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Tuesday 30 April 2024

Interview with Romario Simpson (DC Davis Lindo) - Granite Harbour

Lindo (Romario Simpson) (Image: BBC Scotland/LA Productions/Robert Pereia Hind)

Get ready for the gripping return of Granite Harbour as the Major Investigations Team, led by Lindo (Romario Simpson) and Bart (Hannah Donaldson), delves deep into Aberdeen's criminal underworld. In this three-part series, the team faces two fatal cases with sinister undertones, including the death of a notorious drug kingpin's fixer, leading to a race against time to prevent a potential drugs turf war.

Watch Series 1 on Apple TV at https://apple.co/3UhpoCI

Simultaneously, Lindo investigates the case of a pregnant stowaway, Mariam (Afsaneh Dehrouyeh), who claims her partner was murdered during their journey across the sea. As tensions rise within the team and Lindo faces personal challenges with the arrival of his estranged father, Grantley, from Jamaica, the investigations take unexpected turns, promising an electrifying second series. Don't miss Granite Harbour, premiering on the BBC Scotland channel, followed by BBC One and iPlayer, with all three episodes available on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 2 May.

How does it feel to be back for a second series of Granite Harbour?

It feels great to be back and reunited with fellow cast members. We know each other a bit more now, we understand our characters more and we have more chemistry on screen. We all get on off screen and socialise loads and have a bond together which is wonderful.

Why do you think Granite Harbour proved to be a fan favourite?

I think it’s because it's family friendly and caters to a wide audience group. Not everyone wants to see bloodshed and extreme violence all the time.

What is the storyline this time around?

The story follows a young refugee woman who ends up intertwined into a huge drug operation after her husband disappears from the ship they snuck on to. The team investigate this new drug sweeping the city while trying to figure out what happened onboard the Stolthet ship. 

Can you describe your character?

DC Davis Lindo is a year into his trainee detective programme. He is trying to transfer his skills as an RMP soldier into a detective role, but isn't the most obedient when it comes to police procedures. He joins the team as a mentee to DS Lara Bartlett [Hanah Donaldson] who takes Davis under her wing and teaches him the trade.

What do you think are his strengths and weaknesses?

His strengths – he’s analytical, practical and has the ability to work under pressure. And his weaknesses – his lack of obedience, he’s impulsive and has empathy.

What challenges does he face this series?

The relationship with his father Grantley [played by Patrick Robinson]. This causes Lindo friction while he’s at work, there’s so many unanswered questions that Lindo has and he did not expect his dad to come to Aberdeen. Grantley has just turned up, out-of-the-blue, without warning and has intruded into his personal and professional life. Lindo’s struggling to reconcile while being on a murder case.

It was amazing working with Patrick – he’s bubbly and has a big personality. Funnily enough, he looks a bit like my dad so I can absolutely visualise him as my dad!

What is it like filming in Aberdeen?

It’s a really unique place - filming in Aberdeen is refreshing with its stunning and dramatic landscapes. We were down at the harbourside which not everyone gets to see, filming right next to the North Sea which was surreal – the waves were crashing so we got some lovely shots of that.

It was nice to return to Aberdeen and know that people want to see more of Granite Harbour and see it develop. The Aberdonians seemed excited to see the drama filming back. We were at lunch in a local pub one day and, as soon as we stepped in, they were like “Ahhh! Are you guys filming Granite Harbour again?” – it was nice to receive a warm welcome from the people of Aberdeen.

How important is the city to the series storytelling?

The city is referenced throughout the series with stunning shots as well as the harbour ports being central to the influx of something new and dangerous plaguing Aberdeen. We have honoured the city more in this season, I’m sure the audience will be able to recognise and appreciate more of Aberdeen this time around. There are lots of landscapes, more local spots for the audience to enjoy.

Describe in five words what viewers can expect from Series 2 of Granite Harbour…

Stunning, Characters, Danger, Stylish, Risky.

Time for some police interrogation now…

Tell us a secret about one of the core cast? 

Hmmm, it wouldn't be a secret if I told you?!

Which one of you is the DCI of the group and the most bossy? 

Dawn. She’s quite outspoken and not afraid to express how she feels – which is great. She’s so experienced in the field of acting, I learn from Dawn.

And who is the most by-the-book of the group and why? 

The lovely Michelle is the most by the book due to newly being an actor.

Monday 29 April 2024

Exciting News for Beyond Paradise Fans: Christmas Special and Third Series Confirmed!


Get ready to mark your calendars because Beyond Paradise is back with a bang! The BBC, BritBox International, and Red Planet Pictures have just announced the much-anticipated return of the beloved drama series for a thrilling Christmas special and an electrifying third series, set to hit screens on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Series 2 is released on DVD TODAY at https://amzn.to/3wlZyoV

Since its debut last year, Beyond Paradise has captured the hearts of audiences across the UK, becoming one of the nation's favorite dramas. With an impressive 7.5 million viewers tuning in for the latest episode of series two, the show has solidified its position as a must-watch.

