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Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow returns to ITV

The hit series of classic gameshow reboots will return to ITV and ITV Hub on Saturday 3 April at 8:35pm, including new addition Name That Tune

Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow, the extravaganza of nostalgic and exciting gameshow reboots, returns to brighten up Saturday nights on 3rd April at 8:35pm on ITV and ITV Hub.  

Once again hosted by inimitable funnyman Alan Carr, the 11 x 60' series from Talkback, a Fremantle label, will launch with a celebrity special of the legendary Play Your Cards Right. The big-name couples vying to win the jackpot for their charity of choice include Harry & Sandra Redknapp, Nicola Adams & Ella Baig, Martin & Shirlie Kemp and Catherine Tyldesley & Tom Pitfield.

This will be followed week-by-week with the return of all the UK's favourite gameshows from the first series, with contestants from the general public taking on The Price is Right, Take Your Pick, Strike It Lucky, Bullseye and Play Your Cards Right. However, this time a set of plucky contestants will also put their musical knowledge to the test on new addition and beloved classic, Name That Tune.

This initial run of eight episodes concludes with another celebrity special and will then be followed by three more specials to air later in the year. Throughout all eleven nail-biting shows filled with family fun, contestants will be hoping to win big-money or top-of-the-range prizes, as they battle to get to those all-new epic endgames.

Alan Carr said: "I am so super-excited to be back with my Epic Game show, frankly its nice to be just out the house, but to start the run with 'Celebrity Play Your Cards Right' is just what we need right now. A perfect storm of nostalgia, family fun and with the chance to win 30,000 pounds for charity - I dare you not to be on the end of your sofas shouting Higher and Lower!"

Harry Redknapp said: "Play Your Cards Right is an absolute TV classic. We are so looking forward to appearing on the show, I don't think it's any secret that I can be a little competitive so Sandra and I are definitely going to be trying our best to win something for my charity, that's for sure."

Nicola Adams said: "The first series of Epic Gameshow was such a great, feel-good show for Saturday nights, and Alan's such a brilliant host. I'm thrilled that Play Your Cards Right has been brought back and Ella and I got a chance to try our luck."

Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning at ITV, said: "Epic Gameshow is the only series that puts all of the nation's best loved game shows on one studio floor, and with an exciting mix of nostalgia, big money prizes, and of course Alan Carr at the helm, it's Saturday night TV at its best."

Jonno Richards, Managing Director of Talkback, a Fremantle label, said: "It's great to be bringing Epic Gameshow back to Saturday nights, with a fantastic line-up of shows, some big-name talent to kick us off and most importantly, the brilliant Alan Carr running the show. It's going to be Epic!"

BBC Two and BBC Music commission new, illuminating and sensitive one-off film Amy Winehouse: 10 Years On

Ten years after the death of one of the UK's greatest musical icons, Amy Winehouse: 10 Years On will explore who she really was through those who knew her best, shining a light on parts of her life that have, to date, not been heard about

Amy's story will be told primarily through her mum, Janis - a figure close to Amy whom we have yet to hear a lot from and whose version of events often differs from the narrative we have been told before. Janis lives with Multiple Sclerosis, a condition which threatens to strip her of her memories of Amy, and is a large part of her motivation to make this timely and personal documentary. Janis will be aided by family, friends and those who knew Amy best to piece together the side of Amy rarely seen. The film will be a powerful and sensitive account of one of Britain's best-loved and greatly-missed musical talents, offering a new female-driven interpretation of her life, her loves and her legacy.

Amy Winehouse: 10 Years On will include access to never-before-seen personal archive of Amy from the family and treasures from the BBC archives. Amy's life will be celebrated across the BBC with a selection of content and musical performances across television, iPlayer and BBC Sounds. BBC radio will also celebrate the life and legacy of the singer - Radio 6 Music will commemorate the anniversary with an Artist Collection, a selection of programming from across the BBC celebrating Amy's music. Radio 2 is planning a documentary about Amy's influence on the next generation of female singer-songwriters, plus a special archive collection of her performances at the BBC. Radio 1 will be taking a look at the life and career of the singer, revisiting some of her most memorable live performances and introducing a new audience to her music in a one-hour documentary special.

Janis Winehouse says: "I don't feel the world knew the true Amy, the one that I brought up, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to offer an understanding of her roots and a deeper insight into the real Amy."

Dov Freedman, Executive Producer for Curious Films, says: "Amy was a true musical icon, and we couldn't be prouder to help those closest to Amy reclaim her story, ten years after her death"

Max Gogarty and Rachel Davies, Commissioning Editors, says: "Amy Winehouse: 10 Years On promises to be a celebratory and intimate portrayal of one of the brightest musical talents the UK has ever seen. Whilst being a celebration of her musical genius and featuring rare and unheard performances, it will also offer a reinterpretation of the prevailing narrative around her rise and fall, told by those closest to her."

Rick and Morty series 5 to land on E4 this June

E4 is in very unsafe hands as Rick and Morty is set to make a return to the channel this June – hurrah!

The fifth season of the Emmy-award-winning animated comedy comprises 10x30' episodes and will air hot on the heels of the American transmission (fans rejoice). This new series will see the outrageous dynamic duo get into all sorts of chaotic trouble.

 Rick and Morty follows a sociopathic genius scientist who drags his inherently timid grandson on insanely dangerous adventures across the universe. Rick Sanchez is living with his daughter Beth's family and constantly bringing her, his son-in-law Jerry, granddaughter Summer, and grandson Morty into intergalactic escapades.

Rick and Morty stars Justin Roiland (Solar Opposites), Sarah Chalke (Firefly Lane), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live), and Spencer Grammer (Greek). The series is created by Dan Harmon (Community) and Roiland, who also serve as executive producers.

The Truth About Police Stop and Search

Channel 4 have commissioned Flicker Productions to make a 1x60 film exploring the contentious issues of Stop and Search, fronted by Jermaine Jenas.

This film will put this controversial aspect of modern policing under the microscope. The Truth About Police Stop and Search, features the experiences of approximately 40 Black men and teenagers who used cameras to record their experiences of Stop and Search across England, and to see how their interactions with the police play out.

In England and Wales, Black men are 9 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white men. This documentary hopes to help the British public understand the full scale of the issue, and its wide reaching social, psychological and personal consequences.

Flicker Productions Executive Producer Colleen Flynn says, "We wanted to go beyond the news headlines and document how stop and search is affecting so many men, women and families across the country, and with Jermaine at the helm ask the audience to reflect on and understand the everyday scrutiny black men find themselves under"

Jermaine Jenas says, "This film is really important to me, I wanted the viewer at home to gain some understanding of what life is like for a young Black man dealing with the police. I hope these stories will help paint that picture and highlight the day to day struggle and mental health difficulties that are being put on one community because of Stop & Search. I'm hoping for change."

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Agatha and Poirot: Partners in Crime

Agatha and Poirot: Partners in Crime

This Easter, in a unique new documentary, ITV will celebrate the queen of crime Agatha Christie, and her most enduring literary creation, Hercule Poirot in Agatha & Poirot: Partners in Crime.

Marking 100 years since the first literary appearance of Christie's illustrious super sleuth, Agatha & Poirot will chart the origins and history of Hercule Poirot and trace the inimitable Belgian detective's lasting impact upon popular culture.

Presented by Richard E Grant, and featuring contributions from family and famous fans, Agatha & Poirot will explore the life and personal experiences of Christie, which inspired the plots, characters and locations of her literary masterpieces.

Examining the relationship between Christie and her longest literary life companion Hercule Poirot, the documentary will explore the story behind some of Christie's most timeless publications, from Poirot's first outing in The Mysterious Affair at Styles to later pursuits in Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.

