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Cast announced for original new BBC drama Champion

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Casting has been announced for the original new drama series Champion which is currently in production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and, outside of the UK and Ireland, on Netflix across the world.

Déja J Bowens joins the cast in her exciting TV debut alongside Malcolm Kamulete (Top Boy, Ill Manors), music sensation Ray BLK (also her TV debut), Nadine Marshall (Sherwood, Small Axe), Ray Fearon (His Dark Materials, Beauty and the Beast) and Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Top Boy).

The 8 x 45’ musical drama also stars Kerim Hassan (Once Upon a Time in London), Adeyinka Akinrinade (Everything I Know About Love, Top Boy), Tom Forbes (Wolf Hall, Knightfall), Genesis Lynea (Shadow and Bone, Silent Witness), Karl Collins (Attack The Block, Hollyoaks), Francis Lovehall (Small Axe, Death on the Nile), Corey Weekes (Coronation Street, Doctors) and Rachel Adedeji (Dreaming Whilst Black, Hollyoaks).

Champion is the first TV project for Candice Carty-Williams, author of The Sunday Times bestselling novel Queenie and the new hit novel and Sunday Times Bestselling People Person. The show tells the explosive story of what happens when fame collides with family.

Candice Carty-Williams says: “Champion is a celebration of Black music and of a Black family, however fragmented that family might be, and I can’t wait for the world to see their story. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to BBC One in the U.K. and Netflix globally a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is my dream, as is working with some of the best producers and songwriters making music today to create original tracks for the show.”

Rap sensation Bosco Champion is home from prison, and ready to dominate the music industry once more. But when his dutiful younger sister Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, Bulla, she steps out of her brother’s shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another and tearing apart the whole family in the process.

A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is a celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture. Featuring original music written and produced by some of the leading musicians this country has to offer, singer/ songwriter and BBC Music Sound Of 2017 prize winner Ray BLK serves as Music Executive alongside grime pioneer and BRIT and Mercury Prize nominated Ghetts.

Champion is a co-production between Balloon Entertainment and New Pictures (part of the All3Media Group) in association with All3Media International for BBC One and Netflix. The show is executive produced by Bryan Elsley, Dave Evans and Danielle Scott-Haughton for Balloon Entertainment, Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls and Imogen O’Sullivan for New Pictures, Candice Carty-Williams, and by Jo McClellan for the BBC, with Nawfal Faizullah as Commissioning Exec. The series is a co-production for the BBC and Netflix. It was commissioned for the BBC by Piers Wenger, former director of BBC Drama, with Alice Pearse and Tom Lyons leading for Netflix.

The Producer is Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor and the first block director is John Ogunmuyiwa – Adeyemi Michael and Christiana Ebohon-Green will direct the second and third block. Alongside Candice Carty-Williams, other writers include Ameir Brown, Isis Davis, Emma Dennis-Edwards and Edem Wornoo.

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Channel 4 commissions a second series of Rescue: Extreme Medics

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Channel 4 has commissioned a second series of Rescue: Extreme Medics from Glasgow based Indie Firecrest Films along with single film, The Welsh Village that Won the Lottery (wt).

Rescue: Extreme Medics (4X60) tells the gripping stories of those unfortunate enough to need extreme, life-saving medical care when they’re struck low in Scotland’s wild and inhospitable landscapes. And it follows the extraordinary work of the clinicians, expert call handlers and specialist life savers who respond to these emergencies and make critical decisions in less than perfect conditions.

With multiple access-points across Scotland, this series will show the minute-by-minute decisions that are made as medics and paramedics battle to save lives, revealing the unique challenges they face on a daily basis. Where possible the series will follow from the initial 999 call through to the moment the patient leaves the hospital to return to their life at home.

Rescue: Extreme Medics was commissioned by Will Rowson and Madonna Benjamin from Channel 4 Documentaries. Executive Producers for Firecrest Films are Mick McAvoy and Iain Scollay.

Firecrest Creative Director Iain Scollay said, ‘We’re delighted to be returning with more Rescue: Extreme Medics. It’s one thing if you have a medical emergency when your minutes from an inner city emergency room, but when you set these stories against Scotland’s epic Highland landscape it feels like a genuinely fresh take.’

Will Rowson, Commissioning Editor said: “I’m delighted that Rescue is returning. Firecrest has forged a very strong relationship with the extraordinary Scottish Trauma Network and the result is a blue-light medical show like no other. It’s a distinctive, dramatic offering capturing stories from right across the nation”

The Welsh Village that Won the Lottery (w/t) was commissioned by Deborah Dunnett and Jane Handa from Channel 4 Daytime and Features. It is a co-production between Firecrest Films and Specky Productions, led by Anne-Claire Pilley. The single film is set in Rhymney, South Wales, where more than 400 people shared a multi-million pound lottery win in May. The film follows on from Firecrest and Specky’s single The Scottish Island That Won The Lottery which transmitted on Channel 4 in June 2021.

