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Thursday, 27 May 2021

Paul Sinha's TV Showdown returns to ITV and ITV Hub

Chaser, comedian and TV Trivia genius Paul Sinha will return with an exciting new series of Paul Sinha's TV Showdown later this year, on ITV and ITV Hub.

Produced by Livewire Pictures, Paul Sinha's TV Showdown will see more famous faces battle it out in the ultimate TV trivia quiz.

Alongside Paul, Series 2 will also see the return of hilarious team captains Fay Ripley and Rob Beckett, who will be heading up two dazzling teams of celebrity contestants.

The new series will be bursting with more brilliant clips, featuring the most talked-about TV moments from recent years and yesteryear.

Once again, even the most self-proclaimed of quiz pros will be tested as Paul guides the celebrities through four challenging rounds, including questions about a smorgasbord of clips, identifying a TV character from a set of clues given by celebrity guests, and the dramatic final spotlight round.

Paul Sinha said ""It's great to be back hosting TV Showdown and I can't wait to see which celebrities rise to the occasion and which fall apart under the pressure"

Guy Freeman, MD at Livewire said "For anyone who's in the mood for a good laugh and the chance to show-off to friends or family that you know more about telly than they do - all in the excellent company of Paul, Fay, Rob and their celebrity teams – this is the perfect show to round off your Saturday evening viewing"

BBC Two confirms second series of All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star hosted by Katherine Ryan

The BBC have today announced that All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star, the BBC Two talent search hosted by Katherine Ryan, has been commissioned for a second series.

Ryan hosted the first six-part series from a specially built workshop nestled in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter, home to more jewellers than anywhere else in Europe and a place that's been a jewellery-making hub for over 500 years. The first series saw eight talented jewellers battle it out over the course of the six weeks, designing and creating jewellery to brief, with 24 year-old Haywards Heath-based diamond mounter Hugo Johnson taking home the title. It was very well received, launching with a peak of 2.6m for the first episode and averaging at 2.3m across the series (all-screens +7days audience).

Katherine Ryan says: "I am so delighted to be back again to host the beautiful show that is All That Glitters. The first series was a total joy to be a part of and taking part in the next series has absolutely nothing to do with the diamond rings, ruby tiaras or sapphire encrusted chokers I may or may not get to wear if my rider is agreed to."

Each show tasked the jewellers with two real-world challenges; The Best Seller, where they must design a piece that will appeal to a mass market, and The Bespoke, where they make a real client's dreams come true. The consolidated viewing figures for the BBC Two series averaged 2.3 million and peaked at 2.6 million during the first episode.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Celebrity line up revealed for brand new series of Channel 4’s Can I Improve My Memory?

Hosted by Sandi Toksvig, the brand-new series of Can I Improve My Memory? is set to air this Summer on Channel 4.

Over the course of the series, five famous faces from the world of TV, entertainment and sport will enter one of the trickiest competitions on TV designed to improve their memories. Coached by real masters of memory who share the secrets of their success and change the way the celebrity contestants think, they will be given just one week (each episode) to memorise hundreds of niche facts and master mind-bending techniques before being put on the spot in rigorous quiz conditions by Sandi at Memory HQ.  Across four knockout episodes, the challenges will get tougher and the group will be whittled down to just one celebrity being crowned Memory Champion by Sandi.

Competing to win the coveted Memory Champion title are; Strictly Come Dancing legend Len Goodman, boxing heavyweight Chris Eubank, TV presenter Anna Richardson, EastEnders actor Nina Wadia, ex beautician and Love Island Winner Amber Gill.

In the first episode, the celebrities must master general knowledge topics they know nothing about, followed by a quickfire challenge, tackling that common memory demon – names and faces. In this episode, Anna must become an expert in planetary science, including memorising information about the major and dwarf planets, the solar systems, names of moons and historical details about The Space Race.  Amber will have to spread her wings into ornithology, memorising the Latin names of common and rare British bird species, their wing spans, bird calls and decipher their plumages.  Len is challenged with remembering hundreds of facts about American hip hop in the 1990s, Nina attempts to crack facts on the human skeleton and Chris will be memorising information about dinosaurs of the Jurassic era.  To assist them with their daunting tasks, the celebrity contestants will be coached by Ed Cooke, who became a Grand Master of Memory at just 23 years of age. With an abundance of nerves and nail-biting tension, just how much can the celebrity contestants remember and who will win?

Monday, 24 May 2021

Competition: Win Line of Duty - Series 6 on DVD

Line of Duty - Series 6 - Released on DVD & Blu-ray from 31st May

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

One of TVs most popular and thrilling series Line Of Duty has been lauded as 'the king of the crime dramas' (The Telegraph) and now the internationally acclaimed, hit show – from award-winning scribe Jed Mercurio (Bodyguard, Bloodlands) ­– returns for its long-awaited, highly anticipated sixth series.

Following its rollercoaster return to the BBC, Line of Duty Series Six is set to arrive in its first ever high-def bow on Blu-ray. The whole gripping series can also be experienced with the mammoth 12 disc-set Line of Duty Series 1 – 6 Collection Box Set on DVD.

Line of Duty Series Six sees the return of some our favourite characters but change is afoot at police corruption unit AC-12. Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar – Blood, Broken) is still at the helm and ready to tackle more ‘bent coppers’, even with a cloud hanging over him. The series also sees the return of Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure – This Is England, The Secret Agent) and Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston – The Nest, Traces) to tackle another major case of police corruption, alongside some old faces and new, but who can they trust?

Acting great Kelly Macdonald (Giri/Haji, Trainspotting, Broadwalk Empire) joins the cast as Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson, the senior investigating officer of a high-profile unsolved murder…could she be the most enigmatic and dangerous adversary AC-12 has ever faced? Davidson’s unconventional conduct raises the anti-corruption squad’s suspicions and they start to question whether Davidson is really doing everything in her power to find the perpetrator. As they launch an urgent investigation, upheavals within AC-12 threaten to tear their work apart. 

Could she be the downfall of the crack, tight-knit team?

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Tg40lm

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 07-06-21
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, 20 May 2021

BBC release first look images for gripping mystery thriller The Tourist

The character-driven six-part thriller is from Emmy-winning production company Two Brothers Pictures (Baptiste, The Missing, Fleabag), created and written by acclaimed writers Harry and Jack Williams.

Jamie Dornan stars as a British man who finds himself in the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, being pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. An epic cat and mouse chase unfolds and the man later wakes in hospital, hurt, but somehow alive. Except he has no idea who he is. With merciless figures from his past pursuing him, The Man's search for answers propels him through the vast and unforgiving outback.

Full of shocking, surprising, funny and brutal turns, The Tourist is set in a world populated by quirky, enigmatic characters and off-beat comedy punctuates high-stakes action. At its heart however, is a story of self-discovery with a ticking timebomb underneath: as The Man starts to uncover the mystery of who he was, he's also forced to ask who he is now - and fast. Will he unlock the secrets of his identify before those who are trying to kill him catch up with him?

