Tuesday, 29 January 2013

David Tennant: project news and updates

A natural: David hosted the event with aplomb
photo courtesy of Rex Features / Daily Mail

Richard II
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced that David Tennant will star in their production of Richard II which will play in Stratford-Upon-Avon from 10th October and transfer to The Barbican in London on 9th December.
Video interview of David Tennant talking about Richard II for the Royal Shakespeare Company:

The front page of the Royal Shakespeare Company website currently has a silent video of David Tennant / Richard II.

Read more here

Spies of Warsaw
The Spies Of Warsaw DVD was released in the UK on Monday (21 Jan).
Spies Of Warsaw will air on BBC America in the US on Wednesdays 3rd and 10th April at 9pm (Eastern). Spies Of Warsaw will be released in the US on Blu-Ray (with bonus UltraViolet copy) and DVD on Tuesday 16th April.
The Spies Of Warsaw DVD in the US has a different cover to the UK version. This is the link to pre-order for its release on 16th April.
More info here

Every Seventh Wave
On Tuesday 15 January, David Tennant and Emilia Fox recorded Every Seventh Wave which is the sequel to Love Virtually.
It will premiere on BBC radio Four on Valentine's Day (Thursday 14th February).
Read more here 

BBC Radio Drama Awards
On Sunday (27 January) David Tennant hosted the BBC Audio Drama Awards ceremony in Central London.
Two of David's projects (Believe It! and Kafka The Musical) won awards at the ceremony.
A report and photos have been posted by an attendee here
Read more here

Virgin Media
David Tennant can currently be seen on television and online in a number of adverts for the Virgin Media Collection.
He appears alongside Sir Richard Branson, Usain Bolt and some look-alikes. There are also some clips online on the Virgin Media website.
Read more here

Doctor Who
BBC Worldwide have launched a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary website with a David Tennant section. Please note it is a commercial-based website.
The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary 10th Doctor 1:6 Scale Collector Figures went on sale at 6pm on Thursday (24 Jan), with the signed version selling out within half an hour. Big Chief have posted some photos of the figure.

The Escape Artist
TVWise reports that Stephen Wight has been cast in The Escape Artist. None of the cast has been officially announced yet by the BBC.
TVWise have more casting news for The Escape Artist - Toby Kebbell (Black Mirror) and Sophie Okonedo (Sinbad) are the two we did not already know about. However the BBC have not officially announced any cast members yet.
David Tennant was seen at the Old Bailey on Wednesday (23 Jan) presumably doing some preparation work for The Escape Artist.
Nigel Lindsay tweeted that he was also at the Old Bailey with David Tennant, so it seems that he will be in The Escape Artist too.
More info here

Project Motormouth 
Alongside Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Paul McGann, David Tennant attended the Project Motor Mouth fan convention in Slough on 19th January.
Janet Fielding has tweeted a photo of herself with the five Doctors who were at Project Motor Mouth.
Read more here

Diary dates
Wed 30 Jan - 2013 Broadcast Awards are announced. Twenty Twelve is short-listed in the Best Comedy Programme category.
Fri 1 Feb - Episode four of Spies Of Warsaw premieres on TVP1 in Poland.

Source of all news and updates: David Tennant on Twitter

Sean Biggerstaff and Patrick Doyle doodle for charity


Several Harry Potter actors contributed pieces of art for the 2013 National Doodle Day, proceeds for which go to benefit the Epilepsy Action charity organisation.

Previews of the doodles from Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood), and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire original score composer Patrick Doyle can be found below. The doodle auction will take place, via eBay, on February 8, 2013.8, 2013.

Sean Biggerstaff

Patrick Doyle

Adrian Rawlins says: “Great cause, and a great idea. Thank you”

Bonnie Wright says: “The awareness and money raised on national Doodle Day for Epilepsy Action is amazing, lets keep it up!!”

Fiona Shaw says: “To doodle is to take a line for a walk and never raise your hand so it doodles you and a little creature emerges - and a lot of chaos, not art but something”

Mark Williams says: “I once sat in the snow in Brixton with a woman having a petit mal and I will never forget her helplessness and mine.”

Patrick Doyle says: “This is my favourite doodle when on the phone”

Sean Biggerstaff says: “Can't imagine why my art only sells when its for charity… Anyway, good luck!!”
Source: Snitchseeker

Peter Mullan’s gonna be a hit

Peter Mullan

Gritty actor Peter Mullan will belt out a string of Proclaimers hits in his latest movie role.
The Scots star shows his musical talent in Sunshine on Leith, which features classic tracks like I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).
And director Dexter Fletcher insists audiences are in for a treat. He revealed: “Peter Mullan sings very well. People will be surprised.
“The man’s a great actor but he’s also a great singer.”
Jane Horrocks also stars in the film — dubbed Scotland’s answer to Mamma Mia — about two soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

Source (including photo): The Sun 

Also reported by Yahoo Movies

Greg McHugh in 'Fresh Meat: The Movie' and 'Stand Up for Scotland'

Fresh Meat: The Movie
Channel 4′s Fresh Meat is following The Inbetweeners to the cinema.
All the original cast including Jack Whitehall, Greg McHugh, Zawe Ashton, Joe Thomas and Kimberley Nixon are expected to sign up for the big screen version.

The Sun reports there are also plans for a Fresh Meat spin-off which would follow the girls as they graduate and move to London.
Source: Showbiz Geek

Greg McHugh Stands up for Scotland
Made for 4 Extra.  
Greg McHugh, star of Gary Tank Commander and Fresh Meat, introduces some of his favourite Scottish comedy with Armando Iannucci, Ronnie Corbett and more.
  • Duration:3 hours
  • First broadcast: Saturday 26 January 2013
  • Listen here

  • Episode Review: Radio Times

    James McAvoy: 'Macbeth' rehearsals, new 'Trance' poster

    Macbeth Rehearsals (pics)

    More at James McAvoy Central

    Let James McAvoy hypnotize you with a new poster for Danny Boyle's 'Trance'

    Star James McAvoy is central to the eye-straining U.K. one-sheet, which boasts the ominous words "Don't Be A Hero" in plain white text across the middle. So what does it all mean? Guess you'll have to wait and see when the film hits U.S. shores sometime later this year.
    "Trance" synopsis:

    'Trance,' directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle ('Slumdog Millionaire,' '127 Hours') and co-written by Oscar®-nominated long term collaborator John Hodge ('Shallow Grave,' 'Trainspotting') is a seductive and enigmatic thriller starring James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson.

    Fine art auctioneer Simon (McAvoy), in league with a gang led by underworld boss Franck (Cassel), plots the audacious theft of a masterpiece by Goya from a major public auction. When Simon double-crosses the gang during the robbery, Franck retaliates violently and knocks him unconscious.

    In the aftermath of the heist, Simon sticks stubbornly – and perhaps shrewdly – to his claim that the violent trauma has left him with no memory of where he stashed the artwork.

