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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Nostalgia For Infinity single release from award winning Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate (funky sci-fi inspired prog rock)

The song was inspired by Welsh science fiction author and former astrophysicist Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space novels. In this universe, humanity has fractured into competing factions defined by their relationship with technology, but all threatened by the Inhibitors, ancient machines aiming to preserve life in the long run, by destroying civilisations that become too intelligent. Nostalgia For Infinity is named after the spaceship which becomes fused with its captain through the effects of the Melding Plague. As ship and captain progressively merge, it becomes architecturally more unpredictable and organic. The ship/captain, equally plagued by guilt at his past actions, withdraws from contact from his crew. The song is sung from the perspective of a character persuading the elusive captain to re-engage with humanity, by acting as an ark to preserve the species from the Inhibitors.

Links –

Nostalgia For Infinity

You don’t like what you’ve done,
And I don’t like what you’ve done,
But we don’t get to choose who we become.

You don’t want to know what you could do,
You’d keep yourself to ghosts if you could,
Chose to come to life what could you do?

Nostalgia For Infinity, look at you.

The dripping walls are listening in,
I know you’re there,
You’re showing me,
There’s a part of you that still wants to be seen.

It won’t make me forgive you, it’s not up to me to forgive you,
But there’s no redemption anyway for anyone
We’re all flawed all broken, I’m sorry if you don’t approve,
But I did what I thought I had to do, I let you thaw and spread
Don’t now withdraw, I’m talking to you.

Nostalgia for Infinity, look at you.

Hats Off Gentlemen It's Adequate are Malcolm Galloway (vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer) and Mark Gatland (bass, backing vocals, keyboards and co-producer), on their own, or with Kathryn Thomas (flute). Kathryn is the flautist of the award winning BBC New Generation Artists The Galliard Ensemble (wind quintet). Their music is eclectic, combining progressive/alt-rock, classical, experimental, electronic, and metal influences. They were recently highlighted as Prog Magazine Limelight feature artists. They are based in London, UK.

Monday, 24 August 2020

All-star cast announced for Sky original Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse

Jessica Hynes, Rob Brydon, Alison Steadman, Nick Mohammed, Nina Sosanya and Bill Bailey join Dawn French this Christmas

Filming begins today Monday (24 August) on new Sky original Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse, a heart-warming Christmas film inspired by the true story of when a six-year-old Roald Dahl meets his idol Beatrix Potter. A magical story of what really can happen when you are brave enough to follow your dreams…

Joining Dawn French (Vicar of Dibley) who plays Beatrix, the cast will include Jessica Hynes (W1A), Rob Brydon (The Trip), Alison Steadman (Gavin and Stacey), Nina Sosanya (Brave New World), Bill Bailey (In The Long Run) and Nick Mohammed (Intelligence). The uplifting 90-minute comedy drama airing on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV will form the highlight of Sky’s festive schedule.

Written by Abi Wilson, Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse will be narrated by John Hannah with music scored by composer Murray Gold (Doctor Who). Produced by Hartswood Films (Sherlock, Dracula) for Sky Studios, the film will blend live action camera work, stop-frame animation and puppetry together to bring to life the vivid imaginations and magical worlds of these two inspiring and renowned children’s authors.

In the Sky original, the famed author Beatrix Potter (French) is coming to the end of her career. With her publisher (Sosanya) hounding her for her next draft, she’s unable to concentrate and has had enough of writing children’s books. It’s not just her motivation that she has lost, her optometrist (Mohammed) has recognised she has failing eyesight. With Christmas approaching, Beatrix is pressured, feeling increasingly out of touch with her readers, not to mention the trespassing fans and jovial door-knocking carol singers. Her Cumbrian farm and ever-growing Herdwick sheep collection, her long-suffering husband William (Brydon) and disobedient animals including much loved pig called Sally, act as her only real comfort as she looks for inspiration and resists taking the easy way out with her Publisher.

Two hundred or so miles away in Wales, life is changing for an anxious young boy called Roald. (Harry Tayler). Having recently lost his older sister and now his father, the once happy six-year-old has found solace and comfort in books. The beloved tales of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck fill his mind, distracting him from the funeral, sadness and the revelation that he might be sent to boarding school. Wanting to run away, he is encouraged by his mother Sophie (Haynes) to follow his dreams and visit his hero Beatrix Potter. Roald pushes his anxiety aside and they set off on his first big adventure. Their extraordinary journey is filled with unpredictable and humorous characters (Steadman & Bailey) all of whom ignite Roald’s imagination and provide comfort to his grieving mother. The dream of meeting his favourite author is eventually realised and their very special encounter proves to be both a magical and life changing moment for them both.

Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy, Sky Studios, said: 
“Roald Dahl taught us ‘a little magic can take you a long way’. This Christmas, Sky presents the magical tale of how a boyhood Dahl met his idol Beatrix Potter. With Dawn French leading an all-star cast this surprising story, inspired by a real life encounter, is a tale as much for our times as yesteryear. Produced by Hartswood, it’s a giant peach of a Christmas gift.”

Love Island USA is coming to the UK

Starting next month, viewers will be able to follow season two of the U.S. version of the international reality sensation, as a new cast of Islanders get ready to arrive on the ‘Island’ of love – set this year in Las Vegas.   This season, the singletons will be sequestered in a “bubble” at a stunning villa on top of Caesars Entertainment’s boutique hotel, The Cromwell.

Host Arielle Vandenberg and narrator Matthew Hoffman will return to preside over the antics as these singles embark on a summer of potential romance in one of the most famous cities in the world. 

Playing the definitive game of love, the US Islanders will get to know each other in the hope of finding ‘the one’. But as new bombshells arrive on the ‘Island’, which couples will stand the test of time and make it all the way to the final, and have a chance of bagging the $50,000 cash prize?

Paul Mortimer, ITV’s Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions said:
“We’re thrilled that ITV2 can bring the latest US version of Love Island to viewers this year. Las Vegas may seem like an odd destination for the show but the canny producers have beaten Covid with a show that adheres to all production protocols and that could well be sensational. Certainly the ‘villa’ is impressive and the cast diverse and amazing. We believe Love Island fans will embrace this Sin City twist, my bet is the series will be another big hit.”

Mica Paris joins cast of EastEnders

The famed British singer, actress and presenter began filming scenes in summer and will be introduced when the show returns in September

Mica Paris joins EastEnders for a stint in the show, taking on the new role of Ellie Nixon. As one of the UK’s most respected singers, with a career full of top 10 singles, Mica has since extended her talents to broadcasting and acting. With musical theatre credits including Fame in the West End, Love Me Tender and Chicago, she’s also authored a book Beautiful Within and has been honoured as an ‘Icon’ at Windsor Castle by the Duke Of Edinburgh.

Ellie Nixon is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, with far more to her than her warmhearted façade lets on. With a surprising connection to Walford residents, her prowess for playing roles in order to get what she wants isn’t to be underestimated.

On her arrival to Albert Square, Mica Paris says: “I am absolutely over the moon to be in EastEnders. I have been a fan since its first episode, with Susan Tully being my favourite. My character, the formidable Ellie Nixon, is a new frontier for me as an actress - a lot of folks will see me as never before!”

Jon Sen, Executive Producer, EastEnders added: “We’re thrilled to welcome Mica Paris to the world of Walford to play tough, no-nonsense Ellie Nixon. Ellie proves herself to be a ruthless and uncompromising force of nature who stops at nothing to ensure she capitalises on whatever she can. The part demanded both charisma and presence and having seen Mica on stage, she was the first person who came to mind for this role. We can’t wait for the audience to meet Ellie and the mystery that surrounds her.”

