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Ardal O’Hanlon joins the BBC’s Death In Paradise cast

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With the sixth season of Death In Paradise at the half way mark, the BBC have announced that former Father Ted star Ardal O’Hanlon will be heading out to Gualoupe to join the team as their new detective for the rest of this season.

The BBC have kept this close to their chest but Ardal’s character DI Jack Mooney makes his Death in Paradise debut this week as the team visit London for the first time. It can also be revealed that when the Caribbean crime fighters return to Saint Marie, it will be him who joins them in the place of Kris Marshall’s DI Humphrey Goodman.

Ardal joins series regulars Josephine Jobert, Danny John-Jules, Tobi Bakare and Don Warrington for the remaining episodes of series six and it can now also be announced that he will remain the resident Caribbean cop when the ratings smash returns for a seventh series in 2018.

Ardal O’Hanlon says: “I am delighted to be joining Death in Paradise and exploring what’s made Mooney up and leave London for a life in the Caribbean. I’ve already had a taste of filming in Guadeloupe and can’t wait to get back.”

Following four hugely successful years, Marshall leaves the show on a high with season six securing more than nine million viewers when it returned to screens in January – its biggest ever audience.

Kris Marshall says: “Death in Paradise has been an incredible experience, six months every year filming on a tropical island in the sunshine – what’s not to love! Humphrey was socially awkward and clumsy but also brilliant, I’ll miss him but it’s time to hand over to someone new and spend more time with my family. I know Ardal will do a superb job and I just hope Humphrey gets a happy ending!”

The nature of Humphrey’s departure is still being kept under wraps until his final episode airs on Feb 9 2017.

Tim Key, Executive Producer, Red Planet Pictures says: “It has been a joy to work with Kris Marshall over the last four years – he brought so much to the role of DI Humphrey Goodman and we’re going to miss him enormously. However we are thrilled to be welcoming Ardal to Saint Marie. He is comedy royalty and DI Mooney brings a brand new dimension to the show when he arrives on the island. We’re really excited about our plans for this series and beyond.”

Elizabeth Kilgarriff, BBC Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer says: “Death in Paradise is pure escapism for BBC One viewers and I am delighted to confirm it will be returning for another series. Kris has been a brilliant and heroic detective who will be greatly missed, but I am so pleased to welcome Ardal to the team and can’t wait to see him take the reigns as our leading Caribbean crime fighter.”

Death In Paradise has been commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, and Piers Wenger, Controller of Drama Commissioning, and is a Red Planet Pictures production, produced with the support of the region of Guadeloupe. It is created by Robert Thorogood, produced by Sue Howells and executive produced by Tony Jordan and Tim Key for Red Planet Pictures and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC. Fans can watch the current series on BBC One on Thursday nights and series seven will air in 2018.

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ITV, Kate Beckinsale to star in The Widow, a Harry and Jack Williams series

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ITV have announced that Kate Beckinsale will take the leading role in ITV and Amazon Prime Video Drama, The Widow, from acclaimed writers Harry and Jack Williams. The series will be produced in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video.

In The Widow Kate will play Georgia Wells who has her life turned upside-down with a phone-call in the middle of the night. Her husband of over 10 years, Will, has been reported dead after a plane crash in the Congolese jungle.

Three years later, with her old life now a thing of the past, Georgia learns something shocking. Something that will take her to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, looking to uncover the truth about his disappearance.

Still haunted by the past, Georgia is grieving for the man she loved and the life they’ve lost, but she hasn’t given up hope.

The Widow has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, who said: “I’m delighted to announce Kate Beckinsale’s casting in The Widow. She is perfect for the role of Georgia in what is, as always, brilliant, compelling and surprising storytelling from Harry and Jack Williams. We’re very pleased to have secured the series which is an ITV original commission and co-production with Amazon Prime.”

On behalf of Amazon Prime Video, Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide TV Content Acquisition said: “We are thrilled to continue our existing relationship with Kate Beckinsale on the heels of her incredible performances in Amazon Studios’ critically acclaimed films.”

“Harry and Jack Williams have created a powerful story, which will be brought to life by one of the world’s most talented actresses, and we are excited to bring this thrilling series to Prime members around the world,” he added.

