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.

“From time to time, I have to do things against my instinct. But the point is I am paid to serve and the guest must always come first.”

ITV today confirmed commission of an 8 x 60’ drama series, The Halcyon, which tells the story of a bustling and glamorous five star hotel at the centre of London society and a world at war.

The drama, set in 1940, shows London life through the prism of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata – set to a soundtrack of the music of the era.

Produced by award-winning independent production company Left Bank Pictures (Wallander, DCI Banks), The Halcyon reveals how war permeates everyone’s lives from the glamorous guests to its loyal, hard-working staff watched from within by American journalist Joe O’Hara.

Created by writer Charlotte Jones (Trust Me), who also writes the series, The Halcyon has been commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea.

“A hotel is the perfect place to show ambition in telling the story of World War II,” said Steve. “It was an extraordinary time in our country’s history, and London was a transforming city. The Halcyon takes us right to the heart of this as the hotel is busy, energetic, and vibrant which reflects how people carried on with their lives with defiance in the air,” added Steve.

The Halcyon will be executive produced by Sharon Hughff (Strike Back, Waterloo Road) and produced by Chris Croucher (Downton Abbey) with the opening episodes directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls, Cold Feet).

Left Bank Chief Executive Andy Harries said: “1940 is one of the most dramatic years in our islands history. Who could have imagined that London would survive the blitz and Luftwaffe’s attempted destruction of the city? What was it like to be in a 5 star hotel in the west end through this extraordinary period?

It’s such a compelling idea for a drama. The world of the Halcyon hotel has to carry on, through thick and thin and against all odds. The bedrooms have to be made safe, the bars have to stay open, and the band has to play on. People have to sleep, eat and survive.

Our opening line says it all ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’.”

The series will begin filming in London and surrounding areas from April 2016.

During Amazon Studios’ latest pilot season, the U.S remake of Cris Cole’s acclaimed dark comedy Mad Dogs became one of its most watched shows, and has been picked up for a full season. The new series will premiere exclusively for Prime Instant members in the U.S, UK and Germany later this year and into 2016.

The original show’s creator, Cris Cole, wrote the adaptation, based on the UK original, which follows the reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends in a Belizean villa where grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder.

The pilot starred Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin. It was directed by Charles McDougall (The Good Wife) who is an exec producer with Cole, Ryan, Marney Hochman (Last Resort), Left Bank’s Andy Harries (Strike Back, Wallander, The Queen) and Suzanne Mackie (Mad Dogs, Kinky Boots). It’s co-produced with The Shield creator Shawn Ryan of Sony Pictures Television.

 

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This (ITV) has been shortlisted for best single drama in this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards.

The single film about legendary comedian Tommy Cooper, written by Simon Nye (How Do You Want Me, Men Behaving Badly) and starring David Threlfall (Shameless, Nowhere Boy) as Tommy is nominated alongside Marvellous (BBC Two), A Poet In New York (BBC Two) and Murdered By My Boyfriend (BBC Three).

This is the second award nomination for the film, Iain Erskine was also nominated for best Editing in this year’s RTS Craft and Design awards.

The BPG awards – given only for work commissioned in the UK – are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers. The 41st annual awards lunch, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday March 13th 2015, will be attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives.