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‘Catholic preoccupation with sin is perfect training for a writer’ – Jimmy McGovern

Cracker’s creator opens up about his faith

He is renowned for bleak, bruising and brilliant dramas from Hillsborough and Cracker to The Lakes, Accused and last year’s blistering take on the consequences of the Iraq war, Reg. But Jimmy McGovern says that he might not have become a writer had he not been raised in the Catholic faith with its particular attention to the nature of sin.

“I’m a writer because I was a Catholic and I took the examination of conscience really seriously,” says McGovern, 67, who was brought up in a large working-class family in Liverpool. “That means I came up with five motivations for every possible sin I committed and that’s perfect training for a writer, that ability to think about why someone might act as they do.”

Related: Lack of working class actors is changing what gets made, says Jimmy McGovern

Continue reading.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Messenger review: Robert Sheehan sees more dead people

The Messenger review: Robert Sheehan sees more dead people
Director: David Blair; Screenwriter: Andrew Kirk; Starring: Robert Sheehan, Joely Richardson, Lily Cole; Running time: 101 mins; Certificate: 15

It's no surprise to discover that The Messenger's director David Blair also helmed several episodes of the wonderful 1990s BBC One drama The Lakes. He has a wonderful knack for imbuing nature and buildings with an ethereal quality that entrances our eyes and establishes a foreboding atmosphere, as is evident in his latest film.

The unsettling tale follows Robert Sheehan's troubled soul Jack, a young man burdened by all the dead people that talk to him. "I don't want to help people, I want to get rid of them," he bemoans at one stage. But can he use what he learns to figure out the grizzly demise of someone connected to him? Or will the police, concerned by his bizarre behaviour, deal with him first?

A fascinating lead turn from the
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

The Walking Dead: Updated List of Cast Appearances

  • DailyDead
*Updated 5/12 with new events and guests* There are dozens of horror and comic events every year, and that gives fans plenty of opportunities to meet Robert Kirkman or one of the many cast members from The Walking Dead. Although it's a bit early for some of the bigger conventions to announce their full guest lists, we put together an initial list of stops so you can start making your travel plans.

New to the The Walking Dead convention circuit in 2015 are Tyler James Williams, Alexandra Breckenridge, and Seth Gilliam, along with some of the other new cast members we've seen in Season 5. If you're looking to catch most of The Walking Dead cast together at once, your best chance will be at the San Diego Comic-Con in July and the New York Comic Con in October. Those looking to meet Norman Reedus will have plenty of opportunities, as he is
See full article at DailyDead »

Jimmy McGovern tackles Australia's dark past

  • IF.com.au
A seven-part series set during the turbulent period of the establishment of the penal colony in Sydney in 1788 may seem a stretch for Liverpool-born and based writer Jimmy McGovern.

Yet Banished, which starts shooting in Sydney on Monday, deals with themes the writer has often explored in the UK series he's created in a distinguished 30- year career.

.Jimmy.s stories are about the moral complexities which human beings face when they are in difficult situations,. his producing partner Sita Williams tells If. .He asks the audience: .What would you have done in that situation? Would you have done it any differently?..

David Wenham heads the large Australian/British cast as Governor Arthur Phillip, a pragmatic idealist who hopes to turn the penal colony into a land of opportunity for all. Joseph Milson portrays his nemesis Major Ross, who believes the only chance of survival is to rule with an iron fist.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Jimmy McGovern announces Australian convict drama Banished

Russell Tovey will star alongside MyAnna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and David Wenham in the BBC drama about a group of convicts in 18th-century Australia

Jimmy McGovern has defined his own brand of humanistic British crime drama with Cracker, The Lakes and Accused – now he turns his attentions to the former colonies. His next BBC drama is Banished, set in 18th-century Australia and centered on the lives of a group of convicts.

A BBC statement describes the series as exploring "the lives, loves, relationships and battle for survival of a group of convicts, the soldiers who guard them and the men who govern them in the early days of this settlement". It stars Russell Tovey, known for his roles in Him & Her and The History Boys as well as current HBO gay drama Looking, playing a convict who struggles on his arrival at the penal colony. He forms bonds with other
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BBC announces 'Moving On' as first drama to premiere on iPlayer

BBC One has announced a new series of Jimmy McGovern's Moving On.

The fifth run of the daytime series will be the first drama to premiere in its entirety on BBC iPlayer.

As with previous series, the drama will consist of five stand-alone films, produced by Accused creator McGovern.

Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street), Anita Dobson (EastEnders), Anthony Flanagan (The Village) and Jo Joyner (EastEnders) will be among the new series' stars.

Lee Ingleby (Inspector George Gently), Duncan Preston (Love And Marriage), Ray Fearon (Harry Potter), Emma Cuniffe (The Lakes), Sharon Horgan (Pulling) and Craig Kelly (Coronation Street) will also appear.

The lineup is completed by Taj Atwal (Stella), Amy Nuttall (Downton Abbey), Ramon Tikaram (White Heat), Jo-Anne Knowles (Waterloo Road) Rosalind Ayres (Outnumbered), Emma Lowndes (Cranford) and Keith Barron (The Chase).

Johnny Vegas and Robert Glenister will also direct two of the films.

BBC Daytime's Damian Kavanagh said: "Moving On
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

On my radar: John Simm's cultural highlights

The actor on listening to Lloyd Cole, watching Man of Steel and reading Stoner by John Williams

John Simm is a British actor best known for playing Sam Tyler in Life on Mars and the Master in Doctor Who. He began performing as a teenager, singing and playing guitar alongside his musician father in northern working men's clubs. He attended Drama Centre London where he studied the Stanislavski school of method acting. He received huge acclaim for his roles in Paul Abbott's State of Play and Jimmy McGovern's The Lakes. He was recently to be seen in the first world war drama The Village and Sky's surreal crime caper Mad Dogs. He is currently playing the priggish Gibbs in Jamie Lloyd's theatrical production of Harold Pinter's The Hothouse at Trafalgar Studios, London.

Lloyd Cole: Standards

I was about 13 when Lloyd Cole was big in the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

On my radar: John Simm's cultural highlights

The actor on listening to Lloyd Cole, watching Man of Steel and reading Stoner by John Williams

John Simm is a British actor best known for playing Sam Tyler in Life on Mars and the Master in Doctor Who. He began performing as a teenager, singing and playing guitar alongside his musician father in northern working men's clubs. He attended Drama Centre London where he studied the Stanislavski school of method acting. He received huge acclaim for his roles in Paul Abbott's State of Play and Jimmy McGovern's The Lakes. He was recently to be seen in the first world war drama The Village and Sky's surreal crime caper Mad Dogs. He is currently playing the priggish Gibbs in Jamie Lloyd's theatrical production of Harold Pinter's The Hothouse at Trafalgar Studios, London.

Lloyd Cole: Standards

I was about 13 when Lloyd Cole was big in the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Simon Russell Beale & John Simm To Star In Harold Pinter’s ‘The Hothouse’

Jamie Lloyd Productions today announced that The Hothouse, Harold Pinter’s macabre tragicomedy will return to London’s West End in a new production this May. The Hothouse is next up in a thrilling season of work for Trafalgar Transformed, a joint initiative between director Jamie Lloyd (Donmar’s Passion, Broadway’s Cyrano de Bergerac, the National Theatre’s She Stoops to Conquer, Royal Court’s The Pride) and Howard Panter. It comes hot on the heels of the critically acclaimed Macbeth, starring James McAvoy, tickets for which have sold out. The Hothouse, with design by award-winning Soutra Gilmour, runs from 4 May to 3 August.

Simon Russell Beale (Privates on Parade, National Theatre’s Timon of Athens and Collaborators) is playing Roote and John Simm (Elling, Sheffield Theatres’ Hamlet and Betrayal) as Gibbs. Further casting will be announced shortly. Jamie Lloyd said: “It is a dream come true to be working
See full article at The Hollywood News »

John Simm interview: 'I don't really do awards'

The Mad Dogs actor on Sky's television drama, taking on challenging roles as an antihero, and the joys of being a dad

On a break from filming beneath the baking Balearic sunshine, John Simm sits on a white plastic patio chair and ponders "second album anxiety". Along with Philip Glenister, Max Beesley and Marc Warren, Simm is back in Majorca making the second series of Mad Dogs for Sky1.

The first – a darkly comic thriller about a lads' holiday blighted by dead bodies, drug barons and a gun-toting dwarf in a Tony Blair mask – was one of the channel's highest-rated and most acclaimed home-grown dramas. It earned a Bafta nomination in 2011 for best serial – but was, perhaps predictably, beaten to the prize by Channel 4's jury-pleasing Any Human Heart.

