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Friday, 29 October 2021

"South Park: Post COVID" Is Coming Exclusively to Paramount+ Thursday, Nov. 25

Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS, and MTV Entertainment Studios announced today two new original "South Park" exclusive events for Paramount+. The first, titled SOUTH PARK: POST COVID, premieres Thursday, Nov. 25 and will also roll out on the service in the Nordics, Latin America, Australia and Canada. The second exclusive event will stream in December, the date to be announced. With these exclusive events, Kyle, Stan, Kenny and Cartman make their highly anticipated debut on Paramount+, adding to the service's growing roster of adult animated series.

"South Park" kept its place in the cultural zeitgeist for the ninth straight year as cable's #1 primetime comedy (P18-49). Fans have watched over 2.2 billion episodes of "South Park," between linear broadcasts and streaming services, so far in 2021. The series has earned five Emmy Awards, to date, and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Sky reveals first look trailer and confirms premiere date for Landscapers starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis


Sky today reveals the first look trailer and confirms the premiere date for highly anticipated Sky Original drama Landscapers, an exhilarating and darkly funny exploration of love and fantasy starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis. The Sky Original will premiere on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW on Tuesday 7 December.

Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Crown) and David Thewlis (I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, Fargo) play husband and wife pair, Susan and Christopher Edwards, alongside Kate O’Flynn (Bridget Jones's Baby), Dipo Ola (We Hunt Together), Samuel Anderson (The History Boys), David Hayman (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), Felicity Montagu (I’m Alan Partridge) and Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie, Flowers).

Inspired by real events, the four-part Sky Original limited series is created and written by Ed Sinclair and sees writer-director Will Sharpe (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Flowers) bring his singular vision to the story. Landscapers is the latest project from SISTER in association with South of the River Pictures for Sky Studios and HBO after the multi-Emmy and BAFTA award-winning hit Chernobyl.

Landscapers is a co-production between Sky and HBO. NBCUniversal Global Distribution handle international sales of the series on behalf of Sky Studios.


Synopsis:
Landscapers tells a unique love story involving a seemingly ordinary couple who become the focus of an extraordinary investigation when a couple of dead bodies are discovered in the back garden of a house in Nottingham.

Mild-mannered husband and wife Susan (Colman) and Christopher Edwards (Thewlis) have been on the run from reality for over 15 years. When Christopher makes a startling call home to his step-mother, their role in a terrible crime that remained undiscovered for over a decade begins to emerge into the light. As their relationship is subjected to the glare of a full police investigation, the devoted couple are separated for the first time in their marriage.​   

As the investigation moves forward, inspired by Susan’s obsession with old Westerns and classic cinema the fantasists cast themselves as Hollywood heroes in narratives of their own invention.  Powered by Susan’s extraordinary imagination, Susan and Chris’s fantasy world provides a much needed sanctuary from real-world horrors and their own clawing guilt, but also threatens to undo them completely. 

Danny Dyer, Rachel Riley, Jerry Hall and Clive Myrie among stars embarking on a Celebrity Antiques Road Trip in brand new series

Danny is joined by his daughter, Love Island star Dani Dyer, while Rachel will be competing against her Strictly professional husband Pasha Kovalev, Jerry is accompanied by psychotherapist friend Philippa Perry, and Clive will take on his BBC News colleague Reeta Chakrabarti.

Other pairings set to take part in the 20-episode series include Sky Sports presenters Chris Kamara and Jeff Stelling, broadcaster Eamonn Holmes and actor Victoria Smurfit, 1980s pop royalty Martin and Shirlie Kemp, and dancing brothers AJ and Curtis Pritchard.

Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, which is produced by STV Studios, sees famous faces travelling across the UK alongside some of the country's finest antiques experts to uncover hidden treasures and compete to make the most money at auction.

Some of the more unusual antiques found in the new series include a special forces sledge from the Second World War, an 18th century plate that spent over 100 years on the seabed, and even an anatomical cross section of an udder.

The experts accompanying the celebrities on their Road Trip adventures this year are Serhat Ahmet, Angus Ashworth, Izzie Balmer, Raj Bisram, James Braxton, Margie Cooper, Charles Hanson, David Harper, Roo Irvine, Irita Marriott, Paul Martin, Tim Medhurst, Steven Moore, Ochuko Ojiri, Natasha Raskin Sharp, Philip Serrell, Catherine Southon and Christina Trevanion.

Celebrity Antiques Road Trip has been a staple of BBC Two's autumn schedule since 2011. In January 2020, the channel commissioned STV Studios to make a tenth and eleventh series of the show as part of a bumper order which also included four series of sister show Antiques Road Trip.

Rachel Riley said: "Going back to my old stomping ground in Essex, the antiques areas I used to visit with my Grandad, was nostalgic in more ways than one. Pasha and I enjoyed the friendly rivalry doing something out of both of our realms of experience, and we were happily still on good terms afterwards!"

Clive Myrie said: "Antiquing while driving around the beautiful English countryside in a fabulous sports car – what's not to like? It was such a hoot! Us news folks are a competitive bunch, and blimey, you need sharp elbows on this show! We had so much fun out on the road."

Full celebrity line-up:

Tuesday 2 November - Philippa Perry and Jerry Hall
Wednesday 3 November - Clive Myrie and Reeta Chakrabarti
Thursday 4 November - Eamonn Holmes and Victoria Smurfit
Tuesday 9 November - Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev
Friday 12 November - Danny Dyer and Dani Dyer
Later in the series - Chris Kamara and Jeff Stelling; Pauline McLynn and Dom Joly; Robert Daws and Mark Curry; Scarlett Moffatt and Crissy Rock; Zoe Lyons and Noreen Khan; Martin Kemp and Shirlie Kemp; Radzi Chinyanganya and Karim Zeroual; Trisha Goddard and Dr. Amir Khan; Sam Thompson and Pete Wicks; Matthew Allright and Nikki Fox; Edith Bowman and Mark Radcliffe; Lucy Porter and Jenny Fox; Gareth Malone and Yolanda Brown; Rufus Hound and Chris McCausland; AJ Pritchard and Curtis Pritchard.

Celebrity Antiques Road Trip series 10 begins on Tuesday 2 November at 7pm on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

New documentary Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism? announced

Flicker Productions have been commissioned to produce a documentary for the BBC with Paralympian Ellie Simmonds.

The 1x60' film will examine a new drug, which promises to help children born with Achondroplasia increase the rate of growth. Achondroplasia is a genetic condition that is the most common type of dwarfism in the UK, and the new treatment raises the question: if cutting edge medicine can stop a disability in its tracks - should we use it?

Travelling around the UK and US, Ellie will explore all sides of this contentious debate, following currently available treatments for dwarfism, meeting families embarking on the drug trial, others who feel treatment would have positively impacted their lives and those who are proud of their identity.

The road to acceptance and inclusion of disabled people has been hard-won and many feel these gains are in danger of being lost. While others see only positives with breakthroughs in modern treatments.

In this timely investigation Ellie will reflect and draw on her own experiences and ask wider questions about the relationship between science, diversity and disability. For Ellie, this will be a deeply personal documentary, meeting other members of the dwarfism community as well as speaking to her family about her own experiences of growing up with achondroplasia. As Ellie interrogates her own beliefs and preconceptions, she'll also grapple with the difficult questions that emerging medicines pose for our society.

