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Thursday 27 July 2023

Celebrity Race Across The World line up revealed

The highly anticipated "Celebrity" Race Across The World, set to air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year, has revealed its line-up of washed-up celebs and family members you have never heard of.

The adventurous nobodies embarking on this thrilling journey are broadcaster Alex Beresford (Weatherman who had an on air tiff with Piers Morgan, yes that is why he is famous), accompanied by his father Noel; singer Mel Blatt (a member of a girl band in the 1990s that no one remembers), joined by her mother Helene; drummer Harry Judd (the crap one from McFly), teaming up with his mother Emma, and British Racing Driver and pundit Billy Monger (Lost his legs in a racing accident in 2017, so now he is a celebrity), accompanied by his sister Bonny. 

This "star-studded" series follows the successful BAFTA Award-winning format of Race Across The World, produced by Studio Lambert, and comes on the heels of an immensely popular earlier season.

The epic journey commences in Marrakech, Morocco, the north-western country of Africa, and concludes in Tromsø, Norway, also known as the Arctic capital. Covering a staggering 10,000 kilometers and spanning 24 countries, the route will take the pairs through diverse landscapes and cultures, from the vibrant city of Marrakech to the serene beaches of the Mediterranean, historic European cities, the majestic Alps, unexplored Central Europe, the enchanting Baltic States, and the snowy regions of Scandinavia.

Throughout this six-part celebrity version, the four celebrities and their racing partners will undertake the challenge of reaching a finish line that lies thousands of miles away, all without the aid of air travel or any modern conveniences. Stripped of luxuries and technological comforts, they must rely on their skills, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and sheer hard work to succeed. With no credit cards, smartphones, internet access, and only the cash equivalent of completing the route by air, they will have to earn additional money along the way and seek the kindness of strangers to progress. This incredible journey will offer a unique and revealing insight into the celebrities and their relationships with their travel companions, making it a must-watch adventure for viewers.

Explaining why each of them decided to sign up to Celebrity Race Across The World, (definitely nothing to do with them not having real jobs, so any wage they can earn is greatly appreciated) the teams shared their thoughts:

Alex Beresford said: "I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to do something that we've never done before. Neither of us have ever backpacked, so it's a new experience. And, also, just to see some amazing places! Across continents and across countries, and you're getting to see everything at ground level, so it's completely different to just flying over – getting to immerse yourself in different cultures and communities."

Noel Beresford said: "I'm into exploring new things, so this seemed like a good opportunity to see all the different cultures and how other people live and see how we get on."

Mel Blatt commented: "For the experience, to be out of my comfort zone, to do something that I wouldn't necessarily choose to do on my own. I'm definitely up for challenges and pushing myself… And this is what mum does all the time!"

Helene Blatt said: "I like to discover new things and have experiences and it's one of my passions – travelling, having new experiences."

Harry Judd said: "I never travelled when I was younger. I travelled with the band, but I never properly did backpacking and I always wanted to. I think the same applies for my mum, she always wanted to but started a family when she was 22."

Emma Judd continued: "Yeah, I was young and one thing I think that I've missed in my life, not that I regret it, was actually backpacking and going off on an adventure like this. So, when Harry had the opportunity come along, I thought what could be better than going on an adventure with my son!"

Billy Monger said: "We've spoken about travelling before, but it would probably be a little bit different to what I imagine this is going to be like - in terms of doing everything on such a budget and staying in hostels and being tight on money for food. With this opportunity, I spoke to Bon about it, and she said it could be quite cool. So, we sat down and watched the previous series and got more and more into it and then decided why not!"

Bonny Monger added: "We've always spoken about travelling and going and doing something together, but we've never actually been organised enough to do it. With this, it's not organised for us, and we have to do it ourselves so it's kind of like being thrown in the deep end and you've just got to do it."

Yalda Hakim joins Sky News

Sky News has made a significant addition to its team as Yalda Hakim takes on the role of Lead World News Presenter. In her new position, Hakim will anchor a primetime program that forms a crucial part of the network's multiplatform approach to delivering international news.

As an accomplished foreign correspondent with numerous awards to her name, Yalda Hakim currently serves as the chief presenter for the BBC News channel, where she hosts the highly-regarded program, "The Daily Global with Yalda Hakim."

This appointment is a testament to Sky News' ongoing dedication to providing in-depth foreign and eyewitness journalism across a diverse range of platforms, encompassing digital media, television, and audio services on a global scale. With Yalda Hakim at the helm, audiences can expect a continued commitment to excellence in delivering comprehensive international news coverage.

Yalda Hakim, said:"I am honoured and excited to be joining Sky News as lead world news presenter. I have long admired Sky for its smart, fearless and world-class reporting. At a time when global media must work harder than ever to earn the confidence of our viewers, I look forward to giving my all as part of one of the most talented and accomplished news teams anywhere."

Mission To Burnley - Coming to Sky Documentaries

Sky is set to premiere the captivating 4-part docuseries "Mission to Burnley" on Sky Documentaries and NOW. Audiences can enjoy all episodes as a boxset starting from August 10, while weekly episodes will air on Sky Documentaries. This exciting Sky Original series chronicles the remarkable revival of one of England's historic clubs, Burnley FC, following its acquisition by a charismatic group of American owners and under the leadership of Vincent Kompany during a season of footballing evolution.

To build anticipation for the series, Sky commissioned artwork featuring Burnley boss Vincent Kompany and owner Alan Pace, displayed on the side of a house in Higgin Street, opposite Turf Moor, and will be shown in the opening sequence of the documentary.

