Prey: Interviews

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“IT was a very physical role, lots of running, hanging off bridges and climbing fences, hard work.

“But I must say I absolutely loved it.”

John Simm talking about his lead role as Det Sgt Marcus Farrow in Prey, a three-part ITV thriller written by Chris Lunt.

I spoke to John on location during filming on a cold and wet day at the start of January.

And again later when he had returned from making the first episodes of Intruders in Vancouver and was about to begin work on The Village 2.

While Chris and I chatted at ITV’s new Trafford / Media City HQ on January 6 – the official first day in that site’s history after the move from Quay Street in Manchester.

A fresh and exciting TV writer – currently bound for Hollywood – at the dawn of a new era for ITV in the North West.

You can read my interviews via the link to the ITV press pack / production notes below. Continue reading

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Jamaica Inn: Q&A

Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan.

Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan.

“THERE’S nothing so dangerous as a headstrong girl who knows her own mind.”

Jessica Brown Findlay is mean, moody and muddy as Mary Yellan in a terrific three-part BBC1 adaptation of Jamaica Inn.

The former Downton Abbey star deserves to shake off all mentions of Lady Sybil and sentences that begin like this one after her dark and brooding performance as Mary.

Screenwriter Emma Frost stays faithful to Daphne du Maurier’s novel while adding her own stamp on the Cornish classic.

With BAFTA award-winning director Philippa Lowthorpe weaving yet more screen magic across three hours of drama. Continue reading

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The Crimson Field: Q&A

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“SAVING lives, to save their own.”

The Crimson Field begins on BBC1 at 9pm next Sunday (April 6).

A six episode drama series about volunteer British nurses at a field hospital in northern France.

Part of the BBC’s First World War season, it features a strong cast including Hermione Norris, Suranne Jones, Kerry Fox, Oona Chaplin and Kevin Doyle.

Starting in 1915 with the arrival of new VADs – Voluntary Aid Detachment – to join professional military nurses like Matron Grace Carter, played by Hermione.

With Oona as Kitty Trevelyan, Alice St Clair as Flora Marshall and Marianne Oldham as Rosalie Berwick.

Kevin Doyle is Lieutenant-Colonel Roland Brett, the man in charge of the hospital.

But even he has to answer to others higher up the Army command ladder. Continue reading

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Endeavour 2: Q&A

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THE latest TV puzzle starts with a crossword.

Plus a flashback to the young detective being shot at the end of the last story.

Endeavour returns to ITV on Sunday for a second series of the Inspector Morse prequel.

It’s May 1966 and the young Morse (Shaun Evans) is on his first day back at work at Oxford City Police with Det Insp Fred Thursday (Roger Allam).

But doubts remain about whether the Detective Constable is fully recovered from his ordeal.

“The light’s gone out of him,” Thursday tells his wife. Continue reading

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Coronation Street: Les Dennis

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“I know what it feels like, that violation when somebody has been in your house.”

Les Dennis makes his Coronation Street debut next Monday (March 24) as opportunistic thief Michael Rodwell.

Having experienced burglary in real life, when he, his heavily pregnant wife Claire and their young daughter were asleep in their beds.

“Afterwards you think, ‘Oh my God, oh my God.’” Continue reading

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A Poet In New York: Tom Hollander

The London preview screening.

The London preview screening.

“WE all know people who have stood too close to the fire and have died.

“It happened to Philip Seymour Hoffman very recently.”

Tom Hollander reflecting after last night’s premiere screening of A Poet In New York.

A remarkable BBC2 / BBC1 Wales single drama about the final days of Dylan Thomas before his death in 1953, aged just 39. Continue reading

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In The Flesh 2: The Power of Drama

Dominic Mitchell and Luke Newberry at today's launch.

Dominic Mitchell and Luke Newberry (Kieren) at today’s launch.

IN The Flesh creator and writer Dominic Mitchell told a story today about the power of drama.

He spoke at this morning’s London press launch for the second series of the BBC3 show.

Shortly before BBC director-general Tony Hall confirmed that BBC3 will be moving online in autumn 2015 to save £50m a year.

BBC3 controller Zai Bennett had been expected to introduce the screening, as he did for the first series launch 13 months ago.

But, unsurprisingly, he had more pressing business back at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House just a short walk along the road. Continue reading

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