Ellie Simmonds says: "This is a subject close to my heart. Growing up these drugs weren't available to me and had they been, I don't know what my parents would have done. But I wouldn't change myself. I love who I am and I am glad that I have dwarfism because I think my body is strong and beautiful."

Jack Bootle Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, says: "Ellie isn't just a brilliant athlete, she's also a charismatic and passionate speaker and I'm delighted we are showing this documentary on the BBC. It promises to be a fascinating film that confronts a modern medical dilemma head-on."

Ellie Simmonds: A World Without Dwarfism?, a 1x60' documentary for BBC Two and iPlayer made by Flicker Productions. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Director, Factual, Arts and Classical Music Television and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney. The Executive Producer is Colleen Flynn and the Director is Kate Monaghan.

First-look and further casting revealed for SAS: Rogue Heroes - the major new series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight

A gallery of first-look images has been released for SAS: Rogue Heroes, the major new drama series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. Made by Kudos (a Banijay UK company) for the BBC, the six-part series will air next year on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.


Filmed on location in the UK and Morocco, SAS: Rogue Heroes is the dramatised account of how the world's greatest Special Forces unit, the SAS, was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of World War Two.

Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk, The King) joins the previously announced cast, as SAS founding member Mike Sadler. Also announced today are BAFTA-winner Jason Watkins (Line of Duty, The Crown) alongside Stuart Campbell (Baptiste), Ralph Davis (Small Axe), Bobby Schofield (Time), Virgile Bramly (Grand Hotel), Tom Hygreck (La Garçonne), Paul Boche (SOKO Potsdam), David Alcock, Moritz Jahn (Dark), Arthur Orcier (J'irai où tu iras), Jordy Lagbre, Adrian Lukis (Feel Good), Anthony Calf (Poldark), Isobel Laidler (The Witcher), and Ian Davies (Game of Thrones), who all play key roles across the series.


Steven Knight, SAS: Rogue Heroes writer and executive producer, says: "It has been a privilege to work on a project which tells the story of a renegade band of soldiers who used wit and imagination as much as firepower to halt the march of Fascism across North Africa during the darkest days of World War Two. This is a war story like no other, told in a way that is at once inspired by the facts and true to the spirit of this legendary brigade of misfits and adventurers."


Karen Wilson, executive producer and Joint Managing Director of Kudos says: "With filming now complete, we're incredibly excited to give the world a first look at our Rogue Heroes. A huge thank you to the series' peerless cast and crew for bringing Steven Knight's ambitious, extraordinary scripts to life with such skill and style."


Rich with action and set-pieces, SAS: Rogue Heroes is the exhilarating story of renegade men taking monumental risks in extraordinary circumstances.


Cairo, 1941. David Stirling (Connor Swindells) - an eccentric young officer, hospitalised after a training exercise went wrong - is bored. Convinced that traditional commando units don't work, he creates a radical plan that flies in the face of all accepted rules of modern warfare. He fights for permission to recruit the toughest, boldest and brightest soldiers for a small undercover unit that will create mayhem behind enemy lines. More rebels than soldiers, Stirling's team are every bit as complicated, flawed and reckless as they are astonishingly brave and heroic.


SAS: Rogue Heroes (6x60') is created and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Taboo, A Christmas Carol) and directed by Tom Shankland (The Serpent, The Missing), with Stephen Smallwood (The Serpent, Patrick Melrose) as producer. The series is executive produced by Karen Wilson, Martin Haines and Emma Kingsman-Lloyd for Kudos, and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC. It was commissioned for the BBC by Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer.


Filming has wrapped on the series, which will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2022. SAS: Rogue Heroes will be distributed internationally by Banijay Rights.

New comedy thriller starring Daisy May Cooper and Selin Hizli confirmed for BBC One and BBC iPlayer

At the heart of this female fronted series is Nic (Daisy May Cooper) and Jen's (Selin Hizli) budding friendship. Jen arrives in town with her son Harry and disrupts Nic's lonely life with fun, laughter and booze. Nic's son Ollie also finds a new friend in Harry. Female friendship at its naughtiest and most intoxicating. That is until everything unravels. A twisted comedy thriller about two mums, marital angst, maternal paranoia and a dead cat.

Writer-creator Daisy May Cooper says: "So excited to be writing this with my best friend and the funniest person I know on a subject that I think sums us up perfectly…. Toxic friendship."

Writer-creator Selin Hizli adds: "Everything about creating this show has been a dream come true. Jack Thorne, Lookout Point and Boffola Pictures have been incredible. I can't wait to bring this dark, funny world to life with Jonny Campbell and I'm so thrilled it has found its home at the BBC. Now I just have to put up with Daisy for a bit longer while we film it…"

Kate Phillips, former Acting Director of BBC Comedy, says: "We are so proud that Daisy is continuing her relationship with the BBC to make this very special series with her best friend Selin. The scripts are golden and ooze pure comedy brilliance – viewers are going to devour this!"

Pippa Brown, Creative Director for Lookout Point says: "I feel like a prize winner getting to work with the absolute dream team of Daisy, Selin, Jack and Jonny on this incredible series. They've created an ambitious show that is totally unique in tone and genre and full of brilliant female talent - we can't wait for everyone to fall in love with Nic and Jen."

Jack Thorne, Executive Producer says: "Working with Selin and Daisy on this has been a joy. The way they've managed to balance joy and truth, funny and real, it's been a brilliant education for me as a writer. And the less said about that dead cat the better. Can't wait to get on set and see what magic they and Jonny make."

Jonathan Blyth, Director of Comedy at BBC Studios says: "We are delighted to be working with Daisy again on her next authored piece, and with Boffola and Lookout Point on their first comedy commission, to bring this brilliant comedy - thriller to a global audience."

The series (title is to be announced) will film in Bristol and around the West Country this autumn with further casting and broadcast details set to be announced in due course.

Monday, 25 October 2021

Doctor Who Series 13 - Interview with John Bishop and Jacob Anderson

John Bishop (Dan Lewis)

What did it mean when you got the call to be a part of Doctor Who?

It meant I could get out of the house and not be stuck in with COVID (laughs)! I'll be honest I don't know how big an impact this will have on my life or anything like that as it's not come out yet, but as a life experience it's one of the best things that I've done since I've managed to get into this world of showbusiness. I genuinely feel I've learned a lot and I genuinely feel I've made good friends, and I didn't think that I'd come away with that.

What are the main differences between being in Doctor Who and your role as a stand-up?

The longevity, the fact you spend so much time with them, you genuinely create bonds with people. And the fact you're part of a team.

Most of what I do is me, or 'The John Bishop Show' - me on the stage on my own or leading something on my own. For this I was part of something and I wasn't the most important part which was good! In many respects the actors themselves are not the most important thing, there are so many other things that happen before that camera gets turned on and I came away with that appreciation for the skill of so many others.

How has the response been from fans so far?

So far it's been positive but they haven't met him (Dan) yet! I think, for me, I have been given a glimpse that once you're in Doctor Who, you're fixed in time in the eyes of a lot of people because they'll come to it at different times in their lives and at different ages. And so of all the things I've ever done, it might be the thing that lasts the longest.

Can you tell us a bit about Dan and what you liked most about him?

I liked his humility, his willingness to help people, when we first start off he is working in a food bank. I liked his vulnerability, he's not really lucky in love, I liked his caring nature because he cares deeply for the Doctor and Yaz and wants them to be happy. I liked his sense of what's right and what's wrong. He's really prepared to stand up to those who are doing something wrong.