In the gripping second series, viewers followed the captivating journeys of characters like Humphrey and Martha, whose near-wedding adventure tugged at heartstrings, and the heartwarming fostering journey of Ryan into their home. Esther tackled a museum robbery case, while Kelby and CS Charlie Wood navigated unexpected twists in their professional relationship.

But the mysteries didn't end there. The Shipton Abbott police team continued to crack a plethora of mind-boggling puzzles, from a death during a murder-mystery play on a steam train to a local fishing legend vanishing at sea. With each episode, viewers were left on the edge of their seats, eager for more.

Tim Key, executive producer for Red Planet Pictures, expressed his excitement for the upcoming installment, promising viewers an emotional rollercoaster filled with laughter, tears, and, of course, ingenious puzzles. And let's not forget the duck!

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, echoed the sentiment, highlighting the show's massive success and the anticipation for what lies ahead in Shipton Abbott.

Created by Robert Thorogood and Tony Jordan, Beyond Paradise has captivated audiences worldwide, with its clever storytelling and captivating characters. With series one and two already delighting viewers in nearly 60 territories, the anticipation for the upcoming Christmas special and third series is palpable.

So, mark your calendars and prepare for more gripping mysteries, heartfelt moments, and unexpected twists as Beyond Paradise returns to our screens with a Christmas special and a third series guaranteed to keep you glued to your seats.

Series 2 is released on DVD TODAY at https://amzn.to/3wlZyoV

Granite Harbour Returns: A Darker, More Intense Series Unfolds in Aberdeen

Prepare for a gripping return to the granite city as popular drama series Granite Harbour is back for a highly anticipated second series. Lindo (Romario Simpson), Bart (Hannah Donaldson), and the Major Investigations Team find themselves embroiled in two fatal cases with sinister undertones, plunging them deep into Aberdeen's criminal underworld.

In the upcoming three-part series, the MIT faces a daunting challenge as they investigate the death of the notorious fixer for drug kingpin Grace McFadden (Lesley Hart). With a new cocaine and ketamine compound flooding the streets, the team races against time to prevent a potential drugs turf war from erupting.

Simultaneously, Lindo takes on the case of Mariam (Afsaneh Dehrouyeh), a pregnant stowaway who claims her partner was murdered during their journey across the sea. Suspicions are aroused at the dockside when Lindo and Bart encounter Captain Anders Nielsen (Søren Malling) and his protégé Axel Berg (Christopher Rygh) from the Norwegian cargo ship, Stolthet.

However, complications arise when DCI MacMillan pulls Lindo and Bart off the stowaway murder case. Despite this setback, Lindo refuses to abandon his suspicions about the crew of the Stolthet, convinced they are hiding something sinister.

As the investigations progress, tensions rise within the team, and Lindo finds himself facing personal challenges when his estranged father, Grantley, pays a surprise visit from Jamaica, with his own hidden agenda.

Produced by LA Productions, Granite Harbour is the latest addition to the rich tapestry of Scottish dramas, joining the ranks of acclaimed series like Lockerbie, Nightsleeper, and Shetland.

Don't miss the thrilling return of Granite Harbour, premiering on the BBC Scotland channel, followed by BBC One and iPlayer. Catch all three episodes on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 2 May.

Saturday 27 April 2024

Celebrating British Sign Language Day: BBC Children’s Channels Go Fully Accessible

In a groundbreaking move, BBC Children's and Education is set to mark British Sign Language Day on Sunday, April 28th, by ensuring all its beloved family programs across CBBC and CBeebies are signed in BSL.

This initiative, known as the British Sign Language (BSL) takeover, aims to celebrate BSL as an indigenous language of Great Britain, now officially recognized, and set to become a GCSE subject in 2025. By ensuring full accessibility to content, BBC Children's is not only entertaining but also educating young audiences about the importance of BSL.

Among the highlights of the day is a brand new documentary titled My Life: Can BSL Change the World?, airing on CBBC and BBC iPlayer. The documentary follows the journey of BSL campaigner Daniel as he embarks on a mission to promote sign language worldwide. Accompanied by his hearing dog Varley, Daniel visits a school in Bristol, with contributions from prominent deaf influencers Jazzy and Benny. His aim? To demonstrate to Year 6 students the transformative power of BSL.

But that's not all. Young viewers can also enjoy signed episodes of their favorite shows, including Bluey, Hey Duggee, Supertato, Bing, Octonauts, Yukee, Horrible Histories, The Next Step, Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese, and Deadly Mission Shark. And for a special treat, Bake Off star Tasha Stones will make a guest appearance on Blue Peter. Throughout the day, BSL interpretation will be seamlessly integrated into the programming, with interpreters joining the hosts in the CBeebies House and CBBC HQ studios.