The Tourist also stars Danielle Macdonald (Unbelievable, Dumplin', Patti Cakes), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Line of Duty, Roadkill), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Trapped, The Missing) and Alex Dimitriades (The End, The Cry). Damon Herriman (Mindhunter, Justified) has also joined the series playing Lachlan Rogers, replacing Hugo Weaving who departed the production due to scheduling issues.

First look image released for BBC drama adaptation, You Don’t Know Me

The first image from the highly anticipated upcoming four-part drama You Don't Know Me, has been released today. Based on Imran Mahmood's bestselling novel, the adaptation is written by Tom Edge (The Crown, Vigil) and produced by Snowed-In Productions (Too Close, Mrs Wilson) and co-produced with Netflix for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

You Don't Know Me stars Samuel Adewunmi (The Last Tree, Angela Black), newcomer Sophie Wilde, Roger Jean Nsengiyumva (Tomb Raider, Sixteen), Tuwaine Barrett (The Personal History of David Copperfield, The Last Tree), Yetunde Oduwole (Carnage, Meet The Adebanjos) and Nicholas Khan (Transformers: The Last Knight, Exodus: Gods and Kings) alongside Bukky Bakray (Rocks, Self-Charm) who recently became the youngest ever winner of the Bafta Rising Star Award at the age of 19; she also earned a Bafta Best Actress nomination for her role in the film Rocks.

Directed by Sarmad Masud (My Pure Land, Bulletproof, Ackley Bridge), the drama centres on a young man, who, with overwhelming evidence against him, stands accused of murder. At his trial, Hero (Adewunmi) tells an extraordinary story. It is about the woman he loves, Kyra (Wilde) who got into terrible trouble. It's about how he risked everything to save her. He swears he's innocent. But in the end, all that matters is this: do you believe him?

The series producer is Jules Hussey (Guilt, Catherine The Great) and the producer is Rienkje Attoh (Noughts + Crosses). Executive producers are Ruth Kenley-Letts, Neil Blair and Jenny Van Der Lande (Too Close, Mrs Wilson) and Kate Crowe (Taboo, Great Expectations). Lucy Richer and Nawfal Faizullah are executive producing for the BBC.

You Don't Know Me was filmed in Birmingham and will air later this year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK. Netflix has world-wide rights outside the UK, Ireland and China.

New characters announced in BBC Studios’ Casualty, as Osi Okerafor and Elinor Lawless join the cast

Osi Okerafor (Death in Paradise, King Gary) and Elinor Lawless (Doctors, Shakespeare and Hathaway) join the cast of the medical drama as new characters Matthew and Stevie.

Osi joins as Matthew, a locum registrar with a history of practicing medicine in the world's trouble spots and a deep and enduring love for old flame Fenisha. How will Ethan respond to Matthew joining the team? Is there still a spark between Fenisha and Matthew? And how will all three cope working together in a tight-knit emergency team?

Later in the year, Casualty will be celebrating it's 35th anniversary with some special episodes. Elinor will be joining Casualty as Stevie, a new consultant who audiences will meet during these episodes. Jam-packed with explosive drama, audiences can expect to not only meet new characters, but also be reunited with one or two old faces as well...

Osi Okerafor says: "It's a pleasure to become a part of the Casualty team. Everyone here is so genuinely friendly and it's a very exciting environment to work in. I'm excited for viewers to see Matthew's love for his patients and his willingness to do whatever it takes to care for them; it's a quality I really admire in him."

Elinor Lawless says: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the wonderful cast of Casualty! Stevie Nash is certainly a force to be reckoned with and looks set to ruffle a few feathers in the Holby ED!"

Loretta Preece, Series Producer of Casualty, says: "I am delighted that Osi and Elinor will be joining the Casualty family. As an actor, Osi has it all; he's handsome and debonair, sensitive and steadfast, passionate and unpredictable. Osi has been delightful to work with and he and Olivia have a very special on screen bond. With Osi's beautifully layered performance we slowly reveal some deep undercurrents - he is far more than a classic romantic leading man. Eli is an exceptional actress and a force of nature. With Stevie, Eli brings a new and dangerous energy into our world – she's charismatic, contemporary, compelling and on occasion very unsettling. Her wonderful character and additive backstory is an exciting part of defining a new and exciting era for Casualty as we go into our 35th year."

First look image released of Martin Freeman in distinctive new BBC One drama The Responder

The first image from original new BBC drama The Responder, written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher and made by Dancing Ledge Productions (The Salisbury Poisonings), has been released

It features Martin Freeman (The Hobbit; Sherlock; Breeders; Fargo) in character as Chris, a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer tackling a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool.

Whilst trying to keep his head above water both personally and professionally, Chris is forced to take on a new rookie partner Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo). Both soon discover that survival in this high pressure, relentless, night-time world will depend on them either helping or destroying each other.

The Responder holds a mirror up to the emotional extremes of life on the front line of British policing - sometimes darkly funny, sometimes painfully tragic, always challenging.

Martin Freeman says: "Tony Schumacher's scripts were so unique and honest that I knew very quickly that I wanted to be a part of The Responder and take on the role of Chris. No-one writes like Tony and it has been exhilarating inhabiting the world he has created."

Tony Schumacher says: "My fantasy casting when I was writing the character of Chris in the Responder was Martin Freeman. Seeing that fantasy become reality is beyond exciting. Martin is one of the great British actors. He brings such a well of talent and humanity that breathes magic into the words I've been lucky enough to give him. I can't wait for audiences to get to see his performance in this role, it's one I feel very lucky to have had a front row seat for."

Further casting includes Adelayo Adedayo (Unsaid Stories; Timewasters; The Capture), Ian Hart (Tin Star; The Last Kingdom; The Terror), MyAnna Buring (The Salisbury Poisonings; The Witcher; Ripper Street), Kerrie Hayes (Tin Star; The English Game; The Mill) and Warren Brown (Luther; Liar; Strike Back). David Bradley (Afterlife; Brittania; Broadchurch) and Rita Tushingham (Ridley Road; The Pale Horse; In The Flesh) will also take on roles alongside newcomers Josh Finan and Emily Fairn.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! - The castle edition lands in Greece

Last year the award-winning global phenomenon I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! set up their camp behind the towering walls of a ruined castle in Wales. Following the massive success in the UK, Antenna TV in Greece is now gearing up for their local adaptation of this castle version. The show will be produced in a scouted castle in Poland which has been turned into a production hub for more territories who wish to come in. An imposing medieval castle on a land of many acres, that has endless possibilities for terrifying tasks and grueling challenges. This hub offers a turnkey package; from game materials and technical facilities to hotel and catering, all included. The Greek castle version will be produced by Silverline Media Productions and is expected to air on Antenna in 2022. Which Greek celebrities are getting ready for the experience of a lifetime?

Maarten Meijs, President at Global Entertainment, ITV Studios says "The castle version of I Am A Celebrity in Wales was the biggest show of 2020, boasting huge viewership for its first edition filmed in the UK. The series has served as an inspiration for our international team as well as our clients. On the back of this success we have sourced an alternative castle location which we have found in Poland. The hub offers a complete package for broadcasters around the world to produce their own version, within reach of most budgets: just fly in, plug and play. Our clients benefit from the infrastructure, learnings and experiences we already have. The game playbook is ready. We are thrilled to have Greece as the first country to set up camp in the castle in Poland."

Stella Litou, General Manager at Antenna TV says, "Antenna TV is the home of the biggest entertainment  formats and we are thrilled to be introducing I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! to the Greek audience. Our amazing team, on and off air, can't wait to offer an amazing first season that will set new boundaries to prime time entertainment for the whole market, aiming to make it the most popular television brand for years to come in our territory."

In I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! - The castle edition we follow a group of celebrities on their adventures behind the towering walls of a ruined castle. Separated from the luxuries of modern life, they must survive in extreme conditions. To get their daily rations, our celebrities face their fears in gruesome new trials and sickening challenges. Who will  manage to succeed in all the challenges and finally be crowned the king of queen of the castle?

BBC One's Noughts + Crosses to return for a second series

Noughts + Crosses will return for a second series; the BBC has announced.

Produced by Mammoth Screen for the BBC, series two will dive viewers straight back into the dangerous, alternate world of Malorie Blackman's bestselling novels and the irresistible, forbidden love story at its heart.

Jack Rowan and Masali Baduza will return as Callum and Sephy, now desperately attempting to flee Albion in search of a new life together, while the city they left behind ignites in the wake of Sephy's 'kidnap' and the devastating events of series one. Paterson Joseph, Helen Baxendale, Bonnie Mbuli, Jonathan Ajayi, Josh Dylan and Kiké Brimah will all reprise their roles from the first series.

Joining Noughts + Crosses for series two will be Jasmine Jobson (Top Boy, Surge) as Cara, an enigmatic new figure in Jude's life, and Robert Hands (Endeavour, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) as Clem. Further casting and characters for series two will be announced in due course.

Malorie Blackman, author of the Noughts & Crosses novels, says: "I am delighted that Noughts + Crosses is returning for a second series. So many people have asked me, 'So what happens next?'. Now they will find out! Having read the scripts, I think I can safely say that even those familiar with the Noughts & Crosses series of books will find surprises, suspense and so much to savour."

Masali Baduza, who plays Sephy, says: "The journey continues! I'm grateful for the opportunity to return to Sephy's story with our talented cast and crew."

Jack Rowan, who plays Callum, says: "I'm buzzing to be returning as Callum in the next series of Noughts + Crosses. The show means a lot to me and it's an honour to have brought Malorie Blackman's creation to life on screen. Here's to the continuation of a story we hold very close to our hearts. Looking forward to getting the team back together!"

Filming will begin next month in South Africa, and the series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

More exes set to be grilled as BBC Three's Eating with My Ex returns for a fourth series

Made by Thames (a Fremantle label), Eating with My Ex (10x30') brings exes together to chew over their relationships (as well as a three-course meal) and has seen some hilarious confrontations, heartfelt reunions and shocking revelations.

The series will once again offer exes the chance to lay it all out on the table, getting real and personal as they look to get back together, regain a friendship or simply achieve some closure.

The new series will also include more celebrity specials than ever before - and across those six special episodes, twelve former couples will get together over dinner to discover whether they made the right decision to split, should remain just good friends or perhaps should indulge in an extra helping…

Kalpna Patel-Knight, Commissioning Editor for the BBC, says: "Eating with My Ex is one of those programmes that simply simmers and our viewers will can once again look forward to having the best seat at the table as more couples than ever before see if they should rekindle their relationships... or not."

Amelia Brown, Managing Director, Thames, says: "It's been incredible to see how audiences have embraced the series over the years, and to see the genuine catharsis the experience can offer our exes. The show has always been about exploring the thoroughly relatable, if sometimes awkward experiences that we all go through, and encouraging a level of honesty we can all aspire to. With more celebrity specials and even more tension, emotion, and above all fun, this next series will be one not to miss."

Monday, 17 May 2021

Is Katherine Kelly 'Innocent'? The Dark and thrilling Series 2 starts tonight

Airs 9pm on ITV - 17th May.

Innocent returns for its second series tonight with a brand-new case starring Katherine Kelly (Liar, Criminal: UK). This dark and thrilling four-part drama, penned once again by dynamic duo writing team Chris Lang (Unforgotten) and Matthew Arlidge (Silent Witness), airs over consecutive nights and Innocent Series Two arrives on DVD alongside the Innocent Series One and Two Box Set on 28 June 2021, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

When 16-year-old school-boy, Matty Taylor is found dead, brutally stabbed with a broken cider bottle, suspicion falls on his teacher Sally Wright (Kelly), who had allegedly been having an affair with him. 

Following a murder conviction and a lengthy sentence, new evidence comes to light and Sally is released from prison and free once more…or is she?  The case has all but destroyed the life she once had, a stable marriage, a nice home and a good job teaching English at a local comprehensive, now her reputation is in tatters and her life will never be the same again.

Filled with suspicion, secrets and lies, this enthralling drama will have you desperate to know who is guilty.

Pre-Order on DVD at https://amzn.to/3u30W93

Gillian Anderson Joins Season Two of Hulu's "The Great"

Gillian Anderson ("The Crown," "Sex Education," "The Fall" and "The X-Files") will join the cast of Hulu's critically-acclaimed Original comedy series "The Great" in a two-episode appearance as Catherine's (Elle Fanning) mother, Joanna.

Joanna is a glamorous socialite from Germany, sometimes also known as the "maestro of marriage" for her abilities to arrange high profile partnerships for her daughters. She has heard rumors of her daughter's coup and come to Russia to see it for herself. Though the apple of Catherine's eye and a doting mother, it soon becomes clear Johanna has more sinister intentions to save her family's reputation.

"The Great" is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia's history. With only occasional historical facts, the series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow.

Sir Keir Starmer joins Piers for Piers Morgan’s Life Stories

ITV has announced that Piers Morgan will be joined in the studio by Sir Keir Starmer for a rare and fascinating insight into the man behind the politician.

This hour long episode of Piers Morgan's Life Stories, which will be filmed next month, is the first interview with a party leader on Life Stories since Piers interviewed Gordon Brown when he was Prime Minister, in 2010.

The episode will see Sir Keir reflect on his childhood in Surrey as the second of four children. His stellar career in law – which earned him a knighthood. His family life and move into politics, culminating in his appointment as Labour leader in April 2020. And how Sir Keir has spent the last year leading his party in lockdown from his spare room.

Piers Morgan said: 
"It's very unusual for party political leaders to submit themselves to such lengthy personal interviews and I am delighted that Sir Keir has agreed to talk to me about his fascinating life. It promises to be a memorable and very revealing Life Stories show."

This episode, which will air later on ITV in the coming months.

Channel 4 commissions new series of ‘Britain’s Most Expensive Houses’ from Waddell Media

Following the huge success of the one-off Britain's Most Expensive Houses, which reached 2.1 million viewers on first transmission and achieved an impressive 3m viewers in its first week of airing (premiere and narrative repeat combined), Channel 4 has commissioned a four-part series from Belfast-based Waddell Media.

