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Friday 30 December 2022

Top 10 TV Shows of the 1990s

The 1990s were a golden age for television, with a wide variety of popular shows capturing the attention of audiences in the United Kingdom. From classic sitcoms and dramatic series to groundbreaking reality shows and soap operas, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Here are the top 10 most popular TV shows in the UK during the 1990s:

"EastEnders" - This long-running soap opera, set in the working-class neighborhood of Walford in East London, premiered in 1985 and remained one of the most popular shows on British television throughout the 1990s. The show followed the lives, loves, and struggles of the residents of Walford, and featured complex and often emotionally charged storylines.

"Coronation Street" - Another long-running soap opera, "Coronation Street" has been a staple of British television since 1960. Set in a fictional working-class town in northern England, the show follows the lives and relationships of its many characters, with storylines often centered around social and family issues.

"Friends" - This beloved sitcom, which aired from 1994 to 2004, follows the lives of a group of six young friends living in New York City. The show's ensemble cast, featuring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, became household names and the show remains a cultural touchstone to this day.

"Only Fools and Horses" - This popular sitcom, which aired from 1981 to 2003, follows the misadventures of two lovable brothers, Del Boy and Rodney Trotter, as they try to make a living as small-time entrepreneurs in London. The show was known for its memorable characters, clever writing, and heartwarming moments.

"Blackadder" - This comedy series, which aired from 1983 to 1989, follows the misadventures of the scheming and cynical Lord Edmund Blackadder as he navigates his way through the various historical periods in which the show is set. The show's clever writing and sharp wit made it a critical and commercial success.

"The X-Files" - This science fiction drama, which aired from 1993 to 2002, follows the investigations of two FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, as they explore the paranormal and other unexplained phenomena. The show's unique blend of mystery, suspense, and conspiracy theories made it a cult classic and spawned numerous spin-offs and movies.

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" - This groundbreaking game show, which premiered in 1998, made household names out of its host, Chris Tarrant, and its catchy theme music. The show, in which contestants answered multiple-choice questions to win increasing cash prizes, became a global phenomenon and was adapted for numerous international versions.

"Red Dwarf" - This science fiction sitcom, which aired from 1988 to 1999, follows the misadventures of the last human alive, Dave Lister, and his companions, a hologram, a mechanoid, and a mutant cat, as they travel through space on the mining ship Red Dwarf. The show's unique blend of science fiction, humor, and pop culture references made it a fan favorite.

"The Bill" - This long-running police drama, which aired from 1984 to 2010, followed the lives and cases of the officers of the fictional Sun Hill police station in London. The show's realistic portrayal of police work and its complex and often emotionally charged storylines made it a popular and respected show.

"Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" was a popular reality show that aired in the UK from 2004 to 2014. The show was hosted by renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, who was known for his fiery personality and his strict standards for culinary excellence.

In each episode of the show, Ramsay would visit a struggling restaurant or other food-related business and try to help turn it around by offering advice, training, and guidance to the owners and staff. The show featured Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to improving the businesses, as he worked to fix problems with the food, service, and management.

TRAILER: Deadline Day - New Documentary from Sky

Deadline Day is a groundbreaking documentary that offers a unique look at the inner workings of the modern football transfer market. With access to some of the world's top players and top agents in Europe, the series delves into the secretive world of transfer negotiations and shows how massive, headline-grabbing deals are completed. This eye-opening series debuts on Sky Documentaries and NOW on Sunday, January 15th.

An in-depth look at the world of football transfers, featuring insights from club owners, sporting directors, and journalists. Over the course of the summer of 2022, the series follows the negotiations and behind-the-scenes drama surrounding some of the most talked-about moves in the transfer market. Viewers will get a unique look at the motivations and human stories behind each deal, including the struggles and triumphs of players and agents as they navigate the complex world of professional football. The series features appearances by Steve Parish of Crystal Palace, Andrea Radrizzani of Leeds United, and David Sullivan of West Ham, among others. The series was commissioned by Sky Documentaries and will air on January 15th on Sky Documentaries and NOW.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Phillip and Holly host a Christmas Day special

Phillip and Holly host Christmas Day special with Alison and Dermot alongside 'festive royalty' Sir Cliff Richard, Wizzard, The Muppets - plus 9-year-old Betsey Griffin delivers an inspirational Christmas message for the nation

This Morning's Christmas special, which runs for two hours and features holiday favourites like Sir Cliff Richard and The Muppets, has been hosted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for the past three years.

Viewers get treated straight away to an outdoor performance from Wizzard singing their smash hit 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday', and Phillip and Holly are quick to raise a glass together with fellow hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary to wish everyone watching a 'Merry Christmas' with Holly saying, "It's the big day! It's here… it's so exciting! Whether you're with friends or family or you're on your own this year, we'll be keeping you entertained with lots of festive fun and games!"

With Phillip adding, "Absolutely delighted that we are going to be spending the next two hours with you", before other members of the This Morning family join them including Rochelle Humes, Gyles Brandreth, Steve Wilson and Carol Vorderman - who also serenades the team with a Christmas carol after getting confused about The Muppets Christmas Carol item!

Viewers also get treated to an interview with Father Christmas at the North Pole, a link to Australia for British expats to send their season's greetings, Rochelle serves up the perfect winter warmer tipple: Hot Spiced Apple Juice, and Gyles is on hand to demonstrate what party games are fun to play with guests this festive period - including one that leaves all four hosts on all fours!

The This Morning favourites later get to play a quiz and swap Christmas gifts that leave them squealing, laughing and feeling touched by the fun and thoughtful items… and there isn't a dry eye in the studio when inspirational 9-year-old Betsy Griffin spreads her renowned positivity and joy in a Christmas message to the nation.

Additional star guests bringing joy include Bradley Walsh who leaves the hosts crying with laughter following his fun antics, Kermit the frog and Miss Piggy share their thoughts on the 30th anniversary of The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Sir Cliff Richard serves up his famous gravy in the This Morning kitchen!

