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Friday, 16 April 2021

Channel 4 commissions Secret Spenders from South Shore

The  4x30  series will be presented by Anita Rani.  It will surprise families across the UK who are secretly spending too much money and, whilst they're away from home, will send in a team of experts to transform their finances.

From Amazon addicts to take-away junkies, thousands of us wonder where our money has gone at the end of each month. In Secret Spenders we'll secretly film the spending habits of four families. Is Mum's Zara addiction to blame or should the finger be firmly pointed at Dad's fixation with football? After gathering evidence of the families spending habits Anita will stage an intervention, taking them out of their home and confronting them with our findings.

While they're away a team of financial experts will go through every detail of their lives to give them a full financial makeover. From downsizing the gas guzzling car to renegotiating their Sky subscriptions, the Secret Spenders team will leave no stone unturned in their quest to save our families hard earned cash. 24 hours later how much money could they save and will they agree to make the changes they need?

In addition to the families stories Secret Spenders will also feature topical VT's giving consumer advice about the best deals available in the market that week alongside money saving tips and practical ways of cutting costs.

Adam Vandermark, Channel 4 commissioner, News and Current Affairs said:  "How many of us regularly wonder where has the money gone? And who at home is spending too much? This exciting format will not just expose the secret spenders, but look forensically at how we all can get better deals. At a time when many families finances are under pressure, this series is perfectly timed to help everyone save more than they thought possible."

Melanie Leach, Executive Producer, South Shore added: "From daily Deliveroo to on the hour Amazon arrivals, the explosion in home delivery has made it even easier to lose track of the family finances. This timely series, packed full of money saving advice, will show us how to make the most of our hard earned cash.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Sky Sports reveals talent line-up for The Hundred

With 100 days to go until the launch of The Hundred on 21st July, Sky Sports has today revealed a star-studded talent line up to complement the existing cricket team.

Sky regulars such as Nasser Hussain, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Rob Key, Ian Ward, David Lloyd, Nick Knight, Mike Atherton and Mark Butcher will be joined by cricketing stars from around the world including Dinesh Karthik, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, Tammy Beaumont, Daren Sammy, Mel Jones, Wasim Akram, Lydia Greenway and Kumar Sangakkara alongside presenters Andrew Flintoff, Kass Naidoo, Zainab Abbas and Jacqueline Shepherd.

Bringing you the best build-up, live action and post-match analysis, the Sky Sports team will offer viewers sensational coverage of The Hundred tournament, with all the action, drama and entertainment live from cricket grounds across the UK.

Fans will be able to tune in to all 68 games live on Sky Sports' dedicated channel Sky Sports The Hundred as well as on Sky Sports Mix. All women's matches and a significant number of men's games will be streamed live on the Sky Cricket YouTube channel.

Director of Sky Sports Cricket Bryan Henderson said: "We are so excited to help launch this fantastic new tournament this summer. It's going to be an incredible standard of cricket played at some of the best grounds in the world and everyone's invited. Hopefully the competition will inspire many girls and boys to pick up a bat and ball. We've put together an amazing line up of presenters and commentators; there's a completely fresh graphics look and some exciting new broadcast technology. We very much hope you enjoy the coverage."

The Hundred is an action-packed, unmissable, new 100-ball cricket tournament created by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and set to kick off on 21st July 2021. By simplifying the format and creating a new never-before-seen type of cricket, The Hundred's aim is to open up the game to everyone, everywhere, with the winning combination of world-class sport and entertainment.

The Hundred will offer equal prize money for the men's and women's tournament and will be the first major UK team sporting competition in history to launch with a standalone women's fixture.

Aside from the two opening games, the women's and men's teams will play back-to-back on the same day, same venue with the ambition to elevate women's cricket through The Hundred.

Domina - New Trailer released ahead of 14 May launch

Sky today released the official trailer and art for brand new Sky original, Domina, and confirms the series will debut on 14 May on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

The epic historical drama series brings to life the power struggles of Ancient Rome from a different perspective; that of the women. It follows the life and extraordinary rise of Livia Drusilla, who overcame adversity to become the most powerful woman in the world.