With Waddell Media's exclusive access to part of the world's largest luxury estate agency UK Sotheby's International Realty, this new 4 x 60 mins series will bring viewers behind the doors of more of the UK's most incredible homes. The series will follow prospective buyers as they view and purchase high-priced houses across the country, as well as following the work and home lives of Sotheby's estate agents.

Jannine Waddell, Executive Producer and Managing Director, Waddell Media said 
"We are absolutely thrilled to be commissioned to make a series of Britain's Most Expensive Houses following the huge success of the one-off at Christmas. This new series promises to be even better as we will be giving viewers not only a unique view into more fabulous homes owned by some of the most affluent people in the UK, but also an insight into the continued drive by so many wealthy individuals to move from the city to the country as a result of the pandemic."

Friday, 14 May 2021

Brand new Comedy Threesome Please Help Me comes to BBC Three

Written by and starring Lucy Pearman (Red Dwarf, The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk, Mister Winner) Please Help Me follows the story of a normal girl living and working on an isolated farm in Oxfordshire who is trapped in a mundane and claustrophobic life as her grandmother's only carer. As life becomes increasingly fraught she develops bizarre and inexplicable magical powers that make her absolutely NOT normal anymore.

The episode, which has just finished filming on location in Oxfordshire, also stars Anna Calder-Marshall, Harry Peacock, David Mumeni and Edward Bluemel and will be broadcast later this year on BBC Three on BBC iPlayer.

Lucy Pearman says: "I'm very excited and also scared to be writing and creating a project for the BBC with Tiger Aspect. I can't believe how much admin is involved in making 15 minutes of TV but I'm having the time of my life. I've got an amazing cast and crew and I finally get to work with a Shetland pony, what more could a girl ask for."

David Simpson, Head of Tiger Aspect Comedy, says: "Lucy is a true original. Her script is brilliantly crafted and simultaneously warm and charming and wildly funny. We can't wait for people to see it."

Ben Caudell, Commissioning Editor for the BBC says: "Lucy is an absurdist auteur who has given us a thrilling slice of comic magic realism that defies categorization, even though I just called it comic magic realism. It's been an absolute joy to be tangentially involved with it, not least because I get to send emails where the subject line is 'PLEASE HELP ME' and it be a straightforward work email rather than my regular desperate cry for urgent assistance."

James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan to star in Together

Directed by the Academy, Emmy and Bafta Award-winning director, Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader) the film is set in the UK from the first days of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 until present day. Together is produced by Guy Heeley (Locke, Denial, London Spy) and the multi-award-winning West End and Broadway theatre producer Sonia Friedman (TV credits include: Uncle Vanya, The Dresser, Wolf Hall).

This is the story of a family, like so many, who found a way to survive - together. It is the hilarious and heartbreaking story of a husband and wife who are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their relationship through the reality of lockdown.

James McAvoy says: "Dennis writes so wittily for these characters and his script had me within the first few pages. When I heard Sharon was involved with Stephen Daldry directing it was a no brainer. It's a hilarious, heartfelt, entertaining and unconsciously funny exploration of a relationship and a couple facing real tragedy across a year we have all lived through."

Sharon Horgan adds: "I think everyone who got involved in this film had no intention of doing a Covid drama but then we read Dennis' script and changed our minds. We shot this in 10 days so it was a beautifully stressful experience. Working with Dennis again - and Stephen Daldry and James McAvoy, both of whom I've admired for years, was a joy. But it also felt like we were making something important. And the fact that it feels like news means that the Covid death toll, the tragedy of so many lives lost unnecessarily has not been talked about enough."

Writer Dennis Kelly says: "Together is about a couple who totally hate each other, but have somehow found a way of existing together by not talking to, thinking about, noticing, communicating with or being in the same room as each other - then lockdown happens. It's about how humans negotiate their shared experiences when they think they have nothing in common other than staying alive, and it's about how you can hate what you love and love what you hate. And Sharon Horgan and James McAvoy are brilliant in it."

Piers Wenger, Director BBC Drama and Rose Garnett, Director BBC Film, say: "While rooted in the experience of one family, Together tells the story of us all - Dennis has created a script which will powerfully resonate with audiences, at once funny and uncomfortable whilst warm and deeply moving. With Stephen at the helm and James and Sharon on screen, this is gold-standard drama which we're proud to be part of."

She, played by Horgan, is a charity worker, a co-ordinator for all of Europe at a refugee charity. She's the daughter of a dentist father and an 'old socialist' mother - the only grandparent still around.

He, played by McAvoy, is a self employed, self-made man who runs a boutique computing consultancy. He's been forced to furlough his staff and take up growing vegetables - something he's very proud of.

Athur/Arty is their 10 year-old son, and the one thing that has kept his parents relationship together. Until lockdown.

Producers Guy Heeley and Sonia Friedman add: "We feel hugely fortunate that when a story this powerful and timely comes together with talent of this calibre, we can call the BBC and have it on the screen less than six months later. With Dennis' tender, brutally honest and piercingly funny writing, and Stephen's visceral directing, James and Sharon have brought this story to life with an astonishing, exhilarating charge which touches on our collective experience of the last very challenging year."

The Pact - Trailer - The Pact | Streaming from 17 May at 9pm

Following the story of a group of friends, a sudden death and a web of lies, the six-part thriller brings together a stellar cast and crew that has worked on some of TV's best-loved dramas.

When a young brewery boss is found dead, a chain of events is triggered that draws four of his employees - Anna (Laura Fraser; Breaking Bad), Nancy (Julie Hesmondhalgh; The A Word, Broadchurch), Louie (Eiry Thomas; Keeping Faith) and Cat (Heledd Gwynn; Ordinary Lies) into a fragile pact of silence, bound by a secret that will change their lives forever.

Also starring Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan), Jason Hughes (Three Girls), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Rakie Ayola (Noughts + Crosses), Abbie Hern (The Twilight Zone), Mark Lewis-Jones (The Crown), Adrian Edmondson (Save Me), Gabrielle Creevy (In My Skin) and Aled Ap Steffan (Gangs Of London).

Made in Wales, The Pact is a gripping, cinematic contemporary thriller written and created by Pete McTighe (Doctor Who, A Discovery Of Witches) and directed by Eric Styles (Hidden) & Rebecca Johnson (Honeytrap, The Flash) for the BBC. The series is the first commission for Cardiff-based Little Door Productions.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Sky releases official trailer for David Schwimmer and Nick Mohammed’s returning comedy Intelligence 2

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…

Intelligence 2 features brand new cast members Morgana Robinson (Hilary) and Diane Morgan (Charlotte) who will be joining the cast. Alongside Robinson and Morgan, new additions include Vivian Oprarah, Nick Helm and Alastair Roberts.

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.

Actress Joyce Falconer resumes her iconic role in BBC Scotland soap River City as Grant Stott also joins the cast

Roisin McIntyre - one of River City's most loved characters - is set to make a dramatic return to BBC Scotland's popular weekly soap, with actress Joyce Falconer resuming the role last seen on screen in 2008.

Loud, brash and generally outspoken, Roisin arrived in 2002 and fast became one of the show's most iconic characters, with her unmistakable Doric accent and no-nonsense attitude towards life.

An employee of the Lazy Rays tanning shop on Montego Street, some of Roisin's most memorable storylines included her love affair with boss Raymond (Paul Samson), winning the lottery, her over-the-top wedding to Raymond and reunion with her secret love child Alanna (Jade Lezar), among others.

Actress Joyce Falconer recently resumed her role as Roisin and started filming again at River City's BBC Dumbarton Studios for scenes which will air on the BBC Scotland channel, BBC One Scotland and BBC iPlayer in August this year.

The Aberdeenshire actress is relishing her return to Shieldinch: "I'm delighted to be back in the River City family. No matter what else I've done in my career Roisin never really left me, so it's a joy to step back on to Montego Street and get to know her all over again.

"She's always been a brilliant role to play and I'm excited about the storylines she'll embrace. Roisin's a tough quine with a big heart who knows what she wants and how to get it! She's still bold and brassy but expect to see another side to her too."

Another new arrival is broadcaster and actor Grant Stott, who joins River City as a new character who will stir up the past for some of Shieldinch's residents. Grant starts filming on the drama in June for scenes which will air later in 2021.

A close friend of the late Andy Gray, who played loveable rogue Pete Galloway in the Scottish soap, Grant says: "Andy and I often joked about me joining the River City cast and imagined the scenarios we'd get into on screen. But life got in the way and it never quite happened. So to find myself part of the show which was so special to Andy - which showcased his incredible acting ability - means a great deal to me. It feels right and it's almost like a parting gift from my dear friend Andy. It's a massive comfort to follow in his footsteps and walk into Montego Street. I can't wait to get started on River City."

Joyce and Grant join the cast alongside other new faces Brian James Leys who plays Ash, the absent father of troubled teen Ruby McLean (Zindzi Hudson) and Caitlin's ex (Gayle Telfer Stevens); Sammy Hayman as Darren Foulkes, the charming older brother of local criminal Tyler (Cameron Fulton); and Claire Dargo who takes on the role of Karen McAllister, the estranged ex-wife of Alex (Jordan Young) and mother to Jessie (Kirsty Pickering).

Martin McCardie, BBC Studios Series Producer for River City, is thrilled to welcome Joyce back to the Shieldinch-set soap: "Joyce Falconer is a fantastic actress and her portrayal of Roisin McIntyre has always stuck in the minds of fans of the show. We are delighted to have her back in Shieldinch, Roisin still has a lot of living to do in River City and Joyce is an absolute delight to have as a returning member of the team, the other actors gave her a round of applause when we all met up in our first zoom call for the series, and that says it all really!

"We are also delighted to have the fantastic Grant Stott joining the cast, he will have a huge impact on some of our regular characters and will hopefully enjoy being on the show. The late, great, Andy Gray - who played Pete Galloway in River City - was always recommending Grant as an actor and as a team player to the show, we are happy to say that we listened to him."

BBC Four acquires Swedish Crime Drama, The Hunt For A Killer

Set to transmit later this summer, the series is set in southern Sweden in the late 1980s and revolves around the real-life disappearance and subsequent murder of a 10 year-old girl. It follows the 16-year investigation into the murder and the determination of the local police force to solve the case.

Critically-acclaimed as unique in its genre by the Swedish press, the series is a co-production between Banijay-owned Swedish production company, Yellow Bird, Swedish public broadcaster, SVT, and Film I Skåne.

Sue Deeks, Head of Programme Acquisition, BBC, says: "'The Hunt For A Killer is a chilling, authentic and evocative true crime drama that BBC viewers will find completely absorbing."

Chris Stewart, SVP UK & Eire, Banijay Rights, says: "The Hunt For A Killer has been described as Sweden's answer to Manhunter, compared with True Detective, and is worthy of the accolades. Brutally authentic and masterfully directed by Mikael Marciman, it's a true crime drama that's guaranteed to get under the skin and we can't wait to share it with the BBC audience."

BBC reveals youngest ever Dragon in Den’s history

The BBC has announced that 28-year-old entrepreneur and Sunday Times best-selling author Steven Bartlett is set to join current Dragons Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Touker Suleyman and Sara Davies for the 19th series of Dragons' Den.

Bartlett is founder and former CEO of social media marketing agency The Social Chain which he set up from a bedroom in Manchester. He dropped out of university and built the group's two flagship companies, Social Chain and Media Chain, when he was just 22 years old before taking his company public at 27, with a current market valuation of over £300m.

He begins filming in the Den this summer for the 19th series of the entrepreneurial TV hit, which is currently in the middle of its 18th series run and debut on BBC One.

Racking up accolades such as Forbes 30 under 30 and the Entrepreneur Rising Star at the Black British Business Awards, Bartlett found himself being inducted into Manchester's Hall of Fame by the Mayor of Greater Manchester in 2019. As well as finding time to become a best-selling author with the release of his recent debut book Happy Sexy Millionaire, he also acts as a speaker, investor and content creator - and hosts a top charting podcast, The Diary of a CEO.

Sarah Clay, the BBC's Commissioning Editor of Entertainment says: "As well as being our youngest ever Dragon, Steven's unique approach to business will bring a whole new dynamic to the Den. He brings a wealth of experience from the social media, technological and brand building worlds. I'm so excited to see him in the next series."

Steven Bartlett says: "I've been watching Dragons' Den since I was 12 years old - it was my first window into the real world of business and investing. It's a tremendous honour to join the Den, hopefully representing a new generation of entrepreneurs, inspiring young and specifically under-represented entrepreneurs to follow in my footsteps."

First look at Stephen Merchant's BBC One series The Offenders and further casting announced

The image features Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Walken in his first lead British television role, alongside writer and director Stephen Merchant (The Office, Jojo Rabbit), with Rhianne Barreto (Honour, Hanna), Gamba Cole (Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, Hanna), Darren Boyd (Killing Eve, Lucky Man), Clare Perkins (EastEnders), and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, The War of the Worlds).

The Offenders follows seven strangers from different walks of life forced together to complete a Community Payback sentence in Bristol. At first, they seem like archetypes we can easily pigeonhole, but gradually we see behind their façades, understand their hidden depths, and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad. Everyone has a story.

As their unlikely new friendships intersect with their complicated private lives, The Offenders must unite to protect one of their own from Bristol's most dangerous criminal gang. The show is part crime thriller, and part character study - with humour and heart.

Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) plays The Earl, a member of the landed gentry and Gabby's (Eleanor Tomlinson) father. Julia Davis (Sally4Ever) plays Rita, head of human resources at Greg's (Stephen Merchant) company.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Lisey’s Story - Trailer - Limited Series from Creator Stephen King

Apple TV+ today unveiled the trailer for the highly anticipated limited series “Lisey’s Story,” based on the best-selling novel, and adapted and written by author Stephen King. Starring Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore and Academy Award-nominee Clive Owen, the eight-episode Apple Original series will premiere globally on Friday, June 4, 2021, with the first two episodes, followed by new episodes every Friday.

“Lisey’s Story” is a deeply personal, pensive thriller that follows Lisey Landon (played by Moore) two years after the death of her husband, famous novelist Scott Landon (played by Owen). A series of unsettling events causes Lisey to face memories of her marriage to Scott that she has deliberately blocked out of her mind. Joan Allen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dane DeHaan, Ron Cephas Jones and Sung Kang also star alongside Moore and Owen.

Directed by Pablo Larraín, “Lisey’s Story" hails from J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television. In a rare step, every episode of the series was personally written by Stephen King. King, Moore, and Larraín executive produce alongside Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Juan de Dios Larraín.

Pre-Order at https://apple.co/3fetQO5

Monday, 10 May 2021

ITV2 commissions provocative teen drama, Tell Me Everything

A provocative and funny teen drama has been commissioned for ITV2 and ITV Hub from ITV Studios company, Noho Film and Television.

Created by Mark O' Sullivan (Lee and Dean, The Agency), and written by Mark O'Sullivan and Yemi Oyefuwa, Tell Me Everything explores what it's like to be coming of age in the 2020s.

Brimming with heart, laughs, pathos and gut-punches, tenderness and darkness, Tell Me Everything is a six part drama exploring the stresses of mental health for today's teens created by the omnipresence of technology and social media, whilst they are still searching for their own identity, exploring sexuality, and experimenting with relationships, drink, drugs and sex (as well as what to wear tonight).  

Rooted in truthful observations about life as it actually is for young people, Tell Me Everything is a celebration of adolescence, without shying away from the difficult subjects facing teens as they grow up in the 2020s.  

Tell Me Everything introduces us to 16 year-old Jonny Murphy, who is trying his best to navigate through this world.  Growing up hasn't been easy, and although loved by his friends and family, Jonny suffers from undiagnosed depression which he does his best to hide. So when he is faced with the most gut-wrenching tragedy, Jonny has to decide – is he going to let events overtake him or is he going to learn how to live?

His oldest friends, Louis and Neve, are battling their own issues and emotional struggles, yet continue to be there for Jonny. So they are right to be suspicious of Mei when she comes into his life. She seems to understand Jonny, but increasingly appears to be a dangerous influence on him. Meanwhile, new college mates, Regan, Saj and Zia, initially appear cool and care-free, but as Jonny, Neve and Louis get to know them, it soon becomes clear that everyone is fighting their own personal battles.  

Tell Me Everything has been commissioned for ITV2 and ITV Hub by Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer and ITV Drama Commissioner, Chloe Tucker. Chloe will oversee production from the channel's perspective.

Commented ITV's Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer:

"ITV2 is delighted to be back in the original drama game with this wonderfully conceived series aimed squarely at teens but with broader appeal, no doubt. An honest portrayal of teenage suburban life, it should resonate strongly with today's young audience whose taste has become more sophisticated, and appetite for quality storytelling never been greater."

The series will cover some difficult issues for teenagers: addiction, bereavement, porn, body image, toxic masculinity, academic pressure and racial and sexual prejudice are amongst the threads which make up Jonny, Neve, Louis, Saj, Mei and Regan's ongoing stories and will prompt conversations beyond our TV screens.

Noho Film and Television will produce Tell Me Everything for ITV2 with Joint Managing Directors Robert Wulff-Cochrane and Camilla Campbell executive producing and overseeing production.

Prior to establishing Noho in 2012, Robert and Camilla headed up the drama commissioning team at Channel 4 where they commissioned Misfits, Fresh Meat, Any Human Heart, Top Boy, Cast Offs, Skins and This is England 86 and 88, among others. Most recently Noho has been responsible for producing satirical comedy, The Windsors, and Zomboat! for ITV2.

Commented Executive Producers Robert Wulff-Cochrane and Camilla Campbell on behalf of Noho:

"We are really excited to be working with ITV2 and the Young Audience Content Fund on a truly British show for young audiences. Teenagers now face more challenges than ever, and Mark's scripts encapsulate the pain, joy and messy highs and lows of a group of teenage friends in all their glory. Tell Me Everything will confront the difficult subject of mental health head on whilst maintaining a robust sense of humour – a refreshing take on the classic coming of age story."

Mark O'Sullivan is a writer, director and actor. He created, wrote and starred in the Channel 4 comedy drama series Lee and Dean, and wrote Morgana Robinson's The Agency for the BBC.

Commented screenwriter Mark O'Sullivan:

"I'm thrilled to be bringing my first drama series to ITV2, with the BFI's brilliant Young Audiences Content Fund. Tell Me Everything is a semi-autobiographical story (set now, in the 2020s) about growing up and trying to find out who you are before anyone else can decide it for you. It's a drama - with laughs, tears, and the odd gut-punch - about how adolescence is many things, but never straightforward and always personal. Our gang of teen friends will be exploring some of the issues I tackled at that age, among them addiction and the death of a parent, as well as some of the unique challenges teenagers face in today's doom-scrolling, social media-driven, blurry-lined world. I can't wait to share it (and to show off my home town of Welwyn Garden City!)."

Tell Me Everything will be set in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and filming will commence in the summer of 2021.

Further cast announced for BAFTA nominated BBC comedy Alma’s Not Normal

Filming began in Bolton at the end of April on BBC Two's Alma's Not Normal (6x30'); a series produced by Expectation about Boltonian wild-child, Alma Nuthall (Sophie Willan) and her family of eccentric, unruly women.

As well as starring in the lead role of Alma, Sophie Willan has written and executive produced the series. Sophie was the inaugural winner of the BBC's Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018, and following a critically acclaimed pilot broadcast in 2020, received a BAFTA nomination for Best Writing: Comedy (2021).

The cast returning for the full series alongside Sophie are Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Downton Abbey) as her mum Lin; Lorraine Ashbourne (The Crown, Cheat) as her Nan Joan, Jayde Adams (Crazy Delicious) as Alma's best friend Leanne, James Baxter (Still Open all Hours, Emmerdale) as Alma's ex-boyfriend Anthony and Nicholas Asbury (Doctor Who, Chewing Gum) as Jim.

Completing the cast are; Thanyia Moore (The Duchess, Jamie Johnson), Dave Spikey (Phoenix Nights) and Ben Willbond (Ghosts, Yonderland).

The series follows Alma as she tries to get her life back on track after a break-up. But with no job, no qualifications and a rebellious streak a mile wide, it's not going to be easy. Meanwhile her mum, who is battling a heroin addiction, has been sectioned for arson and her vampish Grandma Joan wants nothing to do with it. Alma's Not Normal offers a bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse. It celebrates women dealing with the hands they've been dealt while doggedly pursing their dreams.

Sophie Willan, Creator and Executive Producer, says: "I'm delighted that filming is underway for series one of Alma's Not Normal, and even happier to be working alongside such a fantastic group of actors! We can't wait for audiences to learn more about Alma's world and the eclectic mix of characters that surround her."

Nerys Evans, Executive Producer for Expectation, says: "We're delighted to be making a full series of Alma's Not Normal, after such a wonderful response to the pilot. Sophie is an incredible talent - she is such a gifted writer and performer and has written something that feels both utterly modern and yet timeless. With Gill Isles Producing and Andrew Chaplin Directing, we have an extraordinary team around Sophie to bring Alma to life."

Friday, 7 May 2021

The Masked Dancer arrives this May on ITV

The Masked Dancer, starting this May on ITV and the ITV Hub, will see celebrity contestants perform unique dances, whilst covered from head to toe in extravagant, colourful costumes and face masks leaving the viewers and star panel to guess their identities. Bringing a wealth of dance expertise to the panel, Oti Mabuse takes up a seat alongside Jonathan Ross, Mo Gilligan and Davina McCall as they all watch closely to see who knows their sashays from their pliés. Hosting this most unusual of dance parties will be Joel Dommett.  

12 celebrities will be stepping onto the dancefloor to take on character alter egos as they trip the light fantastic in a bid to wow the panel and confuse with their moves. Clue packages will accompany every Masked Dancer to help the panel and at home detectives crack the case of who the famous faces behind the masks are. From ballet to ballroom, salsa to swing and everything in between, here are the characters that will be dancing onto screens:

Tearing up the dancefloor, it's Zip
Sending the audience into a spin, come on y'all and sing it with me, it's Carwash  
Who let the dogs out? It's Beagle
Introducing a brand-new Nutcracker to the stage, it's Squirrel
An ex-STRAW-dinary mover that's the best dancer in their field, it's Scarecrow
I said-a hip, hop, the hippie, the hippie. To the hip hip hop... here comes Frog
They dance to their own beat – it's Beetroot
Will they have snake hips? Can they be charmed by the music? It's Viper
You've heard of the funky chicken, now meet Rubber Chicken
This beautiful tropical bird migrates to the dance studio during the Spring, it's Flamingo
Whipped cream and whipping viewers into a dance fueled frenzy, it's Knickerbocker Glory
They'll push me and pull you all around the dancefloor, it's Llama

The Neighbor: Season 2 - Official Trailer - Starring: Quim Gutiérrez, Clara Lago, Adrián Pino

I LOVED the first season of The Neighbor so I am really looking forward to this. 

The Neighbor returns to Netflix on May 21.

Self-centered Javier's life gets a bit messy when he unexpectedly becomes a superhero -- and his recent ex is tasked with uncovering his identity.

Starring: Quim Gutiérrez, Clara Lago, Adrián Pino

Thursday, 6 May 2021

HOUSE OF THE DRAGON will debut on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2022

Sky has today released the first official images from the upcoming drama series, HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. Based on George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood," the series, which is set 300 years before the events of "Game of Thrones," tells the story of House Targaryen.  HOUSE OF THE DRAGON recently began production and will debut on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in 2022.
Featured cast include the following:

Emma D'Arcy as "Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen": The king's first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider.  Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.
Matt Smith as "Prince Daemon Targaryen": The younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne.  A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon.  But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…
Steve Toussaint as "Lord Corlys Velaryon" ("The Sea Snake"): Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen.  As "The Sea Snake," the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.
Olivia Cooke as "Alicent Hightower": The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.
Rhys Ifans as "Otto Hightower": The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.

Cast announced for ITV's new four-part drama, Hollington Drive

Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachael Stirling, Rhashan Stone, Peter McDonald, Ken Nwosu, Jonas Armstrong and Jodie McNee to star in Hollington Drive

Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachael Stirling will play sisters in a new four-part thriller for ITV, Hollington Drive, from acclaimed screenwriter Sophie Petzal.

Produced by West Road Pictures, the All3Media scripted production label fronted by Managing Director and Executive Producer Jonathan Fisher, Hollington Drive focuses on the lives of sisters, Theresa, (Anna Maxwell Martin, Motherland) and her older headteacher sibling, Helen (Rachael Stirling, Wild Bill).

Theresa's partner Fraser will be played by Rhashan Stone (Finding Alice) and Helen's partner, David, by Peter McDonald (Dublin Murders).

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

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

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

This is all too realised when later that evening distraught neighbour, Jean (Jodie McNee, Little Boy Blue), calls on the family.  Her ten-year-old son Alex has gone missing...

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

Sophie Petzal has deservedly earned herself the reputation for writing thought provoking and engaging drama with her credits including Blood, The Last Kingdom, Riviera and Wolfblood. Most notably, Sophie recently won a Writers' Guild of Great Britain award for Best Long Form Drama for Blood. The series will be directed by  Carolina Giammetta (The Drowning) and produced by Catrin Lewis Defis (The Pact). Executive producers are Sophie Petzal and Jonathan Fisher.

Commented Sophie Petzal:

"I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Jonathan Fisher and West Road Pictures once again to bring our project Hollington Drive to ITV. We hope it will keep audiences gripped to their televisions."

Jonathan Fisher commented:

"We're so excited to have started filming on Hollington Drive, and to have attracted a top-rate cast led by the exceptional Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachael Stirling. We can't wait to share this captivating and surprising story with the ITV audience."

Anna Richardson to host Channel 4’s Changing Rooms reboot

The full line-up of presenter, designers and DIY expert for Channel 4's new version of the iconic '90s and '00s home-DIY series Changing Rooms has been confirmed.

Joining returning Changing Rooms favourite Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to give the show a fresh lick of paint is host Anna Richardson and designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio. Completing the team is carpenter and joiner Tibby Singh.

Changing Rooms, a Shine TV production, is made in partnership with Dulux and sees two sets of homeowners from the same neighbourhood work against the clock to renovate a room in each other's houses.

The homeowners will work with LLB or 2LG to bring the new looks to life in the chosen rooms, with the designers' bold and opposing styles ensuring each transformation will be spectacular, innovative and unexpected.

Carpenter and joiner Tibby Singh will lend a helping hand to bring the designs to life, while presenter Anna Richardson will guide viewers through the makeovers and hear from the homeowners throughout the process to see how they're feeling about the renovations they're carrying out, and what might be going on back in their own home.

Changing Rooms will be packed full of design and DIY hints and tips, teaching us how to be crafty on a budget by upscaling and adding sparkle to unloved or outdated corners of our homes.

Anna Richardson said: "What an honour to be joining the Changing Rooms team, one of my favourite shows from when I first started in TV! This series is an absolute classic and I can't wait to see the designs the legendary Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and the brilliant Jordan and Russell of 2LG come up with for our homeowners. Let's get that house swapping started!"

Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, 2LG, commented: "The childhood versions of ourselves are mind blown to be part of the new Changing Rooms and, as designers, we are beyond excited to take on this challenge. Our design style is about empowerment, kindness and pride - making homes that lift your spirits and facilitate your best life. Creativity is powerful so we love that Changing Rooms is back because, in many ways, it was the beginning of our own creative journeys. How incredible that we get to a part of the next step."

Tibby Singh said: "I'm humbled to be a part of Changing Rooms which is such an iconic TV show! I'm privileged to be working alongside Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and 2LG to create some amazing makeovers and bring their designs to life. Touch wood everything goes to plan!"