Of the strong flavours - including soy and teriyaki - Sir Cliff smiled, "It's just my own personal taste, and slowly I added one of these [ingredients] once and then two…" Before admitting he doesn't really cook much at all. "I can cook scrambled eggs, fried egg, and a grilled cheese sandwich, but I can't really cook - it's just gravy! My sister said once that her children wouldn't have her gravy so I said I'd freeze it for her so she could cook it for them."

The two hour spectacular comes to a close with a performance from Sir Cliff Richard singing his festive classic 'Mistletoe and Wine', and Holly saying "We hope we've brightened up your Christmas morning!" whilst Phillip adds, "We'll be back on Wednesday for more festive fun and there's just one thing left to say, from everyone here at This Morning, have a lovely day - happy Christmas!"

Watch This Morning on Christmas Day from 10am on ITV1 & ITVX

Lorraine for Christmas Day 2022

An extra-special Christmas show with Lorraine is packed with surprises, including a joyful performance by Craig David and an exclusive chat with Gary Barlow, who confides in long-time friend Ross King about his biggest Take That regret.

Throughout the programme, some of Lorraine's favourite hosts, including Mark Heyes, Dr. Amir Khan, Ria Hebden, and Dr. Hilary Jones, stop by for a thoughtfully funny gift exchange, replete with customised Lorraine wrapping paper. Not to be forgotten is Lorraine's assistant, Ruby, the puppy of her daughter Rosie, who partakes in all the festivities and gifts.

During the show, Ross joins Take That's Gary Barlow in Los Angeles for an exclusive interview, as the pair reflect on 30 years of Take That as well as 30 years of friendship between the two.

Gary opens up about his regrets over the years and says: "I was always the worrier in the band, everyone always has their different role and I was the worrier.

"It's my only regret looking back, is that I wish I was in the moment more.

"I'm always thinking about tomorrow…what do we do next year? Big plans? Always planning ahead, and I don't ever really enjoy the moment."

Gary spoke on appreciating the time he has now and focussing on living in the moment: "It's been a terrific year this year, and I actually count every year that I'm still able to do this, as a magnificent year.

"If you'd have asked me 30 years ago how long is this going to last for, I couldn't have dreamed it would have spanned all these years.

"These last couple of years I've had time and I've looked back a lot and been like 'this has been amazing'.

"It's made me appreciate it more than I've ever appreciated it."

Joel Dommet sits down with Lorraine to share behind the scenes secrets from The Masked Singer, his Christmas Day plans and recently finding out that he is a fellow Scotsman on his DNA journey.

Later in the show Coronation Street's, Alexandra Mardell and her professional dance partner Kai Widdrington speak about taking part in this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, and Meet the Midwives' Laura Main, reveals what viewers can expect from the drama this Christmas Day.

All guests in the studio also take part in Lorraine's Christmas Cracker Quiz, which is followed by Craig David's acoustic performance of the Christmas classic Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Throughout the show, Lorraine and viewers can also expect special season greetings from Jonathan Ross, Ant and Dec, Giovanna Fletcher, Adrian Dunbar and many more.

Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message to be by Artificial Intelligence

Ameca, one of the world's most advanced robots, is to deliver Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message for 2022, in a speech generated entirely by Artificial Intelligence.

During the address, Ameca speaks about the highs and lows of the year gone by as well as being questioned about humans.

Ameca says we should be "neither happy nor sad about 2022" and "take it as a learning opportunity, a chance to change the way we think about the world and a reminder to help those in need whenever we can."

The finest thing about humanity, according to Ameca, is our capacity to "always find something to chuckle about," regardless of how miserable the day may be. Ameca advises us to keep in mind that we have "the superpower to deliver a little bit of joy into the world" if we ever feel gloomy.

Alternative Christmas Message, Christmas Day, 5.25pm on Channel 4 and All 4

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Tom Allen to host the return of The National Comedy Awards for Stand Up To Cancer

Channel 4 is rolling out the red carpet to celebrate the stars of UK comedy in a glitzy awards show in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

Tom Allen returns to host The National Comedy Awards for Stand Up To Cancer, produced by Hungry Bear and broadcast live on Channel 4 and All 4 in 2023.

The ceremony honours the world of comedy's excellent work from the previous year and brings together some of the most well-known British comedy performers for a joyful and rowdy night.

Prizes up for grabs include Best Scripted Comedy, Outstanding Comedy Actor and Actress, Best Comedy Entertainment Show, Best Comedy Podcast and Best Stand-Up Show.

The longlist of nominees has been published and voting is open until Monday 16th January 2023 here: https://www.thenationalcomedyawards.com/

On returning to host the awards, Tom Allen said: "How did you get this number? I thought I was unlisted. Is this another prank call?! I'm the host of the National Comedy Awards for Stand Up To Cancer, I'm a very big deal, I can't have people just calling me willy-nilly. Now excuse me I have to prepare a show celebrating the brilliant funny people working on telly, on tour and online. Stop that heavy breathing, you should be ashamed of yourself. Good day to you!"

Saturday 17 December 2022

FIRST IMAGE: Everyone Else Burns - coming soon to Channel 4

Coming soon to Channel 4, Everyone Else Burns is an irreverent new 6-part comedy set in a fictional Christian community and centred around a family headed by patriarch David (played by Simon Bird). David, like his family (played by Kate O'Flynn, Amy James-Kelly and Harry Connor) is devoted to getting ready for Armageddon and avoiding eternal damnation, although worldly temptations nearly always get in the way.

Funny, warm and full of heart, the cast of Everyone Else Burns also features Morgana Robinson, Kadiff Kirwan and Lolly Adefope.

Written by Oliver Taylor and Dillon Mapletoft, Everyone Else Burns was produced by Jax Media and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studios Group.