Kasia Smutniak plays Livia Drusilla, with the young Livia played by Nadia Parkes (The Spanish Princess).  They are 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.

The ensemble cast also includes Matthew McNulty, Christine Bottomley, Ben Batt, Enzo Cilenti, Claire Forlani and Alex Lanipekun. Isabella Rossellini makes an appearance as Balbina, an early enemy of Livia.

Domina is produced by Fifty Fathoms (Fortitude), Tiger Aspect and Sky Studios, with Cattleya providing executive production services. The series is created and written by Simon Burke with acclaimed Australian filmmaker Claire McCarthy as lead director.


ITV announce compelling new crime drama, Redemption

Acclaimed actress Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, Ray Donovan, Deadwood) will take the lead role in Redemption, a six part drama jointly commissioned by ITV and Virgin Media Television, Ireland in association with Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland.

Filmed in Ireland, Redemption will be produced by leading independent production company, Tall Story Pictures, part of ITV Studios and producers of successful returning ITV drama The Bay. The project is being co-produced by Metropolitan Films, one of Ireland's leading film and television production companies.

Created by Sean Cook (The Last Ship, The Code, Holby City) and executive produced by Tall Story Pictures' Creative Director Catherine Oldfield (The Bay, Sticks and Stones, Trauma) and Executive Producer Patrick Schweitzer (Bancroft, Save Me, SSGB), the drama introduces plain speaking, no nonsense DI Colette Cunningham, whose fearless approach to policing has earned her the respect of her Merseyside Police Serious Crime Squad colleagues.

Career driven and dedicated, Colette is unflappable and an absolute force of nature. Until she takes a call from Garda Sergeant Luke Byrne in Dublin.  The body of a young woman has been found and Colette is listed as the next of kin.

The name of the victim means nothing to Colette so she continues to efficiently go about her day job.  Persisting with his enquiry, the young officer calls again and begins to describe the young woman rendering Colette speechless.  She takes the next ferry to Dublin to identify the body of her missing daughter, Kate.

She's experienced this exact situation a million times, but never from this side.  Kate left home 20 years ago aged 16, and clearly didn't want to be found.

Always a police woman and with 30 years of experience kicking in, Colette has some searching questions.   But is she prepared for what she finds?

With her life turned upside down, and grief consuming her every thought, Colette resolves to stay in Ireland to work for the Garda.  But what will she unearth about the events leading up to Kate's death, and the life that her daughter chose to build for herself?  Consumed by feelings she may have failed Kate in life, Colette is determined to do right by her now.

BBC confirm full line-up for Eurovision 2021

Graham Norton will return for the Grand Final on BBC One, produced by BBC Studios, where he will be commentating live from Rotterdam. While Ken Bruce will continue his long-running coverage over on BBC Radio 2.

Grammy-nominated singer songwriter and presenter, Chelcee Grimes will be joining Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills for the semi-finals live on BBC Four. Presenting live from London, they will oversee proceedings as 33 countries compete for their place in the Grand Final. The semi-finals will air on 18 and 20 May on BBC Four, with UK viewers able to vote in the second semi-final on 20 May.

Graham Norton returns for his 12th Eurovision Song Contest on BBC One. After commentating last year on Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, he will return to his coveted post for this year's live Grand Final.

Actress and singer, Amanda Holden will be taking the reins of the Eurovision Spokesperson, where she will be delivering the results of the UK professional jury vote live from London. She follows in the illustrious footsteps of Nigella Lawson, Mel Giedroyc, Richard Osman, Alex Jones, Cheryl Baker, Katrina Leskanich from Katrina & The Waves, and Lorraine Kelly.

The last Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final to be broadcast on BBC One in 2019 was the most watched music programme on the BBC that year and it was the most popular music TV show of the year amongst 16-34s.

Multi-platinum selling, Brit award-winning and Grammy nominated singer-songwriter James Newman will be representing the UK with his single Embers, released by BMG after the renewed collaboration with BBC Studios for the contest.

This year the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live from Rotterdam, after the competition was cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Graham Norton says: "I'm so excited for Eurovision to return, after the past year we've had it's exactly the kind of joy the world needs. The UK have a great entry with James Newman and Embers, it's a banger and represents everything that Eurovision is. It's arguably the best night of the year and I can't wait - bring it on!"