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen added: "Let the games commence!"

Changing Rooms is a 6 x 60' primetime series. It was commissioned for Channel 4, in partnership with Dulux, by Jonny Rothery. It will be made by Shine TV (part of Banjay UK) and executive produced by Mark Sammon and Katie Brosnan, the series producer is James Kane.

Monday, 3 May 2021

'Emily in Paris', Netflix's Top Comedy Series of 2020, Begins Production on Season 2

Netflix has announced that Season 2 of Emily in Paris begins production in Paris, St. Tropez and other locations in France today, May 3, 2021.

The first season of the comedy, which stars Lily Collins and hails from creator, writer and executive producer Darren Star (Younger, Sex and the City), captivated members around the world. During a recent Academy of Television Arts & Science panel on the series, we revealed that 58 million households around the world chose to watch Emily in Paris in its first 28 days, making it Netflix's most popular comedy series of 2020.

Says Lily Collins, "As an actor, an artist, and a creative, the most meaningful gift is to connect with people through your art in some way. It's an honour to be associated with a project that provided people with some much-needed relief during a trying time when everyone was looking for a reason to smile and laugh. Not only did playing Emily teach me more about myself, but also about the world around me. I couldn't be happier to be back in Paris for Season 2 to expand upon those lessons, to continue to grow, and learn even more about this beautiful city and all of its character with Emily."

Adds Darren Star: "From the beginning we always wanted to create this beautiful cinematic view of Paris. The timing of the series release was fortuitous for us as everyone around the world was able to become armchair travelers and live vicariously through our cast. We could not be prouder and are excited to bring more joy to our fans as we start production on Season 2."

Emily in Paris follows Emily, an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company — and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily's new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances.

ITV commissions a second series of contemporary detective drama, Grace

John Simm will return as Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, for a second series of ITV crime drama, Grace.

From acclaimed screenwriter and Endeavour creator, Russell Lewis, Grace is an adaption of international, bestselling author Peter James' award winning novels.

Co-starring Richie Campbell as DS Glenn Branson and Rakie Ayola as ACC Vosper, the first Grace film Dead Simple which aired on ITV last month achieved consolidated ratings of 8.8m viewers.

The second series of Grace, produced by Second Act Productions, Tall Story Pictures, both part of ITV Studios, and Vaudeville Productions, will comprise three 120 minute films; Not Dead Enough, Dead Man's Footsteps and Dead Tomorrow.

Writer Russell Lewis commented:

"After the overwhelmingly positive audience response to the seaside noir of Dead Simple, (tabloid trauma tales notwithstanding!) and Looking Good Dead cued up ready to go, all at Team Roy Grace are delighted to have been given the opportunity by ITV to return to Brighton (& Hove, actually!) to continue Roy's story with a new series of films based on Peter James best-selling novels.

We'll be shooting out of our Brighton HQ and all along and around the South Coast from late summer through to very late autumn, so it's quite possible that like some macabre Radio Fab Roadshow, our caravanserai of coroner's van, SOCO unit, Mobile Incident Room may well be coming to a street near you!  As the late, great Shaw Taylor used to ask viewers on Police 5... 'Keep 'em peeled!'"

The nation’s fitness and wellness coach returns to BBC Sounds with series two of The Joe Wicks Podcast

For the first time, fans of the podcast will be able to see Joe and his Radio 4 podcast guests as well as hear them talk, with every interview coming on BBC iPlayer as well BBC Sounds.

In his first series for BBC Radio 4, Joe spoke to inspirational people who put their personal success down to their tried and tested fitness, meditation or relaxation regime; the thing they do, on their own, just for a bit of 'me-time'.

Some of the guests listeners can expect to hear from in series two are; Melinda Gates on gender equality, breaking boundaries for women at work and meditation, Sir Mo Farah on the Olympics, mental health and determination, star of The Hunger Games, Peaky Blinders and forthcoming Daisy Jones and the Six, Sam Claflin, Dermot Kennedy on his journey from busker to chart topper and Sir Tom Jones on grief and how performing and working out helped his recovery.

Ultrarunner, author and body positivity advocate Mirna Valerio will also speak to Joe, as well as artist and author, Charlie Mackesy and comedian and podcaster Russell Brand, with more guests to be announced.

Joe says: "Series 1 of my podcast was so much fun and I'm absolutely buzzing that we're coming back for a new series where I can hear from more people who inspire me. I hope listeners enjoy this series as much as I have recording it and are encouraged to find the things in their life that can keep them mentally and physically strong."

Episode 1 of The Joe Wicks Podcast will be available on BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer from Monday 10 May.

Competition: Win The Blitz - 80th Anniversary on DVD

The Blitz - 80th Anniversary - Released on DVD from 10th May

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

On the 80th Anniversary of The Blitz, one of the greatest tragedies in British history, that saw the Nazis invade the UK with a devasting bombing campaign that led to the tragic loss of thousands of lives, Reel 2 Reel Films presents a fascinating new documentary The Blitz80th Anniversary to commemorate this pivotal event of World War II. 

The film offers a brand new insight into how ordinary people managed to survive with incredible acts of courage and features amazing never seen before archive footage, along with powerful interviews with those who experienced it first-hand. The Blitz80thAnniversary is set to arrive on DVD and digital on 10 May 2021.

Between 1940 and 1941, the German Luftwaffe regularly bombed different areas of Britain, including the relentless bombing of London, over 56 nights. Sadly the devastating campaign saw more than 40,000 civilians killed in what was to become known as The Blitz. 

Now this fascinating and powerful documentary sheds light on those fateful months and how they affected the British people living in the cities under attack. The film delves into the real story of The Blitz, how it played out from city to city, with an in depth look into the build-up and the difficult and emotional personal stories.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xKWGOf

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Sunday, 2 May 2021

BBC One releases first trailer and new pictures for Vigil

BBC One has released a tense first trailer and six new images for Vigil, the forthcoming thriller series from World Productions, the makers of Line of Duty, Bodyguard and The Pembrokeshire Murders. The trailer will air on BBC One tonight (Sunday), following the credits of the Line of Duty series six finale.

Vigil stars Suranne Jones, Rose Leslie, Shaun Evans, Martin Compston and Paterson Joseph, and will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.

The mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board the submarine HMS Vigil bring the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) lead an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that goes to the very heart of Britain's national security.

Vigil's stellar ensemble cast also features Anjli Mohindra, Connor Swindells, Adam James, Gary Lewis, Stephen Dillane, Lolita Chakrabarti, Daniel Portman, Lorne MacFadyen and Lauren Lyle.

The fictional six-part series is written and created by Bafta-nominated writer Tom Edge, with episodes by Ed Macdonald and Chandni Lakhani. It is directed by Bafta-winner James Strong, and Isabelle Sieb. Vigil is produced by Angie Daniell, executive produced by Simon Heath and Jake Lushington for World Productions, Gaynor Holmes for the BBC, James Strong and Tom Edge.

Vigil is set and was filmed in Scotland, and is supported by the National Lottery through Screen Scotland. International distribution is handled by ITV Studios.