Joanna Vanderham Joanna Vanderham (Denise) will get to wear more period dresses in The Paradise

Seeking sitcoms

  • Following the commissions of Hebburn and Citizen Khan at the BBC's first Salford Sitcom Showcase last year, the event will return this month to MediaCityUK. Six comedy pilots will be staged in front of a live studio audience between 21 and 23 November. The showcase will be produced by Helen Meller for BBC Comedy and BBC North.
  • Comedian John Bishop will host two 30-minute stand-up sets for BBC One, looking back at the highs and lows of 2012. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, John Bishop's Big Year will be produced by Lola Entertainment.
  • Brand-new, six-part sketch show The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek has been commissioned for BBC Two after a pilot recorded earlier this year. Featuring comedy trio Graeme Rooney, Paul Charlton and Kevin O'Loughlin, with support from their co-writer John Hoggarth, it will be recorded at the BBC's Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow from the end of November for broadcast next year, and is produced by Shed Media Scotland with Yalli Productions.
  • BBC One has commissioned another eight-part run of its department-store drama The Paradise. Currently airing to an average audience of 5.9m, the in-house period drama has been adapted into a northeast England setting by screenwriter Bill Gallagher from the novel Au Bonheur des Dames by French author Émile Zola.


  • Global India, a brand-new BBC Hindi programme, will launch on ETV - India's leading regional network across the country's Hindi-speaking states - from Friday. Rupa Jha will present the weekly 30-minute magazine showcasing BBC journalism primetime on five of ETV's channels, covering hard news to stories on culture and technology.
  • Former James Bond actor Roger Moore will host the BBC One quiz Have I Got News For You for broadcast on November 23. He will appear alongside regular panelists Ian Hislop and Paul Merton and guest panellists Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Johnson.
  • The BBC is to broadcast a series of programmes next month celebrating 60 years of the British singles chart. Pop Charts Britannia: 60 Years of the Top 10 will trace the history of the chart and feature contributions from past Radio 1 DJs and pop legends. The Joy of the Single will feature Jack White, Norman Cook, Neil Sedaka and others talking about the vinyl 45 rpm record. Both documentaries will be broadcast on BBC Four on 16 and 23 November.
Roger Moore as James Bond in Live and Let Die How many James Bond jokes will Roger Moore have to live through? (pictured in Live and Let Die, 1973)

Two wheels good

  • Colin Murray will host a new monthly cycling magazine on Radio 5 live from Friday. BeSpoke will explore the sport which the UK has dominated in the last two Olympics and the recent Tour de France. The show will include a 'Chopper Challenge', with professional cyclists being timed on a Chopper bike around the track at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, where the UK team is based.
  • Mary Robinson, former Irish president and UN High Commissioner, leads the line-up of speakers at Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival, which returns to The Sage in Gateshead this weekend. Academics and broadcasters will explore this year's theme of "Them and Us", in events that will be broadcast on the station, including a new drama by poet and dramatist Simon Armitage about Olympic torchbearers. It will be streamed live on the Radio 3 website.
  • Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander have been cast in a BBC radio adaptation of Michael Frayn's book Skios, which will form part of a mini-season celebrating the writer in his 80th year. It will be broadcast in January on Radio 4.


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