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Festive Fun for BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer adds some festive sparkle with its launch on the all-new Apple TV, update to mobile apps and exclusive programming.



Christmas has come early for BBC iPlayer fans, with the launch on new Apple TV from today, just in time for the BBC’s bumper line-up of Christmas programming.

And, following the launch of BBC Store in November, people who use BBC iPlayer’s native mobile and tablet apps and sign-in will now be able to stream their BBC Store purchases directly from the app, as well as receive programme recommendations personalised to their tastes and preferences.

This festive season also brings a range of exclusive programmes to iPlayer only, from some of our viewers’ favourite BBC shows to give them something extra to get excited about:

Luther: The Journey So Far
This BBC iPlayer exclusive is a fast-paced, high-octane journey through Luther series 1-3. Whether you’re a super fan, occasional viewer or completely new to Luther, it’s a thrilling rollercoaster that will set you up perfectly for the new two-part special coming soon to BBC One. Luther: The Journey So Far is available exclusively on BBC iPlayer now.

Star Wars at the BBC
Peter Serafinowicz digs into the BBC’s archive to find the biggest Star Wars actors and characters from the Seventies appearing on shows like Blue Peter, Pebble Mill and Ask Aspel. The footage, most of which hasn’t been seen since its original broadcast, gives a fascinating and hilarious insight into how the UK reacted to the original films. And we finally get to find out whether Mark Hamill appeared in Coronation Street. Star Wars at the BBC will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 16 December at midday.

EastEnders: Back To Ours, Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright
Previous episodes of the Back To Ours series have clocked up over 3.8 million views on BBC iPlayer, and the ever-popular exclusive, Back To Ours, is back for a New Year’s Day special. Join Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright as they relive their greatest EastEnders moments as Mick and Linda. Back To Ours gives EastEnders fans the chance to see their favourite cast members talking about their most infamous moments. Watch Danny and Kellie upstairs in The Queen Vic and hear personal funny stories, their unique insights into production and just the odd bit of cockney rhyming slang. EastEnders: Back To Ours, Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 1 January 2016 at 7.30pm.

The Voice UK: Meet The Coaches
Get to know our superstar coaches Paloma Faith, Boy George, Ricky Wilson and, and get an exclusive first look at the brand new series in The Voice UK: Meet The Coaches. Snuggle up with the fab four on The Voice UK sofa, and get to know them as they get to know each other and reveal their innermost secrets, fears, fashion faux pas, favourite songs, food items and of course, their love for their teams and each other. The Voice UK: Meet The Coaches will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 1 January 2016 at 6am.

Matt Berry Does… Happy New You
Enter 2016 with renewed vigour, as Matt Berry invites you to celebrate your post-Christmas over-indulgence in this New Year episode of his comic documentary series Matt Berry Does… exclusively for BBC iPlayer. Matt Berry Does… Happy New You will be available exclusively on BBC iPlayer from 1 January 2016 at 9pm.

Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer, says: “Christmas is a popular time for viewers to come to BBC iPlayer, as they unwrap new devices and browse and discover the BBC’s fantastic Christmas programmes. With the launch of iPlayer on new Apple TV, I’m delighted we’ve been able to give people another way of accessing the full breadth and range of BBC programmes. And, the updates to our mobile and tablet apps mean we can now deliver more personalised recommendations of BBC programmes to viewers, as well as the ability to stream BBC Store purchases directly from the iPlayer app.”

These updates add to the features launched on BBC iPlayer earlier this year, making it a more personalised for viewers. These include:

  • My Programmes – where you can find the shows you’ve favourited, programmes you’ve started watching but not finished, as well as programmes purchased on BBC Store
  • Live Restart on Connected TVs – allowing you to skip back to the start of a programme if you’ve missed the beginning
  • Cross-device pause and resume – letting you start watching programmes on one device and continue from where you’ve left off on another
  • Recommendations of BBC programmes personalised to you – helping you find more of what you like on the BBC

BBC iPlayer is available on over 10,000 devices in the UK for free, from computers and smartphones to tablets and Connected TVs. 2014 was a record-breaking year for BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio, which saw 3.5bn TV and radio programme requests across all devices and the catch-up window extend from seven to 30 days.



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




ITV Logo

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




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




Dark Netflix

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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