How did you enjoy working with this year's guest actors?

I loved spending time with Jacob Anderson, Kevin McNally was great - it's like a masterclass all the time with Kevin. Paul (Broughton) and Sue (Jenkins), I had a few scenes with them and it was absolutely brilliant watching them work. During one scene, I had to remind myself they were acting!

Why should audiences tune into series thirteen and can you sum it up in three words?

Fast, energetic and heartfelt.



Jacob Anderson (Vinder)

Can you tell us about what it meant to get the call to say you'd be in Doctor Who? What was your reaction?

It was a complete surprise, it felt like it was completely out of the blue. But it was one of those things that I always wanted to do. There are certain goals or dreams you might have in your life and the minute you stop obsessing over them, that's when they happen! I had no expectation at all of being asked to be part of it, and Chris swooped in and asked if I'd like to be part of this iconic show that means a lot to me.

What's the difference between Doctor Who and other sets you've been on?

It actually feels like walking into somebody's family home. Everybody knows and cares about each other and you can tell that this is a group of people who have spent a lot of time with each other and would choose to continue to. There are some people who have been working on the show for fifteen years and you feel that, but you can also feel Jodie and Chris' influence on the environment. It's just a really welcoming, comfortable, warm place to work.

Are there any big moments in Doctor Who history that stood out to you? Who was the Doctor that got you into the series?

My first Doctor was Sylvester McCoy, he was great and kind of kooky and a bit curmudgeonly as well - I'll always have a special place in my heart for him. But David Tennant is just charisma to eleven, I think he's fantastic and really defined a modern day depiction of the Doctor, so he's probably my favourite before seeing Jodie.

I think Jodie does such a wonderful job; she does things with the character that are subtler than she gets credit for sometimes. She puts so much pathos into this alien. The Doctor can sometimes be quite clownish, skittish and jumpy and that's really a part of the charm that she can do that, but she also has the tragedy of their life and it is all contained in it. She plays it in a really beautiful subtle performance, I really enjoy her Doctor. She makes it look effortless!

Can you tell us about who you enjoyed working with?

I really enjoyed working with Craig Parkinson, I knew him a bit before but this is the first time we've worked together. Thaddea is amazing, she's an incredible actor, Mandip is one of my favourite human beings ever. Her and Jodie are like the same person but also the inverse of each other, they're so similar but then also completely opposite. Being around them as a team is a joy, a proper joy.

How has the reaction been from fans?

I tend to hide a bit whenever there's any type of announcement but in the immediate announcement, I saw some really nice 'welcome to the family' type tweets from Whovians: 'Welcome to our crazy family, it's going to be an adventure!' I really appreciated that and thought it was really nice. It was really nice to be welcomed, so I zoned into that and I really appreciate it.

Can you tell us a bit about Vinder?

I really hope people like Vinder, as a fan of the show and as a fan of those characters that come in and recur and are part of the story beyond their singular story, there are some really iconic characters. Like River Song, and Osgood and all these people you really remember and I hope Vinder can be a part of that, I really hope people like him.

Doctor Who Series 13 - Interview with Mandip Gill

Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan)

Can you tell us a bit about the journey Yaz goes on this series and the challenges she faces?

Yaz continues to go from strength to strength in terms of independence in space during this series. She can be seen to be taking charge in adventures without the Doctor but, naturally, at times is out of her depth and asks herself 'what would the Doctor do?'. I very much enjoy these struggles as it naturally shows that no matter how many adventures she goes on, she will always need the Doctor.

Can you talk to us a bit about how it was filming one serialised story this time around and how that changed things for you?

Filming one serialised story for me personally has been great. I did love the stand-alone episodes but this way feels like I have longer to explore relationships with other characters such as Vinder played by Jacob Anderson and Jericho played by Kevin McNally. Both characters are seen in several episodes and so Yaz is able to develop a much deeper relationship with them that doesn't end at the end of an episode. On a personal level I have really enjoyed having such amazing guest leads around for a longer period of time and sharing this experience with them.

How was it introducing John Bishop into the Doctor Who family, and what kind of relationship does Dan form with Yaz?

John was so brilliant from the beginning. He was eager and excited and I loved that about him because I am still so excited by costumes and sets and the amazing crew in Cardiff myself. Yaz and Dan have a really wholesome relationship, they have quickly managed to find a place in which they can tease one another confidentially. They really create a special bond on some of the adventures, they are able to get to know one another and can connect on a human level.



Can you tell us a bit about working with Jacob Anderson?

Meeting and working with Jacob Anderson has been one of the highlights of the series for me. He is incredibly talented and such a joy to get to know.

We hear monsters and prosthetics will be on another level this year - what can you tell us? Did you feel spooked by any?

You have heard correctly; the monsters and prosthetics are on another level this year. I was so intrigued by the detail and intricacy of some of the prosthetics. We have Karvanista an alien dog and as much as I am scared of dogs in real life, he was so fascinating to look at. Craige Els playing Karvanista is over six foot tall, imagine that!

Did you do any exciting stunts this series?

We have a really exciting stunt scene over an acid ocean. Jodie and I spent the day on wires being hung upside down, spun around and winched up like small animals. Yaz also has a quick sword fight. It was a short rehearsal before the shoot, but I really enjoyed it and am excited to see how it looks.

There are some amazing guest actors this series, who have you enjoyed working with?

I have enjoyed working with all of the guest leads this year. It has been an absolute honour to work during COVID and to be able to meet new people. I have previously worked with Rochenda Sandall so it was a delight to see her again. Kevin McNally is one of the most talented actors I have had the pleasure of working with. He unknowingly taught me so much on and off screen. John (Bishop) and I joked about going to the 'McNally school of Acting'. It was really refreshing to see how much he enjoys being on set.

What has been the highlight of your third series?

The highlight of the series for me was genuinely being able to work during COVID with the same crew as the previous series in Cardiff. They are the kindest, most funny and genuine cast and crew I have ever met.

How would you describe Series 13 in three words?

An emotional rollercoaster.

Why should people tune in to this series?

Tune into this series to see an emotional rollercoaster heavily sprinkled with old and new enemies.

Doctor Who Series 13 - Interview with Jodie Whittaker

Packed with action, humour, terrifying new villains and iconic returning monsters such as the Sontarans and the Weeping Angels, the new series of Doctor Who tells one story across a vast canvas.

It features a host of acclaimed British acting talent including Rochenda Sandall, Annabel Scholey, Craig Parkinson, Kevin McNally, Sam Spruell, Robert Bathurst, Steve Oram and Thaddea Graham.

From Liverpool to the depths of space, via the Crimean war and a planet named Atropos, which shouldn't even exist, fighting old foes and new creatures from beyond our dimension, the Doctor and company face a race against (and through!) time to uncover a universe-spanning mystery: what is the Flux?


Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor)

How did it feel filming your last series, during COVID?

We started filming late because of COVID so starting was a tentative time because none of us had shot during the pandemic. So knowing it was my last, I knew it would be very different because we weren't able to travel, we couldn't be tactile in that way we were. But what was immediately reassuring is as soon as you got on set, no matter if the logistics or the face of the show seemed different because of masks and all of that, all of the heart and all the love was still there and it was still great fun.