    Unable to coerce the painting’s location from Simon, Franck and his associates reluctantly join forces with a charismatic hypnotherapist (Dawson) in a bid to get him to talk. But as they journey deeper into Simon’s jumbled psyche the boundaries between reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur and the stakes rise faster and far more dangerously than any of the players could have anticipated.

    Read more at Hitfix 

    Richard Madden: fashion shoot

    Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97 

     Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97

    City Life–Styled by Grant Woolhead, Scottish actor Richard Madden models a selection of refined spring numbers for online luxury retailer Mr. Porter. Appearing before the lens of Takay, the Game of Thrones actor is decked out in a relaxed wardrobe that mixes sartorial pieces with more laid-back suggestions, where the designs of Valentino, Paul Smith, Gucci and Lanvin define an urban aesthetic that highlights individual sense of style.

     Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97
     Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97
     Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97
     Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97
     Richard Madden Takes to the Streets of Manhattan for Mr. Porter Issue #97

    Source (including photos): The Fashionisto

    Karen Gillan to attend Convention in June

    Starfury Events have announced that actress Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) is to attend their event, Return to the 11th Hour, later this year. The convention takes place from 28 to 30 June at the Hilton Metropole Hotel Birmingham, with Gillan appearing on the final day.

    More guests are to be announced and you can find more details and buy tickets on the website here.

    Last year, Starfury organised the brilliant conventions: The 11th Hour with Matt Smith (review here) and Midnight with David Tennant and Billie Piper.

    Source: Blogtor Who

    Iain De Caestecker: 'In Fear' reviews


    A random selection of 'In Fear' reviews
    from ...
    Bloody Disgusting

    Tony Curran talks about his character on the set of 'Defiance'

    Actor Tony Curran Talks About His Character Datak Tarr On The Set Of Defiance TV Show


    In Toronto, actor Tony Curran took a break from filming the Syfy TV series Defiance to talk about the convergence of video games and Hollywood in this exclusive video interview.
    Read more at Gamer Hub 

    Promo photo - courtesy of Defiance France (@DefianceFrance) - shows Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr) and Tony Curran (Datak Tarr)

    Alan Cumming: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Sundance Film Festival (videos)

    Alan Cumming and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
    Published on Jan 22, 2013
    Acting alumnus Alan Cumming OBE spoke to us about what students can expect when studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

    Source: YouTube

    Sundance Film Festival video
    Kenneth Cole creates Sundance video starring Alan Cumming, Rachel Dratch, and Ed Burns
    While celebrities and movie insiders are attending the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, AWEARNESS, The Kenneth Cole Foundation, is reminding event-goers to thank the festival's volunteers via this short starring Alan Cumming, Rachel Dratch, and Ed Burns. The funny flick, Heroes Don't Wear Capes, debuts today on Volunteer Appreciation Day and will be screened at Sundance theaters or through a QR code that can be accessed via mobile devices.

    The vignette is a follow-up to last year's film, which featured Derek Waters, the leader of a volunteer crew that helps Cumming, Dratch, and Burns solve their individual Sundance dilemmas. "I need something that says 'casual cool,' but still says, 'I'm famous bitches,'" Dratch hilariously delivers of her outfit choice crisis.

    "The Sundance Film Festival is not possible without the hard work and support of the dedicated volunteers," said Kenneth Cole. "Our vignette is intended to be a small tribute that aims to celebrate all they do to make the festival a success."

    Preview the video exclusively on ELLE.com, below.

    Source: Elle 

    Gerard Butler: new trailer for "Olympus Has Fallen"

    He's The Only Hope You've Got

    A new trailer has arrived for Training Day director Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen. Terrorists have infiltrated The White House, the President is a hostage, and there's nobody left to save the leader of the free world.
    Except one man.
    Gerard Butler is the ex-special forces trapped inside the West wing who will pick off terrorists like fruit from a tree.
    Olympus Has Fallen arrives in cinemas five months before Roland Emmerich's similarly themed White House Down. Which terrorist will be most terrifying? Which President will be most presidential? Which special forces guy hates terrorists the most? Well, Gerard Butler and co have set the action bar pretty high judging by the trailer below...

    Source: Sky Movies

    Billy Boyd: webcast with Dominic Monaghan

    Dominic Monaghan & Billy Boyd *Live* On TORn (TUESDAY Webcast)!
    It has been a very long while since both Merry & Pippin were back together causing mischief!

    TheOneRing.net is quite thrilled to host our *EXCLUSIVE* live webcast featuring our very own Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan on a special edition of TORn TUESDAYS (at a special earlier time)! Join host Clifford Quickbeam Broadway as we broadcast live from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, at 1:00pm Pacific Time on Tuesday afternoon, not the usual 5pm! Dom will be talking about the launch of his new series on BBC America: WILD THINGS WITH DOMINIC MONAGHAN and Billy will bring the musical goods as his band BEECAKE have just launched a wonderful new album, Blue Sky Paradise (available on iTunes Store)…. You will see Beecake perform *live* at our huge Oscar Event on February 24th: The One Expected Party!

    The two young hobbits have expanded their careers to great heights, and here is your chance to catch up with them both!

    Source: The One Ring

    Also reported by Basically Billy Boyd and Fanpop

    Photo courtesy of Aces Showbiz via Google

    Scottish actor Atta Yaqub helps launch IF


    Scottish actor Atta Yaqub (star of Ae Fond Kiss) has joined up with Whitelees Primary School pupils to launch the IF campaign.
    The campaign launched in Glasgow on 23rd January 2013. Could this be the year when we finally make it the beginning of the end for hunger.
    Source: Sciaf (on Flickr)

    More info:


    Daniel Kerr: Scotland's youngest showbiz sensation

    Daniel Kerr: I was The Wee Man... now I’m the big man starring with Angelina

    Talented schoolboy Daniel Kerr is fast becoming Scotland’s youngest showbiz sensation. The 12-year-old, from Bearsden, Glasgow, is currently starring as a young Paul Ferris in the ex-hood’s movie biopic The Wee Man.
    Last Friday, nearly four million telly viewers saw him appear alongside Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson in new comedy-drama Great Night Out.
    And the icing on the cake for the youngster is a dream role in Disney’s animated blockbuster Maleficent, which is out next year and stars Angelina Jolie and Peter Capaldi.