Produced by the award-winning indie Ad Hoc Films, known for their acclaimed works like 'QPR: The Four-Year Plan' and 'The United Way,' this observational documentary series spans four parts and follows the American owners ALK Partners as they navigate the intricacies of modern football. Driven by their religious faith as members of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, ALK Partners left Wall Street behind to embark on a mission in Turf Moor, Lancashire, aiming to build a global footballing dynasty centered around Burnley.

With unparalleled access to the inner workings of the club, including the boardroom and dressing room, viewers will embark on a compelling fly-on-the-wall journey through a one-team working-class town, where football is a way of life. The series charts a rollercoaster period for Burnley, from the devastation of relegation from the 2021/22 Premier League to the triumphant jubilation of their promotion in emphatic fashion. It explores the club's evolution under the guidance of the game's exciting young manager, Vincent Kompany, while delving deep into the bittersweet realities of striving for success in football. Ultimately, the result is redemption, with Kompany leading the team to an unforgettable title-winning season in a swashbuckling style.

"Mission to Burnley" offers a candid and extraordinary insight into the operations of a major football club, as it embarks on a unique journey back to the prestigious leagues of the world. Football fans and documentary enthusiasts alike will be captivated by this compelling and raw portrayal of Burnley FC's revival and transformation.

The full episode schedule is as follows:

Ep 1: A Bad Day (10 August)
Ep 2: We Go Again (17 August)
Ep 3: Attitude and Heart (24 August)
Ep 4: More than a Memory (31 August)

ITV has revealed its upcoming propaganda drama, "Breathtaking," which focuses on the subject of Covid-19.

"Breathtaking," a compelling three-part drama commissioned by ITV's Head of Drama, Polly Hill, has been announced, showcasing the talent of Golden Globe award-winning actress Joanne Froggatt. The series delves into the gripping and poignant account of an NHS doctor at the epicentre of the storm during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, and helps push the propaganda narrative that the UK Government was pushing at the time.

Filming for this Soviet like propaganda drama was completed earlier this year in Northern Ireland. Joanne Froggatt takes on the role of a dedicated frontline hospital consultant, bringing her remarkable skills to the portrayal of the character. "Breathtaking" draws its inspiration from the unflinching personal memoir of doctor-writer Rachel Clarke, capturing the profound impact of the greatest public health crisis in recent history.

The script for the series is a collaborative effort, with Rachel Clarke, along with former junior hospital doctors Jed Mercurio and Prasanna Puwanarajah, adapting the memoir for television. The directorial helm of "Breathtaking" is skilfully handled by Craig Viveiros, known for his work on projects such as "Angela Black," "The Watch," and "The War of the Worlds."

This promising drama promises to deliver a gripping and emotional narrative, shedding light on the experiences of healthcare professionals on the frontline during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yorkshire Day celebration coming to ITV3

ITV3 has exciting plans for a special celebration of Yorkshire Day on Tuesday, 1st August, featuring a fantastic lineup of iconic Yorkshire-themed dramas filmed in the region.

The Yorkshire Day festivities will commence with a trip down memory lane as the very first episode of "Where The Heart Is" graces the screen. Nostalgia will fill the air as classic favorites like "The Royal" and "Heartbeat" follow suit, entertaining viewers throughout the morning.

As part of this delightful lineup, ITV3 has a special treat in store: back-to-back episodes of the beloved "Classic Emmerdale," allowing fans to relive cherished moments and memorable storylines. And that's not all - after immersing themselves in the world of Emmerdale, viewers can delight in the charm and grandeur of the ever-popular "Downton Abbey Movie." It's an unmissable day of Yorkshire-themed drama that promises to captivate the audience and pay tribute to the beauty of the region.

ITV3 Tuesday 1st August 2023
0800 Where The Heart Is (1st ever ep)
0900 The Royal
1000 The Royal
1100 Heartbeat
1200 Heartbeat
1330 Classic Emmerdale
1400 Classic Emmerdale
1430 Classic Emmerdale
1500 Classic Emmerdale
1530 A Touch of Frost
1800 Heartbeat
1900 Heartbeat
2000 Downton Abbey Movie
2200 DCI Banks
2300 DCI Banks

The Gathering - Coming to Channel 4 - Who is going to be in the cast?

The Gathering, a compelling six-part drama, is currently in production, brought to you by the acclaimed World Productions (known for Line of Duty, Save Me, Vigil). The series marks the television debut of the talented writer and director Helen Walsh, who presents her first original script.

Leading the cast are Eva Morgan, a promising newcomer, portraying Kelly, and Sadie Soverall (known for Little Bone Lodge) as Jessica. Alongside them, Vinette Robinson (from Boiling Point, The Lazarus Project) takes on the role of Jessica's assertive and pushy mother, Natalie. Warren Brown (known for Ten Pound Poms, The Responder) portrays Paul, Kelly's hardworking single parent, while Richard Coyle (from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Then You Run, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) stars as Jules, a successful solicitor.

The story revolves around a violent attack on a teenage girl during a rave on a tidal islet in Merseyside. The narrative focuses on a diverse group of teenagers, each with a possible motive for the crime, as well as their parents, who all become subjects of suspicion.

Eva Morgan's character, Kelly, finds herself navigating two distinct worlds. On one hand, she is an accomplished gymnast on the path to greatness, but she faces conflicts with her ultra-competitive teammates and their ambitious parents. On the other hand, she embraces the reckless and free-spirited lifestyle of a group of urban free-runners, which contrasts sharply with the strict discipline of her competitive sports world. This multi-faceted story reflects the complexities of our contemporary society.

The cast also includes Sonny Walker (from The Responder) as Adam, along with newcomers Luca Kamleh-Chapman as Bazi and Hebron Tedros as Dessie.

The Gathering delves into the dynamics between today's parents and their teenagers, exploring the fine line between granting freedom and ensuring safety in a world heavily influenced by social media, where fame and notoriety can be attained or lost overnight with the simple click of a thumb. The series questions whether it's responsible for parents to be overly invested in their children's lives or irresponsible not to be aware of their activities.

