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Thursday 31 August 2023

Sir David Attenborough set to present Planet Earth III

BBC Studios Natural History Unit has officially announced that the legendary Sir David Attenborough will be the presenter for "Planet Earth III," the highly anticipated third installment of the critically acclaimed and award-winning series.

Mike Gunton, the Executive Producer, shared his excitement, stating, "The essence of 'Planet Earth' lies in the presence of David, and I'm thrilled that he will be leading the third series. His boundless passion and wisdom shine through, and he has embraced our fresh perspective with enthusiasm. Witnessing the mesmerizing new marvels that have been captured for the screen, I can confidently say that David has enjoyed every moment."

The series begins with a segment featuring David Attenborough filmed amidst the serene landscapes of the British countryside. This picturesque location holds historical significance as the very ground that Charles Darwin once trod upon while contemplating his groundbreaking theories on evolution. This symbolic spot serves as the ideal backdrop for David to introduce "Planet Earth III" and evoke contemplation on the splendors and vulnerabilities of our planet. Remarkably, the weather blessed the shoot with sunny skies—a rarity during that particular summer.

"Planet Earth III," an enthralling 8-episode series with each episode spanning 60 minutes, is a collaborative effort between BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, and The Open University. Mike Gunton spearheads the project as the Executive Producer, with Matt Brandon serving as the Series Producer. The commissioning of this remarkable venture was overseen by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual. Anticipate the series to grace BBC One later this year.

"Planet Earth wouldn't be Planet Earth without David, so I'm delighted he is presenting the third series. As ever, he has brought his huge enthusiasm and wisdom, has been encouraging about our new perspective and has, I know, really enjoyed seeing the extraordinary new wonders brought to the screen."
— Mike Gunton, Executive Producer, Planet Earth III

Behind the Strikes: the story of two female union leaders holding the weight of their workforces

Unveiling "Behind the Strikes": A Compelling Documentary by Sky News

Step behind the curtain in a poignant and gripping new documentary, "Behind the Strikes," as Sky News offers an exclusive glimpse into two of the most significant and disruptive trade union conflicts of 2023 involving teachers and nurses.

The narrative unfolds through the remarkable stories of two women: Pat Cullen, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, and Dr. Mary Bousted, Joint Leader of the National Education Union. As the lenses capture their emotional journeys, we witness their fervent advocacy for their predominantly female workforces, who face a loss of income with each day they spend on strike.

In a landscape where private sector wage growth has outpaced inflation, educators gear up for another demanding academic year, nurses brace themselves for the challenges of the winter season, and the nation grapples with the strains of the cost-of-living crisis. The film delves deep into the realities of an 8-month-long struggle for improved compensation, unfolding during a year that has witnessed the largest surge of industrial strikes in three decades.

Cristina Nicolotti Squires, Director of Content for Sky News, commented, "These industrial strikes represent some of the most significant work stoppages in recent memory, yet the human stories behind the headlines often remain untold. Our cameras have artfully captured the personal experiences of those directly involved, taking audiences on a journey that encompasses nurses shedding tears on frosty picket lines and Pat Cullen confronting death threats from within her own union. The true victors of these strikes will be left to the discernment of our viewers."

Mark your calendars for the documentary's premiere on Thursday, September 7th, at 8pm on both Sky Documentaries and Sky Showcase. Catch an encore presentation on Friday, September 8th, at 9pm on Sky News (accessible on Freeview channel 233, Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 603, and BT channel 313).

Unveiling the Line-up for The Real Full Monty 2023

Get ready to immerse yourself in a unique and festive extravaganza as The Real Full Monty makes its triumphant return to both ITV1 and ITVX this Christmas season. Prepare for a captivating display of glitz and glamour with a touch of daring as the stars shed their inhibitions and clothing in support of a crucial cause.

This holiday edition promises to be a merry blend of jingle bells, baubles, and sizzling performances. The dynamic presenting duo, Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan, return to guide a fresh group of courageous celebrities on an inspiring journey. These stars will undergo rigorous training and preparation, all leading up to a breathtaking dance showcase that's not just about entertainment—it's about raising awareness for life-saving cancer screenings.

The 2023 cast set to grace the dance floor includes an array of well-known names: TV presenter Julia Bradbury, actress Sherrie Hewson, TV personality Gemma Collins, the talented Dancing on Ice pro skater Vanessa Bauer, Victoria Ekanoye from Corrie and Death in Paradise, former royal butler Paul Burrell, footballer and TV personality Ashley Cain, former England rugby international Ben Cohen, actor Nick Collier (famous as Ella Vaday from RuPaul's Drag Race), and TOWIE star Pete Wicks.

Beyond showcasing the journey of these celebrities as they conquer their fears and uncertainties, the show will delve into their personal motivations for joining this daring endeavor. Each participant's decision to spotlight cancers affecting intimate areas of the body is deeply meaningful, emphasizing the vital role of early self-checks in saving lives.

The Real Full Monty has received the green light from Kate Teckman, Head of Development & Commissioning Editor Factual Entertainment, and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment at ITV1 and ITVX. The esteemed production is helmed by Glenn Coomber and Nick Bullen, Executive Producers from Spun Gold Television.

Prepare for a holiday spectacle that combines heart, courage, and an impactful message, all produced by Spun Gold for both ITV1 and ITVX.

New light on the mystery of the disappeared Princes

What transpired with the Princes in the Tower?

In an enlightening and groundbreaking 90-minute documentary titled "The Lost Princes" (working title), Channel 4 embarks on an exploration of one of the most intriguing enigmas in English history. This journey spans continents and involves Philippa Langley and Rob Rinder, who together delve into the mystery.

Leveraging recent significant revelations and years of meticulous investigation, Philippa, renowned for her discovery of Richard III's final resting place, partners with Rob Rinder, a criminal barrister. Their collaborative and immersive inquiry challenges established perceptions about this infamous event in the annals of British royalty.

Was it Richard III who masterminded the brutal demise of the two youthful heirs, Edward and Richard, as Shakespeare's narrative suggests? Alternatively, could this renowned unsolved case conceal a more intricate reality?

A decade after achieving global prominence for her remarkable achievement in uncovering, exhuming, and reintering Richard III, Philippa reemerges, this time armed with a wealth of fresh leads provided by her international team of researchers. "The Lost Princes" (working title) follows Philippa and Rob on a voyage that carries them over oceans, into historical archives, and deep into the core of medieval Europe. Can they successfully trace the trail of England's absent royals?

Rob Rinder says: "To be part of unlocking and investigating one of history's most fascinating unsolved mysteries is quite special and I look forward to people coming on this journey with us."

Coming soon to Ch4

Monday 28 August 2023

The Woman In The Wall - Interview with Daryl McCormack (Detective Colman Akande)

Can you tell us about the premise of The Woman In The Wall?