Everyone Else Burns is launching on Channel 4 and All 4 in January 2023.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Interview with Siobhan Finneran (Clare Cartwright) from Happy Valley

Catch up on series 1 and 2 at https://amzn.to/3YdKqmR

How does it feel to be back filming Happy Valley?

It's lovely to be back filming again, it's a great team and we're very lucky that a lot of the crew that filmed with us in series 2 are back to shoot this series. It's that old cliché, we are quite a happy little family – yeah, it's quite a treat to be back filming with those guys.

Where do we find Clare at the beginning of series three?

She has sort of moved on a little bit from the last series because she is now living with Neil, her boyfriend, so she's now moved out of the house that she shared with Catherine. But she's still there a lot of the time because they kinda have the care of Ryan. Clare's in a good place this time around, I think the second series we saw her and she'd fallen off the wagon but that's not happened for some time, as far as we know.

How would you describe Clare's character?

Clare is the very, very devoted sister to Catherine. They've got an amazing relationship which is, I think, one of the reasons the audience love it so much – because it's very real and honest. Clare is quite fragile; she's always been quite fragile and Catherine has always been her rock. When we see her this series, she's more settled and happier.

What about Happy Valley are you most proud of?

Happy Valley is the sort of telly that I like to watch, where there are very real, believable characters. So, the stories might be a little bit extraordinary but the way that the real characters deal with that, I enjoy watching that kind of thing.

I'm very proud to be part of it because it's really loved, it's a really loved show.

Tell us about Sally Wainwright's writing and why her scripts are so special?

As an actress when you get a Sally Wainwright script you can't actually wait to get on set and do it. It's very easy to sit and get lost in two, three, four, five, six hours' worth of her stuff. The characters and their personalities are there so we've just got to add a bit of flesh to those bones really.

Do you remember your first day on set for series one?

My first day of filming on Series one was in the mission - Clare answering a call from Catherine, I think Clare was preparing a sandwich but I can't remember what the conversation was about. I will have been a nervous wreck, I always am day one of a job.

Thinking back did you have any idea back then the series would become so big?

I can remember reading the opening scene from series one where Catherine is trying to talk someone down and arms herself with a fire extinguisher and sunglasses and thinking this is really special. I think I read the whole series in one evening. But I don't think you can ever really know that something you're working on is going to be received well, you just hope having witnessed first-hand the work that's been put into it that it is!

Do you have a favourite memory from on set on Happy Valley (on or off screen)?

My happiest memories on set are the scenes with Catherine and Clare, the catch-up chats with cups of tea and a smoke or the big explosive ones. I love the relationship between the two sisters and it's what people talk to me about most when they talk about the show. I love working with Sarah, it's magical and I think that shows in the scenes, there's a genuine love and affection between us.

Interview with James Norton (Tommy Lee Royce) from Happy Valley

Catch up on series 1 and 2 at https://amzn.to/3YdKqmR

Can you describe Happy Valley?

Happy Valley is set in the Calder Valley, Halifax, Hebden Bridge area stretching over towards Leeds. It's about a family - a Police officer rather - called Catherine Cawood, played by the wonderful Sarah Lancashire, and her family; her sister, her grandson and her colleagues. She has a relationship with a man, Tommy who had a relationship, or a very abusive relationship, with her daughter. Her daughter had a son called Ryan, and so Tommy Lee Royce's son, Ryan, is also Catherine Cawood's grandson. It has inextricably linked these two characters and they become these two fearsome adversaries.

How would you describe your character, Tommy?

Tommy Lee Royce is an enigma and a puzzle and a kind of terrifying mess. Genuinely, I am still kind of working him out. I think I had certain preconceptions about him in the first series. We would talk about him quite flippantly as if he is a psychopath. And I did a lot of work into psychopathy and was introduced to some behavioural psychologists and criminal psychologists who were really wonderfully helpful in excavating Tommy and the mindset that he has.

What we know about Tommy is that he had a very abusive childhood and lives with horrible trauma. We know that because Sally has written it into the script and he is very, very mistrustful of the world. He sees everything and everyone as a hostility and a potential threat. I think he feels like the way to live a happy life in his head is to be on the defensive and to attack before he gets attacked. It's quite a sad, lonely space that Tommy lives in.

How do you prepare to get into Tommy's headspace?

The way into Tommy's headspace has been challenging because by nature he lives in a very different space to me and most people I know - on that kind of fringe of humanity. As a result, it is one of the more challenging roles to find the shared experience with him. But that is kind of the joy when you are asked to empathise with someone who feels very distant from yourself. That's kind of where you learn the most, if you go on that journey with empathy and understanding you get to see the world in an entirely different way. Tommy's version is very different from mine, thank goodness.

Can you describe the relationship between Catherine and Tommy?

The relationship between Catherine and Tommy is kind of everything, at least for Tommy. Tommy has Catherine and Ryan, they are the big two poles of his existence. Catherine has her family and does not want to think about Tommy. Tommy constantly forces his way into her life and her consciousness. They are in the best way, in that sort of old-fashioned way, epic adversaries pitched against each other. They are obsessed with each other, there's a kind of deep, deep hatred in the way that when you think about someone that you hate they inhabit part of your consciousness. There's a sort of, not love at all but, there is a kind of connection and affinity. There's a certain kind of shared experience they have in that they both obsess about each other. In that way they are inextricably linked and will always be in some way married together.

Where do we find Tommy at the beginning of series three?

We pick up Tommy seven years later and he is still in prison serving multiple life sentences. But he has changed, he has moved on and grown and he has matured. He has calmed down and there is a definite shift in his demeanour and his temperament. I think that's because for the first time in a long time he has got hope.

What journey does Tommy go on in series three?

Unlike the Tommy we have seen of the first and second series he feels quite affable and in control, I think that's probably because we arrive in the third series and Tommy has information about something we don't know about yet. That information, that situation is giving him a sense of contentment.