Helen Walsh, writer, said, "I'm thrilled to have a brilliant cast on board led by such established talent. Our young actors, many of whom are newcomers, have wowed us with their raw and heartfelt depictions of teenagers having to navigate adult problems in morally ambiguous worlds."

DAZN Women’s Football Channel released on Rakuten

Rakuten TV, a prominent streaming platform in Europe, is launching an exciting new football FAST channel called "DAZN Women's Football." This channel aims to bring football fans closer to the action they love, just in time for the FIFA Women's World Cup that commenced on July 20th.

The DAZN Women's Football FAST channel promises fans a front-row seat to the finest moments in women's football. It will feature live coverage of UEFA Women's Champions League (UWCL) and Liga F matches, along with exclusive behind-the-scenes access and highlight packages showcasing the top teams and players in women's football. Additionally, viewers can enjoy premium non-live content, including "One Team, One Dream," a captivating six-part documentary series narrating the behind-the-scenes journey of Chelsea Women between 2019 and 2021, featuring coach Emma Hayes and star players like Sam Kerr. Furthermore, the channel will host "The Match Up," an interview series with prominent stars from the women's game, such as Leah Williamson, Danielle van de Donk, Jordyn Huitema, and Mapi Leon.

Football enthusiasts in various European countries, including the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Macedonia, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, will have access to the channel.

This launch represents a significant milestone in Rakuten TV's commitment to supporting sports and fostering inclusivity. The platform has always provided its viewers with empowering and diverse football-related stories through Rakuten Originals, featuring documentaries that reflect the company's core values. Titles like "Champions" showcase the passion and talent of football trailblazers such as Alexia Putellas, Lucy Bronze, and Wendie Renard.

To cater to its audience across all devices, the DAZN Women's Football FAST channel will be available for streaming on the Rakuten TV app. Rakuten TV's FAST channels line-up and AVOD section have seen remarkable growth, inspiring the platform to explore opportunities for content acquisition to establish its own localized channels for specific territories.

Currently available in 43 European territories, Rakuten TV reaches over 140 million households through its branded remote-control button and pre-installed app in Smart TV devices.

Monday 24 July 2023

RIP: George Alagiah

The BBC has announced the death of its much-loved journalist and presenter George Alagiah.

George died today (Monday, 24 July 2023). He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2014.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie said:
"Across the BBC, we are all incredibly sad to hear the news about George. We are thinking of his family at this time.

"George was one of the best and bravest journalists of his generation who reported fearlessly from across the world as well as presenting the news flawlessly.

"He was more than just an outstanding journalist, audiences could sense his kindness, empathy and wonderful humanity. He was loved by all and we will miss him enormously."

George Alagiah Biography
George Alagiah, a distinguished journalist, dedicated over three decades of his career to reporting and presenting for the BBC. For the past 20 years, he has been the face of the BBC News at Six. However, his journey in journalism began as a foreign affairs correspondent in 1989, after which he became the Africa correspondent, earning accolades for his outstanding work.

Having been born in Sri Lanka and later moving to Ghana and England during his childhood, George brought a unique perspective to his reporting. His exceptional reporting on the famine and war in Somalia during the early 1990s earned him numerous awards. In 1994, he was even nominated for a Bafta for his coverage of Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign against the Kurds in northern Iraq.

George Alagiah's dedication to journalism extended beyond reporting on conflicts. He was named Amnesty International's journalist of the year in 1994 for his in-depth reporting on the civil war in Burundi. Additionally, he received the Broadcasting Press Guild's award for television journalist of the year.

Throughout his illustrious career, George presented various news programs on the BBC, including the BBC One O'Clock News, Nine O'Clock News, and BBC Four News. In 2003, he was appointed as one of the main presenters of the prestigious BBC News at Six. He also had his own show on BBC World News for many years.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to journalism, George Alagiah was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008.

In 2014, George faced a significant challenge when he was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer. However, his determination and passion for journalism remained unwavering, and he returned to presenting the following year. Even during his treatment, he continued to fulfill his role as a BBC presenter, displaying remarkable strength and commitment.

George shared a fulfilling family life with his wife of 40 years, Frances Robathan, and together they had two sons. Their family expanded further with the addition of three grandchildren. Throughout his career and personal life, George Alagiah exemplified resilience, excellence, and dedication, leaving a lasting impact on the field of journalism and the lives of those he touched.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, David Arnold and Don Black Come Together in Theme Song for Mog’s Christmas

Three prominent British musical talents have come together to create the theme song for the highly anticipated adaptation of Judith Kerr's beloved children's book, "Mog's Christmas," to be aired on Channel 4 and Universal Pictures Content Group. This heartwarming collaboration involves multi-award-winning composer David Arnold and Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black, who joined forces to create "As Long as I Belong." The talented singer-songwriter, author, mom of five, and podcaster Sophie Ellis-Bextor lends her enchanting voice to the song, adding her own unique flair to the beautiful ballad.

"As Long as I Belong" emphasizes the significance of belonging and will accompany a specially animated segment of the hand-drawn animated special. The scene depicts Mog's dream as she drifts off to sleep on a snowy rooftop on Christmas Eve.

The musical genius behind "As Long as I Belong" and the original score for Mog's Christmas is David Arnold, celebrated for his work on five James Bond films and a plethora of film and television productions, including "Sherlock." Don Black, a BBC R2 DJ and Oscar-winning lyricist, has masterfully penned the song's touching lyrics. He is renowned for his contributions to five James Bond film soundtracks and several timeless hits, including the Academy Award-winning "Born Free" in 1966.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor brings her unmatched style and exuberance to the performance of "As Long as I Belong." The accomplished singer, known for hits like "Groovejet" and "Murder on the Dancefloor," boasts seven studio albums, including the latest release, "Hana." Her incredible talent has earned her numerous accolades, including a Hungarian Music Award, two Ericsson Muzik Awards, an AIM Independent Music Award, and three Brit Award nominations.