Viewers will visit Christie's Devon  home of Greenway with great grandson James Prichard; experience luxury train travel with Joanna Page; explore Poirot's popularity across the big and small screens with Stephen Fry; and enjoy Christie's love of luxury food with chef Marcus Wareing.

Agatha & Poirot features an all-star cast of Christie enthusiasts and experts, including actors Zoe Wanamaker, Hugh Fraser, Amanda Abbington, Lesley Joseph, Danny John Jules and Caroline Quentin. As well as screen writer Anthony Horowitz, Historian Bettany Hughes and Cultural Expert Gus Casely-Hayford.

Sohail Shah, Executive Producer at King of Sunshine Productions, said "Agatha Christie is the biggest selling crime writer of all time, and her own life is as compelling as her many novels. With Richard E Grant at the helm, it is our privilege to tell the story of the writer that created the greatest detective in literature."

James Prichard, Agatha Christie's great grandson and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited, said

"I think it is a testament to my great grandmother and her extraordinary creation Hercule Poirot that we are still celebrating them after 100 years, and also that there is still so much to learn."

Agatha Christie's Poirot is currently available on BritBox

ITV recommissions Unforgotten for a fifth series

ITV recommissions Unforgotten for a fifth series

"ITV would like to thank Nicola Walker for playing the brilliant role of Cassie Stuart in four series of Unforgotten which has become one of the best loved and most critically acclaimed police dramas on TV. Nicola and writer Chris Lang decided that Cassie's story would come to an end last night, but that Unforgotten would continue, in series 5, with a new case, and a new 'Partner in Crime' for DI Sunny Khan.

This fourth series has had a record breaking season posting its highest viewing figures. For episodes 1-5 the series has averaged 7.5 million viewers based on seven day consolidated data, which is up by 1.6m viewers and 26% on the last series. The audience for the launch episode stands at 9.5m viewers after 28 days, across all platforms and repeats, up from the overnight audience by a massive 4.4million viewers."

Maya Jama to join the Celebrity Juice panel


Maya Jama is to join multi award-winning Celebrity Juice as a regular panellist, following in the footsteps of Gino D'Acampo. Celebrity Juice, hosted by Keith Lemon, will return for its 25th series in April on ITV2 with team captains Emily Atack and Laura Whitmore.

TV presenter Maya will become a regular guest on the panel after multiple appearances in the last series in which she threw herself into everything Keith asked of her.

Commenting on the news, Maya Jama said: "I never have any idea quite what's going to unfold on Celeb Juice, but I do know it's always going to be hilarious and super fun. It's a show I dreamed about going on when I was growing up and so I'm beyond thrilled to become a regular on the show and be given the opportunity to share the panel with some of my favourite people. Bang Tidy!"

The last series of Celebrity Juice accumulated an average audience of 708K viewers on ITV2, making it one of the channel's most popular shows. The new 10x30 minute series was commissioned by Paul Mortimer, Controller of Digital Channels at ITV and is a Talkback production, a Fremantle label.
 

Filming begins on a new series of BBC Three comedy Jerk starring actor, writer and stand-up comedian, Tim Renkow

Filming begins today at locations in South East London on the second series of Roughcut TV and Primal Media's four-part scripted comedy, Jerk for BBC Three

Series two will be co-written by Tim Renkow (Funny Festival Live, Bobby and Harriet Get Married) and Shaun Pye (There She Goes, Frankie Boyle's New World Order). Returning to star alongside Tim in series two is the Academy Award and Emmy-nominated Actress Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos, Goodfellas), Sharon Rooney (Dumbo, My Mad Fat Diary) and Rob Madin (Man Like Mobeen, Carters Get Rich).

Jerk is a black comedy that revolves around the character of Tim (played by Renkow), a man who uses the fact that he has cerebral palsy to try and get away with anything. Tim makes people feel uncomfortable. He knows that because he does it on purpose. But that's his problem, time spent taking aim at small targets means he constantly misses out on life's bigger prizes.

Co-creator, co-writer, associate producer and star of Jerk, Tim Renkow, says: "We're back! I can't wait to get back to work, see everyone and contribute to the fall of western society."

Shane Allen, Director of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, says: "Great to have the most wickedly funny and boundary pushing show on British TV back for more no holds barred comedy. Jaw dropping and side splitting in equal measure."

Rebecca Murrell, Producer, says: "Tim Renkow is back, fully vaccinated and more outrageous than ever."

Renkow was nominated for Breakthrough Act at the RTS Awards 2020 and Jerk won the Representation of Disability Award at the Mipcom Diversify TV Excellence awards. In November 2020, Tim was also selected as a writer-performer for Bafta Breakthrough.

Jerk is a co-production between Roughcut TV and Primal Media for BBC Three and was commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three and Shane Allen, Director Comedy Commissioning at the BBC. It is produced by Rebecca Murrell (Trollied, Jerk series one) and directed by Tom McKay (Drunk History, The Agency). The executive producers are Alex Smith and Ash Atalla for Roughcut TV and Mat Steiner for Primal Media. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Ben Caudell.

Little Mix, Sir Tom Jones and Beverley Knight help local BBC radio honour those who have made a difference

Little Mix, Sir Tom Jones and Beverley Knight say thank you to some of the local heroes whose efforts have been highlighted through BBC local radio's Make A Difference. In addition with many churches still not fully open, the Archbishop of Canterbury will deliver an Easter address and later at 10am on Easter Sunday local radio stations will join together in an uplifting documentary called Life's Second Chances featuring people who have recovered from Covid-19 and seen their recovery as a second chance at life.

Launched in March 2020 Make a Difference is a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing it. Every day our teams speak to local community heroes; people making meals for the vulnerable, sharing provisions and generally keeping each other going.

In a series of special broadcasts this Easter, BBC weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans introduces Make a Difference heroes to music legend Sir Tom Jones, pop sensation Little Mix and singer Beverley Knight.

The Make a Difference heroes include nurse Will Garrett from Stoke-on-Trent, who during the first Lockdown was redeployed onto a Covid ward, where his wife also worked. One day their nine-year-old son Harrison overheard them talking about how difficult it was for patients to be alone. Harrison wanted to help and set about raising money, to buy some iPads for those in hospital. We will also hear about five-year-old Amaya Thompson from Stevenage who decided to save her pocket money to help the homeless.

Each of the programmes will feature music from all three artists and will be aired at 9am on Good Friday, Easter Monday and Tuesday 6 April across local BBC radio.

Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital for BBC England, says: "All year our stations have been hearing the stories from Make a Difference heroes and this Easter we give some of them a chance to meet their musical heroes and our listeners an opportunity to hear about the amazing work they have been doing. It's a schedule that celebrates everything people have done over the last twelve months and I hope will lift people's spirits."

Highlights of the programming across all 39 local BBC radio stations to mark Easter 2021 include:

Good Friday Make A Difference heroes meet pop sensations Little Mix at 9am on your local BBC radio station.

On Easter Sunday The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will lead a specially produced service to celebrate Easter for local BBC Radio, which will go out at 8am across all 39 local BBC radio stations. It will contain his Easter message. This is part of the wider BBC offering for Easter Sunday which will see BBC Radio 4 and BBC One also featuring a service led by the Archbishop

Also on Easter Sunday at 10am there will be a special programme called Life's Second Chances - in it we hear personal stories from people across local BBC radio that offer hope and optimism after coming close to death from Covid, but fought back, recovered and now see life and what's important very differently

On Easter Monday at 9am across local BBC radio - music icon Sir Tom Jones meets local Make A Difference heroes

Singer Beverley Knight meets more Make A Difference heroes on Tuesday 6th April from 9am on your local BBC radio station

Tune into your local BBC radio station where ever you are from Friday 2 April for Easter programming.

