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Harry Hill is to make his acting debut as Professor Branestawm in a BBC family comedy.
The 49-year-old comedian, who will be hosting a brand new version of ITV's Stars in Their Eyes next year, will play the absent-minded inventor in a family film adaptation of Norman Hunter's classic children's books by actor and author Charlie Higson.
The series of adventures see Professor Branestawm's eccentric creations causing chaos and mayhem in their wake, with disaster usually averted by his highly-strung housekeeper Mrs Flittersnoop and his loyal yet dim best friend Colonel Dedshott of the Catapult Cavaliers.
The hour-long special follows Mrs Flittersnoop's science-obsessed niece Connie coming to the rescue when jobsworth local councillor Harold Haggerstone tries to remove Branestawm from his quintessentially English village of Great Pagwell.
Cilla: ITV, 9pm
The mini-series based on the life of Cilla Black concludes in this episode.
Following the success of her second number one record, Cilla (Sheridan Smith) starts to shed her cheeky girl-next-door image. Both her relationships with manager Brian and boyfriend Bobby (Aneurin Barnard) are on the rocks as a result, but something even bigger threatens to ruin the newfound success of our rising star.
24 Hours in Police Custody: Channel 4, 9pm
A new observational documentary series from the company that brought you 24 Hours in A&E begins tonight.
Viewers are led into the working lives of Bedfordshire Police around the clock, from the centre of investigations and interrogations to Luton prison. This episode follows the story of a man arrested on the suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
In the new series of this comedy pop quiz show, Welsh »
Smith is wowing the world - make that woman a national treasure immediately. And was it our Blind Date that planted the seed?
We live in a divided world, torn apart by ideology. But right now, it seems, there is one thing absolutely everyone agrees on. Vladimir Putin very much agrees with the Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, about it. In Glasgows George Square battle-scarred veterans of the yes and no campaigns are hugging each other at the thought of it. And Hamas and the Israeli Defence Force have pretty much issued a joint communique about it: Sheridan Smith is absolutely bloody marvellous as Cilla Black!
I only realised what a phenomenon this supremely lovable and talented performer had become when I read the following words in Peter Hitchens column in the Mail On Sunday: Sheridan Smith is astonishingly good as the young Cilla Black in ITVs Cilla. If youve »
- Peter Bradshaw
ITV has released a new teaser trailer for the final episode of Cilla.
Chronicling the life of Cilla Black, the three-part drama series comes to an end at 9pm on Monday, September 29 on ITV.
After enjoying chart success in the UK, the third episode examines the strain it puts on her relationship with Bobby Willis.
It also looks at her failure to crack the American market, and the unravelling of Brian Epstein's private life, all of which threatens to derail her success.
Cilla remained on top of the ratings on Monday evening, overnight data reveals.
The Sheridan Smith drama dropped around 300,000 viewers from last week to 5.79 million (26.0%) at 9pm, with an added 423k (2.8%) on +1. Earlier, The Undriveables was seen by 2.54m (11.9%) at 8pm (108k/0.5% on +1).
BBC Two's Celebrity Antiques Road Trip appealed to 1.52m (7.9%) at 7pm. University Challenge quizzed 2.81m (13.1%) at 8pm, followed by Only Connect with 1.96m (9.1%) at 8.30pm. Traders: Millions by the Minute gathered 1.09m (4.9%) at 9pm.
On Channel 4, Jamie's Comfort Food attracted 1.21m (5.6%) at 8pm (169k/0.8%), followed by Gadget Man with 1.25m (5.8%) at 8.30pm (100k/0.5%). Derren Brown's latest special amazed 1.36m (6.7%) at 9pm (243k/1.9%), while Jon Richardson Grows Up amused 525k (5.0%) at 10.30pm.
Channel 5's Ultimate Police Interceptors entertained 861k (4.0%) at 8pm, followed »
Cilla: ITV, 9pm
In the second of this three-part biopic starring Sheridan Smith, Cilla's confidence returns after her disastrous audition for Brian Epstein (Ed Stoppard). Epstein however, catches her stellar performance at a Liverpool club and becomes her manager.
Release the Hounds: ITV2, 9pm
A new horror game show starts tonight, hosted by Reggie Yates.
We meet three best friends from Essex on a quest to unlock chests full of prize money. The group enter a forest at dusk and in order to win the jackpot, they must get back out again - but the cash is guarded by a pack of angry dogs.
