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BBC Unveil Christmas 2017 Highlights

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The BBC have unveiled their Christmas programming for BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four and as always its an excellent collection of favourites and highly anticipated new shows and productions.

Big ticket items include French & Saunders celebrating 30 years together, The League of Gentlemen back in business and Mary Berry being joined by Mel and Sue for a Big Christmas Thank You.

There’s animated adventures and family fun with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Highway Rat and David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great Escape; as well as brand new drama with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, a haunting period adaptation of The Miniaturist and gritty global thriller McMafia, inspired by Misha Glenny’s bestselling book.

Judi Dench uncovers the mysteries about one of her greatest passions – trees; and there are familiar BBC One Christmas favourites galore including specials from Call The Midwife, Doctor Who, Mrs Brown’s Boys, EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing.

From the stage there’s Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella and A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong; and natural history programming brings us frozen action in The Reindeer Family and Me and Snow Bears.

With Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders learning about their favourite tipple in Absolutely Champers, there are an abundance of Christmas specials for all the family to enjoy.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says: “Christmas is all about togetherness, and we’ve lined up a magical mix of programmes that will bring everyone together over the festive season. Reuniting a host of our favourite faces and showcasing an unparalleled level of world-class talent; whether you’re looking for laughter, edge of your seat drama or to quench your thirst for knowledge, there’s entertainment for everyone to share on the BBC this Christmas time.”

The award-winning writer of Call The Midwife, Heidi Thomas, is the creative force behind the three-part drama adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women. Starring Dame Angela Lansbury, Sir Michael Gambon and Emily Watson, the universal coming-of-age story sees the iconic March sisters navigate their way from childhood to adulthood.

Over in Albert Square, things are set to explode in catastrophic style this Christmas. Secrets and lies are exposed and families are torn apart forever as Max Branning finds himself a man on the edge in EastEnders.

christmas 2017 2 call the midwife

Call The Midwife

Peter Capaldi’s epic final journey sees him reunited with companion Bill as they team up with the first ever Doctor to battle the enchanted glass people before he regenerates into the 13th Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas special.

A large snowfall causes havoc for the residents of Poplar in this year’s Call The Midwife, one of our best loved dramas.

Haunting period thriller The Miniaturist, adapted from Jessie Burton’s acclaimed debut novel, tells the story of a house where, beneath the lavish beauty and privilege, lies forbidden passions and dangerous secrets.

BBC One’s epic new drama, McMafia, is a global thriller that charts James Norton’s character Alex Godman drawn into the world of organised crime. When his family’s past returns to threaten them, Alex is forced to confront his values to protect those he loves.

Animated adventure The Highway Rat sees authors Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s magical world come to life starring the voice talents of David Tennant, Rob Brydon, Nina Sosanya, Frances de le Tour and Tom Hollander. There’s more family fun with Grandpa’s Great Escape, adapted from David Walliams’ book and starring Tom Courtneay, Jennifer Saunders and Kit Conner.

Amongst a raft of comedy and entertainment specials, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show returns once more with performances from soul sensation Seal and fellow comedian Bill Bailey.

More fantastic comedy is in store with the return of Mrs Brown’s Boys for two festive episodes as well as Christmas specials of Not Going Out, Tim Vine Travels Through Time and Still Open All Hours.

Six celebrities from previous series take to the floor in the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special after the nation has chosen its champion for 2017 in the Strictly Come Dancing Grand Final, and more winners will be crowned with Sports Personality of the Year and The Apprentice Final.

After last year’s hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong, the Olivier Award-winning Mischief Theatre Company returns with their take on Dickens’ famous festive fable in A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong.

Even Better Than the Real Thing is back with a fun filled Christmas Special hosted by Paddy McGuinness with five more of the best professional Tribute acts in the world in a night to remember.

On BBC One, 300 Years of French & Saunders reunites the comedy double act for the first time in 10 years for a special anniversary episode and the incomparable Victoria Wood’s legacy is remembered in an extended episode of Our Friend Victoria.

Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson reunite to celebrate their twentieth anniversary at the BBC with three brand-new episodes in The League of Gentlemen Anniversary Specials on BBC Two.

There’s plenty more comedy on BBC Two with a retrospective documentary from Alan Partridge, Two Doors Down, and a Christmas special from Upstart Crow, featuring none other than screen royalty Emma Thompson playing Queen Elizabeth I.

Also reuniting this Christmas on BBC Two are Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders as they head to the beautiful Champagne region in France to learn all about how their favourite tipple is made in Joanna & Jennifer: Absolutely Champers.

Clip show meets sketch show with voices from the comedy world in Doodlebug.

Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman and John Humphrys are all set to test celebrities’ grey cells in Pointless Celebrities and Celebrity Mastermind.

There’s plenty of festive food inspiration as Nigella’s Christmas Table heads to the countryside for her cosiest Christmas yet whilst Mary Berry opens her kitchen up to some of TV’s best-loved faces in Mary Berry’s Christmas Party. Mary is also being reunited with Mel & Sue in a Big Christmas Thank You as they sprinkle some festive magic on a well-deserving community in South Wales.

From candy canes and yule logs to Christmas cakes, there are more delicious treats being served up as Gregg Wallace, Cherry Healey and Ruth Goodman explore 24 hour production at a cake factory in Inside the Factory and treats of Christmas past are recreated by four modern confectioners in The Sweet Makers.

In natural history programming; Gordon Buchanan travels to the frozen north, deep inside the Arctic Circle, in The Reindeer Family and Me; and Snow Bears follows polar bear cubs as they learn how to survive in their frozen world. Dame Judi Dench embarks on a magical journey to uncover the mysteries about one of her greatest passions – trees. Meanwhile, World’s Weirdest Winter showcases snowboarding crows, seemingly suicidal penguins and snownados that come from nowhere.

The arts are celebrated this festive season with Darcey Bussell: Looking for Fred Astaire alongside Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Puccini’s La Bohème and Bruno Tonioli celebrating the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever.

christmas 2017 3 mcmafia

McMafia

On BBC Four; the Natural History Unit’s unmatched expertise present the natural world as it is lived in a 90 minute Slow TV special revealing animal behaviour on land, sea and sky in Wild Wanderings: Turtle, Eagle, Cheetah; Star Wars super-fan David Whiteley tells the story of how the most famous galaxy in movie history was created just off the M25; Elvis: Rebirth of The King tracks the king’s five year renaissance in Vegas; and Eric, Ernie & Me features Stephen Tompkinson as Eddie Braben, the man behind Morecambe and Wise’s greatest successes which showcases the pressure and pain he went through to help create the screen work of Britain’s most beloved double act. Their unforgettable double act is also celebrated in BBC Two’s Eric & Ernie’s Home Movies.

For music lovers, Top of the Pops once again returns on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, as does Jools Holland with his annual Hootenanny. Music legend Nile Rodgers and his sensational band CHIC will be lighting up this New Year’s Eve live on BBC One as they bring some of the biggest hits ever to an unmissable music and firework spectacular in London. Over on BBC Two, Gospel Christmas marries classic spiritual songs with contemporary influences and brings in 2018 with the New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna.

Songs of Praise gathers together inspiring stories culminating in The Christmas Big Sing – a symphony of 5000 joyous voices at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Queen’s Christmas Message will as ever be a highlight of Christmas Day. And this year Christmas worship on BBC One will broadcast live from two magnificent settings: Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve from Leeds Cathedral and Christmas Day Service from All Saints Church in Fulham. BBC Two celebrates the festive season with the return of much-loved Christmas Eve tradition, Carols From King’s where the world-famous Choir, directed by Stephen Cleobury, sing carols old and new.

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ITV2, Survival of the Fittest, Laura Whitmore to Host

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ITV2 have announced a new reality entertainment series called Survival of the Fittest that is to be hosted by Laura Whitmore.