Beat the Chef with Andi Oliver returns to Channel 4

Beat the Chef will return for a brand-new, 30-part series. Stripped Monday to Friday, every day a new, skilful amateur is cooking to win up to £10,000 as they go head to head against one of four professional chefs in two fast paced cook-offs. Presenter and restaurateur Andi Oliver hosts the culinary combat and the four house chefs to beat are: award-winning Mark Sargeant; Roux Scholar, Frederick Forster; Executive Chef, Sophie Michell and Michelin starred, Hrishikesh Desai.

In each of the two rounds a food jury blind tastes both the home cook's and the professional chef's dish, to vote on which they prefer. Round One is the 'Contestant's dish', where the amateur must win votes to put cash in the prize pot.  In round two, 'Chef's dish', they must then predict their number of votes to win up to £10,000.  But fail to get enough votes and they walk with nothing!

Monday, 29 March 2021

COMPETITION: Win Midsomer Murders - Series 21 on DVD


Midsomer Murders - Series 21 is released on DVD on 5th of April

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies to give away.

Synopsis: 
INTERNATIONALLY LOVED Midsomer Murders is the longest-running detective drama in the UK, and the hit series is returning to our screens for its incredible 21st series. Following its run on ITV, Midsomer Murders The Complete Series Twenty One Box set arrives on DVD on the 5th April 2021, courtesy of Acorn Media International. Series 1-20 are also available on DVD.

Airing in more than 220 different territories around the world, Midsomer Murders has been a fixture on our television screens since its premiere in 1997, which drew in 13.5 million viewers, making it ITV’s highest rated single drama of that year. More than 20 years on the show remains one of the channel’s most popular and pulls in some five million plus viewers per episode.

The series has seen over 395 murders during its incredible run and we can expect to see our favourite detectives back on form with four new mysteries to solve. Previous victims have died from touching electrified microphones, being strangled by automatic doors, being hit by a meteorite during an eclipse, and the seminal death by cheese case – how will this series’ residents fare?

Dance extravaganzas, bee empires, and giant fish – what do these all have in common? In the county of Midsomer, they’re united by one thing…murder. DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon – Life Of Riley, Silent Witness) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix – The Crown, Black Mirror) are back on the case tackling curious crimes in the idyllic and picturesque setting. Beneath the tranquil exterior of country life, a sinister propensity for killing lurks…

In the new series, which sees Griff Rhys Jones (Alas Smith & Jones) and Imogen Stubbs (Sense and Sensibility) amongst some of the great guest stars, DCI Barnaby must contend with yet more cunning criminals as he tackles bizarre beekeepers, radical robots, fanatical fishermen, and to cap it all off he sashays into the baffling world of ballroom dancing.

Will the two detectives be able to solve the mysteries of Midsomer Murders? 

Buy From Amazon at
https://amzn.to/2O57KUA

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who plays DCI John Barnaby in Midsomer Murders?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 12-04-21
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.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Eve Myles is 'Keeping Faith' once again as hit Welsh noir returns for Series 3 - on DVD


BOASTING RECORD breaking viewing figures for the BBC, BAFTA-winning original Welsh Noir Keeping Faith was a runaway success and stars award–winning actor Eve Myles (Torchwood) who charms as the eponymous lead, and this time her all important jacket is orange. 

Now a brand-new series is set to air on BBC One and arrives on DVD and digital alongside Keeping Faith Complete 1 – 3 Box Set this spring. 

The hit series broke new ground with the complete show filmed in two languages, Welsh as Un Bore Mercher and English as Keeping Faith, with the Welsh versions being aired on Welsh TV S4C, and iPlayer ahead of its national broadcasts.

In series one we meet tenacious lawyer, wife and mother Faith Howells (Eve Myles, Broadchurch, Torchwood), who must deal with the sudden, mysterious disappearance of her husband Evan (Bradley Freegard, Under Milk Wood). 

Series Two follows 18 months after Faith’s life was turned upside down and she is drawn into a new mystery, taking on the case of a local farmer (Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Peaky Blinders), accused of murdering her husband in cold blood. She must also contend with the fallout of previous events: conflicting emotions towards her husband and former criminal Steve Baldini (Mark Lewis Jones, Chernobyl), and pressure from steely gang matriarch Gael Reardon (Anastasia Hille, Baptiste).

Following the success of the first two series, Keeping Faith returns for its third instalment with the brilliant Eve Myles back as the eponymous lead for this six-part series and Celia Imrie (Mamma Mia 2, Patrick Melrose) joins the cast. We re-join Abercorran 18 months on from the explosive series two finale and Faith must now contend with Evan as their divorce and custody battle go from bad to worse, and where to go now following the fall out.

Faith tries to remain positive even as her world is crumbling around her – but someone from her past appears and threatens to disrupt the tentative peace Faith has started to find in her life.

Will Faith be able to cling on to the tenuous normality she’s constructed?

Pre-Order Series 3 on DVD at - https://amzn.to/3rmFOJo
Pre-Order Series 1-3 Boxset on DVD at - https://amzn.to/31jSt5a

Stellar cast confirmed for major new Steven Moffat drama Inside Man, for BBC One and Netflix

Produced by Hartswood Films for BBC One and Netflix, it will be directed by Paul McGuigan (Sherlock; Dracula; Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool).

The captivating four part mini-series follows a prisoner on death row in the US, a Vicar in a quiet English town, and a maths teacher trapped in a cellar, as they cross paths in the most unexpected way…

Husband and wife team Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue, executive producer for Hartswood Films, say: "We're a bit stunned, and very excited, at the acting talent we're managing to assemble for this show. Can't wait to crawl out of our lockdown bunker and get to work."

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: "BBC One viewers will already know the television magic created when Steven Moffat writes for David, Dolly and Lydia. With the fantastic Stanley Tucci alongside them as our Inside Man, everything is in place for a series that will have the nation gripped."

Chris Sussman, UK Original Series, Netflix says: "We're delighted to team up with the BBC on another brilliant series from the ingenious mind of Steven Moffat. It's impossible to say too much about Inside Man without giving away spoilers - so let's just say the scripts are fiendishly clever, the cast is fantastic and at this point in time nobody but Steven knows how it's going to end. We're thrilled to continue our fruitful partnership with BBC One, BBC Studios and Hartswood Films and are excited about bringing this series to a global audience."

Caroline Stone, Director of Independent Drama at BBC Studios, says: "We are very excited to be working once again with Hartswood Films, the BBC and Netflix to bring another fantastic series from Steven Moffat to audiences around the world. Inside Man is set to be an unmissable drama with a hugely talented line-up both on and off screen. From the very successful partnerships we've had in the past with Netflix, we are optimistic it will be another hit globally."

Inside Man is a 4x60 drama for BBC One and Netflix. It is created and written by Steven Moffat, directed by Paul McGuigan, with Alex Mercer as producer. Executive producers are Sue Vertue for Hartswood Films and Ben Irving for the BBC. Chris Sussman will oversee for Netflix. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. BBC Studios are the international distributors and brokered the deal with Netflix.

The series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland. Filming will take place later this year.

Strictly Come Dancing's 2021 professional dancers revealed

Made by BBC Studios, Strictly Come Dancing will be back on BBC One this autumn with the professional dancer line up revealed as Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Janette Manrara, Johannes Radebe, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, Neil Jones, and Oti Mabuse.