The Woman in the Wall follows two survivors from fictional Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland, who have been separately impacted. The story begins after the murder of a priest that my character knew from his childhood, it brings these two people together, the young detective who's trying to solve the case played by myself, and a prime suspect who was sent to a Mother and Baby Home in the mid- eighties played by Ruth Wilson. They both kind of have similar wounds from this system, and it's about them going on to really tackle something that's a lot bigger than just the initial murder case.

Please tell us about your character, Colman Akande?

Colman is a detective. He is in his early 30s and is an adopted young man who came out of the Mother and Baby Home within our fictional town of Kilkinure so he's never known the true identity of his mother. He is very bull-headed, kind of stubborn, but you can sense that it is his only way to survive.

He's an interesting character and hides a lot on the surface, he is almost a victim of the type of masculinity that almost hurts him. He struggles to really bear himself to those around him. He's met with a lot of his own demons and paths that he doesn't want to really face but this investigative case that he is working on forces him to do so. You can sense the wounds and trauma that he hasn't yet dealt with and has to then face throughout the course of the series.

Colman is transferred from Dublin to the fictional Irish town of Kilkinure – a seemingly close-knit community, which up until the events of the series, remains relatively quiet. Tell us about this journey for Colman, and what his relationships are like with Gardai and people living in the town?

I think Colman is angry at what appears to him to be small mindedness on behalf of the local Gardai. I think there can be an Irish tendency to sometimes sweep things under the rug in fear of hurting people or in fear of disrupting the peace. And he's partnered with a detective called Massey who is very happy to just move things along quite quickly. So, there is a dissonance there between the two of them. They operate in very different ways. He has no real allegiance or obligation to appease the local community, so he comes in becomes quite frustrated quite quickly, which I think adds to the kind of comedy of the two. They're two very different people which makes for more of an obstacle for his investigation.

Though totally fictional the series is inspired by Ireland's horrific history with the Magdalene Laundries and Mother & Baby Homes. How much did you know about these real-life events before taking on the role?

I've known about the Magdalene Laundries for quite some time. I remember watching The Magdalene Sisters movie when I was maybe 14 or 15. And through kind of just growing up in Ireland, it would have been talked about every once in a while. So I knew of it for the most part, but I obviously did a much deeper dive into the history once I once I started prepping for this role. I was more focusing on the children that came out of the Mother and Baby Homes, because that's where Colman was coming from. It was difficult. Obviously, there's a lot of pain and a lot of shame, which is part of the Catholic institution. So it was necessary, but also difficult to re-expose myself to the truth of what happened.

In the process of solving a murder in the town of Kilkinure, Colman makes a massive personal discovery about himself. How does his past trauma affect the decisions he makes throughout the series?

What I really enjoyed about playing Colman was that he is really trying to keep a lid on himself, because it's the most efficient way he can get through the case. And as he meets with truths about both the Mother and Baby Homes and the murdered priest, he is being provoked by his own past – a dark past that he hasn't really decided to look at.

So, he really becomes a lot rasher and emotionally driven, which was obviously great fun to play, because he becomes slightly unhinged in that in that regard. He cannot go back and not be involved with the case, so when these emotions come up for him, it only forces him to try and go through it as quickly as possible. And that causes him to go to all sorts of places.

Why do you think it's important to tell this story to audiences today?

I think it's important to cover anything that hasn't gotten its fair share of exposure, particularly when it's left a wound for some people in the country. I think the great thing about art and storytelling is that it gives another chance for people to hear and learn about past events, whilst in the frame of a fictional recreation. And I hope in doing that you give both the survivors, and the people involved a chance to hopefully salvage some recognition and some empathy, but also some justice. When we were making the show, everyone involved from the writers to the actors, and the directors, were aware that this is a sensitive topic, so we just tried to really pour ourselves into the show as much as we could for the people affected. So, the hope is that it something for them and that our efforts come across.

The series examines tragedy in Ireland's history, while also telling a compelling whodunit crime drama. Can you talk about how the two elements work side by side, and how you found that as an actor?

I think that's a great question. We're not making a documentary, we're making a fictional drama, and there is some sort of creative licence in there with regards to how that is expressed. For those involved in the series, there was a juggling act which was to really have respect to the truth of the show, but at the same time, as an actor be open to creatively where the show went and how it expressed itself.. So, it is an element of I guess, trusting that you're respectful of the history and then letting that go and trusting the process of how the show is being made. And trusting also how it's going to be received, hoping that people will see that you have good intent.

What was it like returning to Ireland to take this role?

I love coming home to shoot and I love working with Irish crews. I think we have some of the best crews in the world. This was my third time shooting in Belfast – I'd previously worked on a film called Pixie and some of Bad Sisters in Belfast too, so to be back there felt good because I knew the city. There is also something nice about telling an Irish story in the country.

What makes this series stand out from other similar thrillers and crime dramas?

I think it's really to do with the way the show dances between dark comedy and horror and thriller – there are so many genres working together, which makes it feel really new. Also, in the way Joe has written in the show and how visual it is, will be exciting for audiences. A lot of time when you have a show or material that is inspired by historical events, it can be very limited in terms of how it's expressed, almost as if it's been shot documentary-style. But I think this show really takes licence to take risks in how it expresses itself, and I think that will be something that people haven't seen much in this genre and that opens it to a wide audience.

How did you find working opposite Ruth Wilson, and the rest of the cast?

I've always wanted to work with Ruth. I remember when I first saw her in Luther, I just thought she was incredible, so from that moment that I really wanted to work with her. I didn't mention that to her at all though, I was kind of shy, so I thought befriend her first and then let her know that I'm actually a massive fan! But she's incredible and so unpredictable to work with as an actor as well.

I think there's a frequency that she operates from that is really riveting. It was a joy. And working with Simon Delaney who plays my fellow detective, Massey, was an absolute treat. He's a fantastic actor, and obviously known more for his comedy, but I was delighted that he has such a great role in this as well, one that really shows some depth. There's such a great cast of Irish legends in this in this show that turn a brilliant performance.

What is your hope for the series?

Well, my hope is that that it is received well, and that hopefully it might bring up some more discussion, for the survivors and people involved. And then on top of that, I hope that audiences get a show that is creatively fulfilling as well. It's a weird thing to hope for, because it's based on true events, but I just want the survivors to feel like they're being represented well. I really do think it's going to be an exciting show, so I hope that they enjoy it.

The Woman in The Wall - Interview with Ruth Wilson (Lorna Brady)

Can you tell us about the premise for The Woman in The Wall and how you came to be involved in the project?

The Woman in The Wall is set in the small fictional town of Kilkinure, and it follows a woman called Lorna (played by myself) who was sent to a Mother and Baby home 25/30 years prior. And in that home, she had a baby who was taken from her. We pick up in 2016, Lorna awakens one day following an episode of sleepwalking to find the body of a dead woman in her home. She notices that she had been left a note from this mysterious woman which starts to unravel her whole backstory, including the mystery of the Mother and Baby homes and what may have happened to her child.

Lorna is unsure whether or not she is responsible for the death of this woman. As she attempts to retrace her steps and remember the events of the night before, she becomes an amateur investigator, while also being the number one suspect. This kicks off a chain of events that force the whole community in Kilkinure, to reckon with the sins of their past.

