KimCattrall_900-600-1024-12Kim Cattrall to Play Lead in Canadian Adaptation of BBC Dramedy ‘Sensitive Skin’
The pay TV show based on the original British series also will star Don McKellar, Elliot Gould and Colm Feore.
Joanna Lumley defined the lead role of Davina in the original BBC dramedy Sensitive Skin.

Kim Cattrall takes ‘Producing’ role in the latest format adaptation by a Canadian broadcaster, Kim Cattrall is to play the wealthy socialite facing a personal crisis in the local version of Sensitive Skin, from Rhombus Media and for pay TV networks Movie Central and The Movie Network.

Also boarding the Canadian series about fifty-somethings is Elliott Gould, Nicolas Wright, Colm Feore, Don McKellar, Joanna Gleason, Clé Bennett, Mary Walsh and Marc-André Grondin.

Cattrall will executive produce the Canadian adaptation, along with McKellar, who directs all six episodes from scripts by Bob Martin.

The dramedy will shoot in Toronto for six weeks.
Tricon Films & Television will handle international sales.

Movie Central and The Movie Network have commissioned the Canadian adaptation of Sensitive Skin.


Chris O'Dowd, Nick Vincent Murphy

NEW YORK, November 25, 2013 – The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the 41st International Emmy® Awards tonight at a Gala event attended by over 1000 international television professionals and hosted by John Oliver at the New York Hilton.

2 Special Awards and 10 Emmy statues were presented by the International Academy during the evening. Winners span 6 countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Brazil film and television legend Fernanda Montenegro won the Best Performance by an Actress category for her role in Sweet Mother. British lead Sean Bean won the Best Performance by an Actor category for his role in Accused. There was a tie in the Arts Programming category with 2 winning programs.

Zachary Quinto presented the International Emmy Founders Award to film & television Writer/Director J.J. Abrams. The International Emmy Directorate Award was presented to RTL Group Co-CEO Anke Schäferkordt by world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The 10 International Emmy Award Winning programs and performances are: Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender and Hello?! Orchestra (TIE in Arts Programming), Sean Bean (Best Performance by an Actor), Fernanda Montenegro (Best Performance by an Actress), Moone Boy (Comedy), 5 Broken Cameras (Documentary), Les Revenants (The Returned) (Drama Series), Go Back to Where You Came From (Non-Scripted Entertainment), Side by Side (Telenovela), and A Day for a Miracle (TV Movie/Mini-Series). Complete winners information follows this release.

“The International Emmy Awards is the premiere global platform for the world’s best television programming and performances,” said Academy President Bruce L. Paisner. “We congratulate tonight’s winners for their outstanding achievements and for inspiring audiences worldwide with their great work.”


Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender
EMP / Mercury Songs for Eagle Rock Entertainment
United Kingdom
Freddie Mercury was one of the most charismatic, complex, and fascinating characters in British rock music. The story of Queen is much told, but this documentary focuses on Freddie and the solo projects he worked on outside of the band. Using extensive archive footage of interviews with Freddie as well as concerts, video shoots, and personal material, a portrait of Freddie Mercury emerges which is very different from his flamboyant stage persona.

Hello?! Orchestra
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation(MBC) / CEN MEDIA
South Korea
Violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill conducts an orchestra of 24 children from multicultural families. Raised in a multicultural family himself, Richard understands the discrimination these children face, and he attempts to unite and heal them through music.

Sean Bean
In Accused
RSJ Films
United Kingdom
Simon is a shy, lonely, English literature teacher with a secret. He has a transvestite alter-ego, Tracie. Tracie goes out to clubs at night. She is flamboyant, funny, and loud, and in search of love.

Fernanda Montenegro
In Sweet Mother
TV Globo / Casa de Cinema do Porto Alegre
Dona Picucha is 85 and wishes to live independently in spite of her age and the concern of her children. She feels ready to try new experiences, like dancing.

Moone Boy
Baby Cow Productions Ltd / Hot Cod Productions / Grand Pictures / Sprout Pictures
United Kingdom
Set in a small Irish town in 1989, ‘Moone Boy’ follows the adventures of the youngest member of the Moone family, 11-year-old Martin. In order to survive life with his chaotic family Martin relies on his friend, Sean Murphy for company. Sean is no ordinary pal, he’s imaginary: a grown man with a beard, whose middle name, Caution, gives him something of an edge. Together, Martin and Sean negotiate various obstacles, from his sisters’ pranks to the pressures of being an altar boy.

5 Broken Cameras
Alegria Productions / Burnat Films Palestine / Guy DVD Films / France Télévisions
5 Broken Cameras is a personal, firsthand account of life and nonviolent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. The film was shot by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, Gibreel. The film is structured in chapters around the destruction of each one of Burnat’s cameras, and follows the Burnat family’s evolution over five years of village upheaval.

Les Revenants (The Returned)
Haut et Court TV / Canal+
A small mountain community is rocked to its core when several local people who are presumed dead suddenly reappear at their homes. Despite having passed away some years earlier, these ghostly characters appear in human form, they have not aged, and they are completely u naware of their own fatality. Determined to reclaim their lives and start over, they slowly come to realize that they are not the only ones to have been brought back from the dead.

Go Back To Where You Came From – Series 2
SBS / Cordell Jigsaw Productions
With the asylum-seeker issue still dominating national debate in Australia, the series ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ returns for the next stage of its social experiment: to challenge the strongly held beliefs of six Australians on a journey to see the world through the eyes of refugees. This time, the stakes have been raised. The participants are going to the most desperate and dangerous corners of the world, and they are all high-profile Australians who represent different – often opposing – sides of the asylum-seeker debate.

Side by Side
TV Globo
Laura and Isabel are two women from different social classes. One’s parents are former aristocrats, while the other’s are former slaves. The two families developed a solid friendship. Laura and Isabel fall in love with two young idealists, Edgar and Zé Maria. Amid the early Republic comes the emergence of samba, the arrival of soccer in Brazil, the end of the tenements, and the beginning of the slums (favelas) in Rio.

A Day for a Miracle (Das Wunder von Kärnten)
Rowboat Film and TV Production GmbH / ZDF / Graf Filmproduction GmbH / ORF
In 1998, a young cardiovascular surgeon and ultra marathon runner from Vienna named Markus Höchstmann started his first job in rural Austria. Over two long days that same year he saved a life no one thought could be saved. With his superiors away, a drowned four-year-old girl was brought into the emergency room. Cold and lifeless after having spent 30 minutes under water, she was considered clinically dead. Even though a similar resuscitation had never been accomplished, Markus risked everything to save the girl’s life and made medical history.




91TKrHfHnhL._SL1500_Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa: Script (and Scrapped) Release Date: 21 November 2013 Publisher: HarperCollins
by Steve Coogan Rob Gibbons Neil Gibbons Armando Iannucci Peter Baynham
The official script for the box-office smash movie, featuring every ruddy word (and stage direction) of Alan’s seamless transformation from natural-born broadcaster into fully fledged and occasionally fully dressed hostage negotiator. Contains deleted scenes and an exclusive Foreword by Steve Coogan.

With a television career behind him and a much-coveted breakfast slot in his spiritual home, regional digital radio, there was only one place left for Alan Partridge to turn: Hollywood! Or rather, an Anglo-French funded co-production for the big screen.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa sees Alan face his biggest challenge since he spent six months in a travel tavern, and is almost certainly the first time he has handled a loaded gun since he was a prime-time BBC2 presenter. When his beloved income-source North Norfolk Digital is taken over by a faceless media conglomerate, Alan’s inimitable instinct for self-preservation leads to a violent and bloody siege on the radio station by an unhinged, nay mentalist, DJ, and a hostage crisis for which there can be only one man with the chat to diffuse it …

Featuring a cast of old and new Partridge favourites, including Sidekick Simon, assistant Lynn and Michael the Geordie, Alpha Papa is proof that while the jury’s out on whether you can keep a good man down, it’s an outright fact that you can’t keep a good regional broadcaster off the airwaves.


