“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. Continue reading
“AUDIENCES don’t like to be treated as if they’re stupid.
“Sometimes I think we dumb things down and underestimate the intelligence of an audience.
“We’re not stupid. We don’t need it hammered into our head.
“We want to work a little bit.
“And I think this asks that of the audience.”
Anna Friel talking to me on location in Paddington about Marcella (ITV, 9pm, Monday April 4).
A truly outstanding eight-part drama filmed and set in London written by The Bridge’s Hans Rosenfeldt.
With one of the most gripping scripts I’ve ever read. Continue reading
“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
“IF I could stop history in its tracks maybe I would.
“But I can’t, Carson.
“Nor you nor I can hold back time.”
Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) in the opening episode of the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey, which begins early in 1925.
Setting the scene for what is to come.
I attended the London premiere of Downton Abbey 6.1 yesterday.
Followed by two press conferences and then the usual afternoon of embargoed round table interviews with the cast. Continue reading
Arthur (Martin Clunes) and George (Arsher Ali).
“SUCCESS is a terrible mistress.”
Martin Clunes is about to star on screen as Sherlock novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
With Arthur & George starting on ITV at 9pm on Monday (March 2).
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Julian Barnes.
Before starting work at the end of March on a seventh series of Doc Martin.
Both TV dramas produced by his wife Philippa Braithwaite.
You might think life is simple for a successful actor like Martin.
Aside from having to answer yet another tedious question about whether Men Behaving Badly will ever return.
I’ve heard him being asked that dozens of times over the years and the answer remains, of course, no.
But despite always putting on an entertaining show during interviews, usually with a bit of edge, he can be – like most actors – a sensitive soul.
So it was no surprise to learn at the ITV launch for the new three-part drama that Martin has previously “bailed out” of other productions.
Even after signing the contract to appear in them. Continue reading
“I hope I’m not intruding…”
Ross Poldark returns to Cornwall – and our television screens – in a new BBC1 (and PBS) adaptation of Winston Graham’s novels.
Some, like me, will be old enough to remember the iconic 1970s’ Poldark TV series starring Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees.
While younger viewers may have no idea what all the fuss is about.
Aidan Turner, who takes the title role in the 2015 series, admits he initially had to enlist the help of Google to find out what Poldark was. Continue reading
JEREMY Piven has plenty in store for viewers when he returns tonight in Mr Selfridge.
I was delighted to be asked by ITV to write the cast interviews for this 10-part second series.
Having also done the same for the opening season.
And on the first of a number of visits back to the Mr Selfridge set in London last year it was immediately clear the bar has been raised. Continue reading