Newsround, BBC Children's trusted news source, will deliver its morning bulletins with live interpretation in the studio, ensuring that all viewers, regardless of hearing ability, can stay informed. Moreover, Newsround's website features BSL interpretation overlayed on its news content daily, making it accessible to everyone.

CBeebies, known for its inclusive programming, offers several shows catered to children with varying needs. Magic Hands, a sign language poetry series, and Something Special, hosted by CBeebies' beloved Justin Fletcher using Makaton, are just a couple of examples. Additionally, Musical Storyland, a series that brings fairytales to life with music from the BBC Philharmonic, will feature a special BSL episode of The Enormous Turnip.

The commitment to accessibility extends beyond British Sign Language Day. All signed content will be available on BBC iPlayer for audiences to enjoy long after the event has passed.

This initiative not only entertains but also advocates for inclusivity, ensuring that all children have equal access to quality programming. By celebrating BSL in this manner, BBC Children's and Education sets a precedent for other broadcasters to follow, paving the way for a more inclusive media landscape for years to come.

BBC Unveils First-Look Images for New Drama "Dope Girls"

Prepare to step back in time to the vibrant streets of 1918 Soho as the BBC unveils first-look pictures for "Dope Girls," an exciting new six-part drama coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Produced by Bad Wolf in association with Sony Pictures Television, "Dope Girls" is inspired by a forgotten era in history. Set against the backdrop of post-World War One London, the drama follows the lives of a newly empowered generation of women who refuse to return to the confines of traditional gender roles.

As Britain celebrates the Armistice, men return from the front expecting to resume their lives, but women have other plans. Against the backdrop of Soho's expanding underground clubland scene, they explore previously unimaginable opportunities on either side of the law.

"Dope Girls" depicts in vivid detail the birth of the modern nightlife industry, shaped by the hard-fought endeavors of women. Created by multi-award-winning writer Polly Stenham and Alex Warren, with Shannon Murphy as lead director and executive producer, the series features a stellar cast.

Julianne Nicholson ("Mare of Easttown") stars as Kate Galloway, a single mother who establishes a nightclub with the aim of providing for her daughter Evie, played by Eilidh Fisher ("The Power"). Eliza Scanlen ("Little Women") plays Violet Davies, a female officer assigned to investigate the world of underground Soho nightclubs.

Joining the cast are Umi Myers, Michael Duke, Ian Bonar, Dustin Demri-Burns, Geraldine James, Nabhaan Rizwan, Priya Kansara, Jordan Kouamé, Will Keen, and Sebastian Croft.

"Dope Girls" recently finished filming in Wales and promises to deliver a gripping tale of ambition, crime, and empowerment in post-war London.

The series is executive produced by Polly Stenham, Alex Warren, Shannon Murphy, Kate Crowther, Jane Tranter, Michael Lesslie, Matthew Barry, and Rebecca Ferguson. Miranda Bowen directs later episodes, with Annika Summerson and Carlos Catalan serving as Directors of Photography and Sherree Philips as production designer. Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto is the producer, with casting by Julie Harkin and Nathan Toth.

"Dope Girls" was commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, and is produced with the support of Welsh Government via Creative Wales. Bad Wolf, a Sony Pictures Television-owned company, will handle international distribution.

Don't miss "Dope Girls," coming soon to BBC One and BBC iPlayer, for an immersive journey into the exhilarating world of 1918 Soho.

Friday 26 April 2024

Channel 4's Most Iconic Theme Tunes Get a Piano Makeover


Channel 4, renowned for its innovative programming and unique approach to entertainment, is set to delight viewers once again with a musical twist that celebrates the return of a beloved show. In anticipation of the new second series of "The Piano," which is scheduled to premiere on Sunday, April 28th at 9 pm, some of Channel 4's most iconic theme tunes are undergoing a transformation – they're being rearranged and performed on the piano.

This musical celebration promises to add a new dimension to viewers' favorite shows. Imagine hearing the familiar melodies of Gogglebox, Countdown, Channel 4 News, and Come Dine With Me: The Professionals, interpreted through the elegant keys of a piano. It's a unique blend of nostalgia and innovation that aims to captivate audiences in a whole new way.

Leading the charge in this musical endeavor is Kodaline frontman Steve Garrigan, who has lent his talent to rearranging the hit song 'Perfect World,' which serves as the title music for Gogglebox. Viewers tuning in to the episode airing on Channel 4 tonight at 9 pm will have the pleasure of experiencing the opening and closing music of the BAFTA-winning series in a captivating piano medley for the first time.

But the musical magic doesn't stop there. Channel 4 News' beloved theme, 'Best Endeavours,' originally composed by Alan Hawkshaw, is also getting a piano makeover. Sunday's news bulletin, airing on Channel 4 at 6:30 pm, will feature a version of this iconic music rearranged and recorded by Phase Music and Universal Production Music.