I was sent the pilot a number of years ago now and thought it had real potential. Joe Murtagh had written a script that was truly unique. I thought it was swimming in something vital, dramatising a subject matter that demands attention but through the lens of genre. And not just one genre. Crime caper, psychological/gothic horror, and dark comedy. I thought it could potentially not only educate but entertain, and thereby reach a larger audience.

Can you tell us about your character, Lorna Brady?

Lorna is a little bit of an oddball, an outsider and I felt deep affection for her immediately. On the page she kept surprising me. She starts as a mystery, probably even to herself but as the show progresses and more of her past and that of the community is revealed, you start to understand why Lorna behaves in the way she does.

She's a survivor of a traumatic experience that was instituted, governed, and covered up by that state where she lived. She becomes a woman on a mission and throughout the course of the series, you see her gaining confidence and clarity about what she has been through and what she's looking to find and resolve. She is odd, quirky, funny, a loner, but in some ways, she discovers that being an outsider gives you power, you have little left to lose. She learns to find support, to ask for help, the mission becomes one for the community, not just her.

The series is inspired by Ireland's horrific history with the Magdalene Laundries and Mother & Baby Homes. How much did you know about these real-life events before taking on the role?

I didn't know a great deal. I probably knew what a lot of people know, which is that they'd watched Philomena and The Magdalene Sisters. I read a bit about it, but I didn't know the full extent and I don't think I had read or watched enough, that the information really penetrated. After having done some research, I went out to Tuam which is where they discovered the remains of hundreds of children and babies in 2017, in the grounds of a former Mother and Baby home. I then read lots of personal oral testimonies, many books, literature, podcasts and met with Katherine O'Donnell from Justice for Magdalenes Research, who was one of the advisors on the series.

It's only been in the past 10 years that the truth has really started coming out. It was shocking to me that the last Mother and Baby home closed in the 90s, such recent history. Our show is fictional, the characters are fictional, but the context is real and much of the material is inspired by true events. It feels important to make work that can platform the stories of these women and my hope is that people enjoy the series, but more importantly, go away and dig a bit deeper, learn a bit more.

What makes this series stand out from other similar thriller/crime dramas?

I think it's probably the mash of tones to be honest. It's not just a crime drama, but a gothic horror, psychological drama, and a black comedy. When I first read the scripts, it reminded me of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart", - it reads like a 19th century gothic thriller but then you realise it's contemporary, so it's a really unusual twist on those genre pieces.

Can you tell us a little about your role as Executive Producer on this project? Why was it important for you to take on this added responsibility for this series?

When I joined the project, the creative team were predominantly male. I felt hypersensitive to the fact that this was a female story, and fundamentally the heart of the piece lies with Lorna and those ladies in Kilkinure. As an Exec I could keep an eye on that female lens and I could help widen the female creative team, with directors Harry Wootliff and Rachna Suri.

How did you find working opposite Daryl McCormack, and the rest of the cast?

Wonderful. The cast and crew across the board were phenomenal. We filmed in Northern Ireland, and I think it was one of the best crews I've worked with. They all knew each other because it was a very small community. For many of them, it was particularly personal as it's their story too. So many of them were connected in that they knew someone, or knew someone who knew someone, that had either been in a Mother and Baby Home or were an adoptee or associated with this part of history in some way.

It felt like there were a lot of connections to that world and each of them brought a personal understanding of the experience and what it meant to the community. It was a joy to work with all of them, especially the women. My favourite scenes were with them because it grounded the show, it made sense of Lorna, and reminded us all of why we committed to this story.

What was it like to reunite with director Harry Wootliff after your collaboration on 2021's True Things?

It was great, I love working with Harry. I think she's got a really unique eye and she understands character so well. With Si Bell [Director of Photography], Harry and myself there's a kind of symbiotic language that's fluid, incredibly intimate and honest. She is very emotionally instinctive so I knew having her at the helm, certainly for those first two episodes, was vital because she would always go for what feels real and honest and find truth in the genre. Also, she's a filmmaker, the way she moves the camera is not often seen on TV. Her work elevates the look of the piece.

Did you have any concerns about taking on the role of an Irish character?

Yes, of course! With any character you want to be convincing. That's your first and foremost, and you don't want to offend people. But, in a way, it's not solely an Irish story, it has happened elsewhere too. And, if you think of women being repressed and silenced, whether that's by the church or religion or state, it becomes a bigger question. But I do have a some Irish in me, and I was brought up a Catholic, went to a Catholic convent school, was an altar girl, so yes, I understand the Catholic world very, very well.

What is your hope for the series?

First and foremost, I hope people watch it, that they're entertained by it, but then I hope that it encourages a bigger conversation and makes people delve a bit deeper, investigate that history, ask questions, and listen to these women's stories. Only by revealing the truth of stories like this, can we ever hope to prevent it happening again.

The Woman in the Wall - Interview with Joe Murtagh (Writer & Creator)

The six-part series started on Sunday 27 August on BBC One.

"The Woman in the Wall" is a meticulously crafted gothic thriller, presenting a fictional drama series that delves into the haunting aftermath of one of Ireland's most disturbing scandals – the harrowing institutions known as The Magdalene Laundries.

Set in the fictional Irish town of Kilkinure, the story follows Lorna Brady (portrayed by Ruth Wilson), a woman whose life is upended when she discovers a lifeless body in her home one fateful morning. Struggling with the enigma of the deceased woman's identity and haunted by the possibility of her own involvement, Lorna carries a unique burden: recurring episodes of intense sleepwalking. These episodes trace back to her traumatic separation from her life at the age of 15, when she was forcibly confined in a convent. Within those walls, she experienced the anguish of giving birth to her daughter Agnes, only to be callously separated from her child, whose fate remains a haunting mystery.

Fate takes an ominous turn as Detective Colman Akande (played by Daryl McCormack) becomes entangled in Lorna's story, investigating a seemingly unrelated crime. As Colman pursues a murderer and Lorna embarks on her quest to reunite with her daughter, their journeys unexpectedly converge. The intertwining paths of these two souls lead them into unforeseen territory, where the secrets of Kilkinure's shadowed history come to light. Lorna's pursuit of Agnes guides her deep into her own past and into the heart of the town's concealed truths. Together, with determination born from desperation, Lorna and Colman navigate a treacherous web of revelations, seeking the answers that hold profound significance for them both.

Can you tell us about the premise of The Woman In The Wall and what compelled you to tell this story?

The show is a fictional story about a woman called Lorna Brady, played so brilliantly by Ruth Wilson, who was a former inmate of one of Ireland's Magdalene Laundries. The story begins in 2015, where we find her with quite a strange sleepwalking habit, and it really kicks off when she finds a dead woman's body in her house and has absolutely no idea who this person is or how she got there. Or more importantly, if she herself is in any way responsible for what appears to be a murder.

