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3 items from 2006

BBC, HBO team for expansive Poliakoff tale

9 November 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

LONDON -- The BBC and HBO Films have commissioned Talkback Thames to produce two new films by writer-director Stephen Poliakoff that will star Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith and David Walliams, it was announced Thursday.

The two films will follow the tradition of recent Poliakoff dramas "Friends and Crocodiles" and "Gideon's Daughter", by being loosely linked through peripheral characters and contexts.

The new projects, "Poliakoff 2006" (working title) and "Capturing Mary", are both set against the backdrop of a beautiful but abandoned palazzo that once provided the setting for glittering society events. They will air on BBC1 and BBC2, respectively.

In the BBC1 project, Gambon plays a reclusive billionaire who inherits a house after his father's death and strikes up a relationship with the teenage son of its cleaner.

In the companion BBC2 piece "Mary", Smith plays a once brilliant writer and critic who remembers the house as a venue for society galas and a hub for the cultural elite but becomes haunted by the memory of a charming yet evil figure from her youth (Walliams).

The films will begin shooting back-to-back at locations in central London and will likely be completed by the end of January.

"It takes a major piece of work and a unique auteur to deliver a project that straddles two BBC channels," BBC fiction controller Jane Tranter said. "Stephen Poliakoff is such a talent and with the depth and breadth of the amazingly gifted cast, I am certain the finished product will be awe-inspiring."

Both films are co-financed and will be licensed and distributed internationally by HBO Films under an agreement brokered by BBC Worldwide. »

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'Doctor Who' Leads BAFTA TV Winners

8 May 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Cult TV show Doctor Who swept the board and took home three prestigious accolades at this year's BAFTA Television Awards - Britain's answer to the Emmys. The show, which currently stars British actor David Tennant as the timelord, took home Best Drama Series, Best Writing and the Pioneer Audience Award for Best Program of 2005. Meanwhile, Gillian Anderson lost out on the Best Actress award to Bleak House co-star Anna Maxwell Martin, but celebrated when the BBC's Charles Dickens TV adaptation was awarded Best Drama Serial. Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell's talent show The X Factor swept away competition from Friday Night With Jonathan Ross to win Best Entertainment Program. The British version of hit TV show The Apprentice saw Sir Alan Sugar take home the Best Feature Award, while celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was honored for his factual series Jamie's School Dinners, which saw him relentlessly campaign for nutritious children's food. Other winners included London soap Eastenders, and Matt Lucas and David Walliams' hit comedy sketch show Little Britain. Doctor Who star Billie Piper accepted awards for the show saying, "I'm having the time of my life. Doctor Who is the most amazing show to work on." »

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BBC, Channel 4 are top RTS winners

15 March 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

LONDON -- The BBC and Channel 4 shared the accolades at the Royal Television Society Awards on Tuesday night, taking home 22 of the 29 awards on offer. At a glitzy event held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane, the BBC walked away with 12 nods, Channel 4 took 10 and ITV won five. The Five channel left empty-handed but satcaster Sky took home two awards including one for best international show for Mary-Louise Parker starrer Weeds. Catherine Tate walked away with the best comedy performance award for BBC2's The Catherine Tate Show, beating off competition from last year's winners -- Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams. »

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