SWING TIME

1250792_zadie-smithBABY COW ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF ZADIE SMITH’S NEW NOVEL

London, 17 November:  Baby Cow, the leading film and television company co-founded by Steve Coogan and responsible for Philomena, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Nighty Night, Gavin & Stacey and The Mighty Boosh, has acquired Zadie Smith’s new novel Swing Time, from Katie Haines at The Agency in association with Georgia Garrett at Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd. Smith will adapt herself, with Nick Laird, for television.

Swing Time marks Baby Cow’s first significant acquisition since Christine Langan, ex-head of BBC Films, took over as CEO this month.

Langan says: “Zadie Smith is the voice of a generation and Swing Time is a thrillingly ambitious story of friendship, rivalry and fame. We’re delighted and honoured at Baby Cow to be developing such a unique project and we can’t wait to share it with TV audiences everywhere.”

The novel, published this week, has received fantastic reviews: ‘Smith packs more intelligence, humour and sheer energy into any given scene than anyone else of her generation’. The Sunday Telegraph.

A novel that showcases its author’s formidable talents’. The New York Times.

Zadie Smith says: “I am absolutely delighted at the prospect of working with Baby Cow on an adaptation of Swing Time. Their extraordinary track record in both drama and comedy I have always admired from afar and it’s a thrill for me to get the chance to collaborate with Steve Coogan and Christine Langan.”

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship, music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from North West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the rhythm of time.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten either.

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty and NW. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has twice been listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists. She has won the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award among many others, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Swing Time is her fifth novel.

About Baby Cow: Established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions has long had an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent. In early 2016 Henry Normal left to pursue other creative endeavors and BBC Worldwide became majority shareholders. Christine Langan, ex-Head of BBC Films, took over as CEO in November.

Known as the home of mutli award winning comedies, Alan Partridge, Nighty Night, The Mighty Boosh, Gavin and Stacey and Red Dwarf, the new team of founder, Steve Coogan, Head of Film, Gaby Tana, and CEO Christine Langan will bring that same distinctive voice and ambition to its TV drama productions and feature films.

Baby Cow has already achieved box office success and critical acclaim with many of its films, including Academy nominated and Bafta winning Philomena and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Mindhorn and Polunin documentary Dancer, are set for UK release in Spring 2017.

About BBC Worldwide:
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  Its vision is to build the BBC’s brands, audiences, commercial returns and reputation across the world.  This is achieved through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values.  The business also champions British creativity globally.

 

In 2015/16, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £133.8m and headline sales of £1,029.4m and returned £222.2m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review webpage: www.bbcworldwide.com/annual-review

www.bbcworldwide.com   twitter.com/bbcwpress

ENDS

For more information:

Freuds |Charlotte Inett| charlotte.inett@freuds.com | 079 2025 1389

Dave gets Zapped!

CkOQCrCXAAAMsAUNew scripted comedy from Baby Cow Productions starring
James Buckley, Paul Kaye, Sharon Rooney, Ken Collard and Louis Emerick.

London – 06 June 2016 – Dave, UKTV’s leading entertainment channel,
continues to expand its UKTV original scripted slate with Zapped! (3×40’), a
brand new fantasy comedy from Baby Cow Productions, starring James
Buckley (The Inbetweeners), Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Sharon Rooney
(My Mad Fat Diary), Ken Collard (Cuckoo) and Louis Emerick (Benidorm) plus
a guest appearance from Steve Coogan, who will also executive produce the
show.

Brian Weaver (James Buckley), an online data marketing assistant (even he
doesn’t know what that is) finds himself abruptly transported to a parallel
world. Fortunately, there’s a pub. There he meets the owner, Herman (a former
warrior; Louis Emerick) plus a handful of regulars: Barbara (a hopeless
soothsayer; Sharon Rooney), Steg (an armchair revolutionary;
Ken Collard) and Howell (a brain-fried Wizard; Paul Kaye). Brian is desperate to
get home, and his new acquaintances are no help at all. Instead he finds
himself being sucked into a world he doesn’t understand, full of psychopathic
Fairies, Shell Men, seductive Demi-Fins, vicious Throcks and the frighteningly
unpredictable side-effects of Howell’s magical powers. It’s even worse than
being an online data marketing assistant.

The series has been created by Black Dog Television and is written by Dan
Gaster, Will Ing and Paul Powell. Baby Cow Productions are producing, with
comedy legend Steve Coogan as executive producer, Kerry Waddell (Red
Dwarf XI & XII) as series producer and Dave Lambert (Undercover and Alan
Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life) as director. The series has been
ordered by Dave general manager Steve North and UKTV’s director of
commissioning Richard Watsham. Simon Lupton, UKTV’s senior
commissioning editor will oversee as executive producer for UKTV.

Steve Coogan says ‘Zapped! is fantasy, heightened reality and lots of
escapism, with one foot firmly in the real world. It has all the requisite
elements to take the audience on a journey to this slightly mad world; from
wizards and spells to mermaids, psychopathic fairies, smartphones and then
back to the boring office job. We have a great cast on board, led by the
brilliant James Buckley. We’re excited to be working with UKTV on another
original comedy series and we feel this is a great example of Baby Cow at its
best.’

Simon Lupton adds, “Everyone at UKTV is very excited to be
working with Baby Cow on Zapped! the latest addition to our growing
scripted comedy slate on Dave. It has already been loads of fun collaborating
with the writers as they created this fantastical world and array of
extraordinary characters. We know that the Dave audience loves their comedy
to give them big laughs and offer escapism in a bold, joyful and distinctive
way – and we really believe Zapped! will do that. The scripts have a
wonderful blend of great storytelling and humour, combined with an
extremely high quality cast and director.”

Steve North says, “Zapped! combines very funny scripts with an exceptionally
talented team making it. The casting is superb and brings a wealth of comedy
talent to Dave which is genuinely exciting. We have an ongoing commitment
on Dave to developing and launching original scripted comedy – we continue
to take risks, developing high concept comedies that broaden our
entertainment slate.”

Zapped! goes into production in Pinewood in June and will be broadcast on
Dave this autumn, launching off the back of the brand new series of Red
Dwarf – Red Dwarf XI.

Dave has significantly broadened its entertainment slate in 2016, while
continuing to invest in original commissions, moving into live sports and
establishing new formats such as the critically-acclaimed comedy panel show
Taskmaster, back for two new series this year.

ENDS
Notes to Editors:
 Cast will be available for interview nearer to the time, please send your
requests to Gem.Pinkney@uktv.co.uk
For more information please contact;
Gem Pinkney, Publicity Manager – Gem.Pinkney@uktv.co.uk
Kerry Parker, Head of Network Communications – Kerry.Parker@uktv.co.uk

About Dave
Sky 111/246, Virgin 128/194, Freeview 12, BT & TalkTalk 12
On demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play
Dave proudly presents a plethora of original commissions; award-winning
Crackanory, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish,
and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, all laden with the biggest names in British
comedy. Not to mention a brand spanking new original series Hoff the
Record, Red Dwarf and Taskmaster.
There’s national treasures like QI, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For
You, plus the Red Bull trilogy of Cliff Diving, X-Fighters and the Soap Box
races. And of course, we still have Top Gear.
Dave is the UK’s most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27
million people per month, featuring hit US shows including the sharp-witted
and sharp-suited Suits, critically-acclaimed Parks & Recreation and US series
The Last Man on Earth. How can we forget the wonder that is Storage
Hunters and now original commission Storage Hunters UK, the gift that keeps
on giving.

About Baby Cow Productions
Baby Cow Productions was established in 1999 by Steve Coogan
and Henry Normal.

Steve Coogan is a multi-award winning writer, producer and actor and is
internationally recognised for his on-screen roles including Alan Partridge,
Paul Raymond in the feature film The King of Soho and Martin Sixsmith in the
BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated film Philomena, which Coogan
co-wrote with Jeff Pope.

Henry Normal started the company with Steve Coogan having co-written
together the BAFTA-winning Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries, Coogan’s
Run, Tony Ferino and the film The Parole Officer. Henry also co-wrote The Mrs
Merton Show and co-created The Royle Family. Since its formation Henry has
exec-produced all of Baby Cow’s output including Gavin and Stacey, The
Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy, Uncle and Alan Partridge. He was also a producer
on Philomena. Henry left Baby Cow in 2016.

Baby Cow Productions has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new
British comedy talent, whilst teaming up with the best of the UK’s established
writers, directors and producers.

About UKTV
UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W,
Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the
two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British
commercial TV market. The company’s most recent financial results showed recordbreaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in
programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly
significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, highprofile
acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown
on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels
to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat,
Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to
200 territories.

Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an
independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps
Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the only British television broadcaster
in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
corporate.uktv.co.uk / press.uktv.co.uk / @uktv_press

Sky Atlantic to air Alan Partridge’s exclusive State-Of-The-Nation documentary

alan-partridge-new

 

Following the critically acclaimed second series of Alan’s Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters, a brand new one-hour documentary comes to Sky Atlantic: Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle, airing Monday 30th May.

In this new one-off special, Alan attempts to make amends after a controversial on-air incident. Leaving behind his comfortable existence and vast detached house, Alan heads to the north on a deeply personal journey of redemption. With his Land Rover and his dog, he journeys into an unreported Britain inhabited by the very people he had offended to ask whether, in this once united kingdom, a ‘schasm’ has formed – a schism or chasm, between the haves and the have-nots (or haven’ts).

From supermarket staff to payday lenders, disaffected street gangs to food scavenging ‘freegans’, Alan pledges to move among them; to understand them; to see the world through their eyes. And – god willing – along the way become a better citizen, a better man and a better, more sought-after broadcaster.

Steve Coogan said: It’s great to see Alan tackle the big issues of poverty and disenfranchised youth with the same clumsy ham-fistedness we would usually expect from George Osborne.”

Zai Bennett, Director of Sky Atlantic, commented: Alan is back on our screens and this latest incarnation of Partridge looks to be the best yet!”

The series is a Baby Cow Production and is produced by Ted Dowd (Moone Boy, Gavin and Stacey, Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters) and is written by Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons and Steve Coogan. Sky Vision will be the international distributor.

The complete series of Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters 1 and 2 are available on Sky Box Sets.

For further information please contact:

Alexander Wood

Publicist, Sky Content

Email: Alexander.wood@sky.uk

Mobile: 07814191026

 

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.

Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of over £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

For more information visit www.sky.com/corporate

 

 

BABY COW back on CBEEBIES with all new WUSSYWAT THE CLUMSY CAT

Wussywat on his thinking stumpLondon, Thursday 12th May 2016 – Baby Cow Animation launch 26 all new episodes of it’s pre-school series for CBeebies, “Wussywat the Clumsy Cat”, a mindset inspired romp about a little cat that falls over a lot and learns from his mistakes.

Narrated by broadcaster extraordinaire, Liza Tarbuck, the energetic Morwenna Banks voices the star, Wussywat, while Rasmus Hardiker plays the mischievous sidekick, Duckadile and Marc Wootton the bossy west-country blackbird, Ird.

As we’ve come to expect from Baby Cow, comedy is at the fore and Wussywat’s clumsy, slapstick antics trail a riddle of problems to solve, putting our hero very much at the centre of his little garden world trying to figure stuff out. You only learn if you try, after all, and Wussywat tries not once, not twice but three times before he clumsily figures things out with a little help from his outdoor friends.

