Beowulf: The return of Britain’s mythic past

February 3, 2015 by  
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ITV has commissioned thirteen-part drama Beowulf, an epic re-imagining of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes.

Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, this action-packed series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures.

Essentially, a western set in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past, the story unfolds on a huge canvas, filmed amongst the breathtaking beauty of England’s North East.

The first episode sees Beowulf who, after spending many years wandering as a mercenary warrior, returns to Herot to pay his respects to the recently deceased Thane, Hrothgar – the man who raised him. But when Herot is attacked by the terrifying monster Grendl, Beowulf has no choice but to hunt it down, winning favour with Herot’s new female Thane, and the wider community, in the process.

And so begins a personal journey that sees this mighty and capable man slowly reconnect with the notion of family and home.

Beowulf is a series about courage, greed, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, power, man versus wilderness and, of course love. It is a series that explores the notion of good and evil, heroes and villians. However, beyond these wider political undercurrents and inner personal turmoils are the excitement, danger and sense of adventure that any great Western has. Epic fights, thrilling chases, raids, celebrations and battles are an essential part of the promise.

James Dormer (Strike Back, Wallander, Outcast) who will write and executive produce said:

“Hundreds of years ago our ancestors listened to the story of Beowulf because it was a great adventure story – it scared them, thrilled them, made them laugh and cry. But they also listened because they recognised themselves and their fears in it. By holding a mirror up to them this story helped define them and thus – us. So it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to make it relevant again for a wide audience – to let them own it again. To let them see themselves in it.”

Stephen Mulhern to host Britain’s Got More Talent again

January 29, 2015 by  
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Stephen Mulhern is back as host for another series of ITV2’s hit show Britain’s Got More Talent, ready to unleash more acts, more mayhem and more backstage antics.

The sister show to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, More Talent is like your annoying younger sibling, creating general mischief, asking questions which no-one else would dare and making everyone laugh.

Stephen will once more be bringing a playful, cheeky charm to proceedings as only he can. Getting close to the action with exclusive unseen acts and backstage interviews, Stephen will be meeting the weird, the wonderful and the funny!

Stephen will also be getting up close and personal with the judges – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – asking them what they really think of the acts and each other. He’ll also be pitting Ant & Dec against one another with a series of ridiculous games to see who is the best.

Speaking ahead of the series, Stephen said: “I’m back again and I couldn’t be happier. Britain’s Got Talent is one of the best jobs there is; where else could you spend your day interviewing roller-skating twins, a man who plays a pork chop or listen to a rap song about chicken. Unbelievable!”

Britain’s Got More Talent returns to ITV 2 in Spring

Foyle’s War: Final Episode

January 27, 2015 by  
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The award-winning drama series Foyle’s War, starring Michael Kitchen, will air its final episode on Sunday 18 January 2015 at 8pm on ITV.

Writer and creater, Anthony Horowitz OBE, has penned the iconic Foyle’s last ever case, Elise, which sees award-winning actor, Michael Kitchen star as one of television’s favourite detectives, Christopher Foyle, Senior Intelligence Officer for the secret service, MI5, for the final time in this two-hour drama.

In the dramatic finale to the much loved series, Foyle must re-examine Hilda Pierce’s top secret role during the war within SOE (Special Operations Executive) following an assassination attempt on her life outside MI5. SOE French section sent many agents behind enemy lines and Foyle suspects the shooting may be connected to the hunt for a traitor within SOE called Plato who could have been behind the deaths of nine agents in France.

Anthony Horowitz first thought up the idea of Foyle’s War in 2000 and has scripted twenty-four two-hour films. Foyle’s War has travelled from the start of the war to Dunkirk, the Blitz, VE Day and the Cold War with secret intelligence, Soviet spies and the atomic bomb. Along with the murders and mysteries, Foyle’s War has explored many remarkable stories including the quiet heroism of the SOE, the genius and original thinking of the men and women behind the bouncing bomb, the development of plastic surgery and the invention of radar.

Anthony Horowitz said: “It feels a terrible wrench to say goodbye to characters I’ve lived with for more than fifteen years. But the truth is that I’m not sure there are any more stories to tell and anyway it was always my intention to end on a high note and I think this year’s episodes are the very best we’ve done.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved with Foyle’s War and I’m very grateful to the audience that has stayed with us for so long. I’ve had a good war.”

