Common: Q&A

Common

TWO sons. Two mothers.

“I thought they were going for a pizza…”

If you have plans for Sunday night, cancel them now.

Common (BBC1, 9pm Sunday) is yet another classic drama by writer Jimmy McGovern.

Matched by the talents of a cast including Nico Mirallegro, Susan Lynch, Daniel Mays and Jodhi May, plus director David Blair.

The 90-minute film tells the story of Johnjo O’Shea, played by Nico, who gives his cousin and two mates a lift to get a pizza.

But Johnjo is unaware his three passengers are going to “have a word” with a local loudmouth.

As he sits outside waiting in the car for his pizza, one of the trio takes offence to a young innocent bystander and stabs him. Continue reading

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ITV Encore: Interviews

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YOU might have guessed by now that I’m a big fan of TV drama.

So I was delighted to be asked to write the interviews for the launch of ITV Encore.

A new top quality drama channel launching on Sky Channel 123 at 7pm tonight (Monday June 9).

I spoke at length to ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham.

And to Broadchurch producer Richard Stokes who had some interesting revelations.

Including details of a series one scene that never made the screen during the original run.

Plus other details about the series you might not know. Continue reading

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Quirke

Quirke

“IT was just like getting a fantastic present.

“It’s so rare to find a crime book that’s so beautifully written and so rich and deep and complex.”

Screenwriter Andrew Davies talking about adapting Benjamin Black’s Quirke novels for BBC1.

The first of three 90-minute Quirke film – Christine Falls – was screened at the BFI in London all of 11 months ago in June 2013, followed by a Q&A.

But as is sometimes the way with TV schedules and dramas that don’t fit into neat one hour slots, the start of the series was delayed until now.

With that first Quirke story on BBC1 at 9pm tomorrow (Sunday May 25). Continue reading

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Happy Valley: Sarah Lancashire

Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood.

Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood.

“I’LL make a note of the fact that you apologised profusely…in tears.”

Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood in tonight’s Happy Valley episode three. (BBC1 9pm)

Sally Wainwright’s brilliant script matched, yet again, by Sarah’s work on screen.

In a series reminding us that Sally’s writing CV includes dramas like Unforgiven, as well as Last Tango In Halifax, Scott and Bailey and At Home With The Braithwaites.

Back in March I attended the London launch of this six-part drama, followed by a Q&A.

A few hours later I wrote the story further down this page, which has not gone online – so best put that right now. Continue reading

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From There To Here: Q&A

From Here To There

“WE nearly died in there. Doesn’t it make you think?”

Daniel Cotton (Philip Glenister) asks the question of his father Samuel (Bernard Hill) in From There To Here.

The three part BBC1 drama, written by Peter Bowker, opens with the June 1996 Manchester bomb which destroyed a large part of the city centre.

But this is not a story about the IRA attack. It charts the ripples of that initial trigger on two families across Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

Last night I attended a screening of episode one at BAFTA in London followed by a Q&A, including Phil and Pete.

You can read my full transcript below, edited very slightly to remove any major spoilers. Continue reading

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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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