Ross Kemp - News Poster


Jean-Claude Van Johnson: action stars, silliness and off-screen toughness

Matt Edwards Dec 14, 2017

As action comedy thriller Jean-Claude Van Johnson arrives on Amazon Prime Video, Matt looks at the history of action movie star satire...

In the new Amazon series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, action star Jean-Claude Van Damme attempts to relaunch his career by playing a fictionalised version of himself. In the show, Jean-Claude goes to Bulgaria to star in a movie which has been set-up to allow him to undertake covert missions for the agency as his alter-ego name Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

See related 35 films we needed to see in 2017

This might all seem a bit familiar, for a couple of reasons. Of course, it’s not the first time that hyper-flexible jaw-punter Van Damme has relaunched his career by playing a fictionalised version of himself. 2008's excellent Jcvd, where he plays a down-on-his-luck version of himself who gets caught up in a bank heist, is perhaps the famous
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Ross Kemp Behind Bars: Inside Barlinnie review – Ross gets the inmate experience, minus the strip-search

Despite a few misguided stunts, the TV hard man provides a thorough look at our struggling penal system with a journey into the notorious Scottish prison. Plus: moving migration stories in Exodus: Our Journey Continues

‘I’m Ross Kemp and I’m going to prison” says Ross Kemp, as he’s cuffed and led into the back of a G4S van. Ha! Best place for him, some might say, and about time. What for, though? For having once been Grant Mitchell? Or having been married to Rebekah Brooks? Is this violence-related or something to do with hacking? No, it’s just his latest hardnut doc, Ross Kemp Behind Bars: Inside Barlinnie (ITV). As in the notorious Hmp Barlinnie in Glasgow, Aka Bar-l and The Big Hoose, once home to Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, gangster-turned-artist-and-writer Jimmy Boyle, and (briefly) Duncans Ferguson and Bannatyne, footballer and Dragon respectively.

To understand what prisoners go through,
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Doctor Who, and the casting of soap stars in the show

Mark Harrison Oct 24, 2017

As Doctor Who series 11 adds a trio of soap opera stars to its cast. And it makes sense...

What do Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh have in common? Other than the fact that they're all joining Jodie Whittaker's Doctor as part of the regular cast of Doctor Who's next series, they've all acted in soap operas. Even 12 years since the show was revived by a former Coronation Street writer, that still makes some fans nervous.

Whatever your thoughts on Corrie, EastEnders and other serial dramas (to give them their proper name – the nickname comes from an outdated observation about soap companies sponsoring many of them), they're the best, most relevant training ground for young actors in British television. It's also more relevant to the experience of working on Doctor Who than you might necessarily expect.

We won't go so far as Doctor Who
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Ross Kemp: Extreme World review – TV tough guy tackles racial inequality

The actor-turned-investigative journalist is typically loud and unsubtle, but he is in his element when talking to gang members in Dallas

By far the best television of the weekend was Ursula MacFarlane’s powerful BBC3 film One Deadly Weekend in America. But there’s already been a column about it, so I’ll shut up about that one, apart from to say: watch it on iPlayer; it’s a serious, powerful, numbing piece of work.

So Ross Kemp: Extreme World (Sky1, Sunday) then. On a related subject to the above, it’s less subtle, more one volume (loud), more Ross Kemp. But just as depressing.

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Netflix Buys British Comedy ‘Amar Akbar and Tony’

Netflix has acquired international rights to the British coming-of-age comedy “Amar Akbar & Tony” from Kino Lorber, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film, directed by Atul Malhotra, stars Rez Kempton as a Sikh, Sam Vincenti as a Muslim, and Martin Delaney as an Irish Catholic. Set in contemporary London, the trio — who were childhood friends — face unforeseen changes to their lives, such as interracial marriage, near-fatal accidents, and prison, that test old friendships and family values.

Netflix will release the film internationally on June 20 and on DVD in North America. The film, produced by Victoria Barrell and Malhotra, is touted as the first western film to feature a turbaned Sikh in the lead. The title is an homage to the 1977 Bollywood film “Amar Akbar Anthony,” which centered on the reunification of three separated brothers.

Amar Akbar & Tony” also stars Karen David and Laura Aikman. Co-stars are Amrita Acharia (“Game of Thrones”), Meera Syal,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Deadliest Place to Deal review – the carnage at the heart of Duterte’s war on drugs

Livvy Haydock trails the cops, vigilantes and victims caught up in the Filipino president’s drive to rid his country of drugs. Plus The House That £100k Built

As a documentary presenter, Livvy Haydock is no stranger to risk. She has made films about girl gangs and prison smuggling. She has been to war zones and worked with Ross Kemp. But throughout Deadliest Place to Deal (BBC3) she looked profoundly ill at ease, as if the Philippines was the last place she wanted to be.

It is not hard to imagine why. It has been eight months since the foul-mouthed populist Rodrigo Duterte was elected president on a platform of eliminating crime, corruption and drugs. “He promised that all of that would be gone in six months,” a local journalist tells Haydock. “He also promised it would be bloody.”

