“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. Continue reading
“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. Continue reading
“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. Continue reading
“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. 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
“OVER my dead body, Andrew…”
Rory Kinnear as Barry Fairbrother in BBC1’s new three-part adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.
Jo Rowling’s first novel for an adult audience, published in 2012, became a global best-seller with over six million copies sold to date.
The 3 x 60 minute television adaptation, written by Sarah Phelps and directed by Jonny Campbell, begins on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday Feb 15.
Set in what appears to be the idyllic English village of Pagford.
Those who have read the 500-page book will know that it deals with how we live today, including issues of community and responsibility. Continue reading
Enid and Tubby (Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball)
“IT’S letting your dreams literally come true. Which is rather beautiful.
“Ordinary people being extraordinary.”
Imelda Staunton talking about the truly glorious That Day We Sang, written and directed by Victoria Wood.
A TV musical drama destined to become an instant classic.
Screened on BBC2 at 9pm on Boxing Day – Friday Dec 26.
It stars Imelda as “PA not secretary” Enid and Michael Ball as insurance salesman Tubby, two lonely middle-aged people who grab a second chance of life via the power of music.
These fictional characters meet in 1969 at a reunion of the Manchester Children’s Choir which made the iconic million selling recording of Nymphs and Shepherds with the Halle Orchestra 40 years before.
The film moving between events in the late 1960s and the story of a young Tubby, whose real name is Jimmy Baker, and his difficult home life in 1929.
With Harvey Chaisty as the young Jimmy and the always engaging Daniel Rigby as Mr Kirkby, the war veteran who helps him through.
Victoria Wood is also responsible for writing all of the music – Purcell’s Nymphs and Shepherds aside – in the 90-minute film. Continue reading