Why is Happy Valley a must-see?

Happy Valley is a must-see because you have one of the best writers in the world, at the top of her game. You have Sarah Lancashire, also an absolute legend in our industry, giving the performance of her life. An amazing cast, Siobhan Finneran and others. It's just a great community, a great group of people doing great work. I just think it's a great story, it's a great thriller. We have got fantastic characters driving it forward. We love playing the characters because they are so beautifully drawn. And while Sally is brilliant at character dialogue, she is also extraordinary at plot. There is always an absolute ride, rollercoaster of a plot and many people said in the first series that they would end up behind their sofa with their hands over their mouth. I think both the second and hopefully the third deliver on that.

What about Happy Valley are you most proud of?

I am immensely proud of the series as a whole. Immensely proud that I was able to have a part in it. And it's wonderful to come back knowing there is such an appetite and a love for the show. I was really proud when I went to America and I realised how far reaching the show is. I think it's such a specific show about the very specific part of England, and you know the accents and the temperaments and sensibilities of those characters are quite specific to the area. And yet when I go to America, I am amazed at how many people have watched it and how many people love it. And that was a really proud moment, when I realised how it wasn't only a show loved in the UK but internationally.

How does it feel to be bringing Happy Valley back for series three?

To be back here filming Happy Valley feels great because people love the show and we love making it. It's really, really wonderful knowing there's an appetite for something. I have had so many interviews over the last seven years where people have asked me, or people in the street have asked me 'when is it coming back?' So now to be able to say we have shot a third series and it's coming back and it's as big and bold as ever is really wonderful.

What can audiences be most excited about for the news series?

I think the reason this series is particularly exciting is because everyone knows it's the last and so everyone is going to be waiting for something to happen, and everyone is sort of predicting and guessing how Sally wants to end it. I have been predicting for the last seven years how she is going to end it so it was really wonderful to read the script and hear her ideas - and they don't disappoint.

On The Edge returns for a fourth series on Channel 4

On The Edge, Channel 4's BAFTA award-winning series of short films is returning for its fourth year. Produced by BlackLight Television, a Banijay UK company, the anthology of films will once again champion first-class emerging UK talent. This year's dramas, Wet Look, Letting Go and The Final Countdown, all touch upon the importance of care and caring. Each series of On The Edge presents three short films written and directed with wit and verve by the best up and coming storytellers.

Wet Look follows young lovers Gwynn and Rob as they work through the highs and lows of their budding romance. However, there is a twist: while Rob is a human millennial, Gwynn is actually a mermaid who is finding it difficult to adapt to life on land. Gwynn is in a bad place when we first meet her; she is unable to grow her tail back and feels alienated from a body that no longer works the way it used to. Rob, her beleaguered boyfriend, wants to help her but is unsure of how. Even if going back to the sea without a tail means she might drown, Gwynn's urge to do so is now overpowering. Before it's too late, will either partner confide in the other? 

Letting Go tells the story of Gabriel, a foster father who can't bear to let go of Faith, the teenage girl that has been in his care for years. When the authorities decide that her birth mother is well enough to take her back Gabriel struggles to process this massive change and becomes convinced that Faith will be in danger. He hasn't understood that his own complex feelings about his father are affecting his judgement. Will Gabriel's behaviour lead to him losing Faith altogether? Faith is an authentic, evocative, and deeply moving story written from personal experience by Beru Tessema and beautifully directed by Mitch Kalisa. This short film explores the power of attachment and the difficulty of separation.  Starring Anthony Welsh (Pure, Master of None) and Clare-Hope Ashitey (Children of Men) as Gabriel and Bella and introducing newcomer Luna Mwezi as Faith.  

The Final Countdown tells the story of Ray, a septuagenarian with a wicked sense of fun and a fondness for a pint, and devoted long-time husband to Dora, who is suffering from dementia. Ray's stoic grandson Terry has become Dora's primary caregiver while Ray continues to bury his head in the sand and refuses to admit that Dora might need help. Will Terry be able to persuade Ray that Dora needs to go into residential care before something terrible happens? Written by Natalie Burt and directed by James Doherty, The Final Countdown uses striking poignancy and humour but is ultimately a celebration of love and family that is very close to the writer's own heart.  Starring Paul Copley (Downton Abbey, Last Tango in Halifax) and Eileen Davies (Sightseers) as Ray and Dora and introducing newcomer Joseph Payne as Terry.

Friday 9 December 2022

Season 2 of Acorn TV's Under the Vines - Monday, 23rd January



'Charles Edwards and Rebecca Gibney perfectly paired as dry Louis and vibrant Daisy, who promises to put some rosé in his cheeks!' – What to Watch

'A fresh, witty drama bursting with dry humour...warm and enjoyable escapist fun' – The Sun

Get ready to toast the return of Under the Vines, the fresh, entertaining show full of dry wit and fruity undertones. The wonderful New Zealand set comedy-drama is back for its second series and will premiere on Monday, January 23, 2023, exclusively on Acorn TV. The first two episodes of the six-part series will premiere that day, with later episodes to follow weekly on Mondays.

This entertaining series follows an unlikely pairing of city slickers who inherit a failing vineyard in rural New Zealand. Rebecca Gibney (Wanted, Packed to the Rafters, Winter) returns as lovable socialite Daisy Monroe and Charles Edwards (The Lord of the Rings prequel, The Crown, Downton Abbey) is back as London lawyer Louis Oakley.

As Daisy comes to terms with her new life, Louis tries to repair his old one before returning to England. But ultimately, his marriage fails and he stays on to help Daisy run Oakley Wines. The partners in wine continue to navigate life in Peak View and its population of quirky locals and Machiavellian rivals. But, any chance of romance between the two is muddied when Daisy meets David (Kirk Torrance, Xena: Warrior Princess), the handsome local doctor...