Sarah Legg, the show’s Programme Executive for CBeebies, says: “We’re delighted to have more brand new episodes of Wussywat’s clumsy learning adventures on the channel to keep our youngest viewers amused and inspired.”

Steve Coogan, Co-Founder and Director of Baby Cow, says: “Baby Cow are extremely proud of Wussywat. Beautiful animation, charming and witty – a positive delight for 5 year olds!”

“Wussywat the Clumsy Cat” is a UK/Canada co-production for CBeebies between BAFTA award-winning combo Baby Cow Animation, Bigfatstudio and Smiley Guy Studios, Toronto. Worldwide distribution is by Aardman Animations who have already sold the series to over 70 countries. Childhood friends and co-creators Simon Quinn (producer) and Simon Rolph (writer) enlisted Tom Edgar to direct the series while Jo Kiddie’s beautiful and distinctive designs provide the visual inspiration.

Baby Cow Animation has also teamed up with London based interactive games developers Playerthree to produce a series of integrated learn and play apps. The first, entitled “Wussywat Garden Games”, has a suite of five games. There is also a second free app entitled “Irdy Bird”.

Wussywat the Clumsy Cat all new episodes launch on CBeebies on Monday 16th May at 9.25 am and again at 1.25 pm. It will continue to show weekdays at these times and will also be available on BBC iPlayer and Kids iPlayer.

Follow Wussywat and friends on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or find out more about the series online at www.wussywat.com. 

About BABY COW

Established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions Ltd has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent whilst teaming up with the best of UK-based established writers, directors and producers. Baby Cow Animation partnered with Bigfatstudio Ltd in 2012 to work on Wussywat the Clumsy Cat.

info@babycow.co.uk

+44 (0) 20 3696 5200

 

About BIGFATSTUDIO

Producer Simon Quinn and writer Simon Rolph started working together in 2006 on developing original content for animation. ‘Wussywat the Clumsy Cat’ is one of their first shows. In 2014 they developed a series with CERN titled ‘Cubic, Quark & Big G’ inviting kids to have fun with fundamental physics. Simon Rolph also travelled to Ethiopia between 2010 and 2012 to help develop and make their first national animated series ‘Abebe and Abeba’ with UNDP.

bigfatstudio@me.com

+44 (0) 77 1047 4920

 

About SMILEY GUY STUDIOS

Smiley Guy Studios (SGS) is an award-winning full-service production company with expertise in animation, design, writing, sound, music and interactive media. Founded in 1998 by graduates of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre, SGS has since grown in size and capability, with expertise in vector-based animation andcomputer-generated imagery. It produces its own content while also collaborating with clients on a variety of animated TV, film and new media projects.

info@smileyguy.com

+1 (0) 416 979 8800

 

About PLAYERTHREE

Playerthree is an independent game development studio formed in 2001 by David Streak and Pete Everett. Specializing in the creation and publishing of original games and apps for mobile and web, Playerthree has vast experience in creating engaging content for brand owners and educational organisations. Its client base includes CBeebies, CBBC, Disney, Cartoon Network, Spilgroup, BBC Worldwide, Science Museum and the UN.

pete@playerthree.com

+44 (0) 20 7378 1798

 

ENDS

CEO HENRY NORMAL DEPARTS FROM BABY COW

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BBC Worldwide and Baby Cow Productions announced today that co-founder and CEO Henry Normal is to leave his full-time position at the independent production company at the end of this week. He will remain with the company as a consultant over the course of the next 12 months and support the company until the appointment of a new CEO, for which a recruitment process is currently underway. Co-founder and company director Steve Coogan will assume a broader role as part of this transition, and BBC Worldwide is taking an increased shareholding.

Henry Normal started the company with Steve Coogan back in 1999, having co-written together the BAFTA-winning Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries, Coogan’s Run, Tony Ferino and the film The Parole Officer. Henry also co-wrote The Mrs Merton Show and co-created The Royle Family. Since its formation Henry has exec-produced all of Baby Cow’s output including Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy, Uncle and Alan Partridge. He was also a producer on the four times Oscar- nominated Philomena.

Steve Coogan will take on creative leadership of the company following Normal’s departure until the arrival of the new CEO and after that will continue to play a leading role in the future development of Baby Cow. A multi-award winning writer, producer and actor, Coogan is internationally recognised for his on-screen roles including Alan Partridge, Paul Raymond in the feature film The King of Soho and Martin Sixsmith in the BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated film Philomena, which Coogan co-wrote with Jeff Pope.

Henry Normal commented: “After sixteen and a half years I’ve decided to take a long overdue break from TV and film production to pursue creative endeavours in other fields. I’m very proud to have been part of a company that has nurtured young talent, sought out originality and produced quality award-winning shows year after year. Steve has such a great team around him and with further support from BBC Worldwide, I know Baby Cow will achieve even greater success in the years to come.”

Steve Coogan added: “Henry has devoted himself brilliantly to the company over the years and deserves to pursue more personal projects. I salute him. He leaves behind a passionate team with great taste and the company he co-founded is in a strong place to grow.

“We’re immensely proud of our shows with Moone Boy, Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Alan Partridge, Sensitive Skin, Uncle and our continuing relationship with Julia Davis from Human Remains to Nighty Night, Hunderby and the upcoming series of Camping (Sky Atlantic, 12th April). And then there’s The Trip, which we are filming series three of in Spain in September.

“Following on from the success of Alpha Papa, The Trip and Philomena, I’m personally very excited about Baby Cow’s developing film and TV drama slate. We’ve always cared about the quality of what we do. Whether it’s our new comedy, drama or film projects we’ll be building on the success of our first 16 years with the same commitment to distinctive, original work. More to follow.”

In 2008 BBC Worldwide entered into a partnership with Baby Cow, acquiring a 25% stake in the business. As part of the management transition, BBC Worldwide has acquired further shares in Baby Cow, taking its shareholding to 73%. The expansion of this partnership will allow Baby Cow to implement plans for future growth and development with a stable and long-term shareholder base, and is in line with BBC Worldwide’s strategy of supporting independent producers of high quality British content.

Helen Jackson, Managing Director of Content for BBC Worldwide said: “Baby Cow has the most incredible record of originating new comedy, attracting the best writers and producers in the business. This is a moment to celebrate all that Henry and Steve have achieved in the first two decades of Baby Cow. While Henry will be much missed, and a tough act to follow, I have every faith that the company he has done so much to build up has a hugely exciting future ahead of it – one in which BBC Worldwide is proud to be playing a larger role.”

-Ends-

For more information, please contact:
Philip Fleming, BBC Worldwide, 07824 622077

NOTES TO EDITORS
About BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Its vision is to build the BBC’s brands, audiences, commercial returns and reputation across the world. This is achieved through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also champions British creativity globally.

In 2014/15, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £138.6m and headline sales of £1,001.8m and returned a record £226.5m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website:
http://www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview
bbcworldwide.com
twitter.com/bbcwpress

Sky Atlantic to air Alan Partridge’s exclusive State-Of-The-Nation documentary

alan-partridge-new

Following the critically acclaimed second series of Alan’s Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters, a brand new one-hour documentary comes to Sky Atlantic: Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle, airing Monday 30th May.

In this new one-off special, Alan attempts to make amends after a controversial on-air incident. Leaving behind his comfortable existence and vast detached house, Alan heads to the north on a deeply personal journey of redemption. With his Land Rover and his dog, he journeys into an unreported Britain inhabited by the very people he had offended to ask whether, in this once united kingdom, a ‘schasm’ has formed – a schism or chasm, between the haves and the have-nots (or haven’ts).

From supermarket staff to payday lenders, disaffected street gangs to food scavenging ‘freegans’, Alan pledges to move among them; to understand them; to see the world through their eyes. And – god willing – along the way become a better citizen, a better man and a better, more sought-after broadcaster.

Steve Coogan said: “It’s great to see Alan tackle the big issues of poverty and disenfranchised youth with the same clumsy ham-fistedness we would usually expect from George Osborne.”

Zai Bennett, Director of Sky Atlantic, commented: “Alan is back on our screens and this latest incarnation of Partridge looks to be the best yet!”

The series is a Baby Cow Production and is produced by Ted Dowd (Moone Boy, Gavin and Stacey, Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters) and is written by Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons and Steve Coogan. Sky Vision will be the international distributor.

The complete series of Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters 1 and 2 are available on Sky Box Sets.

For further information please contact:

Alexander Wood

Publicist, Sky Content Email: Alexander.wood@sky.uk

Mobile: 07814191026

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 21 million customers across five countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. We offer the best and broadest range of content, deliver market-leading customer service and use innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose.

Sky has annual revenues of over £11 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of over £4.9 billion. The group employs 30,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

For more information visit www.sky.com/corporate

Sky Atlantic are proud to announce “Camping” a new 6 part comedy written and directed by BAFTA award winner Julia Davis.

Camping - Specials

From the creator of Human Remains. Nighty Night and Hunderby comes “Camping” about a group of couples on a birthday camping trip to Dorset.

But middle class manners cannot prevail, onec party girl Fay (Julia Daivs) arrives with the newly separated Tom (Rufus Jones) taking the carefully scheduled holiday in a whole new direction.

Julia Davis, Rufus Jones, Vickie Pepperdine, Steve Pemberton, Liz Berrington and Jonthan Cake star in this tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll……..with David Bamber as the curious campsite owner.

I Believe in Miracles

**TRAILER AND POSTER RELEASE**
I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES TRAILER AND POSTER
AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE
YOUTUBE TRAILER

YOUTUBE TRAILER EMBED CODE:
<iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/d4_6hVPyKZw” width=”560″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>

In Selected Cinemas from 14th October following A Nationwide Preview Event Screening on 13th October UPHE Content Group to release the DVD and Blu-ray on 16th November I Believe In Miracles will receive its World Premiere at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on 11th October

“THE GREATEST FOOTBALL FILM EVER MADE”
Dan Taylor – Chief Football Writer, The Guardian

“FUNNY, UPLIFTING AND ENLIGHTENING –
A FANTASTIC FOOTBALL STORY.”
Shortlist

In 1975 Brian Clough had gone from being football’s most exciting young manager to being seen as impossible to work with after walking out on Derby County, leaving Brighton under a cloud and being sacked as manager of Leeds United after just 44 days. His only offer of work came from a run-down second division club called Nottingham Forest who’s brief glory days in the 1950’s were seen as well behind them. It was predicted that Clough would last less than a season but in five he’d won a remarkable two European Cups consecutively and produced one of the greatest domestic football teams in the game’s history.

Written, directed and produced by Jonny Owen alongside Baby Cow Productions (Philomena, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa), and Spool Films/Post (completed post production for This Is England, Tyrannosaur, Nativity 2/3), I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES features interviews with every player from that triumphant side to tell one of the greatest sports stories ever told. Using unseen footage of games from the time and of the great man himself, the players tell us about Brian Clough’s remarkable man management and how he convinced a team, largely written off by the fans and media, to beat the world’s best. I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES will receive its World Premiere at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground, in the Trent Stand on the 11th October.

**AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW** Writer/Director/Producer Jonny Owen & “The Miracle Men” Former players from the legendary Nottingham Forest team of 1977-’79, including: Trevor Francis, Martin O’Neill, Garry Birtles, Viv Anderson, Larry Lloyd, John Robertson, Kenny Burns, Ian Bowyer, John McGovern, Frank Clark, Colin Barrett, Peter Shilton, Archie Gemmill, John O’Hare, Tony Woodcock, John Robertson, David Needham

I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES will preview in UK cinemas on 13th October 2015 UPHE Content Group to release the DVD and Blu-ray on 16th November 2015 RUNNING TIME: 100 mins CERT: TBC For further information on interview opportunities and screening information please contact Organic: Jamie Sheehan / Jamie.Sheehan@organic-publicity.co.uk / 020 3372 0974 Naomi Meanwell/ Naomi.Meanwell@organic-publicity.co.uk / 020 3435 9630 Andy Green / Andy.Green@organic-publicity.co.uk / 020 3372 0982 @MiraclesFilmUK #MiracleMen MiraclesFilmUK ibelieveinmiraclesfilm.com

NOTES TO EDITORS: ABOUT UPHE CONTENT GROUP: Headquartered in London and led by EVP Helen Parker, UPHE Content Group is a repertoire centre of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, acquiring and producing multi-genre entertainment for distribution across theatrical, home entertainment, television and digital platforms on a worldwide basis. UPHE Content Group is part of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, which is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios (universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. National Amusements, Inc., is a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry operating more than 940 screens in the US, UK, Brazil and Argentina. National Amusements delivers a superior entertainment experience under its Showcase, Showcase Cinema de Lux, Multiplex and UCI brands.

Showcase is a distributor of films specialising in Event Cinema and in 2015 is releasing Thomas & Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, and three Laurel & Hardy double bills, as well as I Believe in Miracles. Based in Massachusetts, National Amusements is a closely held company operating under the third generation of leadership by the Redstone family. National Amusements is also an equal partner in the online ticketing service, MovieTickets.com<http://MovieTickets.com>, and is the parent company of both Viacom and CBS Corporation. For more information, please visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk<http://www.showcasecinemas.co.uk>, follow @showcasecinemas or search ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’ on Facebook.

BABY COW sploing onto CBEEBIES with first pre-school comedy series

BABY COW sploing onto CBEEBIES with first pre-school comedy series

Wussywat Group -v252 X 5mins for CBEEBIES Weekdays from Monday 22nd June – 9.30 am / repeated 1.30 pm

London, 22nd JuneBaby Cow Animation launch their first pre-school comedy animation series Wussywat the Clumsy Cat on CBeebies today. The show offers a stellar cast of comedy characters for 3 – 5 year olds and follows the slapstick antics of a curious, clumsy cat always on the lookout for fun new things to learn.

Narrated by popular Broadcaster, Liza Tarbuck, Wussywat the Clumsy Cat is set in “The Garden” where our hero encounters all manner of interesting things to bump into and fall over with his friends, Duckadile, Oggy, Ird and Ortus, who gently steer him towards each new clumsy discovery, instilling the values of friendship and teamwork.

Wussywat’s charming comedy antics exemplify for pre-schoolers that it’s good to explore and not be afraid of trying out new experiences, even if it means getting a few things wrong along the way. Wussywat always learns from his mistakes and knows full well it’s just as important to ‘have fun having a go’ than not try at all.

Morwenna Banks is the voice of Wussywat while other talent on the show includes: Rasmus Hardiker (Duckadile, Oggy) and Marc Wootton (Ortus, Ird).

Sarah Legg, the show’s Programme Executive for CBeebies, says: “We think Wussywat’s slapstick adventures will both amuse and engage our youngest viewers. We love Wussywat’s curiosity and never-give-up approach, which provides a valuable life lesson for little learners.”

Henry Normal, Executive Producer for Baby Cow, says: “The show looks beautiful, it’s charming, funny and inventive. It makes you wish you were under 5 years old again.”

Wussywat the Clumsy Cat (52 x 5mins) is a UK/Canada co-production between BAFTA award-winning combo Baby Cow Animation, Bigfatstudio and Smiley Guy Studios, Toronto for CBeebies. Worldwide distribution is by Aardman Animations and Welsh broadcaster S4C have also picked up the series. Co-creators Simon Quinn (producer) and Simon Rolph (writer) enlisted Tom Edgar to direct and Jo Kiddie provides the beautiful and distinctive designs.

Baby Cow, Bigfatstudio and Smiley Guy have also teamed up with interactive games developers Playerthree to produce an integrated learn and play app, containing a suite of five games titled “Wussywat Garden Games” that also have the show’s have-a-go ethos at their core. The app will be launched simultaneously with the series on 22nd June.

Wussywat launches on CBeebies on Monday 22nd June at 9.30 am and again at 1.30 pm. It will continue to show weekdays at these times.

Press Kits:

http://www.playerthree.com/wussywat-garden-games-press-kit

http://www.babycow.co.uk/wussywat-press-kit.zip

About BABY COW

Established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions Ltd has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent whilst teaming up with the best of UK-based established writers, directors and producers. Baby Cow Animation partnered with Bigfatstudio Ltd in 2012 to work on Wussywat the Clumsy Cat.

http://www.wussywat.com

Lindsay Hughes – Head of Talent

E: info@babycow.co.uk

T: +44 (0) 20 3696 5200

 

About BIGFATSTUDIO

Producer Simon Quinn and writer Simon Rolph started working together in 2006 on developing original content for animation.Their first project, the epic ‘Adventures of Professor Botts’, is a comedy-action series for 8-10 year olds. ‘Wussywat the Clumsy Cat’ followed shortly after.In 2014 they developed a series with CERN, titled ‘Cubic, Quark & Big G’ inviting kids to have fun with fundamental physics. They produced a 2d pilot with Baby Cow Animation, directed by Tim Searle, for the EBU.

 

http://www.bigfatstudio.co.uk

Simon Quinn – Producer

E: info@bigfatstudio.me.com

T: +44 (0) 77 1047 4920

 

About SMILEY GUY STUDIOS

Smiley Guy Studios (SGS) is an award-winning full-service production company with expertise in animation, design, writing, sound, music, and interactive media. Founded in 1998 by graduates of Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre, SGS has since grown in size and capability, with expertise in vector-based animation and computer-generated imagery. It produces its own original content while also collaborating with clients on a variety of animated TV, film and new media projects.

 

http://www.smileyguy.com

Jonas Diamond – Executive Producer

E: info@smileyguy.com

T: +1 416 979 8800


About PLAYERTHREE
Playerthree is an independent game development studio formed in 2001 by David Streek and Pete Everett. Specializing in the creation and publishing of original games and apps for mobile and web, Playerthree has vast experience in creating engaging content for brand owners and educational organisations. Its client base includes CBeebies, CBBC, Disney, Cartoon Network, Spilgroup, BBC Worldwide, Science Museum and the United Nations.

http://www.playerthree.com

Pete Everett – Managing Director

E: pete@playerthree.com

T: +44 (0) 20 7378 1798

 

Red Dwarf blasts off for TWO NEW SERIES on Dave

Red Dwarf blasts off for TWO NEW SERIES on Dave

RedDwarf

Dave orders TWO NEW SERIES of the sci-fi sit-com 

Saturday 2 May, 2015 – UKTV’s leading entertainment channel, Dave, today announced it has greenlit two new series of Emmy Award winning comedy sci-fi classic, Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf XI and Red Dwarf XII begin production in the autumn before airing on Dave in 2016 and 2017. 

Co-Produced by Grant Naylor Productions and Baby Cow Productions. Red Dwarf XI and XII are written and directed by Doug Naylor. The series once more reunites Chris Barrie as Rimmer, Craig Charles as Lister, Danny John-Jules as Cat and Robert Llewellyn as Kryten.

Red Dwarf XI and XII are commissioned by Richard Watsham, Director of Commissioning at UKTV, ordered by Dave General Manager, Steve North and will be overseen and executive produced for UKTV by Simon Lupton, Commissioning Editor at UKTV. The Executive Producer for the production company is Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, and the Series Producers are Richard Naylor and Kerry Waddell.

Doug Naylor said: “Steve North and everyone at UKTV have been so supportive of Red Dwarf from the start of their involvement with the show. Steve originally asked for more shows back in 2012 but frustratingly it’s taken until now to get our ducks in a row and all the boys available at the same time. Now they are, we’re all absolutely delighted.”

Simon Lupton, Commissioning Editor, UKTV, said: “Red Dwarf has superb talent attached; writing, directing and acting plus an expert team who absolutely know what they are doing when it comes to delivering a stand-out piece of television. It has a universal appeal that manages to touch long-standing fans and recruit new ones. It is fantastic to be collaborating with them again on the next phase of the Red Dwarf adventure.”

Steve North, General Manager, Dave, said: “Red Dwarf is a really important show for us and I’m delighted that we are bringing more new episodes to our viewers. Above all else it’s a really funny show and one that is held in great affection by millions of people, including the Dave team. We’ve built up a great relationship over the years with Doug and the cast and it’s a privilege to be working with them again.”

To celebrate the announcement UKTV has added a bespoke collection of previous episodes, including the complete Red Dwarf X series, to its on demand service UKTV Play, which is available via the iOS or Android app, Virgin TV, YouView and at uktvplay.co.uk. Red Dwarf X will also be available as a box set on Sky Go and Sky Set-top boxes.

In 2009 Dave made its first move into scripted comedy commissions with Red Dwarf: Back to Earth followed by a six-part series, Red Dwarf X in 2012.

Red Dwarf: Back to Earth was the biggest ever non-terrestrial commission with over 2.6 million viewers tuning in to catch up with the four hapless space explorers as they returned to television for the first time since the BBC series ended a decade earlier. Red Dwarf X topped over 2 million viewers and never dipped below 1.6 million across the series.

Red Dwarf has enjoyed phenomenal success since it first aired in 1988 on BBC2. It brought in more than eight million viewers for series eight, sold over 11.5 million DVD and videos worldwide, broadcast in some 25 territories worldwide and won International Emmy and British Comedy Awards.

ENDS

For more information please contact Justine Bower Justine.bower@uktv.co.uk / 07834 622 282

About Dave HD (Sky 111/232, Virgin 128, HD: 129, Freeview 12) 

( www.joindave.co.uk / @join_dave ) 

Dave proudly presents a plethora of original commissions; Crackanory, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish, and Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Not to mention a brand spanking new series with QI favourite Alan Davies in Alan Davies As Yet Untitled.

If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite we also have a stack of national treasures like QI, Red Dwarf X, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, plus the Red Bull trilogy of Cliff Diving, X-Fighters and the Soap Box races. And of course, we still have Top Gear.

Obviously we have to add, Dave is the UK’s most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, featuring hit US shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits, the ludicrously addictive Lizard Lick Towing and the wonder that is Storage Hunters, the gift that keeps on giving.

About UKTV Play 

UKTV Play is the on demand TV service that lets you watch shows from Dave, Yesterday, Really and Drama whether you’re on the bus, at work (we won’t tell) or on the sofa. Among the gems on offer are Storage Hunters, Suits, Crackanory, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Ghost Adventures, Most Haunted, The Forsyte Saga, The Road to Coronation Street and Forbidden History, so it’s never been easier to fill your boots with great stuff from UKTV. You can get UKTV Play on PC and Mac, and there’s an app for Android devices, iPhones and iPads. Or you can put your feet up and watch on the telly, thanks to Virgin TV and YouView. If you’re an M+ subscriber on Virgin Media, shows from other great UKTV channels – Gold, Watch, Alibi, Good Food, Home and Eden – are on the menu as well.