She has no clear memory of the previous night's event, but it soon comes to light that that this person may have been able to tell her what happened to the daughter she gave birth to in a Mother and Baby Home 30 years ago, and whom she was torn away from. She decides to conceal the body to give herself enough time to start a sort of amateur investigation to find out what happened to her daughter and if she's in any way responsible for this person's murder or not.

As for the inspiration behind the series, primarily it was coming across the real-life stories of the Magdalene Laundries. I just couldn't believe what I was reading. It was Peter Mullins' film The Magdalene Sisters that first introduced me to it. I couldn't believe that it had happened, but I also couldn't believe that I didn't know that all this had happened.

Anyone I spoke to after that didn't know what I was talking about, and most people outside of Ireland didn't know that this has even occurred. And then I'd read the last one closed in 1996. And so, primarily, I was inspired to do this just by a sense of outrage, I guess you'd call it. And I wanted to do it in a very particular kind of way where, because it was so unknown, I wanted to kind of cast the net wide, and get the story out there to as wide an audience as possible.

Please introduce us to our lead characters in the series, Lorna Brady and Detective Colman Akande.

When we first meet Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson) she has a strange sleepwalking habit, and we're not really sure where it's come from, or how this has begun. In the small fictional town of Kilkinure it's become weirdly accepted in a way that people just whisper about it happening, and they make fun of her for it, but no one really openly acknowledges it. Her story kicks off when she discovers a dead body in her house and has no idea if she's responsible for the murder or not. Because of her sleepwalking habit and because of her past, she can't fully trust herself, so she's the ultimate unreliable protagonist.

She then comes to learn that this dead person in her house has a very unique connection to her past and may well hold the key to knowing what happened to her daughter who was taken away from her at birth. She comes to conceal the body and begin an amateur investigation where she's playing both detective and prime suspect – she's sort of investigating herself and whether she was responsible for this woman's death.

Colman Akande (Daryl McCormack) is a detective from Dublin, who begins our story, investigating what seems to be an unrelated murder case of a priest in Dublin. But when the priest's car turns up in Kilkinure – the town that Lorna's from – he has to go to Kilkinure for the investigation. It's not long before we realise that the two cases are linked – the dead woman on Lorna's floor and the dead priest in Dublin.

So, Colman starts out very much as an antagonist to Lorna, with him being the detective who is after her without even really realising he's after her specifically. But it's not long either before we're going to realise that there is a really personal element to this for Colman too, where it's revealed that he himself was born in a Mother and Baby home in Dublin. It's this personal element that's going to be driving him and getting him into lots of trouble, going a bit rogue.

The Woman In The Wall is multi-layered – examining a horrific tragedy in Ireland's history, while also telling a compelling whodunit crime drama. Can you talk about how the two elements work side by side, and why you decided to take this approach as a writer?

In order to tell a story about Magdalene Laundries, I wanted to tell it in such a way that it would reach as wide an audience as possible. And so, I leaned away from doing a straightforward drama or social-realist peace, and I wanted to kind of blend it with genre, partly because that's also my natural sensibilities as a writer. That's the kind of stuff I like to write and the kind of stuff that I like to watch. But it also felt like an interesting challenge to try and tell a compelling 'whodunnit' crime drama, not just in a way that would sort of get the issues we explore out to as many people as possible, but in a way that it would hold its own too.

My hope is that someone in a random corner of the world, someone who's never heard about the Magdalene Laundries is going to sit down to watch this show because they want to watch a heightened type of murder mystery, and it will totally deliver on that and they will be engaged by it but then by the end of all, they've also learned all about the Magdalene Laundries too. So, I wanted to do both of those things to make each element better.

What were your motivations and inspirations for the series?

There was definitely the subject matter of course, which is the Magdalene Laundries and the Mother and Baby homes, other similar institutions in Ireland which were state-funded and run by the church. It was also partly the fact that very little has been done around these institutions. There was a state apology to the survivors and victims in 2013, and there's been compensation schemes but not much else beyond that. This still isn't taught in the Irish curriculum.

We spoke to charities quite a lot during the research process for this series, and when you see that the way that these people were treated and the way they're still being treated, it's infuriating. I think there's still a long way to go. When it comes to the tone of the series, I was looking at Hitchcock and Coen Brothers, filmmakers like Martin McDonagh, who blend genre really well or do one particular type of genre really well. They were the inspirations for the storytelling, tone and genre.

Despite the fact that the drama is inspired by real-life events, the town and the events that happen to the characters in the story are totally fictionalised. Why did you take that route into the story?

For a couple of reasons. We didn't want to link ourselves to any one particular place, person or series of persons. We wanted to protect the survivors in that sense. It was also to give ourselves the opportunity to collate as many of these stories. By setting it in a fictional town, we could imagine our own Laundry and Mother and Baby Home and could create a whole bunch of new characters who've had experiences very similar to many real different women from across the country.

That was the thing that probably excited me most about having a fictional town, was to allow us to tell as many of those stories from across the country, while still setting it in quite heightened world. It allowed for our town to be quite busy, and for there to have been quite a lot of terrible things happen there.

It's such an incredibly dense and delicately layered piece, but with a lot of twists and turns. How was staggering that and structuring a thriller?

Having the writers' room was a definitely a huge help. We had really cool writers involved, Margaret Perry, Courttia Newland, Miriam Battye, Jamie Hannigan, who helped me do exactly that. The way that I tend to go about it is that from the beginning that I have milestones set in my head, for example, I knew how episode three was going to end before I even started writing episode one. I knew that this scene would be in episode five, and that scene would be the middle of episode six, etc. etc... So, for me, it was setting up these milestones, and then tying up the gaps in between them.

The way I tend to work is sometimes I'll think of a moment that just seems really cool or mad to me, and I think, okay, "How can I make this work?", which is the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do as a writer. You're supposed to allow your characters to take you to that point, and we do do that. But there is something that comes out of just kind of painting yourself into a corner for a moment and seeing if you can work your way out of it. Because if you can, in a way that stays true to your characters and to the tone of the story you're trying to tell, then you get to have your cake and eat it. You have an amazing moment that hopefully feels true to form, and not contrived. Because when that stuff doesn't work, you just throw it out. That's the benefit of being able to throw everything at the wall and think up some mad ideas.

What was your research process when writing the scripts? Did you speak to any Laundry survivors to gather first-hand accounts of their experiences?

Yes, we did. Initially we did our own research, and we had our own researcher on the project who was amazing. That was a case of trawling through all of the first-hand accounts that were available from these women. Watching all the films, all the documentaries, reading all the books and all the newspaper articles we could find. And after we felt like we had a solid foundation, we then reached out to a number of different charities and groups.

We had a consultant who was incredible, she was able to help guide us a little better and was able to answer our much more specific questions, and when we all felt comfortable we reached out to a few survivors via her and spoke to them first-hand about their accounts. That was just incredible. By that point, we've read dozens of accounts and we've watched interviews, but still nothing quite prepares you to hear those stories first-hand from another human being who's actually been through this experience. What was really inspiring was who they were as people. I feel so fortunate to have been able to speak to them. It was also really, really inspiring for them to just be so behind the idea of the project.