    Daniel has had a part in Waterloo Road too but the biggest role of his career is undoubtedly playing former gangster Ferris in the controversial film about his life.
    It’s become a box-office smash in Scotland and has taken more cash per screenings across the UK than Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Disney hit Monsters Inc 3D. Daniel — accompanied by contracts manager Iain and hairdresser Annemarie — met with the 49-year-old convicted gun runner at a Glasgow hotel to discuss the role before filming started.
    He says: “I was really quite thrilled talking to a former Glasgow gangster just drinking a wee bottle of Coke!
    “But I was quite nervous and quite excited too. I kept thinking about what I was going to say. I just wanted to be polite and friendly.”
    Iain, 36, adds: “Daniel knows about Paul, his past and where he came from — the good bits and the bad bits.
    “He’s aware that he’s gone to jail and done a lot of things but to be honest, when Paul met with us he was brilliant. He insisted on speaking to Daniel and he was straight with him and told him he’d done some bad things in his day.
    “Paul warned Daniel that people might speak about them and challenge him about them.
    “My impression of him? I wouldn’t want to cross him.
    “But he’s been brilliant with Daniel and a gentleman to me and my wife.
    “He’s taken time out with Daniel to make sure he’s OK.
    “He’ll still contact us every now and again, and he says to Daniel, ‘listen to your mum and dad’.”
    Iain initially feared the part could make his son a hate figure.
    He says: “We had concerns about how the film would be perceived and how Daniel would be perceived in the film because if you’re a baddie in EastEnders, you’re a baddie in real life.
    “Some folk don’t like you. And I didn’t want anything like that for Daniel.”
    Daniel Kerr and Paul Ferris
    Meeting ... Daniel Kerr with Paul Ferris

    The Wee Man — which also stars Martin Compston and John Hannah — follows Ferris’s life from a youngster in Glasgow’s tough Blackhill area to feared enforcer working with ‘The Godfather’ Arthur Thompson.
    It features graphic scalping, shooting and stabbing scenes. Daniel revealed he is banned from watching the film because of his age and has had to settle for a montage of his scenes.
    He says: “My dad’s explained why I can’t see the movie.
    “I’ve thought about trying to sneak in and watch it somewhere but it’s probably better for me to play it safe!”
    He’s well aware of the controversy surrounding The Wee Man and its subject, and adds: “I know some people aren’t really going to like it and I’ll just need to cope with that.
    “Nobody from my school gives me any attention about what I do so it’s quite good. I don’t really tell anybody.
    “I like to keep my acting life to myself when I’m at school.
    “I don’t like to broadcast what I do and I never really talk to my friends about it either.
    “When I go on set, that’s when I go into acting mode.
    “But when that’s over I just do my homework, get told what to do and look after my wee brother Cameron, who’s seven.”
    The movie sees a young Ferris being bullied by a group of older boys that include the cruel Banks brothers.
    Daniel relates to his character’s ordeal, saying: “I’m one of the smallest boys in my school.
    “And at my old primary school I used to get a lot of hassle about that. I didn’t react with violence though, I just ignored them.”
    In one scene the thugs kick his dog like a football, and Daniel adds: “The emotion of the dog scene I quite liked.
    “I loved the dog too. I was always playing with it off set.
    “I’d get my make-up done and then go and roll about on the grass with it and the make-up girls would shout on me to stop!”
    The most nerve-wracking moment during filming for Daniel was rehearsing confrontational scenes with his character’s tormentors.
    He says: “I was terrified even though I knew it wasn’t real.
    “They were bigger boys and were up in my face. That was scary.”
    Daniel’s already had his first experience of being recognised by fans.
    He says: “I was in B&Q with my mum after Waterloo Road had been on and all these people were looking at me. That was a wee bit strange but I liked it. I’m quite glad about the attention.”
    The acting prodigy, a first year pupil at Glasgow’s Bearsden Academy, joined a local theatre group aged five.
    His supportive parents have guided his career ever since. He now combines school with regular auditions and his studies at the Glasgow-based UK Theatre School, where he’s been going for four years.
    Daniel says: “Ever since I can remember, I was saying to my mum and dad that I wanted to be an actor when I grew up. It’s a really exciting time for me right now. I got into the local drama group and then they said I was good enough to go to a higher level so that’s how I ended up at the theatre school.
    “I didn’t get in the first time I tried but I got a place after trying out the second time.
    “When I first do an audition, I just feel like it’s a breeze.
    “But then when it’s like a really important part, I have to get into the zone and I get quite nervous.”
    His first appearance on screen was in a Scottish Government advert and he followed that up with a part in Waterloo Road last year, playing poverty-stricken youngster Ewan Murray.
    Daniel — who was an extra in Peter Mullan’s gritty film Neds — will also pop up in BBC3 sci-fi series Being Human next month.
    Iain adds: “Daniel might turn 16, get a girlfriend, do something else and walk away from acting.
    “Whatever he does, we’ll support him.
    “Just now, he’s a normal boy going to school, doing things right, doing things wrong and nagging his wee brother. I want him to grow up as a kid and not lose his childhood.”

    Kid could be next Kevin Bridges
    Daniel's scenes in Disney’s fantasy blockbuster Maleficent are expected to open the film.
    The reworking of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty was shot in London last summer and is due out next year.
    Incredibly it stars three of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s kids — Pax, eight, Zahara, seven and four-year-old Vivienne.
    Daniel says: “Originally I went for quite a big part but I didn’t get it.
    “I got a smaller part and that was amazing too.
    “I’m the shepherd’s son at the beginning of the film and my face will probably be the first face that people see.
    “Unfortunately I didn’t meet Angelina Jolie but I saw her and waved.
    “It still seems weird that I’m going to be in the same film as her.”
    Daniel still gets starstruck whenever he’s on set. He adds: “I feel really excited when I meet people I know from TV.
    “The person I really want to meet is David Tennant.
    “He’s the best Scottish actor I can think of, along with Martin Compston, and I’m a big Doctor Who fan.
    “Martin was like a big brother to me on set.”
    The young Scot dreams of becoming a comedian if acting doesn’t work out.
    He says: “I like Kevin Bridges — he’s one of my favourites. My dad didn’t let me watch the DVD but keeps wondering how I know all the lines.”
    Dad Iain adds: “He’s not allowed to watch Mrs Brown’s Boys either.
    “But the last time we went to a family party he was giving it chapter and verse from both of those!”

    Source (including photos): The Scottish Sun

    The Wee Man
    Whilst some of the critic response is not fantastic, Daniel Kerr is getting good press for his acting performance:
    “it's a shame the film doesn't spend more time on Paul's life as a child, since Daniel Kerr delivers a likeable and engaging performance that pretty much deserves its own film”
    Source: View London
    “It starts well, with exceptional work from child actor Daniel Kerr as the young Ferris”
    Source: The List 

    Another positive report for the film is noted from the Guardian
    The local hit
    In England and Wales, not many people have heard of new release The Wee Man, or indeed of the real-life Scottish gangster-turned-author on which it's based, Paul Ferris. Consequently, the picture is playing on just one screen south of the border (London's Piccadilly Apollo). In Scotland, where it's showing in 15 cinemas, it's a different story. Thanks to stonking takings especially in Glasgow, Paisley, Falkirk, Hamilton and Clydebank, the crime tale achieved over £103,000 in Scotland, enough for fifth place in the local market and a Scottish site average of £6,897. While Scotland typically accounts for around 8% of the UK and Ireland box office, in The Wee Man's case the country is so far delivering more than 99%. A further expansion is planned from Friday. Concentrating media spend in Scottish national and local press, on Glasgow underground and outdoors, and on Scottish TV, distributor Carnaby followed the gameplan of earlier Scotland-skewing hits such as NEDS (79% of box-office from the region) and The Angels' Share (72%). The Wee Man stars locally popular Greenock-born actor Martin Compston, who got his acting break as a teenager with Ken Loach's Sweet Sixteen.