Download the Android app here, get the iOS app on iTunes or to view UKTV Play on PC or Mac, visit uktvplay.co.uk

About UKTV 

UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.

UKTV’s eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food – include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company’s most recent financial results showed record-breaking year–end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.

corporate.uktv.co.uk / press.uktv.co.uk / @uktv_press

First look at Daniel Rigby and Sarah Alexander sitcom Undercover

First_look_at_Daniel_Rigby_and_Sarah_Alexander_sitcom_UndercoverA neurotic policeman infiltrates a family of Armenian gangsters in this exclusive trailer for the new comedy from the makers of Moone Boy, Uncle and Hunderby

“So you’re Zoe. I’m Chris. Bit like a first date this, isn’t it?” So begins this exclusive trailer for upcoming Dave comedy Undercover. But it’s clear from Zoe’s chilly gaze that this isn’t a rom-com – or not a conventional one.

Played by Daniel Rigby – best known for his Bafta-winning role as Eric Morecambe in Eric and Ernie – Chris is a lonely policeman who finally finds a family of his own: the Sarkissians are Armenian gangsters who he’s tasked with infiltrating.

Sarah Alexander is Zoe, a no-nonsense police handler immune to Chris’ neurotic charms. Fortunately he soon falls for the Sarkissian’s femme fatale daughter as well, played by Yasmine Akram who you may remember from the last series of Sherlock – she briefly snuggled up to Benedict Cumberbatch as the Baker Street sleuth’s short-lived fiancé.

Due to air on Dave in June, Undercover is from the makers of BBC3 sitcom Uncle and award-winning Sky1 comedies Moone Boy and Hunderby so our hopes are high.

Take a sneak-peek at the trailer Here: Undercover Trailer

Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens and Keith Allen to appear in Uncle

Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens and Keith Allen to appear in BBC Three’s Uncle

Uncle
The new series of BBC Three comedy Uncle, which is back on Tuesday 10 February, is to feature guest appearances from Jordan Stephens – better known as one half of pop hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks – as well as from inimitable actor and comedian Keith Allen.
Uncle follows the darkly comic misadventures of Andy (Nick Helm), an out-of-work musician who forges an unlikely alliance with his teenage nephew Errol (Elliot Speller-Gillot).

Jordan and Keith will join returning cast members Nick Helm as Andy, Elliot Speller-Gillot as Errol, Daisy Haggard as Errol’s chaotic mum, Sam, Esther Smith as Melodie, Nicholas Burns as Ben, Con O’Neil as Val and Daniel Lawrence Taylor, who plays Bruce.

Jordan is featured in one of the episodes of the new run, playing a character called Hugo who works in a recording studio. Hugo sneaks Uncle/Andy and Errol into the studio as Andy tries to record an entry for a lucrative song contest.

Keith Allen (The Comic Strip Presents, Robin Hood) plays Uncle’s Uncle. He portrays estranged dying Uncle Frank. Andy is trying to befriend his long-lost relative in the hope of a mention in his will, leading to an unforgettable family reunion in Frank’s cabin.

Also appearing in the new series is comic writer and actor Martin Trenaman, best known for his role as Ben Cooper, Simon’s dad in The Inbetweeners and as Lance in Phoneshop. Martin plays Andy’s landlord George. Raquel Cassidy (Downton Abbey) also guest stars in the series as Andy’s cougar girlfriend, Teresa.

Uncle is produced by Baby Cow Productions for BBC Three. It is produced by Alison MacPhail, and exec produced by Henry Normal and Lindsay Hughes at Baby Cow Productions. The commissioning editor is Kristian Smith, the series is written by Oliver Refson and Lilah Vandenburgh and directed by Oliver Refson.

The new series of Uncle begins on Tuesday 10 February at 10pm on BBC Three.

Uncle

Sky unveils Moone Boy Series 3 guest stars

moone_boy_series2_bSir Terry Wogan and Sharon Horgan are amongst the guest stars who will appear in the new series of Moone Boy.

The hit Sky1 sitcom returns for its third series on Monday 2nd March, once again starring David Rawle as Martin Moone, a youngster in small town Ireland, and Chris O’Dowd – who also co-created and co-writes the series – as his imaginary best friend, Sean Murphy.

Sky explain: “Now in the 1990s but in no hurry to grow up, Martin Moone and his imaginary pal Sean Murphy, plus best mate Padraic, enjoy a fresh batch of escapades, from becoming door-to-door salesman and hunting for UFOs to wrangling pet donkey Donkey Kong.

“The Moone household, meanwhile, is at bursting point following the addition of Dessie and baby Rose to the chaotic brood.”

Moving on from the late 1980s of Series 1 and 2, Series 3 of Moone Boy will also feature guests John Sessions and Bronagh Gallagher (Pramface).

Sir Terry Wogan will play the host of a home video show in an episode that sees Martin and Padraic attempt to film an hilarious clip in a bid to be featured on TV.

Sharon Horgan plays Sharon Morgan, a high powered, yoga-loving entrepreneur and ex-girlfriend of Martin’s dad, Liam. Sharon left Boyle for London many years ago leaving a madly in love Liam behind. Both Debra and Liam get a surprise when they unexpectedly run into her whilst on a 20th wedding anniversary break away.

John Sessions is Dr Steven Gnot, local conspiracy theorist and radio presenter of “Believe It Or Not with Dr Steven Gnot”. He investigates the many anomalies that occur in Boyle, a town which is well-known to be Ireland’s foremost UFO hot-spot.

Meanwhile Bronagh Gallagher will star as Pat O’Dwyer, Padraic’s mother.

Alongside the series’ regular core cast, Johnny Vegas and Simon Delaney also return, as Padraic’s imaginary friend, Crunchie ‘Danger’ Haystacks and Gerry, respectively.

Sensitive Skin grows in Canada

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The Canadian remake of BBC comedy-drama Sensitive Skin, which stars Sex & the City star Kim Cattrall in the lead role, has been commissioned for a second season.

Bell Media-owned The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central in Canada have ordered another 6×30′ run of episodes, which will go into production in Toronto in spring next year.

Cattrall will return as exec producer and lead, joined by director and exec producer Don McKellar and head writer and exec producer Bob Martin. Tricon Films & Television is the international distributor as well as an exec producer on the series.

Sensitive Skin is produced by Toronto-based Rhombus Media in association with The Movie Network, Movie Central and Baby Cow Productions, the UK prodco behind the 2005 original, which aired on BBC2.

The series follows a middle-aged wife and mother who rediscovers her sexuality and begins to question some of the choices she has made in her life.

UNDERCOVER

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Brand New Scripted Comedy from Baby Cow Productions & Bonafide Films
UKTV boosts original sitcom credentials with Undercover, a brand new 6×40’ comedy series for the UK’s most watched non-PSB channel Dave.

Undercover is a high stakes action comedy about an undercover police officer who finds himself hopelessly out of his depth when he infiltrates an Armenian crime family. The star-studded cast, shot on location in Newcastle, includes BAFTA award-winning Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie, Big School, Black Mirror) and Sarah Alexander (Smack The Pony, Coupling). The series also features Keith Allen (Robin Hood, The Comic Strip Presents…), Ryan Sampson (Plebs, Up The Women, After You’ve Gone), Yasmine Akram (Stella, Sherlock), Brett Goldstein (Uncle) and Michael Socha (This is England, Being Human)

The sitcom, which will air on Dave in 2015, is co-created and co written by Andy Milligan (I’m A Celebrity, The Rob Brydon Show) and Sacha Alexander (The Gigolos) who also plays crime boss Ara, written with Mark Staheli and directed by Dave Lambert (Common Ground, Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life). It is a co-production between Bonafide Films and Baby Cow Productions. It will be executive produced by Henry Normal for Baby Cow and Margery Bone for Bonafide who also produces.

Undercover follows the story of Chris (Daniel Rigby), a neurotic, over analytical metrosexual who’s been searching for a family his whole life and has finally found one. Unfortunately the family he’s found are a bunch of psychotic Armenian gangsters and Chris is an undercover policeman who’s woefully out of his depth.

On the basis of his ethnicity (he’s an eighth Greek,), the former traffic cop has been chosen to infiltrate Armenian crime family, the Sarkissians. Things are made even more complicated by the fact that Chris is attracted to two women at the same time – Zoe (Sarah Alexander), his ambitious and driven police handler and Lara (Yasmin Akram), the femme fatale of the crime family, which means he spends every waking moment either falling in love or fearing for his life.

The series has been ordered by UKTV Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham and Dave General Manager Steve North with UKTV’s Simon Lupton and Tanya Qureshi acting as commissioning execs on behalf of UKTV.

Henry Normal said,
It’s sort of Donnie Brasco as a comedy. Full of tension and jeopardy. I can’t wait to see it on Dave.

Margery Bone said,
We’re delighted to be working with Dave to give viewers a bold and fresh action comedy like Undercover.

Richard Watsham, UKTV Director of Commissioning, said,
Baby Cow and Bonafide Films have developed a brilliant set of scripts, dark and funny with an almost frenetic pace to the action. We’ve made a commitment to extending our original scripted content across the network and this is one of the first exciting steps making good on that promise. Expect much more from us soon.

Steve North, General Manager Dave, added,
We are excited to be extending our comedy remit on Dave by continuing to grow our breadth of original commissions and welcoming some of Britain’s best comedy actors and writing talent to the channel.

UKTV has had a number of original comedy successes on Dave, including Red Dwarf X which proved a ratings smash-hit for the channel, with 2.09 million viewers tuning in to the premiere episode. The success of new content paved the way for a raft of popular comedy commissions in 2013 including Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and Crackanory, which have all been renewed for second series’ and have helped position Dave as the most watched non-PSB channel in Britain. The news also follows the commissioning announcement for a brand new and exclusive series with David Hasselhoff, coming to the channel in 2015.
ENDS

For more information contact:
Kerry Parker, Head of Network Communications
Gemma Pinkney, Publicist

Notes to Editors
About Dave HD
Sky 111/232, Virgin 128, HD: 129, Freeview 12
Dave proudly presents a plethora of original commissions; Crackanory, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish, and Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Not to mention a brand spanking new series with QI favourite Alan Davies in Alan Davies As Yet Untitled.

If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite we also have a stack of national treasures like QI, Red Dwarf X, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, plus the Red Bull trilogy of Cliff Diving, X-Fighters and the Soap Box races. And of course, we still have Top Gear.

Obviously we have to add, Dave is the UK’s most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, featuring hit US shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits, the ludicrously addictive Lizard Lick Towing and the wonder that is Storage Hunters, the gift that keeps on giving.
www.joindave.co.uk / @join_dave

About UKTV
UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.

UKTV’s eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food – include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company’s most recent financial results showed record-breaking year–end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the only British broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.
corporate.uktv.co.uk / press.uktv.co.uk / @uktv_press

DirecTV Acquires British Comedy Series ‘Uncle’

uncle_preview_screencap

DirecTV is adding another comedy to its roster. The BBC Three series will premiere on DirecTV’s Audience Network.

The network has acquired BBC Three’s comedy Uncle about an out-of-work musician who learns what it means to be part of a family. The series will premiere on DirecTV’s Audience Network on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 8:30 p.m.

The announcement comes not long after DirecTV wrapped production on its first original comedy series [2], Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight.

