“WE have a duty to honour the spirit and memory of Rhys.
“As a society we should never let this happen again.
“Hopefully Little Boy Blue will make people stop and think for a little bit.
“The only way things are going to change is if we make changes ourselves.”
Stephen Graham talking to me about new four part drama Little Boy Blue.
Which begins on ITV at 9pm this Monday (April 24).
Let me say right from the outset that Little Boy Blue is a very special drama from the production team that brought us Cilla and Mrs Biggs.
Based on the true story of the 2007 murder of innocent 11-year-old Rhys Jones in Liverpool as he walked home from playing football.
“IT’S about guilt and conflict. The conflict between love and duty.
“It is shocking and it is dark but in a slightly different more personal way.”
James Norton talking to me about series three of Grantchester which returns to ITV at 9pm this Sunday (April 23).
With challenges ahead for both vicar Sidney Chambers, played by James, and Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green).
The new series also seeing the return of Morven Christie as Amanda, Tessa Peake-Jones as Mrs Maguire, Al Weaver as Leonard Finch and Lorne Macfadyen as Phil Wilson.
Plus the arrival of Gary Beadle as Archdeacon Gabriel Atubo.
“YOU can come up with a caricature in a relatively short space of time.
“But if you want a character, that takes longer.
“All characters for me are a voyage of discovery.”
Rowan Atkinson talking to me about how his portrayal of Maigret has developed.
Ahead of Maigret’s Night At The Crossroads (ITV, 8pm Easter Sunday).
Rowan’s third appearance in the role – in a series that has really hit its stride.
Terrific, compelling, thoughtful, top quality drama and so beautifully written, directed and filmed.
“THERE was something shocking or surprising at every single turn.
“One in five women in London were involved in the sex industry at this time.”
Jessica Brown Findlay talking to me about new drama series Harlots.
Set among the brothels of Soho in the 18th century, this ITV / Hulu production begins in the UK on ITV Encore at 10pm on Monday (March 27).
An ensemble cast of serious acting talent attracted by the intelligent, thought-provoking and witty scripts.
“THE North East is the best kept secret in the country. It’s absolutely beautiful.”
Vera star Brenda Blethyn talking to me ahead of series seven, which begins on ITV at 8pm this Sunday (March 19).
It’s always a pleasure to talk to Brenda. This encounter was for the Vera production notes, with a link to the full ITV interview further down this page.
I’ve seen all four, two-hour films in the new series and can confirm we’re in for some more top class drama from Vera and co.
The superb regular cast joined by a number of notable guest actors, some you will know and some you will not.
With a classic final few scenes in the last episode to delight all those both in the UK and around the world who love Vera.
The opening story – Natural Selection – takes her to the Farne Islands and Craster, just two of many wonderful Northumberland locations in this series.
Later episodes featuring Newcastle’s Quayside, Tynemouth, Gateshead, the historic Groverake mine headframe in Weardale and more of Northumberland and the wider North East.
“I was very nervous.
“You hope we can serve it as well second time round.
“But actually three or four days in it felt really good to be back playing her.”
Nicola Walker talking to me about returning to the role of DCI Cassie Stuart in the second series of Unforgotten.
Teaming up again with Sanjeev Bhaskar, as DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan, for a new six-part story starting on ITV at 9pm this Thursday (Jan 5).
The acclaimed first series was followed by a BAFTA Best Supporting Actor Award for Tom Courtenay’s portrayal of Eric Slater.
The 2017 series, again written by Chris Lang and directed by Andy Wilson, includes a new cast of ‘suspects’.
With some unexpected twists along the way sure to provoke debate among viewers.
Beautifully acted by all involved – not least Nicola and Sanjeev.
“THE Halcyon gripped me straight away.
“Setting the story within this high-class hotel and also against the backdrop of the Second World War gives you such a huge scope for drama and for what’s to come.”
Steven Mackintosh talking to me about new eight-part drama The Halcyon.
Starting on ITV at 9pm next Monday (January 2).
He plays hotel manager Richard Garland as the series opens in 1940.
Before a return to 1939.
With World War Two and the Blitz soon to impact on London and this five star West End hotel.
As you might imagine, I’ve been on quite a few film and TV sets over the last 35 years.
But the one for The Halcyon – created by production designer Matt Gant – took my breath away.
Let’s just say no-one held back on the budget.
“A lot of people in Scotland know about Peter Manuel.
“But I don’t think many people of my age would be aware of the depth of his crimes.
“It was really shocking when I started looking into it.”
Line of Duty star Martin Compston talking to me about his role as killer Peter Manuel in new three part drama In Plain Sight.
Starting on ITV at 9pm next Wednesday (Dec 7).
It tells the story of police detective William Muncie’s quest to bring Manuel to justice.
“SHE is always chasing the dream in her head.
“Chasing a fairy tale throughout her whole life.”
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt talking to me about her new screen role as Mary Ann Cotton in Dark Angel.
A 2 x 90 minute drama written by Gwyneth Hughes starting on ITV at 9pm next Monday (Oct 31).
Also coming to MASTERPIECE on PBS in 2017.
Telling the true story of the woman dubbed Britain’s first female serial killer.
With Alun Armstrong as Mary Ann’s father George and Jonas Armstrong as her lover Joe Nattrass.
“IT was one of the most unique television scripts I’d read.”
Katherine Kelly talking to me about HIM, a three-part drama starting on ITV at 9pm this Wednesday (Oct 19).
The script in question was written by award-winning Paula Milne.
A “domestic horror” starring Fionn Whitehead as HIM, the teenager with no name.
Trying to find his way in life while fighting demons within.
As you would expect from Paula, it’s a really intelligent story about, among other things, all of our sons.
With some striking scenes, including one that required the closure of the A40 west of London.