian fine-dining dishes and traditional street food tutored by the islands leading chefs. Cooking with ingredients and techniques they have never seen takes them totally out of their comfort zone.

Back in the UK, the second finals programme stretches the contenders to their limit as they are given an extraordinary opportunity to learn from one of the world’s greatest living chefs - Albert Adria. Widely recognised as the world’s best pastry chef, Albert - the former creative director and pastry chef at El Bulli, has won Michelin accolades for restaurants in his native Barcelona. In the last 18 months he has opened in Cakes and Bubbles in London’s Café Royal - a restaurant dedicated to his extraordinary pastry creations. The four MasterChef finalists must learn and recreate his extraordinary sweet creations for a chef’s table of the country’s leading pastry chefs. It’s their chance to learn from a master and put it into practice because back in the MasterChef kitchen, they then have to cook their interpretation of a classic dessert. Only three can go to through to the MasterChef final.

At the end of this relentless and exhilarating journey, the mother of MasterChef cook-offs awaits the final three. The hopefuls must bring everything to the table - from their honed techniques and stamina developed through weeks of challenges, to inspiration from locations and chefs they have worked with. These amateur cooks must pour their hearts into delivering the best three-course menu of their lives for John and Gregg, in the final bid to claim the prestigious title of MasterChef Champion 2020.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Cold Feet consciously uncouples

Cold Feet concludes its ninth series tonight with Adam (Jimmy Nesbitt), Karen (Hermione Norris), Jenny (Fay Ripley), Pete (John Thomson) and David (Robert Bathurst) all set to embark on adventures new; Adam and Karen's relationship is thrown into jeopardy by an offer that's hard to refuse. Meanwhile, some unexpected romantic vibes leave David with a spring in his stride.  And, whilst drafting up their bucket list, the Giffords receive some news that puts a whole new perspective on life.  Series nine ends with new beginnings, as new challenges test the oldest of friendships.  Second chances, health and heartbreak.  If ever we needed evidence that life can throw anything your way Cold Feet is it…

The series first launched in 1997 and successfully aired on ITV for five series. It returned in 2016 for a further four, critically acclaimed series. Tonight’s episode will be the last episode in the current run as the the award-winning drama is taking a break from our TV screens. Creator Mike Bullen, the cast, producers and ITV all felt the time was right to rest the drama before embarking on a tenth series, allowing time to pass before exploring the characters and their stories at a later stage.

Mike said:
“We feel we've explored to our satisfaction the issues confronting the characters at this stage of their lives and we want to give them all a little time to move on, to put clear water between the stories we've told thus far and the issues they'll be exploring when they are empty nesters staring down the barrel of grandparenthood. We're looking forward to returning at a later date to document the agony and the ecstasy of the third age…"

Filming on the next series of Line Of Duty has begun.

The sixth instalment of Jed Mercurio's hit thriller is set a year and a half on from the events of series five, and will feature a brand new case for AC-12, focused on an enigmatic Detective Chief Inspector.

As previously announced, Kelly Macdonald will star as the DCI in question - Joanne Davidson - a senior investigating officer on an unsolved murder case. Series leads Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar will all return.

Joining Line Of Duty for the first time this series are Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl, Cursed), Perry Fitzpatrick (This Is England, I Am Nicola), Andi Osho (Kiri, Curfew) and Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster, Patrick Melrose).

Both images are courtesy of Jed Mercurio

Line Of Duty is written and created by Jed Mercurio, and made for BBC One by World Productions. The new series will be directed by Daniel Nettheim (Broadchurch, Doctor Who), Gareth Bryn (Hinterland, Last Tango In Halifax), and Jennie Darnell (Bodyguard, Hetty Feather), and the producer is Ken Horn (The Moorside, Line of Duty series five). Executive producers are Jed Mercurio, Simon Heath for World Productions, and Tommy Bulfin for BBC One.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Stranger Things Season 4 Teaser - From Russia with love… Netflix

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.

The Protector is coming back with its 3rd season globally on Netflix on March 6th

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.

F.O.S. and Ransom take BBC Three on the road in The Rap Trip

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!”

Friday, 14 February 2020

The Trouble with Maggie Cole (Trailer)

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.

Sparks to fly: Lightning commissioned for BBC Two

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

First Look - Breeders - Premieres on 12 March on Sky One

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

First look of Sky original drama Gangs of London

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.

For 20 years, Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London. Billions of pounds flowed through his organisation each year. But now he’s dead – and nobody knows who ordered the hit. With rivals everywhere, it’s up to the impulsive Sean Wallace (Joe Cole), with the help of the Dumani family headed by Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati) to take his father’s place. if the situation wasn’t already dangerous enough, Sean’s assumption of power causes ripples in the world of international crime.

Perhaps the one man who might be able to help him and be his ally is Elliot Finch (Sope Dirsu), who up until now, has been one of life’s losers, a lowlife chancer with a mysterious interest in the Wallace family. But as the wind of fate blows, Elliot finds himself transported to the inner workings of the largest criminal organisation in London.

Watch the trailer below.

Flesh and Blood - New ITV Drama - Trailer

Ep1 - Monday 24 February: 9pm - 10pm
Ep2 - Tuesday 25 February: 9pm - 10pm
Ep3 - Wednesday 26 February: 9pm - 10pm
Ep4 - Thursday 27 February: 9pm - 10pm

Series overview
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).

Episode 1
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

Shortlist announced for BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 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.

BBC One commissions brand new mystery thriller The Tourist

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.”

BBC Comedy awards Felix Dexter Bursary for BAME writers to stand-up comedian Athena Kugblenu

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

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.”

First look clip from The Secret Life of the Zoo

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

Further cast confirmed for BBC One crime thriller Bloodlands

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.

Sir David Attenborough to present A Perfect Planet on BBC One

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.