“We are excited to add Uncle, a series that is both hilarious and endearing, to Audience Network’s diverse programming lineup,” said DirecTV’s senior vp original content and programming Chris Long. “We recently announced our first foray into producing an original comedy series and we think Uncle will wonderfully complement our inaugural effort.”

Uncle stars Nick Helm as Andy, a 30-something “man-child” who forges an unlikely alliance with his 12-year-old nephew Errol (Elliot Speller-Gillott) after his sister (Daisy Haggard) blackmails Andy into taking care of her son.

“Uncle is another original, funny and at times excoriatingly awkward but ultimately warm comedy from Baby Cow,” said Matt Forde, executive vp sales and co-productions at BBC Worldwide North America. “I am sure that U.S. audiences are going to fall in love with Andy and Errol.”

The series is written and directed by Oliver Refson, produced by Alison MacPhail and executive produced by Lindsay Hughes and Henry Normal of Baby Cow Productions.

DirecTV recently has developed a spate of original scripted series that includes Rogue, Full Circle and the upcoming Navy St.

Steve Coogan’s on the Telly… Back of the net!

Steve-Coogans-On-The-Telly-16x9-1Steve Coogan will join Gold for six weekends this summer in a special season of programmes celebrating both his career and his most iconic characters. Coogan will introduce each of his classic series, which include I’m Alan Partridge, The Trip, Saxondale, and Knowing Me, Knowing You, with brand new specially-shot idents and voice-over links. Each weekend night will begin with Coogan’s most renowned creation and Norfolk’s premier broadcaster, Alan Partridge.

Saturday 26 July

9pm: I’m Alan Partridge – Series1, Episode 1: A Room With Alan – Armed with some brilliant programme ideas and a clump of cheese, Alan meets a BBC commissioner. Monkey tennis!?!

9.40pm: Knowing Me, Knowing You – Series 1, Episode 1 – Steve Coogan’s spoof chat show hosted by the hapless Alan Partridge. Guests include champion showjumper Sue Lewis, singer Shona McGough and her band, and presenter Keith Hunt.

10.20pm: Saxondale – Series 1, Episode 1 – Tommy falls foul of animal rights protestors.

11pm: Steve Coogan: The Inside Story – An unconventional look at Steve Coogan’s TV work.

Sunday 27 July

9pm: I’m Alan Partridge – Series 1, Episode 2: Alan Attraction – Alan has failed to get a second TV series and is days away from bankruptcy. Might the charms of receptionist Jill and a chocolate mousse provide some relief?

9.40pm: The Trip – Series 1, Episode 1: The Inn At Whitelaw – Channel Premiere. Steve agrees to review six restaurants in the north of England and takes Rob Brydon along for the ride.

10.20pm: Saxondale – Series 1, Episode 2 – Tommy deals with some celebrity clients.

11pm: Coogan’s Run – Episode 1: Get Calf – Paul Calf sees some merit in taking up religion.

11.35pm: Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible – Episode 1 – Hans Brocken and his beautiful bride find themselves trapped in a remote castle, at the mercy of undead ladies.

Unseen sitcom Insecurities released online…

insecurities
An unseen sitcom pilot starring stand-ups Paul Tonkinson and John Archer has been posted on YouTube.

In Insecurity, the pair play two night-shift guards, while the pun also refers to their personality deficiencies.

It was made by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal’s production company Baby Cow – responsive for such shows as Gavin & Stacey, Alan Partridge and Moone Boy – but has never been picked up by a TV company.

The pilot also stars comics Tom Wrigglesworth, as a fellow security guard, Emma Fryer as a flight attendant who lives in flats they patrol, and Ben Crompton from Ideal as a dodgy character TK.

Archer posted the pilot episode on YouTube yesterday. He told Chortle: ‘Baby Cow have pitched this show for several years now and have been unable to get a commission, despite the fact that Coogan and Normal are both huge fans of it.

‘I think for some channels it is not edgy enough, but it was our choice to keep it gentle. For other channels the demographic of the show is wrong. We are not big names so it’s a risk to throw us on screen untested, and we are possibly a bit too old or even too ugly? Maybe that hand-held camera, no audience laughter thing may now seem old hat. Finally I suppose it could also be that the commissioners just don’t like it… that is possible.

‘So our decision now is to throw it onto YouTube and see if we can at least get someone to watch our contribution to sitcom telly that never was. When you create something like this your number one wish is that it be seen.’

He added that he and Tonkinson,developed the idea while doing troop shows in Afghanistan. ‘It is basically a development of both our characters into an environment where our own insecurities can blossom,’ he added.

The show started as an eight-minute teaser, funded by Archer and Tonkinson. It was championed by Michael McIntyre, whom Tonkinson often writes with, who set up a meeting with Baby Cow. Lee Mack, Omid Djalili and Tim Vine have also give ‘rave reviews’, Archer said.

Here is the episode, in two parts:

Creative England launches ‘iShorts+: Funny Girls’

Sweetheart· Launched in partnership with Big Talk and Baby Cow
· iShorts+ will make a £10,000 production award to up to 5 comedy narrative shorts
· Aimed at female directors and writer/directors working in film comedy across England, including London
· For more information and/or interviews please contact
Jenny Walford jenny.walford@creativeengland.co.uk /07885 969 634
or Amy Wilkinson amy.wilkinson@creativeengland.co.uk / 07788 155 142

Creative England launches ‘iShorts+: Funny Girls’
15 July, 2014: Female filmmakers with a funny bone can now apply for iShorts+: Funny Girls, a new programme launched today by Creative England in partnership with Big Talk and Baby Cow.

iShorts+ will make a £10,000 production award to up to 5 comedy narrative shorts, provide intensive development support through a two-day comedy residential workshop in Brighton and offer access to mentors from the UK’s leading film and TV comedy production companies.

Aimed at female directors and writer/directors working in film comedy across England (including London), this round ofiShorts+ is the first in an annual series that will focus on a different brief each time. Both the original iShorts and the newiShorts+ programmes are delivered through Creative England’s Sheffield and Brighton Talent Centres as part of the BFI.NETWORK.

Celine Haddad, Senior Film Executive for Talent Development at Creative England said: “We know that there is a wealth of female filmmaking talent out there but we also know that we need to see more of this diverse talent and their projects making it onto our screens. We want to help nurture aspiring female filmmakers, help them hone their craft in the short film medium and use that as a springboard to sustain a lifelong career in a feature film genre that is proven to entertain cinema audiences worldwide, time and time again. We don’t believe the difficulties achieving this in the wider UK film landscape speaks to an inherent lack of comedic talent, so much as a lack of opportunity.

“This progressive approach to talent, from the moment of their discovery to the making of their first feature, forms an essential part of Creative England’s longer term philosophy as part of the BFI.NETWORK – and nobody told us you couldn’t have a little fun along the way.”

The programme hopes to reach aspiring female filmmakers from all cultural comedic corners; narrative short film; TV sketch and sitcom; comedic theatre productions and radio plays; web series and viral promos; commercials and music videos.

On board as official partners for the programme are Big Talk Pictures (Cuban Fury, The Cornetto Trilogy, Attack The Block, Scott Pilgrim, Rev, Youngers, Friday Night Dinner, Mr. Sloane, Him & Her) and Baby Cow Productions  (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Philomena, A Cock And Bull Story, The Trip, Moone Boy, Gavin & Stacey, The Mighty Boosh), who will provide expertise at key stages of the initiative as mentors and key note speakers, granting awardees privileged access to their own produced talent.

Rachael Prior, Producer and Head of Development at Big Talk Pictures, said “We’re thrilled to be part of this scheme. It could not have come soon enough.  Unearthing exciting new comedy voices for British film is in our DNA but can also represent the most challenging part of our work. The lack of visibility of women in this genre is particularly alarming and as female producers, we’ve had enough of the status quo.

“We believe the talent is out there and it needs nurturing and encouraging to embrace this most diverse of genres. Comedy has the capacity to uplift, transport and carry social message more directly than any other genre.  We can’t wait to see who we discover.”

Henry Normal, Producer and Co-Founder of Baby Cow, said: “At Baby Cow we believe everyone has a story to tell. The more we hear stories from new perspectives the more our enjoyment and understanding of the world is enhanced.”

Filmmakers can download the full set of Guidelines and FAQ’s on the Creative England websitehttp://www.creativeengland.co.uk/film/ishorts–funny-girls. The deadline is Friday 29th August at 5pm.

The first iShorts programme, the inaugural entry level shorts scheme for all new filmmaking talent based in the English regions (outside of London), offered applicants a chance to receive a £5,000 production award. The second round is due to launch in September 2014.

– ENDS –
Notes to Editors
For media enquiries please contact Jenny Walford jenny.walford@creativeengland.co.uk / 07885 969 634 or Amy Wilkinsonamy.wilkinson@creativeengland.co.uk / 07788 155 142

iShorts
Delivered through Creative England’s Sheffield and Brighton Talent Centres as part of the BFI.NETWORK, iShorts is an entry level shorts initiative, for filmmakers outside of London who have some experience in self-funded short films or student films, have written an unproduced screenplay, or have produced work that has not yet attracted financial support from within the industry. iShorts+ shines a light on areas of under-representation in England’s filmmaking community (including London) across genres that the Talent Centres believe warrant additional funding, awareness, promotion, mentoring and holistic support.

Creative England
Creative England invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media. We aim to grow the brightest, the best, and those with the most promise so that individuals and businesses can achieve their full creative and commercial potential. We help identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs. www.creativeengland.co.uk

BFI.NET.WORK
BFI NET.WORK is a key initiative to support promising writers, directors and producers from the nations and regions of the UK and is central to the BFI’s strategy, detailed in its Film Forever five year plan, to discover and support the next generation of UK feature filmmaking talent, no matter where they live. Find out more about BFI NET.WORK at www.bfi.org.uk/network

Big Talk Pictures
Comedy is, and always has been, the beating heart of Big Talk, often overlapping and conspiring with other genres. Over the last four years, the company has expanded significantly and, alongside it, so has the breadth and scope of the material being developed and produced.

Following the success of Spaced, Nira Park’s relationship as Edgar Wright’s producing partner was cemented with the 2003 release of cult-comedy, Shaun of the Dead – the first installment of Wright’s iconic Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. ‘Shaun’ was followed by 2007 box office hit Hot Fuzz, and 2013’s The World’s End. The three films combined have amassed a box office of over $150 million and the Hot Fuzz DVD is owned by 1 in 3 homes in the UK.

To date, Big Talk’s credits also include: Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, starring Michael Cera; Greg Mottola’s Paul, written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost with Kristen Wiig; Joe Cornish’s critically acclaimed Attack the Block; the multi-award winningSightseers, directed by Ben Wheatley and written by / starring Alice Lowe and Steve Oram; and Jeremy Lovering’s In Fear, which debuted internationally to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013.

2014 has already seen the release of salsa rom-com Cuban Fury, written by BAFTA winning newcomer Jon Brown, directed by James Griffiths and starring Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Rashida Jones, Ian McShane and Olivia Colman. BritListed romantic comedy Man Upcommenced and completed shooting in the spring and is now in post-production. It was penned by Tess Morris, directed by Ben Palmer, and stars Lake Bell and Simon Pegg.

As well as developing new projects with both Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish throughout 2014 and beyond, Nira Park and Big Talk are currently producing Grimsby – Sacha Baron Cohen’s new action-comedy, directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Baron Cohen and Mark Strong.

