Stephen Tompkinson joins Simon Mayo to talk about the brand new series of DCI Banks starting tonight on ITV at 9pm.

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Contemporary detective drama DCI Banks starring Stephen Tompkinson (Trollied, Truckers, Wild At Heart), Andrea Lowe (Love Life, Monroe) and Caroline Catz (Doc Martin) is returning to ITV, set in the stunning county of Yorkshire.

The six‐part drama features new cast members Samuel Anderson (Trollied, Doctor Who) who plays Vince, the latest member of Banks’ team, Shaun Dingwall (Legends, 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 also sees 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 Banks’ 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 a criminal 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.

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.