Speaking at Air Studios in London where the song was recorded, Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: "When I told my kids I'd been asked to sing Mog's song, they couldn't really believe it because Mog has been part of our world since my eldest was small, and he's 20 next year! It feels really special."

David Arnold, composer, said: "I'd have been really annoyed if they'd have asked someone else – it takes you back to the days when you were reading the book to your kids, so it's a lovely thing to be asked to do."

Lyricist Don Black said: "We both had such a great time doing The Tiger Who Came To Tea that it was an easy decision to come back for Mog – it's a dream project for a lyricist."

Mog's Christmas has been commissioned by Channel 4 in association with Universal Pictures Content Group and is produced by Lupus Films, for HarperCollins Children's Books and Universal Pictures Content Group.   It will transmit on Channel 4 at Christmas 2023

Thursday 20 July 2023

Charlotte in Sunderland - Charlotte Crosby returns to BBC Three

BBC Three and BBC iPlayer are set to bring back the captivating and ever-changing world of Charlotte Crosby, the entrepreneur and TV personality, with the much-awaited return of "Charlotte in Sunderland" for its second series in 2023.

Produced by Chatterbox Media, the second season of "Charlotte in Sunderland" (consisting of 10 episodes, each lasting 30 minutes) continues the compelling journey from where the first series left off. Viewers will witness Charlotte's life as she navigates through a series of transformative moments. Among them are her revelation of being pregnant with her first child, her partner Jake's decision to move from Manchester to the North East, her mother's cancer diagnosis, and the heartbreaking loss of her beloved nana Jean.

As the second series unfolds, Charlotte's daughter Alba is now seven months old, and the show captures her life as a new mother while she sets her sights on ambitious plans for the rest of 2023. Get ready for more exciting, emotional, and unpredictable moments as Charlotte's journey continues to unfold on screen.

Charlotte Crosby says: "I am so excited to announce that I am back on BBC Three in the Autumn for series 2 of Charlotte in Sunderland! Last year was a rollercoaster and the BBC and Chatterbox showed great sensitivity while filming some of the happiest and saddest moments of my life. I will treasure it forever as a tribute to my lovely Nana Jean. Get ready for another amazing series which will bring everyone up to date with me Jake and Alba - and of course Mam and Dad. It will be full of lols and a few surprises!"

Series 1 of Charlotte in Sunderland averaged 300,000 (28 day / 4Screen) with 40% of this audience between the ages of 16-34, with strong overall iPlayer viewing (62%) and the series performed particularly well with viewers in the North of England. The series also generated 448k engagements via social media with a combined total of 36m impressions.

Charlotte in Sunderland series 2 will be broadcast on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer this Autumn.

The first series is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.

The Supervet Returns with Puppy Special

Don't miss the highly anticipated return of "The Supervet" with an adorable puppy special, airing on Thursday at 9:00 pm.

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Britain's beloved vet, is back with a heartwarming new series. The premiere episode will showcase the incredible stories of some of the youngest and most endearing puppies who have received life-saving treatment from him. Prepare to be moved by the touching journey of Rough Collie Merida and many other furry friends, as they receive the care and attention they need to thrive.


Wednesday 19 July 2023

The Chelsea Detective starring Adrian Scarborough returns for Series 2 on 28th August

Series 2 Premieres Monday, 28th August 2023


Acorn TV Original

(Episode 1 – new episodes weekly)

The second season brings new cases for Detective Inspector Max Arnold (Adrian Scarborough, Killing Eve) and the team to investigate as Detective Sergeant Layla Walsh (Vanessa Emme, Dublin Murders) joins Chelsea CID from Exeter. Layla isn't wide eyed or naïve about life in London, but she is an outsider and will occasionally roll her eyes at the worst excesses of Chelsea. Layla speaks her mind and isn't afraid to be forthright in her questioning – be that questioning a person of interest or questioning how the team investigate their cases.

Monday 17 July 2023

Acorn TV Highlights 7th - 21st August inc. Dalgliesh Series 2, The Madame Blanc Mysteries Series 2, The Great Train Robbery, Vienna Blood Series 1 and 2 & more

Series 2 Binge Premieres Monday, 14th August 2023


Acorn TV Exclusive

The captivating British detective drama Dalgliesh returns. The second season, consisting of six episodes, is based on three more novels from P.D. James’ bestselling murder mystery series with Bertie Carvel (The Crown, Doctor Foster) reprising his role as the enigmatic titular investigator. Akin to other distinguished detectives, like Holmes and Poirot, this season sees DCI Adam Dalgliesh (Carvel) taking us through 1970s England as he solves unusual murders ranging from a senior forensic biologist found dead in his lab, to an illustrious but controversial defence barrister found deceased in her chambers, to a young doctor being set on fire in the grounds of his family museum.

Series 2 Binge Premieres Monday, 21st August 2023


Acorn TV Exclusive

Renowned and respected antiques dealer, Jean White (Sally Lindsay) returns fresh from surviving an attempt on her life by the duplicitous Barbara.  Jean’s expertise in the world of antiquities and antiques once again proves the key to solving a series of murders and mysteries against the backdrop of the beautiful French village of Sainte Victoire. This season, Jean and Dom will grow much closer – but will friendship finally grow into something more? Meanwhile, love rolls into town for Gloria, and Barbara has deadly plans to finally finish what she began.