The Magdalene Laundries began in Ireland in the late 1700s, followed by Mother & Baby Homes in the 1900s. Shockingly, the final Laundry did not close until the late 90s close to when this story is partly-set in the mid-80's. Many people in Ireland will remember these tragic events but why do you think it's important to tell this story to audiences today?

I would say that while people in Ireland know about this, I would argue that a lot of them still don't fully know that all the details as much as they think they do. So, it's important for that reason, of course, within Ireland, to tell this story. You can always know more. But then, for people living outside of Ireland, most don't know about this at all. When I tell people that last laundry closed in 1996, and the last Mother and Baby home closed in 1998, they can't believe it, because the stories sound so medieval - they are medieval.

It's hard to say why people don't know about this. It's interesting that such an incredibly awful, harrowing piece of Irish history that ceased to exist relatively recently, isn't more well known. It's hard for that not to feel like an active act of repression, or covering this up, or brushing this under the rug. It's this sense of shame that stopped people talking about this for years, and I feel like it's still stopping people from talking about it. It is still affecting quite a lot of people, and there must be thousands more who don't even know that they've been affected by it. The further you get into it, when you start reading about illegal adoptions, and falsifying death certificates in order to prevent birth mothers from finding their sons and daughters, this idea of "move on" just isn't tenable.

What is your hope for the series?

If I have one hope, it's that this will start a conversation about the events that took place. That would be my one hope – as simple as that. I have lots of other hopes, obviously I want people to enjoy the series, I want it to do well, I want people to watch it. I want them to be entertained by it as a thriller and as a detective story and all those things. But mostly, I just want to start a conversation.

As I mention earlier, I want someone to sit down watch the series, someone who has never heard about this before, and then I want them to start looking into it, and to start talking to their friends about it, saying "I can't believe this actually happened". I want it to start a conversation.

There is a lot of dark humour within the scripts, can you tell us about your decision to include it?

I don't know if I'd call that a decision as much as that it's just my natural instinct, my natural way to write - especially when it gets to anything uncomfortable. And this is deeply uncomfortable. Maybe that's an Irish thing in general. It's definitely my natural way of writing, just to go at it with some comedy. I also find that the dark humour, it's weirdly more realistic - in my life experience anyway - than just doing a straight drama.

I find that in the most horrific experiences in life, there's always weird moments of humour and things that don't quite belong. Someone saying something the wrong way, or it not coming out quite right - that I think is just realistic. So, I would say it's a natural instinct. But at the same time, if I stop and think about it, it's probably the perfect way to tell a story like this.

There is an incredible ensemble cast supporting Ruth and Daryl, can you talk to us a bit about them and the casting process?

Yes. Oh, my God, I loved the casting process. It just makes you realise the level of talent in Ireland, it's incredible for such a small country. Genuinely incredible. We were genuinely spoilt for choice in a way that kind of broke my heart. There were so many other actors that I just wished I could have written more parts for. I could not be happier with the entire cast, including Simon Delaney, Hilda Fay, Phillipa Dunne, Ardal O'Hanlon – these people are just incredible.

When you think of our two leads in terms of the POV of the show, 90% of it is looking either through Lorna or Colman's POV. We only break away a few times here and there. But I think one of the really surprising things to come out of it is that the other characters all have really satisfying arcs across the series. There's a few really standout performances amongst them all. So yeah, I really could not be happier with the casting.

Mastermind returns to BBC Two this Bank Holiday Monday


Prepare for the triumphant return of Mastermind, with a new exhilarating series set to premiere on Monday, August 28th, at 7:30pm, exclusively on BBC Two.

Guided by the seasoned BBC presenter Clive Myrie, this show will immerse 96 contenders in the age-old formula of mastering their chosen Specialist Subject, followed by a challenging round of general knowledge questions. As the competition intensifies, those who emerge victorious from the heats and later the semi-finals will face off in a climactic Grand Final. Their ultimate goal: to secure the coveted title of Mastermind Champion and the iconic Mastermind Glass Bowl.

This series promises to take quizzing to new heights, featuring an eclectic array of topics that will test contenders' expertise. Subjects range from historical figures like Mary Queen of Scots to pop culture phenomena like Otters and Harry Styles, and even delving into the realms of art with René Magritte, entertainment with Ted Lasso, and the intriguing The History of Cattle.

Clive Myrie enthusiastically shares, "We've got another cracking series, full of thrills and heart-racing moments, as our contenders do battle. The quality and range of quizzing is astonishing. 'Quizzy Mondays' will be unmissable."

Jimmy Mulville, the Executive Producer, adds, "With Clive Myrie as the interrogator, Mastermind goes from strength to strength. It’s still the best quiz show in town and we’re honoured to be making it."

Ruby Kuraishe, Entertainment and Comedy Commissioning Editor, expresses the sentiment of quiz enthusiasts, "I’m sure quiz enthusiasts are rejoicing as the mother of quiz shows returns to BBC Two. As ever, there’s a wide range of specialists subjects ranging from literature and TV shows to historical figures and music, there’s something for everyone!"

Produced by Hindsight & Hat Trick for BBC Two, Mastermind is a highly anticipated event. The Executive Producers are David Young, Jimmy Mulville, Kate Middleditch, and Chris Jones for Hindsight & Hat Trick. The show is filmed and produced in Belfast, with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

Mark your calendars: Mastermind makes its triumphant comeback to BBC Two on Monday, August 28th, starting at 7:30pm. Catch the full series on iPlayer for a comprehensive quizzing experience.

Sunday 27 August 2023

The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies - Coming to iPlayer


Embark on a riveting journey through the lives of two strikingly distinct women entwined by a shared conman. Brace yourself for a tale that is both shadowy and amusing, an intricately woven thriller that navigates the realms of darkness, humor, and unpredictability. This narrative follows three extraordinary individuals, caught within an intricate web of half-truths and monumental deceptions.

Leading the charge are Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Alistair Petrie, and Rebekah Station, infusing their characters with depth and complexity that promise to captivate audiences. As the story unfolds, their lives converge into a tangled triangle, propelled by layers of falsehoods and a cacophony of lies that push the boundaries of the imaginable. Prepare to be drawn into a world where truth and deceit are interwoven, as these characters navigate a terrain of intrigue and suspense.

Watch The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies on BBC iPlayer from Tuesday 29 August

Saturday 26 August 2023



Starring Zoe Saldaña, Laysla De Oliveira, Michael Kelley, with Morgan Freeman and Nicole Kidman, SPECIAL OPS: LIONESS is an original Paramount+ series based on an actual US military programme about a group of special operatives who help spearhead the war against terror. 

In the series, the elite Lioness team enlists a rough-around-the-edges recruit to go undercover in a critical mission to thwart a major terrorist attack. As they covertly work on toppling the terrorist organisation from the inside whilst dodging death and tangling with the political powers-that-be, the personal lives of the operatives also reach a boiling point as the pressures of their duty on the field begins to tear apart their families at home.