Plebs: ITV2, 10pm
The comedy following a group of desperate young men in ancient Rome returns for a second series. »
ITV's Cilla launched with huge ratings and critical acclaim last night (September 15), and a first-look preview for the next episode has now been released by the broadcaster.
Cilla begins with 6.1 million on ITV
Cilla continues on Monday, September 22 at 9pm on ITV.
ITV's Cilla Black biopic, which starred Sheridan Smith in the title role, launched with bumper ratings last night. Cilla attracted the channel's biggest drama audience launch since a little old show called Broadchurch and it has also won rave reviews.
Smith has been singled out in particular for her incredible performance as the Liverpudlian popstar in the swinging '60s and the only criticism that some viewers seemed to have was that she was too good a singer when she performed as Cilla. High praise indeed. Here is a roundup of the critics and Twitter verdicts:
"Smith sang her heart out, catching perfectly the bluesy belter within the girl next door, but rather than rushing her to fame, the action unfolded slowly enough to show her falling at the first hurdle as she became crippled with nerves singing for Brian Epstein. »
The three-part drama Cilla, written by Jeff Pope, whose credits include ITVs Fred West drama Appropriate Adult and Steve Coogan film Philomena, was watched by 6.7 million viewers, a 29.7% share of the audience, between 9pm and 10pm on Monday.
Continue reading »
- John Plunkett
ITV's Cilla Black biopic topped Monday's (September 15) ratings upon its launch, overnight data reveals.
Sheridan Smith's Cilla attracted an average audience of 6.11 million viewers (27.2%) at 9pm, with an added 558,000 (3.7%) on +1. Earlier, The Undriveables was seen by 2.74m (12.7%) at 8pm (122k/0.5% on +1).
E4's new series Glue launched with 482k (3.2%) at 10pm (133k/1.7%). Earlier, The 100 continued with 681k (3.0%) at 9pm (145k/1.0%).
BBC Two's University Challenge quizzed 2.55m (11.8%) at 8pm, followed by Only Connect with 1.90m (8.6%) at 8.30pm. Traders: Millions by the Minute gathered 814k (3.6%) at 9pm.
On Channel 4, Jamie's Comfort Food appealed to 1.12m (5.2%) at 8pm (172k/0.8%), while Gadget Man intrigued 1.10m (5.0%) at 8.30pm (135k/0.6%).
Britain's Benefit Tenants interested 1.16m (5.2%) at 9pm (264k/1.7%), followed by Jon Richardson Grows Up with 734k (4.8%) at 10pm (142k/1.8%).
Channel 5's Ultimate Police »
It may not sound too promising but the singers career doubles as a fantastic portrait of Liverpool in the grip of Merseybeat madness
Im not going to lie, I wasnt convinced that Cilla Black merited a three-part biopic. Look at the other biographical stuff Jeff Pope, who wrote Cilla (ITV), has been involved with. Pierrepoint, about Albert the hangman; he killed a lorra lorra people. Likewise the moors murderers and Fred West, subjects of See No Evil and Appropriate Adult, respectively. Ok, so Mrs Biggs didnt kill anyone, but that one starring Sheridan Smith as this does was about the aftermath of the crime of the century.
Cilla though, what has she done? Well people like her, and she hosted a couple of very popular TV shows in the 1980s and 1990s. And before, she was a singer, had a lot of success in the charts, and hung around a »
- Sam Wollaston
Surprise, surprise! Cilla Blacks life story comes to our screens on Monday night, with Sheridan Smith taking the role of Cilla. To most people, Black is one of the staples of Saturday evening light entertainment, the colossus of ITV through the 1980s and 90s. Its easy to forget she became famous as a singer, a Liverpudlian protege of John Lennon, managed by Brian Epstein (her debut single, Love of the Loved, was a Lennon/McCartney composition). Like many female singers of the 60s, her work was mainly Mor covers, making her a safe option, and easing her move into television she had her own show on the BBC by 1968, and has rarely been far from our screens since. »
- Michael Hann
Sheridan Smith has shaved her head and eyebrows for her latest role. The 33-year-old actress took the plunge for her part in 'The C-Word', in which she portrays her late friend, terminal cancer-sufferer Lisa Lynch, who penned the eponymous book on which the show is based. The new drama will air on BBC One later this year and was described by Sheridan as ''bittersweet'', as Lisa won't get to see the final result. The 'Mrs. Biggs' star - who appeared on ITV's 'This Morning' sporting a long blonde wig earlier today (15.09.14) - admitted: ''I'm wearing a wig... A friend »
Singer, presenter, matchmaker extraordinaire and probably the most Liverpudlian person alive - Cilla Black is a woman of many titles.
