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Saturday 28 January 2023

Bloodlands Season 2 - Official Trailer


Set in Northern Ireland and written by Chris Brandon (Red Rock), the gripping, four-part Irish crime thriller stars James Nesbitt (The Hobbit, The Missing, Cold Feet) as a veteran detective going into his own dark past to solve a cold case, only on Acorn TV.

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

The BBC show - produced by Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio - follows DCI Tom Brannick (played by James Nesbitt) and his team as they hunt for a local assassin known as ‘Goliath’.

Friday 27 January 2023



Critically acclaimed series The Last of Us, is fast proving to be the video-game adaptation fans have been waiting for. Sky and streaming service NOW are releasing the entire feature length first episode in the UK and Ireland on the Sky TV YouTube channel on Friday 27 January – giving everyone the chance to watch and sample the hype surrounding the series.

For those infected by its five-star opener, episode two of The Last of Us is available via Sky and new episodes of the extraordinary series launch on Sky Atlantic at 2am every Monday, available on demand thereafter.

Years after the outbreak of a deadly mutant fungus and the collapse of civilisation, two survivors embark on a dangerous journey that might just change the world.​

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Nolly - Full series drop on ITVX on Thursday 2 February


Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown, Enola Holmes 1 and 2, The King's Speech, Harry Potter, Burton, and Taylor) appears as Noele (or Nolly to her friends), who was a legend in her own time. She was one of the most renowned individuals in Britain as the flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap series Crossroads. Then, in 1981, at the height of the show's success and Nolly's celebrity, she was fired without ceremony, warning, or explanation. With the words "all good things must come to an end" echoing in her ears, Noele Gordon was fired from the show that had been her life for nearly 18 years.

Nolly - Full series drop on ITVX on Thursday 2 February

Tuesday 24 January 2023

The National Comedy Awards 2023 for Stand Up To Cancer - Voting Opens

It's time for the country to vote on the 2023 Stand Up To Cancer National Comedy Award winners.

The public votes on major prizes in a range of categories that honour the world of comedy in all its manifestations, honouring both new and established British comic talent. Recent comedies, panel shows, written and unscripted comedy, as well as the funniest podcasters, are all competing for votes.

Voting has started, and the winners will be announced on Friday, February 17, 2023, at a glamorous red-carpet ceremony hosted by Tom Allen at London's Roundhouse.

Live on the night, viewers will also get to vote for the Best Stand-Up Show with the shortlisted acts announced closer to the ceremony. Plus, there will be awards for three breakthrough stars.

The recipients of the Comedy Breakthrough Star Awards are Cheaters star Susan Wokoma, critically-acclaimed comedian and singer Jordan Gray and Am I Being Unreasonable? scene-stealer Lenny Rush.

The National Comedy Awards 2023 for Stand Up To Cancer will air live on Channel 4 and All 4 on Friday 17th February.

How to vote:

You can vote free online at www.thenationalcomedyawards.com.

Monday 23 January 2023

COMPETITION: Win Mystery Road: Origin on DVD

Mystery Road: Origin on DVD is out on January 30th

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

WE TAKE another trip to the Australian outback to discover where it all began in Mystery Road: Origin the highly-anticipated and thrilling prequel to the internationally renowned series – which sees Mark Coles Smith (Picnic at Hanging Rock) star as a young Jay Swan.

Following its run on BBC 4 – which began Saturday, 7th January 2023 – now the brilliant Mystery Road: Origin and Mystery Road Series 1 – 2 & Origin Box Set are set to arrive on DVD and digital on 30 January 2023, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

Providing a rich and riveting origin story to one of ‘Australia’s all-time greatest screen sleuths’ (The Guardian), Mystery Road: Origin begins in 1999, as a recently qualified detective Jay Swan arrives in a dusty outback town for his first assignment. Fresh from the city and tipped for big things, Jay might be this town’s new copper, but he’s not new to this town... His estranged father lives here, as does the woman destined to change his life forever, Mary (Tuuli Narkle – All My Friends Are Racist).

Immediately thrown into the town’s seedy underbelly, Jay’s investigations quickly pile up. He encounters a tragic death, an epic love, and must face the brutal reality of being a police officer straddling two worlds... Salme Geransar (Clickbait, Neighbours), Steve Bisley (Mad Max), Hayley McElhinney (Upright), Toby Leonard Moore (Daredevil, John Wick) and Daniel Henshall (Okja) also star.