First image of BBC One’s Vigil released, as filming resumes and further casting is announced

A first look image has been released for BBC One’s new thriller Vigil, made by World Productions and starring Suranne Jones, Rose Leslie and Shaun Evans.

The image, featuring Suranne and Shaun in character as DCI Amy Silver and Chief Petty Officer Elliot Glover, was taken earlier this year before production was paused in line with Covid-19 guidelines. Filming resumed on the six-part series earlier this week near Glasgow.

Announced today as joining the cast of Vigil are: Stephen Dillane (Game Of Thrones), Lolita Chakrabarti (Riviera), Daniel Portman (Game Of Thrones), Lorne MacFadyen (Grantchester), Stephen McCole (Save Me), Tom Gill (Peterloo), Lois Chimimba (Top Boy), Anita Vettesse (The Loch), Bobby Rainsbury (Call The Midwife), Cristian Ortega (Beats) and Lauren Lyle (Outlander).

They join the previously announced cast which includes Anjli Mohindra, Martin Compston, Paterson Joseph, Connor Swindells, Adam James, and Gary Lewis.

Vigil is written and created by Bafta-nominated writer Tom Edge (Judy, The Crown, Strike) with episodes by Ed Macdonald (The End Of The F***ing World) and Chandni Lakhani (Dublin Murders). The fictional drama is directed by Bafta-winner James Strong (Broadchurch, Vanity Fair, Liar) and Isabelle Sieb (Shetland, The Athena).

The mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board a Trident nuclear submarine bring the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) leads an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that threatens the very heart of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.

Together with independent health and safety consultants, in full consultation with industry partners, and in accordance with all current government guidelines, the Vigil production team will adhere to comprehensive production protocols to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner during this time of global pandemic.

Vigil is produced by Angie Daniell (Alex Rider, Clique), executive produced by Simon Heath (Line Of Duty, Save Me, Bodyguard) and Jake Lushington (Born To Kill, The Bletchley Circle) for World Productions, Gaynor Holmes for the BBC, James Strong and Tom Edge.

BBC One announces Ralph And Katie, a spin-off of Peter Bowker’s hit drama The A Word

BBC One has commissioned a new series focusing on Ralph (Leon Harrop) and Katie (Sarah Gordy), the well-loved characters from The A Word.

Co-produced by ITV Studios and Keshet Productions in association with Tiger Aspect, Ralph And Katie (6x30’) will be written by Peter Bowker alongside new and emerging disabled writers to tell the continuing story of Ralph (Leon Harrop) and Katie (Sarah Gordy), an inspirational and loving young couple who are embarking on the biggest adventure of their lives. Ralph and Katie have just had the wedding of the year… so what happens next? Ralph And Katie tracks their first year of married life, with each 30 minute episode featuring a different story focusing on the domestic challenges faced by the newlyweds - challenges faced by all newlyweds, but with the added fact that they have Down’s Syndrome.

Peter Bowker says: 
“Ralph And Katie is a natural step forwards from the ongoing ambition of The A Word to increase representation and diversity both on and off screen. Equally exciting is the opportunity to work again with two young actors as talented as Leon and Sarah. It is a tribute to their performances in The A Word that the BBC have commissioned this series.”

Sarah Gordy says: 
“It is great to be able to take the character of Katie forward after her exciting journey in series three of The A Word. The wedding and the dress was a dream come true for Katie. I am so looking forward to seeing what comes next in Ralph and Katie’s married life.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: 
“After three series of The A Word, we are so excited to see Sarah and Leon lead their own show and by the team of talented writers that Pete and his team are assembling to bring this new chapter in Ralph and Katie’s relationship to life.”

Carol Boys, Chief Executive, Down’s Syndrome Association, says: 
“We’re so pleased that Ralph and Katie’s story will be continuing, and that Leon and Sarah, two marvellous actors, are getting this well-deserved opportunity to play the central characters in a BBC drama.”

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Action superstar Danny Trejo stars in Pikchure Zero Entertainment’s new sci-fi action series Paragon: The Shadow Wars.

Action superstar Danny Trejo stars in Pikchure Zero Entertainment’s new sci-fi action series Paragon. : The Shadow Wars.

In a world where Reapers take souls and demons bargain with humans for their place in the food chain, a new descendent named Jael has emerged. After centuries of civil unrest in the real world, a new war is waging amongst those who are seeking to create a new after-life and Jael finds herself in the middle of it. She must venture into the dark world of Soul Reaping and embrace her new role as the Paragon.

Trejo, Amin Joseph, Franziska Schissler, Dilan Gwyn, Khu, and Justin Price star in a series,  currently out to networks, that will encompass a 7-episode first season, with each 43-minute episode fixing on the human race dealing with the obliteration of Heaven.

Paragon is a sci-fi action series that follows the different factions of society as they deal with Heaven’s destruction. With only a small piece of the after-life to live for, everyone from Death himself is fighting to claim the Elysian for themselves.

“We have always loved the Sci-fi fantasy genre, and we wanted to create a series that explored one of the most intriguing questions of humanity. Where do we go when we die? And what would happen if Heaven no longer existed?”, says Justin Price, who is also a producer on the series alongside  Khu and  Franziska Schissler.

Price adds, “Paragon is an edgier and grittier cable style series in the vein of Firefly and Altered Carbon. I believe we have an electric hybrid that explores the human spectrum of dealing with loss and love in a stylistic way. Danny Trejo is outstanding as Kincaid, the half-dead leader of disbanded reapers.”

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Don’t Rock The Boat set to sail

ITV today revealed the twelve celebrities taking part in the challenge of a lifetime, to row the entire length of Britain, in its brand new, epic adventure series Don’t Rock The Boat.

The 5 x 60 minute series will see twelve famous faces step out of their comfort zones and onto their sea legs as they compete in one of the toughest shows ever filmed on both land and sea.

Celebrities set to sail are British politician and author Tom Watson, sports presenter and Olympic gold medalist Denise Lewis OBE and English supermodel and broadcaster Jodie Kidd. Actor Craig Charles, singer-songwriter Fleur East, YouTuber Joe Weller and Love Island winner Jack Fincham are also confirmed. Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon, Olympic, World and European Champion Victoria Pendleton CBE, The Chase’s Dark Destroyer Shaun Wallace, actor and presenter Adam Thomas and International girl group, The Pussycat Dolls, member Kimberly Wyatt complete the line up.

Taking the helm are sporting legend and Top Gear presenter Freddie Flintoff and The Voice’s AJ Odudu as they present the series and guide the celebrities through each leg of the race on the water and preside over the colossal coastal challenges on land.

Freddie Flintoff said, “I'm thrilled to be hosting this brand new show for ITV. It sounds like it's going to be a huge challenge for the twelve rowers so I'm pleased that I'll be spending most of my time on dry land...hopefully! It should be a great watch for everyone at home and I can't wait to get started.”

AJ Odudu added, “This is going to be a great show, with an epic line-up. Such a brilliant mix of personalities and challenges which always makes for good telly. I personally cannot wait to get going - especially filming with the legend that is Freddie Flintoff. We’re going to have so much fun! Bring it on!”