Deborah Dunnett, Commissioning Editor said, “What I love about these lottery wins is that they take us to places we don’t often see portrayed on UK-wide TV. But the themes are universal – love, money, community and hope.”

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Dom Littlewood gives viewers top security tips in new BBC One series Maximum Security

Dom Littlewood gives viewers top security tips in new BBC

Maximum Security will see presenter Dom Littlewood travel across the UK to explore the secrets of some of Britain’s most secure institutions, businesses and buildings.

Maximum Security coming to BBC One on 29 August, will see presenter Dom Littlewood travel across the UK to explore the secrets of some of Britain’s most secure institutions, businesses and buildings.

Apart from exclusive behind-the-scenes access to top-security locations, Dom and his team of experts will also provide viewers with useful tips on how to make their own homes and other valuables safe with the help of the latest technology. Additionally, the series will hear first-hand testimonies from victims of crime, and give valuable insight into how they have mitigated against it happening again.

Dom will shadow UK Border Force teams in Dover, where he will learn more about their work and how they ensure nothing illegal crosses the UK border. Throughout the series, audiences will discover how drug hauls and smuggling are handled at the Channel, and how the force patrols the ferry traffic.

Elsewhere in the series, Dom finds out what it takes to make Britain’s largest exhibition and stadium venues safe when hosting high-profile concerts and sporting events, he will also be learning how the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, operates its passport control and security checks.

Dom says: “Criminals are cunning, but luckily there is some amazing technology as well as simple tricks on how to make their lives harder. In Maximum Security, viewers can learn from top professionals in the security industry, and visit amazing locations which normally remain hidden.

“I am thrilled to be working on such an informative and educational show that provides audiences with practical tips to keep themselves safe and secure in their own homes.”

Acting Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak, Lindsay Bradbury says: “Maximum Security doesn’t only bring entertainment, it takes viewers behind the scenes to normally inaccessible locations, providing practical tips which they can use in their day-to-day lives to be more secure. The programme reflects Daytime’s commitment to educate and inform its audiences perfectly.”

Juliet Rice, Creative Director Factual Entertainment, BBC Studios Bristol and Cardiff says: “It has been both eye-opening and reassuring to gain such privileged access to some of the UK’s most secure businesses and institutions, and see how they are keeping us all safe.”

Maximum Security (10 x 45) is commissioned by Lindsay Bradbury, Acting Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak, Eve Winstanley is the BBC Daytime Commissioning Editor, the Series Editor is Maddi Knibbs for BBC Studios, Factual Entertainment Cardiff.

Watch Maximum Security on BBC One at 10am from 29th August. The full series will be available on iPlayer from 9 September.

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Curious Films to explore impact of Operation Yewtree in new documentary for Channel 4

Curious Films to explore impact of Operation Yewtree in new

This year marks ten years since the launch of Operation Yewtree, a police investigation that put some of Britain’s biggest entertainers in the dock for historic sex crimes. Now, Channel 4 has commissioned Curious Films (Caroline Flack: Her Life & Death, Reclaiming Amy) to produce a landmark documentary about the operation’s lasting impact on the country’s values, attitudes, and culture.

The Accused: National Treasures On Trial (1×60’) features three figures accused by Operation Yewtree or one of the subsequent investigations it spawned, three men who were accused but either never arrested, charged, or never convicted: Sir Cliff Richard, radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and former Pop Idol judge and DJ Neil Fox.

Led by their personal stories and experiences of being investigated, while in the full glare of the national media, including video diaries recorded with Paul Gambaccini and Neil Fox at the time, the documentary explores the immediate and longer-lasting impact the process had on them, their families, careers, and reputations, as well as examining the wider legacy of Yewtree through their eyes.

The documentary also hears from some of those close to the police investigation, along with journalists who were involved in the national conversation surrounding Yewtree.

Lee McMurray, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment, Channel 4 says: “This film offers a unique and fresh take on events that changed us forever, compelling viewers to ask important questions about a watershed moment in recent British history. The hurt and anger felt by three household names caught in the eye of the storm sparked by Yewtree, is weighed against the need for and value of a police operation that, while not perfect, delivered long overdue justice to victims of heinous crimes.”

Jessie Versluys, executive producer, Curious Films added: “The Accused: National Treasures on Trial explores what it’s like to find yourself at the heart of a police investigation into alleged historic sex crimes. Using first-hand testimonies, it looks at the role of the media during this period, and the argument around whether celebrities should be named in the press before any charge has been made. At the same time it asks searching questions about Yewtree and assesses its role in changing Britain’s attitudes towards sex, morality, consent, gender relations and what we expect from public figures.”

The Accused: National Treasures on Trial is a 1×60’ documentary commissioned for Channel 4 by Lee McMurray, commissioning editor, Factual Entertainment. It is made by Curious Films and produced by Lauren Rowles, directed by Christian Collerton and executive produced by Jessie Versluys, alongside Dov Freedman and Charlie Russell, co-Founders of Curious Films.

The Accused: National Treasures on Trial will air on Wednesday 24th August at 9pm on Channel 4 & All 4.

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