Ken Bruce says: "Radio 2 is getting right behind Eurovision 2021 with shows galore to delight all the fans. We're all so delighted the competition is back this year. On the night I'll be presenting the live show from my hot seat at Wogan House - bringing listeners all the entries, all the drama and, of course, the ultimate winner! Will it be the UK's year to finally win again? I can't wait to find out!"

Rylan Clark-Neal says: "There was a big Eurovision shaped hole in my life last year, so I am super excited to see what everyone brings to the table for 2021 - it's the best time of the year! I am looking forward to being reunited with Scott for the semi-finals and to welcome Chelcee to the team! Plus Embers is an absolute tune - I can't wait!"

Scott Mills says: "Eurovision week is my favourite of the year and I cannot wait for the biggest entertainment show on the planet to return! Although we won't be in Rotterdam ourselves, Rylan, Chelcee and I will definitely make sure we're still throwing the ultimate can't miss celebration for this year's semi-finals"

Chelcee Grimes says: "I am super excited to be joining the Eurovision family, I can't wait to host the semi-finals alongside Scott and Rylan, it's going to be awesome. I have always been a fan of Eurovision, and I can't wait to be a part of it. I'm looking forward to seeing all the weird and wonderful performances, as well as cheering on my mate James who is waving the flag for the UK! James and I have written together for a previous Eurovision winner and we've also penned some songs for the Romanian entrant so he is the best person for the job. JAMES TO WIN!"

Amanda Holden says: "What an honour to announce the UK's votes this year. I'm utterly thrilled. It's an ambition ticked after 45 years of watching it! Now, what to wear…"

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Semi Finals will be broadcast on 18 and 20 May on BBC Four. The Grand Final will be broadcast on 22 May on BBC One and also on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.


MUAs and guest judges revealed for series three of BBC Three’s Glow Up

Dolli, Sophie, Alex, Xavi, Elliot, Ryley, Samah, Nicole, Jack and Craig make up the brand new cast of Glow Up's aspiring MUAs, in a year when more applications than ever were received to join the competition.

Presenter Maya Jama also joins resident judges Val Garland and Dominic Skinner for the first time, as they welcome a glittering array of guest judges and experts from across the worlds of beauty, TV, music and fashion, including:

Ateh Jewel, award-winning beauty journalist and trail-blazing diversity campaigner
Sherri Laurence, Emmy award-winner and make-up department head on Pose
Les Child, choreographer and voguing pioneer
Cate Hall, lead hair and make-up designer on The Crown
Abby Roberts, TikTok's biggest make-up star
Vanessa Spence, ASOS design director
Loz Schiavo, Bafta-winning make-up designer on Peaky Blinders
Rankin, globally-renowned photographer and director
Jonas Blue, DJ and music producer
Awa, singer
Lisa Eldridge, one of the world's leading make-up artists

The new ten MUAs are hopeful to impress the judges and be tipped as Britain's Next Make-Up Star, winning a contract to work alongside some of the world's biggest artists.

Series three will see the battle of the brushes take place across multiple real-world assignments and challenges, as the MUAs get to work on everything from studio shoots and campaigns with Superdrug and Asos, through to period make-up and prosthetics on set with Pose, The Crown and Peaky Blinders. Internationally recognised photographer Rankin invites the MUAs to work on a look for a music video with Jonas Blue and Awa, while global TikTok superstar Abby Roberts teaches them what works on social media. Finally, Lisa Eldridge, one of the world's most experienced and respected make-up artists, completes the line up for the final challenge: a masterclass in make up.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Emily Watson and Denise Gough get 'Too Close' in the enthralling psychological drama - starts tonight on ITV


Emily Watson and Denise Gough get 'Too Close' in the enthralling psychological drama - starts tonight on ITV

Psychological thriller starring Emily Watson as dedicated forensic psychiatrist, Emma Robertson, who is assigned to work with Connie Mortensen, a wife and mother accused of a despicable crime. Her assessment of the ‘yummy mummy monster’s’ sanity will determine whether Connie faces life in jail, life in a secure psychiatric hospital, or the chance of rehabilitation and release.