Don’t Rock the Boat (produced by South Shore) will push the twelve celebrity, split into two teams of six, to their physical and mental limits as they battle it out to complete over 500 gruelling miles. The two teams will also face a series of jaw dropping on-shore challenges to secure vital advantages over their opposition.

Immersed in the coastal beauty of the UK the celebrities will face the waves and wind of the sea legs and the daunting cliffs and gorges of Britain’s spectacular shoreline.

Each will have to call on all their individual reserves and team resources to conquer this ‘oar-inspiring’ challenge.

Don’t Rock The Boat will appear on ITV later this year.

Peter: The Human Cyborg Q&A

Peter: The Human Cyborg is the extraordinary journey of super-scientist Peter Scott-Morgan as he turns himself into a cyborg in an attempt to overcome the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) that will otherwise kill him. With much of the technology being applied for the first time, Peter’s journey has profound implications for many people who suffer from conditions like MND, as well as opening up the biggest question of all: what does it mean to be human? We talk to him about his phenomenal journey.

Peter: The Human Cyborg airs at 9pm, on Wednesday, 26th August  on Channel 4.

It’s now 10 months since the operation in which you sacrificed your voice in order to preserve your ability to breathe. How are you?

I actually feel amazing, which is a bit of a surprise. I can still move some of the muscles in my head, but apart from that, I am by now pretty well paralysed, which I had expected to be a little traumatic. In reality though, I find it just means I get to sit around a lot while people fuss over me. I suspect the trick to enjoying total paralysis is simply to imagine you’re in a luxury spa hotel and the maître d insisted you put your feet up and don’t move a muscle.

Why do you think you feel so upbeat?

Ever since I knew that my final operation had been a success (what you don’t see in the film is that I actually got out of hospital in record time), I’ve felt like I got a new lease of life. Realistically, my condition was getting so bad that, because of the form of my deterioration, without that last pioneering op at my local NHS hospital, I’d have been unlikely to make it through last winter. Instead, I may well be around for decades. What’s not to feel upbeat about?

Ever since you were diagnosed, you’ve never wavered in your total faith that technology was your way out of a death sentence. How do you keep that up?

Facing everything head-on with the man I’ve loved all my adult life certainly helps! We’ve always had the mantra of turning liabilities into assets, and motor neurone disease is no exception. So every step we’ve taken over the last almost three years since diagnosis (when I was given two years to live), have felt pretty obviously the right path to both of us. It’s vastly easier to head where no-one has gone before when every step of the way someone you trust completely is reassuring you that you’re doing the right thing.

What about losing your voice forever? Surely that must have proved traumatic?

Again, surprisingly not. Frustrating sometimes, yes. But nothing near traumatic. To be fair, I spent all my life up till last year speaking far too much. So I’m really now only making up for lost silence. With that said, it would feel awful if I wasn’t able to generate my own voice using my eyes to spell out the words. Constantly speaking with what is recognisable as my voice, has totally taken the sting out of giving up my biological voice.

Is there a lesson for others here?

Yes, absolutely! Although we are experimenting with cutting edge ways that will let me, and eventually everyone, show emotion in my synthesised voice, it is already very easy and cheap for anybody to bank their voice. So, if there is any chance of you losing your voice, bank it while your voice is still strong. Like me, you will be so incredibly grateful you did, every single time you use it.

How about the pioneering ‘replumbing’ you had done near the start of the film? How has that worked out?

No one in the world had ever had the tripleostomy (my first operation). I invented the idea – even the name – and persuaded the NHS in Torbay to pioneer it. It has subsequently been written up as a medical paper – Thriving, not just surviving, with motor neurone disease. The outcome of the first pre-emptive ‘triple-ostomy’ – that was chosen as the Oxford Medical Case Report of the year for 2019. I frankly can’t imagine life without it. More accurately, I can imagine it and the thought is horrendous! In the morning and evening I have my 12-hourly service, and that’s it. I haven’t needed the loo for almost 2 years. And after decades of trying but failing to drink the recommended two litres of water a day, I now have it slowly released into my body over 24 hours, even while I’m asleep. I’m permanently fully hydrated for the first time in my life!

Say a bit more about how the final operation we saw came about.

My wonderful ENT surgeon that you see in the film confirmed that the second operation (the ‘full-laryngectomy’) had only ever been given in the UK once before to someone with MND. But that was an emergency. Back in 1985. I came up with the proposal that there were very real advantages to experimenting with conducting a laryngectomy before there was any urgency, even though it required the sacrifice of my voice, and would leave me close to locked-in. So, bizarrely, mine appears to have been the first elective laryngectomy for MND in the UK. Coincidently, the earlier patient was also a scientist. A guy called Stephen Hawking.

What has been the best thing about the last year?

Still being alive is definitely up there. As is finding myself working seven days a week, harder than at any time in my career. And the extraordinary kindness of strangers should not be a surprise to me, although for some reason in the modern world it is. However, maybe the best thing, or at least the most pleasant surprise, is a bit bizarre. Statistically I should be dead, and according to the relentlessly depressing story of MND that everyone insists on pedalling, I should at the very least be feeling close to suicidal. But instead, I feel alive, excited, I’m really looking forward to the future. I’m having fun!

Why do you think that is?

All the obvious reasons revolving around Francis, my close family, the team looking after me, technology, unwarranted good fortune. But there is something more, which I consider a crucial discovery. Contrary to the torturous scare stories about how it feels to be trapped in the straightjacket of your own living corpse, the brain moves on. It grieves a bit, and then, if you give it the chance, most of the time it forgets. Days may pass when I never once remember that in the past I could walk, or move, or (absurdly) even that I could talk. My brain has its own ‘new normal’. The plasticity of the brain to adapt in this way astounds me. It should also bring tremendous hope to anyone coming to terms with Extreme Disability, let alone MND. It certainly does to me.

Your experience is the complete opposite of what everyone says MND is like. Surely, MND is universally accepted as ‘the cruellest disease’?

Not in my corner of the universe! Not anymore. To be fair, it was once. It was an evil way to go. But we are now well into the 21st century. The route by which hi-tech will utterly transform what it means to have MND is pretty obvious to anyone that wants to see. Maybe it’s only me, but I have no problem with saying, it doesn’t have to be that bad these days. I would infinitely rather have MND than an inoperable brain tumour. And as someone already in ‘Late Stage’ MND, I have to say that my experience is that I am not just surviving. I’m THRIVING!

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced since filming wrapped?

Covid 19. But it’s also brought the greatest benefit. I quickly received an official letter saying I was ‘extremely vulnerable’. [This was actually sloppy science because no-one in fact knows how someone with MND and a laryngectomy is likely to react to a spectrum of respiratory infections, because we’ve never had a chance to study it before. But I let that pass.] What was illuminating came from some conversations with the NHS around the same time: even intensive care wouldn’t be able to look after me if I got ill. And no-one could visit us. We were on our own.

So what did you do? And what was the great benefit you gained?

We set up our own intensive care unit at home. We were already part way there. When I’d returned from hospital, the NHS had provided us with hi-tech equipment ranging from ventilators and cough assist machines to oxygen cylinders, cuff manometers and blood oxygen monitors, so, along with my hospital-style bed, we already had the right props. And, just in case, since my operation Francis had
got himself specialist medical training and was probably now one of the very few in the country who was officially signed off to replace the tubing into my bladder, my stomach, my colon, and my lungs. Also, thanks to NHS continuous healthcare funding, I already had a care team very carefully selected by Francis who we had steadily trained to a high standard; now we upped our game still further. We adopted ICU protocol, with everyone but me dressed in PPE. And we kept progressing from there. Now, if I become seriously ill, we can manage without risk of me blocking an ICU bed. It’s an incredibly secure feeling. All thanks to coronavirus.