Cast announced for epic drama War and Peace

January 23, 2015 by  
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Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s literary masterpiece will star Paul Dano (12 Years A Slave, Prisoners, There Will Be Blood), Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) and James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester), it is announced today.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, War And Peace will be told over six one hour episodes. Director Tom Harper (The Scouting Book For Boys, Peaky Blinders, Woman In Black: Angel Of Death) will bring this classic to life for a modern audience on a truly epic scale in what Davies calls “a thrilling, funny and heartbreaking story of love, war and family life”.

James Norton says: “I’m thrilled to be entrusted with Andrei in this exciting adaptation. It’s a privilege to bring to life one of Tolstoy’s wonderfully rich and conflicted characters. And to get to work alongside talents such as Tom Harper, Andrew Davies, Lily James and Paul Dano is very exciting – I can’t wait to get started.”

Paul Dano will star as Pierre Bezukhov, Lily James as Natasha Rostova and James Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. Also heading up the rich cast of characters are Stephen Rea (An Honourable Woman, The Shadow Line) as Prince Vassily Kuragin, Ade Edmondson (Prey, Blood) and Greta Scacchi (The Falling, Brideshead Revisited) as Count and Countess Rostov; as well as Jack Lowden (The Passing Bells, The Tunnel) as Nikolai Rostov, Tom Burke (The Musketeers, The Hour) as Dolokhov and Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, Good Cop) as Sonya.

Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman and Executive Producer for The Weinstein Company says: “I fell in love with Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a teenager when I read it for the first time. Putting an epic, iconic story like War and Peace on screen with a cast of this calibre is an incredible thrill. Lily, Paul, and James are all amazingly talented actors and it takes their level of talent to capture the scale of Tolstoy’s words. We are excited to get underway with Andrew Davies and the phenomenal team at BBC.”

Game of Thrones to return in April

January 22, 2015 by  
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Game of Thrones Returns

The new, fifth season of Sky Atlantic’s Game of Thrones will premiere on the channel on Monday 13 April at 9pm, the day after it returns in the US.

Based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honour and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years.

Members of the ensemble cast for the fourth season included Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. Executive producers, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin.

Tom Bateman to star in Jekyll & Hyde

January 21, 2015 by  
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Tom Bateman (Da Vinci’s Demons, The Tunnel), Richard E Grant (Downton Abbey, Dr Who) and Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street, Death In Paradise) join forces to star in Jekyll & Hyde.

From an idea conceived by acclaimed novelist Charlie Higson, the action and fantasy series has been inspired by The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and My Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Higson has written and will executive produce the drama which exudes mystery, fantasy, horror and sci-fi.

Set in 1930’s London at a time of Hollywood glamour, aerodynamic cars and monster movies, the drama will pay homage to the Stevenson novel, and focus on the young, attractive, troubled hero, Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor.

At the heart of the drama is Robert Jekyll’s quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his ‘curse’. Jekyll transforms into Hyde in moments of extreme anger, stress and when his or the lives of others are threatened.

In the opening episode Jekyll is a newly qualified doctor living with his foster parents in Ceylon. He knows nothing of his family history or his inherited condition, which his foster father, Dr Vishal Najaran, is controlling with medication. The drama follows his path to discovery, which coincides with the transformative powers of his condition growing stronger and more disruptive. His journey will take him into a dark and unforgiving place, as his alter ego seems capable of anything. At the same time there are shadowy forces trying to find Jekyll and the source of his powers.

Further cast includes Stephanie Hyam (Murdered By My Boyfriend), Donald Sumpter (Game Of Thrones, Being Human), Amit Shah (The Smoke, Hustle), Phil McKee (Ripper Street, Dracula), Christian McKay (Rush, Theory of Everything), Ruby Bentall (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise), Enzo Cilenti (Game of Thrones), Lolita Chakrabarti (The Smoke, Death in Paradise), Michael Karim (Inspector Lewis) and Ace Bhatti (Silk, Eastenders).

Who’s joining Simon on Britain’s Got Talent 2015?

January 20, 2015 by  
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Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams are returning to the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel as the nation’s favourite talent show is back for another action packed series. Hosts Ant & Dec are also back to guide the audience through the weird, wacky and wonderful talents auditioning.

