International Television

International Television (15)

UK's Sky History Pulls Reality Show Following Complaints Over Contestant's Possible Racist Tattoos

Written by 21 October, 2020

In another one of those stories that seems perfectly tailored for 2020, the UK broadcaster Sky History has been forced to temporarily pull episodes of its new reality competition series The Chop: Britain's Top Woodworker, following complaints from viewers that some of the tattoos worn by one of the show's contestants include racist and right-wing symbols.

Some viewers noted that contestant Darren Lumsden has an "88" tattooed on his face and that those numbers are used by Nazi groups to symbolize Heil Hitler, based on 'H' being the eighth letter of the alphabet.

Initially the network dismissed the allegations, releasing a statement that Lumsden’s tattoos "denote significant events in his life and have no political or ideological meaning whatsoever." The network also said that it stood by the extensive background checks carried out by the production team, which it said "confirmed Darren has no affiliations or links to racist groups, views or comments." The statement also explained that Lumsden's "88" tattoo referred to 1988, the year his father died.

But late Tuesday, Sky History issued another statement announcing that it was pulling the show in order to further investigate his tattoos. In part because a British newspaper posted an interview with Lumsden's father, who turns out to be very much alive.

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 08:24

Production Of 'The Essex Serpent' Halted After Keira Knightley Exits Project Over 'Child Care Concerns'

Written by 10 October, 2020

Production on the upcoming Apple TV+ project The Essex Serpent has reportedly been shut down, after star Keira Knightley exited the project, citing "child care concerns."

The project was set to begin filming in six weeks.

Based on a novel by Sarah Perry of the same name, The Essex Serpent is set in 1893 and details the story of a widow called Cora (played by Knightley) who moves to Essex after an abusive relationship. The character then becomes engrossed in rumors of a mythical serpent that is said to still roam the Essex area. Knightley was also one of the producers of the project.

Knightley and husband James Righton have two daughters:  5-year-old Edie and one-year-old Delilah. A representative for the actress told the Daily Mail that she "had to unfortunately pull out' of the project for family reasons'." 

The spokesman said that because Covid cases were increasing in the UK – and additional lockdown and restriction rules are potentially being imposed – "there wasn't a comfortable scenario for Keira that could be put in place for an extended period of childcare required for the four-and-a-half-month production."

According to the Daily Mail, her role will be recast.

First Look At 'Dr. Who' Christmas Special Shows Her Still In Prison

Written by 10 October, 2020

The BBC has released the first information about the upcoming Dr. Who Christmas Special, which was able to wrap production before the coronavirus shut down television work earlier this year.

As you may recall, the Doctor was teleported to a remote prison by the Judoon at the end of season 12 with no trial.

The new images show the Doctor still stuck in prison and based on the marks on her prison wall, she's been there a long time.

Here is the official logline that was released by the BBC:

The Doctor is locked away in a high-security alien prison. Isolated, alone, with no hope of escape.

Far away, on Earth, her best friends, Yaz, Ryan and Graham have to pick up their lives without her.

But it’s not easy. Old habits die hard. Especially when they discover a disturbing plan forming.

A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek, without the Doctor?

Netflix US Cuts Matt Lucas Impression Of Boris Johnson From 'Great British Baking Show' (Video)

Thanks to a deal with Channel 4 and the show's producers, Netflix is able to offer its U.S. subscribers new episodes of The Great British Bake Off  only three days after they air in the U.K. And other than name change (it is renamedThe Great British Baking Show in the U.S.), the episodes generally run on Netflix unchanged from their Channel 4 premiere.

But that was not the case this past Friday, which was also the premiere episode of the season. Netflix cut a short sketch done by new host Matt Lucas, in which he lightly mocked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

In the sketch - which opened the show in the U.K. - Lucas' Johnson stood at a lectern featuring the slogan: "Stay Alert, Bake Cake, Save Loaves." He rambled on for a bit in classic Johnson-esque fashion:  "We are now approaching phase 46, which means that from Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening, depending on your height, we are seeing, with regards to baking… If you must bake in a tent, bake in a tent, but please don’t bake in a tent."