Sarah James, Executive Producer, BBC Studios, says: "We are so thrilled to be welcoming back our incredible line-up of professional dancers for 2021. Their passion and dedication for Strictly shone through more than ever last year as they all sacrificed so much to deliver an unforgettable series during unprecedented and challenging times. With so much talent returning to the ballroom, the 2021 series promises more show-stopping choreography, memorable performances and world-class dancing."

Further announcements and information, including which dancers will be partnered with celebrity contestants, will be announced in due course.

Strictly Come Dancing originally launched on BBC One in the UK in 2004. The entertainment format - known internationally as Dancing With The Stars - has become a success story all around the world, and the format has been licensed to 60 countries by BBC Studios.

Strictly Come Dancing is a BBC Studios production for BBC One. The Executive Producer is Sarah James, the Series Producer is Jack Gledhill, and Robin Lee-Perrella is the Series Editor. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Jo Wallace.

Biographies

Aljaž Skorjanec

Born in Slovenia, Aljaž took to the dance floor at the age of five and enjoyed much success in his home country, where he won 19 Slovenian championships in Ballroom and Latin. For over a decade of competing, Aljaž represented Slovenia at a world level. Aljaž joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 and during his first year, he lifted the Glitterball Trophy with Abbey Clancy. Other partnerships have included Alison Hammond, Helen George, Gemma Atkinson and, most recently, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo.

Amy Dowden

Amy began dancing at the age of eight, is a four-time British National Finalist and went on to become British National Champion, making her one of the highest-ranking Ballroom and Latin dancers in the UK. Amy grew up watching Strictly Come Dancing from her home town of Caerphilly, South Wales, and in 2017 her dream of dancing on the show came true when she joined the series as a professional dancer. In 2019 she danced all the way to the final with CBBC's Karim Zeroual and most recently she partnered TV Presenter JJ Chalmers.

Anton Du Beke

Anton Du Beke joined Strictly Come Dancing during its first series and is the only professional dancer to have danced in every series. He has had many memorable partnerships including with Ann Widdecombe, Nancy Dell'Olio, Judy Murray and Ruth Langsford. Anton has reached the Strictly Come Dancing final twice, most recently in 2019 with EastEnders' star Emma Barton. In 2020 Anton was partnered with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

Dianne Buswell

Dianne Buswell is an Australian Open Champion and four-time Amateur Australian Open Finalist. She was a professional dancer on the Australian version of Strictly Come Dancing before joining the UK series in 2017. Dianne reached the final with social media star Joe Sugg in her second series on the show, and most recently was partnered with singer Max George.

Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni Pernice was born in Sicily but as a child moved to Bologna to pursue his dancing career, during which he successfully won the Italian Championships in 2012. Giovanni has made the Strictly Come Dancing final an impressive three times, with Georgia May Foote, Debbie McGee and Faye Tozer. In the most recent series he partnered Ranvir Singh and danced all the way to the semi-final.

Gorka Marquez

Gorka Marquez began dancing at the age of 12. He represented Spain in the World Latin Championships in 2010 and reached the semi-finals of the 2012 WDSF World Cup. Gorka has been a professional dancer on Strictly since 2016 and has danced in two finals, with Alexandra Burke in 2017 and with Maisie Smith in 2020.

Graziano Di Prima

Sicilian-born Graziano Di Prima, an Italian Latin Champion, joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, partnering radio presenter Vick Hope in Graziano's first year on the series. Before Strictly, as well as competing for his home country, Graziano also represented Belgium at the World Championships and made the top 24 at the Under 21 Latin World Championships. Graziano has also toured the world with the dance company Burn The Floor.

Janette Manrara

Janette Manrara was born in Miami and joined the Strictly Come Dancing family in 2013. Before Strictly, Janette was already a dancer at a global level, performing with Jennifer Lopez at the 82nd Academy Awards as well as being a principal dancer in the TV series Glee. Janette's Strictly partners have included Jake Wood, Peter Andre and Dr Ranj. In 2020 she was partnered with singer HRVY and reached her first final. Janette has also won the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special twice with partners Melvin Odoom and Aston Merrygold.

Johannes Radebe

Johannes Radebe is a two-time Professional South African Latin Champion and a three-time South African Amateur Latin Champion. He joined Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer in 2018 and has also competed on Strictly Come Dancing South Africa twice, reaching the final both times. On the UK series, Johannes has been the dance partner of Catherine Tyldesley in 2019, and Caroline Quentin in 2020.

Karen Hauer

Originally from Venezuela, Karen moved to New York when she was eight years old where she became United Amateur American Rhythm National Champion and Professional World Mambo Champion. In 2009, Karen appeared in the US series So You Think You Can Dance. Karen is returning for her tenth series of Strictly Come Dancing and is the longest-serving female professional in the show's history. Over the years she has enjoyed memorable partnerships, including with Jeremy Vine, Mark Wright and Chris Ramsey, and in 2020 she partnered Jamie Laing and together they danced all the way to the final.

Katya Jones

World Champion Latin dancer Katya Jones was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She is a World Professional Latin Showdance Champion, three-time World Amateur Latin Champion and four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion. Katya is also a Strictly Come Dancing champion, having won the series with Joe McFadden in her second year on the show. During her first year she was partnered with Ed Balls and together they performed many memorable routines, including their now iconic Salsa to Gangnam Style. In the most recent series she partnered Nicola Adams, in Strictly's first same-sex pairing.

Luba Mushtuk

Russian-born Luba Mushtuk is four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship and is also an Italian Open Latin Show Dance champion and Latin European Championship finalist. Luba was part of the Strictly Come Dancing family for several years as an assistant choreographer, before becoming a professional dancer on the programme in 2018. She has danced with two celebrity partners in the main series: James Cracknell in 2019 and Jason Bell in 2020.

Nadiya Bychkova

Nadiya Bychkova is a highly decorated dancer originally from Ukraine. She is a two-time World Champion and European Champion in Ballroom and Latin '10' Dance. Nadiya joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and in her first year made it to the Quarter-Final with her celebrity partner Davood Ghadami. She has since also partnered Lee Ryan and David James.

Nancy Xu

Nancy Xu is a world-class Latin dancer who was a finalist in the Under 21 World Championships in 2010. Nancy was also a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance in her home country of China. She joined Strictly in 2019 and has performed in all the series' group numbers, as well as dancing for guest music acts and in the 2019 Children in Need special, partnered EastEnders' actor Rudolph Walker.

Neil Jones

Neil Jones is a four-time undefeated British National Professional Champion and three-time winner of the World Amateur Latin Championships. In 2015, he was crowned World Professional Latin Showdance Champion and has won over 45 titles around the world during the course of his competitive career. Neil has been a Strictly professional since 2016, dancing in the series' group numbers and Christmas Specials, and in 2019 partnered footballer Alex Scott, reaching week 11 of the competition.

Oti Mabuse

Oti Mabuse is an eight-time South African Latin American Champion. She moved to Germany to further her dancing career and there achieved many titles, including World European Latin semi-finalist and World Cup Championship semi-finalist. Oti joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 and is the current reigning pro champion having lifted the mirrorball trophy with Bill Bailey in the 2020 series. She is the only dancer in the programme's history to win two consecutive series, having also won in 2019 with actor Kelvin Fletcher.

Made In Chelsea returns for Series 21

Following a dramatic series of tears, drink swills and an extravagant wedding last year, the hit reality series, Made in Chelsea, is to return to E4 Monday 29th March at 9pm. Marking the series' tenth anniversary this year, things are sure to be shaken up once again!