Loved the first episode? You can stream every episode of the series so far, and enjoy the finale on 3rd September – all exclusively on Paramount+. Start your 7-day free trial and subscribe at https://amzn.to/3OUYcqD

Friday 25 August 2023

Jenna Coleman to star in new BBC drama The Jetty

Jenna Coleman, recognized for her roles in "Doctor Who," "The Cry," and "The Serpent," takes the lead as rookie detective Ember Manning in an upcoming thriller titled "The Jetty." The announcement of this exciting new project was made by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Set to unfold as a four-part series on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, "The Jetty" follows the trajectory of Ember Manning, a novice detective. The plot revolves around a devastating fire that engulfs a vacation home in a picturesque lake town in Lancashire. Ember finds herself piecing together the puzzle as it links to a podcast journalist's investigation into a cold case involving a missing person, along with a complex 'love' triangle featuring an individual in his twenties and two underage girls.

Yet, as Ember inches closer to unearthing the truth, the revelations threaten to dismantle her existence. She's confronted with the need to reevaluate her entire understanding of her past, her present, and the town she has always called home.

"The Jetty" isn't merely a detective thriller; it also carries the undertones of a coming-of-age narrative. Its themes delve into significant inquiries about sexual ethics, identity, and memory, particularly in the spaces that the Me Too movement might have overlooked.

Writer and creator Cat Jones, known for her contributions to series like "Harlots," "EastEnders," and "Waterloo Road," shares her excitement: "I'm thrilled to be making The Jetty for BBC One. Like millions of people all over the world, I've grown up loving and admiring BBC dramas, so getting to create one really is a dream come true. The Jetty is a story I've wanted to tell for a long time but it wasn't until it found its champions at the fantastically writer friendly Firebird, that it really came to life. What feels like a total dream team continues to grow with the addition of Marialy Rivas to direct and the brilliant Jenna Coleman. I've no doubt audiences are going to be completely transfixed by her as Ember."

Jenna Coleman also expressed her enthusiasm for the project: "I'm delighted to be returning to the BBC to be a part of The Jetty, with Firebird Pictures at the helm, bringing the story of Ember Manning to life. I look forward to exploring Cat Jones' darkly probing scripts, alongside Marialy Rivas' eloquent vision."

With its compelling storyline and a talented team both in front of and behind the camera, "The Jetty" promises to captivate audiences and offer a thought-provoking exploration of complex themes.

BBC's Hit Comedy Thriller "Black Ops" Secures Second Series

In a thrilling revelation at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Jon Petrie, the Director of BBC Comedy, has disclosed that the captivating comedy thriller "Black Ops" has been officially recommissioned for a highly anticipated second six-part series. This exciting news arrives following the resounding success of the show's debut season on both BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Produced in collaboration between BBC Studios Comedy Productions and Mondo Deluxe, "Black Ops" was masterminded by a dynamic team including BAFTA-winning actor and writer Gbemisola Ikumelo, BAFTA-winning actor and producer Akemnji Ndifornyen, and the skilled writing duo Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf. This powerhouse ensemble has previously lent their talents to projects such as "Famalam," "Brain in Gear," and "Click and Collect."

The inaugural series of "Black Ops," which premiered in May of this year, immediately captured the hearts of viewers and critics alike. The show's intriguing blend of an engaging thriller narrative intertwined with uproarious comedy kept audiences on the edge of their seats and entertained throughout. Drawing an impressive viewership of 2.3 million for its debut episode and a total of 1.6 million across the entire series (BARB 28 Day 4 Screen), the show effortlessly merged the realms of suspense and humour.

The initial series introduced us to Dom and Kay, who, with intentions of reviving their community, joined the Metropolitan Police as Police Community Support Officers. Unexpectedly, they found themselves embroiled in a world of undercover operations and organized crime. This thrilling premise laid the foundation for a successful season.

In the forthcoming second series, Gbemisola Ikumelo will reprise her role as Dom, while Hammed Animashaun ("The Wheel of Time") returns as Kay. The charismatic duo is set to embark on a fresh adventure, guaranteed to keep audiences captivated. Akemnji Ndifornyen also resumes his role as gang leader Tevin, ensuring continuity and excitement for fans.

Gbemisola Ikumelo expressed her delight, stating, "It's been such a joy to see how audiences have gotten behind this show. So, it feels like a no-brainer to get the band back together and create more danger, adventure, and laughs for everyone. This next season promises to have Dom and Kay really surprising us. Can't wait!"

Akemnji Ndifornyen echoed her sentiment, exclaiming, "And we're back! We had so much fun doing the first one we just had to go again. Much love to our audience for watching and to the BBC for their support. I can't wait to show you what's next for Dom, Kay - and of course - Tevin. Let's go!"

The writing duo Joe Tucker and Lloyd Woolf shared their enthusiasm as well, stating, "We're delighted to get the chance to send Dom and Kay on a brand-new caper."

With the triumphant combination of engaging storytelling and exceptional talent, "Black Ops" has undoubtedly secured its place in the hearts of viewers. The Director of BBC Comedy, Jon Petrie, commended the series for its captivating balance between compelling plotlines and uproarious comedy. He expressed his eagerness to witness the next adventures of Dom and Kay.

The Head of Comedy at BBC Studios Productions, Josh Cole, reaffirmed the excitement, stating, "We're thrilled to be returning for more Black Ops. The show is a passion project for all involved, and with Gbemisola, Akemnji, Joe, and Lloyd, we have a glorious surfeit of talent at the helm. We can't wait to join Dom and Kay on another misadventure."

Set to commence production in 2024, "Black Ops" promises another exhilarating season filled with unexpected twists and uproarious laughter. Additional casting details are set to be unveiled in the near future. Stay tuned for more updates on this eagerly awaited series that has taken the comedy thriller genre by storm.

Roman Kemp joins The One Show as Alex Jones’s regular co-host

Roman Kemp has officially joined The One Show as a co-host, partnering with Alex Jones, alongside Jermaine Jenas.

Roman's face is likely recognizable to audiences as he stepped in as a guest host last year and has since become a beloved figure on the show.

Broadcasting weeknights at 7pm on BBC One, The One Show captures the attention of around 3 million viewers regularly. The show offers a blend of current stories from across the UK, notable studio guests, and cherished talents.

Joanne Vaughan-Jones, Editor of The One Show, expressed excitement about Roman's addition: "We're delighted to welcome Roman as a permanent member of The One Show hosting team, joining Alex and Jermaine on the couch. This marks an exciting new chapter for the show, and we're eagerly anticipating viewers getting to see more of Roman."

Roman Kemp shares his enthusiasm for his new role: "Becoming a regular presenter on The One Show is a source of great excitement for me. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with the team over the past year on the sofa. It's truly a dream come true to have a spot-on BBC One during prime-time, delivering top-notch news and entertainment to the nation."