Praise for the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa:

‘The funniest movie this year’ **** Independent

‘Smartly executed, endlessly quotable and machine-gun quick, this is one of the funniest films of 2013’ **** Total Film

‘Ruddy hilarious.’ **** Empire

‘Partridge has established himself as one of those great English cartoonlike characters… in the tradition of the comic supporting acts in Austen or Dickens.’ **** The Times

‘Extremely funny… It’s all very English in its recognition of the mean smallness of so much of British life.’ Observer

‘Knowing and funny’ Guardian

About the author

Neil and Rob Gibbons have written for Alan Partridge since 2009, including on Mid-Morning Matters with Alan Partridge, the bestselling ‘autobiography’ I, Partridge and 2012’s Welcome to the Places of My Life, which was nominated for a BAFTA and won an RTS Award. They have joined the writing team for the third season of HBO’s Veep.

Steve Coogan is a Perrier Award- and BAFTA-winning comedian, producer, writer and actor. His acting credits include Philomena, which he co-wrote, winning the best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival in 2013.

Armando Iannucci is an Oscar-nominated (for In the Loop) writer and broadcaster. His iconic BBC series The Thick of It has been nominated for 13 BAFTA Awards.

Peter Baynham is a writer, director and performer whose credits include I’m Alan Partridge, The Day Today, Brass Eye and Borat.


Audiences select their favorites among a slate of twenty of the upcoming season’s most anticipated titles

October 30, 2013 –More than 2500 film enthusiasts converged on the Virginia countryside this weekend for the first Middleburg Film Festival. Attendees were treated to a carefully curated slate of exceptional films that both entertained and engaged audiences.

Upon its completion, Festival founder Sheila C. Johnson announced the winners of the Audience Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Narrative Feature.

“I am so pleased that our audience chose to recognize COMEDY WARRIORS: HEALING THROUGH HUMOR and PHILOMENA,” said Johnson. “We had so many compelling titles I know it was difficult to choose a ‘best’ among this incredible fare.

“We would like to thank all the distributors for giving us the opportunity to showcase their remarkable films,” Johnson added. “And thank you to Paramount Pictures and The Weinstein Company in particular for providing the Opening Night film, NEBRASKA, and the Centerpiece film, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, respectively.”

COMEDY WARRIORS: HEALING THROUGH HUMOR from director John Wager tells the story of five severely wounded Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who were given the opportunity to explore their experiences through the healing power of humor. The film follows their journey as they work with professional comedy writers, and A-List comedians: Zach Galifianakis, Lewis Black, Bob Saget, and B.J. Novak, who help them write and perform their own personal stand-up comedy routines, culminating in one big night performing at LA’s top comedy clubs.

PHILOMENA from acclaimed director Stephen Frears is based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. The film focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Judy Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock — something her Irish-Catholic community didn’t have the highest opinion of — and given away for adoption in the United States. Following the rules of the convent where she gives birth, she’s made to sign a contract that forbids inquiry into her son’s whereabouts. Years later, Philomena meets Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she sets out to discover her long-lost son.

“Middleburg played host to a tremendous weekend of storytelling,” added Festival Executive Director Susan Koch. “While conversations are fresh in our minds from this glorious first time endeavor, all of us associated with the Middleburg Film Festival are eager to jump back in and plan year two.”

Winners were chosen by audience ballot.

About Middleburg Film Festival

The Middleburg Film Festival offers four days of films in a spectacular setting. A carefully curated selection of narrative and documentary films will screen in an intimate theatre environment, followed by Q and A’s with filmmakers and actors. The films include festival favorites, premieres, and Academy Award contenders.

Venues throughout Middleburg include the National Sporting Library, Hill School, Middleburg Community Center, the newly opened Salamander Resort & Spa (the official filmmaker venue) and Boxwood Winery.

Festival attendees experience the natural beauty, local food and wine and warm hospitality of historic Middleburg and the Piedmont countryside at the height of fall foliage. The intimate and relaxed settings provide the ideal backdrop for bringing together filmmakers, actors, opinion leaders, journalists, and filmgoers to engage in conversation and celebrate the best in film.



Stephen Frears’s film Philomena, co-written by, and starring Steve Coogan, won the best screenplay award at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
A festival favourite, one critic called it “the best reaction to a film since the first screening of The King’s Speech”.

The film adapts the real-life story uncovered by former BBC News journalist Martin Sixsmith, which he recounts in a book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.

Dame Judi Dench plays the part of Philomena Lee, who as an unmarried mother in Ireland in the 1950s, was forced to give up her son Anthony to a local convent, who sold him for adoption. After keeping quiet for nearly 50 years, Mrs Lee asked Sixsmith to uncover the fate of Mrs Lee’s son.

It was, according to Dame Judi, “a harrowing story, but my emotion doesn’t come into it. You have to understand the tale and what happened to Philomena. I hope that we tell her story and that we don’t sell her short. That is my biggest fear.

“The real Philomena is an incredibly funny person. She is bright and interesting and has a wonderful sense of humour. That’s why the film has to be so comical in places too, it reflects her and her joy in her life, which she has kept despite everything that has happened to her.”

Withheld information
Mrs Lee is now nearly 80 years old and living in the south of England, but discovered with the help of Sixsmith that Anthony Lee had been adopted by an American couple, and re-named Michael Hess.

Frears scored commercial succcess with The Queen
He grew up to be a rising star in Ronald Regan’s Republican party of the 1980s, but remained desperate to trace his birth mother.

Both he and Philomena made inquiries about each other at the convent where he was born in 1952, Roscrea in County Tipperary, but its nuns withheld information that would have reunited the pair.

Stephen Frears states that his spiritual beliefs “are more in line with cynical journalists than people of simple faith like Philomena”, but says that he wants “the new Pope Francis to watch this film. I really want him to see it. He seems like a good bloke, and he’s making changes within the church. I think he’d enjoy it.”

The director adds that he doesn’t think the movie “will change anything within the Catholic church, but I do think that people’s response to the film might have an effect. “The wonderful thing is, that by refusing to have hatred and resentment in her heart, by that act she made her faith even stronger than it was before. ”

Dame Judi Dench
“You can feel it, you can tell there is a change in the air. Something is touching the church, and you can see it slowly beginning to respond. The Irish government has publicly acknowledged that these places existed, and that Philomena was not the only one who lost her child to the church’s policy on unmarried mothers. The government has apologised, but it’s a slow process. Perhaps this film will move it another fraction of an inch again.”

Coogan adds that “it’s not our intention to hammer the Catholic church of 50 years ago, times were different. But two wrongs took place here – one that Philomena was forced to give up her child, and secondly that they refused to reunite the pair. I hope that though we criticise the institution, we dignify people of faith.”

Dame Judi adds that she was “breathtaken” by the real Philomena Lee’s Christian faith, especially as she publicly forgave the nuns of Roscrea for refusing to reunite her with her son.

“She is still a practising Catholic,” the actress points out. “I am a Quaker myself, but I don’t know that I would have it in me to forgive as she forgave them. And the wonderful thing is, that by refusing to have hatred and resentment in her heart, by that act she made her faith even stronger than it was before. She is remarkable.”

‘Head turned’
Critics have been unanimous in their praise of the film, with the Telegraph calling it “a crowd-delighter”, and the Hollywood Reporter adding that it is “touching, witty and absorbing”. It also points out, however, that the subject matter might be too similar to a past Venice Golden Lion winner, Peter Mullan’s The Magdalene Sisters.

Commercial success though, also seems assured, after the producer who bought The King’s Speech, Harvey Weinstein, also bought the rights to Philomena after a short screening of footage at Cannes.