Monday, 7th August 2023

The Great Train Robbery

Marking the 60th anniversary, this two-part series tells the story of the real-life event in 1963 - known as the Great Train Robbery - in which a gang of 15 robbers, led by mastermind Bruce Reynolds, attacked a train and got away with more than £2.6 million (equal to £45 million today). Part one tells the story from the robbers' point of view, detailing how the robbery was inspired, planned, rehearsed and executed. Part two takes a look at the police investigation into the robbery, led by London DCS Tommy Butler, as the team of detectives try to identify every criminal involved in the crime and bring them to justice before they flee England. Stars Luke Evans, Martin Compston, Jim Broadbent and Robert Glenister.

A Tale of Two Thieves

In 1963 in the English countryside, fifteen men pulled off 'The Great Train Robbery' netting today's equivalent of £45 million. This incredible docu-drama-film features Gordon Goody, one of the robbers going on the record and revealing the identity of the missing mastermind behind Britain's most famous heist - the elusive and mysterious 'Ulsterman' who disappeared into the ether with over £2 million. 

Monday, 14th August 2023

Dalgliesh Series 2 - Acorn TV Exclusive (Full Series Binge)

The captivating British detective drama Dalgliesh returns. The second season, consisting of six episodes, is based on three more novels from P.D. James’ bestselling murder mystery series with Bertie Carvel (The Crown, Doctor Foster) reprising his role as the enigmatic titular investigator. Akin to other distinguished detectives, like Holmes and Poirot, this season sees DCI Adam Dalgliesh (Carvel) taking us through 1970’s England as he solves unusual murders ranging from a senior forensic biologist found dead in his lab, to an illustrious but controversial defence barrister found deceased in her chambers, to a young doctor being set on fire in the grounds of his family museum.

Vienna Blood  Series 1 and 2

Set in 1900s Vienna, Austria, Max Liebermann, a disciple of Freud, brings his extraordinary skills of perception and forensics - and a deep understanding of human behaviour and deviance – to help DI Oskar Rheinhardt solve some of Vienna’s most mysterious and deadly cases.

Monday, 21st August 2023

The Madame Blanc Mysteries Series 2 - Acorn TV Exclusive (Full Series Binge)

Renowned and respected antiques dealer, Jean White (Sally Lindsay) returns fresh from surviving an attempt on her life by the duplicitous Barbara.  Jean’s expertise in the world of antiquities and antiques once again proves the key to solving a series of murders and mysteries against the backdrop of the beautiful French village of Sainte Victoire. This season, Jean and Dom will grow much closer – but will friendship finally grow into something more? Meanwhile, love rolls into town for Gloria, and Barbara has deadly plans to finally finish what she began.

Soccer Saturday announce Simon Thomas as new presenter

Starting from the upcoming 2023/24 football season, Simon Thomas will take on the role of presenter for Gillette Soccer Saturday. With over 20 years of broadcasting experience, including a decade at Sky Sports, Simon brings his popularity and expertise to this new position.

Simon initially joined Sky Sports in 2005, where he began as a presenter on Sky Sports News. He later became the lead presenter for live football coverage, including the Premier League and EFL. Simon has also filled in for Jeff Stelling on several occasions in the past year.

Joining Simon on the revamped Gillette Soccer Saturday team is former Premier League referee, Mike Dean. After concluding his illustrious 27-year refereeing career in 2022, with 22 of those years spent officiating matches in the top flight of domestic football, Mike will now provide comprehensive analysis and insights on the most crucial decisions made throughout the country every Saturday.

In addition to the new presenters, Gillette Soccer Saturday will showcase a fresh look this season with a brand-new studio. Alongside Simon and Mike, a roster of familiar faces will join the panel, including Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison, Michael Dawson, Sue Smith, Kris Boyd, and Tim Sherwood. Julian Warren will continue in his role as the presenter of Gillette Soccer Special for mid-week matches.

With Simon Thomas and Mike Dean leading the way, and the talented panel of experts contributing their insights, Gillette Soccer Saturday is set to offer an exciting and comprehensive football analysis experience for fans across the nation.

Commenting on becoming the presenter of Gillette Soccer Saturday, Simon Thomas said: "When I left Sky in 2018 for very personal reasons; it was always said the door would be open if I ever wanted to return. I never expected that Gillette Soccer Saturday would be the door that would open.

"Being asked to present this iconic show and follow in the footsteps of Jeff Stelling, an absolute giant of sports broadcasting, is a massive honour and one I simply cannot wait to get started on."

New Gillette Soccer Saturday panellist Mike Dean said: "It feels a bit surreal to be a part of such a well-loved show, but I can't wait to join the team. With all the technology available in today's game, I think it's crucial that fans understand why decisions have been made, even if they don't agree with them!"

Sky Sports' Director of Football, Gary Hughes, added: "Simon left Sky at the top of his profession as a Premier League presenter, delivering the biggest games to big audiences. It's brilliant to have someone with his experience and credibility back on the team to take Gillette Soccer Saturday into a new era.

"We're also delighted to welcome Mike to Sky Sports. He was one of the game's most well-known and well-liked referees. In his role he'll be explaining the big calls and decisions from his unique perspective, providing fans of Gillette Soccer Saturday and our Premier League coverage with greater analysis, insight and understanding."

The Sean Lock Comedy Award - Announced by Channel 4

Channel 4 has announced The Sean Lock Comedy Award, a platform that will shine a spotlight on emerging writers and performers who embody the distinctive comedic spirit of Sean Lock and the channel itself.

The recipient of this prestigious award will be granted a remarkable opportunity to launch their career in TV comedy. They will receive £5,000 to support their live work, along with a script commission from Channel 4's esteemed comedy team. Additionally, they will have the privilege of shadowing writers on Channel 4's comedy entertainment shows and will be commissioned with £1,000 to write a script for Channel 4's digital strand. Furthermore, they will benefit from invaluable support and mentoring sessions with Channel 4's commissioning teams.