In Series One we meet an older Detective Jay Swan – played by the inimitable Aaron Pedersen (Jack Irish), a hard-headed Indigenous detective who means business. When two farmhands go missing from a cattle station, Detective is sent to investigate. Working with tough local cop Emma James (Judy Davis – Ratched), he soon finds himself unpeeling the hidden layers of the town’s dark history that will send shockwaves through the community...

Crackling with tension, packed full of intriguing characters, bubbling with political undertones and rife with adventure, Mystery Road: Origin and the Mystery Road Series 1 – 2 & Origin Box Set are perfect for anyone looking for stories with real bite.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3D5VKZ2

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 06-02-23
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 Detectorists S1-3 & Specials Boxset

Detectorists S1-3 & Specials Boxset on DVD is out on January 30th

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

Rediscover Mackenzie Crook’s BAFTA award-winning, critically acclaimed gem of a series, Detectorists, as it makes its highly anticipated comeback with Detectorists Movie Special. Following ‘one of the most satisfying conclusions ever’ according to Radio Times, we revisit the wonderous world of Andy and Lance and their band of different but like-minded friends, all searching for that elusive find…

The immensely popular, much-loved series can now be enjoyed time and time again by anyone and everyone as Detectorists Complete Collection arrives on DVD on 30 January 2023, courtesy of Acorn Media International. Detectorists Movie Special will also be available as a single-issue DVD release and on digital, following its TX on BBC Two.

Meet Andy (Mackenzie Crook – The Office, Pirates Of The Caribbean) and Lance (Toby Jones – The Girl, Captain America: The First Avenger) – two eager detectorists who share a dream of finding a buried treasure that will change their lives, in a deeply humorous and heart-warming portrayal of male friendship and metal-detecting. We follow their lives, loves and discoveries over the course of three uplifting series. Jones and Crook both give charming and deeply human performances as two men searching for the past, finding connections and providing oodles of comedy gold along the way.

The Detectorists Movie Special finds the loveable, comedic duo reunited for one final hurrah, full of light drama, gentle wit, whimsical humour and beautiful scenery. Five years on from the events of series three, the Danebury Metal Detecting Club is under threat from developers who want to close the hall... When Lance secures permission to search 10 acres of prime, undetected land, things are looking up – until he breaks protocol and puts the whole future of the DMDC in jeopardy...

With Detectorists Complete Collection and Detectorists Movie Special, now is the perfect time to discover this life-affirming, endearing, joyful and laugh-out-loud series. Call off the search… Detectorists is the perfect find.

Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3kCSFt4

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 06-02-23
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Saturday 21 January 2023

TRAILER: Drift – Partners in Crime - Stars Ken Duken and Fabian Busch

A fantastic cast is led by Ken Duken and Fabian Busch, who portray an unlikely detective duo and an unequal pair of brothers. In their thorough search for the truth, Ali Zeller (Duken) and Leo Zeller (Busch) wind through the deserted dirt roads of the Peloponnese, the winding streets of Athens, and the isolated valleys of the Bavarian Alps.

Leo and Ali are diametrically opposed. The brothers shared a childhood and work together despite their infrequent agreement and divergent ideologies. The siblings, who have been estranged for decades, are compelled to work together after a catastrophic police operation place them at the centre of a global conspiracy.

A long-suppressed family conflict proves to be just as great a challenge as the determination of their opponents – an organisation with influence that extends far into the police department. Nobody can be trusted, even Ali's girlfriend, lawyer Maryam Soltani (Mona Pirzad), appears to take sides against Ali. So the brothers are partnered up and on their own once again.

 'Drift – Partners in Crime', a Sky Original coming to Sky Atlantic and NOW in March.

Buffering returns to ITV2 - Sitcom by Iain Stirling and Steve Bugeja

Buffering, a six-part comedy series created, written, and starring BAFTA-winning comedian Iain Stirling (Love Island, CelebAbility, Taskmaster), along with co-creator and writer Steve Bugeja (The Russell Howard Hour, CelebAbility, Economics with Subtitles), will return to ITV2 for a second season at 10.05 p.m. on Monday, January 30. A full series will also air at the same time on ITVX.

Buffering follows the lives of kids' TV presenter Iain (Iain Stirling) and his housemates: Ashley (Rosa Robson - Black Mountain Poets, Inside No. 9, Heavy Entertainment), Rosie (Jessie Cave - Harry Potter, Trollied, Black Mirror), Greg (Paul G Raymond - Plebs, Avenue 5, Starstruck), and Thalia (Janine Harouni - Stand Up with Janine Harouni (Please Remain Seated), The Batman, Modern Horror Stories) as they attempt to navigate the choppy waters of their late twenties, with every wrong decision, failed relationship and wasted hungover day intensifying the feeling that time is running out for them to get their 'adult' lives in order.