Frears, who had huge critical success with Helen Mirren in 2006’s The Queen, declares that he’s “delighted”.

“Of course I am, although I’m far too busy to be suffering on red carpets again and having my head turned.

“I’d like to speak to Philomena herself though and see what she thinks. And just warn her, because I dread to think how much publicity she is going to receive now off the back of this. She has no idea what is about to hit her.”

Philomena is released in the UK on 1 November.

By Emma Jones
Entertainment reporter, BBC News


Stephen Frears’ ‘Philomena’ Wins Venice Queer Lion Prize as Fest Unveils First Awards

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Gay Lion winner “Philomena”
“Bethlehem” wins the Venice Days section, while “Class Enemy” takes home the top honor for the Critics’ Week sidebar.

ROME – The first awards at the Venice Film Festival were announced Friday, with Stephen Frears’ Philomena winning the Queer Lion award for the best portrayal of a gay character.

Meanwhile, Bethlehem from Israel’s Yuval Adler won the Venice Days section of the festival, and Class Enemy from Slovenian director Rok Bicek was selected as the best film in the Critics’ Week sidebar.

Additionally, Alexandros Avranas’ Miss Violence, about a family dealing with the suicide of a young girl, was selected as the Fedeora prize for the best film from the Mediterranean region. Ana Arabia, which tells the story of a small community that includes both Jews and Arabs, was given the Green Drop Award for its attention to environmental issues. The film was directed by Amos Gitai.

The 70-year-old festival will present its official awards Saturday in a gala ceremony followed by Thierry Ragobert’s 3D Amazonia, the festival’s closing film. But the day before the official awards ceremony is the traditional day for the announcement of a host of increasingly prestigious secondary prizes.

Among those are the honors for the autonomous Venice Days and Critics’ Week sections, which this year celebrated their 10th and 28th editions, respectively.

The Venice Days lineup attracted particular attention this year, but it was Adler’s espionage drama set in Israel that won the main prize. The section also awarded Alienation director Miko Lazarov with the prize for best director and gave a special mention to La Belle Vie from Jean Denizot.

In addition to honoring Class Enemy, the Critics’ Week also highlighted Las Niñas Quispe from Sebastian Sepulveda for best photography, while Giuseppe Battiston from Matteo Oleotto’s Zoran, il mio nipote scemo (Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot) and Anna Odell from The Reunion (which Odell also directed) were honored for their acting performances.

Frears’ Philomena, which is based on true events, stars Oscar winner Judi Dench as a woman searching for her long lost son who she discovers is gay. Dench’s character is accompanied on her journey by a snobbish journalist played by Steve Coogan.

Of Friday’s prize winners, Philomena, Miss Violence and Ana Arabia were all part of the official selection and so are eligible to be honored in Saturday’s ceremony as well.

The Venice Film Festival, the world’s oldest, got underway Aug. 28.

9/6/2013 by Eric J. Lyman



From his early appearances on Radio 4’s On The Hour, through the graveyard shifts on Norfolk Nights to his most recent slot as the host of Mid Morning Matters, Alan Partridge has always been a radio man.

Now it is (virtually) possible to create his radio show for yourself thanks to the launch of the official Alan Partridge app, Radio Alan: The Alan Partridge Player. It will be available to buy on iTunes for £0.99 from 5th August to coincide with the debut of Alan’s first feature film Alpha Papa in cinemas nationwide on 7th August 2013.

The app is designed to play audio clips of Alan talking ‘live’ on-air from “Mid-Morning Matters” interspersed with songs from YOUR iTunes library, creating the impression that you’re actually listening to Alan’s radio show live on North Norfolk Digital. So as you listen to music on your iPhone, you can also ponder Alan’s talking points: “You’re stuck on a desert island and only allowed one condiment, what is it to be?”

As Partridge’s loyal fans know, Alan’s radio segues often end with him introducing a song in his own inimitable style (e.g. “Keep your clubs away from his young, it’s Seal!”) The app will recognise if you have a Seal track in your iTunes library and play that song next.

The app also has a ‘Rate My Tunes’ option, whereby Alan rates your iTunes library. If he likes your taste in music you may get a “Back of the Net!” rating that you can share with your friends on Facebook.

To enhance the app experience even further additional in-app purchases include; A ‘Partridge Playlist’ featuring some of Alan’s favourite artists and additional audio clips are available to buy for £0.99.

Radio Alan: The Alan Partridge Player was conceived by Brighton-based app development studio Touch Fantastic and developed in collaboration with Baby Cow Productions and BBC Worldwide.

Price: £0.99
Available For: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, running iOS 6.1 or later


Sky Atlantic to premiere – Steve Coogan: STAND UP DOWN UNDER
Behind the scenes tour documentary to TX in August

12th July 2013: As part of Sky’s continuing investment in original content, Sky Atlantic HD is to premiere an exclusive behind the scenes documentary following Steve Coogan on tour in Australia and New Zealand. STEVE COOGAN’S STAND UP DOWN UNDER is a 2 x 60’ from Baby Cow Productions, filmed during Coogan’s 2009 world tour. It will TX consecutively on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th August on Sky Atlantic HD.

STEVE COOGAN’S STAND UP DOWN UNDER is a funny, intimate and honest portrait of one of Britain’s best loved character comedians. Charting the highs and lows of Coogan’s travels during his first antipodean tour, Steve Coogan Live, the two part series features exclusive footage from his performances as Alan Partridge, Pauline Calf and Tony Ferrino as well as unrestricted backstage access.

In addition to the new documentary, and celebrating Alan Partridge’s big screen debut in the same week, Sky Atlantic will repeat the BAFTA nominated ALAN PARTRIDGE: WELCOME TO THE PLACES OF MY LIFE, for which Coogan won his fifth BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance, and ALAN PARTRIDGE ON OPEN BOOKS WITH MARTIN BRYCE on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August respectively at 9pm. The first series of MID MORNING MATTERS will also be shown again over three evenings on 5th, 6th and 7th August, ahead of the second series which is due for TX later in the year.

STEVE COOGAN’S STAND UP DOWN UNDER is produced and directed by David Lambert and executive produced by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal for Baby Cow Productions. The tour manager was Anna Stockton.

STEVE COOGAN’S STAND UP DOWN UNDER will TX on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday 7th August at 9pm only on Sky Atlantic HD, Sky Atlantic + 1 and Sky Go.

Moone Boy is now available in the U.S. on Hulu

An Irish Schoolboy Gets By With a Little Help From His Imaginary Friend

When you hear that Chris O’Dowd of “Bridesmaids” and “Girls” plays the 6-foot-3, suit-wearing imaginary friend of an Irish 12-year-old in “Moone Boy,” it’s natural to assume that the show revolves around him.

That it’s actually about the boy, played by the young actor David Rawle, has a lot to do with why “Moone Boy” is the most charming new television comedy to arrive in America this year. Mr. O’Dowd, who created the show and wrote it with his frequent collaborator Nick Vincent Murphy, defers to Mr. Rawle’s winning performance as an irrepressibly optimistic sixth grader growing up in the doldrums of small-town Ireland at the turn of the 1990s.

In the six-episode first season, which makes its debut on Wednesday at, we meet Martin Moone on the day before his 12th birthday, a typical day during which he’s set upon at school by the bullying Bonner brothers (Jonner and Conner) and mocked at home by his three exceptionally mean and dismissive sisters. His imaginary friend, a needy milquetoast named Sean Murphy (Mr. O’Dowd), is both yes man and indignant defender. When a sister tells Martin that his birth was a mistake, Sean yells: “Not a mistake! An accident!”

The stories in “Moone Boy” are uncomplicated, and some of the situations are familiar: as Martin campaigns to be an altar boy or discovers that a vagabond uncle isn’t as heroic as he appears, American viewers may think of “The Middle” or “The Simpsons.” The humor, however, is distinctive, somehow sharp and gentle at the same time, accessible but never tired or obvious.