Sean Lock was an extraordinary talent who made an indelible mark on stand-up, entertainment, and scripted comedy. From his critically acclaimed sitcom "15 Storeys High" to his unforgettable appearances on "8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown" and numerous sold-out stand-up tours, Sean always offered a fresh and singular perspective on life. He was respected by his peers and stood as a true individual in the comedy world. Sean embodied the essence of Channel 4—an alternative voice with meaningful and accessible insights, delivered in his own inimitable style.

As part of this award, Channel 4 has collaborated with several live comedy venues and promoters throughout the UK to nominate and shortlist a group of exceptional finalists. These talented individuals are rising stars in the comedy circuit, ready to take their next strides into the broader realm of writing and performing.

In celebration of the award, the following finalists have been invited to perform live at a special comedy event taking place this week:

Alex Bertulis-Fernandes
Mamoun Elagab
Kyrah Gray
Kuan-wen Huang
Christopher Macarthur-Boyd
Tadiwa Mahlunge
Mike Rice
Eric Rushton
Lorna Rose Treen
Anna Thomas
Lily Webb

The recipient of The Sean Lock Comedy Award will be announced in due course.

All the finalists will be given the opportunity to meet with a Channel 4 comedy commissioner for a mentoring session.

Millionaire Hoarders - Coming to Channel 4

In homes across Britain, there exists a fascinating array of treasures amassed by passionate owners who have devotedly collected or curated various items. However, facing challenging times, these individuals now wonder if one valuable item from their extensive collections could unlock a life-changing sum of money.

In the captivating series "Millionaire Hoarders" (3x60), produced by 141 Productions and airing on Channel 4, four experts specializing in antiques and collectibles come together to explore homes filled to the brim with potential treasures. Their mission is to uncover hidden gems that have the potential to fetch substantial amounts of cash, providing much-needed financial relief to the owners.

Led by their extensive knowledge, sharp eyes, and vast network of connections, the team of experts includes Clive Downham, an experienced antiques dealer; Paula Sutton, a connoisseur of vintage fashion and interiors; Rachel Fox, a reputable high-end pawnbroker; and Ronnie Archer-Morgan, an expert in collectibles and curiosities. Together, they embark on a thorough search through every concealed corner and crevice of these homes, unearthing the untold stories behind forgotten possessions and transforming them into valuable assets that can be sold.

Yet, the question remains: Will these hordes of treasures live up to expectations? And can the passionate collectors bear to part ways with their cherished possessions, knowing that doing so might grant them access to the vital funds they desperately need? Tune in to "Millionaire Hoarders" to discover the compelling journeys that unfold as these extraordinary collections are examined, evaluated, and potentially transformed into life-changing fortunes.

Friday 14 July 2023

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show returning to BBC One

Prepare for more uproarious laughter, A-list celebrities, and unexpected surprises as Michael McIntyre's Big Show makes a triumphant return to BBC One and iPlayer.

Following its highly successful run earlier this year, which drew an average of 6.3 million viewers per episode, the hit Saturday night show is set to grace our screens once again in 2024. Produced by Hungry McBear Media and filmed in front of a live audience at the illustrious Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, this entertainment extravaganza promises to be an unforgettable experience, brimming with superstar guests, sensational musical performances, and a few extra twists.

Celebrities should prepare to feel a tinge of nervousness as fan-favourite segments like Send to All and The Midnight Gameshow will be making their triumphant return. Last season, stars such as Rylan Clarke, Alison Hammond, Jermaine Jenas, and Jonathan Ross willingly handed over control of their phones to Michael, who hilariously scrolled through their personal messages and contacts. Who will be brave enough to face Michael's scrutiny this time?

And if celebrities think they can catch some shut-eye, they better think again, as Michael plans to wake up even more famous faces in the middle of the night to participate in the side-splitting Midnight Gameshow. Who can forget the unforgettable moments when Peter Crouch was startled from his sleep while on vacation in Portugal or when Rob Rinder found Sooty and Sweep waiting at the end of his bed?

But the surprises don't stop there. Audiences can expect more astonishing moments, including jaw-dropping performances from the Unexpected Star of the Show, who will undoubtedly leave viewers in awe.

Earlier this year, the sixth series of Michael McIntyre's Big Show garnered over 90 million video views across the BBC's social media platforms. Memorable segments such as Lewis Capaldi's Send to All and Peter Crouch's Midnight Gameshow became viral sensations, captivating audiences worldwide.

Kalpna Patel-Knight, Head of Entertainment at the BBC, has commissioned the return of Michael McIntyre's Big Show. The show's Executive Producers from Hungry McBear Media are Dan Baldwin and Saul Fearnley, with Clodagh O'Donoghue serving as the Commissioning Editor for the BBC.

Stay tuned for further announcements regarding the transmission details of Michael McIntyre's Big Show, as the hilarious and star-studded series prepares to captivate audiences once again.

Michael McIntyre says "There isn't a day that goes by without someone telling me how much they love this show, although strangely nobody seems to know what it's called. It's either; 'The one where you take people's phones', 'The one where you wake people up in the night', 'The one where the wall falls down' or 'The Big Night in'. Well, I'm thrilled to announce that all four of those shows are set to return for a seventh series!"

Levison Wood: Walking with… coming to Channel 4

October Films, a prominent UK/US production company, is currently in the process of creating a captivating three-part series for Channel 4. The show will feature renowned explorer and writer Levison Wood as he embarks on a mission to locate and document some of the world's most iconic and endangered animals.

Titled "Levison Wood: Walking with…" (working title), each hour-long episode will follow Levison on a distinct adventure. In Borneo, he will have a unique opportunity to encounter Orangutans up close. Then, he will journey to Namibia in search of the last remaining Desert Lions. Finally, Levison will venture to East Greenland, aiming to get as close as possible to Polar Bears.

