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ITV commissions six part darkly comic horror, Passenger, for ITVX

ITV commissions six part darkly comic horror, Passenger, for ITVX

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill, has commissioned Passenger from debut screenwriter Andrew Buchan who is best known for his acting roles on Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman, ABC Murders.

Passenger is a 6 x 60 darkly comic horror produced by the award-winning SISTER (This Is Going To Hurt, Chernobyl, Landscapers) for ITVX, ITV and BritBox International.

In the small Northern village of Chadder Vale, a close-knit community is sent spinning on its axis following a series of strange and unnatural crimes.

After arriving there five years ago, Former Met Police Detective Riya Ajunwa has been searching for that ‘one big crime’, that one challenge that will make her feel alive again.

Then one night local girl, Katie Wells is mysteriously abducted. Her car is found abandoned and there are traces of blood on the seats. But the village barely has time to register Katie’s disappearance before she reappears the next day, safe and sound.

The rest of the villagers ask few questions and life resumes as normal. But for Riya, a relative outsider to the Chadder Vale way of life, none of this sits right. As a series of strange happenings and increasingly horrific crimes start unfolding within the village, the residents start resorting to short-sighted theories and blaming outside influences. Riya fights hard to convince the villagers that all is not as it seems. And before long she is drawn into a universe unlike anything she has ever seen.

Creator, writer and associate producer Andy Buchan commented; “I’m unbelievably thrilled to be working with SISTER, ITV and BritBox International. I feel very lucky and very flattered they’ve gone with these scripts and I’m going to work my backside off to make them the best they can be. I’ve always loved shows where the known collides with the unknown … where you see communities faced with something horrifying and inexplicable, where, as a viewer, you’ve nothing in your kit-bag to explain it. When I started writing the scripts, I wanted to create something epic and unknown but also bed it somewhere close to home. Having grown up in Lancashire it felt like the perfect place for it. We’ll definitely see the residents of Chadder Vale pushed to their limits.”

Commented ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill; “Passenger is a brilliant new drama that will premiere on ITVX and a show different to those on the main channel. Andrew Buchan’s brilliant scripts take us into a tight-knit Northern community where the Detective Sergeant Riya Ajunwa, an outsider to the town, has to investigate the strange happenings that are genuinely monstrous. I’m excited to be making this and working once again with Jane Featherstone and Sister on a drama that can continually surprise an audience in this very original story.”

SISTER Executive Producers Jane Featherstone and Lucy Dyke commented; “Andy has an incredible ear for character; brilliantly blending the comedy and idiosyncrasies of everyday life with such a twisted, horrifying vision of such gleeful inventiveness we were blown away. The fact this is his first screenplay makes it even more remarkable. We’re so excited by these scripts and thrilled to be partnering with Polly, ITV and the teams at ITVX and BritBox International to bring Chadder Vale in all its dark glory, to life.”

The six-part series is created and written by Andrew Buchan marking his first foray into screenwriting. Produced by SISTER for ITVX, ITV and BritBox International Passenger has been developed by Director of Development Alice Tyler and will be executive produced by Jane Featherstone (This Is Going To Hurt, Chernobyl, Landscapers) and Northern SISTER’s Lucy Dyke (The Split, Black Mirror) with Andrew Buchan associate producing.

On behalf of BritBox International Diederick Santer commented; “We at BritBox International are thrilled to be working on this brilliant series with Andy, Sister and ITV. When I first read Andy’s script, I felt a real shiver of suspense and mystery that I can’t wait to share with our audiences all over the world.”

The drama will be filmed later this year in Lancashire. Details of casting and key production personnel will be announced closer to filming commencing.

Passenger will be distributed internationally by All3Media International.

The drama will be an ITVX premiere, exclusive to ITV’s new free streaming service many months ahead of a linear transmission on ITV main channel.

BritBox International, the streaming service offering the best collection of unmissable British entertainment, will be the exclusive home to the series in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

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BBC Three and BBC Northern Ireland ‘Made Up’ to announce new co-commission for series set in Belfast

BBC Three and BBC Northern Ireland ‘Made Up’ to announce

BBC Three and BBC Northern Ireland have co-commissioned a glamorous new series, Made Up In Belfast which follows the lives of the charismatic young team behind a local cosmetics brand.