It takes a second for a throwaway line like “Church is no place for imaginary friends” to register. Conversely, when Martin has his first erection — partly inspired by the tennis player Gabriela Sabatini — and asks his equally young friend Padraic what’s happening, Padraic’s expansive reply (wonderfully delivered by Ian O’Reilly) immediately floors you: “So you started to pitch the old tent, eh? Flying the flesh flag. Building the dirty snowman. Been there, kid. Been there.”

(Sean, meanwhile, is no help, despite his advanced age. “Some kind of groin-based salmonella,” he theorizes.)

Martin, who inevitably survives the cruelty of his sisters and the fecklessness of his parents with good spirits intact, is an original creation, a genuine eccentric in a child’s body with touches of middle-aged pomposity and sentimentality. He remains enthusiastic in the face of all odds, showing only the most fleeting resignation when his cockamamie plans — like taking all his meals at the house of a classmate whose mother is a much better cook than his own — fall apart.

His eager, wondering outlook informs the tone and point of view of the show, in which caustic humor is brushed with twinkling surrealism. When Martin’s dad confronts the bullies’ father, Mr. Bonner makes a sad face, says, “Oh, no, they’re awful, aren’t they?” and introduces Mr. Moone to a group of men who have bonded over the spitefulness of their children. When the arrival of Martin’s uncle temporarily removes the need for an imaginary friend, a disgruntled Sean hangs out at a pub with other abandoned invisible companions, including Padraic’s, a growling professional wrestler named Crunchy Danger Haystacks.

“Moone Boy” has already been renewed for two more seasons by its British network, Sky1, which is good news. Not so good is the news that Mr. O’Dowd is in talks to make an American version — the show is so intimately tied to its time and place, with episodes revolving around Mary Robinson’s election as president and the Irish reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall, that trying to clone it seems pointless.

In the meantime we can be grateful to Hulu for giving “Moone Boy” an American home and hope that it will continue to do so, even if the online streaming service is sold, as expected, before the show’s future seasons are available. Hulu has a good track record with British comedies: the first season of “Spy,” which it posted in October, may have been the funniest thing on American screens last year, and other exclusive series like “Pramface,” “Rev.” and “Whites” are worthwhile. While the handful of original online shows from Netflix and Amazon get all the attention, Hulu’s imports deserve a look.


Eurovision & Cern Unite to Attract Tweens to Science

EUROVISION has joined CERN – the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics – to award grants to two production houses to develop multiplatform media proposals to spark the scientific curiosity of kids aged eight to twelve.

The initiative,  launched in November 2012, attracted 23 entries from 12 different countries in Europe and beyond.

A panel of CERN scientists and EBU Community Members evaluated the proposals for their capacity to stimulate the natural curiosity of children about fundamental physics in an entertaining and creative way.

“The best children’s programmes educate and inform without the viewer even being aware,” says Annika Nyberg-Frankenhaeuser, EUROVISION Media director. “These science-themed series will not only entertain children, they will hopefully also inspire a new generation of scientists and inventors.”

Two projects were selected for further development:
‘Cubic, Quark & Big-G’, proposed by Baby Cow Animation & Bigfatstudio, is an animation series where robot heroes explore fundamental physics in a fun and formative way. Through cartoon slapstick and perilous gags, the characters make specific discoveries about topics, including the mystery of gravity, space-time, string theory and the Higgs boson.

‘Just for Quarks’, from production company Screen Glue, is a series of short films targeting the YouTube generation featuring three teenage pranksters who share a super power – the ability to alter fundamental laws of physics.

“Children are the most remarkable example of curiosity,” said Sergio Bertolucci, CERN Director of Research and Computing. “We should not limit this curiosity, but develop it.”

Both projects will be presented at the EUROVISION Science & Knowledge pitching session – one of several EUROVISION TV meetings to take place in Berlin during the week of 9th September 2013, including the well-known EUROVISON Creative Forum.
EBU Members involved in the evaluation process included ZDF, Germany, ARTE, France; RTBF, Belgium, WDR, Germany, NRK, Norway, SVT, Sweden, RAI World, Italy

web: – twitter: @EBU_Eurovision

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Official Trailer

Exclusive Trailer – Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

When Alan’s radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a hilarious chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege. In cinemas August 7th.

Book Tickets online here:

STARLINGS series 2 starts July 2nd 9pm SKY1 HD

Starlings, which last year found its way into Sky customers’ hearts and took pride of place on Sunday evenings on Sky 1 HD, will be returning for a second eight episode series on July 2nd.
Starlings- Series 02 Day 7 © Des Willie for Sky One HD August 2012.

And joining the Starling clan for this eagerly anticpated second series are Una Stubbs, Cherie Lunghi and Vincent Regan.

Written by and starring Matt King and Steve Edge, Starlings charts the ups and downs of a close-knit brood based in Matlock, Derbyshire. This series, for the first time the Starlings family looks in danger of falling apart. While Reuben (Ukweli Roach) needs Fergie (Edge) and Loz (King) to help with a big question he’s about to ask Bell (Rebecca Night), the relationship between Jan (Lesley Sharp) and Terry (Brendan Coyle) is tested to its limit by the arrival of Stephen (Vincent Regan), the tutor of Jan’s new writing class.

Prepare to see another side to Grandad (Alan Williams) when he befriends a mischievous OAP (Una Stubbs), while romance looks to be on the cards for Gravy (John Dagleish) as he finally enters the world of work, Charlie (Finn Atkins) explores her musical side by starting a band and Fergie is reunited with an old flame (Cherie Lunghi) – who also happens to be Loz’s boss.

Brand new Starlings Series 2 will air on Sky 1 HD and Sky 1 +1 this July and Sky customers with a connected Sky+ set-top box will be able to enjoy a preview of the first episode before it is broadcast through Sky’s On Demand service. The entire first series of Starlings is also available now through Sky On Demand and via Sky’s award-winning mobile TV service Sky Go.


Jessica Hynes’ sitcom Up The Women commissioned for second series on BBC Two

A second series of Up The Women, written by and starring Jessica Hynes (Spaced, Twenty Twelve) and also starring Rebecca Front (Nighty Night, The Thick Of It) has been commissioned for BBC Two.

The new series will comprise 6×30-minute episodes and will be made by BBC In-House Comedy and Baby Cow Productions. This series was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning. It is produced by Emma Strain (Miranda) and directed by Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey, One Foot In The Grave, Grandma’s House).

Up The Women is set in Banbury, 1910. Having been inspired by the Women’s Suffrage Movement in London, a group of villagers, formerly known as the ‘Banbury Intricate Craft Circle’ have set up their own, hilariously ineffectual, movement, calling themselves ‘The Banbury Intricate Craft Circle Politely Request Women’s Suffrage’.

The first series saw the group picket the post office, overcome inner-circle disputes and receive a visit from the great Emmeline Pankhurst herself, but what next for the movement? What schemes will be cooked up in circle’s headquarters, Banbury Church Hall? The second series promises six more wittily written instalments of the group’s exploits and more excellent comic performances from its talented cast.

Jessica Hynes says: “I am very pleased that the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle Politely Request Women’s Suffrage, BICCPRWS, will continue to convene on the British Broadcasting Corporation. Our members are thrilled and our passion for social change through militancy burns brighter than ever. We are composing an incendiary pamphlet and designing our very own BICCPRWS egg cosies to celebrate this momentous occasion. Up The Women!”

Janice Hadlow Controller, BBC Two, says: “I’m delighted to welcome the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle to BBC Two. With brilliant writing from Jessica Hynes and a fabulous cast including Rebecca Front, Judy Parfitt and Adrian Scarborough, Up The Women is a wonderful addition to comedy on the channel.”