We were able to be safe as we could be and as caring as we could be and not lose the atmosphere on the set. It was such a pleasure to be around people, so I was delighted! It was emotional to start with because you hadn't seen anyone and everyone has gone through so much to get to the first day, and you want to make sure you're not the person to make a mistake as the domino effect can be so catastrophic on the set. Also, it was the longest time I hadn't seen Mandip!

Did you approach anything differently coming to a serialised story?

I don't think so. As an actor you're so used to things changing so the change between serialisation and episode arcs doesn't change your approach in any way - I could not quote what happened in what episode as I can see the whole story in its entirety. I just know we all start on a journey, where we go and how it pans out. The thing that's most different is that it's been almost twelve months (of filming) and it requires a different type of stamina than I've ever had to find before.

Are you excited for how it will be for audiences to see the story portrayed that way?

Definitely. Obviously for Whovians (the story) has played out in many different ways over the years, and I think it for us it was great to have had the experience of both. It was definitely the right decision for us to start series eleven, my first series, in a way that was a jumping off point for anyone that hadn't watched it before.

And this series certainly doesn't exclude people that haven't seen it but it gives reason to go back and rediscover, it also has those brilliant cliffhanger moments and that, as actors and for the characters, it gives lots of different layers you can bring to it. You don't want to play the end note in the first episode because you know you've got this journey to go with a particular beat or particular emotion. Even with the serialisation it's still very episodic and each episode has its world that is different from the rest. There may be characters you see again but you certainly feel like you are taken through many different worlds and times like you would in our previous seasons.

Were there any special moments that stood out for you filming series thirteen?

For us, getting to know John (Bishop) has been wonderful. He came in at one hundred and ten (percent) with his energy and enthusiasm. He's been so much fun to be around he's been a massive team player. For us, we were still grieving Brad (Walsh) and Tosin (Cole) and for him to come in and not to fill anybody's shoes and be his own person... we found a new dynamic which felt brilliant and it felt so comfortable. I think the way you meet Dan and that whole introduction; those are really fun scenes. I think all the early scenes with him and Karvanista has been really fun to shoot.

I've been lucky to enough to work with new people but I've been lucky enough to work with people I've worked with before. This is the third time I've worked with Jacob, I've worked with Annabel, we've played sisters before, and this was so lovely just to spend time with her. Thaddea Graham, I've never worked with Thaddea and she blew me away from the read through - just from Zoom I was like 'that girl is phenomenal'.

And that's the thing, it can be your first interaction with people or it can be and old friend stepping on set but what you always get at the end is that it's like you've all known each other for years. Like I was in Kevin McNally's company for about ten minutes and I felt like I'd known him for twenty years. We've had to put certain safety precautions in place, but it hasn't in any way dampened that kind of camaraderie.

Other highlights are we've so many ensemble scenes, we've had some brilliant scenes with the likes of Craige Els, Craig Parkinson - we can feel so many people in a scene and it can feel really epic, it's been great.

Have you gotten used to being spotted everywhere by the fans, three series on?

I'm really lucky, as whenever I have a reaction it's always really joyous and everyone is really warm and welcoming. The fans are the show - there's no way a show can last this many years without a loyalty and a fan base and you don't have the show without them. To have those interactions when you have them is wonderful.

What journey does the Doctor have this series?

From where we've left her, I think self-discovery is the biggest journey the Doctor goes on this series.

Can you tell us about any stunts you have this series?

We've done a lot of wires this year, particularly for certain scenes in episode one, it was mine and Mandip's first few days (on set). We started at energy of a hundred and then after two days I was bruised and hurt and realised that this is why there are stunt doubles, as I am pathetic!

You do a lot of flips as if you're falling through space and have to spin yourself backwards in a rotation and make sure you don't get tangled. It's all wonderful as you don't think at the time that you'll be able to do it. I also do sword fighting in this, or maybe it is best described as avoiding being got by a sword - I really loved that. Stunts wise there is lots of action, but rather than jumping through cranes it feels like a lot of falling through space!

There are lots of exciting monsters this series - can you tell us about any that stand out for you?

The thing that's fun about working with monsters that have been in it before but are new for me is that it makes you feel like you are getting your moment of history... like Sontarans, for me it's my first (as The Doctor) so that was great.

The prosthetics are amazing – do you get used to working with actors that you can't recognise?

You forget that the make-up is on them after ten minutes as you're so used to seeing them having a cup of tea and talking to people.

Why should people tune into series thirteen?

It's bigger and better than ever, it's my final (full) series, there'll be questions asked, there'll be answers, there'll be exclamation marks, and huge exclamation marks and I think that in itself will pique your interest and pique your curiosity.

How would you describe the series in three words?

A self-discovery rollercoaster!

Sir Trevor McDonald OBE will be the face of GamesMaster in series reboot on E4

It has been announced that the new face of the GamesMaster in the new rebooted series, will be the legendary Sir Trevor McDonald OBE.

Originally filled by another legend in Sir Patrick Moore Sir Trevor takes over when GamesMaster returns later this year, Sir Trevor McDonald will assume the vital duties of setting up gaming's most amazing challenges to the contenders and as the all-knowing GamesMaster, he'll watch over competitors as they compete in virtual battles across a range of games, trying everything in their power to claim a legendary Golden Joystick Trophy.

Sir Trevor McDonald said: "I am delighted to be taking on this iconic role for a new generation of viewers."

Last month, E4 also confirmed that the all-new presenting line-up for the series would be led by Robert Florence, who will also serve as creative consultant on the show with esports and gaming host, Frankie Ward and newcomer Ty Logan joining as co-hosts.

Florence is a writer, actor and presenter who has written and starred in a range of BBC comedies, including Burnistoun and The Scotts, as well as computer games show, VideoGaiden.  He is also one half of the UK's longest running online videogame review show, Consolevania.

Co- host, Frankie Ward is an established face in esports, known for desk and stage hosting, as well as interviewing players across numerous game titles. This is Ty Logan's first broadcast presenting credit, after being named earlier this year as one of E4's faces of the future. Ty is passionate about gaming, representing the casual gamers out there and ready to thrash anyone at FIFA.

Friday, 22 October 2021

Sky and NOW launch trailer for A Discovery of Witches Series 3


Ahead of its much-anticipated return to TV screens, the official trailer for A Discovery of Witches Series 3 has launched today. The Sky Original drama is coming to Sky Max and NOW in January 2022.

Catch up on Series 1 & 2 at https://amzn.to/3m3kn0s

In the final series of A Discovery of Witches, Matthew (Matthew Goode) and Diana (Teresa Palmer) return from their trip to 1590 to find tragedy at Sept-Tours. They must find the missing pages from the Book of Life and the Book itself before it’s too late. Their enemies are gearing up against them, and a monster from Matthew’s past who has been lying in wait will return for revenge.

The series features a strong ensemble cast including Matthew Goode, Teresa Palmer, Owen Teale, Malin Buska, Alex Kingston, Aiysha Hart, Edward Bluemel, Lindsay Duncan, Peter McDonald, Trevor Eve, Gregg Chillin, Adelle Leonce, Tanya Moodie, Daniel Ezra, Toby Regbo, Steven Cree, Jacob Ifan, Ivanno Jeremiah, Greg McHugh, Olivier Huband, Paul Rhys and Parker Sawyers. A Discovery of Witches Season 3 is based on the ‘The Book of Life’ novel from Deborah Harkness’s bestselling All Souls trilogy and is the third and final instalment.