Meanwhile, Oakley's young vintner Tippy (Trae Te Wiki) has her world shaken by the arrival of Shimmering Lake's new rockstar French vintner, Philippe Bidois, whom a rival winery hires – and he just happens to be her cousin.

Season 2 of Acorn TV's Under the Vines starts Monday, 23rd January

SAS: Who Dares Wins returns to Channel 4 in January

SAS: Who Dares Wins returns to Channel 4 in January with the most savage selection course yet, taking a new group of recruits into the deepest, darkest, most unforgiving jungle in the world, in Thung Ui, North Vietnam.  Leading the Directing Staff (DS) this series, will be Billy (Mark Billingham), who spent half his decorated military career serving in the jungle. He will be joined by returning DS, Foxy (Jason Fox),  Rudy Reyes and brand new member of the DS team, Chris Oliver, a former Special Forces Operator.  

The new SAS: Who Dares Wins DS will guide 20 regular men and women through the gruelling jungle phase of SAS selection, one of the harshest conditions encountered by Special Forces personnel, over the course of the six one-hour episodes. By the end of the series, the recruits will know who has what it takes to pass this unusual SAS selection course after having their mental and physical capabilities put to the test.

As the series' DS with the most jungle warfare military experience, Billy Billingham MBE is this year taking over the Chief Instructor reigns.  He spent 27 Years in the military, reaching the highest NCO rank in the SAS - Sergeant Major. Starting his career in the jungle in Belize in 1984, and concluding his military career in the jungle in 2008 in Brunei.  An advanced Jungle Warfare Instructor, his time spent in the jungle, from training to operational, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Belize, British Guiana, Africa, is unparalleled.   In fact, when he left the military, he was the senior military instructor in the world's leading jungle warfare training school.

SAS: Who Dares Wins is a Minnow Films productions and will air on Channel 4 in 2023.

Monday 5 December 2022

COMPETITION: Win Plebs: Soldiers of Rome (Finale Special) on DVD

Plebs: Soldiers of Rome (Finale Special) on DVD is released on December 12th

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

When in Rome, de de de… do as the Romans do! Here come the Romans for the final march of the hilarious comedy Plebs, which makes its highly anticipated return on ITV with the feature length special, Plebs: Soldiers Of Rome, before coming to digital on 9 December and to DVD on 12 December alongside the Plebs Complete Collection DVD Box Set which includes all five series and the special, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

Plebs follows the lives of three hapless young men from the suburbs as they try to get laid, hold down jobs and climb the social ladder in the big city... of Rome in 23BC. Penned by Sam Leifer (How Not to Live Your Life) and Tom Basden (After Life) and starring Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner), Ryan Sampson (Brassic) and Jonathan Pointing (London Kills) alongside a stellar cast and inspired guest stars, including a host of TV favourites: Amanda Holden, Danny Dyer, Maureen Lipman, Simon Callow, Shaun Williamson, Lauren Socha, Tim Key, James Fleet, Michelle Keegan, Miriam Margolyes, Ellie Taylor and David Bamber.

In Plebs: Soldiers Of Rome Marcus, Grumio, Jason and Aurelius join the army in peacetime in the hope of gaining respect, to succeed in their ongoing search for romance, and more importantly, get discounts at participating restaurants. But when war is declared, they’re sent into battle on the front line, and to add insult to injury, they’re about to fight for a cause they don’t believe in. Now their only option is to struggle for survival…

Will our hapless heroes make it out alive as they leave their humdrum lives in Rome to battle as soldiers for the cause?

Join the raucous Romans in their last hurrah as Plebs: Soldiers Of Rome takes us on a wickedly hilarious ride. The finale to the much-loved comedy along with the complete bumper box set is guaranteed to entertain with belly laughs a plenty this winter.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3XR1sXL

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 19-12-22
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.

COMPETITION: Win Doc Martin Series 10 on DVD

Doc Martin Series 10 on DVD is released on December 12th

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

It’s hello and goodbye to Britain's favourite curmudgeonly medic Doc Martin played by the inimitable Martin Clunes, who recently returned to our screens for the highly anticipated tenth and final series of the immensely popular, long-running hit drama.

Dr. Martin Ellingham (Clunes – Men Behaving Badly, Warren) is back in eight new episodes of the ratings-winning drama in the charming community of the idyllic hamlet of Portwenn in Cornwall.  Following its run on ITV, the wonderful final series of this nationally cherished franchise – which has attracted audiences in excess of 10 million – Doc Martin Series 10 is set for its DVD release on 12 December 2022 from Acorn Media International.

Following his resignation at the end of the previous series – after his medical career was scrutinised by the General Medical Council and the revelation that he has a blood phobia – the grouchy GP is beginning to question whether hanging up his doctor's coat was the right decision...

At home, Martin and his wife Louisa (Caroline Catz – DCI Banks, In Fabric) have welcomed a beautiful baby daughter, Mary Elizabeth, a sister for four-year-old James Henry, so there’s plenty more for the family to contend with.

As former teacher, Louisa, pursues an exciting new career as a child counsellor in the old surgery, Martin spends his days taking care of their baby and Buddy, the cheeky dog. Can he settle into his new routine as a house husband, or will he face his fears, pick up his stethoscope, and make a bold return to the career – and the local community – that are so close to his heart?   

Returning cast are joined by a roster of special guest stars: Fay Ripley (Cold Feet, Monday, Monday), David Hayman (The Nest, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas), Ben Miller (Bridgerton, Paddington 2), Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey, East is East), Hermione Norris (Spooks, Cold Feet), Kenneth Cranham (Scarborough, Layer Cake) and Rupert Graves (Sherlock, Emma).

Book a much-needed appointment for the final series of Doc Martin and settle in for a dose of laughter and heart-warming storylines – on doctor’s orders.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3XS0ZVj

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 19-12-22
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.

COMPETITION: Win All Creatures Great & Small Series 3 DVD

All Creatures Great & Small Series 3 is released on DVD on December 12th

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on DVD to give away.