This 10 part series made by Afro-Mic Productions goes behind the glitz and glamour of the cosmetics industry, to focus on the employees of a Belfast-based company who are chasing their dreams and building their lives – one makeup palette at a time.

The series invites viewers into the lives of these fun-loving and inspiring young people as they work in the high-pressured head office, the lively warehouse and the customer-facing stores.

It follows the cast as their lives entwine both in and out of work and the relationship they have with inspiring boss Brendan, revealing the not-so-luxurious hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes in the beauty industry.

Viewers can connect with the cast as they launch the latest big product, race to meet stressful deadlines and follow their journeys as they hope to find friends and love.

This series is the latest commission from the collaborative partnership between BBC Three, BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen with past series from this scheme including The Fast And The Farmer-ish, which has been recommissioned for a second series and Stitch, Please! presented by Blu Hydrangea.

Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three says: “Made Up In Belfast is the next brilliant series for BBC Three borne from our incredibly fruitful creative partnership with BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen. After tractors and cosplay we’re looking forward to digging into the world of cosmetics and meeting the young team striving for success in the beauty industry.”

Eddie Doyle, Head of Commissioning at BBC Northern Ireland says: “Our partnership with BBC Three and Northern Ireland Screen has already produced some fantastic local content for audiences around the UK.

We are delighted to announce Made Up In Belfast as the latest venture with Afro-Mic Productions and this 10 part series showcases a group of young and vibrant people offering a unique insight into their lives in Northern Ireland.”

Emma-Rosa Dias, Managing Director of Afro-Mic Productions says: “I’m so proud to be bringing such an inspirational, energetic slice of Northern Ireland to BBC Three. Our cast are so full of life and ambition. Northern Ireland has changed a lot since I was in my 20’s – there’s more opportunity, more acceptance and there’s a buzz about the place. I’m excited to showcase this new generation from Northern Ireland as they work hard and play hard to navigate life’s twists and turns.”

Made Up In Belfast was commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three and Eddie Doyle, Head of Commissioning, BBC Northern Ireland. The Commissioning Editors for the BBC are Clare Mottershead, commissioning editor popular factual and factual entertainment and Beejal Patel, commissioning editor documentaries and Mary McKeagney, commissioning executive, BBC Northern Ireland. It is produced by Emma-Rosa Dias for Afro-Mic Productions and made with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

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Line up revealed for BBC’s Platinum Party At The Palace

BBC One Daytime to cross examine the work of legal

The BBC and Buckingham Palace today unveiled a glittering group of performers from the worlds of music and dance set to perform at the Platinum Party At The Palace concert which takes place on Saturday 4 June at Buckingham Palace – and live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Radio 2.

Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra will share the three-stage set up with the likes of Duran Duran, Andrea Bocelli, Mimi Webb, Sam Ryder, Jax Jones, Celeste, Nile Rodgers, Sigala and Diversity – all performing their biggest hits in a star-studded tribute to Her Majesty’s unprecedented anniversary.

Stars from the stage and screen, and the sporting world appearing at the event and on film will include Sir David Attenborough, Emma Raducanu, David Beckham, Stephen Fry, Dame Julie Andrews, The Royal Ballet, Ellie Simmonds, and a specially recorded performance from Sir Elton John. Sam Ryder, the United Kingdom’s Eurovision hero, will also perform live, fresh from his success in Italy.

The evening will pivot around global themes that have been born, or evolved, during the breadth of Her Majesty’s reign due to extraordinary British and Commonwealth contributions including Fashion, Sport, The Environment, 70 Years of Pop Music and Musicals – the latter curated by legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, featuring a special appearance by Lloyd Webber and Lin-Manuel Miranda plus performances featuring casts and special guests from The Phantom Of The Opera, Hamilton, Six, The Lion King and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Queen + Adam Lambert will open the concert with a very special one-off production which will no doubt summon memories of Brian May’s historic appearance on the Palace roof at the Golden Jubilee Concert in 2002.