Countdown fans are in for a treat as well, with the show's famous theme receiving a toe-tapping piano remix by Steve Holness and Pascal Wyse. This new version will grace episodes airing from Monday, April 29th to Friday, May 3rd. And let's not forget about the forthcoming series of Come Dine With Me: The Professionals, which will showcase new piano title music by Patrick Duffin in episodes airing from Monday, May 6th to Friday, May 10th.

Ian Katz, Channel 4's Chief Content Officer, expressed his excitement about this musical initiative, stating, "The Piano is that rarest of things, a TV show that makes people feel better about the world after watching it than they did before. We are spreading a little of that musical magic by replacing the theme tunes of some of our best-loved shows with specially recorded piano versions."

The new piano theme tunes will debut according to the following schedule:

  • Gogglebox: Friday, April 26th at 9 pm. Music by Steve Garrigan, series produced by Studio Lambert.
  • Channel 4 News: Sunday, April 28th at 6:30 pm. Music by Phase Music and Universal Production Music, programme produced by ITN.
  • Countdown: Monday, April 29th to Friday, May 3rd at 2:10 pm. Music by Steve Holness and Pascal Wyse, series produced by Lifted Entertainment, part of ITV Studios.
  • Come Dine With Me: The Professionals: Monday, May 6th to Friday, May 10th. Music by Patrick Duffin, series produced by Multistory Media, part of ITV Studios.

So mark your calendars and get ready to experience your favorite Channel 4 shows in a whole new light, as the soothing sounds of the piano usher in a new era of television magic. Don't miss out on the enchantment – tune in and let the music transport you to a world of wonder and delight.

Lioness Legends Ella Toone and Alessia Russo Team Up with Vick Hope for BBC Sounds Podcast

The Tooney & Russo Show

The Tooney & Russo Show promises an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into the England camp like never before

BBC Sounds is set to welcome two Lioness legends, Ella Toone and Alessia Russo, as they team up with Radio 1's Vick Hope to launch their first-ever podcast series, "The Tooney & Russo Show." This exciting new venture will offer audiences an exclusive peek into the England camp like never before, promising a no-holds-barred conversation where nothing is off-limits.

Download the BBC Sounds app at https://amzn.to/3Qk1ogQ

Tooney and Russo, known for their unfiltered opinions and lively banter, will be joined by Vick Hope, who will take on the role of the ultimate 'third wheel,' asking the burning questions that fans have been dying to know. Listeners can also expect some juicy insights from Vick's own world of TV, radio, music, and more.

In the first episode, the trio delves into the story of how Tooney and Russo became best friends, discussing their wildly different tastes in music and food. Vick Hope doesn't shy away from addressing the whispers that circulated when Alessia made her move to Arsenal, ensuring that nothing is left unexplored.

Commenting on the new podcast series, Alessia Russo said, "Ella and I wore the same trainers to our first-ever England camp, and I knew since then that we would definitely go on to be best friends, so being able to host this podcast with her feels right! It's so exciting to be alongside Vick, who is such an icon, and I can't wait for the listeners to hear a new side to us."

Ella Toone added, "When we first met, I followed Alessia on Insta, and she never followed me back. I thought she's dead cool, she's funny, she's got nice shoes - so I was desperate to be her friend since we were 12 years old. I'm so happy we get to spend some quality time together and welcome Vick into the friendship on BBC Sounds."

Vick Hope expressed her excitement, saying, "Like so many people, I am absolutely obsessed with the Lionesses, so I hope the girls don't mind me third-wheeling, getting involved, and becoming the third best friend! I'm going to be asking all of the questions that we're desperate to know more about, so I hope the listeners on BBC Sounds enjoy hearing all the tea, just as much as I do."

Episode 1 & 2 of the Tooney & Russo Show will be available on BBC Sounds and on the BBC Sounds YouTube channel on April 29, with new episodes dropping weekly. This promises to be an entertaining and insightful journey for fans, offering a unique perspective on the lives of these two footballing stars.

Thursday 25 April 2024

BBC Two and iPlayer to Premiere Gripping New Series: Cold Case Investigators: Solving Britain’s Sex Crimes


BBC Factual has announced an unprecedented two-part series, "Cold Case Investigators: Solving Britain’s Sex Crimes," set to air on BBC Two and iPlayer. This groundbreaking series provides unprecedented access to the cutting-edge science used to identify suspects in previously unsolved sex offenses.

The show follows determined detectives from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire’s Major Crime Unit as they reinvestigate unsolved sexual offenses dating back to the 1980s. Using the latest DNA techniques, this remarkable team is dedicated to bringing justice to victims whose cases have remained unsolved for decades.