"Success, however you judge what that even means, brings with it certain pressures," says Simm, "but we were chuffed by
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Box Set Club: The Lakes

Twentysomething sex, drink and drugs collides with harsh reality in Jimmy McGovern's Cumbria-set morality tale

Current Spooks scheduling aside, we all know what Sunday evening television on the BBC is supposed to be: rolling hills, gentle plotlines, the occasional priest ambling politely into view. It's Hamish Macbeth, Ballykissangel, Monarch of the Glen. But for four weeks in 1997, Sunday evening on BBC1 was Jimmy McGovern's The Lakes – and while the priest and rolling hills were still in place, the plotlines were a long way from gentle.

A Cumbria-set tale of Liverpudlian likely lad Danny Kavanagh (John Simm), The Lakes is a hard-bitten riot of a show. Set in the dog days of the last century, it tackles everything from gambling addiction to how it feels to be the outsider in a small community when tragedy hits.

Rewatching it now the most notable (and in some ways shocking) thing is how little has changed.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Paul Abbott's Exile: The prodigal returns

Shameless sent him to the States – but now Paul Abbott is back with Exile. On set, Amy Raphael hears about Alzheimer's, how to get an all-star cast, and where British TV should head next

When Paul Abbott was in his early 20s, he would regularly do a 10-hour day as a scriptwriter on Coronation Street, spend 90 minutes driving home, and then visit his grandmother. She was in a nursing home and suffering from Alzheimer's; he was, by his own admission, exhausted and bored. "I used to lay different objects down in front of her and see how many sentences I could get out of her. The smell of lavender, for example, would stimulate an anecdote. I wanted to see if something like a clothes peg would force her to make sense. Otherwise our conversations were dominated by her random amnesia."

Abbott is playful, but not without compassion – this we know,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

10 great upcoming British actors

The UK may be struggling to keep up with the rest of the world in the arena of football, but we’re at least producing some top quality actors. Here’s Matthew’s pick of upcoming talent…

In a review I read for the BBC film, Dive, it stated, "It is lucky that, at a time when we are failing miserably to produce young footballers, we are producing such wonderful young actors." I'm not exactly sure why one would make up for the other, but I agree with the assertion. We have some great young actors and our young footballers are rubbish. For me, that's the best way round, though.

Here's a list of ten young British actors whom I expect to be making big moves in the world of entertainment in the near future, if they aren't already. The list is based on some completely subjective criteria such as talent,
See full article at Den of Geek »

John Simm: 'Sometimes I do feel underappreciated'

His Hollywood dream turned to dust, he's not won a Bafta, and Russell Crowe nabbed his role. So is John Simm bitter? Well, maybe a bit…

Why is John Simm so often cast as a chippy bugger? "Am I?" he asks. "Define chippy." Well, there's the brooding journalist Cal McCaffrey in TV drama State Of Play who feels he's up against the world, and the displaced detective inspector Sam Tyler in Life On Mars, thrown back into the 1970s and misunderstood by all. Then there's the vengeful Master in Doctor Who – you don't get much more chippy than him. And now he's playing the ultimate chippy bugger – Hamlet.

"Angst," he says. "They are the best parts… Maybe it's my face." He's right about the face – it's strong, handsome even, but not smooth or comforting. He's too wiry to be eye candy.

We meet in a pub in Highgate, north London.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

John Simm: 'Sometimes I do feel underappreciated'

His Hollywood dream turned to dust, he's not won a Bafta, and Russell Crowe nabbed his role. So is John Simm bitter? Well, maybe a bit…

Why is John Simm so often cast as a chippy bugger? "Am I?" he asks. "Define chippy." Well, there's the brooding journalist Cal McCaffrey in TV drama State Of Play who feels he's up against the world, and the displaced detective inspector Sam Tyler in Life On Mars, thrown back into the 1970s and misunderstood by all. Then there's the vengeful Master in Doctor Who – you don't get much more chippy than him. And now he's playing the ultimate chippy bugger – Hamlet.

"Angst," he says. "They are the best parts… Maybe it's my face." He's right about the face – it's strong, handsome even, but not smooth or comforting. He's too wiry to be eye candy.

We meet in a pub in Highgate, north London.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

'Street' creator to make BBC1 daytime dramas

The Street creator Jimmy McGovern is making five dramas exploring "contemporary issues facing Britain" for BBC One daytime. The project, provisionally titled Moving On, is a rare move out of primetime for the BAFTA-winning writer, who was also behind Cracker and The Lakes. The 45-minute shows will be stripped across a week next year, with each separate story taking place in a house and involving a family or individual moving in or out. "Our aim is to produce riveting (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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