Making Space For Naylor, Wayne, And CosgroveBookmark and Share

Sunday, 31 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor, composer Jeff Wayne, and animator Brian Cosgrove will be discussing their work and achievements at special events later this year.

Arranged by the entertainment and arts outfit The Space, the interviews will take place at The Basement in Kensington Street, Brighton, with Wayne, who composed the musical version of The War of the Worlds, and Naylor appearing together on Thursday 13th June.

Cosgrove - who with his business partner Mark Hall found fame by bringing to TV screens animated series such as Danger Mouse, Chorlton And The Wheelies, Jamie And The Magic Torch, and Count Duckula - will be appearing there on Tuesday 6th August, along with Oscar-winning sound designer Glenn Freemantle.

Last November, Cosgrove was presented with a BAFTA Special Award at the academy's Children's Awards for his outstanding creative contribution to the industry.

FILTER: - Red Dwarf - Animation - Miscellaneous - Special Events

Atlantis Casting AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Casting for the new BBC One fantasy drama Atlantis was announced today, with Sarah Parish among those signed up for the 13-parter.

The line-up also includes Mark Addy, Juliet Stevenson, Jemima Rooper, Robert Emms, Aiysha Hart, and Jack Donnelly.

The series is set in a time of legendary heroes, mythical creatures, and gods, with the programme reimagining Greek myths and legends. The fabled city of Atlantis is currently being built at sites in Wales and Morocco. Filming starts next month and the programme will air this autumn.

Parish said:
I am thrilled to be part of Atlantis. It's a very exciting project and I can't wait to start filming.
while Addy commented:
I am very excited to be invited along on this epic adventure. The scripts bring to life ancient myths with such a vibrancy and sense of humour; I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
and Stevenson said:
I am delighted to have joined the cast of Atlantis, and very excited to be working with the team. This genre is new to me, so I am looking forward to a great adventure.
It has been created and written by Howard Overman, whose pedigree includes writing for Merlin and creating, writing for, and executive-producing Dirk Gently, which was based on the Douglas Adams novels. Merlin co-creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy are, along with Overman, the executive producers of Atlantis. It is being made by Little Monster Films and being executive-produced for BBC Cymru Wales by Bethan Jones.

Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said:
The fantastic cast announced for Atlantis is testament to the ambition and scale of Howard Overman's scripts. Some of the UK's best-loved actors are joining our newest talent to take the BBC One audience to a rich and wonderful world where any adventure is possible.

FILTER: - Atlantis

Jonathan Creek Broadcast Details ConfirmedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The new episode of Jonathan Creek will air on Monday 1st April at 8.30pm, the BBC has confirmed.

The Clue Of The Savant's Thumb stars Alan Davies as Creek, who is called upon by returning Sheridan Smith as Joey Ross to help investigate the disappearance of a dead body from a locked study - which turns out to be the first in a chain of dark mysteries. Also making a return appearance is Rik Mayall as Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke.

The feature-length episode guest-stars Joanna Lumley as Rosalind Tartikoff, Nigel Planer as Franklin Tartikoff, Hasina Haque as Fariba Tartikoff, Michael Lumsden as local doctor and family confidant Peter Churchill, Sarah Alexander as media executive Polly, the new love of Creek's life, and Mark Frost as local farm worker Brad.

Also featuring in the episode are James Buller as Det Sgt Cudlipp, Sharlene Whyte as Det Con Atkins, Robert Styles as Jack, Louise Yates as Davina, Anna Burnett as the young Rosalind, Phoebe Jones as Natalie, Abigail McKern as Beth, Lydia Gerrard as the young Beth, Lucie Wolfman as Grace, Angelica Jopling as Kate, Mairead Conneely as Sister Cunegonde, and Samantha Coughlan as a receptionist.

As previously reported, the BBC One special, which has been written and directed by David Renwick, will be followed next year by a mini-series of three episodes.

FILTER: - Jonathan Creek

Blackadder Is Voted Viewers' Favourite ComedyBookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Cult classic Blackadder has been voted the favourite British comedy of BBC Entertainment viewers across Europe and the Middle East.

A Christmas Comedy Countdown poll was held between 3rd November and 9th December 2012 to determine the top ten from a choice of 30 shows, with viewers casting more than 1,000 votes. In the end, there was less than 3.9 per cent between the top three programmes, but Blackadder - co-written by Richard Curtis and starring Rowan Atkinson, who played one of the Doctors in the 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death, written by Steven Moffat - came out on top, with 12.2 per cent of the vote.

Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick in the show, said:
Baldrick is over the moon about our receiving this prestigious title. However, he believes something more tangible than mere words would be in order, and suggests that you purchase a large turnip, carve his initials on it, and send it to him c/o Blackadder and Blackadder, Bankers to the Queen, Mayfair. Thank you.
The top ten as voted for by viewers were:

The other 20 shows in the poll were: After You've Gone, Beautiful People, Big Top, The Cup, Dad's Army, dinnerladies, Getting On, Him & Her, Ideal, Jam & Jerusalem, Last Of The Summer Wine, Lead Balloon, The Old Guys, Rev, Roger And Val Have Just Got In, The Royle Family, Supernova, Taking The Flak, Twenty Twelve, and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.

Blackadder ran for four series between 1983 and 1989. There were also three specials, one of which - Blackadder's Christmas Carol - featured Nicola Bryant and Denis Lill as well as another Curse of Fatal Death Doctor, Jim Broadbent, among the cast.

FILTER: - BBC - Comedy

More Clues To New Jonathan CreekBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
More details have been released about the forthcoming return to BBC One of comic mystery drama Jonathan Creek.

The Clue Of The Savant's Thumb - a 90-minute special written and directed by David Renwick - will air at Easter, starring Alan Davies as the eponymous investigator of apparently supernatural mysteries and with Sheridan Smith back once again as fellow investigator Joey Ross. It will guest-star Joanna Lumley as Rosalind Tartikoff and also see the return of Rik Mayall as Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke.

When a dead body impossibly vanishes from a locked study it is only the first in a chain of dark mysteries confronting Jonathan Creek and self-styled paranormal investigator Joey Ross.

Writer, producer, political campaigner, and all round polymath Franklin Tartikoff is one of the country's most eminent intellectuals. But tragedy and horror are about to engulf the vast old country house he shares with his beautiful wife, Rosalind, and their adopted daughter, Fariba.

On the day that Fariba returns from a spiritual journey to the remote Far Eastern island where she was born, her mother is attending the funeral of an old school friend - an event that will unleash disturbing memories of a classmate whose macabre death, 50 years ago in the school dormitory, was never explained.

Today, Waxwood Hall convent school lies eerily empty and derelict. But as Rosalind Tartikoff revisits her childhood haunts she finds that ghosts from the past still stalk its gloomy interior. Now a lecturer in humanities and modern philosophy, as well as being an avowed religious sceptic, how can she bear to admit – even to herself – that as a rebellious teenager in the Sixties she once had a miraculous vision of God?

And when her life is ripped apart by the shocking death of her husband and a disappearing act that appears to defy the laws of science - the very fabric of everything she believes in - there is only one person she feels she can turn to, who, in a world of "gods and spirits and magic and miracles can still fly the flag for common sense".

A grisly murder, the macabre history of a Catholic girls' school, a sinister local society, and a series of increasingly puzzling, interlocking clues form the backdrop to another weird and wonderful case for Creek and Joey, where this time they find themselves merely junior players, in an inquiry spearheaded by the flamboyant and indomitable Detective Inspector Gideon Pryke - an inquiry whose resolution will prove infinitely deeper and darker than any of them could have imagined . . .
It also stars Sarah Alexander as media executive Polly, the new love of Creek's life, Nigel Planer as Franklin Tartikoff, Hasina Haque as Fariba Tartikoff, Michael Lumsden as local doctor and family confidant Peter Churchill, and Mark Frost as local farm worker Brad.

This isn't the first time that Planer has appeared in the show, as he also guest-starred in the first series' third episode - The Reconstituted Corpse - which aired in May 1997.

A broadcast date and time for the special is yet to be confirmed.

A fifth series of Jonathan Creek is on the way, too. Earlier this month, Davies tweeted that three one-hour episodes of the show would be made in the autumn. The fourth series, comprising six episodes, aired in two parts over 2003 and 2004. Since then, there have been three specials including the upcoming one. According to industry publication Broadcast, the new mini-series will be broadcast in 2014.

FILTER: - Jonathan Creek

Dave Allen's Life And Career To Be CelebratedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 14 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The life and career of comedian Dave Allen is to be celebrated by a documentary for BBC Two.

The one-hour programme, entitled Dave Allen Night, will feature rare and often previously-unseen archive footage plus interviews with family, friends, and colleagues.

Together with Allen's family, other interviewees include Dame Maggie Smith, Stephen Frears, and Steven Berkoff. It will also feature archive interviews with Bill Cotton - the former head of light entertainment at BBC TV who went on to become the controller of BBC1 - conducted shortly before the television executive's death in 2008.

In addition, the cast and crew of the triple-BAFTA-winning Dave Allen At Large - the comic's best-known, long-running BBC show - unite to talk about their memories of working with Allen, who often courted controversy with his views on politics and religion.

The documentary - whose broadcast date is yet to be confirmed - is a Vera production and has been executive-produced by Geoff Atkinson. It was commissioned by BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow and entertainment commissioning executives Gilly Hall and Mark Linsey. Hall said:
We are delighted to be celebrating the life and work of the inspired and extraordinary comedian Dave Allen on BBC Two. He was an entertainer ahead of his time and an acclaimed actor too.
Allen - who won the Variety Club's ITV Personality of the Year Award for his comedy/chat series Tonight With Dave Allen - died in March 2005 at the age of 68.

FILTER: - Comedy - BBC Two