I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!​ brand-new promo

Ant & Dec star in a brand-new trailer for the upcoming series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! This year's series returns to stunning Gwrych Castle in North Wales.

Celebrating the splendour and beauty of Wales, the launch of the promos sees Ant & Dec dressed as two knights as they go about preparing for the new series.

I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! will start on ITV and ITV Hub in November.

United Kingdom's Eurovision 2022 plans outlined

As exclusively revealed on BBC Radio 1, for the 2022 Contest the BBC and BBC Studios will be collaborating with TaP Music, the global music publishing and management company behind some of the world's most successful pop artists, such as Dua Lipa, Lana del Rey and Ellie Goulding, in order to choose a song and act that will represent the United Kingdom in the biggest and most watched music contest on the planet.

Kate Phillips, Controller Entertainment Commissioning for the BBC says: "In the UK our love for Eurovision is as big as ever and we have grand ambitions for the 2022 Contest, so we're really excited to announce this collaboration that will enable us to tap into some great music talent."

Suzy Lamb, Managing Director for BBC Studios says: "BBC Studios are proud to once again be producing the coverage of the biggest music competition in world. We're excited to be collaborating with TaP Music. Their expertise in managing world class artists and finding huge international hit records speaks for itself and we look forward to working with them on the UK act and song for the 2022 contest."

Ben Mawson, TaP Music says: "We're really excited to be teaming up with the BBC for this event and will use Eurovision to authentically reflect and celebrate the rich, diverse and world-class musical talent the UK is globally renowned for."

The broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final on BBC One continues to be one of the most popular Entertainment programmes on the BBC, with the most recent broadcast reaching an average audience of 7.8 million (BBC 30 Day All Screens) in the UK, making it the most watched Grand Final in the UK since 2014. It is also one of the most popular Entertainment programmes for younger audiences on the BBC with 1.5 million 16-34 year olds tuning in.

The 66th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in May 2022, with the Grand Final confirmed for Saturday 14th May 2022. Further details will be announced in due course.

Stath Lets Flats, Season 3 Jamie Demetriou interview

SYNOPSIS
Jamie Demetriou is 'Stath' - an incompetent Greek-Cypriot lettings agent, working in the family business, Michael & Eagle Lettings in North London. Series 3 of Stath Lets Flats picks up from the shock ending of the triple BAFTA-winning second series, as Stath is faced with rescuing Michael & Eagle and his relationship with Katia, while expecting his first child by Carole. Meanwhile his sister, Sophie, and best friend, Al, deal with the fallout of finally declaring their feelings for each other.

Where do we pick things up at the beginning of season three?

Julian is dead, the business is in debt after he overspent. They've lost the office and relocated to working in Vasos's living room. Stath is so excited to be a dad that he's barely noticed any of this.


How did it feel when you/ the show won three BAFTAs?

Deeply surprised and happy.
 
Stath is about to become a dad, what can you tell us about that? Is he coping well with the prospect of impending fatherhood? Do you think Stath will be a good father?

Stath has wanted to be a dad since he was born, but has never once looked into what fatherhood entails. Stath will definitely love his child. But he will also definitely be a horrendous father.


The series has a fantastic ensemble cast, along with some brilliant guest stars – what's it like working with everyone and how did Julia, Charlie and David get involved?

Can't believe they were all up for it. They're all comedy royalty. I felt very lucky to have everyone we have in and on the show. I very much include my producer Seb Barwell, director Andrew Gaynord and Exec Ash Atalla in that too.


In your opinion, why do you think Stath and the show are so loved by people?

Hard to say. I just know that I'm very grateful to the ones who do. And hope there are bits for them to enjoy in series 3. Sorry if there aren't!


What was it like writing and filming the series during the pandemic?

Hellish. From start to finish. I didn't sleep for a few months.

 
What do you have coming up next?

Hibernation.

(And I'm in a show called The Afterparty, which is on Apple tv plus next year).
 

David O’Doherty and celebrity friends go on a two-wheeled adventure for Channel 4

Award-winning comedian, author and cycling enthusiast David O'Doherty is heading out on a carefree, two-wheeled adventure, but he's not travelling alone.

In The Ride (w/t), a new four-part comedy-entertainment series from Zeppotron (part of Banijay UK) and Motion Content Group, David and a different celebrity guest hop on their bikes each week and take to the open road to have some fun and explore some of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

Getting in the saddle alongside David is the artist Grayson Perry, actor and comedian Richard Ayoade, presenter and comedian Mel Giedroyc and comedian and actor Joe Wilkinson.

Whether experienced cyclists or complete novices, David and his guests will be taking to cycle routes across the UK to find out more about each other, share some laughs, get some exercise and enjoy the British countryside.

The Ride (w/t) is a comedy interview show on two wheels that delivers lots of laughter, proper conversation and stunning scenery while meditating on the physical and mental health benefits of cycling. The series sees David and his guests ride along spectacular routes in Wales, Northumberland, Dungeness in Kent and along the Suffolk coast.  

David O'Doherty said: "I think we've all seen enough of very fit cyclists racing up mountains and whooshing round tracks on our televisions. Now it's time for quite out-of-shape people getting lost as they pedal towards a beautiful landmark that's supposed to be just over there."

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Succession Season 3 | Trailer | Sky Atlantic


Ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall at the end of Season 2, Logan Roy begins Season 3 in a perilous position. Scrambling to secure familial, political, and financial alliances, tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war.  

Returning Season 3 cast includes Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Peter Friedman, J. Smith Cameron, Dagmara Dominczyk, Justine Lupe, David Rasche, Fisher Stevens, Hiam Abbass, Arian Moayed, Harriet Walter and James Cromwell. Additional cast includes Alexander Skarsgård, Sanaa Lathan, Linda Emond, Jihae, Adrien Brody and Hope Davis.     

Are you in for this f***ing revolution?

Succession Season 3 starts 18 October.

Monday, 18 October 2021

BBC Three commits to second series of dating reality series: I Like The Way U Move

I Like The Way U Move is a new dating reality series for BBC Three in which single professional dancers and rookie non-dancers compete to find a connection both on and off the dance floor.

All episodes of series one are streaming on BBC iPlayer now.

Casting has now begun for series two, with applications open for single professional dancers and single rookies who want to find love. 

Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three, says: "I Like The Way The U Move is such an inclusive series with huge ambition and spectacular dances. It's an original take on the dating show and we're really behind it, so we wanted to show our commitment to the format with this recommission. It has all the ingredients and potential to be a hit for BBC Three and we hope audiences are getting stuck into the series that has just landed on BBC iPlayer."

Suzy Lamb, Managing Director, BBC Studios, says: "BBC studios is thrilled to be making a second series of I Like The Way U Move for BBC Three. So many genuine connections and matches have been formed in the first series and we are delighted to be returning again and getting audiences hooked with our unique and compelling spin on dating."

More information about series two will be revealed in due course.

Doctor Who series 13 guest actors and monsters revealed

The trail for the show's thirteenth series, entitled Doctor Who: Flux, has revealed a first look at the guest actors and monsters that will feature across the six-episode serial.

Joining cast members Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, John Bishop and Jacob Anderson are:

Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Toast Of London, Downton Abbey), Thaddea Graham (The Irregulars, Us), Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners, A Very English Scandal, World On Fire), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean, Designated Survivor, Downton Abbey), Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, Intergalactic, The English Game), Sara Powell (Unforgotten, Damned), Annabel Scholey (The Split, Britannia), Gerald Kyd (Cold Feet, Britannia) and Penelope Ann McGhie (The Crown, Harry Potter).