The series, which will be made on the South African savannah, will see Laua welcome two teams of young, hot singles to The Lodge, where they will live together under the searing African sun. Laura will also present all of the main events from South Africa before announcing the winners at the end of the series.

Across the series, the two teams will battle it out in daily physical and mental challenges to determine which sex comes out on top.

Award winning comedian, Brennan Reece, will provide the voiceover for the nightly shows which will update viewers with the latest action from The Lodge.

Laura Whitmore Survival of the Fittest

Laura said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be part of the Survival of the Fittest team. The ITV family always manages to come up with exciting and innovative formats and this brand new show is the ultimate Boys versus Girls. Having worked on five series of I’m a Celeb… I didn’t think that it was possible to find a backdrop as exotic as the Jungle – cue the African Savannah. I can’t wait to get out there, bring on the battle of the sexes!”

Brennan said: “I am so excited to be a part of the show. The closest I have ever come to being on Safari was a school trip to Chester Zoo one November, no one wants to see a crocodile shiver.”

Survival of the Fittest will be an ITV Studios and Motion Content Group production for ITV2. It was ordered by Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, Paul Mortimer and will be overseen by Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment, Amanda Stavri. Creative Director of Entertainment Richard Cowles will head up the series for ITV Studios and it will be executive produced by Andy Cadman with Martin Oxley Executive Producer for Motion Content Group.

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Bruce: A Celebration airs BBC One, Next Feb

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Bruce A Celebration

On Wednesday 21 February 2018, the day before what would have been his 90th birthday, BBC Studios is staging a very special event to honour one of this country’s biggest and best-loved entertainers and broadcasters, Sir Bruce Forsyth. The show will be broadcast on BBC One at a later date.

Filmed at the London Palladium – the theatre which helped propel Sir Bruce to stardom – the hour long celebration will have music, dance, entertainment and comedy at its heart. As well as featuring some of Sir Bruce’s favourite songs, the show will also include dance performances and onstage tributes and fond memories of Sir Bruce from guests with whom he shared a special connection. The unparalleled Dave Arch and his Strictly Come Dancing band and vocalists will be onstage to accompany performances.

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content says: “I couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute to our dear friend Bruce than this celebration at the Palladium – a theatre he so loved. Bruce was such a favourite with the BBC One audience who I know will savour this hour of entertainment, music and commemoration of a true showbiz legend.”

Bruce: A Celebration (1×60’) is a BBC Studios production for BBC One. Commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, Content and Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment Commissioning, the executive producer for BBC Studios is Guy Freeman, Editor, Special Events with Ian Wilson as consulting producer. The series producer is Cerrie Frost and the commissioning editor is Jo Wallace.

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Golden Globes 2018 nominations announced, HBO lead the way

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Big Little Lies You Get What You Need

The 75th Annual Golden Globe(R) Awards Nominees have been announced and on the TV front it’s once again Pay TV and Streaming leading the way. HBO top the board with 12 nominations and their show Big Little Lies tops the list at 6 individual nominations including Best Limited Series, Best actress in a limited series and best supporting actress in a limited series. FX also scored big with 4 nominations for Feud: Betty and Joan and 3 for Fargo. Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also scored three nominations. Netflix meanwhile managed two Best TV series nominations, one for Stranger Things and one for The Crown.

The full run down of TV nominations is below.

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a. THE CROWN NETFLIX Left Bank Pictures / Sony Pictures Television
b. GAME OF THRONES HBO HBO Entertainment / Bighead, Littlehead / Television 360 / Startling Television
c. THE HANDMAID’S TALE HULU MGM
d. STRANGER THINGS NETFLIX Netflix
e. THIS IS US NBC 20thCentury Fox Television

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a. CAITRIONA BALFE OUTLANDER
b. CLAIRE FOY THE CROWN
c. MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL THE DEUCE
d. KATHERINE LANGFORD 13 REASONS WHY
e. ELISABETH MOSS THE HANDMAID’S TALE