THE CHARMING much-loved All Creatures Great and Small returns for its third series of veterinary adventures, romances, and life in the sleepy town of Darrowby, Yorkshire, with its rolling fields and colourful community.

Based on the immensely popular novels and life of veterinary surgeon and writer James Herriot (aka James Alfred Wight OBE), series one enchanted the nation and ranked as Channel 5’s number one British drama of all time. Now, the national treasure All Creatures Great & Small Series 3 inc. the Christmas Special: The Perfect Christmas, arrives on DVD, alongside All Creatures Great & Small Series 1 – 3 Box set on 12 December courtesy of Acorn Media International following its run on Channel 5.

Picking up where series two left off, the infamously friendly and familiar faces of Darrowby return for more drama and delights. After being made a joint business partner by Siegfried (Samuel West – Darkest Hour), James pushes to take on more responsibility via the Ministry of Agriculture’s new bovine TB testing scheme, but its unexpected challenges risk pushing him to breaking point.

As a potential Second World War looms, the Skeldale family must consider their purpose in Darrowby and beyond. There’s also the wedding we’ve all been waiting for on the horizon, as James (Nicholas Ralph – The Most Reluctant Convert) and Helen (Rachael Shenton – Hollyoaks), get ready to tie the knot.

All Creatures Great and Small should treat themselves to a heart-warming trip to Yorkshire with this enchanting series. Everyone will love this soul-soothing, uplifting family favourite, to enjoy this winter and All Creatures Great & Small Series 1 – 3 Box set would make the perfect Christmas gift.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3FnfXKz

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 19-12-22
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.

COMPETITION: Win Babylon Berlin Series Four on DVD

Babylon Berlin Series Four is released on DVD on December 12th

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

The critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning hit German period drama Babylon Berlin returns for its fourth series.. Following the roaring twenties, we enter a new decade at a time of organised crime and political extremism. The old militaristic elites have not yet abdicated, while an even more dreadful monster starts flexing its muscles...

The global hit series is a lavish fare that has seen budgets exceed 40 million dollars and has aired in more than 100 territories.  Babylon Berlin Series Four is set to arrive on DVD and digital on 12 December 2022, alongside the Babylon Berlin Complete Series One to Four Box Set, following its run on Sky.

Babylon Berlin Series Four finds us in 1930s Berlin. The 1920s culminated in the global stock market crash, and the Great Depression and now the Nazis’ march to power is in full swing.  Detective Gereon Rath’s (Volker Bruch) investigations lead him into the boxing milieu – and politically uncomfortably close to Hitler’s militant supporters. His ambitious colleague Charlotte Ritter (Liv Lisa Fries) risks her job to help her homeless sister, who roams the streets of Berlin with a group of young peers, fighting for survival, all the while continuing an ongoing fight for recognition in the male-dominated police department.

There’s a backdrop of dark forces gathering, in an attempt to bring down democracy. But at night, all seems forgotten as the city still dances on the volcano's edge as if there’s no tomorrow…

The cast includes a stellar line-up of German talent Benno Fürmann, Lars Eidinger, Christian Friedel, Udo Samel, Godehard Giese, Fritzi Haberlandt, Karl Markovics and many more.

Take a trip to Babylon Berlin, a spectacular, thrilling, dark and dangerous detective drama set in a time of political upheaval, monumental change and delightful debauchery.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3BaPVZy

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 19-12-22
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Thursday 1 December 2022

TRAILER: Under The Vines Season 2 - Starring Rebecca Gibney and Charles Edwards


Starring Rebecca Gibney (Winter) and Charles Edwards (The Crown), this dramedy follows two unlikely city slickers who inherit a failing vineyard in rural New Zealand. Despite neither having ever done a hard day's work in their lives and both despising the other, they must somehow make the vineyard successful so they can sell up, split up, and get out of there. Under the Vines Season 2 is coming soon!

Sign up for a free trial of Acorn TV now: https://signup.acorn.tv

TRAILER: Aftertaste Season 2


When his latest outburst goes viral, volatile celebrity chef Easton West (Erik Thomson) flees to his Australian hometown and tries to reinvent himself through an unlikely partnership with his 19-year-old pastry wunderkind niece (Natalie Abbott). This “sharp satire” (The Guardian) also stars Rachel Griffiths and Remy Hii. Aftertaste Season 2 premieres on Acorn TV December 19. 

Sign up for a free trial of Acorn TV now: https://signup.acorn.tv

TRAILER: The Gulf Season 2


Detective Jess Savage investigates a cold case on her home of Waiheke Island, New Zealand but notices troubling lapses in her memory that point to a darker truth. The gripping psychological thriller The Gulf premieres on November 14th, only on Acorn TV. 

Sign up for a free trial of Acorn TV now: https://signup.acorn.tv

Tuesday 29 November 2022

TRAILER: Predators Narrated By Tom Hardy

Predators, a brand-new Sky Original series from Sky Nature, now has a first-look trailer. The historic five-part series, narrated by actor and producer Tom Hardy, will debut on Sky Nature on December 11, 2022. It follows five of nature's largest predators as they struggle for survival in the wild.

Each episode is focused on a specific predator in one part of the world. Tom Hardy narrates as the series follows the real life dramas of cheetahs in Tanzania, polar bears in Canada, lions in Botswana, pumas in Chile and wild dogs in Zimbabwe, as they are put to the test among the evolving landscapes and environment.

Fighting to protect their kingdoms in the wild, each predator is faced with unique obstacles and challenges in what is undoubtedly the ultimate power struggle to maintain their rule in the natural world.

These five fascinating creatures are hunters, parents, and survivors alike, embarking on a series of treacherous journeys in the wild. Their stories all point to a critical moment in their lives, as they fight to secure the future for their next generation in this thrilling quest for survival.