Emma hopes that the high-profile case will make her career, but her sessions with Connie quickly become a complex psychological game of cat and mouse with confusing sexual undercurrents.  Connie has a searing insight into Emma’s insecurities and brutally exploits them. 

It isn’t clear whether she is hoping to manipulate Emma to gain her freedom, or simply toying with Emma for her own entertainment, as she probes into Emma’s own dark past. 

Emma gradually starts to understand what drove Connie to her crime, but it also seems that she may be getting too close to a woman who is beyond redemption - can Emma see to it that justice is done without destroying herself in the process?

Too Close is about a powerful – but dangerous – closeness between two women.

Episode 1

Connie Mortensen commits a terrible, unimaginable, crime. 

Forensic Psychiatrist, Emma Robertson, is having a sneaky cigarette in her child’s bedroom, when her husband, Si, calls. She lies about her whereabouts and tells him she’s been asked to take on the Mortensen case. Connie is now being held in a secure psychiatric unit awaiting trial, and Emma’s been tasked with assessing her state of mind on the night of her offence. During their first session, however, Connie claims to have no memory of that night; instead, she mocks Emma and begins probing into her personal life.

During their second session, Emma digs into Connie’s relationship with friend and neighbour, Ness Jones, discovering how they first met. In turn, Connie needles Emma about her sex life with Si, suggesting that her marriage is devoid of passion. On her way home, Emma obsesses over Connie’s words, and attempts to prove Connie wrong. 

During their next session, Emma unearths an obsessive element to Connie and Ness’s relationship, but Connie also senses that Emma is grieving deeply. When Connie is confronted with indisputable photographic evidence of the consequences of her crime by her solicitor, she reacts violently, and Emma is the one caught in the firing line. 

Yet during a dinner party with Si’s sister, Hattie Robertson, and other guests, a drunk Emma is surprised to find herself protecting Connie against their vitriol. Si and Emma’s resulting strained communication makes it clear that Connie’s case is painfully close to home for them.

For her next session with Connie, Emma turns up hungover from the dinner party. She asks Connie about her husband, Karl Mortensen, and we see Connie in the midst of busy domestic life with Karl and their children, Annie and Josh. It transpires that Connie is on antidepressants and Karl reveals to her that he’s unhappy too.

Connie and Ness go on a daytrip, and when their car breaks down, they find themselves taking a romantic walk where they get stoned and almost kiss. Are they going to begin an affair? 

Back in the therapy session, Emma is severely hungover, and Connie is able to take advantage of her unprofessional state. As Emma leaves the unit, she passes some visitors for Connie, revealing that the affair isn’t quite as we might have suspected. 

 

Saturday, 10 April 2021

The Circle reveals its winner

Channel 4's reality game The Circle concluded with "Felix" aka 30-year-old military police officer Natalya from Surrey being crowned winner of The Circle.

Across the series the players rate each other from their favourite to least favourite player. In the final vote of the series, finalists Andy, Manrika, Syed (Hashu), Felix (Natalya) and Tom (Pippa + Joey) rated on who they thought most deserved to win The Circle. In tonight's show, host Emma Willis announced Felix (Natalya) as the highest rated player in the final vote and winner of The Circle.

Responding to her win, Natalya said in the studio: "I must play a good man!"

Asked about her strategy for playing Felix, Natalya told Emma: "If I was me, I would have been gone. I had to be the perfect man. What I see everyday at work is what I created"

Natalya joined the game in Episode 5, playing as 29-year-old soldier Felix. During the series Felix was twice voted influencer, avoided a double-blocking twist and at one point finished last in the ratings, but his loyal bond with "official Circle girlfriend" Manrika and firm friendships with players Andy and Dorothy (Scott) helped to see him through to the final week of the game.

The final vote resulted in a tie for first place, with Felix (Natalya) and 24-year-old content creator Manrika from Birmingham both being rated equally. The tie was broken by Felix having been the recipient of the most 1st place votes.

Third place went to 34-year-old company director Andy from Solihull; fourth place to Syed, played by 28-year-old content creator Hashu from Birmingham; and fifth place went to Tom, played by 26-year-old entrepreneur Joey from London and 26-year-old paralegal Pippa from Manchester.