With hundreds of thousands of unsolved sexual offenses across the UK, this dedicated unit has undertaken a pioneering forensic and investigative project. They are revisiting 5,400 unsolved rape and sexual assault cases from the last 50 years, harnessing the power of modern DNA techniques to identify perpetrators and provide closure to victims.

In this compelling series, viewers will witness the indomitable spirit of these detectives as they focus on three previously unsolved cases:

Three teenage girls attacked on their way home from school in the early 2000s.

A 16-year-old boy raped while walking home through a park in 1983.

A woman kidnapped and raped after getting into a taxi on the way home from a night out in 1993.

With an impressive 90% success rate in cases taken to court, this unit proves that there is no timescale on justice. The series prompts the question: what impact could be made if more police forces around the country undertook similar initiatives?

Tom Coveney, Head of Commissioning, Science, BBC, said: “I hope our viewers are inspired and captivated by the work of the cold case investigators in this series. The detectives’ skill and dedication and the meticulous work of the forensic scientists are extraordinary. But ultimately these investigations are about delivering justice for victims, and we’re incredibly grateful to the victims who’ve chosen to share their stories with our audience.”

"Cold Case Investigators: Solving Britain’s Sex Crimes," a 2x60’ series for BBC Two and iPlayer, is produced by Brinkworth Productions Ltd. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual. The Executive Producer is Malcolm Brinkworth, the Series Director is Natasha Zinni, and the Commissioning Editor is Tom Coveney, Head of Commissioning, Science.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Stephen Merchant’s "The Outlaws" Returns with a Deadly Secret

The Outlaws

The BBC has released new images from the upcoming series of the hit comedy-thriller "The Outlaws," created by award-winning writer and director Stephen Merchant. The series is set to return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer next month, promising another thrilling season.

Catch Up on previous series at https://amzn.to/3WaJMry

"The Outlaws" follows a group of strangers from different walks of life who are forced to come together to complete a community payback sentence in Bristol. As the third series begins, crime boss The Dean, played by Claes Bang (known for "Bad Sisters"), is behind bars awaiting trial. The Outlaws are moving on with their lives, but their peace is short-lived when one of their own returns with a deadly secret, throwing them back into mortal danger. With a murder manhunt closing in on the gang, they must prove their innocence before The Dean's case collapses, and he seeks revenge.

Returning to the series are Stephen Merchant ("The Office") as Greg, Rhianne Barreto ("No Escape," "Hanna") as Rani, Gamba Cole ("Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle," "Hanna") as Ben, Darren Boyd ("Killing Eve," "Trying") as John, Clare Perkins ("Silo," "The Wheel of Time") as Myrna, Eleanor Tomlinson ("Poldark," "The Couple Next Door") as Lady Gabby, Jessica Gunning ("Back," "Baby Reindeer") as Diane, Charles Babalola ("Black Mirror," "Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation") as Malaki, Tom Hanson ("Brassic") as Spencer, and the legendary Christopher Walken ("The Deer Hunter," "Dune: Part Two") as Frank.

"The Outlaws" is a Big Talk and Four Eyes production co-created by Stephen Merchant and Elgin James ("Mayans M.C.," "Lowriders"). Merchant also serves as an executive producer, director, and writer alongside Luke Alkin, Kenton Allen, and John Butler. Co-produced by BBC One and Amazon Studios, "The Outlaws" is distributed globally by BBC Studios for all three seasons.

Channel 4’s Tempting Fortune Returns for a Supersized Second Series with Paddy McGuinness

Paddy McGuinness

Voltage TV's highly successful reality format, Tempting Fortune, has been recommissioned for an eight-episode second series on Channel 4. Hosted by the charismatic Paddy McGuinness, the show's first series was one of Channel 4's most successful new launches last year, captivating audiences and becoming one of the most-watched shows of 2023 among 16-34-year-olds on Channel 4's free streaming service.

For more Paddy check out - https://amzn.to/3JvDueq

In this exciting new series, a fresh group of contestants will be transported to a tropical jungle location to face the ultimate test of willpower and honesty. Stripped of their comforts, they will rely solely on basic rations and survival gear. However, surviving the jungle is not the real challenge; it's resisting the tantalizing temptations that could transform their rugged jungle experience into a luxurious tropical getaway.

With a substantial cash prize at stake, contestants must resist spending any of it on luxuries if they want to take home their full share. While some are in it for the chance to win a life-changing sum, others are more interested in indulging themselves. Will the bonds formed between contestants convince some to resist temptation? Will those who give in come clean to the rest of the group? And will any of the prize money be left by the end of the adventure?

Paddy McGuinness, the show's host, commented: "Last series was full of backstabbing, betrayal, and sheer determination… but this time there are added twists! I'm thrilled to be back for an even bigger series, challenging a new set of brave, daring, and cunning contestants in the hot and sticky jungle. Let's see if anyone can resist my temptations!"