The 1:40 minute segment ended with Lucas/Johnson arguing with over the pronunciation of "scone" with Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, before Lucas whipped off his wig and announced: "Welcome to the Great British Bake Off."



Last modified on Monday, 28 September 2020 20:11

'Miss Sherlock' Actress Yuko Takeuchi Found Dead At 40

Written by 28 September, 2020

Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi is dead at age 40.

According to The Japan Times, her body was found by her actor husband Taiki Nakabayashi at their home in Shibuya Ward at about 2:00 am Sunday morning. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has launched an investigation and suspects that Takeuchi committed suicide.

If that is indeed the cause of her death, it will be the latest in a troubling series of suicides committed by well-known Japanese celebrities. Those include actress Sei Ashina earlier this month, actor Haruma Miura in July and wrestling star Hana Kimura in May.

Takeuchi is best known to American audiences for her leading role in the TV series Miss Sherlock, a 2018 HBO Asia production which later ran in the Unites States on HBO. But she was very well-known and respected actress in her home country and won the Japanese Academy Award for best actress in a leading role for three years in a row from 2004 to 2007. She appeared in a number of television dramas and movies, including the 1999-2000 morning drama series Asuka, Hayabusa, 1,778 Stories of Me and My Wife, and Golden Slumbers.

Last modified on Monday, 28 September 2020 11:07

Sophie Okonedo Joins Season Three Of 'Brittania'

Written by 24 September, 2020

Sky TV announced on Thursday morning that BAFTA and Academy Award nominated actress Sophie Okonedo (Ratched, Death on the Nile) is joining the cast of the drama Britannia for its third season, which is currently filming in the U.K.

Britannia is an epic genre-bending tale of clashing civilisations and religions set in a wold of mythic Celtic tribes, psychedelic druids and terrifying Romans, as a young girl tries to build a rebel alliance with a group of misfits. It was created by the multi-award-winning writers Jez Butterworth, his brother Tom Butterworth and James Richardson.

Sophie will star as Hemple, the wife of General Aulus (David Morrissey), who arrives in Britannia to find out why her husband has failed with Lokka’s mission to capture the chosen one, Cait. If he isn’t up to the job, she certainly is. Season three also sees the return of actors David Morrissey, Mackenzie Crook, Annabel Scholey, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, and Zoë Wanamaker.

Sophie Okonedo said in a statement: "I’m so glad to be plunged into the weird and wonderful world of Britannia. I was already a fan of the show and its writers Jez and Tom Butterworth, so I jumped for joy when they offered me the wonderful character of Hemple. Without giving too much away I’ll just say this woman has a huge appetite…"

James Richardson added: "Sophie is one of the UK’s greatest actors and we all feel very privileged to have her play our new and particularly malevolent force for series three. She is an actor with an enormous range and manages to make you laugh whilst being completely terrifying. A perfect fit for Britannia! We feel very fortunate to be able to continue making such an ambitious show about a time when everything changes."

Britannia series three was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content and Cameron Roach, Sky’s Director of Drama at Sky Studios with Gabriel Silver as the executive producer for the series for Sky Studios. Season three is written by Jez and Tom Butterworth and Mackenzie Crook and produced by Rupert Ryle-Hodges. Britannia is created by Jez and Tom Butterworth and Vertigo Films’ James Richardson who all act as Executive Producers together with Neal Street Production's Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Nicolas Brown.

Last modified on Thursday, 24 September 2020 07:17

New Sky Original Comedy 'Bloods' Begins Filming In London

Written by 22 September, 2020

Filming has begun on new Sky original Bloods.

Starring BAFTA nominated Samson Kayo (Famalam, Truthseekers) and Golden Globe nominated Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous, Little Voice), the series follows a pair of seemingly mismatched paramedics and their fellow ambulance station colleagues through the life-saving world of a south London emergency service.

The cast also includes Lucy Punch, Julian Barratt, Adrian Scarborough, Kevin Garry, Sam Campbell and Aasiya Shah.

Made for Sky by Bafta award-winning Roughcut TV, Bloods will air on Sky One and NOW TV in 2021.