Friday, 9 April 2021

ITV confirms brand new series Starstruck

Sheridan Smith, Adam Lambert, Jason Manford and Beverley Knight join the panel on ITV's brand new entertainment show with Olly Murs confirmed as host.

Award winning singer and actress Sheridan Smith, Queen frontman Adam Lambert, comedian Jason Manford and the UK's leading soulstress and musical theatre star Beverley Knight join the panel on Starstruck, with Olly Murs confirmed as the host of this exciting new format.

Starstruck will see ordinary members of the public with an exceptional talent team up to transform into some of the world's biggest music icons from Amy Winehouse to Ariana Grande, Lionel Richie to Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye to Michael Buble, and many more in between.  

Created by Remarkable Television (a Banijay UK company) for ITV and ITV Hub, this 6 x 75 mins and 1 x 90 min series sees four teams of three battle it out each week to win the vote of our expert judging panel and virtual audience for a coveted place in the final and to be in with the chance of winning a whopping £50,000.  

Leaving their day jobs behind, members of the public will be transformed into their most beloved music star for one night only. But they won't be on stage alone. Instead, they'll be teaming up as trios who all share the same love of a music icon to give the performance of a lifetime. With an expert glam team to oversee their extraordinary transformation, impressive staging and a spectacular sound and light show, our singing stars will be getting the complete 'superstar experience'.

Each episode will culminate in an exciting finale which sees the winning trio compete against each other for a place in the grand final and the chance to walk away with that life- changing sum of cash.  

This brand-new series will see the Great British public get the unique chance to shed their normal persona and become a global superstar. So, who will have what it takes to wow the judges and leave them Starstruck?  

Olly Murs said: "I'm really excited to be hosting a big Saturday Night show like Starstruck. It ticks all the boxes; it's about feel good, family fun which is something we all need right now. The performances should keep us well entertained and I can't wait to see whether anyone wants to be transformed into me for the night!"

Beverley Knight said: "Every show we get to witness ordinary people emulate extraordinary icons on a huge scale and I'm so here for it!  I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing those spectacular transformations and being a cheerleader for every contestant".

Sheridan Smith said: 'Growing up, I always loved watching Saturday night TV with my family so I'm thrilled to be joining Starstruck.  Creating Cilla Black for TV, I know first-hand how much goes into becoming an iconic music star, so I can't wait to see what some of the contestants do with our modern music acts and true icons. And with everything else that's going on at the moment, this is just the type of show we can all enjoy together!'

Adam Lambert said: "I am so excited to be involved in Starstruck. I loved the idea from the moment I heard about it, and it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to watch people transform into their idols! After the year everyone has been through, let's come together through creativity and music and have a good time!"

Jason Manford said: "After years of being on stage, judged every night, it's my turn to sit and do the judging! I adore talented people, so I'm very proud to be part of a show that's going to let them show off. They're ticking off a super entertaining bucket list moment and we get to be part of it."

ITV commissions a third series of detective drama McDonald & Dodds, starring Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia

ITV has commissioned a third series of popular, contemporary detective drama  McDonald & Dodds, produced by leading independent production company, Mammoth Screen.

Starring Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet) as DCI McDonald and BAFTA award winning actor Jason Watkins (Des, The Crown) as DS Dodds, the third series will comprise of three new murder mysteries for the pair to solve. The first two films of series two achieved consolidated ratings of 6.7m.

Jason Watkins commented about the new run: "I'm delighted to be returning to Bath for the third series of McDonald & Dodds. Tala and I are so thrilled to be in a partnership which the audience seem to have affection for. It's gratifying that we've been able to bring a little sunshine in these difficult times. I look forward to filming in the beautiful city of Bath and to Dodds solving more puzzles with Lauren McDonald. I'm bracing myself for more chips in butter!"

Tala Gouveia added: "I can't wait to start filming again and to see what adventures writer Robert Murphy takes us on next! It's always a pleasure to work with Jason and our wonderful casts. Bring on series three!"

Damien Timmer (The Serpent, Endeavour), CEO of Mammoth Screen, commented: "We're delighted to be returning to Bath for more ingenious crime mysteries with DCI McDonald and DS Dodds - working with Tala Gouveia, Jason Watkins and showrunner Robert Murphy is a proper pleasure!"