In addition to Roman's new role, Lauren Laverne will be a consistent presence on the show's sofa. Ronan Keating, a longstanding member of The One Show family, will continue to be a part of the team while managing a slightly reduced schedule due to his commitments in performing and recording.

Ronan Keating remarks, "Being a part of The One Show's presenting team has been an incredible experience, and I've thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Alex, Jermaine, and the entire team. While my appearances this year will be fewer due to my music-related obligations, I'm still very much a part of the family and wish Roman all the best."

The show's extended family of presenters will continue to make appearances throughout the year, with Matt Allwright and Nikki Fox continuing their hosting responsibilities on Watchdog.

The One Show, a production by BBC Studios, airs at 7pm every weekday on BBC One.

House of Kardashian - Coming to Sky

Sky has unveiled an upcoming documentary series that will delve into the intricate dynamics of one of the world's most influential families, the Kardashian-Jenners. This compelling series is scheduled to premiere on Sky Documentaries and the NOW streaming service in the upcoming autumn season.

The Kardashian-Jenners stand as a family that uniquely encapsulates our era, eliciting both reverence and division. To some, they embody a lineage of formidable women who serve as inspirations to girls worldwide. For others, they represent reality television stars lacking talent and moral integrity, peddling an illusionary tale of superficial opulence.

Crafted by 72 Films, a Fremantle company, this three-part documentary series sets out to defy expectations and challenge prevailing perceptions of the Kardashians. It delves into their ascent to fame, their expansive influence, and the toll that accompanies their status as some of the most renowned women on the planet. Employing a dynamic and engaging narrative, along with exclusive archival footage and firsthand accounts from individuals within the Kardashian-Jenner inner circle – including Caitlyn Jenner – the series titled "House of Kardashian" urges viewers to reconsider the extent of the family's sway and impact across various dimensions of society beyond just the realm of popular culture.

"House of Kardashian" critically examines the version of the family that has been presented to the public and probes the polarized viewpoints that society harbours about this towering and powerful matriarchy that has left an indelible mark on the world.

The Kardashian-Jenners are renowned for meticulously controlling their narrative in the public eye, a narrative that has been extensively documented over the years through their numerous long-running reality TV series. By engaging in thought-provoking conversations with insiders from the Kardashian-Jenner sphere, the series ventures into the intricacies of family dynamics, scandals, contentious business dealings, and personal struggles. In the end, the series leaves audiences pondering the trajectory of their immense influence and the legacy they will eventually leave behind.

Season 2 of Everyone Else Burns coming to Ch4

After a triumphant inaugural season – surviving the depths of eternal hellfire – the devout Lewis family is set to grace Channel 4 once again, returning with a second instalment titled "Everyone Else Burns." This upcoming series promises to ignite a blazing whirlwind of family discord, matrimonial turmoil, and fervent upheaval.

Brought to life by Jax Media UK, a division of Imagine Entertainment, and Universal International Studios, part of Universal Studio Group, the sophomore season will delve into Rachel's (Amy James-Kelly) quest for a fresh path, a revolutionary stance that could potentially reshape the entire congregation, and the resurgence of a significant figure from the past, poised to mold the family's destiny.

As Rachel navigates the aftermath of shattered university aspirations (alongside enduring 40 arduous days of 'penance'), her pursuit of independence faces novel challenges when concealed family secrets emerge from the shadows. Simultaneously, Fiona's (Kate O'Flynn) world is upended when a haunting figure from her history resurfaces, a chapter she fervently wishes to erase. Meanwhile, Aaron (Harry Connor) channels his inner Moses to challenge the metaphorical 'snake' leading the Chapter, embarking on a revolutionary endeavour to propel The Order into the contemporary era. Lastly, David (Simon Bird), in a rather calamitous decision, strives to embody the role of a 'good Dad.' Moreover, he grapples with an unprecedented experience: genuine romantic interest from a woman.

Will David and Fiona rekindle the flicker in their marriage? Can a thirteen-year-old orchestrate an actual coup? Amidst the tug of 'marriage courtship,' can Rachel safeguard her autonomy and withstand pressure to select a prospective spouse?

A Very British Space Launch from Cornick Productions coming to Ch4

Channel 4 has unveiled its inaugural collaboration with the emerging independent production company, Cornick Productions. The documentary, titled 'A Very British Space Launch,' will mark Cornick Productions' debut commission with the channel. Scheduled to air on Monday, August 28, 2023, at 10pm on Channel 4, this one-hour observational documentary delves into the captivating behind-the-scenes narrative of Virgin Orbit, led by Richard Branson. The program focuses on their ambitious endeavour to achieve the groundbreaking feat of launching a rocket into orbit from UK territory.

Having secured exclusive access to Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit for a half-year span leading up to the launch, Cornick Productions' film meticulously chronicles the myriad challenges and triumphs entwined with Britain's inaugural venture into the realm of commercial space launch. This momentous event unfolded earlier this year and is the subject of the documentary.

The documentary prominently features in-depth interviews with 'Stanny,' the pilot spearheading the mission. Additionally, the film provides an insider's look into the perspective of Melissa Quinn, who held the pivotal role of Head of Spaceport Cornwall. Notably, Melissa is an advocate for fostering diversity and empowering women within the space industry.

Remembering the Enigmatic WWE Star Bray Wyatt: A Life Cut Short at 36


By Jon Donnis

In a somber turn of events that has left the world of sports entertainment reeling, we remember and honor the life of WWE star Bray Wyatt, who tragically passed away at the young age of 36 due to a heart attack. A larger-than-life character both inside and outside the squared circle, Wyatt's legacy as a unique performer and storyteller will forever resonate with fans across the globe.

Bray Wyatt, whose real name was Windham Lawrence Rotunda, was more than just a wrestler – he was an enigma, a master of psychological drama, and a true artist in the world of professional wrestling. From his cryptic promos to his mesmerizing entrance with the haunting lantern, Bray had an uncanny ability to immerse his audience into his dark and captivating narratives.

Born into a wrestling dynasty, Bray Wyatt carried forward his family's legacy with grace and innovation. As the son of Mike Rotunda (better known as IRS) and the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan, wrestling ran deep in his veins. But Bray didn't rest on his family's laurels; he carved a niche of his own, captivating audiences with his distinct character and compelling storylines.

Debuting in WWE's developmental territory, NXT, Bray Wyatt introduced the world to his mysterious alter ego. Clad in a Hawaiian shirt and a wild beard, he embodied a persona that was equal parts charismatic and unsettling. It was in NXT that the Bray Wyatt character truly came to life, as he formed The Wyatt Family, a cult-like faction that embraced darkness and chaos.

Wyatt's eventual transition to the main roster marked the beginning of an unforgettable journey. The Firefly Fun House segments, a seemingly innocent children's show with sinister undertones, showcased his range as a performer. These segments allowed him to blur the lines between reality and fiction, showcasing his mastery in playing with his audience's emotions.