'Doc Martin' To End With Season Ten

Written by 07 September, 2020

The drama Doc Martin has set an end date.

ITV has just ordered a tenth and final season, which will begin filming in early 2021. 

In the series, Martin Clunes plays the title character, who treats patients in the sleepy Cornish fishing village of Portwenn, where he spent holidays as a child.

In a statement, Clunes and producer Philippa Braithwaite explained: "We have loved making nine series of Doc Martin. When we launched the series in 2004 we could never have imagined how much our loyal viewers would take to the grumpy Doc like they have. The series has avid fans both in the U.K. and throughout the world and we are thrilled that Doc Martin has topped the ratings every time. However, after sixteen years we now feel that the time has come to say goodbye to Portwenn. We will be making the tenth and final series in 2021 and we are very much looking forward to returning to Cornwall to film it."

"I just want to thank Martin and Philippa and everyone involved in Doc Martin because it’s a brilliant, beautifully made series that has delighted audiences for many years," said ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, in a statement. "I am pleased that we are making series ten and sad this will be the last, but respect their decision to bring it to a close.”

'Line Of Duty' Resumes Filming

01 September, 2020
Filming is once more underway on the new series of Line Of Duty.

As previously announced, the next installment of the hit BBC One police thriller will feature a brand new case for AC-12, this time investigating DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald), the senior investigating officer on an unsolved murder case.

Series regulars Martin Compston, Adrian Dunbar and Vicky McClure will all return, alongside Line Of Duty newcomers Shalom Brune-Franklin, Perry Fitzpatrick, Andi Osho and Prasanna Puwanarajah.

Line of Duty showrunner, Jed Mercurio, said in a statement: "We know Line of Duty fans are desperate for series six and we hope we can get it on air as soon as possible. Thanks so much for your patience in these difficult times."

Martin Compston (DS Steve Arnott), said: "It’s been a long few months and it will be a different way of working from when we stopped, but I’m delighted to be back on the case with the Line Of Duty team!"

Vicky McClure (DI Kate Fleming), said:"Been sitting on these incredible scripts for some time now, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to it and seeing the Line Of Duty family."

Adrian Dunbar (Supt. Ted Hastings), adds: "Even with the imposition of Covid restrictions I can't hide my excitement at getting the team back together. So many people wondering… what happens next?"

Simon Heath, Executive Producer for World Productions, said: "It’s been almost six months since we stopped shooting, but following our implementation of all the industry Covid protocols, we’re delighted to be able to resume filming series six safely."

Together with independent health and safety consultants, in full consultation with industry partners, and in accordance with all current government guidelines on Covid-19, the Line Of Duty production team will adhere to comprehensive protocols to ensure that the new series is produced in a safe and responsible manner.

Line Of Duty is written and created by Jed Mercurio, and made for BBC One by World Productions. The new series will be directed by Daniel Nettheim, Gareth Bryn, and Jennie Darnell, and the producer is Ken Horn. Executive producers are Jed Mercurio, Simon Heath for World Productions, and Tommy Bulfin for BBC One. International distribution of the sixth series of Line Of Duty is handled by ITV Studios.

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 September 2020 08:26

U.K's 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' Contestant Wins Top Prize For First Time In 14 Years

Written by 20 August, 2020

Host Jeremy Clarkson revealed on Thursday that the long-time game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? will crown its first top-prize winner in 14 years in an episode that will air in September.

The unidentified contestant correctly answered all 15 questions and Clarkson described the contestant as "probably the best" in the show's history. They will be the sixth top winner in the show's U.K. history.

In May, retired doctor Andrew Townsley, from Glasgow, nearly became the sixth £1 million winner but walked away with £500,000 after playing it safe rather than answering a final question on motorsport.

The most famous contestant in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? history was Major Charles Ingram, the winner who "won" the grand prize but never received it after he was accused of cheating in an infamous coughing scam.

The new episodes were produced under new COVID-19 guidelines that included following guidelines about social distancing as well as doing the shows without an audience.

Each contestant still has four lifelines - 50:50, Ask The Host and two opportunities to Phone A Friend, rather than Ask The Audience.

Last modified on Friday, 21 August 2020 00:13
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