Has all your ongoing research been temporarily stopped because of the pandemic? Or have you continued to make breakthroughs?

A very few things got slowed because people couldn’t physically get access to me or my technology, but mainly it’s made no difference at all because everyone involved spends most of their day in front of a computer monitor anyway! An exciting development is we now have a new research team at Drexel University in the USA, working with the preeminent global IT integrator DXC Technology and all the experts you saw in the film. They’re researching a very Hollywood cyborg-like interface for me that uses a brand new type of augmented reality visor called a HoloLens2. The visor isn’t available to the public, only system developers. But we’ve been able to get a few to work on. We really think we can develop something that will transform how those of us with Extreme Disability interact with our environment.

You are the centre of more and more research. Tell us about The Scott-Morgan Foundation.

Francis and I are both passionate about using AI and hi-tech to transform what it means to have Extreme Disability, whether through accident or disease or old age. And we’ve been unbelievably lucky in being able to interest some of the world’s top brains in getting involved. So, around the end of filming, we set up a registered charity, with a fully independent Board, to act as the focus for a hugely ambitious research program stretching across decades. The Foundation’s website will go live straight after transmission of the documentary: www.scottmorganfoundation.org We’re incredibly proud of it – it’s the only research foundation of its kind in the world. And we hope to attract more and more of the planet’s most free-thinking and innovative corporations and experts to join us in our mission to revolutionise the future of Extreme Disability, and in so doing, change what it means to be human…

What would you like the legacy of your film to be?

In a word: HOPE! This is ‘terminal disease’ like we’ve never seen it before – and certainly not on television. The whole blindingly overriding reason for Francis and me to subject ourselves to the invasion of a very private time by public scrutiny was to get our message of ‘thriving’ out there to counter the defeatism in our culture around terminal illness. I remember saying to the director early on how it felt as if society just expected people like me to “statistically curl up and die on cue”. The Channel 4 film is an opportunity to get a different kind of message out there – a radical message. If Francis and I can inspire people to go out there and encourage a change in attitude, then the film will have done its job.

Saturday, 15 August 2020

Trailer details announced for Sky original comedy Two Weeks To Live

Sky has today released the official trailer for brand new Sky original comedy Two Weeks To Live, and confirmed it will be available on Sky One from 2 September 2020.

The six-part series follows Kim Noakes (Maisie Williams), a strange young misfit who was just a little girl when her father died in murky circumstances. Following his death, her mother Tina (Sian Clifford) whisked her away to a remote rural life of seclusion and bizarre survival techniques. Now all grown up, Kim sets out into the real world for the first time to begin a secret mission of honouring her father’s memory. Meanwhile, socially awkward Nicky (Mawaan Rizwan) isn’t good at impressing girls, and when Kim walks into his and brother Jay’s (Taheen Modak) local pub, it sets in motion a chaotic series of events that puts all their lives in danger. Who would have thought a few drinks and an ill-judged prank could go so violently wrong? Tina arrives in search of Kim and the unlikely crew soon find themselves on the run from murderous gangsters and the police with a massive bag of stolen cash. But Kim is no ordinary fish out of water – she’s more like a great white shark who knows how to strip a Smith & Wesson SDVE pistol in 6 seconds flat and skin a deer to make a sleeping bag whilst perfectly reciting the lyrics to ‘I Will Survive’. With her in their team, they might all just get out of this alive.

Alongside Maisie and Sian, cast members include Kerry Howard (Beth), Thalissa Teixeira (Thompson) and Jason Flemyng (Brooks).

Celebrity Karaoke Club arrives on ITV2

ITV2 has commissioned Celebrity Karaoke Club, a brand new six-part music entertainment show from BAFTA-winning producers Monkey, which is part of NBCUniversal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Coming to ITV2 this autumn, the series will see seven celebrities unleash their vocals as they head into a karaoke bar with the hopes of winning this exciting music competition. Whether their voice is like Mariah Carey or Mariah Scarey, in this competition it’s all about the love of karaoke and commanding a stage - in everything from epic solo performances to group battles.

But there’s a twist, because the people they will have to impress are their fellow competitors, every celebrity karaoke singer is also a karaoke judge. At the end of every episode they’ll be sending someone home, with new celebrities joining the competition also hoping to be crowned the karaoke king or queen.

The celebrities heading into Karaoke Club for the competition are: 

TV favourite Scarlett Moffatt
Comedian and Loose Women favourite Judi Love
Comedian and TV host Joel Dommett
International drag queen and entertainer Courtney Act
TV and radio presenter Roman Kemp
Ibiza Weekender’s David Potts
TV and radio presenter Melvin Odoom
Reality star Jessica Wright
Comedian and impressionist Luke Kempner
Singer and actress Diana Vickers
Drag Race’s Baga Chipz
Singer-songwriter Tallia Storm
Love Island's Samira Mighty

In between the rounds the stars can grab a cocktail at the bar or have a good old gossip about their rivals in the toilets, because when the singing stops, the competition really begins. Can the stars form alliances with their fellow competitors and let popularity propel them to victory? Or will they rely on their performance to steal the top spot?

ITV commissions second series of detective drama McDonald & Dodds

ITV has greenlit a second series of contemporary detective drama, McDonald & Dodds, following the success of the feature-length films which aired earlier this year produced by leading independent production company, Mammoth Screen.

The new series sees Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet) and BAFTA award winning actor Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies, The Crown) reprise their roles as the ambitious DCI McDonald and the humble, and quietly brilliant DS Dodds in three new murder mysteries.

Set in picturesque Bath, the series pairs fiesty DCI McDonald, who has recently transferred from London’s Met Police, with the modest and unassuming DS Dodds, who has been happy in the background for most of his working life.  Thrown together seemingly with nothing in common, they forge a rumbustious, and ultimately highly effective crime solving partnership.

Created and executive produced by Robert Murphy, who is the lead writer for the series, McDonald & Dodds will once again be filmed in the West Country. The brand new episodes will be directed by Alex Pillai (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Riverdale), Rebecca Rycroft (Malory Towers, Danny and Mick) and Ian Aryeh (In The Long Run, Andy and the Band).

The new series has been commissioned by ITV’s Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair Jones and Head of Drama, Polly Hill.  Huw will oversee production of the drama from the channel’s perspective.

Commented Huw Kennair Jones:
“We’re delighted with the audience reaction to the first series of McDonald and Dodds. The two characters couldn’t be further apart, which is what makes the series so intriguing to watch.  They shouldn’t have chemistry, but they do, and they work brilliantly in partnership which is testimony to Robert’s script and Tala and Jason for bringing McDonald & Dodds to life.”

Strike - Lethal White - Cormoran Strike returns in a new four-part thriller for BBC One

A BBC One mini-series, in association with HBO/Cinemax, adapted from J.K. Rowling’s global bestselling novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Written by Tom Edge and directed by Sue Tully.
Starring a stunning cast including Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, Kerr Logan, Natasha O’Keeffe, Sophie Winkleman, Joseph Quinn, Nick Blood, Natalie Gumede and Robert Glenister.

Strike - Lethal White is a four-part mini-series produced by Brontë Film and Television. It is executive produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts, J.K. Rowling, Tom Edge and Neil Blair, and produced by Jackie Larkin.