Creator Robert Murphy (Vera, Shetland, DCI Banks) added: "It's a real privilege to for me to return to Bath to re-engage with the world of McDonald & Dodds and our other regular characters. I'm delighted to be cooking up more mystery puzzles as well as exploring the deepening and fun relationship between our two leads."

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Cast confirmed for BBC One drama Three Families, from the producers of Three Girls

The Abortion Act of 1967 which permitted abortion in the UK did not extend to Northern Ireland. Three Families, set in 2013-19, tells the real story of three women and their families before the recent change to legislation in Northern Ireland as many voices fight to be heard.

With a cast including Sinéad Keenan (Little Boy Blue), Lola Petticrew (Bloodlands), Amy James-Kelly (Gentleman Jack) and Genevieve O'Reilly (The Dry), Three Families explores the emotive issues around abortion in Northern Ireland, and the experience of families whose lives have been profoundly affected. Names and details have been changed to ensure the anonymity of the real-life contributors.

Written by Gwyneth Hughes (Doing Money, Vanity Fair) and directed by Alex Kalymnios (The White Princess, Becoming Human), Three Families is made by Studio Lambert, an All3Media company, the producers of Three Girls, the BBC's multi-award winning account of the grooming scandal in Rochdale, and The Nest, for BBC One.

Susan Hogg, Executive Producer, says: "Growing up in Northern Ireland I was always aware of the heated debate surrounding the issue of abortion and this is a story I've wanted to tell for many years. Three Families goes behind the headlines to tell the true stories of women and girls and their loved ones who have been deeply affected by the law and some of those who worked to change it."

Gwyneth Hughes, Writer, says: "I knew the law was different, but I had no idea what that really meant until I went to Northern Ireland and met some of the families involved. I've been deeply touched by their experiences and feel honoured to be asked to share their stories. I think the contributors will all be moved, as I am, by the extraordinary truthfulness and emotional depth that these wonderful actors bring to their stories."

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: "Abortion is a complex and emotive subject, and it continues to divide opinion in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. Following months of detailed research, Gwyneth and the Studio Lambert team will help audiences get an insight into how abortion law has affected many different women and their families. Their stories are powerful, personal and memorable."

Further cast includes Colin Morgan (Humans), Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve), Prasanna Puwanarajah (Defending the Guilty) and Kerri Quinn (Coronation Street). Filming took place in Northern Ireland last year.

Three Families is a Studio Lambert production for BBC One. It was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer. It is executive produced by Susan Hogg and Gwyneth Hughes for Studio Lambert, and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC. The series global partner is All3Media International.

The two-part drama was previously known under working-title When It Happens To You.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Ben Aldridge stars in ITV’s four-part crime drama, The Long Call

Ben Aldridge stars in ITV's The Long Call, a four-part crime drama adapted by Kelly Jones and produced by Silverprint Pictures

Our Girl and Fleabag actor Ben Aldridge is set to take the leading role as DI Matthew Venn in ITV's new adaptation, The Long Call, produced by ITV Studios label, Silverprint Pictures and co-produced with BritBox North America.

The evocative and gripping four-part event drama is inspired by the best-selling novel of the same title from award-winning writer Ann Cleeves, creator of the iconic Vera and Shetland series. Des and Baptiste screenwriter, Kelly Jones, will write all four episodes in her first solo series.

Ben will be joined by Juliet Stevenson playing Matthew Venn's mother, Dorothy and Martin Shaw as the spiritual Brethren leader Dennis.

Anita Dobson, Neil Morrissey, Pearl Mackie, Dylan Edwards, Sarah Gordy, Amit Shah and Alan Williams also add their talents to the illustrious cast.

Commented novelist Ann Cleeves:

"I can't think of anyone who could play Matthew Venn better than Ben Aldridge.  He will bring an authenticity and commitment to the role.  I always hoped that the actor chosen would come from Devon, where the books are set, and he does.  

Ben was the actor who read the audio book even before the TV show was commissioned.  I love his pared-back, restrained narration.  He's worked on the novel as well as the script, and so he understands the character in depth.  No author could wish for more."