By venturing into incredibly remote and physically demanding environments, Levison aims to immerse himself in the animals' habitats, adopting the perspective of the locals. Accompanied by indigenous guides and naturalists, he will gain a deeper understanding of the animals' lives and the challenges they face. This includes learning about their survival strategies in the face of growing threats posed by human activity and climate change.

Throughout each expedition, Levison will interact and live alongside individuals who encounter these animals in their daily lives. He will personally witness the consequences of increased human-wildlife interactions, the clash between tradition and modernity, and the impact of climate change on both humans and animals. Along the way, Levison will encounter a variety of other animal species in their natural habitats as well as in rescue and rehabilitation centres. He will also explore how animals contribute to communities through aspects such as identity, spirituality, conservation, and tourism.

"Levison Wood: Walking With…" (working title) is a co-production between October Films and Blackmane Media. The series is directed by Neil Bonner, with Martin Long serving as the line producer. Adam Bullmore serves as the executive producer, alongside Dave Luke representing Blackmane Media. The series was commissioned by Daniel Fromm at Channel 4 and is being distributed by Blue Ant International. Levison Wood is represented by Wolfsong Media, ensuring his valuable expertise is brought to the project.

Levison Wood says: "This extraordinary quest took me to some of the harshest and most awe-inspiring environments on Earth. I experienced the deep connection between local people and animals who are struggling to co-exist amid increased environmental destruction. This series is a testament to the beauty and fragility of our planet's wildest corners, and I trust it will inspire action to help save these animals and their habitats before it's too late. Join me as I explore the incredible worlds of Orangutans, Desert Lions and Polar Bears."

Laura Whitmore Investigates - Coming to ITV

Laura Whitmore tackles a series of contentious and thought-provoking subjects in immersive investigative documentaries for ITVX. Leveraging her journalistic skills, Laura delves deep into each topic to shed new light on them.

In this groundbreaking series, Laura embarks on a journey across the UK, Europe, and the US, aiming to uncover the hidden aspects of dark and troubling issues such as the "incel" culture, rough sex, and cyber stalking.

Through personal encounters with individuals whose lives revolve around these issues, Laura explores the subcultures and the profound impact they have on their participants, victims, and society as a whole. She also engages with those working towards understanding and addressing the repercussions of these phenomena.

In one episode, Laura immerses herself in the exploration of "toxic masculinity" within society, focusing on the disturbing subculture of "involuntary celibates" or "incels." These predominantly male-dominated online communities harbour misogynistic ideologies and serve as platforms for alienated individuals who struggle to connect with women. Laura conducts revealing interviews with young men immersed in this culture, as well as professionals striving to comprehend the underlying causes and assess the potential dangers posed by incels. The episode also sheds light on real-world instances where disaffected men, seeking vengeance for perceived rejection, have carried out high-profile acts of violence, including mass shootings in both the US and UK.

Another episode brings attention to the evolving attitudes towards sex in Britain, wherein BDSM has evolved into a multi-billion-pound industry. Laura investigates the darker aspects of this phenomenon, particularly the rising prevalence of choking during sexual encounters. Exploring the influence of pornography and examining the so-called "50 Shades" defence, where individuals accused of killing their sexual partners claim it was a result of rough sex gone wrong, Laura uncovers the potential risks associated with what some perceive as adventurous or harmless sexual exploration. With low conviction rates for sexual violence crimes and growing anecdotal evidence suggesting numerous unreported assaults, Laura conducts emotionally charged interviews with victims, their families, and experts who provide valuable insights into the dangers posed by so-called rough sex.

The alarming rise of cyber stalking is the focus of another episode, as Laura seeks to understand the motivations and modus operandi of stalkers while exploring strategies for self-protection. She meets with victims who share the profound impact online stalking and harassment have had on their lives, as well as a specialized police unit at the forefront of combatting this crime. Additionally, Laura travels to Europe to witness firsthand a technologically advanced business engaged in the fight against stalkers.

Through her compelling documentaries, Laura Whitmore shines a light on these highly charged and controversial subjects, utilizing her journalistic prowess to reveal new insights and foster greater understanding and awareness among viewers.

Laura said: "This series shines a light on a range of issues, which along with the contributors, victims and experts involved, we hope will resonate with viewers and help us to understand their dangers, complexities and consider possible resolutions.  It's been a an intense, eye-opening and at times emotional experience and one that I'm incredibly proud of. Thank you to Rumpus, Zig Zag productions and ITV Factual for working with me on it."

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Sinead O’Connor’s award-winning documentary film, Nothing Compares, coming to Sky from 29 July

The highly acclaimed documentary film chronicles the extraordinary journey of Sinéad O'Connor as she soared to worldwide fame, only to be exiled from the pop mainstream due to her rebellious persona.

Directed by Kathryn Ferguson, a filmmaker hailing from Belfast, this archival documentary takes audiences on a nostalgic trip to the years 1987-1993, where they witness Sinéad's prophetic words and actions. Through a modern feminist perspective, the film explores the enduring influence of this fearless artist. It showcases iconic music videos, electrifying concert performances, previously unreleased footage, and a present-day interview with Sinéad herself. The documentary weaves together a rich tapestry of her impact on the world, combining intimate firsthand interviews and insights from contemporary artists, musicians, and social commentators. These voices introduce broader themes of Irish history, politics, and global activism, all while reflecting on Sinéad's remarkable artistry and the profound, worldwide resonance it has achieved.