In their hunt for the best talent around the judges will set off on tour from the 19 January, kicking off in Edinburgh at The Festival Theatre. The action then continues in Manchester at The Lowry (29-31 January), Birmingham at The Hippodrome (5-7 February) and London at The Dominion Theatre (11-15 February), as performers try to impress and avoid the dreaded buzzers. Meanwhile each judge will be choosing the act that astounds them the most to send straight through to the live semi-finals, with the return of the Golden Buzzer. The show hits screens on ITV this Spring.

Simon Cowell, said:

‘I’m really looking forward to starting auditions on Britain’s Got Talent next week. I feel very confident in my role as a judge on the show and I look forward to hopefully finding a star. Amanda is so much fun to work with and has great instincts. Alesha has proved to be a brilliant judge, has an amazing eye for talent and is a pleasure to be around. And, then there’s David…’

New family for Emmerdale’s Home Farm

November 10, 2014 by  
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Emmerdale’s Home Farm will have a new family set to make their mark on village life in the coming weeks.

When Home Farm is put up for auction and an open day held for potential purchasers, feisty Nicola King, played by Nicola Wheeler, is rude to prospective buyer Chrissie White. She has no idea who she is and it’s typical of Nicola to make assumptions. Soon Nicola’s fibs and fabrications are blown apart by the arrival of Chrissie’s fiancé, ex-villager Robert Sugden who has joined his partner to look around the house.

Before long Chrissie’s wealthy father Lawrence White arrives to inspect the property, because he wants to buy in the area and Home Farm seems just the ticket. Lawrence will be played by acclaimed actor John Bowe (Silent Witness, DCI Banks, Prime Suspect, Coronation Street). Whilst his daughter Chrissie is being played by newcomer Louise Marwood.

Forthright in his views, Lawrence is not impressed with Chrissie’s choice of husband and on getting wind of Robert’s reluctance to return to the village, promptly puts in an offer. Could Lawrence be determined to rock his daughter’s relationship? In his first major TV role Ryan Hawley (History Boys, both in the West End and the UK theatre tour) will play Robert Sugden.

Chrissie’s troubled fourteen-year-old son Lachlan played by Thomas Atkinson is set to join his family shortly.

Christopher Eccleston to star in ‘Safe House’

November 7, 2014 by  
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Acclaimed British actor Christopher Eccleston (The Leftovers, Thor: The Dark World) will be joined by Marsha Thomason (White Collar) and Paterson Joseph (The Leftovers, Law & Order: UK) in a new four-part drama series Safe House.

The cast will also include Jason Merrells (Emmerdale, Waterloo Road), Nicola Stephenson (All At Sea, Holby City), and Peter Ferdinando (Doctor Who, A Field in England) and is set to commence filming today; Monday 6th October.

The 4-part drama tells the story of a married couple: Robert (Christopher Eccleston) a former detective and Katy (Marsha Thomason) a teacher who are asked by close friend and police officer Mark (Paterson Joseph), to turn their remote Guest House into a Safe House.

Their first ‘guests’ at the Safe House, are a family in fear of their lives after they are violently attacked by someone who claims to know them. For Robert protecting the family resurrects fears and anxieties bound up in a terrifying night eighteen months ago – where he was protecting a star witness who was about to testify against her gangland husband. Unexpectedly, he was shot, and she was killed. As a consequence of running the Safe House, Robert re-questions this incident and uncovers a web of lies.

Inspired by a real couple, Safe House is a distinctive character-driven drama created and written by Michael Crompton (Kidnap & Ransom, Carrie’s War), and directed by award-winning Marc Evans (Hinterland, Collision).

Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games

November 6, 2014 by  
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Legendary dancer Michael Flatley is back on the West End stage with his most spectacular show to date.

An epic new staging of his original masterpiece, Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games, features a cast including James Keegan, Morgan Comer and Mathew Smith as the “Lords of the Dance”, and former world champion acrobatic gymnast Alice Upcott as “The Little Spirit”. Chart-topper Nadine Coyle (Girls Aloud) lends her voice to the show’s signature tune, playing the role of The Goddess Erin, as part of an new score from Ger Fahy.

One of the fastest selling West End theatrical productions of the year; Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games had its World Premiere at the legendary London Palladium with an exclusive 8 week limited run starting on 1 September 2014 before gracing Wembley Arena and touring more than 200 venues across 15 countries over the next 18 months.

Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games Blu-ray DVD and Digital Download on 24th November.

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