Steve Handley, Head of Reality & Entertainment at Channel 4, said: "Tempting Fortune has all the hallmarks of a classic Channel 4 format. It's the smart and mischievous love-child of an adventure series and a reality show, testing free will and human nature, often with hilarious consequences. I can't wait to see if our next batch of recruits can resist the irresistible temptations that Paddy has in store for them in the jungle."

Genna Gibson, Commissioner Editor, Reality & Entertainment at Channel 4, added: "It is fantastic news that Voltage and Paddy McGuinness are once again teaming up to deliver another exciting series of Tempting Fortune. Building upon the success of the first series, our new tropical jungle location will provide an even more challenging backdrop for our intrepid but somewhat unlikely explorers to dodge or succumb to their deepest desires. I, for one, can't wait to see what unfolds."

Tempting Fortune was commissioned for Channel 4 by Steven Handley, Head of Reality and Entertainment, with commissioning editor Genna Gibson. It is an 8x60' series produced by Voltage TV and GroupM Motion Entertainment. The executive producers are Sanjay Singhal and Jon Crisp for Voltage TV, with Melanie Darlaston for GroupM Motion Entertainment. Georgina Hinds serves as Showrunner. Cineflix Rights is the exclusive worldwide distribution partner for the format and series.

For those looking to embark on the adventure of a lifetime this summer, applications to take part are now open here.

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Channel 4 General Election fronted by Guru-Murthy and Maitlis

Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Emily Maitlis

Channel 4's upcoming General Election night coverage promises to be a spectacle, complete with heavyweight commentators, top-tier analysis, and some... interesting choices.

Firstly, let's talk about the hosts. Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Emily Maitlis are seasoned journalists, no doubt, but can they handle the unpredictability of a live election night? Well, if their experience is anything to go by, it's going to be a rollercoaster. Guru-Murthy has a history of asking the tough questions, and Maitlis, well, let's just say she's not afraid to challenge her interviewees.

But the real eyebrow-raiser here is the addition of The Rest Is Politics podcast hosts, Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart. Yes, you read that correctly. The same Alastair Campbell who was at the heart of Tony Blair's government and the same Rory Stewart who couldn't decide if he wanted to be a Tory or an independent. If there's one thing this election coverage needs, it's more political flip-flopping, right?

And let's not forget the inclusion of Gogglebox favorites. Because nothing says serious political analysis like getting the opinions of people famous for watching TV.

Cathy Newman will be at the campaign HQs for the Conservatives and Labour. Hopefully, she'll be able to keep track of who's promising what, but we wouldn't count on it.

Clare Balding will be on hand to break down the data. Because nothing makes sense of complicated political data like a sports presenter.

Of course, we can't forget Channel 4's Political Editor, Gary Gibbon, who promises "first class analysis." Well, we certainly hope so, Gary.

The program will be made by ITN Productions. Because who else would agree to this madness?

In a move that surprises no one, the coverage will also include "exclusively commissioned inserts from Gogglebox favorites." Because, apparently, watching people watch TV is now considered legitimate political commentary.

But fear not, because Louisa Compton, Channel 4's Head of News and Current Affairs, assures us that this is going to be "first class analysis." Well, Louisa, we certainly hope so. We're going to need it.

So, grab your popcorn and settle in, folks. It's going to be a wild ride. And remember, no matter what happens, at least we'll have Gogglebox to give us their hot takes.

Monday 22 April 2024

Hope Street Returns with a Fresh Face and a New Mystery

Hope Street

Filming has commenced for the highly anticipated fourth series of "Hope Street," and this time, a new Police Inspector is taking charge in Port Devine.

For previous series of Hope Street see https://amzn.to/4bnwrRh

The acclaimed series celebrates local writing, acting, and production talent from Northern Ireland, showcasing the BBC's commitment to nurturing homegrown storytelling in its nations and regions.

Set in the fictional town of Port Devine on the Northern Ireland coast, "Hope Street" revolves around the local police department, which is relocating to new headquarters. Joining the cast this series is "Derry Girls" star Tara Lynne O'Neill, alongside Marcus Onilude from "Ted Lasso."

Tara Lynne O'Neill takes on the role of the new Police Inspector, Eve Dunlop. Inspector Dunlop, a character who left Port Devine many years ago, returns with her family to investigate a mysterious disappearance and rebuild bridges in the community.

Expressing her excitement about joining the cast, Tara Lynne O'Neill says: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining Hope Street and cannot wait to work by the sea. Port Devine, watch out!"

Filmed in and around County Down's picturesque seaside town of Donaghadee, "Hope Street" has garnered a dedicated fan base across the UK, the US, and beyond. Returning for this eight-part series are familiar faces including Kerri Quinn (Marlene Pettigrew), Niall Wright (Callum McCarthy), Aaron McCusker (Clint Dunwoody), Niamh McGrady (Nicole Devine), Finnian Garbutt (Ryan Power), Des McAleer (Barry Pettigrew), Rachel Tucker (Siobhan O'Hare), and Karen Hassan (Jo Lipton). More new additions to the cast will be announced soon.