Executive Produced by Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama.

An introduction by writer Tom Edge

What is Lethal White?

"Lethal White is the story of Strike’s investigation into two families, which lead him quite deep into the past. On the one hand, you have the Chiswell family, headed up by a classic Shires Tory, a ‘pater familias’ who has four children, one of whom died in the Iraq war. They have a grand, rambling estate and a London home. But all is not well beneath the surface. There’s another family tied to them, the Knight family, and it’s through them that Strike ends up with the Chiswells.

There are two brothers: Jimmy and Billy Knight. Billy, the younger of the two, is very mentally unwell, and he shows up unannounced at Strike's office in the midst of a real emotional crisis. He’s haunted by a memory from his childhood when he witnessed a little girl being strangled in ritualistic fashion, then buried behind his father’s cottage. Strike begins to unpick the connections that lie between these two families, which takes us primarily into the world of politics.

But there are two ends of the political spectrum at play. You have the traditional right, embodied by a Conservative MP, as well as the Knight family, who have ties to the anarchic left. As ever, Jo approaches both with a scalpel-like gaze, examining them in an even-handed manner.

Lethal White also sees Strike and Robin forced to face quite a few things from their own recent pasts and relationships. What we see, in a sense, is a sort of attempt by both of them to make their respective relationships with other people work, while keeping their eyes off each other.

It’s a process of them exploring quite a deep trauma, the weight of which is carried by both sides by these families, as they try to escape their own pasts."

BBC One announces contestants taking part in Celebrity Best Home Cook

Presenter Claudia Winkleman will once again preside over proceedings, and Mary Berry, Angela Hartnett and Chris Bavin will be there to judge the results.

Celebrating the very best of home cooking, ten stars from the worlds of sport, TV and comedy will cook their hearts out with one goal: to serve up brilliant and tasty food to impress the judges and be crowned Celebrity Best Home Cook. They may be stars in their own worlds but now only one thing counts - can they cook? Who will sizzle and shine? Who will crash and burn?

The celebrities are:
Broadcaster and former Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls
Reality TV star, Ferne McCann
Don’t Take My Baby and Years and Years actor, Ruth Madeley
Celebs Go Dating’s Tom Read Wilson
Coronation Street and Doctor Who actor, Shobna Gulati
CBBC presenter and Strictly contestant, Karim Zeroual
Journalist and presenter, Rachel Johnson
Comedian and presenter, Ed Byrne
Comedian and writer, Desiree Burch
Former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas

Claudia Winkleman says: "I’m so happy the Home Cook team are going to be back together, albeit two metres apart. I can’t wait to see what our lovely cooks will whip up for Mary, Angela and Chris.”

Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, says : “There is going to be plenty of heat in the Best Home Cook kitchen when we return with a new series full of a wonderful mix of celebrities serving up their favourite dishes."

As with previous series, each episode will consist of three rounds: The Ultimate, set by Mary; The Rustle Up, set by Chris; and The Eliminator, set by Angela.

New images released for Life, BBC One’s forthcoming drama from the makers of Doctor Foster

New images of BBC One’s forthcoming drama Life have been released, ahead of the six-part series airing this autumn.

Created and written by Mike Bartlett and produced by Drama Republic, Life stars Alison Steadman, Peter Davison, Adrian Lester, Victoria Hamilton, Melissa Johns, Rachael Stirling, Saira Choudhry, Erin Kellyman, Calvin Demba and Joshua James, who all feature in today’s new images.

Victoria Hamilton will reprise her role from Doctor Foster - now going by the name of ‘Belle’, rather than Anna - and seeking to rebuild her life anew.

Adam James will appear later on in the series, reprising his Doctor Foster role as Belle’s now ex-husband Neil. Life also features Elaine Paige and Susannah Fielding in key roles.

Set in Manchester, Life follows the stories of the residents of a large house divided into four flats. As each of the four stories unfold and intertwine in surprising ways, they tell a larger story about what happens when we step out of our personal space and take a closer look into other people’s lives. Life explores love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between.

Gail (Alison Steadman), married to Henry (Peter Davison), is about to celebrate her 70th birthday when a chance encounter throws her whole life into question.

David (Adrian Lester) is happily married to Kelly (Rachael Stirling), but is conflicted by temptation when he meets the impulsive Saira (Saira Choudhry) on holiday.

Pilates teacher Belle’s (Victoria Hamilton) neatly ordered life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of her chaotic 15 year-old niece Maya (Erin Kellyman).

Heavily pregnant Hannah (Melissa Johns) - who is happily coupled up with safe and stable Liam (Joshua James) - has her plans upended by the return of Andy (Calvin Demba), with whom she had a passionate one-night stand nine months previously...

Monday, 10 August 2020

Jackpot! Neil Morrissey leads an all-star cast in the fourth series of Kay Mellor's The Syndicate

Rollem Productions, the BBC and BritBox have announced a winning cast for their new stand-alone series of the critically acclaimed and hugely popular BBC One drama The Syndicate.

From the pen of the Bafta award-winning writer Kay Mellor (creator of Band Of Gold, Fat Friends, In The Club and Girlfriends), the series showcases a stellar line-up including: Neil Morrissey (Line Of Duty, Unforgotten, Good Karma Hospital); Emily Head (The Inbetweeners, Emmerdale); Taj Atwal (Line Of Duty, In The Club); Katherine Rose Morley (Thirteen, Last Tango In Halifax); Kieran Urquhart (The North Water, Vera) and introducing Liberty Hobbs (Grey’s Anatomy) in her UK debut.

Further cast includes: British YouTuber Joe Sugg (Waitress, Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon) in his TV acting debut; Mark Benton (Shakespeare & Hathaway, The Halcyon); Gaynor Faye (Calendar Girls, Emmerdale); Katie McGlynn (Coronation Street, Waterloo Road); James Cartwright (Downton Abbey The Movie, The Archers), Kym Marsh (Your Money And Your Life, Coronation Street), Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies, Coronation Street) and Lorraine Bruce (The Syndicate, White Gold).

When the owners of Woodvale Kennels announce they are selling the business to a large corporate chain, the staff are devastated to realise they may well be out of a job. This is disastrous news for Keeley (Katherine Rose Morley), Jake (Kieran Urquhart), Roxy (Taj Atwal), Gemma (Liberty Hobbs) and Colette (Emily Head) who all depend on their pay to get them from one month to the next.

As the staff’s future is thrown into question the weekly lottery looks like the only lifeline to gambling addict Keeley. So when she checks the ticket with local newsagent Frank (Neil Morrissey) and the machine goes off she is ecstatic! But is everything as it seems and will our syndicate get what’s rightfully theirs? Set between Yorkshire and Monaco, we see our kennel workers spend every last penny they own to see justice done.

In true Mellor-drama style this ‘cat-and-mouse’ thriller is peppered with the comedy, pathos and high-drama audiences have come to expect from The Syndicate.

Kay Mellor says: 
“Lockdown has been a roller-coaster of emotions for all of us. I was devastated not to be able to begin shooting the new Syndicate. All the scripts were written and we were four days away from principal photography but now we’re ready for the stage and I couldn’t be more excited. We’ve got a loyal, star-studded cast and a talented crew, who have waited patiently in the wings. The BBC - Piers Wenger and Gaynor Holmes especially - have been utterly brilliant, supporting us all the way. This series is a brand-new story about a syndicate of low paid kennel workers who think they’ve won the lottery but have been robbed of their ticket. The chase to confront the culprit takes us to the wealthy French Riviera where the young syndicate find themselves well out of their depth.”

Gaynor Holmes, Executive Producer for the BBC, says: 
“We are so thrilled to have The Syndicate return to BBC One for a fourth series. Kay has written yet another brilliantly entertaining story and we can’t wait to see the fabulous cast bring it to life.”

The Syndicate is a 6x60' drama series and has been commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. Episodes one, two and six will be directed by Kay Mellor (Girlfriends, In The Club) and episodes three, four and five by Dominic Leclerc (The A Word, Babs). The series will be produced by Josh Dynevor (Get Even, Girlfriends) and the executive producers are Kay Mellor and Yvonne Francas (Our Girl, Death In Paradise) for Rollem Productions and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC. It is a Rollem production for the BBC and BritBox in North America. International distribution for The Syndicate series four will be handled by Abacus Media Rights (outside of the US and Canada) who also hold the international rights for series three.

Saturday, 8 August 2020


Netflix have released the first look images for the highly anticipated series “Paranormal” the first Netflix Arabic Original from Egypt.  The first look images of the series -which wrapped up lately after a halt due to Corona pandemic- show Dr. Refaat Ismail (Ahmed Amin) in his forties, where he undergoes a series of paranormal incidents. They also display Maggie Mckillop (Razane Jammal) a Scottish scientist and Dr. Refaat’s previous colleague, to whom he never confessed his love.

The series tackles Dr. Refaat, a cynical Hematologist with a dark sense of humor, who goes through a “journey of doubt” as his world is turned upside down after his lifelong scientific convictions are questioned. The plot commences in 1969, as Refaat Ismail enters his 40s, and begins to experience a series of paranormal activities.

Throughout the season, Refaat is accompanied by his university colleague, Maggie, as they enter the paranormal world and try to save their loved ones from the immense danger that surrounds them. The story is based on the best selling thriller novel series with the same name “Paranormal” by late Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, that sold more than 15 million copies. Staying true to the books, Paranormal, which is slated for Fall 2020 is filmed in Egypt, reflecting Netflix’s commitment to creating authentic Egyptian content for global audiences to enjoy

Sky releases brand new tease for The Undoing launching on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on 26 October

Sky have released a brand new sneak peek tease for upcoming psychological drama The Undoing starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. The six part series will air weekly on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV from 26 October. Watch the new tease here.

A HBO limited series based on the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Grace Fraser (Kidman) is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist, has a devoted husband and young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. Overnight a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.

Directed by Susanne Bier (Brothers, After the Wedding, In a Better World, Birdbox) and written by David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, The Practice, Boston Legal, Picket Fences), The Undoing stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Donald Sutherland, Noah Jupe, Edgar Ramirez, Lily Rabe, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Matilda DeAngeli and Noma Dumezweni. The limited series is also created by Executive Producers Susanne Bier; Nicole Kidman and Per Saari for Blossom Films; Bruna Papandrea for Made Up Stories; Stephen Garrett and Celia Costas.

I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! moves to UK for 2020

ITV announced today that the 20th series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! will be filmed in the UK.  The show will be broadcast live every night from a ruined castle in the countryside.

Ant and Dec will host the series, bringing viewers all the news and excitement of the day.

As on the regular series, viewers will see the celebrities undertake gruelling trials and fun-filled challenges to win food and treats in the lead up to one of them being crowned, for the first time ever, King or Queen of the Castle.

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television said:
“We announced last week that we were doing all we could to make the series and I’m thrilled that we can bring the show to viewers albeit not in the jungle. We have a great team both on and off screen and I know they will produce a hugely entertaining series”.

Richard Cowles, Director of Entertainment at ITV Studios said:
“We pulled out all the stops to try and make the series happen in Australia.  Unfortunately, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and despite us looking at many different contingencies, it became apparent that it just wasn’t possible for us to travel and make the show there. However, we are all really excited about a UK version of I’m A Celebrity.  While it will certainly be different producing the show from the UK, the same tone and feel will remain. 

“Our celebrities will probably have to swap shorts for thermals but they can still look forward to a basic diet of rice and beans and plenty of thrills and surprises along the way”.

Channel 4 Commissions New Observational Documentary Swingers

Channel 4 is set to unlock the doors of the country’s hidden swinging scene via access to one of Britain’s most popular swingers’ clubs, in a brand new 1x60’ observational documentary that aims to shed light on a lifestyle that is often sensationalised.

There are now a reported 1.5 million people on the British swinging scene and with the rise of the internet meaning it’s no longer just about leaving your “keys in a bowl” and many major towns and cities in the UK boasting a swingers club this intimate one-off takes an honest and no-holds-barred look at those whose behaviour may have been previously been deemed far more taboo.

Via candid interviews with both the club’s founder and staff and the clientele who are members on the circuit, Swingers is granted unique access to a very special Valentine’s Day party at Liberty Elite.  A club which was founded in 1999 as the upmarket venue for those pursuing a liberated lifestyle. It now has over 12,000 members and up to 200 guests a night’ at the clubs various weekly themed events for attendees of all demographics.

Filmed before the outbreak of Covid-19, Swingers explores the world of the everyday people who choose to do something different in their free time. Meeting committed couples who claim swinging is the cherry on top of their already great relationship and single men and women who believe swinging is a safe and respectful way to satisfy their sexual desires without commitment; the single women being known as ‘unicorns’ for their rarity on the circuit.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

CBS announces new premiere date for season two of Love Island

CBS announced today the second season of LOVE ISLAND will kick off with a two-hour premiere Monday, August 24 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Following the premiere, episodes will air nightly* (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), including a two-hour episode each Saturday (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), featuring the best moments of the week, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage. The season will be available to stream live and on-demand on CBS All Access.

Host Arielle Vandenberg and narrator Matthew Hoffman will return with an all-new cast of Islanders for the U.S. version of the international reality sensation that will shoot its second season in Las Vegas sequestered in a “bubble” at Caesars Entertainment’s boutique hotel, The Cromwell. The cast will be announced closer to premiere.

LOVE ISLAND features a group of single “Islanders” who come together in a stunning setting, ready to embark on a summer of love, friendships and, ultimately, relationships. Every few days, the Islanders must couple up – those who fail to find a partner to couple up with risk being dumped from the island. Islanders are on the lookout for romance, but the road to love doesn’t always run smoothly. Challenges abound with new Islander arrivals and dramatic twists as friendships and relationships form. In addition to choosing their partners wisely, Islanders must also win the hearts of viewers who have the opportunity to shape events on screen and ultimately crown one lucky couple the winner, who will then have the chance to walk away with both love and the cash prize.

New Comedy Slice PRU confirmed for BBC Three

PRU is a comedy about a group of teens struggling to navigate adolescence in a Pupil Referral Unit, a school for excluded children.

This brand new Comedy Slice will authentically capture the unpredictable nature of PRU life, a world seldom seen by the public. It will be told through the eyes of four beautifully complex but seemingly self-destructive kids who say the unsayable and do the undoable.

The four teen leads will be found through an open casting process which will begin this week with Fully Focused putting out an online call for talent on its social pages.

Fully Focused are a youth-led production company at the forefront of online content creation. They are committed to centring underrepresented young voices in their work and the entire team behind PRU, from the writers (Alex Tenenbaum and Nathaniel Stevens) to the director (Teddy Nygh) have extensive experience of working with a wide range of young people, including in Pupil Referral Units, giving PRU unrivalled authenticity.