The trail also offered a preview of returning monsters - Sontarans, Weeping Angels, Cybermen, and the Ood, as well as a range of new monsters, one of whom is named Karvanista.

Matt Strevens, Executive Producer, says: "I can't wait for the audience to come on the Flux ride with us. It's our biggest adventure yet with so many brilliant new characters to fall in love with. We had a blast making it."

Robert Bathurst says: "People say Doctor Who is science fiction. Fiction? No it's all real, and it's as scary to do as it looks. Great to be part of it."

Thaddea Graham says: "The whole cast/ crew welcomed me with open arms into the iconic Doctor Who family of which it is an absolute privilege to be part of. It's a real honour to share the magic of this universe with them and, of course, our wonderful audience this October!"

Blake Harrison says: "It's a pleasure to be a part of this huge show that has such a passionate fan base! I hope all the Doctor Who fans enjoy the new series and my role in it."

Kevin McNally says: "I am thrilled to be helping the Doctor put the universe to rights in the latest season of Doctor Who."

Craig Parkinson says: ''I feel tremendously lucky to have joined the Doctor Who family this season. Chris' scripts are witty, intelligent and full of light and shade, making my job as an actor extremely enjoyable! My son loves the show and as long as he gives me his seal of approval I'll know I've done it justice!"

Sara Powell says: "A role in Doctor Who is top of any actors wish list. To say I leapt at the chance is something of an understatement. Working with Jodie Whittaker - an iconic Doctor and actor - was also on my list. She was a legend. As were the cast and crew: indoors, outdoors, in winter, in Wales in the rain and mud, everyone wearing masks and being tested every 5 minutes: I loved stepping onto their ship and riding with them for a while."

Annabel Scholey says: "I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the 13th series of Doctor Who. It was a lot of fun to film and I enjoyed every minute I spent with the amazing cast and crew...Halloween will be that little bit more spooky this year!"

Gerald Kyd says: "I absolutely adored being a part of such an iconic show. There's nothing like it. The history, the stories, the utter devotion of the fanbase. I am honoured to now count Doctor Who as a credit. Oh, and the highlight amongst highlights was working with the wonderful, hilarious and irrepressible Jodie Whittaker."

Penelope McGhie says: "Doctor Who was a total joy to work on. Everyone was so welcoming and generous that I really felt part of the team. Having watched the show from behind the sofa over fifty years ago, and then again with our daughter when the series was revived, I can't believe how lucky I am to be part of the adventure!"

Celebs Go Dating to return to E4 in 2022

The popular dating show Celebs Go Dating is returning for its tenth series on E4.

Last series, the show headed to it's very first UK dating retreat and provided much needed lockdown relief with Celebs Go Dating: The Mansion. Proving a huge success, The Mansion gave viewers a look into celebrity dating like we've never seen before.

This year the renowned London-based agency is back with all-new celebs and a supercharged agency makeover. The series will feature plenty of new challenges, memorable dating excursions and more chances than ever to find the perfect connection, all-new Celebs Go Dating is sure to be its most dramatic series yet.

Viewers can expect a rollercoaster ride of dating highs and lows, bombshell moments, and plenty of laughs. After weeks of multiple dates and mentoring, the Celebs will be asked to choose their final date to take away on a romantic couple's getaway.

Sarah Tyekiff, Head of Unscripted Programming, Lime Pictures said: 
"It's been a long time coming for our celebs to get back out in the real-world and date potential suitors. We can't wait to see how their dating skills cope now they are outside the confines of their own homes and back out on the town. This brand-new series is going to be the biggest test yet as we set out to ramp up the dates creating more challenges and compatibility tests, putting our celebrities through their paces as they get closer to finding love."

Thursday, 14 October 2021

The Outlaws - Interview with Christopher Walken (Frank)

Tell us about your character in The Outlaws.

I play Frank. He's an American who's lived in England for 40 years or so. He married an English woman and has children and a life in England, but I'd say he's barely assimilated. He's a kind of a ne'er-do-well, I guess, a good man who's good hearted and good natured but he's made a lot of mistakes. Probably has poor judgement. Often in trouble with the law, you know? Anyway, he means well and in this story he's part of this group of outlaws, people doing what we in America call 'work release'. I think it's a very good idea: instead of locking everybody up for nonviolent offences, you do something that could rehabilitate them and put them to some sort of good service, instead of sitting around all day behind bars.

How did you come to be cast?

I'm an actor, it was a good job and I'm a fan of Stephen Merchant. We met at my house and I was very taken with him. It's very good writing: you can tell that, if you've been doing it for as long as I have. I stand in my kitchen, I read the lines out loud and these were very good words. And, you know, it was great to come to England. I've been in England many times in my career, not to Bristol, but I've always enjoyed myself here. So it was just a good job.

Aside from the script what other factors affect whether or not you're going to take a job?

The people you're going to be working with is very important. All the actors on this show are terrific, really terrific. It's a lot of fun to go to work and that's very important. There were other factors, of course, like being away from home and so on. But we filmed the first season and then there was a break. When you're in a job you always think, when the job is over, I'm going to take a break. But it doesn't take long to get restless again and you want to go back.

How did you find spending time in Bristol?

It's a terrific place. It's a university town. I live in Connecticut in America, which is rather close to Yale University, but there's a theatre there that I've worked at many times when I was young. Bristol is very much like that. It's a campus with lots of students walking around, but the Old Vic is here. I like it here very much. There's a strong counterculture here. First time I was here there were riots, a lot of noise outside. Second time there was also a lot of noise outside, but I think it was on account of the soccer.

How have you found working with Stephen Merchant on set?

One: I like him, so it's easy. But two: he's very good at making adjustments. Fixing, tweaking and getting everyone comfortable. Sometimes writers are very strict, you know, they insist on it being exactly what it is. And he's very flexible, which I'm all in favour of.

What was it like with the younger cast?

The other day I was in the makeup trailer with a lot of my cast mates who are younger than I. And I don't have any sort of technology. I don't even have a cell phone. I mentioned an English actor named Clifton Webb who was this marvellous actor, one of my favourite actors. And he made a lot of movies, you know, in the 40s in Hollywood. And I mentioned Clifton Webb and none of my younger colleagues knew who he was, I said: "He's one of the best actors, how could you not know?" And this one guy took his cell phone and punched in 'Clifton Webb'. And in 30 seconds he had all these details - where he was born, his credits, where he started, where he lived in Hollywood, everything! It was amazing. I thought, I've got to get me one of those cell phones.

You've done lots of great comedy in your career, including several memorable stints hosting Saturday Night Live. How would you describe your sense of humour?

I think my sense of humour has very much to do with where I come from. I was in show business when I was five years old. And when I was growing up in America, it was the birth of television after the Second World War when television first started, and there were these huge shows like Milton Berle and Sid Caesar. And so I think my comedy is very much of that time.

I also loved Broadway musical comedy. I was in Broadway musicals for years as a dancer and I think my own sensibility (as well as my acting technique) is very absent of a fourth wall. The famous fourth wall doesn't really exist for me because of all that time in musicals where the other character in the scene is always the audience. So I'm always very aware of the audience. And I think that's where I come from.

Given the choice would you watch TV, go to the movies or the theatre?