We'll follow Iain and his housemates as they seek to improve their lives throughout this new series. The gang will always have each other when, inevitably, things don't go as planned, whether it's holding house parties, looking for a job, dating, visiting the countryside, hosting pub quizzes, or just figuring out their genuine feelings for one another. Iain's on-off (mainly off) girlfriend Olivia (Elena Saurel - The Batman, Industry, Breeders) and his obnoxious coworker Finn are there to assist them (Steve Bugeja).

Special guest stars Laura Whitmore (2:22 A Ghost Story, Laura Whitmore Investigates, Love Island), Emily Atack (The Emily Atack Show, The Inbetweeners, Dad's Army), David Carlyle (It's a Sin, Bodyguard, Lip Service), Tony Way (After Life, Giri/Haji, Game of Thrones), Melvin Odoom (BBC R1's Live Lounge, Celebrity Cooking School, Xtra Factor), Tyne-Lexy Clarson (The Last Heist, Little Women The Broadway Musical, Love Island), Sophie Duker (Taskmaster, Frankie Boyle's New World Order, Live at The Apollo) and Gordon Kane (Hamlet, Coronation Street,

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Acorn TV February 2023 - Schedule

Monday, 6th February 2023

Under the Vines

Series 2 Episodes 5 and 6 - Acorn TV Exclusive, UK Premiere, Complete Series 1 and 2 available

We toast the return of Under the Vines, the fresh, entertaining show full of dry wit and fruity undertones that follows an unlikely pairing of city slickers who inherit a failing vineyard in rural New Zealand.

Episode 5: We join the Oakley vintners on a bus trip to Queenstown where Tippy is speaking at a festival. When Daisy kindly gives up her swish hotel room to her pregnant colleague, this leads to her and Louis sharing a dodgy motel room. As Philippe's dubious dealings are about to be exposed, a celebratory dinner turns into a drunken night for Daisy and Louis.

Episode 6: As Daisy and Louis try and gloss over what happened in Queensland, they learn that Tippy has left thinking she's failed, but in reality, her new blend is a smash hit. As they prepare for the launch, Louis is inspired to declare his true feelings but is something about to scupper his plans? And there's shocking news that will rock everything to the core.

The Clinic Series 3

Fiona (Norma Shehan, Harry Wild, Bridget & Eamon) the long-serving receptionist, is missing her old boss Ed deeply and thinks the clinic is falling apart without him. She feels like she is losing control and is desperate to ensure that both her life and the clinic remain intact. Brendan's (Chris O'Dowd) inheritance of his Nan's house, worth 2.75 million euros, has just become official and the team want to know what he'll do with the money. Meanwhile, Patrick (Gary Lydon, War Horse, The Banshees of Inisherin), the resident counsellor, meets up with his ex-wife, while new GP Richard McKenna (Stuart Graham, Harry Wild, Hunger) is struggling to cope at the clinic and there's seduction and secrets abound.

Monday, 13th February 2023

After the Trial

UK Premiere, Streaming Exclusive

This thrilling murder mystery with a comedic touch follows four very different people who meet on jury duty. When the case is over, they start to wonder if the young woman they've declared "not guilty" is actually a killer... and they've let her walk free. Taking matters into their own hands, they investigate the murder themselves... turning their own lives upside down.

Monday, 20th February 2023

Family Law

Series 1 - Acorn TV Exclusive, UK Premiere

Meet Abigail Bianchi, a high-paid personal injury lawyer who's good at blaming others – particularly when it comes to her own problems. After Abby's husband kicks her out of the family home because of her drinking, she goes on a bender, shows up drunk in court and is sick on a client. The law society's punishment is swift. She's suspended, fined, and can only practice law again if she finds a senior lawyer willing to take her on and mentor her for a one-year probationary period.

The Clinic Series 4

Cathy and Dan are still at loggerheads, waiting for Cathy's father, Paul O'Callaghan's will to be read. Cathy is convinced that her father's share of the Clinic will be left to her and with majority power she will finally be able to oust Dan...

Monday, 27th February 2023

Candice Renoir

Series 5

After the devastating tragedy in the previous series, Candice is still in denial and tumbles straight into an accident. Did she return to work too soon or is she deliberately putting herself in harm's way? Does she still have the uncanny ability to pick out the tiny details at a crime scene that point to the culprit… don't worry… discriminatory companies, dangerous fundamentalists and thoughtless teenagers still have much to fear from our uncompromising detective.