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, says: “This script crackles with terrific dialogue from sharply drawn characters in a world we haven’t seen before in sitcomworld - all imbued with truth, heart and hilarity. Fully Focused bring their ethos and emphasis on authenticity and representation of young voices both on and off camera and we’re excited to go on this journey with them.”

Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three, says: “We’re hugely passionate about investing in young people at BBC Three, giving a platform to new stories and voices. We’re looking forward to working with Fully Focused on this sharp and authentic script.”

Leah Henry, Executive Producer, says: “Fully Focused are incredibly excited to be working with Shane Allen and his team to produce PRU for BBC Comedy. This show will take BBC audiences into the world of the Pupil Referral Unit, looking past the stereotypes of kids who can’t behave and showcasing the wit, charm, frenetic energy and beautiful chaos of young people from all walks of life, we’re also looking forward to unearthing fresh new talent through the open casting call. Created by a team who know this world inside out, developed with our young creatives aged 18-25 years old and providing paid training positions for young people throughout production, PRU is as genuine and authentic as it gets.”

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

"Big Brother: All-Stars" House Theme Revealed!

BIG BROTHER: ALL-STARS ups the game for season 22, as returning Houseguests vie for another shot at victory while living together in an "All-Star Loft" designed for the veteran VIPs. In a first for the hit summer series, the season premiere will air live, and the All-Star cast will be revealed during the two-hour move-in premiere event, Wednesday, August 5 (9:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network.

"The All-Star Loft is amazing!" said Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan, Executive Producers, BIG BROTHER. "It not only has an artistic nod to BIG BROTHER past, but this house actually holds the key to some new twists that will keep these All-Stars on their toes all season long!"

Building on the All-Stars theme, the house gets an A-list makeover befitting this season's group of returning BIG BROTHER Houseguests. Production designer Scott Storey designed the colorful BIG BROTHER All-Star Loft, which is inspired by the working arts lofts of downtown Los Angeles and features 16-foot tall warehouse windows and one-of-a-kind installation pieces.

In the living room, the Houseguests will get literal "star treatment" with a gigantic wall full of 1,152 illuminated pegs, as well as a massive star field created from hand-painted rods, which pepper the backlit wall. The living room also features vintage star-shaped tin signage, as well as a sleek new model of the iconic BIG BROTHER chess set.

This year's kitchen pays homage to some of the biggest All-Star moments of the past two decades, with splatter-paint street murals adorning the walls that illustrate players during unforgettable events, such as Dan Gheesling's funeral, Dr. Will Kirby acting as puppet master, and Rachel Reilly's call to "floaters" to grab a life vest.

This season, the lounge celebrates the show's infamous "showmances," a term coined by Dr. Will during season two, with LED-lit hearts, red velvet seating, and custom monogrammed throw pillows highlighting enduring couples from seasons past. In the bathroom, the fan-favorite "BIG BROTHER rubber duck" finally gets its due, with hundreds of ducks adorning the walls, from the showers to the sinks.

For the first time, the house will feature four bedrooms, instead of three. The first bedroom showcases the superhero side of BIG BROTHER Houseguests, with back issues of BB comics illustrating the walls, including images of memorable Houseguests Swaggy C, Devin Shepherd and Frankie Grande. Custom-printed duvet covers, spider web-like framing, and 3D-printed rocket ships make this room the perfect hero's headquarters or villain's lair.

The side bedroom celebrates a major symbol of the game - the BIG BROTHER key - with key-shaped columns capped by glass globes breaking up the padded leather walls, and 41 framed house keys sprinkled throughout the room, as a reminder that only one houseguest will have his or her key pulled at the end of the season. The back bedroom centers around the one feature BIG BROTHER could not exist without: the camera. Also known as the "photo memory room," this room is filled with 127 black-and-white photos that highlight pivotal moments spanning the show's 20-year history, as well as 45 35-millimeter cameras, including one prominently displayed wall-sized lens that not so subtly reminds houseguests all eyes are on them.

If an All-Star wants true VIP treatment, they will want to win the coveted Head of Household title and move into the luxurious HOH suite, which features raked skylights revealing a twilight-lit city skyline, a plush king-sized bed, and a royal blue velvet sofa - the ideal spot for what will surely be many late-night strategy sessions.

Finally, the front of the house has undergone a high-tech redesign featuring millions of LED pixels, giving the BIG BROTHER home major curb appeal. Throughout the season, the LED screens will display milestones in the game and provide viewers with an ever-closer, clearer look at the All-Star players.

Following the two-hour live move-in premiere event Wednesday, August 5 (9:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT), BIG BROTHER will air Sundays and Wednesdays (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) and Thursdays (8:00-9:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT), featuring the live eviction show hosted by Julie Chen Moonves.

Total Wipeout: Freddie And Paddy Takeover - Q&A with hosts Freddie Flintoff & Paddy McGuinness

Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness bring their unique banter to classic Total Wipeout episodes as plucky contestants take on the Big Red Balls for the chance to win £10,000!
Coming to BBC One from Saturday 8 August at 7.10pm.

Q&A with host Freddie Flintoff

Can you tell us a bit about what to expect from this new series of Total Wipeout?

I think most people have seen Wipeout before - I remember watching it and it’s just fun isn’t it? You’ve got people doing stuff on this water place which is just ridiculous; you don’t stop laughing at it. It’s hard! Some of the stuff people go through, from getting punched off a wall to falling on them big red balls, all to win ten grand! This time round it’s the best episodes from 10 years ago and then me and Paddy have done the voiceover.

I’ve seen a few people saying they're introducing it to their kids for the first time over lockdown, so hopefully it’s good timing?

I think a lot of things have been tried over the years… but nothing's been as good as Wipeout! Hence bringing it back, and even watching the old episodes, it just doesn’t date. It’s still very funny. It’s fun, there’s a bit of jeopardy and it’s quite hard so hopefully it’ll go well and who knows - they might make it again!

Were you excited to get involved and to be working with Paddy again for this project?

I’m never excited to work with Paddy! It’s interesting isn’t it, because the two of us are doing Top Gear now and we’ve so much fun on that and it’s so good to do. And then we got the chance to do Wipeout and for both of us it was a no brainer. We both know the show. It’s quite strange you’ve got one from Preston, one from Bolton doing all these shows now - long may it continue!

It’s a real takeover!

The Northern takeover. We’re coming, it’s great!

Have you always been a fan of the show and what are your memories of watching it?

It was really bizarre watching. Obviously you see the big red balls and you remember all those things, but there was a person on it when I watched the series and it’s a friend’s daughter! There was a cricketer in the 80s and early 90s called Alan Lamb, he had a big moustache, bit of a character, and I know Alan and I know his daughter. And she was on! I remember at the time watching and saying, “Oh it’s Lamby’s daughter!” I was in the voiceover studio and we were doing that episode so I’m commentating and talking about someone I know, 10 years on. So that was a bit different.

Does one of you play good cop and the other bad cop when commenting on the contestants? What type of contestant do you root for?

A little bit, we tend to get behind a few people – there are some characters! When they were filming, it’s almost as if some of the contestants weren’t aware it’s being filmed! Some of the things they do, some of things you can get people to do on the start line, or doing a little piece to camera to introduce themselves is amazing. I'm not sure if people would do that now! But yeah it’s bizarre, Paddy gets stuck into a few people, as do I to be honest!