    Sunday, 27 January 2013

    Weekly schedule for The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

    Mo 1/28: Kathy Griffin, Michael Weatherly
    Tu 1/29: Simon Helberg
    We 1/30: Dominic Monaghan, Ellie Kemper
    Th 1/31: Rashida Jones, Julie Gonzalo
    Fr 2/1: Joe Theismann, Ariel Tweto
    Su 2/3: Super Bowl Special with Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Julie Chen, Neil Patrick Harris, Nikki Reed, Drew Brees

    Tuesday, 22 January 2013

    David Tennant: project updates and news

    Project Motor Mouth
    Alongside Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Paul McGann, David Tennant attended the Project Motor Mouth fan convention in Slough on 19th January.
    A funny video of David Tennant auctioning a TARDIS at Project Motor Mouth on Saturday.
    Read all about the convention here
    Janet Fielding tweeted that £7,700 was raised in total by the auction on Saturday at Project Motor Mouth.
    Source (including photo above): David Tennant on Twitter

    Every Seventh Wave
    On Tuesday 15th January, David Tennant and Emilia Fox recorded Every Seventh Wave which is the sequel to Love Virtually.
    It will premiere on BBC radio Four on Valentine's Day (Thursday 14th February).
    Read more here
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    BBC Audio Drama Awards
    On Sunday 27th January, David Tennant will host the BBC Audio Drama Awards ceremony in Central London.
    More information here
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    Shakespeare Uncovered
    David Tennant can currently be seen in adverts on PBS in the US for Shakespeare Uncovered. His episode about Hamlet airs on Friday 8th February. A screenshot is here.
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    50th Anniversary Tenth Doctor 1:6 Scale Collector Figure
    Big Chief Studios are issuing a 50th Anniversary Tenth Doctor 1:6 Scale Collector Figure which is limited to only 750 pieces worldwide and the 50th Anniversary Signature Edition is limited to only 250 pieces worldwide. Register for Priority Pre-order Notification at this link before 24th January.
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    Diary Dates
    Mon 21 Jan - Spies Of Warsaw DVD is released in the UK and Europe.
    Sun 27 Jan - David Tennant hosts BBC Audio Drama Awards 2013 ceremony. Two David Tennant radio dramas have been short-listed.
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    BAFTA screening: Broadchurch
    BAFTA are holding a preview screening of Broadchurch on Tuesday 19th February. It will be followed by a Q&A. Writer Chris Chibnall and director of some of the episodes James Strong are confirmed. Some of the cast will attend but it has not been announced which ones yet. (David Tennant is expecting to be filming The Escape Artist at that time).
    All the public tickets for the Broadchurch BAFTA preview screening on 19th February are now sold out, although there are some available for BAFTA members. Also producer Richard Stokes has tweeted that he will also attend that evening.

    The ITV showreel of upcoming programmes has been posted to BlogtorWho, and includes Broadchurch.

    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    Virgin adverts
    Virgin have added the second of David Tennant's 2013 Virgin Media collection videos online. In this one there are three 'David Tennants' fighting plus the real David Tennant talking to the camera.
    Fans are reporting that there are currently large cardboard cut outs of David Tennant in Virgin Media stores.
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    Doctor Who
    BlogtorWho has posted his list of 11 Heart-Melting Doctor Who Moments which includes 5 from David Tennant's era.
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter

    The Escape Artist
    Although not officially announced yet, David Tennant's co-star in The Escape Artist will be Ashley Jensen. Filming is scheduled for February and March for this BBC One production.
    TV Wise reports that Tony Gardner has also been cast in The Escape Artist.
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter 

    David Tennant helps a terminally ill child’s dream come true
    Read all about it here
    Source: David Tennant on Twitter 

    In praise of … Ken Stott

    In praise of … Ken Stott
    In the West End at the moment you can see Stott playing Uncle Vanya as it should be done

    How to play Uncle Vanya? The question is harder than it appears. Chekhov's play is assuredly a masterpiece; his title role, however, is defined more by what he is not than what he is. Middle-aged, his life has been spent keeping up the estate of a distant, ungrateful relative. The story that unfolds is of how this "educated, intelligent" man becomes painfully aware of life's other possibilities – and how they have fallen out of his grasp. A study in frustration, then, and many actors play the role as querulous, unprepossessing. But in the West End at the moment, you can see Ken Stott do it as it should be done: bursting with rage, but also a gallows humour. From DJ Eddie McKenna to Inspector Rebus, Stott's ability as an actor has not been matched with commensurate levels of fame. And yet, whether in Yasmin Reza's Art or as Tony Hancock, he habitually mines deeper into characters than others at his level are willing to go. A grafter, a superb grafter.

    Editorial: The Guardian, Sunday 20 January 2013
    Source: The Guardian

    Peter Mullan: 'Top of the Lake' series premieres in March

    TOP OF THE LAKE premières on March 18 at 9pm
    All New 7-Part Original Series
    Peter Mullan has worked extensively in both film and television as an actor, director and writer. He started directing films at age 19 before moving into acting, making his theatre début in 1988 before moving to film and television.

    His film credits include War Horse, Tyrannosaur, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Neds, Children of Men, The Last Legion, Criminal, Young Adam, Session 9, The Claim, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Miss Julie, My Name is Joe, Trainspotting and Braveheart.

    He recently completed filming in New Zealand for the Jane Campion directed television series Top of the Lake. His other television work includes The Fixer, Boy A, Shoe Box Zoo, Entering Blue Zone, Ruffian Hearts and Rab C Nesbitt.

    Throughout his career Peter has received numerous awards and nominations. In 2011 he won a Sundance World Cinema Special Jury Prize for his role in Tyrannosaur, the role also earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards, 2011 also saw him receive a nomination for Best British Actor at the London Critics Awards. For his part of Mr Mcgill in Neds, he was awarded the World Cinema Special Jury Prize for breakout performance. His brilliant portrayal of an unemployed former alcoholic in My Name is Joe, earned him the award for Best Actor at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, as well as best actor at the Valladolid International Film Festival.

    Peters is also a award winning writer and director, his films include Orphans and The Magdalene Sisters, which won the European Union Media Prize, the ALFS award for Best British Director and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for, amongst others, a Cesar award, the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the BAFTAs, the Best Screenplay BAFTA.

