Having starred in Wolf Hall, actress Claire Foy is more than used to time travelling for her roles.

The actress’ latest incarnation is likely to be her most challenging role yet – taking on the part of a youthful Queen Elizabeth during the early decades of her marriage to Prince Philip.

Dr Who actor Matt Smith plays the Duke of Edinburgh in Peter Morgan’s much anticipated new series The Crown, which documents the couple’s relationship from November 1947 to the Suez Crisis of 1956.

New understanding of the British royals: Matt Smith and Claire Foy star in an all new Netflix series The Crown portraying the Queen’s early years ruling on the throne

Writer Morgan, of course, earned plaudits for The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, and this time teams up with The Audience’s Stephen Daldry for what has been described as a ‘meticulously researched’ and sumptuous series.

Vogue magazine has printed a series of exclusive pictures with the cast, snapped by photographer du jour Jason Bell, who also photographed Prince George’s christening.

The ten-part drama doesn’t shy away from the grim realities of life, however: including showing a scene in which the Queen’s late father, King George VI, coughs up blood into his toilet bowl.

He died from lung cancer in 1952, propelling his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, onto the throne in her twenties.

Written by Peter Morgan who received great credentials for his masterpiece The Queen, the series will take a look at the grittier side of being a royal. Pictured: Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret

The series also shows one of his daughter’s (it is not yet clear which) seeing his body embalmed, which might cause some upset among viewers.

Scenes were filmed both at Elstree Studios and at some of the magnificent stately homes in the country: Hatfield House, Lancaster House, Loseley Park, Wrotham Park and Englefield.

The beautiful period costumes are the handiwork of Michele Clapton, who also designs the costumes for Game of Thrones.

The Queen is sensitively portrayed by Wolf Hall star Claire Foy, who is said to have captured the transition from carefree young princess, to mother and, then Queen, beautifully.

In an interview to accompany the Vogue photoshoot, Eileen Atkins – who plays her grandmother, Queen Mary – recalls how before she went to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where she met the Queen herself, she had a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ approach to the monarchy.

But she recalls: ’Something hit me as I walked through that door. I was suddenly aware that being royal is no privilege. They are constantly on, they cannot ever slip off their shoes in public. Celebrities choose fame. Royals have it thrust on them.’

Matt Smith has previously said of his role in the drama that he ‘grew to love’ the Royal Family a lot more during filming.

He said: ‘I think the writing firstly is respectful but it’s not overly reverential. It’s honest about the human traits of these people. We as actors interpret that as honestly and as bravely as we can.

‘We grew to love them quite a lot, in a much greater way than we ever did.

‘We had a wonderful time together, and at the heart of this is this really rich love story about two soul mates [the Queen and Prince Philip] who are put under great press about her responsibility to become Queen so early and so unexpectedly.

‘The Prince Philip we know now and the Prince Philip we perhaps knew then are two very different men.’

Senior royal sources have told the Mail that Buckingham Palace is very much aware of the project and while they have not actively participated in the making of it, senior aides have been kept abreast of the production.

The Crown will air on Netflix this autumn.

See the full shoot in the August issue of Vogue, on sale Thursday 7th July.

Caroline (Aherne) was a total one off . I was privileged to work with one of the most naturally gifted writers and performers of her generation and I loved every moment of it . She was passionate, kind, inspiring and could make you dissolve into tears of laughter with the simplest of lines. She had extraordinary comedy instincts and a unique connection to the British television watching nation and our culture. She was both fantastically ordinary ( a working class Mancunian and first generation Irish family ) and yet extraordinary at the same time. I am desperately sad that her brilliant career was really so brief – just 10 dazzling years – but what a legacy in the creation of Mrs Merton and the game changing sitcom The Royle Family which still plays timelessly today .

She lived with cancer all her life and sensed that she would not have a long life . She enjoyed her meteoric success for a short while moment but ultimately the pressures of famed and her openness to all who came to celebrate her led to unhappiness in her relationships and to darker times. But she never complained about her choices or felt that life had dealt her a bad hand…she remained a wonderful ,courageous and inspiring lady to the end . A real candle in the wind.