Have there been many funny moments whilst recording together? Does the other person have any habits that get on your nerves or have the separate recording booths helped?

Yeah I think separate booths are good…but this has been fun. There’s a team of people behind it and there's people writing scripts and that…but there is a lot of room where you can just talk and riff with each other. And sometimes you’re just falling about laughing.

Did you have a favourite contestant across the series?

Katie (Lamb), yeah she was definitely mine. She was a standout!

It seems like there is a great mix of fun contestants in there?

Yeah some of the dances people do and some of the things people say, it’s bizarre! If they do it again they should get all the same people back.

Which obstacles would particularly suit you and which would you fail at on the Wipeout course?

The easiest one is when you get onto the course you just slide down but after that it’s all hell. It’s all balance, it’s bouncing, it’s jumping. I think the only one I might have a chance with is that wall where they punch you, just trying to stay on the wall. I think that’s the only one, but then if anyone saw me boxing, they’d probably disagree.

Do you have any special rituals you do before a recording / do you have a routine together now as you’ve worked together for quite a while?

No Paddy never sees what I do before we start because he’s always late! So whatever I do, Paddy’s oblivious, and then Paddy waltzes in and then just starts as if we’ve got the call time wrong. So there’s no warm ups, there’s no nothing, we’re just sat there waiting for Paddy and then he comes in and we start.

He keeps you on your toes. So that's the warm up?

No not on our toes, he keeps us frustrated!

Will either of you have a catchphrase for the show?

No, but that's the thing with catchphrases, I don’t think I have. But sometimes you listen back and you say things more than you thought you did. So I don’t think I have, but we’ll wait and see!

What other shows like Wipeout do you feel bring a good mix of comfort and silly watching?

I think it’s on its own Wipeout. I did a show called Cannonball a few years ago which was water based but it just wasn’t Wipeout.  And then you’ve got your Ninja Warriors, I present that in Australia. But that's become more of a sport over there, it’s so difficult and it’s so hard and it’s for people who just spend their life in the gym training. But with Wipeout it’s fun and you can have a go at it. I think that's the charm of the show where people sit at home thinking, “I’d love to do that” or “I could do that” and they genuinely could do and they’d enjoy it. I don’t there’s too many shows out there like that.

How do you hope audiences will react to the show?

Do you know what, everyone that I’ve spoken to when they mention Wipeout and that me and Paddy are doing it, they’re excited by it. They just reminisce about Wipeout and they've all got a memory of watching so hopefully we’re starting from a good point and it’s going to be similar to when it first went around. You’re sat in the voice booth watching it and apart from probably a few outfits and a pair of trainers it hasn’t dated - maybe a haircut here and there - but you wouldn’t know. I hope everyone will get into it.

Quickfire round on your co-host:

What would Paddy’s biggest strength and biggest weakness be?

His biggest strength would be that he’s really competitive. His biggest weakness is that his ambition outweighs his ability.

What nickname would he have?

You know the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn? He just shouts. That’s who Chris (Harris) likens him to. I’m going to throw Chris under the bus here, so Chris reckons he’d be Foghorn Leghorn!

What would be the first thing he’d spend his money on?

He’d probably get some more trainers with studs on the back or a new denim jacket. Or he loves a leather jacket as well Paddy – he doesn’t really dress age appropriate bless him!

Q&A with host Paddy McGuinness

Were you excited to get involved and to be working with Freddie again?

There was a great response when the news was announced so I really hope people enjoy seeing it back on BBC One. We need those big red balls back in our lives! The show, not Fred?

What do you think makes this format so popular with viewers?

Wipeout is all about not taking yourself too seriously and going for it. It’s silly, pure comfort TV and I think more than ever that’s the kind of telly people have an appetite for.

Have you always been a fan of the show/what are your memories of watching it?

I’ve always loved the mix of contestants that take part in the show - they’re up for anything and aren’t afraid of looking daft, bit like myself and Fred. I think the brilliant thing about it is you can’t really prepare for the course or the obstacles – you have to leave your pride at the door and give it your all! It brought back loads of happy memories watching it, felt really nostalgic.

Which one of you plays good cop/bad cop when giving commentary on contestants? What type of contestant do you root for?

I can probably be a bit harsher on some of the contestants than Fred. I see it more as tough love.

Do you have any special rituals you do before a recording/ do you have a routine together now as you’ve worked together for quite a while?

Fred still has a lot to learn from me so part of that routine is him getting the chance to sit back and watch a professional at work. But really it’s always fairly easy for us to get stuck in and get the job done while having a laugh.

What would be your 3 top tips for tackling the Total Wipeout course?

My tips would be, don’t be self-conscious, don’t over think it and definitely try to get in swimming practice beforehand as most people end up stuck in the water at some stage or another!

How do you hope audiences will react to the show?

I hope that it’s one parents introduce to their kids and that it gives people the chance to sit down and have a laugh together. For anyone that’s seen before, it’s nostalgic and it’s actually even funnier and more ridiculous than I remembered.

Quickfire round on your co-host:

What would be their strength as a contestant?

His biggest strength would be his ability to stride across the big red balls with ease.

What would be their biggest weakness as a contestant?

His biggest weakness would be getting not being able to maintain his blue steel look for the entire course.

What would they do with the prize?

Use it to pay for the dry-cleaning bill.

What nickname would they have?

Freddie Falloff? The Lanky Lancastrian. So many to choose from really!

Monday, 3 August 2020

Lucifer Season 4 Recap | Netflix

Get caught up on the last season of Lucifer before all hell breaks loose. Season 5 Part 1 premieres August 21 only on Netflix.

Bored with being the Lord of Hell, the devil relocates to Los Angeles, where he opens a nightclub and forms a connection with a homicide detective.

Starring:Tom Ellis,Lauren German,Kevin Alejandro

COMPETITION: Win The Secrets She Keeps on DVD

The Secrets She Keeps is out on DVD on August 10th

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

THE CAT is out the bag…Brand-new nail-biting drama The Secrets She Keeps is set to have viewers hooked this summer. This six-part small-screen adaptation of Michael Robotham’s best-seller follows the lives of two pregnant women in wildly different circumstances, whose meeting may be more than a coincidence. This ‘domestic noir’ drama arrives on digital 8 July and DVD 10 August 2020 from Acorn Media International, following its run on BBCOne.

Successful mummy-blogger Meghan (Jessica De Gouw – The Crown, Vienna Blood) meets shelf-stacker Agatha (Laura Carmichael – Downton Abbey, The Spanish Princess) in the supermarket of her affluent Sydney suburb. The pair are both pregnant, bonding over the similar due dates of their babies, but as they grow closer, Agatha becomes more and more obsessed with Meghan’s “perfect” life. However under the surface, problems with her high-flying TV exec husband Jack (Michael Dorman – Patriot, The Invisible Man) and tension with his best friend Simon (Ryan Corr – Cleverman, Hacksaw Ridge) mean Meghan is keeping plenty of secrets of her own…

Meanwhile, the father of Agatha’s child, Hayden (Michael Sheasby – The Luminaries, A Place to Call Home) is away on duty and might not be as excited about the baby as Agatha is, forcing her to confront the question: when the life you want isn’t yours, how far will you go to get it?

A fascinating exploration of female friendship, urban class divide, social media, and motherhood, all wrapped up in an edge-of-your-seat thriller, you’ll be guessing The Secrets She Keeps until the very end.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 17-08-20
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.