Commented Harry and Jack Williams: “Kate Beckinsale is a brilliantly talented actress and we’re thrilled she’s joining us on this journey – we couldn’t imagine anyone more perfect for the role. The Widow is our most ambitious and cinematic piece to date and we can’t wait to bring the dark heart of the Congolese jungle to the screen.”

The Widow will be produced by Eliza Mellor (Liar, The Living and the Dead, Poldark, Death Comes to Pemberley) and will be directed by lead director Sam Donovan (Humans, Liar, Utopia) and Olly Blackburn (Donkey Punch, Glue) who is also directing four episodes of the series. Jack and Harry Williams will executive produce the drama.

The series will go into production in January 2018 in South Africa, Wales and Rotterdam.

The Widow will premiere on ITV before airing as an Amazon Prime Original in the US. The series will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories for members to watch via the Prime Video app for popular smart TVs, Fire TV, Fire Tablets and Android and iOS phones and tablets.

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Channel 9, Married At First Sight 2018 New Series Premieres 29 Jan

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What started as something of a social experiment but is now more or less straight reality (but still calling itself a social experiment), Married At First Sight will premiere it’s new series on Channel 9 on Monday January 29 at 7.30pm.

Once again the team – relationship expert John Aiken, neuropsychotherapist Dr Trisha Stratford, and dating and relationship expert Mel Schilling – aim to put relationships to the test in a unique experiment designed to determine if science can predict true love in couples who will get married at first sight.

The experts will undertake the mammoth task of pairing 20 brave singles to create their perfect match as 10 brides and 10 grooms undergo the most intense experiment yet.

The experts will match all our couples on the basis of extensive psychological and neurological testing and profiling.

Married At First Sight 2018 Davina

Each couple meet for the first time on their wedding day, and from the moment they exchange vows their relationships are thrust under a microscope as they experience the highs and lows of marriage at full speed – alongside other couples riding the same rollercoaster.

Once again, the couples will reside under the same roof as relationships are tested like never before.

They’ll get the chance to compare their experiences at often explosive dinner parties – and put their relationships to the test at the most confronting commitment ceremonies we’ve ever seen.

But while some couples will struggle with all the complexities an intense relationship experiment brings, others will find true joy as their fairytale blossoms from first glance.

10 brides. 10 grooms. 10 weddings. Who will find true lasting love?

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Netflix, German Supernatural drama Dark given Second Season

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Netflix has renewed its first German original production, DARK, for a second season. The acclaimed drama created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese has resonated with audiences in Germany and around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Spain and France among other countries. DARK, a family saga with a supernatural twist, is now one of the most-watched entirely non-English shows on Netflix, a German series that transcends borders to connect with audiences in every country.

Kelly Luegenbiehl, Vice President of International Originals for Netflix, said: “When we first heard about DARK, we realized very early on that we hadn’t seen anything like this show before — in Germany or anywhere else in the world. DARK is a testament that great storytelling transcends geography. We’re excited that our members around the globe are captivated by the mysterious world of Winden, and will now be able to continue to see how the story unfolds.”

Showrunners Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese about the audience reception and the renewal of season two added: “We are overwhelmed by the response to DARK and are thrilled that our story has been a success with a global audience. Viewers have been captivated by the secrets of our protagonists and have taken delight in unravelling the various puzzles that the story presents. To know that we will now embark on our next journey is, for us showrunners, a dream come true. And our fans can be sure that we have plenty of surprises in store for the second season of DARK.”

Producer Quirin Berg concludes: “Jantje Friese, Baran Bo Odar, our wonderful actors and our fantastic team have put an incredible amount of energy into making DARK a unique and gripping series. We thank all of those who have accompanied us on this path. And we thank Netflix for their trust and for the excellent cooperation. We are extremely happy that DARK has by now received such an overwhelming response, both in Germany and around the world, and we are particularly thrilled about the quick decision by Netflix to take it into a second season. We can hardly wait to continue telling the story!”

DARK is now streaming on Netflix, it is set in a German town in present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. In ten, hour-long episodes, the story takes on a supernatural twist that ties back to the same town in 1986.

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