Mark Freeland, UK Controller of Comedy Production, says: “It’s fantastic that we’ll be seeing more of The Banbury Intricate Craft Circle – not something I’ve ever said before. I am most grateful to BBC Four and now BBC Two for their support, and of course, to Jessica Hynes for creating such a unique comedy and to the cast for upping the women so beautifully.”

Lindsay Hughes, Executive Producer, Baby Cow, says: “We are thrilled to be making another series of Up The Women. Jessica’s creation is a brilliant piece of comedy and we are so lucky to be working alongside the BBC with an incredible cast and crew bringing it all to life.”

Up The Women also stars Judy Parfitt (Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, Call The Midwife), Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On), Adrian Scarborough (Gavin & Stacey, The King’s Speech, Upstairs Downstairs), Georgia Groome (Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging), Ryan Sampson (Wire In The Blood) and Emma Pierson (Hotel Babylon).

THE TRIP series 2 will shoot in Italy

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan confirm The Trip series 2 will shoot in Italy
Filming starts “very soon” on new run of acclaimed self-deprecating comedy

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan will return for a second series of cult BBC2 comedy The Trip, they have confirmed.

Brydon told fans on Twitter that filming will begin “very soon” in Italy, taking in “many and varied locations”.

Series one of the comedy, in which Coogan and Brydon play skewed versions of themselves, aired in 2010 and saw the pair tour high-class restaurants in the Lake District, spending most of their time arguing and competing to do the best celebrity impersonations.

It had long been expected that series two would involve a trip to Italy, with the idea first mooted in 2011.

Coogan also confirmed the project. “We are going to Italy,” he told Empire. “I went there three weeks ago to meet Rob and [director] Michael [Winterbottom] to go for dinner and talk about what we were going to do. What other characters were going to be in it. That’s a bit of research I suppose, but I’m going to have to do some reading.
“We’re supposed to be retracing the footsteps of the Romantics, of Shelley and Byron and Keats, and I don’t know enough about it. I’m damned if Rob’s going to come across as an authority on it. It’ll be a great motivation for me to read up on it so that when we improvise, I can drop some information on him. Sometimes you try to compete with each other in improvisation by using dirty tricks.

“In the first Trip, he asked me to do the eulogy I would give if he was dead. I knew he was doing it because he had one up his sleeve. So as soon as I’d finished mine, I walked off. He fell into my trap by letting me go first, thinking I would generously let him reciprocate, which I didn’t. It wound him up. But that made him angry, and the anger was good.”

Coogan added: “It’s very hard work, doing The Trip. Much harder than it appears, because the trick – the curse – of doing it well is that it looks like you’re just having fun. But it was meticulously improvised. Rob and I get on very well but we also know where to take the improvisation to make it fruitful.”

WEINSTEIN Picks Up Stephen Frears’ ‘PHILOMENA’

Cannes: Weinstein Co. Picks Up Stephen Frears’ ‘Philomena’
British film maker Stephen Frears poses

The company forks out $6.5 million for U.S., Canada and Spain rights to the movie that stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

The Weinstein Co. has inked a deal for Stephen FrearsPhilomena, paying $6.5 million for rights in the U.S., Canada and Spain.

The film stars Judi Dench as Philomena Lee, an Irishwoman who searches for the son she was forced to give up for adoption. It’s based on BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith‘s 2009 book, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.”

British comedian Steve Coogan directs and stars as a journalist who helps Lee search for her son in the film, which he co-wrote with Jeff Pope.

Philomena is being shopped to distributors at Cannes’ Marche du Film by Pathe International and BBC Films, the standalone moviemaking unit of the U.K. public broadcaster.

The drama is produced by Coogan, Gabrielle Tana and Tracey Seaward and executive produced by Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, BBC Films chief Christine Langan and Pathe’s Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken.

Natascha Wharton oversaw the film for the BFI’s Film Fund.

It marks a return to the big screen for Frears after Lay the Favorite last year. His directorial effort for HBO, Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, will unspool May 22 in a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

GAVIN & STACEY has been remade by FOX

Us & Them










GAVIN & STACEY has been remade by FOX for an American audience…
Us & Them
is a remake of British comedy Gavin & Stacey, and stars Parenthood‘s Jason Ritter and Gilmore Girls star Alexis Bledel as a couple who have been flirting online for months but eventually decide to meet. However, their friends and family threaten to get in the way of their fledgling romance. The show also features stars such as Dustin Ybarra and Jane Kaczmarek.


Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa has released its first teaser poster.


The artwork shows a bullet shattering a North Norfolk Digital mug, hinting at the tense siege story at the heart of the film.

Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan recently lifted the lid on the film while appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show.

The actor revealed that the Norwich radio station experiences mass layoffs after a takeover from Gordale Media. A siege erupts at the station prompting Alan to become the negotiator between the gunman and the police.

I’m Alan Partridge regulars Lynn (Felicity Montagu), Geordie BP garage worker Michael (Simon Greenall) and DJ Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell) will return for the feature film.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa was written by Armando Iannucci, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and Coogan and opens in UK cinemas on August 7.


BBC Three picks up Nick Helm’s Channel 4 pilot, UncleUNCLE_crop

BBC Three has commissioned a sitcom starring musical stand-up comedian Nick Helm.

A pilot episode of Uncle was broadcast in December as part of a strand called Four Funnies – by Channel 4, but it is BBC Three that has jumped in to order a series.

Produced by Baby Cow, the sitcom sees singer-songwriter Helm starring as Andy, “the world’s most irresponsible uncle”. Andy is described as “a dissolute out-of work musician”, who forges an unlikely alliance with his 11-year-old nephew after being morally blackmailed into looking after him by his chaotic sister, Sam, played by Daisy Haggard.

Producers say: “Not a natural with either kids or responsibility, Andy tries to keep his new charge out of trouble whilst being knee deep in it himself.


The series will be both written and directed by Oliver Refson.

Helm is currently best known to TV audiences for his aggressive musical performances on BBC Three’s comedy showcase, Live At The Electric. Uncle will be his first TV series. The format’s jump from Channel 4 to the BBC follows the move of Shane Allen, formerly head of comedy at Channel 4, to become the BBC’s Controller of Comedy Commissioning.

Announcing Uncle alongside a number of other commissions today, Allen commented: “This wide range of shows and new talents cement BBC Three’s place as the key channel for emerging comedy stars. Nick Helm is the most exciting writer/performer I’ve seen in years.


BBC Three controller Zai Bennett said: “New British comedy is king on BBC Three, so I’m delighted to be able to announce we’ve commissioned Nick Helm’s first TV series, Uncle.


No further detail is available at present, but the series is likely to consist of 6 episodes and be broadcast late in 2013 or early 2014.

RHYS IFANS… in new drama GIFTED

GIFTED-650Rhys Ifans joins the all-star line-up of
Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents… in new drama Gifted
Playhouse Presents… starts 18th April 9pm on Sky Arts 1 HD
Gifted Thursday 13th June 9.30pm on Sky Arts 1 HD

Rhys Ifans joins an all-star line-up of celebrated talent appearing in the new series of Sky Arts’ Playhouse Presents… The acclaimed comedy and drama strand starts its run tonight at 9pm on Sky Arts 1 HD and Sky Go.

In a captivating performance Rhys Ifans stars in Playhouse Presents… Gifted. The drama is a touching story with a twist in its tale of how a man crippled by a secret ability falls in love for the first time. Chris (Rhys Ifans) is an outsider who lives a secluded, mundane and humdrum existence until Mona (Sarah Smart) arrives in his life. As Chris falls in love he learns not only to accept but embrace his unusual ‘gift’.

Chris’s sister, Eleanor (Nia Roberts), in an unhappy relationship with her partner Michael (Nigel Lindsay), can’t understand his inability to engage with his family. But when their Mother, May (Sian Philips) falls ill, Chris is faced with a terrible dilemma.