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The month in soaps: the real father of the Battersby baby is revealed

From love children to the fab Fox sisters, the world of lather was ticking every great storyline box there in February

Related: Tony Warren: Coronation Street's 10 best moments

The rules of soap decree that the woman who says: “I am not having a baby in this lift!” is the woman who’s about to have a baby in a lift. Which is exactly what happened to Leanne Battersby, Coronation Street’s bump-holder-in-heels, who gave birth to baby Ollie while marooned in Victoria Court. A towering emblem of gentrification it may be – soaps, eh, always keeping with the times – but, just like real life, maintenance isn’t a priority and phone signal is as rare as truffle mushrooms.

Related: Ross Kemp: ‘People still think I’m Grant Mitchell

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Ross Kemp: Libya’s Migrant Hell review – a deeply powerful plea

The actor’s style may be as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it’s just right for an issue as huge, horrifying and urgent as the refugee crisis. Plus: Inside No 9 returns

Ross Kemp loves danger the way the rest of us love suspending our disbelief in front of a long-running BBC soap. So, it’s no surprise that after pursuing gangs, pirates, Isis fighters, British troops in Afghanistan, illegal loggers in the Amazon, drug dealers, Tiffany and a whole lot of publicity, the actor-turned-investigative-journalist turns his attention to the deadliest migrant route in the world. The 1,000 miles of Libyan desert, a journey more dangerous than the sea, followed by the treacherous Mediterranean crossing from Tripoli to Italy in rubber boats unfit for purpose. Three thousand people make this journey every week. Twelve die each day.

In Ross Kemp: Libya’s Migrant Hell (Sky1, 9pm), which should really be called Refugees’ Libyan Hell,
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Our Girl review – another soap star is airdropped into a war zone

Michelle Keegan replaces Lacey Turner for the second series of the young-women-at-war drama. Plus: who better to talk us through the complex rise of nationalist extremism in Mongolia than Ross Kemp?

When young soap stars leave the show that launched them, they have a couple of career options. One: a short-lived pop career (see Adam Rickitt or Sid Owen). Or two: they move into “proper” drama, allowing them to shed their soapy skin and become Bafta contenders. So it was surprising when Lacey Turner went back to EastEnders after her impressive turn in the first series of Our Girl (BBC1), the drama about a young woman joining up and going to war.

For series two, the Turner-shaped hole is filled by another ex-soapster, Michelle Keegan from Coronation Street, an actor with a remarkably natural presence in front of the camera and a face that the lens more than loves, it positively worships.
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Ross Kemp: The Fight Against Isis review – on a mission to get shot

‘Incoming ... incoming ... incoming’: if Kemp’s nerve never failed him, his words sometimes did. Plus: a very cold case reopened in The Investigator: A British Crime Story

Ross Kemp – actor, investigative journalist, novelist, Grant – is off to war again. He was once embedded in Afghanistan, for which he underwent military training (his only prior military training was acting in military training films). In Ross Kemp: The Fight Against Isis (Sky1), he travelled to parts of Iraq and Syria only recently taken back from Isis by Kurdish forces.

Kemp’s mission, as far I could tell, was to get himself shot, or nearly shot. “The Moment Ross Kemp Almost Got Killed” tabloid stories form a big part of the pre-publicity for his documentaries. There is no question that he has a knack for being proximate to live fire. In this instance he had to cross the length of Rojava
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We'd march in the streets to defend BBC, say peers and stars

Richard Wilson among those backing cross-party bill supporting corporation, as criticism of John Whittingdale’s white paper rises among MPs

A cross-party group of peers leading a campaign to halt controversial government cuts to the BBC and backed by Richard Wilson, Ross Kemp, and June Sarpong has said it will take to the streets in protest if its concerns are not met.

Former Tory party chairman Norman Fowler, Labour peer Waheed Alli and the Lib Dems’ Anthony Lester said the BBC’s funding, independence and core mission to inform, educate and entertain had to be preserved in the government’s white paper on its future, expected to be published on Thursday.

Related: BBC may have to share licence fee with rivals

Related: The BBC deserves better than a chump’s charter

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'You're not going to kill me, I'm a warrior': Ross Kemp's giddy brand of danger tourism

Ross Kemp’s Britain is a nightmare ride through the UK’s grimmest fringes. The actor’s documentaries verge on self-parody – but his ability to stay detached in the face of danger makes for thrilling viewing

This is a big year for Ross Kemp. A few months from now, he’ll be reprising his role, albeit briefly, as EastEnders’ boggle-eyed nutter Grant Mitchell. Before that – tonight, in fact – he’ll be back on our screens doing what he loves most: solving all the world’s problems in a manner that sits somewhere between Louis Theroux and Jeremy Kyle.

Ross Kemp’s Britain is a three-part documentary chronicling Kemp’s efforts to get to the bottom of what he sees as the three biggest issues facing the country today: immigration, alcohol abuse and child sexual exploitation.

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Michael Buerk attacks Benedict Cumberbatch for 'infantile' worldview

The veteran news journalist singles out the Sherlock star, along with actor Emma Thompson, for ‘political grandstanding without experience’

Michael Buerk, the veteran news journalist who reported from the world’s worst crisis zones, has attacked “infantile” celebrities who lecture the public on world issues, singling out Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Thompson for particular criticism.

“As a superannuated war reporter myself I’m a little sniffy about celebs pratting around among the world’s victims,” wrote Buerk in a Radio Times interview he conducted with former soap star turned war reporter Ross Kemp.

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Danny Dyer wants Mick to throw Grant across the bar

EastEnders' Danny Dyer wants to see Mick Carter throw bad boy Grant Mitchell across the bar when he returns to Walford. The 38-year-old actor, who plays the pub landlord in the soap, is hoping his alter-ego develops a friendship with the volatile thug (Ross Kemp) when he trots back onto Albert Square this year, but thinks they will lock horns and a brawl will break out instead. Speaking backstage at the National Television Awards last night (20.01.16), he said: ''I'm really excited about Grant's return. Hopefully I'll get to have a tear up with him. If he comes in the pub and
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Comic Strip Presents… Red Top: watch Maxine Peake as Rebekah Brooks

A trailer for the Comic Strip’s spoof of the phone-hacking scandal, with Russell Tovey as Andy Coulson and Harry Enfield as Ross Kemp

In one of her first comic roles since her days in Dinnerladies, Maxine Peake is playing Rebekah Brooks in the latest Comic Strip one-off, alongside Nigel Planer as Rupert Murdoch and Russell Tovey as Andy Coulson. Johnny Vegas, Alexei Sayle, Harry Enfield, James Buckley and John Sessions also star, with Eleanor Matsuura as Wendi Deng.

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Ross Kemp to return to EastEnders as Grant Mitchell

Actor set for family reunion with on-screen brother Phil to say goodbye to their mother Peggy, whose cancer has returned

Ross Kemp is to reprise his role as EastEnders hardman Grant Mitchell in a family reunion to say goodbye to on-screen mother Peggy.

The actor, who last appeared regularly in the soap in 1999, will make a “brief return” to coincide with Dame Barbara Windsor’s final scenes where her character will pass away from cancer.

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EastEnders omnibus to return

Ross Kemp is returning to 'EastEnders'. The 51-year-old actor - who last appeared in the soap as Grant Mitchell 10 years ago - will return to the BBC One soap to bid farewell to his onscreen mother Peggy Mitchell (Dame Barbara Windsor, 78), who is dying of cancer. Ross said: ''When I was approached about returning to 'EastEnders' for Barbara's final episodes, it was something I could not turn down. Barbara is a very close friend. When I learned of the storyline, it felt right that the Mitchell brothers are reunited with their mother for the last time. I am really
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Jamie Borthwick wants Jay and Ben to be the new Phil and Grant

Jamie Borthwick wants Jay Brown and Ben Mitchell to become the new Phil and Grant in 'EastEnders'. The 21-year-old actor would like to see his alter-ego and on-screen surrogate brother - portrayed by Harry Reid - become the top dogs of Walford, just like the infamous siblings (played by Steve McFadden and Ross Kemp respectively), who ruled Albert Square until Grant's departure in 2006. He explained: ''I just think their [Jay and Ben's] potential is really strong and me and Harry Reid get on amazingly well and I think it would be upsetting if they didn't do the whole Phil and
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‘Midsomer Murders’ Producer Bentley Seeks Out ‘Harry Price: Ghost Hunter’

‘Midsomer Murders’ Producer Bentley Seeks Out ‘Harry Price: Ghost Hunter’
London — Bentley Prods., the company behind hit crime-series “Midsomer Murders,” is to produce TV movie “Harry Price: Ghost Hunter” for U.K. network ITV.

Set in 1920s London at a time of rapidly emerging technology, the 120-minute film is a stand-alone story based on real-life ghost hunter and skeptic Harry Price, who investigated tales of the paranormal and supernatural.

The telepic is written by Jack Lothian, whose credits include “Doc Martin,” “Death in Paradise” and “Ashes to Ashes,” based on the novel “The Ghost Hunters” by Neil Spring, who is director of communications for London-based NBCUniversal Intl. Studios.

“Harry Price: Ghost Hunter” will be executive produced for Bentley by Jo Wright (“Midsomer Murders”) and produced by Denise Paul (“Doctor Who”). The film has been commissioned for ITV by director of drama Steve November and controller of commissioning Victoria Fea.

Details of casting will be made available in the coming weeks,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Former soap stars cashing in on personal appearances

Former soap stars are making up to four times the amount of current cast-members for personal appearances. Todd Carty - who played Mark Fowler in 'EastEnders' from 1990 to 2003 - is charging up to £10,000 while the BBC One soap's longest serving star Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) only makes between £2,500 and £5,000 per appearance, The Sun newspaper reports. Other former stars of the east London-based soap including Tamzin Outhwaite and Ross Kemp - who played Melanie Owen and Grant Mitchell respectively - would cost in the region of £15,000. Zoe Lucker - who previously starred in both 'EastEnders' and 'Footballers'
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