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Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Steve Coogan cast as lead in BBC Drama The Reckoning

Multi award-winning actor, Steve Coogan (Stephen, Philomena, Stan and Ollie) is cast as Jimmy Savile in the BBC One drama The Reckoning (w/t) to be made by the award winning team - Neil McKay and executive producer Jeff Pope (The Moorside, Appropriate Adult) and produced by ITV Studios. The drama will be directed by Sandra Goldbacher (Ordeal by Innocence, The Accident).

The mini-series will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history following revelations of extensive and horrific abuse. The story will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the BBC, to his twilight years when he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind.

The team are working closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect, and the drama will also draw on extensive and wide-ranging research sources. It will examine the impact his appalling crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.

Savile used his involvement in multiple organisations, such as hospitals, prisons, charities and the BBC, to legitimise himself. The drama will explore the way he used his celebrity and powerful connections to conceal his wrongdoings and to hide in plain sight.

Steve Coogan says: "To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which - however harrowing - needs to be told."

Louis Theroux returns to BBC Two with brand new series Forbidden America

Travelling the length and breadth of the United States, Louis will meet an assortment of content creators who promote far-right views, self-destructive performers - and in some cases alleged predators - whose work involves them promoting and enacting the most risqué, immoral and illegal behaviour.

Louis Theroux says: "The world has gone through massive changes in the last few years, in particular from the effects of social media. This new series looks at the way those changes have affected people in America who are in different ways involved in dangerous, extreme, or morally questionable lifestyles. Far-right groups that have found new influence through gaming and streaming services. Porn performers who have seen power shift to them as they've embraced creator-controlled apps and called out alleged predators in the industry. And in the rap world young men with big dreams caught up in feuds and high-risk behaviour in the click-driven world of social media.

"These three documentaries were tough to make. They required delicate access conversations. They feature scenes and confrontations that are shocking and upsetting. But they are also powerful depictions of a world that has become strange in ways we could never have imagined just 10 years ago. They show the dangers of the technotopia we all now inhabit, where extremist content can be piped directly into the phones and laptops of millions of children. But they also illustrate some of the positive opportunities the new world has created by disrupting old hierarchies of power.

"I'm very proud of all three programmes and hope viewers will find them as thought provoking to watch as I did making them."

Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music Television, says: "It is brilliant to see Louis return with three challenging and timely films engaging with lives lived at the extremes, navigating the lines between real life and social media, between consent and exploitation and between self expression and hate. Louis is a unique filmmaker and this trilogy promises to be a major event."

In the first film, Louis meets the young and highly inflammatory figures from the far right, including those who recently came to the broader public's attention through the notorious Capitol Hill riots. A community primarily made up of men, its leaders stream shows and builds solidarity through online networks. Their followers are a growing army of similar-minded activists who hang on their every word breeding a fast-growing 'dissident' nationalist movement that shares deeply racist, homophobic, Anti-Semitic and misogynistic views. Louis will question their opinions and explore how they are stepping out from the shadows of the web to influence events in the real world.

In another episode, Louis will immerse himself in the new world of rap and hip-hop in the southern states of America, and in particular Florida. Rappers, like many artists, have long mined their lives for inspiration to create and promote their music. But raising the stakes is the 24-hour connectivity of social media.

Many artists become successful through self-promotion online, looking at ways to connect with fans - from feuding online, opening up about their anxieties and fears, and live-streaming their sometimes chaotic lifestyles. Louis will meet people at different stages of their quest to become successful and followed, from those who have risen fast to those who have fallen hard.

A third instalment will explore the porn industry as it grapples with its own Me Too movement. An industry that prides itself on pushing sexual boundaries is asking itself difficult questions about consent and its practices. The rise of platforms like OnlyFans has given performers the financial independence, while social media networks have become a space to publish accusations of sexual misconduct. But there are also those pushing back at what they see as 'trial by Twitter', and others who are wary of stigmatising sex work as a haven for predators. Louis will meet a variety of people including those who have been accused and those making significant allegations.

Louis Theroux: Forbidden America (w/t), a 3x60' series for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, is made by Mindhouse Productions. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music Television, and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion. The Commissioning Editor is Emma Loach. The Executive Producer is Arron Fellows, the Series Producer is Emma Whitehead, the Directors are Dan Dewsbury and Rachel Lob-Levyt and the Producers are Cath Boggan, Kandise Abiola and Rory Toher.

First look image for Shetland series six coming soon to BBC One

Award-winning BBC One drama series, Shetland returns this autumn for a new thrilling six-part tale with Douglas Henshall reprising his role as DI Jimmy Perez alongside series favourites Alison O'Donnell, Steven Robertson, Mark Bonnar, Erin Armstrong, Anne Kidd and Lewis Howden

Acclaimed and award-winning BBC One drama series, Shetland - a Silverprint Pictures Production - returns this autumn for a new thrilling six-part tale with Douglas Henshall reprising his role as DI Jimmy Perez alongside series favourites Alison O'Donnell, Steven Robertson, Mark Bonnar, Erin Armstrong, Anne Kidd and Lewis Howden.

The forthcoming new series centres on the doorstep murder of a prominent local figure, a case which strikes at the heart of the Shetland Isles and its people. As Perez and his team uncover a kaleidoscope of motives for the murder, their investigation soon takes a shockingly sinister turn.

Written by David Kane and Paul Logue, the sixth series also sees Fiona Bell (The Nest, Dead Still) return to the Shetland series as murderer Donna Killick whose compassionate release aggrieves many of the locals not least Kate Kilmuir, the victim's sister (played by Neve McIntosh, Tin Star, Lucky Man). New series regulars include Anneika Rose (Line of Duty, Deadwater Fell) as Procurator Fiscal, Maggie Kean and Angus Miller (Guilt, Doctors) as Tosh's love interest, Donnie.

Also joining the cast for series six are Stephen McCole (Vigil, The Outlaw King), Jim Sturgeon (Vigil, Small Axe), Alec Newman (Showtrial, The Last Kingdom), Cora Bissett (Rebus, God Help The Girl), Lois Chimimba (Vigil, Trust Me), Conor McCarry (Outlander, Rillington Place), Lewis Gribben (Silent Witness, Deadwater Fell), Andy Clark (Annika, River City), Benny Young (Wild Rose, Outlaw King) and Shona McHugh (Annika, The Loch).

Douglas Henshall is thrilled to be back as DI Jimmy Perez: "After all we've been through over the last couple of years, it's wonderful to be back filming on Shetland again. Davy Kane has, once again, created stunning storylines in these two new series for Perez and the team to uncover the truth. Being back on the Shetland Isles has been wonderful. There is no location quite like it."

Between The Covers returns for a third series this November

BBC Arts has announced the initial line-up and the six exciting new books chosen for series three of Between The Covers; a six-part series on BBC Two designed to bring the nation together by sharing the enjoyment of reading.

Sara Cox returns as host, and is joined in each episode by a panel of four famous guests to discuss a newly-published book which deserves to be put in the spotlight. The books are a carefully selected mix of genres that include something for everyone. Each guest also brings their own choice of book guaranteed to spark entertaining banter.

The line-up of celebrity panellists keen to share their love of reading includes Emilia Fox, David Harewood, Greg James, Sarah Kendall, Prue Leith, Dane Baptiste, Evanna Lynch, Ben Miller, Rob Rinder, Lou Sanders, Sharleen Spiteri, Iain Stirling and Fleur East.

The six newly-published books carefully selected for the series (in broadcast order) are:

Sorrow And Bliss by Meg Mason (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
The Coward by Jarred McGinnis (Canongate)
Still Life by Sarah Winman (Fourth Estate)
Ascension by Oliver Harris (Little, Brown)
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (Faber & Faber)
Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo (Virago)

The exact broadcast date, further celebrities and the additional six book club picks will be revealed soon.

Between The Covers gives BBC audiences nationwide the opportunity to take part in an inclusive book club inspiring new readers as well as avid bookaholics. The 12 selected books featured in the series will be labelled with Between The Covers stickers in shops, libraries and online so that audiences can read and join the conversation on social media using #BetweenTheCovers.