Morven Christie (The A Word) and Vicky McClure (This is England) front The Replacement, a new psychological thriller for BBC One, written and directed by Joe Ahearne (The Secret of Crickley Hall, Doctor Who, This Life), produced by Left Bank Pictures.

The series will also star Richard Rankin, Dougray Scott, Neve McIntosh, Navin Chowdhry and Siobhan Redmond.

When Ellen (Christie), a successful architect in her mid-thirties, becomes pregnant, she finds maternity cover in Paula (McClure): brilliant, enthusiastic and raring to go. Ellen wants to champion her, but something’s not right. Ellen begins to fear for her safety when she suspects her replacement has a disturbing agenda. Can her suspicions be explained away as female rivalry and her own insecurity of opting out of work at the top of her game… or do they speak to something deeper?

This chilling mini-series examines the darker side of working women, motherhood and the issues that arise from making ‘the right choice’.

Morven Christie says: “Joe’s scripts are full of tension and it’s a genuine thrill to be given the opportunity not only to play this deliciously rich character, but to do so in my home-town, with this extraordinary cast. I feel so honoured to be part of this wonderful team, bringing these complex and compelling script to life.”

Vicky MClure adds: “Joe Ahearne has written an incredibly complex and thrilling script. I’m really excited to play a role that is miles apart from previous characters. Looking forward to working with Morven and spending time in Glasgow.”

The 3×60’ series is produced by Nicole Cauverien and executive produced by Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie for Left Bank Pictures, and Matthew Read for BBC One.

Starz renewed the global smash hit “Outlander” for another two seasons. Partnering with Sony Pictures Television, this is the first multi-book pickup for the Scottish period drama.

“Book Three” will be based on the third of the eight books in the Outlander series, entitled Voyager, followed by “Book Four” based on the fourth book in the series,Drums of Autumn.

“Outlander” received three 2016 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Fans recently named “Outlander” the “Most Bingeworthy Show of 2016” at the Critics’ Choice Awards, as well as Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show and Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress for Caitriona Balfe at the 2016 People’s Choice Awards. The series also received a Costume Designers Guild Awards (CDGA) nomination this year.

Check out the Variety article about the recommission here 

Left Bank Pictures were honoured to work with the great Victoria Wood on Loving Miss Hatto in 2012. Her brilliant script brought life, warmth and humour to a true story, and she brought those same qualities into our lives. Victoria was passionate about this story and crafted a beautiful and emotional screenplay for the film. As an executive producer she was always in touch with the production at every stage. She was a joy to share a project with and we were privileged to work with her. She will be sorely missed.

The Crown

  • The Crown, the highly anticipated, new original series will premiere on Netflix, the world’s leading Internet TV network, to a global audience on Friday, November 4, 2016. The 10-episode series will be available in 4K.
  • Check out the date announcement here: https://youtu.be/-sKVIVTSCFU. Prepare to be welcomed into the coveted world of power and privilege and behind locked doors in Westminster and Buckingham Palace….the leaders of an empire await.

The Crown reunites acclaimed writer Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) with director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and producer Andy Harries (The Queen). Based on the award-winning play, The Audience, The Crown tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II’s early reign, revealing the personal intrigues, romances, and political rivalries behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th Century.

The Crown stars Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Matt Smith as Prince Phillip, John Lithgow as Sir Winston Churchill, Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother, Jared Harris as King George VI, Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret and Dame Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary, among others.

Series Description: A Netflix original series, The Crown focuses on Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and a young woman takes the throne….a new era is dawning. Peter Morgan’s masterfully researched scripts reveal the Queen’s private journey behind the public facade with daring frankness. Prepare to be welcomed into the coveted world of power and privilege and behind locked doors in Westminster and Buckingham Palace….the leaders of an empire await.

For more information in the coming months on #TheCrown follow @TheCrownNetflix on Twitter and on Facebook at www.fb.com/TheCrownNetflix


Left Bank Pictures founder and Managing Director Marigo Kehoe was honoured with the 2015 Women in Film & Television Barclays Business Award.

Presented by Sir Kenneth Branagh, the award recognises Marigo’s outstanding business achievement by a woman in film, TV or digital media.

“I have been lucky to work with some of the most amazingly talent writers, actors, directors and producers,” Marigo said upon receipt of the award. “And it is those people, as well as the incredible team at Left Bank, who have inspired and supported me throughout my career.”

Hosted by broadcaster and presenter Sandi Toksvig and supported by Sky, the prestigious event saw film and TV’s finest gather at London’s Park Lane Hilton Hotel to celebrate the year’s most inspiring women.

Women in Film & TV is the leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK, and part of an international network of over 10,000 women worldwide. Members of the organisation come from a broad range of professions spanning the entire creative media industry, including film, TV, games, animation and digital media.


Contemporary detective drama DCI Banks starring Stephen Tompkinson (Trollied, Truckers, Wild At Heart), Andrea Lowe (Love Life, Monroe) and Caroline Catz (Doc Martin) has gone into production in the stunning county of Yorkshire, ITV confirmed today.

The six-part drama features new cast members Samuel Anderson (Trollied, Doctor Who) who will play Vince, the latest member of Banks’ team, Shaun Dingwall (Leg-ends, Silent Witness) as Chief Superintendent Colin Anderson, Shaun Dooley (Broadchurch, Ordinary Lies) as hardened career criminal Steve Richards and Maimie McCoy (Musketeers) as Richards’ wife, Tamsin. The series will also see the return of popular cast members Jack Deam (New Tricks, Casualty) as DC Ken Blackstone and Keith Barron (Holby City, Doctors) as Banks’ father, Arthur Banks.

Produced by award-winning indie Left Bank Pictures, series five is set to be the grittiest season yet with the Yorkshire detective facing his toughest investigation to date.  The series is comprised of 6 x 60’ original episodes inspired by the books from acclaimed novelist Peter Robinson.  The drama features self-contained stories told over two episodes, but also, in an explosive serial crime story that weaves throughout the whole series, DCI Banks will be forced to question all that he holds dear, as he pits his detective skills against criminals who will stop at nothing to escape the law.

When Banks confronts a powerful adversary who has been dubbed by his superiors as too big to bring down, his dogged pursuit of justice sets in motion a chain of events that rips at the very fabric of his life, both professional and personal. Helen encounters unexpected challenges when she tries for promotion and Annie pursues her own results – driven, gut instinct style of policing which threatens to ruin her relationship with Banks.

The first story finds Banks drawn into the dark world of self-harm when a school teacher and his pupil are found dead. In the second story, Annie discovers a disturbing secret as the team investigate a kidnap within Leeds’ Chinese community and in the final two episodes, Banks’ team question how far he will go in pursuit of justice when he enters a dangerous cat-and-mouse game to pin down a man who is seemingly outside the reach of the law.

The series will be produced by Anne-Louise Russell (Casualty as producer, DCI Banks, Crossing Lines as script executive). Radford Neville (Wuthering Heights, Loving Miss Hatto, The Borrowers) who produced series four of the drama returns as executive producer alongside Left Bank Pictures Chief Executive, Andy Harries.  Peter Robinson continues his involvement in the creative process, ensuring the stories are true to his characters and the spirit of DCI Banks.

Series 5 will be directed by Craig Pickles (DCI Banks, Suspects), Robert Quinn (Home Fires, Jekyll And Hyde) and Mark Brozel (Dickensian, Holy Cross).

The series has been commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama, Steve November and Head of Drama Series, Jane Hudson.

“DCI Banks has become a firm favourite with the ITV drama audience and this series will be the grittiest yet,” said Jane.  “We’ll see the team embark on an investigation that will truly change things forever.”

BBC Worldwide will distribute DCI Banks internationally.