Monday 16 January 2023

COMPETITION: Win Doc Martin Last Christmas in Portwenn on DVD

Doc Martin Last Christmas in Portwenn on DVD is out now

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

It’s time for our final appointment with Britain’s favourite curmudgeonly medic Doc Martin, played by the inimitable Martin Clunes as – after almost a decade on our screens – the immensely popular long-running hit drama has come to an epic, tear-jerking close. 

But it’s not goodbye forever as Acorn Media International have the perfect cure for those January blues… the impressive, must-own Doc Martin Series 1 – 10 DVD Box set – including all 10 series plus the Last Christmas in Portwenn finale special and the Farewell Doc Martin making of feature – will be released on  13 February 2023. The Last Christmas in Portwenn DVD will be available to buy as a single release and will include Farewell Doc Martin. 

The much-loved, national institution Doc Martin sees Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly, Warren) take to our screens as a doctor treating and challenging the community of the idyllic hamlet of Portwenn in Cornwall with a brusque bedside manner and an unfortunate phobia. Along the way, he’s joined by a charming set of locals, who bring plenty of laughter and heart-warming storylines.

The Christmas Special finds Portwenn full of festive cheer in the run-up to the festivities... that is, until our notoriously grumpy medic Doc Martin Ellingham has Santa's grotto closed… Determined to find Santa and salvage Christmas, his son, James decides it's time to take matters into his own hands and tries to run away. But as always, this quaint Cornish town bands together for a heart-warming, festive farewell, that tenderly closes the door on the characters we’ve grown to love.

Book in for a lifetime of doctors’ appointments with the Doc Martin Series 1 – 10 DVD Box set, a collection befitting one of the nation’s much-adored, most memorable series.

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

For your chance to win just answer the question below.


Quick Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 30-01-23
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Saturday 14 January 2023

Interview with Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont

In this new comedy panel show, comedians Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont put aside their own marital issues to judge the relationships of two unsuspecting celebrity couples. The show features Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev, as well as Richard Herring and Catie Wilkins, who must compete in challenges such as cleaning an incredibly dirty bathroom, undergoing a difficult makeover, and taking a lie detector test, during which it is revealed that Rachel Riley urinates in the shower.

Here, Jon and Lucy tell us about their new show, how they found presenting together and about the oddest couple they know…

Tell us about Jon & Lucy's Odd Couples and what we can expect from it…
Jon: It's a panel show for couples. As well as the games in the studio we've had a day with each couple at a retreat where we put them through various tasks to test their relationship, in the hope their relationships are even weaker than ours, so we come away feeling better about ourselves.

This isn't your usual panel show or Mr & Mrs competition, what attracted you to the idea?
Lucy: We like working together and enjoy Meet the Richardsons and we really wanted to make something that people could relate to. Even though we have celebrity couples on the show, it's universal themes and you don't even really need to be in a relationship to relate to it. Some of the things we talk about apply to families, it's all about human interactions. Jon's done topical panel shows and things and it felt really nice to do something a bit silly and light entertainment. We're laughing about who wees in the shower and things like that. It was so much fun.

This is your first co-presenting gig. How have you found it?
J: Meet the Richardsons felt like it came naturally from the first episode because it's so based in reality. This is more of a work job, links to camera are something that has taken a bit longer to get used to. Channel 4 has been amazing because it has given us time from the initial pilot to first episodes with lots of run throughs in-betweens. We've had time to get it right. But equally, we're at our best when those bits down the camera are funny so we don't want to get too good at them. We don't want to lose Lucy getting it wrong and me laughing at her, or I suddenly go into slick mode and she takes the piss out of me for thinking I'm Mr Saturday Night.

Which couples will we see on the series and what can we expect from them?
J: We've got a really good mix of ages and backgrounds and it's been genuinely fascinating to see how each couples' relationship becomes the third guest. We've got couples where we know both know people, like Rachel Riley and Pascha Kovalev and we know them as individuals but then the way they interact is like a third element.
L: And we've never seen that before. You've seen me and Jon but we haven't seen the other couples together before. Like Duncan James from Blue and his partner, Rodrigo, it's a fairly new relationship and they don't even live in the same country. And filming together was one of their date nights.
J: It's Rodrigo's first TV appearance.
L: He's so sweet. Everyone should get a Rodrigo for Christmas.
J: It was amazing to see the interplay between everyone. We know Bobby Mair and Harriet Kemsley from the comedy circuit and seeing them together as a couple, I think they've got what we've got. Because they're comics, they're able to say quite brutal things to one another and laugh about it, whereas, in other relationships something seemingly innocuous can upset the other person.
L: Michael and Hilary Whitehall have been married for 36 years whereas Amanda Abbington and Jonathan Goodwin got engaged they first time they met. So we've got such different relationships. Harriet and Bobby's relationship is all banter whereas Rachel and Pasha are so sweet with each other. It's fascinating.

