fri 21/06/2024

tv

Television 2010: Looking Ahead

Gerard Gilbert Edie Falco plays a pill-popping sister in BBC Two's upcoming Nurse Jackie

After every bubble comes a bust, and if I had shares in the reality television boom that came to define TV in the Noughties, I’d be on the phone to my broker right now. 2010 won’t be the first Big Brother-free year since the last century, because first we have some celebrities debasing themselves in January, and a last bunch of wannabes having their three months of Heat magazine cover stories over the summer, but the world-dominating Endemol juggernaut has had the good grace...

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My Job Directing Cranford

Simon Curtis

When Cranford was first shown in 2007 on a Sunday night and then repeated the following weekend, those first two showings got over 10 million people watching each week. You obviously pay attention to that. And because the first series wasn’t a straight adaptation of a finished book but based on a set of short stories by...

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Interview: Anne-Marie Duff plays Margot Fonteyn

Sheila Johnston

Anne-Marie Duff doesn't really resemble Margot Fonteyn. Blonde, fresh-faced and blue-eyed, she has nothing of the exotic, olive, Latin complexion that Fonteyn inherited from her Brazilian grandfather. And she never learned ballet, even if, with her long, lean frame and elegant swan neck, she looks more like a dancer than the rather more compact Peggy Hookham of Reigate (as Fonteyn started out in life).

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Cast Offs: a comedy drama about disability

theartsdesk Cast Offs: from left, Tom, Gabby, April, Will, Carrie and Dan

Channel 4 put six disabled people on a desert island for three months to see if they can fend for themselves. That’s the startling premise of Cast Offs - a new drama co-written by Alex Bulmer, Tony Roche and Jack Thorne. Does team writing really work? And can you get laughs out of such sensitive material. theartsdesk invited the three writers to interview one another.

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United Kingdom! Radical TV Drama, BFI Southbank

Adam Sweeting Tim Roth as Trevor the skinhead, in David Leland's Made in Britain

Nostalgists often hark back to a “golden age” of TV drama, referring to the likes of ITV’s Brideshead Revisited, or the BBC’s I Claudius or The Forsyte Saga. This week on the South Bank, the BFI launches a season which examines a lost age of a different kind, that of the radical TV dramatists who scorched across British screens from the mid-Sixties, through the Seventies and the Margaret Thatcher era, and finally into the ambiguous world of New Labour.

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Into the Storm: creating Churchill

Jasper Rees

A few years ago he was voted the greatest Briton in a national television poll. Among his many books is A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. He went to Harrow, for goodness’ sake. And he is always played by English actors. Always. You name them: Robert Hardy, Simon Ward, Julian Fellowes, Albert Finney. So where, of all the unlikely places, did they look for an actor to follow in those footsteps for a new BBC/HBO drama depicting Churchill’s leadership in the Second World War?...

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Julia McKenzie's Marple

Adam Sweeting Julia McKenzie: 'If there's a word for even-more-than-daunting, that's what it was'

Miss Marple is frequently described as “a little old lady”, but for all that she casts a giant shadow. Just ask any new actress invited to portray this most beloved of characters. When you play the spinster sleuth, you have massive shoes to fill. That has certainly been Julia McKenzie’s experience.

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Julia McKenzie's Miss Marple

James Rampton

Miss Marple is frequently described as “a little old lady”, but for all that she casts a giant shadow. Just ask any new actress invited to portray this most beloved of characters. When you play the spinster sleuth, you have massive shoes to fill. That has certainly been Julia McKenzie’s experience

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