Speaking of her fascination with Sinéad O'Connor, Kathryn Ferguson, Director said: "I grew up in Belfast during the 1980s and '90s. Women and their rights, particularly their reproductive rights, were very low down the pecking order. When Sinead burst into my consciousness as a young teenager, it felt like a door had been kicked open. Here was a bold Irish woman who said things that others didn't feel they could say, and she said them loudly. The intention with this film is to disrupt the trope of telling iconoclastic women's stories through the tragic heroine lens. Nothing Compares isn't a regular music documentary, instead it's a portrait of one unique artist, her cultural significance in Irish history and she has affected the lives of millions around the world."

Nothing Compares will be available on Sky Documentaries and NOW from 29 July.

Secrets of Supermarket Own Brands with Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen delves into the mysteries surrounding supermarket own-brand products in an exciting new series on Channel 4. Presented by Firecrest Films, "Secrets of Supermarket Own Brands" takes viewers on a captivating journey as Denise uncovers the hidden truths behind these affordable products. She will unveil the previously undisclosed information about the manufacturers behind certain supermarket own-label items, including the surprising brands that produce them. With the popularity of in-house brands skyrocketing in British supermarkets, this timely show examines whether these budget-friendly alternatives offer better value and if consumers can enjoy them without compromising on quality. Could they be the secret weapon of savvy shoppers?

Throughout the series, Denise investigates the disparities between the more economical own-brand options and their pricier counterparts. She conducts insider interviews with supermarket employees and manufacturers, unearthing unexpected revelations about various brands. Alongside these eye-opening discoveries, the show features valuable tips, tricks, and product reviews from members of the public, aiding viewers in making cost-effective shopping choices. The secrets surrounding supermarket own-brands are unveiled over two parts: "Secrets of Supermarket Own Brands" and "Secrets of Supermarket Own Brands at Christmas."

Denise Van Outen said, "Everyone wants to know the difference between brands and own label and I'm on a mission to reveal the secrets that could save you a small fortune."

Coming Soon!

Monday 10 July 2023

The Walking Dead: Dead City (Pilot) Full Episode Free

Maggie and Negan travel into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland. The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror.

You can pre-order the entire series at https://amzn.to/3PO2NNe

Star Trek Strange New Worlds Season 2 Episode 1 Free on YouTube Paramount+

Watch the first episode of series 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, right here, for free. You can stream the entire series on Paramount+. Start your 7-day free trial and subscribe to Paramount+ at https://amzn.to/3O4Nkau

A distress call from Lt. Noonien-Singh compels Spock to disobey orders and take the U.S.S. Enterprise and its crew into disputed space.

Sunday 9 July 2023

Firebombers, a new two-part TV documentary series to air on BBC One Wales

BBC Cymru Wales has unveiled an upcoming TV documentary series and podcast that will delve into one of the most contentious periods in modern Welsh history.

Starting in 1979, a decade-long arson campaign ignited in Wales, resulting in over 200 firebomb attacks on holiday cottages, businesses, politicians, and even the UK Parliament. These attacks were attributed to Meibion Glyndŵr, a secretive organization.

Titled "Firebombers," the two-part TV documentary series will be broadcast on BBC One Wales and iPlayer, providing a comprehensive exploration of this divisive chapter from Wales' past. The program will feature interviews with police officers who investigated the case, victims whose properties were targeted, individuals who were apprehended, journalists who covered the fires, and others with firsthand accounts.

Kelvin Griffiths, a former North Wales Police Officer who worked on the case, recollects, "The devastation was unimaginable. Because these houses were so secluded, they burned down unnoticed. It was only when someone drove by and realized, 'Oh, the house has been burned down.' No one had witnessed it."

Journalist Alun Lenny states in "Firebombers," "Discovering the identity of Meibion Glyndŵr would have been the ultimate journalistic triumph in Wales. The perpetrators were so cautious and fortunate that it was nearly impossible to uncover a lead."

The documentary also highlights individuals who were arrested but either released without charges or found not guilty. One notable figure is Sion Aubrey Roberts, the sole person convicted of possessing explosives and sending incendiary devices through the mail. Roberts, who admits to being a member of Meibion Glyndŵr, shares previously undisclosed details about his involvement with the secretive organization and the firebombing campaign in an exclusive interview.

"This is the first time that we have been able to tell this story in its entirety, from a range of perspectives", said Commissioning Editor, Christina Macaulay. "I think people will be surprised at the extent of the campaign – particularly the attacks in England. We include the historical context behind what started in 1979, but this story feels it still has a contemporary relevance. Whoever was masterminding the campaign has not been identified. And of course, the issue behind the campaign – second homes – is still a very live issue in Wales."  

Produced by Zwwm Films, episode one of Firebombers will air on BBC One Wales on Thursday 20 July at 9pm, with the second episode a week later. Both episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 20 July.

Gwreichion is a compelling Welsh-language podcast series that will also delve into the Meibion Glyndŵr firebombing campaign, exploring its profound impact on Welsh society.

Led by presenter Ioan Wyn Evans, the series aims to uncover hidden stories and voices surrounding this controversial period, with Evans inviting listeners on a journey through the political and social fallout of this tumultuous time.

The series features figures who witnessed the events first hand, including firefighters, journalists, and individuals who were directly targeted. It will combine historical analysis, in-depth interviews, and archive material to shed light on the complex motivations behind the campaign.

Ioan says, "What's most surprising and fascinating is how vivid people's memories are from the time, and the details they remember. The research was also interesting – for example, being able to find the firefighter who responded to the Pembrokeshire fires on the first night was very exciting. I felt very privileged to hear his comments as an eye witness, as he'd never spoken about it before."

Thirty years after the only conviction linked to Meibion Glyndŵr, the identities of the others involved in that campaign remain a mystery.

Episodes one and two of Gwreichion will be available to download and listen to from Thursday 20 July on BBC Sounds, with weekly episodes following on Thursdays.