You set lots of challenges for the couples, things like stacking a dishwasher or packing a car boot. Are these things that cause disagreements in your household?
J: The idea is to put the couples into situations where they could very quickly have an argument. There's a misconception with celebrities that everything is glitzy and glamorous, but this show has none of that and it's celebrities you know having the exact same arguments you're having at home. So we have packing for a holiday, filling the dishwasher, snoring… These arguments are universal, no matter who you are. We want couples at home to be nudging each other because it's all so familiar, or single people raising a glass to themselves for being single.

Did anything you put the couples through cause any arguments you were genuinely worried about?
L: We thought we'd started something between Vicky Pattison and her fiancé, Ercan. They had to write a poem to each other and Ercan basically said Vicky's accent went through him and he couldn't understand what she was saying half the time. We thought there might be words when they got home.
J: But there's nothing like an audience's laughter to defuse an argument because you realise how non-sensical it is anyway. Meet the Richardsons is basically an excuse for us to channel tensions into comedy and you see that in the studio, someone might start saying something thinking they're going to land a blow but as soon as us and the audience start laughing at them, they realise it's all nonsense.

Do you have any standout moments from the series? Or a favourite couple?
J: I could watch Bobby and Harriet 24 hours a day. I would watch Big Brother if it was just them locked in their house.
L: I loved them all but Duncan James and Rodrigo are adorable.
J: Duncan is so well known and Rodrigo isn't but that doesn't matter, it's the relationship that comes to the fore. The minute they walk into that first therapy session, even though Rodrigo is shy about the cameras, he knows what he wants to say about the mess Duncan makes when he has a shower.
L: We've got Kimberly Wyatt and Max Rodgers later in the series and if you follow them on Instagram, they're the most perfect couple but within 10 minutes of being on the show they're arguing about how goes out to mend a fence or something while she's inside with the kids and all the house work.
J: It proves what unique individuals' stand-up comics are, too. You forget in civilised society how brutal we are to each other and there are no barriers. We had Sara Pasco and Steen Raskopoulos doing each other's accents, which is one of my favourite parts of the series. The comic couples are fascinating to watch.

Married at First Sight's Charlene Douglas is the series' relationship expert. Do you think you tested the limits of her expertise?
L: Yes, probably. She was so clever at asking things like 'do you think it's fair to be asking that?' and making the couples think.
J: She was also analysing me and Lucy and there are times we've got the couples completing a task but what Charlene is actually doing is watching me passively aggressively telling Lucy she's using the stopwatch wrongly. We'd see Charlene scribbling down notes about us.

Have you learnt anything from filming the series? Either about yourselves or the nature of relationships in general?
L: We've learnt that all couples have beef with each other and have ongoing tensions about something. Everyone's the same.
J: It's not about whether you have issues or not, it's about how you deal with the issues. There is no perfect couple. Michael and Hilary Whitehall were absolutely brutal to each other and it's the lexicon of their marriage now.
L: I'd like to think that people watching who aren't in a couple will think they're ok and don't need to rush into anything.
J: I would punish any handholding or kissing in the studio as well. We don't want any of that.

Can you tell us a story about the oddest couple you know?
L: We know a couple that met when they were 15 and 16. They're best friends, they never argue, they don't spend a lot of money, they don't go on expensive holidays, they go to the same caravan site every year and have done for 18 years. They always enjoy it, even if it's raining and they're just stuck in the caravan together. They enjoy each other's company and they do everything together. It's hard to believe they're real.
J: The oddness by the way is just how happy they are.
L: They're so happy, it's amazing.
J: They're so kind and generous and it's just weird. We're waiting the big reveal, aren't we?
L: We're waiting for them to snap at each other and it just never happens.
J: Or something bigger than that, like 'Don't go in the basement!'
L: They are true love and it's hard to believe it really exists

Jon & Lucy's Odd Couples, Friday 13th January, 9pm, Channel 4 & All 4

Thursday 12 January 2023

Documentary (K)nox: The Rob Knox Story will begin streaming exclusively on ITVX from 23rd February

In 2008, 18-year-old Rob Knox was tragically killed days after completing filming for his breakout role as Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The news of his death made headlines and sparked calls to address knife crime. Despite this, knife violence continues to be a pressing issue both in the UK and globally. This emotional documentary includes interviews with Rob's family and friends, Harry Potter cast members such as Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Tom Felton, David Yates, Dani Harmer, and Blake Harrison, and archive interviews with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. The film delves into Rob's life leading up to his death and the police investigation and conviction of the perpetrator. It delivers a strong anti-knife crime message.

