“IT’S a great advert for community and helping each other.
“That sense of community and looking out for one another that we’ve very much lost nowadays.
“I do think there is a huge longing for that.”
Samantha Bond talking to me about the return of Home Fires to ITV at 9pm this Sunday (April 3).
The first series attracted an average audience of 6.2 million and wove its way into the hearts of viewers.
Having interviewed the cast for ITV ahead of that first series it was my pleasure to do the same again for series two.
As good as the opening series was, these six new episodes – set in the summer of 1940 – have really raised the bar.
With some terrific storytelling involving both the Great Paxford characters we know and a few new faces.
All beautifully acted and filmed for a real Sunday night treat.
Again including the award-winning music by composer Samuel Sim.
“I hope viewers will see Home Fires as a really gripping drama telling various personal stories.
“It shows what goes on behind closed doors with elements of discovery and intrigue.”
Samantha Bond talking to me about ITV’s new World War Two drama, which begins at 9pm this Sunday (May 3).
The six-part series, also starring the likes of Francesca Annis, Ed Stoppard, Ruth Gemmell and Daniel Ryan, is not what you might be expecting.
STEP inside love…
We’ll get to my ITV interviews for their new three-part 1960s’ drama a little further down. But first:
I was just a little lad when I first saw Cilla.
My mum and dad and I were on an annual holiday to Blackpool, staying on the top floor of a packed bed and breakfast establishment.
AN invite to the premiere press screening of The Politician’s Husband last Friday night.
Followed by a Q&A with acclaimed writer Paula Milne, whose many credits include White Heat, The Night Watch and The Politician’s Wife.
We were shown the first two episodes, of three in total.
Including terrific performances from David Tennant and Emily Watson.
The series begins on BBC2 at 9pm tonight (Thursday April 25) and comes recommended.
Below is the story I wrote the next morning, which subsequently appeared here this week.
Followed by my transcript of that Q&A with Paula, hosted by BBC Drama boss Ben Stephenson.
“THIS is London…”
A BBC Radio announcer and the chimes of Big Ben herald the return of Upstairs Downstairs.
Its first full BBC1 series following the three episodes screened at Christmas 2010.
Keeley Hawes (Lady Agnes Holland) and Ed Stoppard (Sir Hallam Holland) again lead the line upstairs at 165 Eaton Place.
With Alex Kingston arriving in episode one as Dr Blanche Mottershead, the younger sister of Lady Holland.
“AT first we thought that was a bit of a bore, quite frankly.
“As it happens, I think they’ve laid out the ground very nicely for us.”
Dame Eileen Atkins speaking at the British Film Institute in London last night about Downton Abbey.
Taking part in a panel Q&A following a screening of the first episode of BBC1’s revival of Upstairs Downstairs.
ONE of the busiest times of year for below stairs journalists who write about TV.
With Christmas deadlines fast approaching.
Including transcribing and writing up interviews with many of the stars of the BBC line-up officially made public yesterday.
So not much time to post a detailed blog today.
Instead, I thought some might like to see these newly released images of BBC1’s Upstairs Downstairs.