    Source (including photo): Sundance Channel

    Read more about Top of the Lake here 

    Greg McHugh stands up for Scotland

    Greg McHugh Stands Up For Scotland
    Image for Greg McHugh Stands Up for Scotland 
    Greg McHugh is one of the rising stars of British Comedy. He wrote and starred in the award-winning Gary Tank Commander and appears as Howard the Scottish geology student in Fresh Meat. Here, he introduces some of his favourite Scottish funny men and women in a personal selection of features, conversations and sitcoms.
    Greg’s choices include:
    Take an Englishman and a Scotsman - Graeme Garden is joined by Elaine C Smith, Colin Gilbert, David Quantick, Hardeep Singh Kohli to ponder the north/south divide of comedy style and inspiration.
    When the Dog Dies: Ronnie Corbett plays the long-suffering head of a dysfunctional family, trying to live out his golden years in peace, along with his trusted mutt Henry.
    Armando Iannucci: The Radio Scotland Years - The award winning satirist talks about and plays some examples of his early comedy efforts on BBC Radio Scotland.
    Fags, Mags & Bags - the Scottish shopkeeper Ramesh causes havoc by installing a slush puppy machine in his corner shop. This episode stars Greg McHugh as astrologer Keith Futures.
    Laughing In All the Right Places - Janey Godley talks to presenter Jo Caulfield about how her ‘Scottishness’ makes her stand out in the comedy crowd.
    Hiya Pal - presenter Janice Forsyth pays tribute to the late Gerard Kelly, with contributions from Ricky Gervais, David Hayman, and Craig Ferguson.

    Ep 1/1
    Saturday 26 January
    9.00am-12 noon

    Check this link for the opportunity to listen to this programme

    Ewan McGregor: 'Jack the Giant Slayer' trailer, and new espionage thriller 'Our Kind of Traitor'

    Our Kind of Traitor
    Ewan McGregor has joined the cast of espionage thriller Our Kind of Traitor.
    Justin Kurzel will direct the movie based on John Le Carre's 2010 novel of the same name, the Daily Mail reports.
    Our Kind of Traitor follows a British couple who find themselves caught up between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service after becoming mixed up with a mysterious Russian businessman.
    McGregor, who recently appeared in The Impossible and will next be seen in Jack The Giant Slayer, will begin work on the project after completing Julius Avery's Son of a Gun.
    Director Kurzel is best known for helming the 2011 Australian thriller The Snowtown Murders.
    Our Kind of Traitor is yet to be given a release date.
    Read more at Digital Spy

    Also reported by Female First, Cinema Blend, Indie Wire and many others.

    Jack the Giant Slayer trailer   

    Read more at Joe.ie

    Monday, 21 January 2013

    James McAvoy: 'Welcome to the Punch' premiere, and win a VIP trip to see Macbeth

    Win a VIP trip to see James McAvoy in Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios

    Extra Macbeth

    BAFTA winner and Golden Globe and Olivier nominee James McAvoy will star in Shakespeare's Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios. The play opens next month. Guardian Extra members can win two top price tickets to see the play plus an overnight stay at The Cavendish London in the West End. The competition closes on 10 February

    James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Atonement), will star in Macbeth, director Jamie Lloyd's inaugural production in a season of work for Trafalgar Transformed at Trafalgar Studios in London's Whitehall. Lloyd directed the Old Vic's production of The Duchess of Malfi and The Pride at the Royal Court.

    The production will see Shakespeare's darkest tale play out in a dystopian Scotland brutalised by war. Under a toxic fog, Macbeth begins his tormented struggle for power fuelled, by ambition and paranoia.
    One Guardian Extra member can win a pair of top price tickets to see Macbeth. The prize also includes an overnight stay, including breakfast, at The Cavendish London, a luxury hotel located in the heart of the capital's West End. The tickets are valid for performances Tuesday to Friday from 18 February to 28 March 2013.
    Click here to enter this competition.
    Macbeth will be staged at Trafalgar Studios from 9 February until 27 April. To book tickets, call 0844 871 7632 or visit the website booking page here.
    Source (including image): The Guardian 

    Welcome to the Punch 
    The Daily Record reports that Welcome to the Punch (James McAvoy, Peter Mullan) will première at the Glasgow Film Festival next month.
    Read more here

    Gary Hollywood: interview

    Mrs Brown's Boys actor Gary Hollywood talks to Radio Presenter Jonny Mac on 103FM The Eye in Melton Mowbray.

    Published on Jan 10, 2013
    Source: YouTube

    John Hannah cast on Sherlock Holmes drama 'Elementary'

    John Hannah has signed up for a role on Elementary.
    John Hannah
    The Spartacus actor will play a dealer who used to sell drugs to Sherlock (Johnny Lee Miller), it was revealed at the TCA press tour.

    The 50-year-old Scottish actor's recent US television roles have included the part of Batiatus in Starz series Spartacus and Rutger Simon in the final season of Damages.

    He is also knowing for appearing in the series Rebus and played the lead role in Sky1 cop spoof A Touch of Cloth, while his film credits include Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1998's Sliding Doors and the Mummy franchise.

    Elementary continues on Thursday at 10/9c on CBS and returns to Sky Living in the UK in February.

    The show has been granted the coveted post-Super Bowl slot by CBS - a special episode will follow the sporting event on Sunday, February 3, 2013.

    Source (including photo): Digital Spy

    Also reported by TV Guide and many others

    Iain de Caestecker: 'In Fear' new poster for Sundance première

    New poster for UK horror film In Fear, starring The FadesIain de Caestecker

    Iain de Caestecker's In Fear new poster for Sundance premiere 

    British horror In Fear, which stars SHIELD agent Iain de Caestecker, has released a very striking new poster ahead of its première at the Sundance Film Festival (via Bloody Disgusting).
    The film also stars Beautiful Creatures‘ Alice Englert and Downton Abbey‘s Allen Leech and comes from first-time director Jeremy Lovering and Big Talk Productions (who produced Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Paul and Sightseers). De Caestecker and Englert star as a couple who get lost on winding country roads on the way to a music festival and end up in the hands of a mysterious tormentor.
    Iain de Caestecker also starred in cruelly short-lived drama The Fades, which you can buy on DVD for £5.50 on Amazon.co.uk
    Source (including image): SciFi Now

    Tony Curran: 'Defiance' updates, 'In The Dark Half' DVD

    image from Tony Curran's Facebook page

    Science fiction returns to Syfy: Check out the pissed-off aliens of Syfy’s Defiance
    We've got an exclusive trailer for Syfy's new alien Western, Defiance. Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth that's trying to rebuild after a long and disastrous alien war, the show centers around the population of a town called Defiance, formerly Saint Louis. It's like Firefly — but with a crap load of more aliens, and all stuck in one place. Check out this new trailer for the television series, which will sync up with a giant MMO game, so that your actions in the game affect the show.
    Defiance will premiere on April 15th, 2013.
    Source: io9

    New Earth - New Rules. Check out the new trailer below for Defiance, premiering Monday, April 15th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST on Syfy.
    The trailer seems to emphasize the discord among the people, with glimpses of alien faces, guns being pointed and Julie Benz talking about working out their differences. With so many different alien races trying to live together, getting along may prove to be a challenge. But therein lies the drama, right?
    Trailer: YouTube
    Source: Cinema Blend

    NEW YORK – January 7, 2012 - Syfy’s highly-anticipated Defiance will have its series premiere Monday, April 15 @ 9pm with a two-hour episode (culminating in a total of 12 episodes/13 hours). Defiance, an unprecedented approach to storytelling, will unite scripted television and online gaming for the very first time. Both the series and The Game feature an interconnected world and storylines that will launch in early April with the release of The Game and continue seamlessly with the series premiere on the 15th.