(K)nox: The Rob Knox Story will begin streaming exclusively on ITVX from 23rd February

Colin Murray named as permanent Countdown host

Colin Murray announced today that he will continue to host Countdown, the UK's longest-running TV quiz show. The show has seen its best ratings in over a decade, with December 2022 securing the highest share for the series. Colin, who has been the host since Summer 2022, made the announcement on Channel 4's live daily show Steph's Packed Lunch.

Colin said:   "It's a career dream to be named as permanent anchor of one of television's most iconic programmes. I have been a fan since day one, been part of the family for over a decade, appearing on Dictionary Corner, and now I get the honour of guiding it into a fifth decade.  However, I just don't want Countdown to survive, I want it to thrive. During my caretaker stint we've seen more people tune back in, with close to a million [0.9m] watching the series final in December, and I want that to just be the beginning.

"Countdown is a special show, and its stars will always be the letters and the numbers, but it's more than that. Great afternoon company for people of all ages from all across the UK. Rachel, Susie and I are very excited for the year ahead. If you haven't watched in a while, drop by and join us. Everyone is welcome."

Colin has taken over as the seventh permanent host of Countdown, succeeding Anne Robinson who resigned last summer. Other hosts before him include Richard Whiteley, Des Lynam, Des O'Connor, Jeff Stelling, and Nick Hewer. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the show, special guests Baroness Floella Benjamin, Sir Trevor McDonald, Reverend Richard Coles, and Moira Stuart each hosted a week of episodes.

Thursday 5 January 2023

TRAILER: Prince Harry interview with Tom Bradby

A second trailer for the upcoming interview with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, has been released by ITV. In the clip, Tom Bradby asks Prince Harry about his decision to talk about his relationships with his family in his forthcoming autobiography, "Spare," which will be published on January 10, two days after the broadcast.

Seemingly not learning the lessons of how the media treated his mother, Harry is desperate for attention and to sell a few more copies of his terrible new book, so will sell his soul to the devil at ITV to promote it.

Prince Harry: "I don't know how staying silent is ever going to make things better."

Tom Bradby: "Wouldn't your brother say to you, 'Harry, how could you do this to me after everything? After everything we went through?'  Wouldn't that be what he would say?"

Prince Harry: "He would probably say all sorts of different things."

Tom: "Some people will say you've railed against invasions of your privacy all your life and the accusation will be here are you invading the privacy of your nearest and dearest without permission, now that will be the accusation."

Prince Harry: "That would be the accusation from people that don't understand or don't want to believe that my family have been briefing the press."

In the clip, the interviewer also asks Prince Harry about plans for the coronation of his father, HRH King Charles, set for later this year, as well as about his view of the monarchy and his role in it.

Tom: "If you are invited to the coronation will you come?"

Prince Harry: "There's a lot that can happen between now and then.

"But the door is always open.  The ball is in their court.  There's a lot to be discussed and I really hope that they're willing to sit down and talk about it."

Tom: "Do you still believe in the monarchy?"

Prince Harry: "Yes."

Tom: "Do you believe you will play a part in its future?"

Prince Harry: "I don't know."

Harry: The Interview  on ITV1 and ITVX at 9pm on 8 January,

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Sky Sports have announced a new rights deal with the SA20 cricket league

Sky Sports has announced a 5-year rights deal for the South Africa T20 cricket league, which will begin on January 10, 2023. The league, featuring six privately-owned teams, will consist of 33 matches over the course of four weeks, and will be broadcast on Sky Sports Cricket channels for the first time. The league will showcase the talent of 102 world-class players, including several members of England's World Cup winning squad, such as captain Jos Buttler and the most expensive Indian Premier League player, Sam Curran. Bryan Henderson, Director of Cricket at Sky Sports, says they are excited to add the SA20 to their portfolio and believe it will be a great competition. 

In addition to the SA20, Sky Sports will also be broadcasting three England Men's ODI's in South Africa on January 27, 29, and February 1. The SA20 is a welcome addition to the world T20 cricket schedule, providing access for both current and new, younger cricket fans to watch top players on the global stage.