The fourth series of "Hope Street" has been commissioned as part of the partnership between the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen, aiming to support the local screen industry and better represent Northern Ireland to audiences across the UK and internationally.

Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning, BBC Northern Ireland, comments: "It's great to be back in Donaghadee, filming a fourth series of Hope Street, and this time round we are welcoming a new family to Port Devine. I think Hope Street captures the humor and warmth of the people here, and I'm really looking forward to Tara-Lynne O'Neill, along with some other new faces, joining the cast."

The series has been a hit with audiences, with Helen Munson, Commissioning Editor, BBC Daytime, adding: "I'm thrilled that we'll be bringing the beautiful backdrop of Northern Ireland back for another series of Hope Street. Fans of the series will be delighted to see well-loved characters returning along with some new faces. With a brilliant mix of drama and crime solving, it's all going on in Port Devine!"

Jess O'Riordan, Commissioning Executive, BritBox International, also expressed her excitement about the new series: "We're delighted to be working with BBC and Long Story again on a fourth installment of Hope Street. BritBox fans of the show will be thrilled to return to stunning Port Devine for more crime-solving and gripping storytelling set against the backdrop of that beautiful scenery we've all come to know and love."

Behind the scenes, acclaimed producers Paul Marquess and Donna Wiffen from Long Story TV, known for their work on "London Kills" and "The Light in The Hall," lead the production. They are joined by co-creator Susanne Farrell ("Dirty God") and Producer John Fox.

Paul Marquess, from Long Story TV and one of the show's creators and producers, says: "It's all change in Port Devine as we return for series four of Hope Street - with a new Police Inspector and a new Police Station. What hasn't changed is Hope Street's unique mix of crime stories and warm character-led drama. We love making Hope Street – and we're delighted it's being enjoyed by audiences in Northern Ireland, the UK, and all over the world."

The fourth series of "Hope Street" promises to be heartwarming and funnier than ever, with a familiar but expanded cast that audiences at home and abroad will surely want to spend time with. Series three is currently broadcasting on Fridays at 1.45 pm on BBC One, and series one, two, and three are available to watch on BBC iPlayer and BritBox.

Schoolchildren Become the Voice of Nature in Special Planet Earth III Episode

Sir David Attenborough has been the voice of nature for over seven decades, captivating audiences worldwide with his narration of nature documentaries. However, as our planet faces increasingly urgent challenges, it's clear that one voice alone is not enough to advocate for Earth.

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To mark Earth Day on April 22nd, the acclaimed BBC documentary series, Planet Earth III, has collaborated with BBC Children in Need to premiere a special episode narrated by schoolchildren. These young voices, aged between nine and thirteen, read from Sir David Attenborough's original scripts, delivering a heartwarming message about the power of youth in championing environmental causes.

The 50 student narrators, who are also budding naturalists, were carefully selected from schools recognized for their exceptional fundraising efforts for BBC Children in Need across the UK in recent years.

In a virtual assembly hosted by wildlife biologist, explorer, and presenter Lizzie Daly, an estimated 100,000 students nationwide will have the opportunity to engage with the special episode. The assembly will also feature a thought-provoking Q&A session with the producers of Planet Earth III. To complement the episode and assembly, BBC Children in Need has created classroom resource packs filled with engaging activities, including opportunities for students to narrate clips from Planet Earth III. These resource packs are available for download from the BBC Children in Need website.

This initiative, named "Voice for Nature," follows the success of its previous phase, which featured well-known voices such as Dua Lipa, Gary Lineker, and Ian Wright. Once again, the project aims to spotlight the importance of speaking up for our planet.

Lizzie Daly, the wildlife biologist, explorer, and presenter, expressed her excitement about the Earth Day event, saying: "I'm thrilled to be presenting the Become a Voice for Nature live schools assembly on Earth Day! I want to encourage schools across the UK to download a Become a Voice for Nature resource pack from the BBC Children in Need website and join us to hear more from the producers of Planet Earth III and learn more about the planet, how it impacts our lives, and what we can do to protect it. I can't wait, see you all there."

In celebration of Earth Day, viewers are encouraged to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #BecomeAVoiceForNature. The special episode will be available to watch on iPlayer on April 22nd and will air on BBC One on May 6th. 

Sunday 21 April 2024

Just One Thing: Michael Mosley's Health and Wellbeing Series Comes to BBC Two and iPlayer

Michael Mosley

The popular Radio 4 podcast series, "Just One Thing," is set to make its television debut on BBC Two and iPlayer. Commissioned for a Daytime slot, this marks the first time a Radio 4 podcast has been adapted for television in such a format.