Caitriona Balfe in Outlander

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
a. JASON BATEMAN OZARK
b. STERLING K. BROWN THIS IS US
c. FREDDIE HIGHMORE THE GOOD DOCTOR
d. BOB ODENKIRK BETTER CALL SAUL
e. LIEV SCHREIBER RAY DONOVAN

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
a. BLACK-ISH ABC ABC Studios
b. THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL AMAZON Amazon Studios
c. MASTER OF NONE NETFLIX Universal Television / Oh Brudder Productions / Alan Yang Productions / Fremulon Productions / 3 Arts Entertainment
d. SMILF SHOWTIME ABC Signature Studios / SupahSmaht, Inc / Quantity Entertainment / Groundswell Productions
e. WILL & GRACE NBC Universal Television

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
a. PAMELA ADLON BETTER THINGS
b. ALISON BRIE GLOW
c. RACHEL BROSNAHAN THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
d. ISSA RAE INSECURE
e. FRANKIE SHAW SMILF

Glow Netflix 2017

Netflix comedy GLOW

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
a. ANTHONY ANDERSON BLACK-ISH
b. AZIZ ANSARI MASTER OF NONE
c. KEVIN BACON I LOVE DICK
d. WILLIAM H. MACY SHAMELESS
e. ERIC MCCORMACK WILL & GRACE

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. BIG LITTLE LIES HBO HBO Entertainment / David E. Kelly Productions / Pacific Standard / Blossom Films
b. FARGO FX MGM Television / FX Productions
c. FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN FX Fox 21 Television Studios
d. THE SINNER USA NETWORK Universal Cable Productions
e. TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL SUNDANCETV SeeSaw Films

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. JESSICA BIEL THE SINNER
b. NICOLE KIDMAN BIG LITTLE LIES
c. JESSICA LANGE FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN
d. SUSAN SARANDON FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN
e. REESE WITHERSPOON BIG LITTLE LIES

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. ROBERT DE NIRO THE WIZARD OF LIES
b. JUDE LAW THE YOUNG POPE
c. KYLE MACLACHLAN TWIN PEAKS
d. EWAN MCGREGOR FARGO
e. GEOFFREY RUSH GENIUS

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. LAURA DERN BIG LITTLE LIES
b. ANN DOWD THE HANDMAID’S TALE
c. CHRISSY METZ THIS IS US
d. MICHELLE PFEIFFER THE WIZARD OF LIES
e. SHAILENE WOODLEY BIG LITTLE LIES

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
a. DAVID HARBOUR STRANGER THINGS
b. ALFRED MOLINA FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN
c. CHRISTIAN SLATER MR. ROBOT
d. ALEXANDER SKARSGARD BIG LITTLE LIES
e. DAVID THEWLIS FARGO

Feud: Bette and Joan – Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis, Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX.

NOMINATIONS BY TELEVISION NETWORK

TELEVISION NETWORK NOMINATIONS
HBO 12
Netflix 9
FX 8
NBC 5
Showtime 5
ABC 3
Amazon 3
Hulu 3
USA Network 3
AMC 1
National Geographic 1
Starz 1
SundanceTV 1

NOMINATIONS BY TELEVISION SERIES OR PROGRAM

TELEVISION SERIES OR PROGRAM NOMINATIONS
Big Little Lies 6
Feud: Bette and Joan 4
Fargo 3
The Handmaid’s Tale 3
This Is Us 3
black-ish 2
The Crown 2
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 2
Master of None 2
The Sinner 2
SMILF 2
Stranger Things 2
Will & Grace 2
The Wizard of Lies 2
13 Reasons Why 1
Better Call Saul 1
Better Things 1
The Deuce 1
Game of Thrones 1
Genius 1
GLOW 1
The Good Doctor 1
I Love Dick 1
Insecure 1
Mr. Robot 1
Outlander 1
Ozark 1
Ray Donovan 1
Shameless 1
Top Of The Lake: China Girl 1
Twin Peaks 1
The Young Pope 1

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