Daniel Mays as Jim Keats

“EVERYTHING has a pattern and a pattern to everything.

“Find the connections. Find a way out of this.”

Alex’s notepad is back in Ashes To Ashes final series episode four.

Along with even more clues to the bigger picture as we reach the halfway stage of this epic farewell.

First a declaration. I’ve already seen the episode after this one and my brain is still racing.

Dean Andrews as Ray Carling

GOD is in the detail.

The eve of the 1983 General Election and an arsonist is on the loose in London.

Could “the great handbag” herself be a target?

Mrs Thatcher takes on Michael Foot all over again in the wake of the Falklands War for Ashes To Ashes final series episode three.

As DI Ray Carling (Dean Andrews) walks into the fire.

Montserrat Lombard as Shaz
“TIME is running out.”

Shaz is very much out of sorts in Ashes To Ashes final series episode two.

Written by Ashley Pharoah, it further lifts the curtain on what appears will form part of the Ashes and Mars conclusion.

Two moments in particular left the hairs on the back of my neck standing up like never before.

Daniel Mays as DCI Jim Keats

“AS a massive fan, it’s been great to be such an important part of it all.”

Daniel Mays arrives as DCI Jim Keats in the first episode of the final series of Ashes To Ashes this Friday night.

Will Gene Hunt’s (Philip Glenister) world ever be the same again?

I interviewed Danny on the Ashes set for a feature to be published in the MEN on Friday.

Tim Spall and Bobby Ball
IT’S no secret that I’m a huge fan of Caroline Aherne’s work.

She knows what the important things in life are.

Including family, laughter and love.

Her latest comedy drama is ITV1’s The Fattest Man In Britain.

Last month I spoke to cast members, including Timothy Spall, and co-author / producer Jeff Pope.


“WHAT is happening to me..?”
Anne Turner (Julie Walters) lies on the floor of her hallway, having fallen backwards down the stairs.
What follows is the story of one remarkable woman’s extraordinary journey.
Manchester-trained actress Julie plays Anne in BBC1 drama A Short Stay In Switzerland.
Filmed over just 22 days and broadcast next Sunday at 9pm, it’s inspired by the true story of Dr Turner.
She developed the degenerative brain disease progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), having seen her husband suffer and die from a similar condtion.
PSP involves the progressive death of neurons in the brain. It affects balance, mobility, vision, speech and the ability to swallow, leaving many sufferers eventually unable to walk, feed themselves or communicate effectively with the world around them.
You can read an interview with Julie in today’s MEN TV feature here.
And last Friday’s initial MEN news story is here.


THE covers were taken off as usual early this morning. And then they went back on.
At the time of typing this, they’ve just been removed again ahead of a fabulous Centre Court schedule starting at 1pm.
But if the weather forecast is correct, Andy Murray may need that flag to shelter under this afternoon.
The Met Office tell us there will be “heavier bursts” of rain between noon and 3pm before the rain clears by 4pm.
That will be followed by “some good bright and even sunny spells” with the risk of an isolated shower after 7pm.
At best, the weather office say we may only lose a few hours of tennis today.
Tomorrow afternoon there is a 60 per cent risk of showers, some leading to large amounts of rain falling in a very short time.
More worryingly, there is a danger the weekend may be a washout – leavng open the possibility of play next Monday.
Andy faces the biggest match of his life today, and possibly tomorrow, aiming to cause a major Wimbledon upset.


A crime wave hits Cranford in this Sunday’s near perfect episode of BBC1’s costume drama hit.
“We shall have to put shutters on the shop, like you see in Manchester,” declares store co-owner Mrs Johnson.
Some 7.9m viewers watched last weekend’s visit to the Cheshire village, with 3.2m for the teatime repeat of the first episode.
That Cranford debut had already attracted 8m viewers for its original screening.
Episode three is simply not to be missed.
It begins in November 1842 and takes in Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday.
The relationship between Miss Matty (Dame Judi Dench) and Mr Thomas Holbrook (Michael Gambon) moves centre stage.
There’s much more to savour, including scenes between Mr Carter (Philip Glenister) and young Harry Gregson, played by the talented Alex Etel.


MAX Beesley and Tamzin Outhwaite will check in several guest stars when Hotel Babylon opens its doors again in the New Year.
The five star TV hotel welcomes Kacey Ainsworth in her first role since leaving Albert Square’s Little Mo behind.
She plays a tabloid journalist in a storyline which also involves the unlikely pairing of Chris Moyles and Chantelle.
Other guests in the second series include Kelly Brook as Lady Catherine Stanwood, a former hotel receptionist who got lucky, and Ronni Ancona as a Tory MP.
Cherie Lunghi and Russ Abbott play husband and wife and David Walliams is a cult leader. Wonder if he’ll try out the hotel pool?