Gifted, written by Angela Pell, will receive its premiere on Thursday 13th June at 9.30pm exclusively on Sky Arts 1 HD and Sky Go. The drama is directed by Marc Evans and produced for Sky Arts by Baby Cow Productions. The producer is Alison MacPhail, and the executive producers are Madonna Baptiste for Sky and Henry Normal for Baby Cow.

Marc Evans said, “Gifted was a great opportunity for me to work with Rhys Ifans and a terrific script. Rhys is just fantastic in the film, there is something of the holy fool about him, and he brings out the comedy as well as the sadness of the character. I wanted to make Gifted as cinematic as possible, and to portray a London we rarely see. There’s something sci-fi about the world of overpasses and cable cars that Rhys Ifans’ character inhabits. It’s a film about loneliness but there is a lot to make you smile, and a wonderful unexpected twist to the story. And you may even shed a tear at the end.”

Playhouse Presents… showcases the incredible wealth of acting, directing and writing talent in the UK, and represents unmissable TV for Sky customers.

The series champions innovative productions and original writing, and underlines Sky’s commitment to UK origination, building on the pledge to invest £600m in original content by 2014. Kylie Minogue will appear in her first project for Sky with Playhouse Presents…Hey Diddly Dee which has been written and directed by Marc Warren tonight at 9pm on Sky Arts 1 HD.

Playhouse Presents… Gifted Thursday 13th June 9.30pm on Sky Arts 1 HD

Playhouse Presents

· HEY DIDDLY DEE – 18th April 9pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written and directed by Marc Warren (Sprout Pictures)
For every star that is born…one has to die. When the star of the show suffers a tragic accident who is to blame? The understudy? A faulty trap door? Or the theatre’s lucky cat? A dark comedy-drama about drama starring Kylie Minogue, Mathew Horne, Peter Serafinowicz, David Harewood, Paul Kaye and Lee Boardman.

· SNODGRASS – 25th April 9pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written by David Quantick, based on the novella by Ian R MacLeod. Directed by David Blair (NOW Film and TV) A 50 year old John Lennon (Ian Hart) sits in a dingy kitchen, smoking a roll up, unemployed and on his uppers. This is the John Lennon who walked out on the Beatles in 1962, before the hits, before they changed music for ever. A hilarious comedy drama which also stars Kevin Doyle and Eric McNichol.

· THE CALL OUT – 2nd May 9pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written and directed by Carlo Nero, based on a short story by Leonard B. Francavilla (Sprout Pictures) A disturbance at Union Square leads to some strange encounters for two policemen in this funny and poignant portrait of loneliness in the city. Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Stephen Graham, Samantha Bond and Sushil Chudasama and written and directed by Vanessa’s son Carlo Nero.

Written and directed by Idris Elba (Sprout Pictures) The Pavement Psychologist is a taught and sexy drama about Jenny (Anna Friel) a women in search of satisfaction, in the world of accounting. That world is turned on its head after she meets Chris (Nonso Anozie) a homeless man, who lost everything in a tragic house fire. Also starring Reggie Yates and Stephen Mackintosh.

· MR UNDERSTOOD – 16th May 9pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Co-created by Kate Hardie and Grayson Perry . Written and directed by Kate Hardie (Eleven Film) A deeply personal and comic drama following a young transvestite, Gary, as he battles with self-doubt. Gary has decided to emerge from years of isolation by attending a weekend convention for transvestites. An encounter with another older transvestite helps Gary to explore questions of self-acceptance and happiness.

· STAGE DOOR JOHNNIES – 23rd May 9pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written by Catherine McCormack and Laura Power. Directed by Catherine McCormack (Hat Trick and Blurred Vision) Step into the world of the Stage Door Johnnies. A comedy about five excitable theatre fans who will stop at nothing to let their idols know how they truly feel… Even if it means causing a little accidental grievous bodily harm along the way. Starring Suranne Jones, Alex Macqueen, Felicity Montagu, Johnny Sweet, Elizabeth Berrington and Steve Evets.

· CARGESE – 30th May 9.30pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written by Simon Stephens. Directed by Matt Smith (Sprout Pictures) Simon Stephens and Matt Smith join forces to create a unique piece of poetic realism which mines the tragic seam of adolescent love and loss. Starring Craig Roberts, Joe Cole and Avigail Tlalim.

· RAGGED – 6th June 9.30pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written by Andrew Lynch and Johnny Vegas. Directed by Johnny Vegas (Woolyback Productions) Starring Ricky Tomlinson, this story is based on Ricky’s true experiences campaigning for justice in an effort to overturn a verdict which sent him to jail for 2 years in the early 1970s. During his time in prison and on hunger strike, Ricky’s life is changed forever by a prison governor who encourages him to read Robert Tressel’s book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

· GIFTED – 13th June 9.30pm Sky Arts 1 HD
Written by Angela Pell and directed by Marc Evans (Baby Cow productions) When you thought you had life all wrapped up…A tender and touching tale of a man crippled by a secret ability. Rhys Ifans is captivating as Chris, an outsider, falling in love for the very first time. Eventually learning to not only accept, but embrace, his unusual ‘gift’.

· PSYCHOBITCHES – FROM 30th MAY until 4th JULY 9pm Sky Arts 1HD
Written by Jeremy Dyson Bert Tyler-Moore, George Jeffrie, Ali Crockatt, David Scott, Lucy Montgomery, Kathy Burke, Derren Litten, Holly Walsh and Freddy Syborn. Directed by Jeremy Dyson (Tiger Aspect) A new six-part series of the all-star sketch show that sees some of history’s most famous women psychoanalysed. Starring Rebecca Front as the therapist, the series will see the core cast play a number of women from history including Julia Davis as Sylvia Plath, Sharon Horgan as Eve, Sam Spiro as Audrey Hepburn, Frances Barber as Bette Davis, Kathy Burke as Mona Lisa, and Katy Brand as Mary Shelley. It also features Tamsin Egerton, Selina Griffiths, Zawe Ashton, Jo Scanlan, Sarah Solemani and Sharon D Clarke. The series will also include characters from Jack Whitehall, Harry Enfield and reunites all the League of Gentlemen team Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton.

MOONE BOY 2 to Premiere at Kilkenny

Moone Boy Season 2 to Premiere at Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Kilkenny

Sky broadcasting have entered into a new sponsorship agreement with the annual Kilkenny Cat Laughs Festival, which will see the newly-branded ‘Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival’ screen the world premiere of season 2 of Chris O’Dowd’s IFTA-winning ‘Moone Boy’.

The new partnership will also introduce a new programming element to the festival, with details yet to be confirmed.

The premiere will be attended by star and co-writer Chris O’Dowd and co-writer and Kilkenny native Nick Vincent Murphy, on whose childhood experiences many of the storylines are based.

‘I’m delighted that the second series of Moone Boy will premiere in my home town. To write this show, Chris and I are constantly mining our childhoods for good stories and fun characters, and growing up in Kilkenny gave me plenty of both. So it seems fitting that Kilkenny comedy-lovers will get the first chance to enjoy it,’ Mr Vincent Murphy said.

Cartoon Saloon, the Oscar-nominated animation studio behind The Secret of Kells, are also based in Kilkenny and created the animated sequences for the comedy series that reflect Martin Moone’s sketchbook drawings and imagination.

The world-premiere screening will include the first two episodes of series two of Moone Boy, which won the IFTA award for Best TV Entertainment at this year’s IFTA ceremony.

Moone Boy is produced by Grand Pictures, Baby Cow Productions, Hot Cod Productions and Sprout Pictures for Sky 1.


We’re proud to announce that the critically acclaimed Moone Boy has been re-commissioned for a third series, with its writer and star Chris O’Dowd set to make his directorial debut.