Sara Cox says: "I am absolutely delighted to get back Between The Covers with our passionate book-loving audience and some fabulous guests. Already I'm getting funny looks on public transport from laughing, gasping and sobbing as I bury myself in the magnificent books we've chosen for the third series. Get ready to reinforce your bookshelves and curl up with the cat as another pile of great books is coming your way!"

James Nesbitt, Joely Richardson, Richard E. Grant, Anne-Marie Duff, Antonia Thomas, Niamh Algar, Sacha Dhawan, Sam Heughan and Ben Miller cast in Channel 4’s thrilling new drama, Suspect

Channel 4 has commissioned an eight-part crime thriller Suspect (w/t) from Eagle Eye Drama (Before We Die, Professor T). Suspect (w/t) is an adaptation of the original Danish series Forhøret by Christoffer Boe and Miso Film and features a prestigious cast of the UK's best acting talent. The 8 x 30' drama stars James Nesbitt (Bloodlands, Cold Feet), Joely Richardson (The Tudors, Nip/Tuck), Anne-Marie Duff (Sex Education, Shameless), Richard E. Grant (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Hang Ups), Ben Miller (Professor T, Bridgerton), Niamh Algar (Deceit, Censor), Antonia Thomas (The Good Doctor, Small Axe), Sacha Dhawan (The Great, Doctor Who), Sam Heughan (Outlander, Party Animals) and Imogen King (Clique, Hotel Portofino).

When veteran detective, Danny Frater (played by James Nesbitt), turns up at a hospital mortuary for what he thinks is a routine ID check on a young woman's body, he gets a devastating shock; the corpse turns out to be his estranged daughter, Christina (played by Imogen King).  Danny is traumatized by the news that according to the post-mortem report, she's taken her own life. Danny and Christina had a complicated father-daughter relationship in recent years, but he refuses to accept that she would have ended her own life.  He sets out on a mission for the truth, retracing her last days and hours, in an agonising crusade to discover what really happened to his only child.

Through a series of intense exchanges with those closest to Christina – her partner, Nicola (played by Niamh Algar), her best friend, Maia (played Antonia Thomas), her business partner, Jaisal (played by Sacha Dhawan), her godfather, Ryan (played by Sam Heughan), her mentor, Harry (played by Richard E. Grant) and finally her mother, Susannah and Danny's ex-wife (played by Anne-Marie Duff) – Danny learns about his daughter's descent into delinquency. He is forced to confront his own failings as a father whilst struggling to make sense of a mass of contradictory testimony and circumstantial evidence, and he must decide who, if anyone, is responsible for Christina's death and what he's going to do about it.  

Also appearing in the series is Jackie (played by Joely Richardson), the pathologist who carries out the post-mortem on Christina's body and Richard (played by Ben Miller) Danny's Detective Superintendent boss.

James Nesbitt, said: "I could relate to Danny, with his flaws, vulnerabilities and the devastating situation he faces, from the very first moment I picked up the script. Each episode of Suspect (w/t) is an intensely theatrical double-hander, a psychological battle of wits between Danny and another character who may know something about his daughter's untimely death, and I really can't wait to lock horns with my fellow cast members and to lead this incredible array of acting talent."

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Good Grief - Trailer - The latest comedy sensation from New Zealand


You’ll be dying with laughter as Good Grief the latest comedy sensation from New Zealand , hits UK TV on 30 September with its premiere exclusively on Sundance Now via Amazon Prime Video Channels.

With a second series already commissioned to premiere next year, the laugh-out loud six-part series comes to the UK and follows the lives, loves,  deaths and disasters of two differing sisters who are thrown together when they inherit their late grandad’s funeral parlour.

A new comedy force to be reckoned with, real life sisters Eve and Grace Palmer take the leads and also co-write this cleverly observed, brilliantly wry series that chimes perfectly with the current run of outstanding comedies championing strong female talent. Channelling Six Feet Under themes with Stath Lets Flats and This Country humour, this fish-out-of-water comedy series might just be the funniest show to come out of the country since Flight of the Conchords.

With no idea how to run a funeral home – or the oddball staff that work there – Ellie (Eve Palmer, Jawbone) and Gwen Good (Grace Palmer, Shortland Street) are thrust into a world of embalming, emceeing, and extreme embarrassment. Recently fired from her teaching career, Ellie starts to warm to the job, while all Gwen wants to do is escape to Bali and become a DJ. But facing death every day gives Ellie and Gwen the chance to reassess their own lives and out of the sadness they face comes laughs aplenty.

The series deftly blends tragedy and comedy and features stand-out performances from a stellar case including Vinnie Bennett (Fast & Furious 9), Josh Thomson (The New Legends of Monkey), Sophie Hambleton (Westside), Lucy Wigmore (Shortland Street) and Bree Peters (Sweet Tooth).

Eve and Grace Palmer said, “They say ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ but we hope that in watching this dark comedy about life and death, you’ll be able to do both.”

Good Grief, Season 1 is co- created and co-written by Eve and Grace Palmer along with co-creator/co-writer Nick Schaedel, directed by Kiel McNaughton (The Legend of Baron To’a, My Life is Murder), and produced by Angela Cudd (I Am Waru) and Kerry Warkia (Vai, Waru). Season 2 has been co-commissioned by AMC Networks’ IFC and Sundance Now from Kiel McNaughton and Kerry Warkia’s Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions Ltd.

Sundance Now, the streaming service from AMC Networks, is available as an Amazon Prime Video Channels add on in the UK.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Gemma Arterton reveals new look as blonde bombshell ‘Barbara Parker’ and Rupert Everett, David Threlfall and Tom Bateman join the cast of Funny Girl

Production swings into action on an adaption of Nick Hornby's novel Funny Girl. This Sky Original sees Gemma Arterton step into the shoes of charismatic Barbara Parker. Joining Arterton on set in Liverpool are Rupert Everett (My Best Friend's Wedding, Adult Material), as Barbara's agent Brian Debehnam, David Threlfall (Shameless) as Barbara's father, George, and Tom Bateman (Behind Her Eyes, Murder on the Orient Express) to star as dangerously charming actor Clive. The Sky Original comedy drama will be available on Sky Max and streaming service NOW in 2022.

Also joining the cast will be, Emily Bevans (Temple, Grantchester, Soulmates), Leo Bill (Becoming Elizabeth, Rare Beasts) and Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood, Avenue 5), alongside previously announced Clare-Hope Ashitey (Riviera, Top Boy), Arsher Ali (Informer, The Fear Index) and Alexa Davies (White House Farm, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!).

The new Sky comedy drama series is about a young woman from Blackpool finding her comic voice in the male dominated world of the 1960s sitcom. Bold, stylish, and courageous, Gemma Arterton stars as Barbara Parker - the force of nature who takes London by storm. Her journey from Blackpool beauty queen to comedy superstar and nation's sweetheart is set during the cultural explosion of the 1960s.

It's the height of the swinging 60s and Barbara Parker has just been crowned Miss Blackpool – but there's got to be more to life than being a beauty queen in a seaside town, right? She wants to be… someone. The bright lights of London are calling, and our determined hero sets off to find out who that someone is.

The London she encounters is not as quite as swinging as the one she'd read about and seen on TV. However, after a series of setbacks Barbara finds herself in unfamiliar territory - an audition for a TV comedy show. Barbara's uncompromising northern wit proves to be the X factor that the show has been missing. She gets the part and becomes part of a ground-breaking new sitcom which will have an impact on British comedy for decades to come.

Being a woman in a largely male environment has its own challenges, but as Barbara 'finds her funny' she re-defines the prevailing attitude to funny women and in the process, reinvents herself.

First look trailer of Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton in series two of Sky Original drama COBRA: CYBERWAR revealed


The official trailer has been revealed for COBRA: CYBERWAR, an action-packed and suspenseful Sky Original drama coming to Sky Max and streaming service NOW, with all six episodes available on 15th October.

The show's second series stars Robert Carlyle as Prime Minster Robert Sutherland and Victoria Hamilton as his Chief of Staff Anna Marshall, and an ensemble cast featuring Richard Dormer as Fraser Walker, Head of Civil Contingencies, David Haig as Archie Glover-Morgan, Marsha Thomason as Francine Bridge, Director of Policy and Richard Pepple as Joseph Obasi, Home Secretary.

In the aftermath of both solar and political storms, Prime Minister Robert Sutherland attempts to steer the country on a more even course. He is assisted, as ever, by his loyal Chief of Staff Anna Marshall alongside a team of dedicated advisers.

An assassination on British soil, however, unleashes a chain of events that threatens to develop into a crisis even more serious than the one from which the country has recently emerged. An invisible global enemy, not playing by the rules and operating outside national boundaries, appears to be bent on our destruction, leaving an entire country unsure as to who is friend and who is foe.

The series, which is created and written by Ben Richards, looks at what happens when cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure and fake news are used to subvert democracy.

COBRA: CYBERWAR is commissioned by Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky and will be executive produced by Gabriel Silver for Sky Studios.The series is created and written by Ben Richards with additional episodes written by Toby Finlay and will be produced by New Pictures in association with Sky Studios. The executive producers include Charlie Pattinson and Ben Richards. Joe Donaldson is the producer with Al Mackay directing block one, Mo Ali block two and Sallie Aprahamian block three. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales of the series on behalf of Sky Studios.

All six episodes of the second series of COBRA: CYBERWAR will be available on 15th October on Sky Max and streaming service NOW

Sean Bean and Nicola Walker to star in new Stefan Golaszewski drama, Marriage, for BBC One

Produced by The Forge (Help, Roadkill, National Treasure) and The Money Men, Marriage is a four-part drama for BBC One and BBC iPlayer and is an up-close portrait of a marriage - sometimes funny, sometimes moving, always revealing.

Marriage sees married couple Ian (Bean) and Emma (Walker) negotiate the ups and downs of their 30-year marriage. We see them dealing with the insecurities, the ambiguities, the hopes and the fears that are part of all marriages, as the drama explores the risks and the gifts of a long-term intimate relationship.

Sean Bean says: "I'm thrilled to be playing opposite the talented Nicola Walker and I'm looking forward to bringing Stefan's intimate scripts to the screen."

Nicola Walker says: "This is a unique project. Stefan has created such a beautiful, funny and complicated world and I'm excited to be stepping into Ian and Emma's marriage with Sean."

Stefan Golaszewski says: "It's amazing to get to work with Sean and Nicola. They're actors of such depth, truth and warmth and I can't wait to go on this journey with them."

Russell T Davies to return as Doctor Who showrunner

Russell T Davies will make an explosive return to screens to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who in 2023, and series beyond. BBC Studios is partnering with Bad Wolf to produce.

Responsible for Doctor Who's revival in 2005, Davies is credited with propelling the show into a global phenomenon and making it one of TV's biggest hits.

His tenure on the show oversaw a surge in popularity, enjoying huge acclaim and success. The Doctor won the nation's hearts through his masterful relaunch, which led him to create two spin-off series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, during that time.

Davies left the show in 2009. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, he has most recently achieved huge success with Years And Years, A Very English Scandal and It's A Sin, which won Best New Drama at the National TV Awards this month.

Russell T Davies says: "I'm beyond excited to be back on my favourite show. But we're time-travelling too fast, there's a whole series of Jodie Whittaker's brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm - I'm still a viewer for now."

Cupid’s arrow flies transcontinental in new Channel 4 dating series The Language of Love

Channel 4 has commissioned a new international dating series from 2LE Media, Motion Content Group and Zeppelin, a Banijay Iberia company. The Language of Love (w/t) will see a group of Brits and a group of Spaniards pairing up at a dreamy Spanish country estate to see if they can find romance… despite not speaking each other's language.

Set in a stunning finca in Andalusia, the eight-part series for Channel 4 will be hosted by Davina McCall alongside Spanish TV host, actor and singer Ricky Merino, who will be on hand to interpret how the couples' relationships are developing.

A group of Brits seeking romance will travel to Spain where they'll meet their potential partners – a group of Spanish speakers also looking for their own historia de amor – to test whether love is deeper than just words. Can sparks fly even with a language barrier to overcome? The newly-formed couples will take part in challenges and tasks to help them test their connection as well as learning more about each other's countries, their culture and their languages. At the end of the series, will they choose amor or adiós? The international lovers will face a big dilemma: to call it quits, stay together long distance, or perhaps move country to be with their new found love.

CELEB GHOST TRIP TO SPOOK UP E4 THIS AUTUMN

Everyone's favourite tour guide Brendan Sheerin is back, but this time he's leaving behind the sunny sites of Europe and taking the coach on its most ghoulish adventure yet – on a Celeb Ghost Trip.

Coming to E4 this Autumn, Brendan and six celebrity pairings will travel around the UK to some of the spookiest locations imaginable. Instead of topping up their tans, our celebs will be wrapping up warm as they experience some truly scary activities from ghost hunting through to spine tingling overnight stays as well as the odd creepy forfeit.

In true Coach Trip tradition, one thing remains the same – Brendan is armed with his yellow and red cards. Each night, the celebrities will vote for who they least enjoy traveling with. Get two yellows and they're kicked off to be replaced by new famous faces.

 Speaking about the new show, Brendan Sheerin said: "I am over the moon that Coach Trip is back and I cannot wait to dust off my clipboard once again! It's a whole new take on the format of the show and I am really looking forward to exploring the UK and seeing a few celebrities step outside of their comfort zone. Do you believe in the supernatural….?"

Davina McCall, Alan Carr, Adam Hills & Maya Jama to host a glittering night of live TV as Stand Up To Cancer returns

On Friday 15th October, Davina McCall, Alan Carr, Adam Hills and Maya Jama will host a glittering night of live TV as famous faces from the world of sport, film, music and comedy come together to Stand Up To Cancer.

Joe Lycett will be putting his Maths GCSE to good use, totting up the totaliser throughout the night and explaining how the money raised will be spent on life-saving cancer research.

Leading a rallying cry in the fight against cancer will be Usain Bolt, Olivia Colman, Liam Payne, James Blunt, The Jonas Brothers, Rosie Jones, The Derry Girls, Liam Gallagher, Jack Black, Stephen Mangan, Sigrid, David Oyelowo, Martin Freeman, Peter Crouch, Jamie Oliver, Tom Parker, Roman Kemp and Dermot Kennedy, who will all be making appearances on the show across the evening.

The ever-popular and multi-award winning Gogglebox will also return for a special celebrity episode as some very famous faces join Britain's favourite opinionated viewers to pass judgement on a vast array of TV goodness.

Tributes will also be paid to those we have lost recently, and those still fighting. 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime. All of us can support the research that will beat it.

Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 that brings the UK together to speed up progress in life-saving cancer research.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Filming underway on series seven of Inside No. 9 as cast is confirmed and first look image is revealed

Principal photography is now underway on the seventh series of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's critically acclaimed and BAFTA-award winning anthology series Inside No. 9 (6 x 30), plus a first look image of the brand-new series is also revealed alongside casting details.

Produced by BBC Studios Comedy Productions and broadcast on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, the new series of Inside No. 9 will feature six stand-alone stories, once again inviting viewers into Shearsmith and Pemberton's world of the extraordinary and macabre.

Headlining series seven are Daniel Mays (Line of Duty, Good Omens), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The OA), Sophie Okonedo (The Escape Artist, Britannia), Jessica Hynes (There She Goes, W1A), Diane Morgan (Mandy, Motherland), Daisy Haggard (Back To Life, Breeders), Annette Badland (EastEnders, Doctor Who), Siobhan Redmond (The Replacement, Unforgotten) and Ron Cook (Hot Fuzz, The Salisbury Poisonings).

Also set to feature in the upcoming series is Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's fellow co-creator, writer and star from The League of Gentlemen, Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dracula).

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton say: "We hope you'll join us and another incredible cast of actors for more surprises that will make your jaws drop and spines tingle. Heads might even roll, and if not heads, definitely eyes."

Gregor Sharp, Commissioning Editor at the BBC, says: "Inside No. 9 is a crown jewel of comedy and we can't wait to see what twisted gems Reece and Steve have in store for us in the new series."

Josh Cole, Head of Comedy, BBC Studios Production, says: "It's a joy to be back in the Inside No. 9 saddle. Reece and Steve are comic masters, and their new scripts are better than ever. Which really is saying something when the last bunch won Best Comedy at the BAFTAs!"

Since its launch in 2014, Inside No. 9 has received widespread critical acclaim and has won an enviable étagère of awards, including the comedy prize at the 2016 Rose d'Or, two RTS Awards and two BAFTA TV Craft Awards (including Comedy Writing), South Bank Show and Writers' Guild awards. In addition to this, Steve Pemberton won the Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at the 2019 BAFTA TV Awards and the series won Best Scripted Comedy at the 2021 BAFTA TV Awards.

All previous episodes of Inside No. 9 are available to watch now on BBC iPlayer and series seven will premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer in 2022.

BBC announces Genesis Lynea as new Silent Witness cast member Simone Tyler

Genesis Lynea (Casualty, Shadow And Bone) joins the cast of BBC One's hugely popular primetime drama Silent Witness, currently on air with series 24.

When Forensic Ecologist, Simone Tyler is asked by Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox) and Jack Hodgson (David Caves) to help solve a murder, she questions whether her skills are the right match for The Lyell Centre. Simone feels more comfortable in the safety of an academic lab reconstructing ancient habitats, but her unique skills and lively personality could be exactly what the team needs.

On joining Silent Witness, Genesis says: "Simone Tyler is a zealous and meticulous ecologist who is making a massive jump from museum to the mortuary.

"It's been a lovely surprise to film a project during such a testing time, with so much to learn and sink my teeth into. It's really fulfilling to learn a new way of thinking and seeing through the eyes of Simone - as she learns, I learn. The science of forensics is very intricate work and it's been fun to play alongside the Silent Witness team. Watch this space!"

Lawrence Till, Executive Producer, BBC Studios Production, says: "It is a delight to welcome Genesis and integrate a new forensic specialism to Silent Witness.

"Forensic Ecology is the analysis of human remains, bugs, plants, soil samples and other particulates from crime scenes and is vital in proving the presence of a body and its deposition to establish a time and place of death. It is a great addition to the pathology carried out by Nikki Alexander and Forensic Science executed by Jack Hodgson.

"Genesis brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm to Silent Witness and plays Simone with a great sense of fun. I'm confident she will quickly become a much loved addition to the team."

Jo McClellan, Executive Producer, BBC One, says: ""We are very excited to be welcoming Genesis to the show, she brings such warmth and fun to the role of Simone, plus a unique specialism which allows Silent Witness to do what it has always done so brilliantly - evolve and engage in new ways so that is always fresh and ahead of the curve."

Friday, 17 September 2021

ITV detective drama, Grace, begins filming in Brighton

ITV detective drama, Grace, begins filming in Brighton starring John Simm, Richie Campbell and Rakie Ayola, written by acclaimed screenwriter Russell Lewis, based on the bestselling novels from Peter James and co-produced by Second Act Productions, Tall Story Pictures and Vaudeville Productions.

Zoe Tapper joins Grace as Cleo Morey alongside guest actor Arthur Darvill

Three brand new Grace films, adapted from international bestselling author Peter James's award-winning novels, have commenced filming in Brighton with John Simm in the lead role of the tenacious detective.

Acclaimed screenwriter and Endeavour creator, Russell Lewis, has adapted the 3 x 120 screenplays entitled Not Dead Enough, Dead Man's Footsteps and Dead Tomorrow which are devoted to the work of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a hard-working police officer who has given his life to the job, but walks a career tightrope, as he has the capacity to clash with his boss, ACC Vosper.

Commented John Simm about his return to Grace:
"Everyone involved with Grace is very excited to be back in Brighton bringing the next three Peter James novels to the screen. Like the first two, they've been brilliantly adapted by Russell Lewis and we can't wait to get started."

Richie Campbell and Rakie Ayola also reprise their roles as DS Glenn Branson and ACC Vosper following the success of the first film, Dead Simple, which aired on ITV in March 2021 and achieved consolidated ratings of 8.8m viewers.

Arthur Darvill (World on Fire, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Broadchurch) guest stars in the first film with Zoe Tapper (The One, Liar, Nightflyers) also joining the cast as recurring character, Cleo Morey, a mortuary technician, who takes a shine to Grace.

Co-produced by Second Act Productions, Tall Story Pictures and Vaudeville Productions, the first of the new films, Not Dead Enough, sees Grace and Branson investigating the murder of wealthy socialite and patron of local charities, Katya Bishop, wife of a prominent Brighton entrepreneur, played by Arthur Darvill, who becomes the main suspect in the investigation. The Bishops seem to have led a charmed life, until Grace digs deeper behind the respectable facade and discovers all is not what it seems. Doing so, however, places him unknowingly in grave danger.
 
In Dead Man's Footsteps, Grace leads the inquiry into the discovery of a woman's skeletal remains in an old storm drain, believed to be the wife of a failed Brighton conman, who died several years prior in a plane crash. Grace must re-trace the man's steps in the years before his death, which leads him on a murky trail through the world of Brighton's oldest crime families but it's not only on the professional front that Roy is chasing ghosts.
 
When in Dead Tomorrow a body is dredged up from the seabed of the English Channel it initially appears a burial at sea gone wrong, but a strange incision on the victim soon points to something very sinister. When two more bodies are found, news spreads like wildfire through Sussex and Grace begins to unearth that this is part of an altogether more chilling design, one which forces him to confront the question of just how far anyone would go to save the ones they love.

Kiaran Murray-Smith (Grace, Bulletproof, Silent Witness) returns to produce the series again this year with Henrik Georgsson (Tsunami, The Bridge, Marcella) directing the first film, Brian Kelly (Poldark, The Lock and Downton Abbey) directs the second film and Kate Saxon (Endeavour, Silent Witness, Casualty) will take the helm for the third title, Dead Tomorrow.
 

Mrs Brown’s Boys returns for a live Halloween special on BBC One

There's spooky going's on in the Brown household where anything can, and probably will happen.

Originally a theatre production, Mrs Brown's Boys is created, written by and stars Brendan O'Carroll as misbehaving matriarch Agnes Brown, who just can't help interfering in the lives of her family and friends. The show was first broadcast on BBC One in 2011 and has since become one of biggest comedies on tv. In summer 2016 Mrs Brown's Boys was broadcast live for the first time on BBC One.

Mrs Brown's Boys was voted best sitcom for the 21st century in a Radio Times poll and has won numerous awards, including a Bafta for best scripted comedy (2012), the Writers Guild Great Britain Award (2014) and has won an incredible five National Television Awards for the most popular comedy TV programme (2013 - 2020).

Brendan O'Carroll says: "It's a huge thrill to do another 'live' show for the BBC. It'll be so wonderful so see them nervous all over again. We will be trying our best to stick to the script, but honestly a script is just a guideline Ha ha ha!! Bring it on!"

Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, BBC, says: "I'm thrilled that we are marking the 10th anniversary of the award-winning Mrs Brown's Boys coming to BBC One with this very special live broadcast. A huge thank you to Brendan and the team for keeping us all so brilliantly entertained for a decade. I can't wait to see what mischief Agnes and family have in store for us this Halloween."

Filming underway on series seven of Inside No. 9 as cast is confirmed and first look image is revealed

Principal photography is now underway on the seventh series of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's critically acclaimed and BAFTA-award winning anthology series Inside No. 9 (6 x 30), plus a first look image of the brand new series is also revealed alongside casting details.

Produced by BBC Studios Comedy Productions and broadcast on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, the new series of Inside No. 9 will feature six stand-alone stories, once again inviting viewers into Shearsmith and Pemberton's world of the extraordinary and macabre.

Headlining series seven are Daniel Mays (Line of Duty, Good Omens), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The OA), Sophie Okonedo (The Escape Artist, Britannia), Jessica Hynes (There She Goes, W1A), Diane Morgan (Mandy, Motherland), Daisy Haggard (Back To Life, Breeders), Annette Badland (EastEnders, Doctor Who), Siobhan Redmond (The Replacement, Unforgotten) and Ron Cook (Hot Fuzz, The Salisbury Poisonings).

Also set to feature in the upcoming series is Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's fellow co-creator, writer and star from The League of Gentlemen, Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dracula).

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton say: "We hope you'll join us and another incredible cast of actors for more surprises that will make your jaws drop and spines tingle. Heads might even roll, and if not heads, definitely eyes."

Gregor Sharp, Commissioning Editor at the BBC, says: "Inside No. 9 is a crown jewel of comedy and we can't wait to see what twisted gems Reece and Steve have in store for us in the new series."

Josh Cole, Head of Comedy, BBC Studios Production, says: "It's a joy to be back in the Inside No. 9 saddle. Reece and Steve are comic masters, and their new scripts are better than ever. Which really is saying something when the last bunch won Best Comedy at the BAFTAs!"

Since its launch in 2014, Inside No. 9 has received widespread critical acclaim and has won an enviable étagère of awards, including the comedy prize at the 2016 Rose d'Or, two RTS Awards and two BAFTA TV Craft Awards (including Comedy Writing), South Bank Show and Writers' Guild awards. In addition to this, Steve Pemberton won the Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at the 2019 BAFTA TV Awards and the series won Best Scripted Comedy at the 2021 BAFTA TV Awards.

All previous episodes of Inside No. 9 are available to watch now on BBC iPlayer and series seven will premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer in 2022.

GamesMaster is set to make a return to E4 later this year

It's been off our screens for 23 years, but the iconic series, GamesMaster is set to make a return to E4 later this year, in partnership with Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook

In this new E4 Digital Original Commission co-produced by Barcroft TV, a Future PLC company and Alaska TV, the 3x60' series will premiere on E4's YouTube before a linear TX on E4. It is the first fully cross-platform branded entertainment deal of this type from 4Studio.

The series will see celebrities, gaming stars and super fans all take part in challenges, races and epic fights. Through virtual battles across a range of games, the competitors will try everything in their power to claim a legendary Golden Joystick Trophy. But whilst they play, they'll be watched over by the all-knowing GamesMaster, famously portrayed in the original by Sir Patrick Moore.

To introduce GamesMaster into the modern era of gaming, E4 has partnered with Oculus from Facebook to showcase Oculus Quest 2, a VR headset that will elevate the players experiences and break out of the two dimensional.

GamesMaster, a Future PLC brand, launched in January 1992 and ran for seven series. The series was the first British show dedicated to gaming and across the run, became a cultural phenomenon with names such as Ian Wright and Zoe Ball as celebrity guests and a young Simon Amstell as a hopeful contestant.

Sacha Khari, Head of Digital Commissioning at Channel 4 said: "GamesMaster was a household name back in the 90's and this new revamped version for social and E4 retains the elements that made this show so special, whilst also bringing it bang up to date, improving game quality and bringing in fresh and current names to tackle the trickiest GamesMaster challenges yet. "

All episodes will premiere on E4's YouTube, followed by a linear play on E4. Further information on the casting, including the face of the GamesMaster, will be revealed in due course.

The partnership with GamesMaster and Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook was brokered by 4Sales working with Mindshare Invention and also includes a digital ad campaign for All 4.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

All Creatures Great and Small 'triumphant reboot' returns for Series Two tonight


The charming, much-loved All Creatures Great and Small, based on the hugely popular novels of James Herriot (aka James Alfred Wight OBE), returns for a second series of veterinary adventures, budding romances, and life in the sleepy town of Darrowby, Yorkshire with its rolling fields, and colourful community.

The first series captivated the nation, ranking as Channel 5’s number one British drama of all time and now the much-anticipated series two arrives. Following its run on Channel 5, it comes to DVD alongside the Complete Series 1 & 2 Box set on 22 November 2021, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

We return three months later to follow the trials and tribulations and lives and loves of the locals, surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire dales, where farmers and vets alike savour a foaming pint at the end of a hard day’s work.

After Helen Anderson (Rachael Shenton – Hollyoaks) jilted her intended, Hugh Helton (Matthew Lewis – Harry Potter), at the altar, she, and James (Nicholas Ralph - The Most Reluctant Convert C.S. Lewis) can finally address their feelings for each other.  But it can be tricky in such a close-knit community where not everyone takes too kindly to Helen’s decision. Prompted by James’ and Helen’s affections, Siegfried (Samuel West – Darkest Hour), Tristan (Callum Woodhouse – The Durrells) and Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley – Deadwater Fell) also reflect on their places in the world, meanwhile a trip back home to Glasgow forces James to choose between duty and love…

Series One begins in 1937, Britain where we meet James Herriot, a newly qualified animal surgeon who moves to a small-town in Yorkshire to begin his first job with the irritable but kind veterinarian Siegfried Farnon. Once there, he quickly discovers that treating the animals is as much about looking out for their owners: there are plenty of people and animals to care for, challenges to meet, and life-affirming lessons to learn along the way.

All Creatures Great and Small will love this soul-soothing and heart-warming family favourite.

Buy Series 1 now at https://amzn.to/3EsjeXI

Pre-order series 2 at https://amzn.to/2YYhpkN


 

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Maya Jama Confirmed To Host Walk The Line

Acclaimed broadcaster Maya Jama will take the helm as presenter of brand-new show Walk The Line when the show debuts on ITV and ITV Hub later this year.

Maya joins Simon Cowell on the new format, which is co-produced and co-developed by Syco Entertainment and Lifted Entertainment, part of ITV Studios.

Maya Jama is one of the hardest working and most exciting presenters in the industry. She set a new record as the youngest ever host of the MOBO Awards, she hosted the EE BAFTA film red carpet, ITV's Brit Awards Backstage show, Stand up to Cancer and Comic Relief. She's recently been on TV screens presenting Save Our Summer and Glow Up. She's a regular on Celebrity Juice, Celebrity Goggle Box and on the panel of ITV's award-winning show Don't Hate the Playaz. She then recently made her acting debut as Brenda in Katherine Ryan's Netflix series 'The Duchess'.

Walk The Line is a high-octane series offering music acts a chance to win a life changing prize pot of £500,000. The musical acts - be they soloists, duos, bands, or choirs - will take to the stage to perform for the nation, as well as Simon Cowell and a panel of judges to be confirmed in due course.

But to win the money, talent alone isn't enough - the contestants will need nerves of steel as they determine whether to cash out or physically Walk The Line and risk it all to stay in the competition.

Maya Jama said: "If someone said to me, describe your dream job. It would be this! I literally couldn't be more excited to be working with Syco, Lifted Entertainment and the incredible team at ITV on Walk The Line."

Incredible technology takes viewers on an emotional journey deep inside the human body

BBC Factual has commissioned a brand new 6 x 60 min series, Doctor, Can You See Me Now? (w/t) for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, to be presented by Kate Garraway with Dr Guddi Singh.

Made by Remarkable Television (part of Banijay UK), this groundbreaking series uses the latest augmented reality know-how and medical imaging technology to allow patients to see inside their own bodies, to better understand their medical condition and the treatment choices available to them.

Patients with a range of common health issues from heart disease to kidney stones, endometriosis to back pain, will experience an extraordinary medical consultation made possible by cutting-edge technology.

They, and viewers, will see in thrilling visual form what is ailing them, as their condition is brought to life in a sensational and interactive way, providing insights and answers to questions which have plagued them for years. And, as they embark on their road to recovery, we will follow them every step of the way.

Catherine Catton, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, says: "We are delighted to be working with Dr Guddi Singh, Kate Garraway and the team at Remarkable to create the next generation of health format which will combine warmth, expertise and cutting-edge technology to provide unprecedented insight into common health conditions."

Kitty Walshe, Managing Director (Factual) Remarkable Television, adds: "We've learnt an enormous amount having reinvented other genres of television through the use of groundbreaking technology, and this series will continue our push into establishing the next generation of popular factual formats using cutting-edge technology.

"Applying it to health will allow us to see conditions we are all familiar with unpacked in such incredible 3D visuals - it is utterly thrilling and takes the genre to the next level. Patrick Furlong, Claire Hughes and the team have done a wonderful job and the series will be a fascinating watch."

Kate Garraway says: "I am thrilled to be part of this fascinating new series that uses the most incredibly advanced technology to help us get a better understanding of how our bodies function when they require urgent medical attention.

"I believe we have all become increasingly curious about our health and well-being since the start of the pandemic, including me personally. I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the fascinating, emotional and empowering journey of all our patients and for them to see what is going on inside their own bodies."

Dr Guddi Singh says: "As a medical doctor who is committed to making health care better, it's been incredibly exciting to be part of this show and to see, first-hand, the possibilities opened up by augmented reality for clinical practice.

"We so often feel as though our doctors don't get us, or that we only really understand a fraction of what we're being told in the clinic. What if augmented reality helped bridge the gap? What if it allowed doctors and patients to connect and make more of their conversations in ways that simply weren't possible before?

"At a time when health has never mattered more, I'm thrilled and privileged to be part of public service broadcasting that explores these questions with the British public."

Monday, 13 September 2021

COMPETITION: Win Deceit on DVD


Deceit - Released on DVD from 20th September

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

Synopsis: 
In 1992 a young-woman, Rachel Nickell, was tragically murdered on Wimbledon Common, while out walking with her two-year old son.  A passer-by found the distressed little boy clinging to his mother and many lives were destroyed… not only by the brutal killing, but by the subsequent media frenzy that lead to one of the most controversial and catastrophic police investigations of its time.
 
Now a brand-new four-part, true-crime drama, Deceit looks at the fallout from the shocking killing of the vivacious 23-year-old at the start of her adult life, and the ensuing investigation.

When BBC Crimewatch aired, witnesses identified a man often seen walking his dogs on the Common… that man was Colin Stagg. Lacking forensic evidence to link him to the crime, the Metropolitan police – pressured by the media outrage, and their obsession with justice – are determined to catch the guilty man before he kills again, and so, devise a plan to ensnare him...

Evocative, engrossing and emotive, Deceit dramatises the Metropolitan police’s controversial honeytrap operation that saw ambitious and determined undercover officer, Sadie Byrne – codenamed Lizzie James (Niamh Algar – Raised by Wolves, The Virtues) used as sexual bait, to entice the suspected killer to confess. Leading the case is a young Detective Inspector, Keith Pedder (Harry Treadaway – The Crown, Star Trek), who is under pressure to solve the case and enlists the nation’s infamous criminal profiler, Paul Britton (Eddie Marsan – Happy Go Lucky, Sherlock Holmes) to devise the undercover operation.

Written and produced by Emilia di Girolamo (Law & Order UK) this captivating and challenging drama shows the female perspective and explores the historic treatment of women. 

Deceit beckons the crucial question: who is being deceitful, and who is being deceived?

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who is the writer and producer of Deceit?

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

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 27-09-21
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.

Friday, 10 September 2021

The Only Way is Essex is back for a brand-new series on ITVBe

The Only Way is Essex is back for a brand-new series on ITVBe on 12 September 2021

Returning to the heart of Essex, this series will delve deeper than ever before into the lives of our TOWIE cast, from relationships and families, to businesses and personal passions.

The romances, drama and world record-breaking triumphs of the last series were a rollercoaster. Now, our cameras are back and promise to bring you the latest buzz from our Essex faves.

Kicking things off with a sun-soaked opening episode, the group are on a glamorous staycation on the south coast, spending the week in Sandbanks, Dorset, home of the world's most expensive coastal real estate. From beach parties and jet-skiing to fabulous holiday homes, will this UK getaway rekindle relationships? Spark new ones? Or will summer flings and social media mishaps interfere?

Since the cameras left them, a lot has changed for our glam group. Chloe Brockett and Lockie are the talk of the town as news of their secret tryst spreads like wildfire. Has their news confined itself to the Essex gossip mill, or have the juicy details reached a certain someone in Dubai?

Chloe Sims is on the road to 40 and trying to process the fact her little girl Maddie is growing up; whilst her sisters Frankie & Demi look to pursue a joint dream. Amy is back with her daughter Polly by her side, she's newly single and on a mission to find a man.

Diags focuses on his latest challenge with his dad's business; Saffron is on a new spiritual path and blocking out all negativity; and Roman's modelling career is flourishing with the help of his new cheerleaders - the Sims sisters. Pete is throwing himself into his business and putting his serial-dater knowledge to good use by planning a singles retreat for the gang.

Dani & Gatsby are very loved up, but have they gone official yet? Elsewhere, Amber & Dan have been discussing the next step in their relationship, is it time to add to their family?

ITV announce Ant & Dec’s Limitless Win, a new primetime quiz show with the world’s first ever limitless jackpot

The ground breaking gameshow with an endless money ladder is set to air on ITV and ITV Hub next year.

Created by Hello Dolly, Ant & Dec's Limitless Win will be a Hello Dolly and Mitre Studios coproduction, presented by Britain's favourite duo Ant & Dec.

It features the world's first ever limitless jackpot and a money ladder that never… ever… ends. Every question is an opportunity to climb the endless money ladder and reach the big money, but only a correct answer banks the cash.

Push their luck too far and they'll crash out of the game and lose it all.

Packed with drama, jeopardy and real emotion, it's quite literally the biggest prize ever conceived.

Ant McPartlin, said "We're genuinely so excited to launch this new series. It's something we've been developing with Hello Dolly and ITV for a while now and we can't wait for you all to experience it. We hope you love it as much as we do."

Declan Donnelly, said "It's been a number of years since we launched a brand new TV format, it's not something we do very often! But we've hit on something that is ground breaking and innovative, and that's why we are so excited to host this series and bring it to the nation."

Alma’s Not Normal starts Monday 13 September at 10pm on BBC Two

Series Overview
We meet Alma - whose tumultuous childhood has led to continual chaos - as she embarks on a new beginning after a break-up, inspiring her to finally get herself sorted. And she's not going to be just 'okay'… she's going to be fabulous!

With a rebellious streak a mile wide and no qualifications to boot, Alma decides to explore the role of an escort to support her dreams of being a star. Many adventures and misadventures ensue as she navigates the past she's had and the future she wants.

Meanwhile, and she is trying to get her family back together. She has her work cut out as she tries to fix the strained relationships between her drug-addicted mum and her vampish Grandma, Joan. Alma's mum Lin, with bright pink hair, a toothless gurn and a children's lunchbox she fashions as a handbag, battles her long-term drug addiction with the same angst and disorder that she does her mother, Joan.

Expect a bitingly funny and unflinching take on issues from class, sexuality, motherhood, friendship, abuse and mental health, in a series that is full of heart, humour and candour, celebrating powerful and complex women dealing with the hand they were dealt whilst doggedly pursuing their dreams. 

Usain Bolt, Idris Elba, Nile Rodgers, Eve, Mel B, Judi Love, Munya Chawawa and Krept & Konan among the all-star line-up confirmed for The Big Breakfast

BAFTA award-winning Mo Gilligan and presenter AJ Odudu will be joined by an all-star celebrity line up as Channel 4's seminal breakfast entertainment show, The Big Breakfast, returns to screens on Friday at 8am for the Black to Front Project, almost 30 years after first launching.

Olympic legend Usain Bolt, music hero Nile Rodgers, smash hit singer-songwriter Eve, acting icon Idris Elba, musicians Krept & Konan and Tokyo 2020 medallists Emily Campbell and Kye White will join The Big Breakfast as the show comes live from its original East London location, the Lock Keeper's Cottages.

With its original anarchic spirit, distinctive energy and unique sense of humour reimagined through an unashamedly Black British lens, the two hour special will also see newsreader Phil Gayle return to read the news, Judi Love assuming her position as our On The Bed host, Big Zuu cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and Melvin Odoom pounding the streets of the UK where one viewer will be playing for prizes on their doorstep. Pop icon Mel B will be giving the behind-the-scenes scoop on what to expect when she takes over the airwaves for Mel B's Packed Lunch at 12:30pm. The Receipts Podcast trio, Tolly, Audrey and Milena, will be answering a host of dilemmas, Munya Chawawa's alter ego, Barty Crease, will offer the alternative news and there will be cameo appearances from EastEnders' own Winston (Ulric Browne) and Love Island's Toby Aromolaran.

There will be fresh new features alongside some nostalgic Big Breakfast classics including Family of the Week, Super Hints, One Lump or Two and Don't Phone, It's Just For Fun plus more famous names and surprise guests popping by for games, music and chat.

Mo Gilligan: "Like so many of us, I loved The Big Breakfast and I am so grateful to be asked to host this special event, particularly as part of such a hugely thrilling and history making day for British television!"

AJ Odudu: "I absolutely can't wait to get stuck into The Big Breakfast. It is such an iconic show to be part of and I am buzzing it is finally coming back! I'm so looking forward to working with Mo and I can't wait to wake up the nation! I'm thrilled to be part of Channel 4's Black to Front Project – which quite rightly gives a platform to deserving Black British TV talent across our industry, both on and off-screen. It's going to be really special."

Melvin Odoom: "The Big Breakfast inspired me, and I'm sure many more of us in the industry, to get into TV back in the day. With its colourful chaos in the mornings, it looked like the most fun job in the world, so it's a real dream come true to be part of the squad bringing the show back and giving it our own flavour. I'm really proud to be part of Channel 4's Black to Front Project, which we hope will inspire another generation of TV talent on and off-screen."

 

Channel 4 confirms psychological suspense drama, Close To Me, starring Christopher Eccleston, Connie Nielsen, Susan Lynch and Leanne Best will air in the autumn

Close to Me is the 6 x 60' story of Jo Harding (Connie Nielsen), a woman who seems to have it all – a beautiful house in the country, a loving family and Rob, her devoted husband (Christopher Eccleston). But following a fall, an entire year suddenly vanishes from Jo's memory. As she struggles to piece events together, Jo discovers that her life wasn't quite as perfect as she imagined – and that someone will do all they can to keep a terrible secret from her. Close to Me is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by author Amanda Reynolds.

Their children, Finn and Sash, are played by Tom Taylor (Us, Doctor Foster) and Rosy McEwen (The Letter Writer, The Angel of Darkness). Jo's best friend Cathy is played by Susan Lynch (Save Me, Unforgotten), while Leanne Best (Young Wallander, Cold Feet) stars as Rob's co-worker Anna. High-profile Danish actor Henning Jensen (When the Dust Settles, Countdown Copenhagen) features as Jo's father Frederik, while Ellie Haddington (Enola Holmes, Motherland) plays her neighbour Wendy. Ray Fearon (Da Vinci's Demons, His Dark Materials) plays Jo's boss Nick and Nick Blood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Strike) stars as Sash's boyfriend Thomas. Jamie Flatters (Liar, So Awkward) plays Owen and Lorraine Burroughs (Hard Sun, The Five) stars as Helen.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Tom Kerridge, Nisha Katona and Ed Gamble announced as new judging panel on BBC Two’s Great British Menu

The BBC's Great British Menu has today confirmed a new judging panel for the next series, which will be made up of Chef's Tom Kerridge and Nisha Katona, and comedian and host of a popular food podcast, Ed Gamble, when it returns to BBC Two in early 2022.

Great British Menu will begin filming for the thirteenth series this autumn when Tom, Nisha and Ed will join host Andi Oliver to judge heats across the UK. The most talented chefs from across the UK will battle it out for the chance to cook at a banquet that, in the year of the BBC's centenary, will celebrate British creativity through 100 years of television broadcasting.

Tom Kerridge, Chef, says: "I am so thrilled to be judging Great British Menu, it holds such a special place in my heart having cooked at the banquet twice. I've been through it, I know the pressure, the highs and the lows, which is what makes it such a brilliant competition and a great show. I can't wait to meet the chefs and see some of the UK's finest talent shine."

Nisha Katona, Chef and Restaurateur, says: "What an absolutely delicious privilege it is to make the ranks of judge on the Great British Menu! As a chef with restaurants across the country I have always been so invested in the sublime skills of our culinary regions. Their virtuosity and artistry has always blown me away and to join the happy GBM tribe is nothing less than a dream come true. Pass me a fork!"

Ed Gamble, Comedian and host of food podcast Off Menu, says: "It's a great honour to be asked to judge on this shining jewel in the BBC's crown. I've been in strict training for the show by eating full meals every hour. Good news: I love food. Bad news: I eat with my mouth open."

Oliver Peyton and Matthew Fort will leave the programme as judges after 15 years, as will Rachel Khoo who featured as a judge in series 12

Tony Bellew and guests - including Ricky Gervais, Wayne Rooney and Joy Crookes - get angry in a new podcast for BBC Sounds

Ex-boxing world champion Tony Bellew will open up about the things that get him riled in new BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Live podcast, Tony Bellew Is Angry

Being angry is no bad thing when you're a boxer, but now Tony's not punching people for a living he needs a new outlet.

Throughout the series he will go toe to toe with different guests as they talk about the times in their lives when they've been infuriated - from life-changing pivotal moments to the everyday stuff that aggravates us all. Tony will ask how they've dealt with it and what they've learnt, in the hope of gathering some tips on dealing with his own anger.

Tony says: "I've been fuelled a lot in life by anger, so looking back on why I've made certain decisions and why I've done the things I have was like therapy. I've really enjoyed listening to other people's stories and their experiences in dealing with anger. Hearing the things that make people mad has made me realise I'm not on my own, so for me it was good to get things off my chest and off my mind."

Tony Bellew Is Angry begins on 14 September with two episodes featuring Wayne Rooney and James English. Other episodes include Ricky Gervais and Joy Crookes, with more to be announced, as they share anecdotes of their anger through tears, laughter and rage.

BBC One announces follow up to record-breaking documentary, Katie Price: Harvey And Me

In January, Katie Price: Harvey And Me was released to huge critical and audience acclaim, gathering over five million viewers in 30 days on BBC iPlayer, and becoming the biggest BBC documentary of the period for 16-34 year olds. Critics also praised the documentary for opening up the conversation about raising disabled children. The programme has also recently been shortlisted for a National Television Award and a Grierson Award.

Harvey And Me followed Katie Price and her son Harvey (then 18), who lives with a number of complex physical and neurological conditions, as they navigated Harvey's transition into adulthood and further away from home. Katie met other parents of disabled children and the film shone a light on the little-known issues around care provision and education for those with complex needs.

Now, in Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next (w/t), cameras will follow Katie and Harvey through six months of Harvey's life which will see an huge amount of change. Harvey is leaving behind the school he's attended for a decade and, after a summer with the family and a day of new experiences shadowing staff at a train company, he will embark on a challenging and exciting new chapter as a residential student of National Star College, hours from his family, that will be his home for the next three years.

The transition to this new way of life will be a big upheaval for the family, although the highly specialised teaching and therapy Harvey will receive will lay the crucial foundations for a more independent adult life. Meanwhile, Katie must also come to terms with him being away from home, and with the progress he's making without her. Will this separation, as painful as it may be for Katie and Harvey, ultimately be the best thing for both of them?

As Harvey and his new fellow students start to learn skills, including work experience and interacting with others in the local community. The film will explore the broader issues that all young adults face as they transition from school to college, as well as how it feels to make new friends, miss home or live more independently as a young person with additional needs.

Katie Price says: "The overwhelming love and support we received following Harvey And Me earlier this year was incredible. To see how so many people connected with our story and how it has helped so many families out there who are going through similar experiences has made me so proud. But Harvey's story doesn't end there.

"In this next documentary we will again open up our lives to viewers, as Harvey takes the next step into adulthood as he moves out of our family home. I want to show our real story about how Harvey and I cope with such a big change in our lives, and hopefully help others dealing with similar issues."

What Harvey Did Next (w/t) will be a coming-of-age story with a difference, a complex and nuanced look at the experience of being a disabled young adult; we feel every frustration, and celebrate all the joys and successes of Harvey and his new friends at National Star College, in this next chapter of the life of the Prices.

Jamie Oliver leads search for undiscovered cookbook star in new TV competition

In a brand-new TV format from Jamie Oliver Productions and Plum Pictures, Jamie Oliver leads the quest to find the next big name in cookery.

A book deal with Penguin Random House is up for grabs as the search to discover who has the recipe for success, and a winning cookbook concept, begins. The competition is open to foodies from all walks of like, from humble home cooks and unknown chefs, to Instagram food-influencers and street food vendors.

Jamie Oliver presents the series and, having developed 25 cookbooks during his career to make him the biggest selling non-fiction author in UK history, he will mentor the contestants, sharing his knowledge and experience to help develop their skills and passion for food.

Over seven episodes and with Jamie's guidance, our would-be cookery authors must prove to publishers and expert judges they have what it takes to create a bestseller.