Interview with Waterloo Road star Angela Griffin (Kim Campbell)

About Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell is head teacher. Waterloo Road is her first headship and she's been in the post for two years, arriving at the onset of the pandemic and pipping Deputy Head, Lindon, to the post. Kim has endured two very bumpy years of fire-fighting Covid, sickness, school closures, teaching in bubbles, stressed staff and pupils with a myriad of problems that so much lost learning and isolation have caused. This academic year, Kim is hoping for a return to something like normal. Or a new normal – whatever that looks like.

Angela Griffin Q&A

Welcome back to Waterloo Road. How has it been stepping back into school?

I have thoroughly enjoyed stepping back into school and taking Kim Campbell back on again, but, in all honesty, it feels like a brand-new job. It doesn't feel like I've gone back in time. I absolutely feel like I'm Kim Campbell rooted in 2023. She's a different woman. She's a different teacher. I mean, well, she's the head for example, which uses a completely different skill set than to be head of pastoral. This is probably where a lot of the conflict comes from for Kim in the new series because no matter what, at heart, she is a pastoral care teacher, but she has to now be a head.

The reason why she has progressed up the management ladder is something quite huge. A very big life event, trauma, has occurred since we last saw Kim, and that trauma has caused her to want to shut off her emotions more and try not to get as invested in people and other people's lives. So yeah, she's back, she's bigger, she's better and she's head-ier.

What was it that made you want to return?

There were so many different reasons why I wanted to return to Waterloo Road and the conversations in all honesty had been going on for quite a while. First, it got floated that Waterloo Road was going to come back. Then it was what capacity Kim would come back in and because she's moved on. Because you don't want to keep treading the same ground with a character, you know, you want something new.

When I got told what her story would be, and how she had developed and how she'd moved on, that made it really, really attractive. There were going to be some really great things to play and you'll get to see them, but there's a secondary element to why I decided to come back and it was the extracurriculars, I suppose, of Waterloo Road.

Cameron Roach, the exec producer, talked me through what he wanted to achieve with making a new series, it wasn't just about making an entertaining show on screen. It was also about creating a workplace that was massively inclusive for every kind of person, but really focusing on finding people from the North who don't have connections with the business. People who are from working class backgrounds, who you wouldn't normally find in the industry and inviting them in and training them up. Giving opportunities where opportunities are very, very, very, very scarce. I'm very aware of the fact that I was lucky to get into acting, it wasn't what I was supposed to do.  Where I came from, this wasn't where we're supposed to end up.

And I am really passionate about finding other actors who, like me, might not have the leg up that some people in the industry do, and Cameron matched my passion in that area.

And we've achieved it. I think. We are achieving it. It's not going to stop in fact.

Miss Campbell is head teacher. How did you feel when you found that out?

I found out that Kim was going to be head quite early on and it kind of blew my mind, because well it's just prestigious, innit! To be the head of Waterloo Road. There's been 10 series and to add to the shelf of heads felt like a real honour and a real privilege. Also, because Kim comes from pastoral, it isn't a natural path for her, that's not the type of person she is. It's about budgeting. It's about economics. It's about politics. She was just about the kids. So it meant a really interesting arc for her as to why she'd got there. So basically, I was just dead chuffed.

Can you tell us a little bit about where we find Kim in the new series?

Kim enters the new series of Waterloo Road as the head, I think she's going into her second year, but she's coming off the back of Covid. She's coming off the back of the cost-of-living crisis. She's coming off the back of the MeToo movement, of the Black Lives Matter movement, and school is a very different place to where we left it before.

The research I did before starting doing Waterloo Road pointed towards this. This is a much trickier ground now and kids are politicised, you know. They have a voice, and they know how to use their voice now. We're definitely not in Victorian times, there's definitely no 'be seen and not heard'.

They are heard, and they want to be seen and they have got something to say and which is brilliant, fantastic – it's quite hard to run a school like that.

It's quite hard to run a school when everyone thinks that what they think is the right thing. It's a microcosm. School of society, and it is really polarised. You've got people with very, very opposing points of view. They're excellent adults but a nightmare in school. So yeah, we find her slap bang in the middle of a very political movement and the students feeling very strongly about a point and she's trying to navigate that.

What's Kim's relationship like with the other teachers?

I think it's pretty good, as good as it should be for a head, possibly better. She's not there to be liked, she's there to manage. She is there to rule and control like a queen. Some people are happy about that and some people aren't. Some don't really go along with her way of thinking, her way of teaching or the way that she wants to run the school. So, there is definite conflict, but she's also respected by probably an equal number of teachers, so she gets on with them. Kim's not gone completely, the old Kim is still absolutely there, and she is warm and friendly. She wants to laugh. We do keep seeing glimpses of that.