Big Talk continues to work with some of the most exciting voices in both the UK and the US to bring fresh, dynamic, authored stories to the big screen.

Baby Cow Productions
Established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions Ltd has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent, whilst teaming up with the best of the UK’s established writers, directors and producers.

Baby Cow has produced over 200 hours of award winning and highly acclaimed TV programmes for the BBC, ITV, UK digital channels, world sales, iTunes and DVD sales.

Specialising in cutting edge comedy Baby Cow are working with some of the hottest names in this field both in front and behind camera over a wide range of bold and innovative programmes for both national and international television.

Baby Cow’s productions include award winning Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Nighty Night, Mid Morning Matters, Hunderby, Moone Boy, Hebburn and the Alan Partridge specials resulting in an array of nominations and awards including Bafta, RTS, Rose d’Or, Southbank Awards and International Emmys.

Baby Cow’s most recent television shows and films include Uncle for BBC 3, The Trip to Italy, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Philomena which received four Oscar nominations including Best Picture and won a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Mid Morning Matters second series

Alan Partridge gets a second series with Mid Morning Matters

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Mid Morning Matters will return next year

Alan Partridge is to return to Sky Atlantic for a second series of Mid Morning Matters, the comedy set in the fictional ‘North Norfolk Digital’ radio station. Steve Coogan’s character, which made a successful big screen debut in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa last year, will also film a “hard hitting documentary special”.

Filming has already begun on the second six-part series of Mid Morning Matters, written by Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons, and it’s scheduled to broadcast next year. It will be made specifically for TV by Baby Cow Productions and executive produced by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal. The first series was originally filmed for online and funded by Foster’s, the beer company.

Coogan, as Partridge, said: “I am both thrilled, humbled, gladdened and excited to be bringing Mid Morning Matters back to Sky Atlantic. “I expect those who doubted its success feel suitably chastened to never again doubt the wisdom of my career choices and to say nothing in response unless their comments are wholly supportive and positive. I hope I’ve made myself clear… thank you, let’s leave it there.”

Sky head of comedy Lucy Lumsden said: “We’re thrilled that Steve wants to do more Partridge for Sky Atlantic. We look forward to seeing where Alan takes us next.”

By David Prior

Warren United premieres on BiteTV

Warren-on-BITETVBITE TV WELCOMES WORLD CUP WITH WARREN UNITED, A NEW ANIMATED SITCOM ABOUT FAMILY, FOOTBALL AND THE PASSION OF BEING A FAN

SHOW KICKS OFF MONDAY, JUNE 23, 8:30 P.M. EST ON BITE TV

TORONTO, ON: An all-star international comedy team brings the first ever animated sitcom about family, football and the passion of being a fan to BITE TV this summer. WARREN UNITED kicks off on Monday, June 23 on Bite TV, with the World Cup in full throw.

SIMON NYE, the writer of the hit sitcom Men Behaving Badly, and Baby Cow, STEVE COOGAN and HENRY NORMAL’S production company behind film and TV hits like Philomena, The Trip, Moone Boy, Alan Partridge, Gavin and Stacey,partner with leading Canadian producer Smiley Guy Studios to bring you this animated comedy.

Each week, Warren United follows the fortunes of Warren Kingsley, an out-of-shape kitchen salesman and fervent football fan, as he stumbles through life trying to juggle his two passions: football and family.

Warren, aged 37 and a half, is a fan for all seasons and a guy of two halves: both a devoted husband and dad and a diehard fan of Brainsford United, a chronically struggling football club, known to its long-suffering fans as The Meringues.

By Mike Valiquette

The Trip To Italy DVD

DINE ON A TRIPLE HELPING OF STEVE COOGAN AND ROB BRYDON FROM 12TH MAYtrip DVDs

The Trip To Italy DVD
The Trip and The Trip To Italy TV Series DVD box set
The Trip and The Trip To Italy (Feature Films) DVD box set

“The Trip to Italy may well be the most sustained and successful example of genuine ad-libbing that Britain has ever produced”
The Guardian

“The Trip to Italy is the Godfather 2 of road movies in which brilliant British comedians take the piss out of each other while eating exquisite food.”
Hollywood Reporter

Two of Britain’s favourite comedians are reunited in The Trip To Italy – the highly anticipated follow-up to the BAFTA award-winning comedy The Trip.
The Trip To Italy (RRP £20.42) will be served up on BBC DVD on 12th May and is available to pre-order now. Available to purchase on the same date and packaged together for the first time is The Trip and The Trip To Italy (RRP £25.52) on DVD and a box set featuring two never-before-available feature length film versions of The Trip and The Trip to Italy (£23.48).
Four years after they ate their way round the North of England, The Trip to Italy reunites Steve Coogan (Philomena, Alpha Papa, I’m Alan Partridge) and Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, Would I Lie To You?) for more delectable food, sharp-elbowed rivalry and celebrity impersonations.
Rob, tired from the responsibilities of being the father of a young child, is looking for some adventure. While Steve has been living a life of abstinence and hard work in Los Angeles but, now on a hiatus from his job, has the time to come back to Europe and wants to see his children.
They talk about things like life, love, work and exile. They discuss Byron and Shelley, Romantic poets whose lives were defined by their time in Italy. We will see the journey they go on, the hotels they stay in, the restaurants they eat in, the kitchens and chefs that make the food and then the bill at the end.

A Revolution Films, Baby Cow Films and Small Man production, The Trip To Italy is directed by the award-winning Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, The Look of Love, 24 Hour Party People) and is produced by Melissa Parmenter, co-produced by Josh Hyams and executive producers are Andrew Eaton, Henry Normal and BBC Commissioning Editor is Gregor Sharp.

PRODUCT INFORMATION
DVD RELEASE DATE: 12TH May 2014
RRP: £20.42 / £25.52 / £23.48
CERTIFICATE: 15
CATALOGUE NUMBER: BBCDVD3947 / BBCDVD3957 / BBCDVD3947
EXTRAS: Deleted Scenes
-Ends-
For more information, please contact: frances.cherry@bbc.com

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About BBC Worldwide Ltd. BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC public service mission and to maximise profits on its behalf. It does this through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also builds the reach and reputation of the BBC brand overseas and champions British creativity. In 2012/13, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £156m and headline sales of £1,116m and returned £156m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: http://www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview |bbcworldwide.com | twitter.com/bbcwpress

BACK TO BLAP!

streetChannel 4 are downright thrilled to unveil a brand new installment of Comedy Blaps, the online showcase to help develop new programme ideas and discover tomorrow’s comedy stars today.

Today sees the launch of two new three-part mini-series. The first comes from Liam Williams, one part of the up and coming comedy group Sheeps, who looks at everyday themes through his skewed and unique lens, and the second comes courtesy of Roisin Conaty, and the brilliantly shambolic character of Marcella whose life consists of one night stands, ongoing therapy and waiting for pizza deliveries. The final Blap, Pond, is a real life Game of Thrones set in the torrid political world of television production.

Rosin Conaty landed her own pilot off the back of her Blap, Game Face, which will air on channel 4 at 10.30pm on April 23rd.

Commissioned by the C4 Comedy Department working with Multiplatform Commissioning Editor for Comedy & Entertainment Jody Smith, Blaps are a series of short form videos available on Channel 4.com as well as Youtube, Vimeo and as a podcast on iTunes and Feedburner.

Phil Clarke, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 says: “This is another brilliantly eclectic lineup of up and coming talent and once again you can actually see how short-form content can grow into a fully-fledged pilot by watching Roisin’s brilliant portrayal of the hapless Marcella develop from Blap to standalone show.”

Liam Williams
Liam Williams is one third of the sketch group SHEEPS. In these C4 Blaps Liam takes inspiration from his Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominated, sell-out and self-titled show. Each Blap will explore broad themes such as Things (would Liam be happier with more ‘stuff’ in his life?), Monotony (from school days to a grown up routine) and Home (how his relatives have shaped his life) with a combination of stand-up and sketch comedy.
Prod co: Babycow

Pond
Pond is a sitcom set in the treacherous world of modern television commissioning, a world filled with bullshitters and arse-kissers. Armed solely with his sharp suits and flawed judgement, executive Ralph Michaels must secure a commission to keep his company afloat and his wife’s kitchen refurb on track. Even if that means pitching to Simon Swervy, a man with all the power and self-awareness of a diseased and insane Roman Emperor.
Prod co: Tiger Aspect

Rosin Conaty
It’s Marcella’s birthday and this year she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. But – after a run-in with her old school nemesis, some dubious advice from her life coach, and the consumption of a great deal of Sambuca – things don’t go exactly as she’d planned. Written by and starring Roisin Conaty.
Prod co: Objective

Comedy Blaps: available at www.channel4.com/blaps
And for more from Channel 4 comedy follow @ComedyOn4 on Twitter.

OVER TO BILL

Over to Bill – Doug Naylor’s new sitcom on the way.
If you heard that a beloved comedy institution was making its way back to the BBC, and that Doug Naylor was involved, you could be forgiven for thinking we were talking about Red Dwarf, and getting quite excited. Well, such a thing is indeed happening – but it’s not Red Dwarf. However, you should still get quite excited.

Over to Bill has this week been announced as one of three pilots that are launching on BBC1 in the coming months, as part of a revival of their Comedy Playhouse strand. An anthology series that ran from 1961 to 1975, Playhouse was the starting point for such classic series as Steptoe and Son, Are You Being Served?, Last of the Summer Wine and Till Death Do Us Part, among many others. Over to Bill is one of three pilots that will make up the new series, and stars Outnumbered’s Hugh Dennis as recently-fired TV weatherman Bill Onion, alongside Neil Morrissey (Men Behaving Badly), Helen George (Call the Midwife) and Tracy-Ann Oberman (Eastenders).

over-to-bill-1

And if you recognise the title, it’s because it’s a project of Doug’s that has been kicking around since 2010. Baby Cow Productions CEO and executive producer Henry Normal, known predominantly for his work with Steve Coogan and on The Fast Show and The Royle Family, had originally invited Doug to help out with writing an in-development sci-fi project – and while this ultimately didn’t happen, it did lead to Normal suggesting instead that Doug try writing another sitcom, with a view to pitching it to the BBC.

Having written the pilot of Over to Bill, Doug decided to try shooting “a scene or two” from it – but with a fresh-out-of-film-school Richard Naylor producing, the project quickly snowballed into a full-blown, independently-produced pilot. The show was taken around various broadcasters – attracting some interest from the BBC – but didn’t result in a commission (Doug famously telling the Dimension Jump convention audience in 2011 that one rejection had come with the note “It’s got men in it, and we’ve already got things with men in”).

With Red Dwarf X on the horizon in 2011, Over to Bill went onto the back burner – but it was that man Henry Normal again who more recently put it back on Doug’s mind. “Henry suggested I submit it again when we met at the BBC Showcase event in Liverpool. I wasn’t sure initially, in case anything interfered with getting the next series of Red Dwarf made,” Doug explains. “But then Henry phoned me and told me he’d done it anyway!”