For the first part of this 12x60" series, some of your favourite SW3 socialites will be swapping the Kings Road for a swanky rural Cotswolds estate, where lovers, exes, friends and frenemies will all be bubbled up under one roof. Expect parties, revelations, tears, dilemmas and more drama than ever before.

Cast featuring this series includes, Liv Bentley, Sam Thompson, Sophie Hermann, Ollie Locke-Locke, Gareth Locke-Locke, Tiffany Watson, Maeva D'Ascanio, Fred Ferrier, Sophie 'Habbs' Habboo, Mark-Francis Vandelli, Tristan Phipps, Paris Smith, James Taylor, Emily Blackwell, Harvey Armstrong, Verity Bowditch, Ruby Adler, Reza Amiri-Garroussi, Amelia Mist and Freddie Browne.

Making a dramatic return to the series is Miles Nazaire, who is ready to ruffle some feathers with ex-girlfriend Maeva. Chelsea fave Julius Cowdrey is also back and on a mission to win over his ex-best friend, Liv.

A few new faces will also be making appearances this series including Tiff's stunning friend Inga Valentiner, who has just returned from living in Bali, as well as Paris' bestie, Robbie Mullett. There is also a surprise visit from Sophie Hermann's new love interest, Tom Zanetti.

 Made in Chelsea will return Monday 29th March at 9pm on E4.

First image released for Nida Manzoor’s anarchic, joyful and irreverent music comedy We Are Lady Parts

We Are Lady Parts is an exuberant music comedy following a Muslim female punk band – called Lady Parts – who are on a mission to find a lead guitarist and maybe, just maybe, get a proper gig.

The first glimpse of Nida Manzoor's (Doctor Who, Enterprice, Hounslow Diaries) six-part Channel 4 music comedy, We Are Lady Parts, has been released. A bold and celebratory comedy exploring sisterhood, belonging and finding your voice, We Are Lady Parts (6X30') is currently slated for release on Channel 4 in Spring. The series will also launch on Peacock in the US.

The series is written, created and directed by Manzoor, who has drawn on her own experiences and taken inspiration from the rich and diverse cultural collectives and artists in London; and boasts an exciting ensemble cast of new British acting talent. We Are Lady Parts shows the highs and lows of the band – called Lady Parts – as seen through the eyes of Amina Hussain (Anjana Vasan) – a geeky microbiology PhD student, who's on the lookout for love and romance. Lady Parts' fierce and enigmatic frontwoman Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey) sees something in Amina that the others can't see. When Saira discovers Amina fancies Ahsan (Zaqi Ismail), fellow band member and taxi-driving drummer Ayesha's (Juliette Motamed) dreamboat brother, she uses this as leverage by offering to hook them both up on a date, but only if Amina agrees to join the band. Cartoon-drawing bassist and backing vocalist Bisma (Faith Omole) and Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse) the band's wheeler-dealer band manager are not convinced that Amina is right for their band. Amina has never, ever met girls like this before and she's soon swept up in their joyful, anarchic energy and punk spirit. But she becomes torn and caught up between two different worlds – that of her more strait-laced uni friends led by her formidable bestie Noor (Aiysha Hart) and the world of Lady Parts. Will she be the key to the band's success? And - will she finally find a husband?

The series is packed with original punk songs and surprising cover tracks, written and adapted by Nida and her siblings Shez Manzoor, who also scored the show, Sanya Manzoor and Benni Fregin.

We Are Lady Parts is at once an unapologetically bold comedy and a joyful celebration of the richness and diversity found in contemporary London, whilst also an exploration on the fundamental questions of life: Who am I? Where and with whom do I belong?. But ultimately it's about funny women with real agency, forging their own lives and identities in a world determined to do it for them.

Channel 4 starts The Great Garden Revolution

Ronseal Presents…The Great Garden Revolution, a 4x60' series designed to show us how to prepare our outdoor spaces for the warmer months ahead.

Filmed with a fast turnaround to showcase the areas of your garden you can work on in the week of broadcast, The Great Garden Revolution will feature inspiring makeovers for gardens of any size or shape, and all tailored to the season.

Each episode comes from a different domestic garden around the UK where a team of experts - designer Joel Bird, ecological gardener Poppy Okotcha and craftsman Bruce Kenneth - will harness their expertise to transform that week's garden.

Along the way they'll give viewers a variety of tips, builds and ideas they can put into action straight away, with the team also encouraging viewers to send pictures and videos of their efforts into the show, to be featured in the following week's episode.

The Great Garden Revolution also features a celebrity guest each week who will show off their own garden and demonstrate their bespoke hacks.

Clemency Green, commissioning editor for Channel 4, said: "We're so excited to unleash our energetic, creative, thoughtful new gardening team Poppy, Joel and Bruce onto the gardens of Britain. They will help everyone, from owners of tiny terraces to families with huge fields, to get their gardens shipshape for the summer and inspire our audience to do the same."

Prue Leith and Dr Rupy Aujla to inspire us to Cook Clever and Waste Less on Channel 4

Two of Britain's best loved cooks, Prue Leith and Dr Rupy Aujla, are going to transform the cooking and food shopping habits of four British families in Channel 4's Cook Clever, Waste Less with Prue & Rupy.

The four-part series from BBC Studios' Science Unit, brought to you by Hellmann's, will offer viewers at home inspiration to shake up their mealtimes and tackle their Food Waste. Food Waste in the UK is a massive problem not many are aware of, with the equivalent of 1 in 6 shopping bags or 1 in 8 prepared meals going to the bin from households across the nation. With most of this waste destined for landfill or incineration, Food Waste remains one of the biggest challenges we face globally. If Food Waste was a country, it would be the third biggest GHG (Green House Gas) emission source after China and the US.  

With some top tips and expert advice, we can change our habits and revolutionise how we consume food for the better. Cook Clever, Waste Less with Prue & Rupy shows how we can help our pockets and the planet by being more creative and thoughtful about the food we buy and consume.  Series sponsor, Hellmann's, are on a mission to inspire and enable British households to make great taste and less waste and with this series they aim to highlight the simple ways we can all make a difference, in our kitchens and beyond.

The series showcases the journey of four typical British families from Food Wasters to Waste Warriors. Each week the cooks will team up with a different family to understand how food is wasted in their respective households, and to teach them recipes for easy-to-make, delicious meals using store cupboard staples and budget-friendly meal planning. The goal is to help the families – and viewers at home –take action to save money AND the planet by reducing their Food Waste. Each episode champions masterful meal planning as well as tips and tricks to make simple and gorgeous food every day of the week.

Dr Rupy Aujla comments, "I'm super proud to have been part of a show alongside Prue teaching families from all backgrounds the simple steps toward wasting less food, saving money and improving their health. We could all do with wasting less, and instead of simply highlighting the problem, I believe that by creating a joyful and exciting programme full of tips and recipes we also motivate and inspire people watching at home. It was a privilege to work with the studio on this project and the wider team, and I believe we can enact real cultural change to our health and environmental wellbeing one delicious plate at a time. It really is possible to waste less, save money, eat better and improve your health!"

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

The Cylons are back as Horror Channel blasts off with BATTLESTAR GALACTICA from March 24

Those shiny humanity destroyers, the Cylons, are back as Horror Channel presents one of Sci-Fi's most iconic TV franchises, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. The original series will be aired at 8pm on weekdays from Wednesday March 24. 8pm until the 10th May.


The Emmy-winning show depicts the epic futuristic battle between the last remaining population of humans and their evil robotic nemeses – the Cylons. Spiralling through space on their titular fleet, the human forces, led by Commander Adama (Lorne Greene), search the Universe for the last known plant refuge – Earth. Also stars Richard Hatch as Captain Apollo (a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a television series), and Dirk Benedict as Lieutenant Starbuck, the womanizing, cigar-smoking, card playing and incredibly skilled Colonial Warrior.