Perhaps one of Wyatt's most iconic achievements was the creation of "The Fiend" character. A monstrous and nightmarish alter ego, The Fiend combined horror elements with sports entertainment, captivating fans with its unique blend of psychological terror and in-ring prowess. The eerie mask, the disturbing laughter – all of these elements contributed to crafting a character that was as chilling as it was enthralling.

Beyond his in-ring abilities, Bray Wyatt possessed an innate ability to connect with his audience on a profound level. His battles transcended the ring ropes, delving into the realms of psychology and emotion. Whether he was the villain or the anti-hero, Wyatt's magnetic presence commanded attention, leaving an indelible mark on every storyline he touched.

As we mourn the loss of Bray Wyatt, we remember the moments of awe, wonder, and shock he brought to our lives. His untimely passing serves as a stark reminder of life's fragility and the importance of cherishing every moment. While his journey has been cut tragically short, his legacy will live on through the countless memories he created and the impact he had on the world of professional wrestling.

Bray Wyatt's contributions to the world of WWE and his ability to weave intricate tales of darkness and intrigue will forever be etched in the annals of sports entertainment history. As fans and fellow wrestlers pay tribute to this remarkable talent gone too soon, we hold onto the memories he gifted us and celebrate the life of a man who dared to be different, who dared to be Bray Wyatt.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

UK's LEGEND Channel Presents a Thrilling Lineup of Premieres for September

Are you ready for an adrenaline-fueled month of action, suspense, and sci-fi entertainment? Look no further than LEGEND, the UK's most captivating channel, as it unveils a "dirty dozen" of premieres set to light up your screens this September. From espionage thrillers to crime dramas and classic horrors, this month's lineup promises to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Legacy of Lies: Unveiling Espionage in High Stakes Thrills

Kicking off the month is the UK TV premiere of "Legacy of Lies," a high-stakes espionage thriller that stars none other than Scott Adkins, known for his role in "John Wick: Chapter 4." Adkins takes on the character of Martin Baxter, a disgraced MI6 agent, forced back into the spy game when a young journalist seeks his help to expose shocking truths about operations conducted by the Russian Secret Service. As the plot unfolds, secrets, danger, and personal sacrifices collide, leaving audiences enthralled till the very end.

A Month Packed with Premieres: Crime, Action, and Classic Chills

The LEGEND channel is pulling out all the stops this September, with a lineup that features gripping crime and action movies. Brace yourself for the channel premieres of "The Hatton Garden Job," where a group of aging criminals pull off an audacious heist, and "Assassin," a London underworld story led by Danny Dyer seeking vengeance.

And that's not all – get ready for the neo-noir thrills of "Sea of Love," starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin, the high-energy action comedy "Birds on a Wire" with Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn, and the tense revenge-driven narrative of "Acts of Violence," featuring Bruce Willis. Dive into the realm of crime and suspense as "Red Rock West" unfolds Nic Cage's escapades and "The Fourth Protocol" reveals Michael Caine's mission to prevent a global catastrophe.

Vintage Vault Unleashes Classic Horror

For fans of classic horror, the LEGEND channel's "The Vintage Vault" strand presents a treat on Sunday nights with double-bill screenings of horror classics from the 1960s. Journey back in time with spine-chilling films like "Circus of Horrors," where a deranged plastic surgeon's twisted actions take centre stage, and "Island of Terror," a British sci-fi thriller that brings bone-chilling creatures to life. Also, brace yourself for "The Plague of the Zombies" and "Quatermass and the Pit," films that transport you into the depths of supernatural terror and extraterrestrial mysteries.

Mark Your Calendar for September Premieres

"Assassin" (2015) on September 1st
"The Fourth Protocol" (1987) on September 2nd
"The Hatton Garden Job" (2017) on September 7th
"Sea of Love" (1999) on September 22nd
"Aftermath" (2017) on September 14th
"Legacy of Lies" (2020) on September 21st
And many more thrilling premieres throughout the month!
Conclusion: Your September Entertainment Destination

LEGEND channel is your ultimate destination for an action-packed September. With a lineup that spans espionage, crime, action, and classic horror, there's something for every fan of suspenseful entertainment. Don't miss the chance to catch these premieres and revisit iconic classics in "The Vintage Vault" strand. Buckle up for a month of thrilling rides that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

BBC Renews Hit Drama "Waterloo Road" for Two Additional Series

In a significant announcement, the BBC has unveiled its decision to recommission the beloved drama series "Waterloo Road" for not one, but two more new series. The news, revealed today, has sparked excitement among fans of the show, as it solidifies the return of this compelling narrative to screens once more. Produced by Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall to Wall North for BBC One and iPlayer, this renewed commitment to the series extends beyond the upcoming series (consisting of eight 60-minute episodes each) which has already been filmed. This means that audiences can anticipate a total of three new series of "Waterloo Road" heading their way.

The commencement of filming for the two freshly commissioned series, each comprising eight episodes of 60 minutes, is scheduled for the autumn months in Greater Manchester. While specific details regarding the forthcoming content are yet to be disclosed, anticipation is building for the continuation of this captivating story.

"Waterloo Road" initially graced the BBC's screens from 2006 to 2015, leaving an indelible mark on viewers with its engaging narrative and relatable characters. Following its resurgence in popularity on BBC iPlayer during the lockdown period, the series made a triumphant return at the beginning of 2023. The latest iteration of the show features an ensemble cast including Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas, Kym Marsh, and an exciting assembly of fresh talents portraying both school staff and pupils. With two new series already airing this year, "Waterloo Road" continues to amass an enthusiastic following on BBC iPlayer, earning a spot in the top three most-watched titles of the year so far for viewers aged 16 to 34, alongside renowned shows like "Happy Valley" and "EastEnders."

This renowned series has earned acclaim for its dedication to nurturing budding talents, both in front of and behind the camera. "Waterloo Road" will persist in casting essential roles through open auditions at schools and youth clubs, ensuring a platform for emerging stars. The series also offers workshops and production training initiatives for newcomers, bolstering the drama production landscape in the North of England. Notably, a substantial number of trainees have gained valuable industry experience through six-month placements on the show since 2022, spanning various departments such as costume, art direction, post-production, camera work, and sound. With another eight trainees set to join when filming resumes this autumn, the commitment to fostering fresh talent is unwavering.

Cameron Roach, the executive producer of "Waterloo Road" and founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, expressed their elation at the recommission: "We're beyond thrilled with the triumphant return of Waterloo Road, and so thankful to the BBC for committing to the show so fully. We love that the show has the potential not only to be a crown jewel for BBC iPlayer, but also serve as a true beacon for training, and inspiring next generation talent."

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, echoed this sentiment, stating, "It's been a joy to see Waterloo Road return to the BBC this year, delighting new and returning fans with its fantastic ensemble of relatable characters and a winning mix of heart, humour and high drama."

As this much-loved drama extends its reach and impact, "Waterloo Road" continues to solidify its place as a cherished narrative that captivates audiences while providing a stepping stone for emerging talents in the industry. With an exciting future ahead, fans can look forward to more drama, heart, and connection in the world of "Waterloo Road."