The character-led, atmospheric crime drama is driven by the intriguing and flawed protagonist, Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, who has returned to live in a small community in North Devon with his husband, Jonathan.  It's a place Matthew walked away from 20 years ago, after being rejected by his family.

Commented Ben Aldridge:

""I'm delighted to be playing Matthew Venn, a brilliantly unorthodox detective who audiences will see solving a gripping and intricate case, whilst simultaneously surmounting a deeper, more personal mystery within himself. It's a poignant and complex journey of self-discovery and sexual and religious identity, which navigates the tension between pride and shame, and I feel privileged to be bringing it to ITV viewers in The Long Call."

We first meet the reserved, but intense Matthew Venn outside the local church as his father's funeral takes place. Sadly, the day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.  

Now he's back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major murder.  A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew's new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, has been stabbed to death.

Through Venn and his team's investigation, we are introduced to a wonderfully rich ensemble of characters, in a compelling crime story which captures the stark beauty of the North Devon coastline, and a community where murder and intrigue bubble beneath the surface.

Written and adapted by Kelly Jones (Baptiste, Des, Call The Midwife) with Silverprint Pictures' Creative Director Kate Bartlett (Flesh and Blood, Shetland, Dark Heart) executive producing the series. Angie Daniell (Vigil, Alex Rider, Clique) will produce the series with Lee Haven Jones (Dr Who, Shetland, The Bay) directing each of the four episodes.

Filming begins this month and will take place in Bristol and the beautiful North Devon coast.

Star Trek Picard - Season 2 Teaser Trailer - Q Returns!

 

Star Trek Picard will see the return of an ominous character in season two.

The villain Q will be featured in the upcoming sophomore season, with John de Lancie reprising the role in the franchise.

He'll be back to face titular Jean-Luc Picard - played by Patrick Stewart.



(Video is geo-locked to the US unfortunately)

Monday, 5 April 2021

Marvel Studios' Loki - Official Trailer - Stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant



Loki’s time has come. Watch the brand-new trailer for "Loki," and start streaming the Marvel Studios Original Series June 11 on Disney+.

In Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer. Debuts on Disney+ in June 11, 2021.

Stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant


COMPETITION: Win A Discovery of Witches Season 2 Blu-Ray



A Discovery of Witches Season 2 is released on DVD & Bluray on 12th of April

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and a copy on Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis: 
The brand new second season of A Discovery of Witches sees Diana and Matthew hiding in time, now in the fascinating and treacherous world of Elizabethan London. Here they must find a powerful witch to help Diana master her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. In the present day, however, their enemies have not forgotten them.

Based on Shadow of the Night, the second book in author Deborah Harkness’ best-selling All Souls trilogy, A Discover of Witches is back for an unmissable, fantasy-filled and thrilling new season.

Dazzler Media presents A Discovery of Witches: Season Two on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from 12th April

Also available as part of A Discovery of Witches: Season One & Two boxset on Blu-ray & DVD from 12th April

Buy From Amazon at
https://amzn.to/39ESbKD

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who plays Diana in A Discovery of Witches?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 19-04-21
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.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Nick Mohammed and David Schwimmer return in hit comedy Intelligence 2 from 8 June on Sky One

Sky confirms returning comedy Intelligence 2 will air from 8 June on Sky One and streaming service NOW with all episodes available.

At the end of the first series of Intelligence, we saw NSA agent Jerry Bernstein (David Schwimmer) narrowly avoid being extradited back to the States to face charges of treason. Indebted to his boss Christine (Sylvestra Le Touzel) for stepping in to protect him at the last minute - albeit with ulterior motives - we start series 2 with Jerry on the back foot. However when it's revealed that the Russians have got their hands on a cyberweapon that Jerry was instrumental in developing, his intel suddenly becomes vital to national, if not international, security. Facing some demons from his past along the way, by the end of episode 1 he is firmly back in his alpha male comfort zone and heralded a hero.

Meanwhile Joseph (Nick Mohammed) has romance on the cards since sparking up an online friendship with Charlotte from the GCHQ offices in Bude. Romance blossoms and not even Jerry's meddling nor Christine's ban on cross-departmental relationships can get in the way.