Even now when somebody says, 'Would you like to go to the theatre?' I say, 'Yeah, let's find a musical.' I love musicals. And as far as TV goes of course I watch a lot of news and sports. I have a cable channel that has old movies 24 hours a day. So I watch a lot of old movies. The good thing is there are still some very funny people out there. Like Stephen Merchant - you should watch out for him.

The Outlaws - Interview with Stephen Merchant (Creator, Greg)

Where did the idea for The Outlaws come from?

Growing up, my parents used to work for Bristol Community Service. My mother was always careful, she would say, "I can't tell you about specific cases..." as if it was sensitive information and I couldn't be trusted. But here and there, not naming names, she would talk about some of the people that came through the doors. I was always intrigued because it was such a mix of people. You'd have the businessman who'd got caught drink-driving or some student who'd got in trouble for some minor thing. Or there was an old guy who was stealing cabbages from allotments just to get community service, because he was lonely and he liked the social aspect of it.

What was interesting to me was that it was a way of bringing completely disparate groups of people together. You could have a random cross-section of society and it was totally legit that they were all there doing community service. I was always interested in the idea of that. And finding ways of bringing people together is useful in a TV show. Also, I liked the idea of doing something which had a crime thriller aspect but that didn't just involve policeman or private detectives. And so this is just an interesting way of going into that world from a slightly different angle.

When you were developing scripts and looking for characters, did you go back to your parents for story ideas?

I went less for characters and more for research, for how it works. For instance, my father was involved in managing the tools and the equipment that the outlaws used to do their work. And they were constantly being robbed. They found ever more elaborate ways to steal the tools, whether it was leaving windows open, or pretending to lock a chest of tools and then coming back later and pinching them. Or an MP came to do a photocall and half the offenders had gone to the pub. My parents were hurriedly trying to get them back so that they would stand in line and look deferential when this dignitary came by. Often the offenders are there instead of prison, so you are dealing with people who otherwise would be inside.

You're from Bristol, is that why you set The Outlaws there?

Obviously, I know the city quite well, but I'd never worked here. It's a very visual city, covered in graffiti (it's where Banksy got started) and it has a real mix of people. You've got the gentrified Clifton neighbourhoods and the more inner-city urban bits, the Suspension bridge and the vast gorge. And yet it still hasn't played itself on screen very often; it's used mainly for period pieces or doubling as somewhere else. So it's fun to try and make the city a character in the show.

How do you describe Bristol to people who've never been there?

I know this is going to seem like a slightly fanciful comparison, but a number of people have said it to me independently: there's some comparisons between Bristol and San Francisco. I don't mean it has the grandeur and the glamour; but it's on the water, it has the very striking bridge, it has the hills and the colour and a sort of bohemian, artsy side mixed with money and inner city drabness.

The more people have come to Bristol, whether it's American executives or otherwise, it's turned out to be a comparison that's not as absurd as it might seem on the surface. What's always important to me - and we realised this with the success of The Office - is that often, the more specific you are, the more universal it becomes. When you're trying to be too general and you live in a no man's land people find it harder to dial in because they sense it seems inauthentic.

In the abstract this could be a serious drama or it could be high comedy. What tone were you looking for?

I was always trying to compare it to the funny episodes of dramas. A great touchstone for me was always a famous episode of The Sopranos called Pine Barrens. Paulie and Christopher get lost in the snow and they're trying to bump off a Russian hitman. It's darkly comic and yet the stakes are huge and they never break the drama rules of the show.

I think you find that in a lot of good drama. Particularly American stuff, which can walk that fine line. The humour should derive from the characters and the situation and the environment, and not feel like sitcom stuff placed on top. It's always a tricky balance to get right. It's more about feeling it as you go and deciding when something feels too absurd.

How did you come up with The Outlaws' ensemble of characters?

What was interesting to me was to make them very specific archetypes, but then sort of peel back the layers and suggest why someone winds up with that point of view, and what happens when they are forced to question their own value system. That sounds a lot more grand and pretentious than it's intended to be. You're forcing these people to literally work together as a community service. So we can take a right-wing businessman and force him to work opposite a left-wing activist and watch the sparks fly. And let the viewer decide who is wrong or right on any given point.

It's an equal opportunities portrayal of these people - no one's good or bad, no one's evil, no one's purely good. Everyone's a little bit more complicated than that.

How did you come to cast Christopher Walken?

One character is this older, charming, slightly devilish conman and I wanted him to be an older American actor because I liked the idea of him feeling a little alien in Bristol, like he's the man who fell to earth. That was the opportunity to have some big star casting. But when you start to talk about it, there aren't that many actors of that vintage who have that kind of charisma and that audience recognition.

Someone mentioned Christopher Walken and I thought that would be amazing. What I love about him is that he can do both great charm and be very funny, but also menacing at the same time. We got word to him somehow. Chris doesn't use phones and he doesn't have a computer, so it was a bit hard to contact him. I ended up having this very glamorous weekend where I went to Los Angeles to go to the SAG Awards for that film JoJo Rabbit. On the way back, someone said, Chris can see you on your way home. So I flew from this glamorous award ceremony to New York, and then drove up to Connecticut, and met Chris at his house. And I was there for hours. Chris was just as committed and invested and passionate as I imagine he ever was. He was asking a tonne of questions about the character and about the scripts and about Bristol. We spent hours just chewing the fat and the next thing I knew he agreed to do it. And that was a huge thrill.

People have an idea of what they think Community Service is like. How will The Outlaws change their preconceptions?

I'm not trying to do a perfectly accurate portrayal of the criminal justice system and advocate for the value of community service, it's just a backdrop for these characters. But at the same time I do remember that my mum, for instance, used to be quite proud when they had successfully renovated a kids play area in a park or something. There's a value to that. So in my show, they're renovating a derelict building into a community centre.

You write and direct, but you also play one of the Outlaws. Who is Greg?

He's a lawyer who doesn't particularly want to be a lawyer and just sort of drifted into that job. He's a divorcee who has got himself in a bit of bother with a lady of the night and finds himself doing community service. I always like the idea of the least equipped people getting involved in a crime situation. So Greg is an awkward and geeky guy who's suddenly involved with gangsters, (always a fun thing to play). Greg forms this unlikely bond with Eleanor Tomlinson's character who is a glamorous, upper-class celebrity.

The Outlaws Created by Stephen Merchant and Elgin James

Series Synopses
The Outlaws is a contemporary British drama about a disparate group of lawbreakers thrown together to complete a community service sentence. Seven strangers from different walks of life - people who would never normally interact - are forced to work together to renovate a derelict community centre. They resent the menial physical labour and they resent each other. But when one of their number gets dragged into a dangerous world of organised crime, they unite in ways none of them thought possible.

Academic high-flyer Rani has been hot-housed from a young age and has never really known a world outside her overprotective family. When her serial shoplifting finally catches up on her, she is given community service - much to the shame of her parents and to the detriment of her Oxford University scholarship. Removing graffiti at a dilapidated community centre under the watchful eye of jobsworth supervisor Diane, Rani finds herself interacting with very different people for the first time. Including people like Greg, the inept lawyer caught soliciting in a local car park, and Gabby, the socialite with 1.5 million followers who seems to have it all, but is prey to drink and drug problems.

And then there is Christian, an unassuming young man with a complicated story of his own. Sole carer of his kid sister Esme, he's trying and failing to keep her away from a local gang. To protect her, he ends up doing the bidding of the gang's charismatic leader. This leads to him stealing a big bag of cash and hiding it in the very community centre where he and the other outlaws are working.

But Christian doesn't hide it well enough, and soon some of the other outlaws - including John (the right-wing blowhard businessman), Mryna (the radical activist stuck in the 1980s), and Frank (an unreformed con-artist and womaniser) - suddenly and accidentally take possession of a life-changing amount of money. Without realising it, Christian and the outlaws have placed themselves in the centre of a highly dangerous criminal turf war. And it will be Rani who ends up saving them.

Set in modern-day Bristol, the series celebrates the city's distinctive culture and people. Along the way, there'll be legal chicanery, budding romance, audacious acts of heroism and unexpected cases of mistaken identity. As the net closes around them, the outlaws will come to realise that they have more in common than that which sets them apart.

Character Biographies

Rani
Oxford-bound high-flyer Rani has been hot-housed from a young age and has never really known a world outside her overprotective family. When her serial shoplifting finally catches up with her, she is given community service - much to the shame of her parents and to the detriment of her Oxford University scholarship. Removing graffiti and undertaking other menial tasks, Rani finds herself interacting with very different people for the first time. She'll realise there is a whole world beyond her textbooks, and that the dreams of her parents may not necessarily be the same as her own.

Christian
Christian (in his early 20s) is in debt to the wrong people, doing everything he can to keep his kid sister Esme free of their clutches. To protect her, Christian agrees to do the bidding of the gang's charismatic leader. On his orders, Christian steals a big bag of cash, setting in motion a deadly game of cat-and-mouse and threatening the safety of anybody in his orbit - including the other outlaws. Unassuming, with a previously-untapped romantic streak, Christian will subvert expectations and labels as he seeks safety and security for himself, Esme, and his new friends.

Greg
Sad-sack corporate lawyer Greg finds himself on the wrong side of the justice system after indulging his loneliness in the wrong car park. Greg just wants to get his head down and put yet another embarrassing chapter of his life behind him, but he soon finds that his shaky legal acumen might be a little too useful for comfort. Across the series, recently divorced Greg will form the unlikeliest of friendships, find himself battling workplace bullies, aristocratic landowners and even scary men with knives - coming out on the other side with a rediscovered sense of self-worth and purpose.

Frank
Frank (in his 70s) is a twinkly-eyed small-time crook who has seen the world and done everything under the sun. After passing one too many counterfeit cheques Frank must move back in with the daughter he abandoned decades before, and finish his custodial sentence of community service while wearing a wing-clipping ankle tag. As an inveterate womaniser and con-artist who has spent a life running away from responsibility and letting down those who love him, Frank's work with the outlaws presents a second chance at family life - even as his old habits are offered an unexpected new outlet.

Gabby
On the surface, Insta-celebutante Lady Gabriella Penrose-Howe, (in her 20s), seems to have it all. 1.5 million followers across her social media, a chic Clifton apartment, and all the Dom Perignon she can drink. But beneath her effortlessly polished exterior, Gabby struggles with a number of deep-seated problems which threaten to swallow her whole. As she finds herself litter-picking alongside regular members of the general public, she'll realise what it is to feel part of something bigger than herself, liberating herself from the retinue of sycophants and hangers-on who love her credit card more than her personality.

John
John (in his 40s) is a middle age and middle-class white businessman. John has always paid his taxes, and has always been the pillar of the community his strict Northern Irish father bred him in, and so is furious when he finds himself sharing oxygen with criminals while he scrambles to save his family business. John's common-sense approach to his sentence and contempt for political correctness will place him on a collision course with the other outlaws, his supervisor and some extremely dangerous people. But is there more to John than the starched-shirt, small island mentality he shows the world?

Myrna
Black Bristol civil rights veteran Myrna, (in her 60s), was there when Colston went into the harbour. She was there at St Paul's in 1981. Myrna has given her whole life to the cause of social justice. She's sacrificed friends, family, and even her innocence. Myrna is old school and refuses to admit that her approach has put her at odds with a newer generation of activists. But 40 years ago, Myrna made a terrible, life-changing mistake, which she's been running from ever since. Working with the other outlaws, Myrna will realise she must stop running and face the past head-on.

Diane
Diane, (in her 30s), is a hyper-confident and seemingly competent supervisor for Bristol's Community Payback programme. She has been charged with overseeing the outlaws' dispensation of their duties, and treats the responsibility of directing litter-picking and repainting the community centre with deadly seriousness. Diane exudes the sense of power that minor authority bestows on insignificant people, but is a lonely woman at heart who wants to feel part of something bigger than herself; whether that's hijacking the outlaws' team-building exercises, or using every ounce of her self-professed detective's instinct to ingratiate herself with Bristol's bemused police force.

E4’s Celebrity Ghost Trip reveals first five spooky pairings

When talking about Celebrity Ghost Trip, I am not sure which word needs quotation marks around it more? 
"Celebrity". "Ghost". or "Trip"

The first five celeb pairings are: Kerry Katona & Lilly McFadden, Dick & Dom, Chloe Veitch & Nicole O'Brien, David Potts & Callum Izzard and Graft & Sian Gabbidon

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 Celebrity Ghost Trip.

Coming to E4 from 24th October, Brendan and five 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.


So now you can meet the first five pairings:


Kerry Katona & Lilly McFadden

Lilly said: When I got asked to do Celeb Ghost Trip, the first thing I thought is 'omg do I really want to be stuck on a coach with my mum for a week', but I'm really interested in the paranormal and witch craft so I thought what a once in a lifetime opportunity

Kerry said: When I get asked to do things like this, I think what a great adventure and it's something new and something I'd never be able to do normally. Also, it's the first ever 'ghost trip' and it's something that I couldn't turn down


Dick & Dom

Dick said: I've always believed in ghosts, Dom doesn't! So, what better way to settle this argument than by going round the UK, being utterly terrified with a bunch of other celebs on Celeb Ghost Trip!!! We love coach trips anyway so this will be double the madness for this double act!!


Dom said: I studied Harry Houdini for years who spent the last part of his career debunking fake psychics and spirt mediums so I'm looking to be proved wrong, get scared and scream like a pig! Can't wait to be in a real haunted castle, mansion...or bungalow!!!!


Chloe Veitch & Nicole O'Brien

Chloe said: I'm terrified of ghosts and I hate the dark. So Celebrity Ghost Trip was a chance to face my biggest fears. At least I had my bestie Nicole for company!

Nicole said: I wanted to take part in celeb ghost trip to really out myself out of my comfort zone! It's safe to say I was genuinely petrified for the whole-time filming! Nearly peed my pants about a million times but it was so worth it!


David Potts & Callum Izzard

David said: I don't really believe in ghosts and spirits but I'm down for anything. Prove me wrong please I want to be petrified for my life.

Callum said: Because no matter how many stories I hear or videos I watch, I'm never going to fully believe in the 'other side' until I see it with my own eyes and celeb ghost trip can help me with that … also I love being scared unless I'm on my own 🤣


Graft and Sian Gabbidon

Graft said: I took part in Ghost trip to experience supernatural encounters. I enjoy watching ghostly films, but this time I wanted to be in the film for real and push myself to the limits. All whilst having loads of fun!

Sian said: I love a good horror film and wanted to be involved in the trip to see some real-life ghosts!!! 👻

More pairings will be revealed in due course…