What is it about Kim that you like playing?

The thing I love about playing Kim is her passion. She really, really believes in the kids and I find it fascinating. I'm a mum. I've got teenagers and I've spent quite a lot of time in secondary schools and it's just hats off. Hats off to these adults who give their lives for not enough money, not enough respect. She does it ferociously. She really, really believes in the kids, she believes in what she's doing, and she's willing to go to the ends of the earth for kids she hasn't birthed. I mean, obviously I do it for my kids, but for kids that are a bit naughty and a bit annoying, they've got as much right as every other kid as far as Kim is concerned. And it's always good to play something the opposite of what you are.

She's really ace Kim. I'd be her mate.

There are some really incredible performances by the young class in the series, what can you tell us about them?

The young cast in this show are really quite phenomenal. Their professionalism, their talent, their warmth, and their socialising. They've got it all. They've really, really got it all. The talent that is there, is really really quite incredible. And you know I have done these shows quite a few times, and I've watched people come through the ranks and I'm now watching them in hit shows on every kind of streaming platform and in Hollywood movies.

And this generation is not going to let us down. In fact, if I was going to say anything I would say that they are even more professional. They know what they're doing here. Because we've seen what's happened, they know what they're in. And they're really respectful of the fact that they feel very lucky to be in the show. None of them take it for granted. And they work their socks off. Honestly, they're so good.

Do you think there are more challenges facing kids today than when Waterloo Road first aired?

I think the difference between kids going to school now and when Waterloo Road first aired is vast. I mean we all know social media has changed everything; it's changed life as we know it. In terms of school, the access that kids have got now. I mean there are some amazing things too. The access to help, to advice, to people. You know someone struggling with who they are, you can go online and find people just like you and that can be less isolating for some kids. There are positives. I'm not just going to slag it off and say it's awful. But what it also does is, for example, kids have always been bullied. People go to school, some kids get bullied, some people don't. The bullying ended when you got through the front door, you know some people might've even got chased home from school. You get into your front door and it is gone, so you get 12 hours of peace. It doesn't end there anymore.

Now, that bullying and intimidation intensifies once someone's gone into their front door. They're upstairs in their bedroom and they've got their phone there and people can still get to them. I think that is horrific. I think you know, we used to have magazines, we used to have Just Seventeen and all this kind of stuff, and we'd go oh, "I wish I looked like them", but that was if you could afford the magazine, you had to go to the shop and buy it. Whereas now it is a scroll, oh this is how I should look, oh this is how I should be, why haven't I got this?, Oh my gosh, there's a party going on. Look, I haven't been invited but all my mates have. It's an onslaught and I think it's changed for them in so many different ways, but social media has ramped up those already quite horrific teenage feelings. And I think that is one of the biggest, biggest challenges that the pupils of the new series of Waterloo Road have in comparison to the pupils in the original series.

Would Kim have enjoyed teaching a young Angela at School?

Kim would have loved to have taught young Angela; I think. I loved school. I love seeing my mates. And when a good teacher came along, who could engage me, then I was theirs. You know, I was putty in their hands, and I wanted to please. I'd always stand up and read, and I'd always hand things out. I wasn't shy, I wasn't retiring; I always had an answer. I didn't care about putting my hand up. Not in a rude way but I was there. I wanted to learn.

Now as an adult I know that there were crap teachers and if we even saw the slightest chink of vulnerability, then I wouldn't have any of it. So, I think that Kim would have enjoyed it, because I think she would have been able to get the best out of young Angela, but I wasn't a walk in the park by any means.

What do you think audiences will take from this new series?

Ultimately, I want them to be entertained. I want them to meet their new mates. I want them to become part of the Waterloo Road community and feel like they belong. I want them to be able to identify, whether it be their daughter, their sister, their best friend, I want them to find somebody within the show who they really relate to and to give them some comforts of going, yeah do you know what? I'm not the only one, oh yeah that does happen, oh yeah of course, well it happened over there. But I want to entertain, you know we're making TV, we're not making a documentary over here, this is about entertainment. I want to challenge people, I want to make them think maybe they don't agree with some points of view. I hope that in the show that they're showing everyone's points of view anyway. So, I hope that everyone feels like they're being spoken for in the show. But ultimately, I want them to just really bloody enjoy it and I want them to fall in love with the characters and ultimately become their mates.