    Defiance stars Grant Bowler (Nolan), Julie Benz (Amanda Rosewater), Stephanie Leonidas (Irisa), Tony Curran (Datak Tarr), Jaime Murray (Stahma Tarr), Graham Greene (Rafe McCawley) and Mia Kirshner (Kenya).

    About Defiance

    Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in The Game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of The Game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.
    Source: TV-tastic

    In June 2011, Syfy announced that they would be producing a television series which was being developed by Rockne S. O'Bannon and would be produced by Universal Cable Productions. It was also announced that the TV series would be connected to a video game being produced by Trion Worlds. It was later confirmed that Syfy had ordered thirteen episodes for the show's first season, which would premiere in either late 2012 or the summer of 2013. In July 2012, the network announced that the series and game would debut in April 2013.
    Casting announcements began in January 2012 with Grant Bowler first to be cast. Bowler plays Jeb Nolan, "the law keeper in a bustling frontier boomtown that is one of the new world's few oasis of civility and inclusion." On February 8, TVWise revealed profiles of five of the main characters. It was later reported that Gillian Anderson had been briefly considered by the show's producers to play either Amanda or Stahma, however, that casting did not move forward as they assumed she would not be interested in returning to episodic television. On March 8, 2012 it was announced that Jaime Murray, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas and Tony Curran has been cast in the series. Jaime Murray plays Stahma Tarr "Datak’s beautiful and proper wife", Julie Benz plays Amanda Rosewater, the mayor of Defiance, Stephanie Leonidas plays Irisa, "a beautiful warrior who is part of an alien race called the Irathients" and Tony Curran plays Datak Tarr, "the right hand to Amanda."
    Production on the series began in April 2012 in Toronto.
    As of Season 1, linguist David J. Peterson has developed two full languages for the different alien races, for the Castithans and the Irathients. Basic language sketches also exist for two of the other races, the Indogenes and the Liberata.
    On January 7, 2013, Shaw Media announced it had picked up 12 episodes for the Canadian broadcast rights to air on cable channel Showcase., to debut April 15, 2013.

    The series is set in the near future, where aliens known collectively as Votans have come to Earth seeking a new home after their solar system was destroyed. However, when they reached Earth, they discovered despite a prolonged negotiation with the government on Earth, they were not welcome. Rather than turn away, they began a war with the humans as they are determined to make Earth their new home. During the war, the Votans drop terraformers on the planet and transform the surface of the planet; scorching the earth, opening chasms in the ground and covering the surface of the planet in dust and debris. After decades of war, a ceasefire is declared when both sides realise they must focus on survival on this new almost alien planet. The series largely revolves around the character of Jeb Nolan. Jeb was only ten years old when the Votans arrived and he served in the military during the war. With the war now over, he returns to his hometown of St Louis to find it's is no longer the city he left; it is little more than refugee camp. Deciding his services are needed, Jeb takes up a position as the Chief Lawkeeper in Defiance, so he can protect the town from dangerous clashes between humans, aliens, military scavengers and other dangerous visitors who occasionally enter the town. (IMDB.com)
    Source: Modus Vivendi Wendy

    The World and Show of Defiance
    Defiance is set on Earth in the near future. This future Earth is nothing like the Earth we know today, however. Aliens exist, they've made contact with us, and it didn't go well. After decades of war, there's not much left to fight for. Cities are in ruins, and the few survivors are fighting to re-build civilization. The game and the show are set in the ruins of the San Francisco Bay area.

    The TV show, which is being produced by Universal Cable Productions, follows one group of survivors, telling their individual stories as well as referencing in-game events and charting the overall struggles of what's left of the human race.
    Some big-names have signed up to take part in the show. The show will be directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest), with writing and production from Rockne O’Bannon (Farscape), Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica, Hellcats), and Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica).

    The cast looks promising too:

    Julie Benz (Dexter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Roswell, Taken), plays the role of Amanda Rosewater, the idealistic mayor of a bustling mining boomtown, one of the world’s few oases of civility and inclusion. As the newly appointed mayor, she is determined to maintain peace in the community, an ambitious task in this deadly new world.

    Stephanie Leonidas (Whitechapel, Eternal Law, Dracula) plays Irisa, an exotically beautiful warrior who is part of an alien race called the Irathients. After Nolan (Bowler) killed her criminal father, he adopted the girl and raised her as his clever – and lethal – right-hand.

    Tony Curran (The Invisble Man, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Blade II) will portray the character of Datak Tarr, one of an elite alien race known as the Castithans. Datak grew up in the slums of his home planet, but despite being part of the under-privileged class, he schemed his way onto one of the alien arks, saving himself before his home planet was destroyed.

    Jaime Murray (Warehouse 13, Hustle, Dexter, Spartacus: Gods in the Arena, Ringer) potrays Datak’s beautiful and proper wife, Stahma, a high-ranking Castithan before her home planet ceased to exist. Clever, imaginative and darkly opportunistic, Stahma is perhaps more dangerous than her husband.

    Grant Bowler (True Blood, Lost) will take the role of Nolan, the new law keeper in the boomtown. Nolan is a former Marine. He fought in the alien conflict and after losing his wife and child in the war, became a wanderer in the dangerous new world. Eventually, he met Irisa, a young Irathient who he decides to raise as his own. Irisa becomes his sole companion in the lawless badlands.
    Source: Myth Games

    New TV Spot For 'Defiance'
    One of the most ambitious shows that will soon be on television has to be the Syfy network’s new series ‘Defiance.’ If you were watching their Powerful Mondays block of shows, then you may have caught the newest TV spot for the series, but if you missed it, we have it here for you below!

    Set in a post-apocalyptic future, ‘Defiance’ focuses on humanity’s attempts to co-exist with various alien races on an earth that has been ravaged by war. It’s been described as a futuristic Western in a town that used to be St. Louis. Here’s a more detailed synopsis of the show:

    The series is set in the near future, where aliens known collectively as Votans have come to Earth seeking a new home after their solar system was destroyed. However, when they reached Earth, they discovered despite a prolonged negotiation with the government on Earth, they were not welcome. Rather than turn away, they began a war with the humans as they are determined to make Earth their new home. During the war, the Votans drop terraformers on the planet and transform the surface of the planet; scorching the earth, opening chasms in the ground and covering the surface of the planet in dust and debris. After decades of war, a ceasefire is declared when both sides realize they must focus on survival on this new almost alien planet. The series largely revolves around the character of Jeb Nolan. Jeb was only ten years old when the Votans arrived and he served in the military during the war. With the war now over, he returns to his hometown of St Louis to find it’s is no longer the city he left; it is little more than refugee camp. Deciding his services are needed, Jeb takes up a position as the Chief Lawkeeper in Defiance, so he can protect the town from dangerous clashes between humans, aliens, military scavengers and other dangerous visitors who occasionally enter the town.