The show quickly found its way to a fresh commission, as a co-production between Normal’s company Baby Cow, and Doug and Richard’s newly-founded Three Feet Productions. The BBC insisted that the pilot have “an all-star cast… we were specifically told we needed ‘BBC1 names'”, says Doug. The casting of Dennis, then, was something of a coup, as Richard admits: “Most BBC1 comedy is something people either love or hate. But Hugh’s someone who seems to be universally liked – everyone just thinks he’s really funny, and a lovely guy. Which he is!”

over-to-bill-2

The pilot episode was shot in a frantic six-day period earlier this month, cramming 22 different locations into a 32-page script. The original pilot’s cast have all wished the production well – original co-star Dave Florez actually has a guest role in the new version, while Director of Photography Ed Moore – more recently of Red Dwarf X – also returns. At the time of writing, Richard and Doug are around halfway through the offline edit, and are scheduled to deliver the completed pilot by the end of March. Tentative reports elsewhere suggest that the pilot will then air some time in April.

Although Doug is keen to set the record straight on some of the plot and character elements reported elsewhere (“Bill’s not hapless, or accident prone. And it’s not meant to be a self-referential satire about the BBC! He is a weatherman, though.”), both he and Richard are pleased with how the show has come out. “There was an instant chemistry between the cast, and we all had a lot of fun making it,” says Doug. “If everything goes well, then hopefully it’ll go to a series!”

Expect to hear more about Over to Bill – and further productions from the Three Feet partnership – in the not-too-distant future. And of course, we all hope it’s not the only sitcom we’ll see announced by them this year…

Over to Bill will be shown on BBC1 later in the Spring.

SOS – NEW SERIES LAUNCHES!!

sos-logos

SOS: Save Our Skins Launches in North America in April UK-Canada Co-Production Set to Debut Across Traditional and New Media Platforms

New York / Toronto – March XX, 2014 – The comedy sci-fi adventure, SOS: Save Our Skins, will launch on FEARnet in the U.S. starting on April 1st on its new “Twisted Comedy” block and on Blue Ant Media’s Bite TV in Canada on April 5th. A UK-Canada co-production produced by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal’s Baby Cow Productions in the UK and Duopoly, Farmhouse Productions and Smiley Guy Studios in Canada, the show is delivered as 4 television half-hours, 13 x 7-minute webisodes and a 90-minute movie.

“We discovered SOS: Save Our Skins in a pitch session at the JUST FOR LAUGHS Conference and were determined to find a way to finance it,” said Catherine Tait, Executive Producer. “Co-productions are challenging but in the case of SOS, the talent and final results were entirely worth the effort!”

SOS: Save Our Skins was created, written and stars two of Britain’s in-demand comedy writing teams, Nat Saunders and Chris Hayward. Together they have contributed to hit UK shows such as Big Train (BBC), Smack the Pony (Channel 4), Trollied (Sky) and Fit (CBBC), and created the popular web series Misery Bear (BBC). SOS also stars Hannah Spear (Versus Valerie, Sexy Nerd Girl) as Kill the cannibal and Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy) as the voice of Andrew the Alien.

SOS: Save Our Skins is the tale of two hapless British geeks who wake up in New York City only to find that the entire human race has vanished. But as they explore the seemingly empty world before them, Ben and Stephen soon realize they’re not alone after all… A sci-fi, comedy and horror homage, SOS: Save Our Skins sends Ben and Stephen on a desperate journey to find their loved ones, escape the jaws of death and work out why they’re one of the few remaining people on Earth. But the answer to the mystery is bigger, crazier and more apocalyptic than they could ever have imagined, and puts the fate of the planet into their very stupid hands.

SOS: Save Our Skins is part road movie, part sci-fi fantasy, part buddy movie, and even has a twisted love story at its heart, even if one of the lovers is a mass-murderer,” said Director and Producer, Kent Sobey.

Blue Ant will broadcast four half-hour episodes back-to-back on Bite TV on April 5th at 9 p.m. ET, while FEARnet will broadcast 7-minute episodes on its April Fools “Twisted Comedy” block—a special week-long event airing midnight to 2 a.m. ET from Tuesday, April 1 through Saturday, April 6.

SOS – HITS THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT!

The film version of SOS: Save Our Skins premiered at the 39th Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival in February, where Sorespot Movies observed, “[it] does not hold back with the comedy or the wildness of the plot”. The film is also slated to screen at the International Horror and Sci-fi Film Festival in Phoenix on April 4th and 5th as well as the upcoming Sci-Fi London Film Festival (April 24 – May 4, 2014) and the St. Tropez International Film Festival (May 12 – 16, 2014).

SOS: Save Our Skins was produced in association with the Independent Production Fund and with the participation of BBC Worldwide in the UK, FEARnet in the US and Blue Ant Media in Canada.

About FEARNET
As America’s leading television and digital programming service devoted to genre entertainment, FEARNET delivers a diverse array of original and acquired horror, thriller and suspense content as a cable TV movie network, a video-on-demand outlet and award-winning web portal. The year-round horror network features box-office hits and popular movies from major film studios, independents, and foreign producers, as the channel programs over 350-plus titles a year; many of which are world television and broadcast premieres. The Channel has been the number-one free VOD movie service for six straight months – Sept. 13 to Feb. ’14-  (available in more than 28 million homes) and the website, FEARNET.com, currently ranks as the top site in the genre category for its original content, TV reviews, web shorts and exclusives. FEARNET is a partnership between Sony Pictures Television, Lionsgate Entertainment and Comcast Corporation and is widely distributed to U.S. cable subscribers across various systems. For more information about the company, visit www.FEARNET.com and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter (@FEARNET).

About Bite
Bite is a Blue Ant Media Channel. Bite is the source for smart, quirky comedy. Bite features acclaimed series like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,The Inbetweeners, Moone Boy, Portlandia, Guidance and The IT Crowd, hilarious Stand-up specials including Louis CK’s Chewed Up and cult classic movies like Dodgeball, Office Space, and Rollerball.

About Baby Cow
Established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions Ltd has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent, whilst teaming up with the best of the UK’s established writers, directors and producers. Baby Cow’s productions include award winning Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Nighty Night, Mid Morning Matters, Hunderby, Moone Boy, Hebburn and the Alan Partridge specials resulting in an array of nominations and awards including Bafta, RTS, Rose d’Or, Southbank Awards and International Emmys.

Baby Cow’s most recent television shows and films include UNCLE for BBC 3, THE TRIP TO ITALY, ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA and PHILOMENA which received four Oscar nominations including Best Picture and won a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.

About Duopoly
Duopoly is an independent content company which develops, produces and acts as a sales agent to a range of feature film properties, television series and digital series. Recent feature titles repped by Duopoly include Velcrow Ripper’s Occupy Love and Andrew Bush’s Roller Town. Duopoly operates its own channel on HULU and has distributed over 300 episodes of content to this platform including successful comedy series Odd Job Jack and Puppets Who Kill.

About Farmhouse
Farmhouse Productions Ltd. is a film, television and digital media production company based in Toronto, Ontario. Farmhouse Productions creates original programming for broadcasters and distributors, including APTN, BBC Worldwide, Bite TV, Bravo, Cottage Life, Travel & Escape, IFC, Rogers, FEARnet, The Sundance Channel, SBS, EMI Records, Hulu, Netflix and iTunes.

About Smiley Guy Studios
Smiley Guy Studios (SGS) is an award-winning full-service production company with expertise in animation, design, writing, sound, music, and interactive media. Founded in 1998 by graduates of Norman Jewison’s Film Centre, SGS has since grown in size and capability, with expertise in vector-based animation and computer-generated imagery. It produces its own original content while also collaborating with clients on a variety of animated TV, film and new media projects, including ‘Odd Job Jack’, ‘Hotbox’ and ‘Bigfoot’ (Bell Media), ‘Pillars of Freedom’ and ‘Finding Stuff Out’ (TVO), ‘Turbo Dogs’ and ‘The World of Bruce McCall’ (CBC), ‘Skatoony’, ‘The Dating Guy’, ‘Sons of Butcher’ and ‘GeoFreakZ’ (Teletoon), and the upcoming “Warren United” for ITV and Blue Ant Media.

For more information, please contact:

Mary Powers, MPowers Communications, mpowers@mpowers.ca

SOS: SAVE OUR SKINS Trailer

High Res Stills

CARA DELEVINGNE JOINS PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS…

Cara Delevingne is to make her acting debut in Sky Arts’ new series of Playhouse Presents…SkyArts_PlayhousePresents_DelevignePerry_16x9-1

The model will be joined by the likes of Matthew Perry, Jo Brand, Simon Callow, Lindsay Duncan, Kevin Eldon, Jane Horrocks, Daniel Mays, Billie Piper, Mark Strong, Sylvia Syms, Ashley Walters, Jason Watkins, Ben Whishaw and Richard Wilson in the series of eight 30 minute one-off comedies, beginning May 2014.

Cara will make her television debut alongside the veteran actress Sylvia Syms in Tim Firth’s Timeless. Cara stars as Chloe, a young woman reluctantly looking after her great-grandmother while her mother and grandmother are on a cruise.

She told us: “It’s a really touching story and I’m really honoured to be working with Sylvia in a one off production for Playhouse Presents. This will be my first time working in television drama and I am excited by the opportunity.”

US star Matthew Perry makes his UK TV comedy debut with The Dog Thrower. It is also the directorial and TV screenwriting debut for its writer Jon Ronson. His story of a man who finds fame, then infamy, when he starts throwing his dog also stars Tim Key and Kimberley Nixon.

The award-winning playwright Polly Stenham also makes her directorial and screenwriting debut with Foxtrot, the story of a gang heist gone wrong starring Billie Piper and Ben Whishaw. Ralf Little and Nick Moran will also make their joint screenwriting and directing debut with Space Age, starring Richard Wilson and Simon Callow as two ageing astronauts on a final and perilous journey.

James Hunt, Channel Director of Sky Arts: “What a phenomenal line-up for this year’s Playhouse Presents… strand. Sky Arts has built on its huge success in comedy and drama in the past two years, and is attracting outstanding writers, directors and actors all at the very top of their game. Their passion mimics our own; to bring the very best in comedy and drama to all our customers, and I am wholly confident that this year will be no exception.”

The full list of films are:

The Dog Thrower

Written and directed by Jon Ronson and starring Matthew Perry

Jonah (Tim Key) is a nervous young man and a big dog lover. One day in the park he sees A Charismatic Man (Matthew Perry) throwing his dog in the air to the crowd’s enchantment. So Jonah, wanting to be popular, starts to throw his dog in the air too. Disastrous consequences ensue. Also starring Kimberley Nixon and with an exclusive score by Belle and Sebastian.

Nosferatu In Love

Written and directed by Peter Straughan

In a fit of rebellion against his director which masks his own dark demons, a tormented movie actor (Mark Strong) starring as Nosferatu runs away to a nearby small Czech town when his young wife leaves him, teaming up with a local petty crook with unexpected, absurdist consequences. Loss and failure find their way to a redemption of sorts for both of them.

The Cruise

Written and directed by Stewart Sugg

Mobile hairdresser Jacky (Jane Horrocks) has been dreaming of going on an ocean cruise with her mobile mechanic husband Andy (Jason Watkins) for years. Now, just a week away from their holiday, Andy is getting cold feet. Is this down to Jacky’s desire to enter the cruise ship talent contest, or is there something more peculiar behind Andy’s resistance to this trip of a lifetime?

