The Christmas story is a story one knows so well, almost too well because very often it’s so familiar that we have stopped listening. So I thought, tell it in a different way, bringing new life to the story but keeping to the spirit and above all, the integrity of it.
Amos (voiced by Oliver Walsh), is greeted by Angel Gabriel (Dominic Cooper)
Traditional stories are the foundation of all storytelling. I love them because they have lasted through the centuries and love the idea that stories listened to 2000 years ago are as compelling now as they were then.
I think children in the company of adults, particularly a child alone often feels overwhelmed with busy lives and by conversations going on of which they don’t seem to be a part. So that fitted perfectly with my idea to create a shepherd boy who was simply left behind to guard the sheep while everyone else went off to have a good time.
'You can't be a shepherd and afraid of the dark!'
Casualty star Sunetra Sarker has a cameo in Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine’s new comedy Puppy Love on BBC Four… that would be as well as making it to week 10 partnering Brendan Cole in this year’s Strictly. So with all that good fun/ hard work in hand – how does she keep going?
I have been a big fan of Joanna Scanlan for some time. I met her whilst she was doing a guest role in Casualty about five years ago and was quite star struck. I told her what a fan I was of her work with Vicki Pepperdine, especially their series Getting On, and she said she would remember me if there was ever an opportunity to work together. I never thought anything would come of it and it was just Joanna being polite, but then when Puppy Love got the go-ahead, they very kindly offered me the cameo role of the vet Lilli Kusiak. I was thrilled.
Joanna Scanlan and Sunetra Sarker film a scene with Joanna's own dog, Millie, who plays No Name
I haven't worked up north for so long, so it was lovely to film Puppy Love only a few miles from my family and old friends, and it meant that my son…
The BBC’s Christmas schedules have just been announced, so – like any good telly fan – we’ve grabbed our (virtual) red pen and (virtually) circled some of the comedy shows we’re particularly excited about.
'It’ll be, what I call, emotional...' Miranda Hart’s sitcom comes to an end this Christmas
When it comes to comedy, the spirit of Christmases past is at the heart of this year’s festive listings.
Miranda Hart has always worn her love of traditional comedy on her sleeve, with her Morecambe and Wise looks to the camera, and those ‘You have been watching’ credits. On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, Miranda brings her heart-warming, prat-falling, M-People-singing sitcom back to BBC One for two very special, very final episodes.
Back in 2010, the real Miranda told us that making the sitcom is “a dream come true” – we’ll have to wait and see whether her alter-ego gets a happy ever after of her own.
Of course, Sir David Jason has been central to some of comedy’s best-loved festive moments - glass of vin ordinaire, anyone?
After 2013’s one-off…
I live in Yorkshire, so naturally I tend to want to set my stories here. But particularly for Remember Me, the big skies and deserted landscapes seemed very suitable! I love spending time in Scarborough, so once I had the idea that the song Scarborough Fair might play a part in the drama, it was a no-brainer to go to the seaside for filming.
As a viewer, I always get really annoyed if actors' accents are all over the place,…
Because sometimes life’s not about learning to dance in the rain, like nobody’s watching – it’s about entertaining yourself with top telly while you wait for the storm to pass.
Helpfully, you can now view a range of on-demand programmes to suit the amount of time you have to spare. Whatever your excuse for indulging in a spot of TV watching, our top picks will help you to pass the time.
BBC iPlayer, always there when you need it…
One of the things that I liked very much about the first series of Peaky Blinders was the use of atmospheric contemporary music within the palette of the soundtrack. This was something that I was keen to develop and refine as part of my approach to directing series two. I loved the use of Nick Cave's songs and along with show creator Steven Knight and the music producers, we all discussed that the track Red Right Hand was part of the brand and we decided to keep this. We use it playfully throughout the series with several other versions and different contexts changing its meaning and feel.
Listen to Flood’s remix of Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
One of the many things that excited me about directing Jack and Harry Williams' scripts for The Missing was the clever use of two time zones to tell their twisty-turny thriller. I loved the idea of really contrasting the bright, colourful atmosphere of a family holiday in France, with a bleak, wintry present when all our characters are more estranged from each other.
Tony (James Nesbitt) and Emily Hughes (Frances O’Connor) in the town square with Oliver
For 2006, the year…
From nightmare-inducing horror films to so many creepy crawlies you’ll be too scared to leave the sofa – carve out those pumpkins and brace yourself for a screamfest of a Halloween night in…
Are you all set for some spooky telly this Halloween?
If the thought of spiders makes you run away in fear – look away now…
Alice Roberts and scientist Tim Cockerill hang out with the house spiders
One challenge about shooting The Missing’s two time zones was that we were shooting the present first, so the actors and I had to make sure that their performances were haunted by a past which we hadn’t yet shot.
Tony returns to Chalons Du Bois with evidence he hopes will lead him to his missing son.
Researcher, TV Blog
When Lord Sugar first exercised his dreaded index finger in The Apprentice on 16 February 2005, Daniel Bedingfield was heading into the top 20, Grange Hill was still on TV, London was bidding to host the Olympics and Lord Sugar was plain old Sir Alan.
Lord Sugar, flanked by his aides for the first five series, Margaret Mountford and Nick Hewer
Music tastes and news stories may come and go.
But year after year, Britain seems to produce a crop of razor-sharp business minds bursting…