    The TV spot below gives a glimpse on how cohabitation is coming along between the humans and aliens in the town of Defiance and it doesn’t look too good. What does look good, however, is the series! With the likes of Grant Bowler (‘True Blood,’ ‘Lost,’ ‘Liz and Dick’), Jaime Murray (‘Warehouse 13,’ ‘Dexter’), Tony Curran (‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Underworld: Evolution’), Julie Benz (‘Dexter) and Mia Kirshner (‘Vampire Diaries,’ ‘Wolf Lake’), this series seems to be one worth watching.
    Source: Science Fiction 

    Promos - @MsJaimeMurray (Stahma Tarr) / @TonyCurran69 (Datak Tarr) !! #Defiance
    Promos - @MsJaimeMurray (Stahma Tarr) / @TonyCurran69 (Datak Tarr) !! #Defiance
    Source: http://twitpic.com/bwyp8a

    Official Defiance website

    In the Dark Half (DVD)
    Marie lives with her mother on the edge of the city and her only friend, Sean, lives next door with his father. Sean and his father, Filthy, get on very well and they often go hunting together for rabbits on the hill behind their houses. Marie does not get on so well with her Mother and begins to find communication difficult. Marie has a secret den on the hill where Filthy and his father hunt and often goes there to escape. One day, Marie is asked to babysit Sean, which she happily takes on. However, while under her care, Sean mysteriously dies and his Filthy is devistated. Marie is sure that the hill has something to do with his death and even begins to feel that she is being haunted. Is it the spirit of Sean or something more sinister?
    Source: Blockbuster

    Brian Cox: interviews

    Interview: Brian Cox on what keeps him coming home

    Brian Cox. Picture: Frank Micelotta/Getty Brian Cox. Picture: Frank Micelotta/Getty
    Brian Cox, son of Dundee, has got brilliant recall of the first time he represented the city on screen.
    “I was 20, a young actor with the Lyceum in Edinburgh, when I got asked to go back up the road to narrate a wee film about the opening of the Tay road bridge,” he says.
    “I was speaking Dundonian, giving everyone the benefit of my expertise in the dialect: zalow the stairs… gupty yer ganny’s for yer tea. That’s ‘below’ and ‘go up to’ for the uninitiated. Only the bloody prompter stuck, causing me to repeat these strange words on live television. Not my finest hour.”
    I say brilliant recall because I was there that day in 1966 – my father was the BBC Scotland producer – and I can’t remember his blooper. It’s possible I was more interested in the yards of cabling – this was my first location shoot, aged nine – although I’d like to think that Cox’s voice held my attention, just as it’s doing today. He tells good stories and, crucially, he’s wearing a cravat.
    Cox would have many fine hours later – King Lear and Titus Andronicus on the stage; the original Hannibal Lecktor leading to a slew of Hollywood bad guys – but if there was a feeling the new bridge might enable Dundee to show a bit more of itself to the world, most particularly its sense of humour, then that didn’t happen. Until now. For here comes Bob Servant Independent, a bunneted chancer with much to say for himself, just like the man playing him.
    “What’s projected as Scottish humour is usually Glasgow humour. There are the greats – Billy Connolly and Rikki Fulton – but Glasgow humour is typified by Rab C Nesbitt: oppression, the lower end of the social scale, battling the ­dreich.” So what’s Dundee humour? “It’s optimistic rather than pessimistic and it’s about light and fantasy. Dundee is one of the sunniest places in Britain. You can be out the house at eight in the morning and not come back till 11 at night, you can go to the Ferry [Broughty Ferry], Baxter Park and the Swanny Ponds, and a lot of the time you’ll just be sitting there in your fantasy. The ­humour is also about survival, being indomitable, and that’s certainly Bob.”
    Servant was first “played” by Dundee author Neil Forsyth, who created the character to answer the begging emails from spammers that you and I fire straight to the bin. The results became a cult book then a radio comedy, voiced by Cox. Now, to bring Servant to the screen, for a six-part series about deluded ­political ambition, the actor has leaned on his late brother.
    “Small world,” he smiles. “A friend of Neil’s had been saying the real Bob was Charlie Cox, the Monifieth newsagent, before I got involved. It might have been a wee shop but Charlie was his own kind of tycoon, diversifying into rowies [rolls] for the factories. Like Bob, who talks of running away, getting a job in a hotel as a handyman and having a torrid affair with the manager’s wife, Charlie had the fantasy thing and with him it was the Wild West. When the VAT man was coming he’d say: ‘The Injuns are circling the wagon train.’ ”
    Cox, now 66, has stopped off in Glasgow for this chat, en route from his home in Brooklyn to Bucharest where he’ll play J Edgar Hoover in a French-American co-production. That’s a typical sojourn for this always-in-demand actor. Recently he was in Mexico, feeling a bit underwhelmed.
    “I said to my agent: ‘This isn’t a very good film, you know. Let’s ask for three times more and see what happens.’ ”
    Cox got it, and the flick subsidised a poorly paid but artistically rewarding stint on the London stage which came next. “I’m an actor; I work,” he asserts. “As my old pal Fulton Mackay used to say: ‘Follow your mercenary calling and draw your wages.’ ”
    Increasingly, the road and the miles are returning Cox to Tayside.
    “I left ­Britain in the mid-1990s when TV was going down the cundy – another good Dundee word – because I wanted a film career. But as I get older I find myself being drawn back to my roots and I’m loving it.”
    His campaign hustings for the rectorship of Dundee University had to be various movie locations in Canada. Via Skype he won, and he’s just been re-elected unopposed for a second term. He’s also absorbed by the independence campaign.
    “I want it for Scotland, not because I’m SNP, rather a democratic socialist. It’s about no longer being seen as second-class citizens and the sense of freedom we can trace all the way back to William Wallace.”
    Dundee is also feeding into his work. He used parts of his family story for a Beeb documentary on addictions and there’s another upcoming called From The Workhouse where he reflects on the sad life of his maternal great-grandfather in Glasgow.
    “After the deaths of his wife and five of his eight children from pneumonia, he was admitted to the poorhouse, as it was called in Scotland, on about 20 separate occasions. He died in Gartcosh Asylum.” The move across to Dundee soon followed, but things were hardly any easier for Cox and his siblings and their childhood sounds positively Dickensian. When his mother gave birth to him, her womb almost came out with the baby, and following a rushed hysterectomy, she nearly died. His father, a greengrocer, died of cancer when he was eight.
    “Everyone was worried about me, being the baby, but it was Charlie who was more traumatised and that’s why he joined the army. My three sisters were all starting their own families; meanwhile, my mum – mad Molly – was undergoing electric shock treatment. I became very self-reliant, maybe too much so, and probably that’s been the theme of my life. Recently I found a message I’d scribbled to my ­sister Irene on a Catholic funeral card: ‘I’m not going to be running any more errands for you – you don’t look after me probably.’ I meant properly.” Eldest sister Betty then took over the job.
    “Betty’s 83 and, in the finest Dundee tradition, indomitable.” She came to a preview of Bob Servant Independent, and although for its star this was the kind of gig that might necessitate another well-bargained visit to Mexico, the show has sunshine and humour aplenty. Her verdict?
    “‘Well now yes no oh aye… good.’ High Scottish praise!”

    • Bob Servant Independent starts on BBC4 on Wednesday at 10pm

    Source (including photo): Scotsman

    Hollywood star Brian Cox sees Glasgow as city of darkness

    The very idea of screen legend Brian Cox's move into television comedy with a new BBC sitcom is without doubt a cause for celebration.
    n Brian Cox stars as Bob Servant in the new BBC Scotland comedy

    But it has caused the nation's collective eyebrows to raise.
    The classical actor has long stunned the theatre world with the likes of his King Lear, taken cinema audiences aback by stealing the limelight from Brad Pitt in Troy or scared us senseless with the menace of his original Hannibal Lecktor, as the name was spelled in Manhunter.
    Yet, now the Hollywood A-lister has committed not only to sitcom – he's the star of Bob Servant Independent, the story of a larger-than life Dundonian eccentric – he's appearing on a relatively low-profile TV platform and the is show filmed in Dundee.
    In terms of career surprise moves, it's right up there with Sir Ian McKellen turning up in the Rovers Return and ordering up a plate of Betty's hotpot.
    "I've been living in New York and I guess making this comedy show is about me realising it's time to come home," Dundee-born Cox explains at the BBC Scotland HQ at Pacific Quay.
    "But it's also about returning to the light."
    The light? Cox, now 66, is speaking literally and figuratively. Brought Ferry, he explains, has great light.
    And he rewinds on summers as a boy waking at 4am to welcome the sunshine. But the figurative light he's moving towards is a direct reference to the darkness of his past, the time spent by his ancestors in Glasgow.
    "My family are Irish – my grandfather came from Derry, and then came to Glasgow," he reveals. "And when I look at my family history the hardest time of their lives was when they all lived in the city. They were miserable, mad, and they all lost children.
    "My great-grandfather on my mother's side died in an asylum in Gartcosh in the most appalling circumstances.
    "And he lost five of his eight children. My grandfather lost his wife, his mother and five siblings, having watched his father being consigned to the poor house, with his younger brother going into a reformatory and the other brother go into care.
    "So in my DNA there are very bad memories."
    Cox 'loves the people of Glasgow'. But he believes Glasgow has demanded a great deal from its inhabitants; economic repression, the religious divide, and the vast gap between rich and poor.
    "My great-grandfather's mother-in-law lived on a stair – literally – in Cowcaddens," he reveals. "Yet, at the same time, Glasgow was a city of great wealth and built on slavery."
    He adds, in soft voice; "Look, I have respect for the city. The Glasgow Art School is the greatest art school in the world. But we (his family) had to visit Glasgow in the fifties and it scared the bejaysus out of me. The city glowers.
    "You only have to look around the city to see the homes of the tobacco merchants who bought and sold people. Did you know families in Ayrshire had black slaves who were made to serve their masters wearing kilts?
    "And did you know that in Glasgow in the 1950s, neighbours were deliberately split up in a form of social engineering to recreate communities?
    "Of course, town planners claimed to have positive reasons for doing this, but can you imagine what this did at a human level?"
    The socialist actor's critical appraisal of Glasgow (he supports independence, but not the SNP) isn't directed against its ordinary people.
    "Look at Billy (Connolly)," he says. "He's amazing. And I love his comedy but his storytelling comes from the darkness of the city he was born in.
    "It's the comedy of oppression. I'd be a completely different creature had I been brought up here."
    He adds, with a wry smile; "That's why my sitcom character Bob Servant (a hamburger seller-turned politician) has to come from Dundee. He's buoyed by the east coast light of optimism.
    "His comedy is upbeat, not like the miserable Glaswegians we see in sitcoms such as Rab C. Nesbitt, which is a very funny show. But it's a different funny."
    Cox wants to live towards the light of laughter. "Absolutely," he says, smiling. "I love comedy, I was a Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin fan as a kid, and as I've got older I've been looking for more light relief.
    "But until now I've never really performed it, even though I've always felt I had a natural comic bent."
    "My favourite show on television is The Big Bang Theory (C4). It's brilliant."
    He adds, grinning: "Having said that, in the past I've tried to bring comedy to my serious roles, even King Lear (a tale of madness and betrayal), because I look for the absurdity in life rather than the drama mask."
    Cox clearly loves comedy, but can he take a joke?
    Here goes. Perhaps he's been a little harsh on Glasgow? It can't all be down to ancestry. Was he once dumped by a Glasgow girl?
    "Not at all," he says with a booming laugh. "I was once dumped unceremoniously by a girl from Pitlochry, but no, not Glasgow. And while I've always loved the Glasgow humour, the city is just not for me."
    He can't resist a final pay-off. "Did you know it was a Dundonian, Will Fyffe who wrote I Belong To Glasgow? You see, only a Dundonian could take Glasgow and all it's darkness and write such an upbeat song about it."
    Source (including photo): Evening Times

    Bob Servant Independent: the don of Dundee
    It started as an email prank: a way of out-scamming the scammers. Then it became a book, and a radio play. So when Neil Forsyth was asked to turn his alter ego Bob Servant into a TV character, he fantasised about casting his hero Brian Cox. Then came a chance meeting …
    Read how Bob Servant Independent began as a prank and resulted in a TV series at The Guardian

    Vale actor, nine, stars in BBC show
    A Vale schoolboy is set to make his TV debut alongside some of Scotland’s top actors.
    Christie Park Primary pupil Andrew McGunnigle, who is just nine years old, bagged an extra role in the BBC’s Scottish comedy Bob Servant Independent.
    The show, which features Only An Excuse mastermind Jonathan Watson, Gary: Tank Commander creator Greg McHugh and Brian Cox from the Bourne trilogy, will be screened on BBC4 next Wednesday at 10pm.
    Proud mum Helen said: “Filming was almost a year ago when Andrew had only been attending theatre school for five months.
    “He has had a few other auditions including two for big movies having reached the last three boys for one of them but not getting the part. It is all good experience for him though.
    “He was recently on stage at the annual panto and pre-show of the UK Theatre School, which he attends, held in the Mitchell Theatre.
    “He had a minor part in the pre-show as Josie from Francie and Josie and took part in the group singing and dancing routines.”
    Bob Servant Independent follows the fate of a cheeseburger tycoon who turns his hand to politics.
    Source: Lennox Herald
    Also reported by Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter
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