The series, hosted by the renowned science journalist Michael Mosley, has garnered immense digital success. Produced by the BBC Studios Science Unit, the TV adaptation aims to bring more fun facts and health benefits to audiences, making it enjoyable for the whole family.

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In each of the 10 episodes, Mosley will focus on one simple tip that can lead to significant health transformations, backed by scientifically proven benefits. From dancing around in the kitchen to enhance memory, to spending time in green spaces, consuming beetroot, or performing acts of kindness to uplift mood and mental health, the series promises to offer a plethora of surprisingly simple ways to enhance lifestyles.

What makes this series particularly engaging is Mosley's journey across the UK to find these tips. From the picturesque Lake District to the vibrant streets of Glasgow, each episode is set in a different location, with a surprising connection to the health tip discussed. Mosley will interact with local communities, encouraging them to adopt simple changes for better health while getting more connected with their surroundings.

Expressing his excitement about the television adaptation, Michael Mosley said, "I am delighted that my popular podcast series is being made into a television series; the idea behind the series is that we show people that making a few simple changes can lead to big improvements in their mental and physical well-being. For the series, I'll be traveling across the UK to unearth lots of simple tips to help people change their lives for the better."

Rob Unsworth, Head of BBC Daytime Commissioning, shared his enthusiasm, saying, "This is a first for BBC Daytime, as we bring to our schedule the TV version of this much-loved brand. We're thrilled to be collaborating with such a juggernaut of a podcast, and look forward to welcoming existing fans at the same time as introducing this brilliant format to a whole new audience."

Zoe Heron, Executive Producer for BBC Studios Science Unit, commented on the success of the podcast, "Just One Thing with Michael Mosley podcast is the number two most listened to podcast on BBC Sounds and number five most listened to in under 35's, and has over 25 million listeners worldwide – so bringing this fantastic show to television is a really exciting opportunity and it has found the perfect home on BBC Two and iPlayer."

Lindsay Bradbury, Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime, added, "Michael makes learning fun and easy, you don't even realize you're being educated, and that's what makes his podcast such a success. It's the stories behind his tips that really capture audiences. I can't wait to watch it."

"Just One Thing" promises to be an insightful and entertaining series, offering viewers simple yet effective ways to improve their health and wellbeing. With Michael Mosley at the helm, audiences are sure to be both informed and entertained.

Saturday 20 April 2024

Amanda Holden and Alan Carr Take on Their Biggest Challenge Yet in "Amanda and Alan's Spanish Job"

Amanda Holden and Alan Carr

BBC Factual has announced that Amanda Holden and Alan Carr are embarking on their most ambitious project yet. In the third series of their immensely popular show, the dynamic duo will be leaving the UK behind and heading to the sunny south of Spain. Their mission? To take on a rambling, run-down property in the province of Andalusia.

With many rural areas suffering from depopulation, Amanda and Alan hope to breathe new life into the region and attract tourists by showcasing some of its unloved and forgotten areas around the Costa del Sol in "Amanda and Alan's Spanish Job."

Their latest challenge involves renovating their biggest house yet, learning new DIY skills, and stepping out of their comfort zones once again. Their goal is to transform the dilapidated property into a magical oasis. This year, their interior design will be inspired by the rich Moorish influences of the region's bygone eras.

But it's not all hard work for Amanda and Alan. After a day of DIY, they'll immerse themselves in Spanish traditions, exploring the diverse landscape of Andalusia. From the Sierra Nevada mountains to whitewashed coastal villages and historic Moorish towns, they'll indulge in local cuisine, join summer festivals, and get to grips with the local traditions. Sangria sipping, Flamenco dancing, and karaoke singing are all on the agenda for Amanda and Alan's Spanish adventure!

Amanda Holden expresses her excitement, saying, "It's wonderful how often I'm stopped in the street and told how much people love our show. Alan and I have the best time filming it, and to have reached series three already is beyond the dreams of our lockdown pitch to the BBC! Bring on the Spanish sun, we can't wait to get started and continue to help Comic Relief and Children In Need along the way."

Alan Carr adds, "It's always exciting when a show you love gets recommissioned, but the fact that we will be bringing our unique DIY expertise to a whole different country makes it even more special. We are saying ciao for now and Hola España! Can't wait to grab our power tools and get our hard hats on and bring some much-needed TLC to a casa in Spain!"

Catherine Catton, Head of Commissioning, Factual Entertainment and Live Events, expresses her enthusiasm, stating, "We're absolutely delighted that Amanda and Alan are heading to Spain for their biggest and most ambitious renovation project yet. With their passion for interior design, DIY, and discovering local life, audiences are in for a real treat."

"Amanda and Alan's Spanish Job" will be an 8x30' series airing on BBC One and iPlayer. The show is produced by Voltage TV Productions, commissioned by Catherine Catton, and executive produced by Claire Walls, Sanjay Singhal, and Tom Cullum, with Ricky Cooper serving as the Commissioning Editor.