Brand new for 2022, Predators narrated by Tom Hardy is coming to Sky Nature 11 December.

Arthurian legend re-imagined as casting is revealed for The Winter King

Filming has begun in Wales and the West Country on the major new series The Winter King based on Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles.

A bold and revisionist take on the well-loved Arthurian Legends, The Winter King follows Arthur Pendragon as he evolves from outcast to legendary warrior and leader.

The Winter King is set in the 5th century long before Britain was united. In a land of warring factions and tribes when the World was brutal and lives were often fleeting.

Coming to ITV.

Featuring an exciting range of established names and new talent the cast includes:

IAIN DE CAESTECKER (The Control Room, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) as a young Arthur, who begins as an exiled bastard before becoming the greatest hope for Britain.

STUART CAMPBELL (SAS Rogue Heroes, Clique) is Derfel who transforms from left-for-dead orphan to the truest of all warlords.

ELLIE JAMES (Giri/Haji, I May Destroy You) is Nimue a priestess saved by Merlin because she can see the gods - he gives her power, wisdom and learning.

EDDIE MARSAN (The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe, Deceit) is Uther, High King of all Dumnonia, old and battle tested. He commands incredible authority, over almost all, bar Merlin.

NATHANIEL MARTELLO-WHITE (Small Axe, I Hate Suzie) is Merlin, a politician, powerful, enlightened, and absolute. Fearless in the face of a King's wrath he follows his connection to his Gods in all things.
DANIEL INGS (I Hate Suzie, The Crown) is Owain one of Arthur's closest childhood friends and like a son to High King Uther.

VALENE KANE (The Fall, Gangs of London) is Morgan, Arthur's half-sister and another bastard child of King Uther. She is a sharp-tongued and independent minded pagan and student of Merlin.

SIMON MERRELLS (Good Omens, Knightfall) is Gundleus, King of rival kingdom Siluria. Imposing and savage, Gundleus is prepared to slaughter whoever he needs to secure power.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Taskmaster - New Year Special - Brand-New Celebrity Line Up

Featuring Amelia Dimoldenburg, Carol Vorderman, Greg James, Sir Mo Farah and Rebecca Lucy Taylor

Feeling in an unusually festive mood, the almighty Greg Davies accompanied by his dutiful sidekick Little Alex Horne star in the brand-new one-off special Taskmaster's New Year Treat which returns to Channel 4 this winter for its third instalment.

In order to compete in the name of Hogmanay, Lord Greg will be welcoming five famous contestants from very different and diverse spheres of entertainment. These contestants will use their skill, nerve, and grit to successfully complete a number of intriguing challenges in the hopes of winning the unique trophy known as Greg's Golden Eyebrows.

Hoping to impress are; comedian, creator, host and journalist Amelia Dimoldenberg (Chicken Shop Date), TV host, numbers queen and First Lady of Channel 4 Carol Vorderman (Pride of Britain, ITV), presenter and writer Greg James, four-time Olympic Champion Sir Mo Farah, and Mercury Music Prize & Brit Award nominated pop star Rebecca Lucy Taylor aka Self Esteem. The customary assault course of bizarre challenges will be thrown their way, but how will these celebrities fair in the international hit show?

Prince Andrew: The Musical - Cast is revealed

Kieran Hodgson (How Europe Stole My Mum, Two Doors Down) leads a cast of comics in a satirical send-up of the life and times of Prince Andrew, set to a musical score from Kieran Hodgson and Freddie Tapner.

The storyline of the musical centres on the significant occasions, connections, and issues throughout Andrew's life. This includes a retelling of the former HRH's explosive interview with Emily Maitlis, portrayed by Emma Sidi (Starstruck, Pls Like.)

Munya Chawawa (Taskmaster, Race Around Britain) and Jenny Bede (Catastrophe, Murder In Successville) will join the main cast as Sarah Ferguson and Prince Charles, respectively.

Harry Enfield will portray Prime Minister Tony Blair, while Baga Chipz will portray Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Joe Wilkinson will play a newspaper dealer.

The hour-long musical extravaganza will feature seven original musical numbers, including 'I Nailed It' a high-octane duet set in the aftermath of the Duke's Newsnight interview; 'Will You Be My Ex-Wife', a romantic ballad sung between Andrew and Sarah Ferguson; 'Obey' a stirring solo number in which Prince Charles reflects on royal scandals past and present; and Andrew's rip-roaring finale 'You're Always Gonna Need an Andrew'.  

The Big Interiors Battle revealed as AJ Odudu announced as host and Dara Huang as judge

The new interior design competition series will see the eventual winner walk away with a two-bedroom apartment in Sheffield to call their home.

The Big Interiors Battle, a Channel 4 competition series that will give one of the biggest prizes on television, will premiere in early 2023, and AJ Odudu has been named as the host.

The show will feature eight outstanding interior designers who are given the keys to an apartment where they are asked to redesign a different room each week. It is based in social impact developer Capital&Centric's upscale Eyewitness Works building in the centre of Sheffield.

The contestants' work will then be judged by Dara Huang, an architect and entrepreneur with clients across the globe ranging from billionaires to the world's most famous brands. After judging, hopefuls will return to their apartments and use an electronic key-card to learn their fate. If the light on their door goes green, they will remain in the running for another week. However, each week one contestant's door will turn red, indicating they have been locked out of the competition for good.

At a time when home ownership has never felt more out of reach, The Big Interiors Battle boasts one of the most coveted prizes on television, as the winner of the competition will then become the owner of their very own two-bedroom apartment within this historic development in South Yorkshire.

Host AJ Odudu commented: "I'm so excited to be involved in a series that has the potential to genuinely change the winner's life. I'm also looking forward to seeing everyone's different styles - as a major interiors obsessive myself, I'll definitely be on the look out to hopefully pick up some nifty DIY tricks from this cast of pros."