Closing the two-and-a-half hour show will be legend Diana Ross, with her first UK live performance in 15 years.

Hosts Kirsty Young and Roman Kemp will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party At The Palace, to be broadcast live across the BBC. Twenty-two thousand people will attend the event, including 10,000 tickets allocated in a public ballot and over 7,500 tickets for key workers, members of the Armed Forces, volunteers, and charities.

The unique Platinum Party stage design consists of three stages, linked by walkways, which create a 360-degree experience in front of Buckingham Palace and The Queen Victoria Memorial. Linking the stages together into one overall design are 70 columns representing Her Majesty’s 70-year reign that can be illuminated to provide a full formation of lights and beams. For the first time, two of the three stages sit immediately in front of Buckingham Palace, framing the iconic home of The Queen.

Speaking for Queen + Adam Lambert, Brian May says: “Twenty years after playing The Queen’s glorious Golden Jubilee we’re very happy to be invited again. Then there was a moment when I wondered… after Buckingham Palace roof where can you go? Well … you will see!”

Diana Ross says: “I have had the honour of meeting The Queen many times throughout my life, including when I was with my family. Her Majesty has and continues to be such an incredible inspiration to so many across the world and I was absolutely delighted to receive an invitation to perform on such a momentous and historic occasion.”

Sir Rod Stewart says: “Queen Elizabeth has given incredible service to the United Kingdom over the last 70 years and I’m delighted to be able to join her in celebrating her Platinum Jubilee with the Party At The Palace. She has demonstrated to the world what a special person she is and how lucky we are to have her. This will be a momentous occasion.”

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s Chief Content Officer, comments: “We are thrilled to be bringing the nation together for this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime event, broadcast live across the BBC with an amazing star-studded line up of performers to celebrate The Queen’s momentous 70 years on the throne.”

Further details and additional artists will be confirmed closer to the event – with some surprises left for the evening itself.

BBC Studios Productions are staging the event and producing the live broadcast on behalf of the BBC and Buckingham Palace.

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BBC Three announces new gay dating show hosted by Dannii Minogue

BBC Three announces new gay dating show hosted by Dannii

BBC Three has announced I Kissed a Boy (working title), a brand new dating show produced by Twofour and hosted by singer, TV star and LGBTQ+ ally Dannii Minogue.

This eight-part reality event follows ten single men as they head to Europe to find their Mr Right, and it all starts with a kiss. Before they arrive, the guys will be paired up with their strongest match and as soon as they meet, they kiss. No small-talk, no ‘flanter’, just one rom-com worthy moment that might just take their breath away.

But, in this show where preconceptions will be challenged and dramatic decisions made, everyone is a possible love interest. Over the course of the series we’ll find out whose spark will ignite, whose eyes might wander, and who will end up together in the ultimate summer of love.

Dannii Minogue says: “There are millions of people in the UK looking for love. And I believe love is for everyone. So I am so thrilled for a gay dating show to be entering the sea of other dating shows that have existed on TV for years. I have been a staunch ally of the LGBTQ+ community for as long as I can remember. My close friends know that my dream job title would be ‘Cupid’ – so this gives me that flutter-of-love feeling inside too, just to be a part of it. Let’s hope there is love, sealed with a kiss!”

Two men kiss at the centre of a composite image, which also features one man staring down the camera and another looking joyful while holding a mobile phoneDavid Brindley, Chief Creative Officer, Twofour, says: “We’re thrilled to be bringing this exciting reality event to BBC Three and iPlayer, and to shine a bright light on gay dating. This series will revel in telling stories we don’t always hear of, witness heart-warming new relationships blossom and celebrate inclusivity from start to finish.”

Fiona Campbell, Controller, BBC Three, says: “I Kissed a Boy is a brilliant new show in the dating space that we think has huge potential for BBC Three. We hope our audience will love the heady mix of drama and heart-warming romance that we know the series will bring.”

The series is commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three, Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, Catherine Catton, the commissioning editor is Max Gogarty. The executive producers are Louise Hutchinson, David Brindley and Dan Gray. The Production Executive is Francesca Kybert. Twofour is part of ITV Studios. Global distribution is being handled by ITV Studios.

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