The series begins with wannabe cookbook authors from across the country pitching their unique cookbook ideas and signature dishes. The panel of experts will pick their favourites to return for the next part of the process, where the competitors must cook more dishes, hone their book concepts and see how well their recipes measure up to testers at home.

Packed full of incredible food, the series culminates with three finalists bringing their books to life for the judges and industry experts in a final pitch for the ultimate prize.

Only one foodie will walk away with their very own publishing deal with Michael Joseph at Penguin Random House.

Jamie Oliver said: "I have been crafting cookbooks for over 20 years and I know the dedication, skill and intuition it takes to create recipes people want to buy and try at home. Breaking into publishing is incredibly difficult - an impossible dream for so many amazing cooks out there - so I am just so excited to get out there and discover incredible new talent, new perspectives and new approaches to cooking and food. We know the talent is out there and I'm thrilled to be able to help them fulfill their potential."

Monday, 6 September 2021

GOOD GRIEF Season 1, hilarious new TV comedy written by & starring from Eve and Grace Palmer Exclusive UK Premiere on Sundance Now 30 Sept, 2nd Season in 2022


You’ll be dying with laughter as Good Grief the latest comedy sensation from New Zealand , hits UK TV on 30 September with its premiere exclusively on Sundance Now via Amazon Prime Video Channels.

With a second series already commissioned to premiere next year, the laugh-out loud six-part series comes to the UK and follows the lives, loves,  deaths and disasters of two differing sisters who are thrown together when they inherit their late grandad’s funeral parlour.

A new comedy force to be reckoned with, real life sisters Eve and Grace Palmer take the leads and also co-write this cleverly observed, brilliantly wry series that chimes perfectly with the current run of outstanding comedies championing strong female talent. Channelling Six Feet Under themes with Stath Lets Flats and This Country humour, this fish-out-of-water comedy series might just be the funniest show to come out of the country since Flight of the Conchords.

With no idea how to run a funeral home – or the oddball staff that work there – Ellie (Eve Palmer, Jawbone) and Gwen Good (Grace Palmer, Shortland Street) are thrust into a world of embalming, emceeing, and extreme embarrassment. Recently fired from her teaching career, Ellie starts to warm to the job, while all Gwen wants to do is escape to Bali and become a DJ. But facing death every day gives Ellie and Gwen the chance to reassess their own lives and out of the sadness they face comes laughs aplenty.

The series deftly blends tragedy and comedy and features stand-out performances from a stellar case including Vinnie Bennett (Fast & Furious 9), Josh Thomson (The New Legends of Monkey), Sophie Hambleton (Westside), Lucy Wigmore (Shortland Street) and Bree Peters (Sweet Tooth).

Eve and Grace Palmer said, “They say ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ but we hope that in watching this dark comedy about life and death, you’ll be able to do both.”

Good Grief, Season 1 is co- created and co-written by Eve and Grace Palmer along with co-creator/co-writer Nick Schaedel, directed by Kiel McNaughton (The Legend of Baron To’a, My Life is Murder), and produced by Angela Cudd (I Am Waru) and Kerry Warkia (Vai, Waru). Season 2 has been co-commissioned by AMC Networks’ IFC and Sundance Now from Kiel McNaughton and Kerry Warkia’s Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions Ltd.

Sundance Now, the streaming service from AMC Networks, is available as an Amazon Prime Video Channels add on in the UK.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Introducing The Great Debate with Trevor Phillips

Sky News has announced the arrival of a new programme The Great Debate.

Hosted by Trevor Phillips, the weekly discussion programme will give the audience the power to question the decisions that are made about their lives and interrogate the people who make them.

The dizzying speed of the news agenda can lead to a cacophony of competing opinions. In contrast, The Great Debate will spend a full hour exploring in depth and in detail the single issue dominating the news that week, helping the audience find answers to the questions that matter to them.

The programme will feature contributions from the leading experts, opinion-formers and decision-makers in that field. But it will put the audience at the heart of the show – they will determine the questions, recount their experiences and share their views.

Trevor Phillips said: "In a world where things are moving faster than ever, where there is more information than most of us can handle, and people in charge too often underestimate the intelligence of the public, there should be room for informed debate that wrestles with questions to which there are no easy answers.

"The Great Debate audience will be the star of our show - our agenda will be set by real world opinion rather than people with titles in front of their names or letters after them.

"Nothing is off limits. That means we can't be sure what questions will be asked and no one will know what the answers will look like. But everyone will emerge with a fuller understanding of the issues that matter to our viewers, and we hope a passion to join in the argument."

The Great Debate will be broadcast simultaneously on Sky Showcase and Sky News at 9pm, weekly from Monday 27th September.

All Around Britain returns for second series

All Around Britain returns for a second series on Sunday 5th September at 11.55am, bringing a ray of sunshine into ITV viewers' homes on Sunday mornings.

Alex Beresford and Ria Hebden are back to present the 10-part series and will be exploring some of the most glorious and fascinating visitor destinations and landmarks across Britain and Northern Ireland.

Plus they will be bringing viewers the very best heartwarming stories from all of ITV's regional teams.

Ria said: "I'm delighted to be presenting All Around Britain again. Alex and I had a blast travelling the breadth of the UK in the last series, meeting fascinating people and hearing their inspirational stories. I'm passionate about hearing peoples' stories, so I'm in my element. I've got my wellies at the ready and I can't wait to meet more amazing people and to explore more of this stunning country of ours."

Alex said: "I'm really excited and looking forward to the second series of All Around Britain with Ria. We'll be bringing you stories of amazing people from across the country and celebrating all things British!"

All Around Britain, airs on itv every Sunday from September 5th at 11.55am

Yung Filly to take BBC Three on their third date, as Hot Property is confirmed to return for series three

In the series, trusted wingman Filly travels around the UK to meet single people looking for love.

The premise is simple: Filly takes the Hot Property singletons through the keyhole, snooping around the homes of potential suitors, deciding who to date based purely on the stuff they own, the rooms they live in, and the verdict of their friends and family.

The last one standing is taken on a date - where they'll find out whether the attraction is there IRL.

Yung Filly says: "I'm so gassed to be presenting the third series of Hot Property. The rooms keep getting more extreme, the fun we have on set is insane. I can't wait for everyone to see what we've been up to."

More details about the new series will be revealed in due course.

Julia Davis, Charlie Cooper and David Avery to guest star in season 3 of Channel 4 and Roughcut TV's Stath Lets Flats

Filming has wrapped on Channel 4's critically acclaimed and triple BAFTA-winning comedy Stath Lets Flats, from the award-winning Roughcut TV.  The series is written and created by Jamie Demetriou, who returns in the lead role of Stath. Season three will feature some stellar guest stars, including Julia Davis (Nighty Night) who appears in one episode as Kris, Carole's belittling and snobbish sister; David Avery (We Are Lady Parts) plays Bambos, Stath's flash barber cousin …and Charlie Cooper (This Country) plays Gregory - a lettings agent who is passionately devoted to his wife and runs a rival agency called Live Love Lets.

The returning cast includes Natasia Demetriou (What We Do In The Shadows), Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Ghosts), Katy Wix (The Windsors), Ellie White (The Other One), Al Roberts (Feel Good) and Christos Stergioglou (Dogtooth) as Stath's father, Vasos. Season three will also see the following guest cast back; Emmy nominated Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso), David Mumeni (Dead Pixels) and Tom Stourton (Siblings).  The new series will air later this year on Channel 4 and will be available on All 4.

The third series will pick up where the second finished with a shocking cliff-hanger as incompetent letting agent Stath (Demetriou) is faced with rescuing the family business, Michael & Eagle, and his relationship with Katia (White), while expecting his first child by Carole (Wix). Meanwhile his sister, Sophie (Natasia Demetriou), and best friend, Al (Roberts), deal with the fallout of finally declaring their feelings for each other.

Jamie Demetriou commented: "Times are the worst they have been in living memory, but fear not, a sitcom about a lettings agency is back for a third series! All the characters (bar a few who had availability issues) are back and saying stuff aaaall over again! Get ready to hear what they say! Listen closely and you might even hear a thing or 2 from some new celebrated guest stars. Did somebody say…. the whole England football team?? No, it'll be comedy actors!"