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BBC-1: Kay Mellor’s Love, Lies & Records with Ashley Jenson and Mark Stanley commences filming

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Kay Mellor’s new drama, Love Lies and Records begins filming next month for broadcast later this year on BBC One.

Made by Mellor’s own production company Rollem Productions’ the six parter’s cast includes Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, Ugly Betty, Extras), Adrian Bower (Teachers, The Last Kingdom), Kenny Doughty (Vera, Stella), Rebecca Front (Doctor Thorne, War And Peace, Humans) and Mark Stanley (Dark River, Dickensian) – the series follows Registrar Kate Dickenson (Jensen) as she tries to juggle her personal life with the daily dramas of births, marriages and deaths and the impact they have on her.

After a dream promotion to the top job of Superintendent, Kate finds herself increasingly torn by the endless responsibilities of being a modern working mother. Her daughter’s hiding suspicious messages on her mobile, her son hates her because she’s bought him the wrong trainers and now her stepson’s turned up unannounced to stay.

As Kate tries to hold her work, life and relationship together, things go from complicated to impossible when a disgruntled colleague threatens to expose a secret from her past. The series explores how women in particular have to juggle their lives. Kate has reached the top of her profession but with everything she’s worked for in jeopardy, can she sustain herself when it’s not just her job that’s on the line?

Ashley Jensen says: “I have admired and respected Kay’s work for a long time and I am thrilled to be playing Kate. Kay’s writing is always honest and from the heart. I think that Kay has always managed to tap into issues that are relevant to ordinary peoples everyday lives and with this new show she deals with the major dramatic milestones that affect pretty much all of us.”

Rebecca Front says: “Births, marriages, deaths. We’ve all had experience of at least a couple of those. And Kay Mellor’s trademark mix of humanity, warmth, drama and intrigue runs right through these scripts. So I’m really excited to be part of it.”

Kay Mellor says: “When I was waiting to register the death of my mother at Leeds Town Hall, I was next to a couple who were waiting to register the birth of their much wanted baby girl. Later on that week, I attended the wedding of some friends of ours. I realised that the register office was a microcosm of life itself – tears laughter and celebrations. As I sat watching the registrars marry my friends, I started to wonder about their lives and how they dealt with the roller coaster of emotions that they go through on a daily basis. Not long after, a series started to develop in my head. I am delighted to be working with the BBC again on my brand new drama – their support and encouragement is invaluable. I’m also excited about attracting such a talented cast who will give birth to the series.”

Elizabeth Kilgarriff, BBC Executive Producer says: “Kay’s scripts are, of course, brilliant – entertaining, funny and moving all at the same time. Together with this exciting cast line-up the show promises to take BBC One viewers on an emotional rollercoaster.”

Love, Lies And Records is a 6 x 60 drama series and has been commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Lucy Richer, Former Acting Controller of Drama. The series will be directed by Dominic Leclerc (The A Word, The Syndicate) and Cilla Ware (Silk, Death In Paradise) and produced by Yvonne Francas (Death in Paradise, The Syndicate).

The executive producers are Kay Mellor for Rollem Productions and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for the BBC. It is a Rollem production for BBC One and is co-produced with Acorn Media Enterprises in North America. The series will be distributed by all3media International, Rollem Productions international partner. Acorn Media Enterprises also holds distribution rights in UK, Eire and ANZ.

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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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