Although the series was cancelled after 24 episodes, a write-in campaign revived the show as Galactica 1980 with 10 episodes. Books have also been written continuing the stories and Battlestar Galactica was remade in the early 2000s with a reimagined miniseries and a weekly series.

You can also buy the complete original series at Amazon - https://amzn.to/3lKU4dG

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

The Nevers - Trailer - Sky Atlantic

 

The Nevers will debut on 17 May with all episodes of part one available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW. Part two's six episodes will follow at a later date, to be announced.

August, 1896. Victorian London is rocked to its foundations by a supernatural event which gives certain people - mostly women - abnormal abilities, from the wondrous to the disturbing. But no matter their particular “turns,” all who belong to this new underclass are in grave danger. It falls to mysterious, quick-fisted widow Amalia True (Laura Donnelly) and brilliant young inventor Penance Adair (Ann Skelly) to protect and shelter these gifted “orphans.” To do so, they will have to face the brutal forces determined to annihilate their kind.

The ensemble cast also includes Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, Amy Manson, Pip Torrens, Denis O'Hare, Zackary Momoh, Elizabeth Berrington, Kiran Sawar, Anna Devlin, Viola Prettejohn, Ella Smith, Nick Frost and Ben Chaplin.

The Nevers part one of the first season is executive produced by Joss Whedon, Bernadette Caulfield, Ilene S. Landress, Doug Petrie, Jane Espenson and Philippa Goslett. Daniel S. Kaminsky co-executive produces.


Monday, 22 March 2021

First look teaser and images for epic Sky Original drama, Domina

Sky today released an exclusive first look teaser and selection of images for Sky Original, Domina, an epic historical drama series which brings to life the power struggles of Ancient Rome from a different perspective; that of the women.



The eight-episode series, coming to Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK in May 2021 stars Kasia Smutniak (Perfect Strangers, Them, Devils) playing Livia Drusilla, with the young Livia played by Nadia Parkes (The Spanish Princess), and supported by an international stellar cast including Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) playing Livius, Livia's father, and Colette Tchantcho (The Witcher) as Antigone, Livia's best friend, ex-slave and closest ally.



Created and written by Simon Burke (Zen, Fortitude) with acclaimed Australian filmmaker Claire McCarthy (Ophelia, The Luminaries) as lead director, Domina also stars Matthew McNulty (Misfits) as the future emperor Gaius, Christine Bottomley (The End of the F***ing World) as Scribonia, Ben Batt (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Agrippa, Enzo Cilenti (Free Fire) as Tiberius Claudius Nero, while Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black) plays Claudia Octavia. Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet, Death Becomes Her) makes an appearance playing Balbina, an early enemy.


Produced by Fifty Fathoms (Fortitude), Tiger Aspect and Sky Studios, with Cattleya as executive production services, the epic eight-part drama is a highly topical story, which follows the life and the extraordinary rise of Livia Drusilla, who overcame adversity to become the most powerful woman in the world.


Synopsis
The story follows Livia's journey from a naïve young girl whose world crumbles in the wake of Julius Caesar's assassination, to Rome's most powerful and influential Empress, driven by a deep desire to avenge her father and secure power for her sons. Livia and her peers navigate their way through a brutal society by means of strategy, conspiracy, seduction and murder. She will soon discover that seizing power is not enough: you must be able to keep it when everyone else wants it. This is a visceral and authentic family saga, grounded in historical accuracy and bringing to life the incredible true stories of the women who would create one of the most enduring and fascinating dynasties of all time.



DOMINA | On air in May on Sky Atlantic and NOW


Clive Myrie has been announced as the new presenter of Mastermind and Celebrity Mastermind.

Clive will be the fifth host of the BBC's popular quiz show which marks its 50th anniversary next year.

Clive is a BBC news journalist and a regular presenter of the BBC News at Six and Ten since 2010, as well as the BBC News Channel. Prior to that he has been the BBC's Asia, Africa, Washington, Paris and Brussels correspondent. Clive has also appeared as a guest on hit BBC One Entertainment shows Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You.

He recently won the RTS Television Journalism award for best presenter, with one judge noting his "versatile, measured, compelling, relaxed but reassuring and empathetic" style.

Clive Myrie says: "What a privilege it is to take on this new role. Mastermind with Magnus Magnusson formed the backdrop to my youth, and now to be at the helm is a dream come true. I'm excited and can't wait to get stuck in."

Kate Phillips, BBC's Director of Entertainment says: "Clive will be a superb host, witty, wise and with a wicked sense of humour, he's a consummate interrogator who also understands the fear involved when facing a barrage of questions in the spotlight."

Jimmy Mulville, Hat Trick Productions and David Young, Hindsight Productions say: "Clive was always at the top of our list to step into the host's shoes, and we couldn't be more thrilled that he is going to lead us into a new era of this iconic show."

Clive Myrie will begin filming on the new series in Belfast in July and the show will return to screens later this year.

John Humphrys' last episodes will be broadcast in April.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

ITV commissions The Killing of PC Harper: A Wife’s Story

Lissie Harper, whose husband, PC Andrew Harper, was killed in a crime that sent shockwaves across the country, will share in depth for the first time the story of her journey for justice with Sir Trevor McDonald in an exclusive new film for ITV. 

The Killing of PC Harper: A Wife's Story (W/T), 1x60, will see Lissie talking at length for the first time about the profound affect her husband's killing has had on her life. 

Just four weeks after their wedding in 2019, Andrew went to investigate a robbery and never came home. 

This horrific crime dominated national headlines with blanket media coverage revealing the discovery of his body, how he was dragged to his death by a stolen car and, the laughing, cheering and smirking in court during the trial from his killers, who were cleared of murder and convicted of manslaughter. 

Speaking to Sir Trevor, Lissie will share her memories of the relationship she shared with Andrew before tragedy struck, how, in a major turning point, her grief evolved into a refusal to be victim and instead drive her current campaign for the introduction of 'Harper's Law'. The legacy in her husband's name proposes a life sentence for anyone guilty of killing an emergency worker (including police officers, firefighters and paramedics among others), while committing a crime. 

In telling the definitive story of the case from the first 999 call to the hunt for Andrew's killers, Lissie's fight for justice and the life-changing impact of her husband's killing, Sir Trevor will also meet lead detectives in the case, press and wider friends and family to build the full picture of events. 

Lissie Harper said: "Harper's Law will mean that a person found guilty of killing a police officer, firefighter, nurse, doctor, paramedic or prison officer, as a direct result of a crime they have committed, would be jailed for life.

"This means that a life sentence would be imposed, asking for a minimum term in prison. Harper's Law would provide a strong deterrent and an appropriate punishment for committing such a heinous crime.

"I know that if he could, Andrew would be right by my side fighting for this law change… he would want me to get this law passed for all who deserve it."

Lissie added: "I've never sought the limelight but I recognise being in the public eye is important to highlight why this law change is desperately needed.

"I think it's important for the public to see all the hard work that goes into our campaign as part of this documentary. And I am really pleased to be sharing my story with ITV and Sir Trevor McDonald as I strive to achieve Harper's Law."

Sir Trevor McDonald said: "The tragic events that happened around the death of PC Andrew Harper shocked the nation. To have the opportunity to meet Lissie and hear the impact of his death on her and her family, and report on her ambition to create lasting change, compelled me to be a part of this film."

Alongside archive footage the documentary features unseen police interview footage and CCTV to create a complete picture of the events as they unfolded. For the first time in compelling interviews, the police involved recount the race to catch the killers. 

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Five New Cast Members Join "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds"

Babs Olusanmokun, Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding, Jess Bush and Melissa Navia Officially Aboard for the Voyages of the Starship Enterprise

STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The series will feature fan favorites from season two of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock. The series will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the years before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy.

STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS will join the Star Trek Universe on Paramount+ in the U.S., which includes current and upcoming seasons of the original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, STAR TREK: PICARD, the animated series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS and the upcoming all-new animated kids' series STAR TREK: PRODIGY. The Star Trek Universe on Paramount+ also includes all 726 episodes from the six classic Star Trek series and a selection of Star Trek films.


Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s Wellington Paranormal lands on Sky Comedy and NOW TV this April

Cult mockumentary comedy from Grammy and Emmy award-winning Jemaine Clement and Oscar-winning Taika Waititi, Wellington Paranormal will be available this Spring on Sky. With all episodes of S1-S3 Wellington Paranormal available as a boxset from Monday 5 April 9pm on Sky Comedy and NOW TV.

There are some crimes normal cops can't investigate… Officers Minogue and O'Leary are invited to join the new Wellington Paranormal Unit of the Police when they unwittingly bring in a young woman possessed by the demon Bazu'aal; a demon who can jump from body to body and who is literally hell-bent on opening a portal to Hades in Cuba Street's iconic Bucket Fountain. With the help of their Senior Sergeant Ruawai Maaka, they succeed in banishing the demon thanks to some quick googling and so the Wellington Paranormal Unit is born.

For the rest of the series, our hapless duo investigate an alien invasion on a farm; meet a werewolf out for revenge on her ex; resolve a noise complaint at a haunted house full of ghosts from the 1970s; encounter the vampire Nick from What We Do In The Shadows stealing blood from the hospital, along the way investigating a ghost behind a dairy, a scary ritual in a park, some creepy clowns by the road and a couple of dreary goths in a cemetery; then in the exciting conclusion to the series, Minogue and O'Leary race to stop a pair of zombified cops from their station before they get to Courtenay Place on a Friday night and cause a zombie apocalypse! All in a series' work for our dynamic duo and their brave sergeant.    

Wellington Paranormal looks like a typical police reality show in the style of Motorway Patrol or Police Ten7 but with X-Files-style paranormal events as the 'crimes' being investigated. The performances are realistic but funny using a cast of great comedic improvisers with scripts by exciting new writing talent.

The series was directed, produced and script edited by comedy legend Jemaine Clement with the help of director Jackie Van Beek and executive produced by Taika Waititi.

Bloodlands to return for a second series on the BBC after biggest BBC drama launch in Northern Ireland on record

Bloodlands launched with an average of 8.2 million viewers, making it the biggest new BBC drama launch since last June. In Northern Ireland, the premiere episode had a 52 percent consolidated audience share (live and time-shifted viewing), making it the highest BBC drama to launch locally on record. Following this success, the BBC have ordered a second series from writer Chris Brandon, who had his first original drama commission in Bloodlands.

The critically acclaimed 'Irish-noir' drama which has kept the nation hooked for the past four weeks concluded tonight, as audiences were shocked by the revelations about the complex character of DCI Tom Brannick and what his future might entail.

The cat-and-mouse thriller is rooted in Northern Ireland, and filming will take place once again in Belfast and the surrounding areas, including Strangford Lough. This is the latest commission to be announced as part of the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen partnership agreement. The successful partnership, which is soon to be renewed for its third term, continues to support the screen industry in Northern Ireland and help ensure that content filmed and set in Northern Ireland is brought to audiences across the UK and internationally.

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: "We've been overwhelmed by the audience response to Bloodlands and are thrilled to announce that the series is returning. Chris' scripts shine a light on to tensions in Northern Ireland, both historic and present day, and it's a testament to his skills as a dramatist, to a virtuoso performance from Jimmy Nesbitt and the care taken by all at HTM Television, that the series has been so beloved by audiences in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK."

Jed Mercurio, Executive Producer, HTM Television, says: "Everyone at HTM Television is thrilled our debut production has been recommissioned. It's a tribute to the quality of Chris Brandon's writing, the hard work of our crew and the brilliant performance of our cast led by James Nesbitt. We're grateful for the outstanding support we've received from the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen and can't wait to reward Bloodlands fans with another twisty case for Brannick and co."

James Nesbitt, says: "I'm thrilled that viewers responded to Bloodlands so positively and that we will be returning for a second series. I'm always happy to be back in Northern Ireland and to reveal even more about Tom Brannick."

Writer Chris Brandon says: "I'm absolutely delighted that Tom Brannick's story will continue with a new series of Bloodlands. It has been phenomenal to get such a positive response to James Nesbitt's astounding performance, and the excellent work of his fellow cast and crew. What a privilege to begin another adventure with HTM Television and the BBC, in Northern Ireland - I can't wait."

Richard Williams, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Screen, says: "It gives us a great sense of pride to see millions of viewers across the UK tune into a drama not just made, but set in Northern Ireland. We are delighted that Bloodlands has been renewed, I'm sure HTM Television, Chris Brandon and our incredibly talented local crew will deliver another fantastic series. We can't wait to see what lies ahead for Brannick."

Bloodlands is the first drama from Jed Mercurio's Production Company and he will continue to serve as an Executive Producer alongside Mark Redhead and Jimmy Mulville for HTM Television and Tommy Bulfin and Tom Lazenby for the BBC. Bloodlands was recommissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer.

Cast announced for new BBC Three comedy Starstruck

The brand new six-part romcom Starstruck, created, written by and starring Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning comedian, writer and actor Rose Matafeo (Baby Done, Taskmaster) is set to air later this year on BBC Three in the UK, HBO Max in the USA, ABC in Australia, and TVNZ in New Zealand.

Co-written by Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden, the cast includes actor Nikesh Patel (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Hulu miniseries; Man Like Mobeen, BBC Three) as leading man and love interest. While comedian, actor, and writer Emma Sidi (Pls Like, BBC Three; Stath Lets Flats, Channel 4), Sindhu Vee (Live at the Apollo, BBC One; Mock The Week, BBC Two) will take on roles. Special guest star Minnie Driver (Modern Love, Amazon Prime Video; Good Will Hunting) will feature alongside the wider cast including Al Roberts (Stath Lets Flats, Channel 4), Jon Pointing (Plebs, ITV), Joe Barnes (The Now Show, BBC Radio 4), Nic Sampson (Baby Done), Lola Rose Maxwell (Rude Tube, Channel 4), Abraham Popoola (The Great, Channel 4), and Ambreen Razia (This Way Up, Channel 4).

Starstruck follows Jessie (Rose Matafeo), a millennial living in East London juggling two dead end jobs and navigating the awkward morning-after-the-night-before when she discovers the complications of accidentally sleeping with famous film star Tom (Nikesh Patel).

As well as being broadcast on BBC Three and BBC One in the UK, HBO Max will be the broadcast partner for the series in the USA, while the show has also been picked up by ABC to air in Australia, and TVNZ in New Ze aland.

The news arrives shortly after Matafeo's Comedy Award-winning stand-up special Horndog launched on BBC One and BBC Three last month as part of the BBC's Festival of Funny after previously enjoying successful performances around the world with sell-out shows at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and a Barry Award nominated run at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, before being crowned Best Show at the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2018.

First-look pictures released of BBC Two drama Danny Boy

The first images of Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones in BBC Two's new factual drama Danny Boy have been released, ahead of its premiere this Spring

The first images of Anthony Boyle and Toby Jones in BBC Two's new factual drama Danny Boy have been released, ahead of its premiere this Spring. Produced by Expectation for the BBC, Danny Boy (1x90') is the story of a young man's journey from medal-winning hero to alleged killer, and his search for truth in the fog of war.

The new images feature Anthony Boyle as the soldier Brian Wood, accused of war crimes in Iraq by the determined human rights lawyer Phil Shiner, played by Toby Jones.

The two men go head to head in a legal and moral conflict that takes us from the battlefield - at so-called Checkpoint Danny Boy - to the courtroom and one of Britain's biggest ever public inquiries, the Al-Sweady Inquiry.

The drama richly explores the effect Brian's experience has not just on him, but also on his family: his father and ex-soldier, Gavin, played by Alex Ferns; his mother Margaret, played by Pauline Turner; and his wife Lucy, played by Leah McNamara.

Memory, evidence and trauma collide, as Brian finds himself caught on the fine line between war and unlawful killing. After his service in Iraq and years of legal investigation, will he ever be able to look his family in the eye again and be the husband, father, and son, they need him to be?

Danny Boy is an urgent and thought-provoking drama that questions what we ask of those who fight - and kill - for their country.


Danny Boy is written by Bafta-winner Robert Jones (Murder, Party Animals), directed by Sam Miller (I May Destroy You, Luther) and produced by Simon Lewis (Three Girls, The Nest).

It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama. Executive Producers are Colin Barr and Susan Horth for Expectation, and Lucy Richer, Jo McClellan and Clare Sillery for the BBC.

Danny Boy will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this Spring. BBC Studios oversee international distribution rights.

The Handmaid’s Tale returns to Channel 4 for its fourth season

Channel 4 is officially set to return to Gilead in 2021 with the fourth series of the multi-Emmy®, Golden Globe® and BAFTA Award winning series The Handmaid's Tale airing later this year. Season 1-3 of the critically acclaimed smash hit will also be available ahead of the launch of season 4 on All 4.

Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The West Wing) will reprise her role as June Osborne, who chose to return to the patriarchal regime of Gilead to rescue her daughter Hannah rather than save herself and escape at the end of season three.

Season four will also see the return of Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story) as Commander Fred Waterford, Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter) as his wife Serena Joy, Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) as Emily Malek, Madeline Brewer (Black Mirror) as Janine Lindo, Amanda Brugel (Snowpiercer) as Rita, Ann Dowd (Hereditary) as Aunt Lydia, O-T Fagbenle (Maxxx) as Luke Bankole, Max Minghella (The Mindy Project) as Nick Blaine, Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black) as Moira Strand and Bradley Whitford (Get Out) as Joseph Lawrence and Sam Jaeger (Take Me Home) as Mark Tuello.

The Handmaid's Tale has won nearly 50 awards globally, including the Emmy® for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Elisabeth Moss), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Ann Dowd), Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Samira Wiley) and Writing for a Drama Series; as well as the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama (Elisabeth Moss); in addition to a BAFTA for Best International Programme.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Martin and Roman Kemp make bumper return to ITV across Saturday and Sunday mornings

ITV has today announced that Martin and Roman Kemp are making a bumper return to the weekend morning schedule.

The much-loved father and son duo will now present their show, with its new title Martin & Roman's Weekend Best, across both Saturday AND Sunday mornings.

Made by Cactus TV, the 44 x 60' shows start in April 2021.

Fresh from the success of their first series, the inimitable pair will be bringing more laughs, more games and even more celebrity guests to kick off the weekend. With a little help from 'the cloud', they'll continue to challenge each other, guests and viewers too. Plus, there'll be more playful revelations from the Kemps and plenty of surprises along the way - for the hosts, too.

Martin Kemp said: "Roman and I are ready and raring to go for this new series and can't wait to wake up with viewers on Saturday, as well as Sunday mornings. We've got brilliant guests lined-up and some fantastic new items, too."

 Roman Kemp said: "I might wind him up (just a bit!) but I love working with my dad. So the fact we get to do the series again - and across the whole weekend - is just brilliant. We've got lots of stuff planned, I can't wait!"

ITV commissions crime thriller, The Tower, written by Patrick Harbinson and produced by Windhover Films and Mammoth Screen

Acclaimed screenwriter and executive producer, Patrick Harbinson (Homeland, Fearless, 24, ER) is to adapt Kate London's first novel for ITV.

The Tower is based on Post Mortem, the first in Kate London's Metropolitan series of novels featuring Sergeant Sarah Collins and rookie Lizzie Griffiths. Harbinson will executive produce alongside Mammoth Screen's founder and CEO Damien Timmer (The Serpent, Endeavour) and Karen Thrussell (Poldark, And Then There Were None)

The Tower has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill, who will oversee the three-part drama for the channel and is produced by Windhover Films and Mammoth Screen in association with ITV Studios.

Kate London is a former Met Police Officer who finished her career working as part of a Major Investigation Team on the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.

Commented Kate London:

"In 2006 I ran away from the circus to join the police. Within a matter of weeks I was writing - not for publication, but because I just had to get down on paper the world I encountered: its complexity, laughter, loyalty, the moral conflicts and the dangers that were not only physical. Policing showed me London in a way no other job could. The product of this experience was my first novel, Post Mortem.  After a fierce bidding war, I chose Patrick Harbinson to bring the book to screen. I was persuaded not only by his outstanding track record, but by his passionate engagement with the characters and the choices they face. I am thrilled and honoured that Patrick and the high-calibre team at Mammoth and ITV have come together to bring my characters to life on the screen."

Paul Testar (The Serpent) is producer, Sherie Myers (I May Destroy You) is co-producer, and Jim Loach (Save Me Too) is director.
 
In The Tower's breath-taking opening sequence, a veteran beat cop and a teenage girl fall to their deaths from a tower block in south-east London. Left alive on the roof are a five-year-old boy and rookie police officer Lizzie Griffiths. Within hours, Lizzie has disappeared, and Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins is charged with leading the investigation. She not only has to track down Lizzie before she comes to serious harm, but also to uncover the truth behind the grisly deaths. What chain of events took two police officers and two children to the roof of that tower block - why did two of them die? Why did two of them survive?

Commented writer and executive producer Patrick Harbinson:  

"After six years on Homeland, I wanted to get back to my roots and   write something firmly based in the UK.  As soon as I read Kate London's beautifully written novels I knew they were it. They are authentic, funny, crammed with original characters, and they tell intense and challenging stories. I know that audiences will fall in love with Kate's two wonderful protagonists Sarah and Lizzie, just as I have.  I am delighted to be working with Damien and my friends at Mammoth Screen again."

Commented ITV's Head of Drama Polly Hill:  

"I am excited to bring Kate London's compelling novel to the screen. Patrick has done a brilliant adaptation which highlights the difficult moral questions that the novel asks about policing in contemporary London. This promises to be a powerful and original new police drama and I'm proud to have it on ITV."

The antagonistic relationship between the experienced Sergeant Sarah Collins and the novice cop Lizzie Griffiths is at the heart of London's novels and The Tower.  What happened on the roof of the tower is the mystery that Sarah must uncover. When it's finally revealed, the truth will cast its shadow over Sarah and Lizzie's relationship and their lives.  

Commented Damien Timmer, Executive Producer on behalf of Mammoth Screen:  

"Kate London's novels have everything – proper authenticity, rich characters and page-turning stories. It's a privilege to be bringing them to the screen, and to be working with Patrick Harbinson again. Jim Loach is a director we both greatly admire and we're very happy he's at the helm!"