As the series progresses, however, it soon becomes clear that while the initial cyber attack has been thwarted, the Russians are able to mutate the cyberweapon and Jerry's personal security comes under serious threat…

Created, written and executive produced by Nick Mohammed, Intelligence is a production by Expectation TV in association with Sky Studios. Executive producers also include Nerys Evans and Morwenna Gordon for Expectation TV. Commissioned by Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy at Sky Studios and Zai Bennett, MD of Content for Sky UK. Intelligence 2 will be distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.

Intelligence series one is available on Sky on demand and streaming service NOW.

Top Gear: A Tribute To Sabine Schmitz to debut this Sunday following series finale

Top Gear will unveil a specially produced tribute to former presenter Sabine Schmitz this Sunday, April 4th, on BBC iPlayer from 9pm, directly following its current series finale – before its terrestrial premiere on BBC ONE on Wednesday, April 7th at 730pm.

Top Gear: A Tribute To Sabine Schmitz will see presenters Freddie Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness – as well as former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, Rory Reid and Matt LeBlanc - join well-known figures from the world of motoring to share their fondest memories of the celebrated German racing driver, known as 'The Queen of the Nürburgring'.

Narrated by Zoe Ball, the thirty-minute celebration of Sabine's life and career will feature some of her most memorable TV moments as well as touching tributes from motorsport friends and colleagues including David Coulthard, Susie and Toto Wolff, and Jess Hawkins.

Sabine, who died on March 16th aged 51 from cancer, was a beloved member of the Top Gear family and presenting team since 2016, having first appeared on the show in 2004, where she entered British hearts by breaking the ten-minute barrier around the Nordschleife in a diesel Jaguar S-Type - before attempting the same in a Ford Transit in the following series. Sabine's final Top Gear appearance was in episode five of the 28th season, and despite her illness, she still flew to London to attend the series' Leicester Square premiere in January 2020.

Clare Pizey, Top Gear's Executive Producer, said: "We send our heartfelt condolences to Sabine's partner Klaus and her family whose loss is so much greater than ours. We had to pay a special tribute to Sabine as she was a such a big part of our Top Gear family and we will never forget the joy we had working with and knowing her."

Alex Renton, co-Executive Producer on Top Gear added: "Sabine was part of Top Gear for over 15 years and it was no surprise that so many people who had worked with her over that period dropped everything to be a part of this tribute. She was so loved and will be greatly missed by us all."

Friday, 2 April 2021

Mare Of Easttown - Trailer - Sky Atlantic


Mare of Easttown will air weekly from Monday 19 April on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.  

Academy Award®- winning actress Kate Winslet executive produces and stars in this mysterious seven-part crime drama following small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan (Winslet) as she investigates a local murder at a time when her own life is crumbling around her.

Mare of Easttown is an exploration into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present. It also stars Julianne Nicholson (The Outsider) as Lori Ross, Mare’s best friend since childhood; three-time Emmy®-winner Jean Smart (Watchmen) as Helen, Mare's mother; Angourie Rice (Black Mirror) as Siobhan Sheehan, Mare’s teenaged daughter; Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Detective Colin Zabel, the county detective called in to assist with Mare's investigation; Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce) as Richard Ryan, a local creative writing professor;  Cailee Spaeny (Devs) as Erin McMenamin, an isolated teen living with her volatile father; David Denman (Outcast) as Frank Sheehan, Mare’s ex-husband; John Douglas Thompson (Let Them All Talk) as Chief Carter, Mare's boss at the Easttown Police Department; Patrick Murney (Seven Seconds) as Kenny McMenamin, Erin's father; James McArdle (Ammonite) as Deacon Mark Burton; Sosie Bacon (Here and Now) as Carrie Layden, Drew’s mother and Kevin’s ex-girlfriend; Joe Tippett (Rise) as John Ross, Lori's husband and high school sweetheart; and Neal Huff (The Wire) as Mare’s cousin, Father Dan Hastings.

Winslet also acts as executive producer for the series alongside creator and writer Brad Ingelsby (The Way Back), with all episodes directed by Craig Zobel (The Leftovers). 

Mare of Easttown will air on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Monday 19 April.