The series will be filmed later this year, picking up the story of the imaginative Martin Moone (David Rawle) as he grows up in rural Ireland. Written by Nick Vincent Murphy and Chris O’Dowd, the latter will also make his directorial debut with season 3. Honoured earlier this year with an IFTA Award, and filmed in Boyle, Ireland, the second series will launch on Sky 1 this autumn.

TOMMY TIERNAN gets own Sky1 sitcom

Tommy Tiernan is to write his own comedy series for Sky1.

Tiernan will follow in the footsteps of The IT Crowd star Chris O’Dowd, developing an original sitcom for the satellite broadcaster based on a successful one-off festive short under the Little Crackers strand.

O’Dowd’s Moone Boy launched to critical acclaim late last Summer, and has already filmed a second series with a third in production. Tiernan’s comedy, as yet untitled, is intended to be filmed later this year on location in Ireland.

A Baby Cow production, the Little Crackers episode to inspire the series, Howler, was broadcast on 12th December and both written by and starred Tiernan. He played an increasingly stressed father who is encouraged by a therapist to “unleash his inner canine” and “bark” his tensions out following a divorce.

Speaking to Irish radio station TodayFM, Tiernan revealed that the six-part sitcom would follow a man who moves in with his elderly mother after being released from a psychiatric hospital.

The series is likely to be broadcast early next year.

PARTRIMILGRIMAGE :The Alan Partridge Specials

PARTRIMILGRIMAGE : The Alan Partridge Specials
Available on DVD from 11 March 2013

“Alan, we salute you” – Time Out

“spot on return for Alan and his leisurewear” – Observer

“Ross Kemp nailed it when he said I was equidistant between chit chat and analysis” – Alan Partridge

A collection of two Alan Partridge specials. In ‘Welcome to the Places of My Life’, former chat show star Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) takes viewers on a ‘documentary’ tour of the county that has shaped the life of this national icon – Norfolk. Showcasing such highlights as the Riverside Leisure Centre, the local dry ski slope, and the inspiring spaces of Norwich City Hall, Alan shares his thoughts on the sights and sounds that have come to mould the broadcasting legend.

In ‘Open Books with Martin Bryce’, Alan talks to stand-in host Chris Beale (Robert Popper) about his latest autobiography ‘I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan’. In a candid and wide-ranging interview, the North Norfolk Digial DJ discusses all aspects of his life, including his once all-consuming Toblerone addiction.


Up The Women 650
The BBC has confirmed details for Jessica Hynes’s new sitcom project, a three-part series for BBC Four.

A period comedy, Up The Women is set in 1910 as the suffrage movement begins to gain popular momentum nationwide.

The comedy series will be recorded at BBC Television Centre in front of a live audience early next month – making it one of the last programmes to do so, until the site’s extensive redevelopment is completed over the next two years.

The series is described as follows: “It’s 1910 and we’re in Banbury church hall at the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle. Margaret has been to London and discovered the Women’s Suffrage movement so she decides they need to set up their own movement and The Banbury Intricate Craft Circle becomes the hilariously ineffectual Banbury Intricate Craft Circle politely request women’s Suffrage.”

Hynes has written Up The Women and will star in the show alongside Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It), Judy Parfitt (The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff) and Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On).

Christine Gernon, whose previous credits range from One Foot In The Grave to Gavin & Stacey and 2012 hit Hebburn, has been lined up to direct the production, which is a joint project between the BBC and Baby Cow Productions. Gernon has previously recorded both dress rehearsal and evening performance for each episode of 1997’s Get Well Soon.

Due for broadcast later this year, Up The Women will be BBC Four’s first ever studio sitcom. The channel has previously launched single camera comedies including Lead Balloon, Twenty Twelve, The Thick Of It, Freezing and Bob Servant Independent. It has also recently commissioned Quick Cuts for later this year, a semi-improvised single camera sitcom set in a hairdressing salon.

The series will also feature Adrian Scarborough (Psychoville, Gavin & Stacey), Georgia Groome (Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging), Ryan Sampson (After You’ve Gone) and Sandi Toksvig (The News Quiz).

The BBC’s Mark Freeland says: “If I wore a big hat with fruit on it and a hooped skirt, I would laugh them both off. Jessica Hynes has created a wonderful comic world, where over their embroidery, life is about to change for the women of Banbury.”

Baby Cow’s Henry Normal adds: “It’s such an honour to be involved in the filming of one of the last shows to filmed at BBC TV Centre and to be working with Jess Hynes, Mark Freeland, Chris Gernon and the rest of the team.”

Rebecca Front can currently be seen starring in Sky Living’s The Spa, broadcasting on Thursday nights, whilst Hynes – who rose to stardom via Spaced and played clueless PR executive Siobhan Sharpe in Twenty Twelve last year – recently wrote and starred in Patricia, a 15-minute pilot for Sky Atlantic’s Common Ground strand.


LONDON – 7th February 2013 – Principal photography has begun on the highly anticipated The Alan Partridge Movie (working title).

Making his big screen debut, legendary disc jockey Alan is joined by Partridge graduates Felicity Montagu, Tim Key, Simon Greenall, Phil Cornwell, Nigel Lindsay and Darren Boyd.  New cast includes Colm Meaney (Get Him to the Greek, The Damned United, Con Air), Anna Maxwell Martin (Becoming Jane, Enduring Love), Monica Dolan (Sightseers), Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers, Wild Bill) and Dustin Demri-Burns (‘Life’s Too Short’).

The Baby Cow Films production for BBC Films, BFI Film Fund and STUDIOCANAL reunites Alan with seasoned Partridge writers and authors of the bestselling biography I, Partridge, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons as well as Steve Coogan, Peter Baynham and Armando Iannucci, all of whom are Executive Producers on the film.

Additional Executive Producers are Christine Langan and Joe Oppenheimer for BBC Films and Danny Perkins and Jenny Borgars for STUDIOCANAL.  Chris Collins will oversee for the BFI Film Fund.

The film is directed by Declan Lowney (‘Alan Partridge on Open Books with Martin Bryce’, ‘Moone Boy’ and ‘Father Ted’) and produced by Kevin Loader (In The Loop, The History Boys) and Henry Normal (24 Hour Party People, A Cock and Bull Story).

The film is scheduled for release in the UK by STUDIOCANAL in Summer 2013.  STUDIOCANAL will also handle international sales for the film.


We’re in Hebburn, again: BBC Two commissions second series

BBC Two has commissioned a second series of the hit Geordie sitcom Hebburn, which will return in 2013 with a six part series and a Christmas special.

Starring Jim Moir and Gina McKee, series one won critical acclaim and opened to an audience of more than two million. It is created by Geordie stand-up Jason Cook and produced by Channel X and Baby Cow Productions.

Hebburn is Jason’s home town and this warm, true-to-life comedy based on his own experiences of growing up in the North East tells the story of the Pearson family and their son, Jack (Chris Ramsey) who has married a middle class Jewish girl, Sarah (Kimberley Nixon). With series one ending with a second ‘wedding’ ceremony that was abruptly ended when father Joe (Jim Moir) had a stroke, the family faces an uncertain future. Sarah’s pregnant, Jack’s in a new job as Editor of the Hebburn Advertiser and his sister Vicki (Lisa McGrillis) has rekindled her relationship with pub singer Gervaise (Neil Grainger).

Jason says: “I’m obviously proper over the moon about the second series. Series one was so well received that we always had hopes of getting re-commissioned but now it’s real! And having a Christmas special really is the icing on the cake; I got quite giddy when I was told we’d got that. There’s loads planned for ‘Hebburn 2.0’ and we can’t give anything away although I can say that we are finally going to find out what Winny did.”

Kristian Smith, Executive Editor, Comedy Commissioning says: “I’m thrilled that audiences have taken Hebburn to their hearts as much as we have, and delighted we’re making a second series. Jason’s creation is a brilliant piece of comedy and we’re so lucky to have such a phenomenal cast bringing it all to life.”