Nightshift

Written by Jimmy Gardner, directed by Bruce Goodison

Starring Daniel Mays, Ashley Walters and Scarlett Alice Johnson, Nightshift follows two coppers as they cruise the streets of South East London in the small hours discussing life, the universe and everything else amidst the surreal world of the night.

Foxtrot

Written and directed by Polly Stenham

Billie Piper, Ben Whishaw, Lindsay Duncan and Alice Sanders star in, written and directed by Polly Stenham. In her first television drama, the critically-lauded playwright brings her unique voice and vision to a contemporary ill-fated girl gang heist.

Space Age

Written by Nick Moran and Ralf Little. Directed by Lawrence Gough

Richard Wilson and Simon Callow star as two ageing astronauts on a perilous mission to a faraway planet, battling with loneliness, isolation, and occasionally each other. It is the distant future, and mankind is in need of desperate measures to ease the swelling overpopulation of earth. The solution; send elderly volunteers – men and women who would rather die alone on a distant planet than live out their last years in nursing homes – to prepare new worlds for human settlement. On board the star-ship, our intrepid space travellers contemplate the enormity of their mission, the importance of purpose, and even the definition of life itself.

Damned

Written by Morwenna Banks and Jo Brand. Directed by Natalie Bailey

Starring Kevin Eldon and Jo Brand in a comedy set in a social services department. Social Worker and Single parent Rose (Jo Brand) is having a bad day. At work the heating is broken, there’s a patronising new temp, and her three kids are off school sick. The chaos of the office is matched only by the chaos of her home life when Rose discovers her mum has misplaced her children. Could her day get any worse? Yes, indeed it could and it does when Rose is confronted with a crisis that even an experienced professional like her could not have anticipated…

Timeless

Written by Tim Firth. Directed by Tony Smith

Alice and Chloe may be generations apart but both share the pain of having been separated from their partners by war. Chloe’s soldier fiancé is serving a term of duty in Afghanistan when an army official arrives at Alice’s door. The two women are shocked by the news but the generation gap is finally closing. Sylvia Syms and Cara Delevingne star in this engaging tale of love, loss and hope, written by Tim Firth.

WARREN UNITED FAMILY SITCOM for 1TV4

WarrenLogo

Warren United – 6 x 30 min family sitcom for ITV4: kicks off 22nd April
ITV warms up for World Cup with new animated sitcom about family, football and the passion of being a fan

• Written by Simon Nye, David Quantick, Dominic Holland
• Voices by Darren Boyd, Morgana Robinson, Nitin Ganatra, Johnny Vegas
• Produced and directed by an award-winning international comedy teamWarrenBrainsford

• 1863-4: The FA founded; birth of modern football
• 22/4/2014: Warren United kicks off on ITV 4
• Warren United: 150 years in-the-making

Simon Nye, the writer of Men Behaving Badly, Baby Cow, the production company behind Uncle, Gavin and Stacey, Mighty Boosh and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and leading Canadian animation house, Smiley Guy, have teamed up to bring you this feel-good family comedy just in time for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals on April 22nd and this summer’s World Cup.

Each week, Warren United will follow the fortunes of Warren Kingsley, an overweight kitchen salesman and fervent football fan, as he stumbles through life trying to juggle his two passions – football and family.

There’s only one Warren Kingsley, its loveable but hapless hero. Warren, aged 37 and ½, is a fan for all seasons and a bloke of two halves: both a devoted husband and dad and a diehard fan of Brainsford United, a chronically struggling club, known to its long-suffering fans as “The Meringues.”

Warren is voiced by BAFTA award-winning Darren Boyd, (Spy, Alpha Papa). Nitin Ganatra (EastEnders) voices Dilip, Warren’s best friend, while Morgana Robinson (Vic and Bob’s House of Fools) voices Charlie, Warren’s sulky teenage daughter and Morwenna Banks (voice of Peppa Pig) voices Warren’s young son Harrison. Eleanor Lawrence (Common Ground) is Warren’s Dutch wife Ingrid and Georgie Glen (Waterloo Road) his young-at-heart mum.

Johnny Vegas voices Fat Baz, the manager of Brainsford United, while Jonathan Kydd and Bertie Portal voice two well-spoken but foul-mouthed police horses, who dispense their views on match-day issues.

Warren United is the brainchild of executive producer, Bill Freedman, who has spent no less than eight years bringing it to the screen. Himself a devoted football fan, he was for decades a key figure in West End theatre as a producer and theatre-owner. Warren United marks his TV debut.

“It’s about the two most important f’s in life – family and football,” says Freedman. “This show is also about the passion of being a fan. Yes, supporting Brainsford United often brings Warren more pain than joy but that’s what makes him a true fan.”

Henry Normal, co-founder of Baby Cow productions, is co-executive producer: “New animated narrative series in this country are so rare,” says Normal. “So are comedies about football, while those about fans even rarer. On several counts, therefore, we’re trying something unusual.”

Angela Jain, ITV Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, says: “ITV4 fans love their football and boasting a stellar cast, Warren United is aimed squarely at them. It is about the tricky balance of being a committed fan and a family man – which will strike a chord with many football followers.

“The fact it’s an animated comedy series about football makes it distinctive, and we’re hoping viewers will take Warren, his family and his other love – Brainsford United – to their hearts.”

Written by Simon Nye, David Quantick and Dominic Holland
Directed by Tim Searle (2DTV, Have I got News For You, I’m Not an Animal)
Produced by Jeremy Diamond and Denny Silverthorne
Co-production with leading Canadian animation house, Smiley Guy Studios, headed by executive producer Jonas Diamond

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For further information please contact Sophie Toumazis or Elizabeth Dunk at tpr media consultants sophie@tpr-media.com / elizabeth@tpr-media.com +44 (0)20 8347 7020 or 07974 428858.

SECOND SERIES OF NICK HELM’S UNCLE

UNCLE-(edited)
BBC Three announces a second series of Nick Helm’s comedy
Uncle
BBC Three’s newest comedy series for 2014 starring Nick Helm and Elliot Speller-Gillot, has been commissioned for a second series.

Series one followed the darkly comic misadventures of Andy (Helm), a dissolute, out-of work musician who forged an unlikely alliance with his 12-year-old nephew Errol (Speller-Gillot) after being morally blackmailed into looking after him by his chaotic sister Sam – all on the day Andy was planning to kill himself. Not a natural with either kids or responsibility, he tries to keep his new charge out of trouble whilst often ending up knee deep in it himself.

The first series has so far achieved 2.6 million viewers (Live +7 viewing across BBC Three and BBC iPlayer), and will be repeated later in the year on BBC One.

The series is commissioned by Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three and Shane Allen, BBC Controller, Comedy Commissioning. The Commissioning Executive for Comedy is Kristian Smith. It is Produced by Alison MacPhail, and Exec Produced by Henry Normal & Lindsay Hughes at Baby Cow Productions. The series is written and directed by Oliver Refson.

Nick Helm said: “I am gobsmacked that I have finally been involved in something that people like enough to warrant the need for more of it. I am looking forward to working with all the cast and crew again as making the first series was genuinely one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had whilst still legitimately being able to call it work.”

Shane Allen, BBC Controller, Comedy Commissioning, added: “Oli’s [Oliver Refson] often edgy yet warm-hearted comedy, along with Nick and Elliot’s unique chemistry, have proved an instant hit with the audience and critics alike. We’re thrilled to have this wayward relative in the BBC Three family”.

Henry Normal, Managing Director, Baby Cow Productions, said: “You have to give respect to the BBC for taking a leap of faith on this show. It’s a brave and different commission for BBC Three comedy. Together we have an exceptional team in front and behind camera. I love this show. It’s a comedy with heart and bite and truth.”

Praise for the first series of Uncle:

The Guardian
“Fabulous, believable performances from comedian/singer/songwriter Nick Helm and young Elliot Speller-Gillott… Uncle manages to be warm as well as dark and rude. And hilarious.”

 Mail on Sunday Event Magazine
Dark and twisted, but strangely sweet in the middle

 Evening Standard
“…dark, admirable, clever… the premise is a bleakly beautiful one

 

BAFTA AWARDS: PHILOMENA WINS BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Philomena, the story of an Irish woman’s 50-year search for her son, won the award for best adapted screenplay.

It was partly filmed in County Down and stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

Philomena was co-written by Coogan and Jeff Pope.

Their screenplay was based on the true story of an Irish woman trying to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption.

In his acceptance speech Coogan praised the “real Philomena Lee”.

He said: “Her story has been told and her story finished in the Vatican. She has been heard but there are 60,000 other women who have yet to trace their children, and their story isn’t over.”

The movie has also been nominated for four Oscars, including best picture.

POPE MEETS PHILOMENA LEE & STEVE COOGAN

Pope Francis meets Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan
Philomena Lee, whose young son was sold for adoption by nuns in 1955, has met with Pope Francis in Rome.

Pope Francis meets Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan

Lee, 80, was accompanied by her daughter, Jane Libbteron, and by Steve Coogan, the star, co-writer and producer of Philomena, the Oscar-nominated film based on her case. The contingent were representing The Philomena Project, a campaign which calls on the Irish government to enact legislation to open up adoption records and reunite mothers separated from their children as a result of forced adoption.

They attended mass in St Peter’s Square before the audience with the Pope. A screening of the film is expected to take place in the Vatican this afternoon, before a press conference on Thursday morning.

The meeting comes a day after a Vatican spokesman dismissed rumours about such an audience. Said Father Lombardi: “The Holy Father does not see films, and will not be seeing this one. It is also important to avoid using the Pope as part of a marketing strategy.”

Speaking after meeting, Lee said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been in the presence of Pope Francis today. As the film portrays, I have always put great faith in the Church and the good will to put the wrongs of the past right. I hope and believe that his Holiness Pope Francis joins me in the fight to help the thousands of mothers and children who need closure on their own stories.”

Lee’s son Anthony was three years old when he was sold for adoption to America by nuns at a mother and baby home in Ireland. Both mother and son searched for each other but the nuns who had engineered the adoption tried to prevent a reunion. With the help of the journalist Martin Sixsmith, who wrote a book about the case, Lee was able to find out what happened to her son.

Sixsmith’s book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, was optioned by Coogan a and subsequently turned into a film starring Judi Dench as Lee and Coogan as Sixsmith. The movie is nominated for four Oscars, including best picture.

Although Philomena as broadly been received as a tribute to faith, controversy has surrounded the film’s portrayal of the sisters who sold Lee’s child. “We do feel that the film, even though it is not a documentary, does not tell the whole truth and in many ways is very misleading,” said Sister Julie Rose of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Roscrea, County Tipperary, where Philomena and Anthony stayed.

The site protectthepope claims that Coogan “mendaciously blackens the name” of sister Hildegard McNulty, who the film suggests was the chief culprit in keeping apart mother and son.

Philomena has had almost universally warm notices, although one critic, Kyle Smith, wrote an unfavourable review in the New York Post in which he expressed dismay at what he sees as the film’s anti-Catholic sentiment, and brands Lee a “ninny”. She responded with an open letter in which she defends the film, and hazards that it is a testament to Catholicism that she has retained her faith. She ends by writing: “Just as I forgave the church for what happened with my son, I forgive you for not taking the time to understand my story.”

article written by:Catherine Shoard
theguardian.com, Wednesday 5 February 2014 14.13 GMT

Philomena
Production year: 2013
Country: Rest of the world
Cert (UK): 12A
Runtime: 98 mins
Directors: Stephen Frears
Cast: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan