Jericho: Interviews

“I’M really glad we are shining a light on it.

“It’s such a rich and different life we’ve not seen in costume drama before.”

Jessica Raine talking about Jericho, a new eight-part series which begins on ITV at 9pm this Thursday (Jan 7).

Set in Yorkshire during the 1870s, it tells the story of a navvy town community gathered to build a huge railway viaduct.

Former Call The Midwife star Jessica plays Annie Quaintain, evicted from her home after the death of her schoolmaster husband.

Together with her two children – Martha, played by ex-Corrie actress Amy James-Kelly, and George (Sam Bottomley) – she heads for an uncertain future in the remote settlement of Jericho. Continue reading

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Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands…Interviews

“SOME say heroes are born. Others…they’re made.”

Beowulf: Return To The Shieldlands begins on ITV at 7pm next Sunday (Jan 3).

Kieran Bew leading a huge cast as the title character in this epic 12-part series.

I was lucky enough to spend a few days on location earlier this year with Kieran and co in County Durham / Weardale.

Interviewing both the cast and those behind the camera for ITV’s Production Notes.

With other interviews completed later in the year including William Hurt, who plays Hrothgar.

And honoured to host the on stage Q&A after the first episode, directed by Jon East, was screened at BAFTA in London in December. Continue reading

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Peter & Wendy: Interviews

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“PETER Pan’s for little kids. I saw it years ago.”

If that’s what you’re thinking about Peter & Wendy (ITV, 8pm Boxing Day), then think again.

The feature length family film is rooted in the present day of London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

While linking into JM Barrie’s classic story and its origins.

Irish actress Hazel Doupe plays Lucy Rose, a young girl who arrives at GOSH for a life or death operation.

Stanley Tucci is hospital consultant Mr Wylie (no relation), the surgeon who has Lucy’s life in his hands. Continue reading

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Prey 2: Interviews

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“HE’S working his way through Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes casts.

“He’ll be casting Keeley Hawes in Prey 3, probably. I would’t be surprised.”

Philip Glenister talking to me about his role as prison officer David Murdoch in the second series of Prey, created and again written by Chris Lunt.

Joking about the fact he follows on from former Life On Mars – and Mad Dogs – co-star John Simm who appeared in the acclaimed first series. Continue reading

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Jekyll and Hyde: Interviews

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“NOT one. But truly two.”

Jekyll and Hyde arrives on ITV at 6:30pm this Sunday (October 25) bringing a whole new world to British television.

A clever re-invention and development of the original story, set in the 1930s and featuring the grandson of the first Dr Jekyll…and Mr Hyde.

Resulting in one of the coolest, sharpest, wittiest, stylish and ever-so-slightly scary new dramas you could wish to see.

Creator, writer and executive producer Charlie Higson’s balance of action, adventure, horror, romance and humour is spot on.

With a real new star in leading man Tom Bateman.

Totally convincing as confused and innocent young Robert Jekyll.

And, in Charlie’s own words, “a sexy bad boy” when he turns into ‘superhero’ Hyde.

Backed by a superb cast including Natalie Gumede as Bella, Stephanie Hyam as Lily, Donald Sumpeter as Garson and Richard E Grant as Bulstrode.

Together with Poldark’s Ruby Bentall as ever-so-super Hils and Enzo Clienti as the rather terrifying Captain Dance.

Not forgetting a world of monsters, some likely to become cult favourites. Continue reading

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Unforgotten: Interviews

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“HOW do you live when you have done something in your past that you have to completely bury?

“How do you present this alternative face and personality that you then believe is real? You re-write your history.

“When something awful has happened, how do you live?”

Nicola Walker talking to me about new six-part puzzle Unforgotten.

It starts on ITV at 9pm this Thursday (October 8) and is one of the best dramas I have seen in 2015.

The first production from Mainstreet Pictures, the independent drama company set up by Sally Haynes and Laura Mackie.

Unforgotten stars Nicola as DCI Cassie Stuart and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DS Sunil Khan.

Investigating the murder of a young man dating back almost 40 years to 1976. Continue reading

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Midwinter of the Spirit: Interviews

“IT is a serious drama where we ask serious questions.

“There is a very sensitive subject matter – it explores the nature of good and bad and evil.”

Anna Maxwell Martin talking to me about her role as Merrily Watkins in chilling new ITV drama Midwinter of the Spirit.

Based on the novels by Phil Rickman, the three-part series begins at 9pm on Wednesday (September 23).

There is a lot to say about what has the potential to be a long running returning drama. Continue reading

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