The supporting cast of Pat Dunn, Jason Cook and Victoria Elliott will return as Granny Dot, Ramsey and Denise respectively.

The first series, which was directed by Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey) and produced by Gill Isles (Ideal), was shot on location in Hebburn and in studios at MediaCityUK in Salford, and the same is expected for series two.

Graham Duff (Ideal) will again co-write the series with Jason. Henry Normal and Lindsay Hughes will Executive Produce for Baby Cow and Matt Tiller and Alan Marke will Executive Produce for Channel X. Kristian Smith is the Executive Producer for the BBC.


Common Ground: Rupert

New Sky Atlantic comedy series Common Ground is the latest addition to Comedy Mondays, bringing a star-studded cast to the channel including Charles Dance, Johnny Vegas, Katy Brand, Jessica Hynes, Tom Davis, Alex Lowe, Tom Palmer and Rufus Jones.

Set in South London, the series features 10 different scenarios all linked by characters and locations.

The shorts will air in double bills as follows:

Monday February 4:
Floyd (Charles Dance, Amelia Bullmore, Hugo Speer)
Patricia (Jessica Hynes, Lisa Hammond)

Monday February 11:
Eleanor (Katy Brand, Gordon Kennedy)
Sunshine Simon (Tom Davis, Eleanor Lawrence, Sean Pertwee, Brendan Coyle)

Monday February 18:
Rupert (Johnny Vegas, Tony Pitts, Celia Pacquola, Paul Kaye)
Fergus and Crispin (Tom Palmer, Tom Stourton)

Monday February 25:
Colin (Simon Day, Harry Forster)
William and Sinclair (Rufus Jones, Dan Skinner)

Monday March 4:
Nell, Ted and Marlon (Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Eri Jacksonm Danny Morgan)
Barry (Alex Lowe, Fraser Steele)

Elaine Pyke, Director of Sky Atlantic HD, comments: “Comedy Mondays is proving to be a big hit with Sky Atlantic customers, and I’m delighted to add Common Ground to our incredible comedy slate. Common Ground is a key show that will further build the channel’s unique voice”. 

Common Ground is a Baby Cow Production.


Steve Coogan brings a cautionary tale to Sky Atlantic HD this Christmas

As part of Sky’s investment in original content, Sky Atlantic HD will exclusively show the world television premiere of UNCLE WORMSLEY’S CHRISTMAS on Christmas Eve.

Narrated by Steve Coogan, UNCLE WORMSLEY’S CHRISTMAS is an animated children’s cautionary tale with a dark heart. Uncle Wormsley is a grey, decaying old man who dedicates his life to the care of his only friend, a monstrous crab called Crabsley who lives in a dungeon under his house. Across town lives Johnnie Goodington, a rich boy who has everything money could buy except one thing – a giant monstrous crab. One Christmas, Johnnie’s father strikes a deal with the mysterious and shadowy Crab Catchers. Johnnie shall have his Giant crab, but dark forces have been unleashed. Who can tell where this will end?

UNCLE WORMSLEY’S CHRISTMAS is voiced by Julian Barrett, Julia Davis, John Thomson and Ben Baker, alongside Steve Coogan as the narrator. The thirty minute animation from Baby Cow Productions is written by Joel Veitch and Tim Gallagher, and directed by Joel Veitch. The producer is Tim Searle.

The animation forms part of Sky Atlantic’s Comedy Mondays which brings world-class comedy and the very best on and off screen talent, exclusively to Sky customers. It follows in the footsteps of Alan Partridge’s successful return to television with Welcome to the Places of My Life, Kathy Burke’s Walking and Talking and Julia Davis’ Hunderby. Alan Partridge will return to Sky Atlantic HD in 2013 with a second series of Mid Morning Matters.



What a pantomime – a new TV venture for John Bishop Photo: PA PicturesLiverpudlian comic John Bishop is to star in a new TV comedy drama which he co-wrote, set in the world of pantomime.

The funnyman – who made his TV acting debut in BBC1’s The Accused in the summer – will appear alongside Sheridan Smith in the ITV1 film Panto!

The festive programme, to be screened next month, will also feature one-hit wonder Chesney Hawkes.

Bishop wowed the nation earlier this year when he cycled, rowed and ran from Paris to London over five consecutive days.

He created the new production – which looks behind the scenes in pantoland – with Coronation Street and Gimme Gimme Gimme writer Jonathan Harvey.

Bishop is to play a cheeky local DJ, Lewis Loud, from Morecambe FM making his panto debut in the Grand Theatre Lancaster’s seasonal show Dick Whittington. During
rehearsals he falls for TV celebrity Tamsin (played by Smith), who is better known for her screen soap role as “Mad Mindy The Axe Murderer”.

Co-star Sheridan Smith Credit: PA Pictures

Bishop said: “In 2006 I left my job. That Christmas I appeared in a local panto. It was there I fell in love with that world and came up with the idea of a comedy drama, which has now evolved into Panto!

“To be making this six years later for ITV1 is really very exciting. The script I’ve written with Jonathan Harvey is something I’m immensely proud of, and the cast are all brilliant – and we’ve even got Chesney Hawkes. What more could anyone wish for this Christmas?”

ITV comedy commissioner Myfanwy Moore said: “We’re delighted that the very talented John Bishop and company are going to entertain our audience at Christmas, with such a glittery and heart-warming treat of a show.”

Panto! is co-written by John Bishop and Jonathan Harvey (Coronation Street, Beautiful Thing, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Corrie!, Canary and Mohair for the stage), directed by Christine Gernon (Hebburn, Gavin & Stacey, Grandma’s House) and produced by John Rushton (Hunderby, The Royle Family, Early Doors, Sunshine). Executive Producers are John Bishop, Lisa Thomas, Lindsay Hughes and Henry Normal.

A Lola Entertainment/Baby Cow production for ITV1.





Pathé and BBC Films announced today that the Baby Cow/Magnolia Mae production PHILOMENA will start principal photography on 29 October 2012.

The feature film will be directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen) and star Dame Judi Dench (Iris, Notes on a Scandal, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as PHILOMENA and Steve Coogan (24 Hour Party People, A Cock & Bull Story, What Maisie Knew) as MARTIN.

The film is produced by Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward and Executive Produced by Baby Cow’s Henry Normal, the BBC Films’ Christine Langan and Pathe’s Francois Ivernel and Cameron McCracken.  It is based on a screenplay written by Coogan and Jeff Pope (Pierrepoint) in turn based on the book entitled The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith.

“Philomena” is the true story of one mother’s search for her lost son.

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a ‘fallen woman’.  When her baby was only a toddler he was whisked away by the nuns to America for adoption. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him in vain.

Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary journalist as cynical as Philomena was trusting. Together they set off for America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also the evolution of a relationship between Philomena and Martin that is both surprising, profoundly moving and wildly funny.

The film is a bitter-sweet comedy, a compelling narrative of human love and loss, and a heart-breaking story that ultimately celebrates life.

The 8 week shoot will take place in London, Ireland and Washington DC.

The film was developed with the support of the BBC and is being financed by the BBC, the BFI and Pathe.  Pathe will distribute the film in the UK and France and will handle sales throughout the rest of the world.

Pathé has had a major presence within the UK film industry for over 15 years, operating as a fully integrated studio.  It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales and distribution.

Films produced/distributed by Pathé UK range from THE QUEEN to SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.  Pathé UK’s most recent releases were Phyllida Lloyd’s THE IRON LADY starring Meryl Streep and Pedro Almodovar’s THE SKIN I LIVE IN.

Pathé International handles the international marketing and sales of Pathé’s own productions and actively acquires third party films for worldwide representation.  As one of Europe’s leading sales agents, Pathé International has a significant presence at all major film markets and festivals.