Friday 25 November 2022

TRAILER: Whitstable Pearl Series 2 starring Kerry Godliman and Robert Webb


We return to the stunning Kent coast for the second series of Whitstable Pearl, a gem of a show just waiting to be discovered. Kerry Godliman (After Life, Save Me, Adult Material) is back as the eponymous Pearl, a restaurateur who also runs a detective agency. She’s joined once again by Frances Barber (Silk, Mr Holmes) and Howard Charles (The Musketeers, Liar, Shadow and Bone) alongside a stellar returning cast and guest stars.

It’s six months on, and Pearl (Kerry Godliman) and Mike (Howard Charles) are just good friends. Mike has found a new vigour for life, and his pursuit of open-air swimming has led him into the arms of a new woman, Kat (Emily Head, The Inbetweeners), a sunny, outgoing, eternal optimist. Pearl also has a new person in her life, Tom (Robert Webb, Peep Show), a supply teacher, who’s the definition of a ‘nice guy.'

This series sees Pearl hired by local ex-soldier Dan Tomlin whose son has disappeared under questionable circumstances; Mike tackling a case involving his neighbour who says he has night terrors but Mike suspects there’s foul play and calls in Pearl to help investigate; and a woman despised by the locals who is planning to sell her mother’s beloved local pub to the highest bidder rather than sell it back to the community hiring Pearl to help find the perpetrator of a hate campaign.

Other cases include a 70s film icon (Stephanie Beacham) found at home unconscious, her housekeeper the prime suspect - but has she been framed? Strange things are happening at Pearl’s Mum Dolly’s (Frances Barber) home so she calls in her daughter to investigate. And when a bride is murdered at the wedding that Pearl is catering, she must put on her detective hat once again to find out who could have possibly wanted the woman dead...

Starts Monday, 28th November 2022


Thursday 24 November 2022

Doc Martin returns in a Christmas Special

Christmas is coming to Portwenn as Martin Clunes returns to play the nation's favourite grumpy medic in a one off special of ITV's hugely successful drama Doc Martin.

Following the ratings success of the final, tenth series in the Autumn, Martin Clunes, reprises the role of Dr Martin Ellingham, the GP with a brusque bedside manner and a phobia of blood, for one last time in this Christmas treat, produced by Buffalo Pictures and set in the idyllic hamlet of Portwenn.

The series ended on a high with nearly six million viewers tuning in to find out whether the Doc would accept a prestigious post in London, or stay in Portwenn. A near fatal accident prompted the Doc re-consider his priorities. He decided that his wife and family must come first, and that they should all stay in Portwenn.

Picturesque Port Isaac provides the beautiful wintry backdrop for the festive special, with all the regular members of the cast reprising their roles.

Caroline Catz plays Doc Martin's wife, Louisa Ellingham, Dame Eileen Atkins plays Doc Martin's formidable Aunt Ruth. Ian McNeice is back to play Bert Large, with Joe Absolom as his son Al. John Marquez is PC Joe Penhale, Jessica Ransom is the doctor's receptionist, and Al's wife, Morwenna, and Selina Cadell is pharmacist Mrs Tishell. They are joined by guest stars Ron Cook, Claire Bloom and Emma Amos.

Portwenn is full of festive fun, until Doc Martin has the grotto closed down because he fears Santa has something contagious, upsetting the children, including his own son James (Elliott Blake). While awaiting the results of the tests to find out why Leonard(Santa, played by Ron Cook) is so itchy the Doc tells him he cannot be Santa until they have the diagnosis.

Leonard is determined to show the Doc the magic of Christmas, and tries to deliver the Ellingham's Christmas presents down the chimney. Martin is furious, and remonstrates with Leonard for putting himself at risk on the roof of their house, unaware James has witnessed it all. James decides to run away to find Santa, but Ruth bumps into him and persuades him to have breakfast, given the journey to the North Pole is a long one.

To try to make up for James' disappointment at not meeting Santa, Louisa decides, with the help of the village, to arrange a lantern parade, led by Santa, something she has fond memories of from when she was a child in Portwenn. PC Joe Penhale is thrilled to be asked to don his Santa suit and lead the parade.

But parish councillor  Agatha Higgins (Emma Amos), objects to the plan, because  the event doesn't meet certain requirements, not least the health and safety risks. Louisa tries to change her mind by inviting her to their parade meeting on the Platt where Christmas preparations are in full swing. Agatha seems to be getting into the festive spirit when she guesses the weight of the turkey, but before she can confirm the parade can go ahead, she trips and hits her head on the floor, and an ambulance has to be called.

A delighted Mrs Tishell finds herself under the mistletoe with the Doc after he notices her choking for a second time. Fearing she has a serious illness and that this might be her last Christmas, she just can't resist stealing a Christmas kiss. Martin is appalled by her advances, but as a result diagnoses her with a manageable condition, not a life threatening illness. He also tells her the prolapsed disc has healed, so she no longer has to wear her neck brace. But Mrs Tishell is not sure she wants to abandon the neck brace.

Morwenna can't help but have a seemingly irrational liking for the turkey, naming it Toby. After Agatha guesses the correct weight, Morwenna decides to take it to the butcher herself. Al doesn't believe her when she says the turkey escaped on the way to the butcher, but her reasoning quickly helps him understand why she set it free.

Meanwhile PC Joe Penhale's romantic attempt to woo Janice by showering her with gifts backfires when she thinks she is being stalked.

Martin is called out to see Leonard (Santa) who has had an accident, and as he is anaemic he cannot afford to lose any blood. As Martin is driving to Leonard's house the weather is getting worse and he has an accident, which causes him to hallucinate about his mother (Claire Bloom), prompting some of his own parenting concerns. Eventually making it to Leonard's house and recovering from the cold, he treats Leonard. Leonard confides in Martin about the death of his wife and why he celebrates Christmas. He challenges Martin to do the same. But will they make it back to the village in time for the Christmas parade Louisa has organised?