She burst onto the '60s music scene with her number one single 'Anyone Who Had A Heart', and quickly became established as a national treasure. The BBC snapped her up to present her own variety show, Cilla, and in the '80s she began presenting ITV's tongue-in-cheek Blind Date - which she continued to host for nearly 20 years.
Earlier this year she received a special BAFTA for her contribution to television, and is now the subject of a three-part ITV biopic starring Sheridan Smith, starting tonight.
In celebration of this, we've dug up ten things you may not know about the British showbiz icon.
1. Priscilla Maria Veronica White was born on May 27, 1943 in Liverpool. Desperate to became a star, she got her first gig playing at the city's Casanova Club, »
Cilla: ITV, 9pm
The first instalment in a three-part biopic, Sheridan Smith (above) takes on the role of an adolescent Priscilla White, in the years before she became known as something else entirely.
In tonight's opening act, the ballsy redhead meets the songwriter who will eventually become her husband, and gets by with a little help from her friends - The Beatles.
A new series see the 8 Out Of 10 Cats comedian face up to the fact he knows next to nothing about adult life, and endeavouring to act his age.
Tonight, Richardson travels the UK learning all about relationships - along the way he meets a couple married for over 50 years, a pair of swingers, and two newlyweds who are both on their sixth marriage.
Glue: E4, 10pm
Already compared to both Broadchurch and Skins, this intriguing murder mystery drama has »
Sheridan Smith says playing Cilla Black is the closest she'll get ''to being a pop star''. The actress is starring as the iconic singer and TV star in ITV's new series 'Cilla', and getting to sing her songs at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool - as well as record them at the Abbey Road studio in London - was an amazing experience. She told the Daily Mirror newspaper's We Love TV magazine: ''Oh my God, that was such a privilege. ''Performing the rock 'n' roll numbers at the Cavern was also brilliant fun. ''All these extras were screaming at me while I was »
Cilla Black didn't want to appear in her biopic. The legendary entertainer - who is being portrayed by Sheridan Smith in the upcoming TV mini-series 'Cilla' - wasn't keen on the idea of making a cameo in the show as she didn't want to put her own mark on the production. The series' writer Jeff Pope explained at a Q&A for the ITV drama at London's Soho Hotel: ''I think she wanted to let us do it and she didn't want to put a footprint on it.'' Jeff added that the 77-year-old presenter may have found it odd listening to Sheridan, 33, singing »
In the DS video interview, Smith talks false teeth, meeting the real Cilla and nailing the boisterous singer's legendary "honk".
"There's only one Cilla, but I tried to do my version of it," she explains.
The actress also reveals who she'd like to play her in a biopic of her own life - and it's a most unusual choice!
Cilla begins next Monday (September 15) at 9pm on ITV.
Watch a trailer for Cilla below: »
Sheridan Smith was left ''star-struck'' by Cilla Black. The 33-year-old actress - who stars as the legendary entertainer in the upcoming TV mini-series 'Cilla' - felt completely in awe of the 71-year-old presenter and was overcome with nerves when the pair enjoyed a dinner together. Speaking at a Q&A for the ITV drama at London's Soho Hotel, she said: ''When you've watched someone that long - I've grown up watching her so I was in awe of her - whenever you're playing somebody, you kind of fall in love with them and you become obsessed with them because you're watching them »
New ITV drama Chasing Shadows launched with over 3 million viewers on Thursday (September 4), overnight data reveals.
The Reece Shearsmith series opened with 3.38m (17.6%) on average at 9pm, with an added 200,000 (1.3%) watching on +1.
Earlier, Paul O'Grady's For the Love of Dogs returned for a new series with 3.70m (17.6%) at 8.30pm (198k/0.9% on +1).
BBC One's Diy Sos: The Big Build topped the night overall outside soaps with 4.55m (22.2%) at 8pm, followed by Sheridan Smith's Who Do You Think You Are? with 4.06m (18.9%) at 9pm. So You Think You Can Drive? was seen by 1.92m (18.2%) at 10.35pm.
Channel 4's Location, Location, Location interested 1.37m (6.7%) at 8pm (222k/1.0%), followed by the launch of Educating the East End with 1.80m (8.4%) at 9pm »
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