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Dirty Den: how Eastenders' bad boy became the biggest soap star of them all

Leslie Grantham’s Fagin-like portrayal of the Queen Vic landlord brought him immense fame, but his career was undone by scandal

Leslie Grantham, who has died aged 71, had the luck of playing one of the highest-impact characters in TV soap opera, watched by 30 million viewers as philandering crook Dennis “Dirty Den” Watts in EastEnders. But Grantham also had his career disrupted twice by unwanted tabloid publicity.

The scandals that bracketed his time on EastEnders sadly distracted from what a fine TV actor he could be. EastEnders often contained a bit of Charles Dickens – the favourite author of series lead writer, Tony Jordan – and Den became the show’s most Dickensian figure, a modern east London combination of Fagin and Magwitch, trailing sleaze and danger. Jordan and the producers rated Grantham enough to trust him with first the show’s longest-ever scene – a 15-minute showdown with pregnant Michelle – and then a two-hander episode with Angie.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Leslie Grantham, 'Dirty' Den in EastEnders, dies aged 71

Actor best known for playing the London soap opera baddie has died

Leslie Grantham, the soap actor who rose to national prominence with his performance as roguish pub landlord “Dirty” Den Watts in EastEnders, has died aged 71. The news was confirmed by a representative.

A former soldier with the Royal Fusiliers, his acting career began relatively late in life. Grantham enjoyed two popular spells in the BBC soap, with more than 30 million viewers tuning in to watch a 1986 Christmas Day episode in which his character served divorce papers to his onscreen wife, Angie, played by Anita Dobson.

Related: Leslie Grantham obituary

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Leslie Grantham Dies: British Actor & ‘EastEnders’ Star Was 71

Leslie Grantham Dies: British Actor & ‘EastEnders’ Star Was 71
British actor Leslie Grantham, best known for playing rogue "Dirty" Den Watts on long-running BBC soap EastEnders, has died aged 71. The actor, who also co-hosted the UK version of French gameshow Fort Boyard, appeared in EastEnders from 1985 to 1989 and returned to the BBC One series from 2003 to 2005. He played main character Watt, who was the landlord of the Queen Vic, the pub which serves a the focal point of the soap. During his initial four years, ratings reached up…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Leslie Grantham obituary

Actor at the centre of some of EastEnders’ most explosive storylines as “Dirty Den” Watts, landlord of the Queen Vic

The actor Leslie Grantham, who has died aged 71, was one of the most written-about British TV stars of the 1980s. As Den Watts, landlord of the Queen Vic pub, he was in the original cast of EastEnders and at the centre of some of the new BBC serial’s most explosive storylines, as it took on Coronation Street in the battle of the soaps. “Everyone thought Den was a lovable rogue,” said Grantham. “He wasn’t evil – he was just Jack the lad.”

Following in the gritty style trailblazed by Brookside on Channel 4, EastEnders began in 1985 with a scene that set its tone and clearly distinguished it from what some saw as the cosiness and comedy of the Street, its ITV rival. “Dirty” Den, Arthur Fowler and Ali Osman
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Leslie Grantham: actor who played 'Dirty' Den in EastEnders dies aged 71

Best known for playing roguish pub landlord Den Watts in the BBC soap, the ex-soldier also spent 10 years in prison for murder

Leslie Grantham, the soap actor who rose to national prominence with his performance as roguish pub landlord “Dirty” Den Watts in EastEnders, has died aged 71. The news was confirmed by a representative.

A former soldier with the Royal Fusiliers, his acting career began relatively late in life. Grantham enjoyed two popular spells in the BBC soap, with more than 30 million viewers tuning in to watch a 1986 Christmas Day episode in which his character served divorce papers to his onscreen wife, Angie, played by Anita Dobson.

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

‘Maleficent 2’ Adds Judith Shekoni of ‘Heroes Reborn’ and ‘Ice’ (Exclusive)

‘Maleficent 2’ Adds Judith Shekoni of ‘Heroes Reborn’ and ‘Ice’ (Exclusive)
Judith Shekoni has joined the cast of “Maleficent 2.” The British actress is coming off two seasons of Antoine Fuqua drama series “Ice” for At&T’s Audience network in which she played the female lead, Lady Rah, opposite Donald Sutherland.

Maleficent” was loosely based on Sleeping Beauty, but little is yet known about the sequel. Shekoni will star as Shrike, a character who befriends the titular anti-hero, Maleficent, who is once again played by Angelina Jolie. Filming is underway at Pinewood Studios in the U.K.

Shekoni starred in “Twilight Breaking Saga: Breaking Dawn II – Part 2” as Zafrina, the leader of the Amazonian Vampires. On TV, having started out in the U.K. in series such as “Eastenders,” she has gone on to star in numerous U.S. network shows including CBS comedy “Mike and Molly,” ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters,” and the CW’s “All of Us.” She is
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Will Be Producing a Series of Films For Young Adults

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's production company called Stolen Picture has launched a new initiative where they will work with up-and-coming writers on a collection of young-adult projects and they are calling it the Righta Incubator. There are already two film projects in development.

The first project is called We Never Sleep, and it's a detective comedy-thriller that will "tackle bullying, justice, morality, mental health and post-Brexit small-town life."

The second one is called Chemistry, and it will be "a fast-paced genre hybrid that will pose questions about what it means to be human as the show follows protagonists on the run for their survival."

There are currently five writers that have been brought on board this Righta Incubator and they include BAFTA-nominated Olly Cambridge (Pls Like), Gemma Copping,, playwright and writer Phoebe Éclair-Powell (Tin Star), comedian Ellliot Steel and Faryal Velmi, who have written a series called Ackley Bridge.
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Pact With Up-and-Coming Writers on Ya Projects (Exclusive)

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Pact With Up-and-Coming Writers on Ya Projects (Exclusive)
Stolen Picture, the production company founded by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, has launched a new drama initiative to work with up-and-coming writers on young-adult projects, with two series already in development.

The first project from the Rights Incubator initiative, “We Never Sleep,” is a detective comedy-thriller that will tackle bullying, justice, morality, mental health and post-Brexit small-town life. “Chemistry,” the second project, is a fast-paced genre hybrid that will pose questions about what it means to be human as the show follows protagonists on the run for their survival.

Pegg and Frost formed London-based Stolen Picture with former Fox Searchlight
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer Has Rami Malek Rocking Out as Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody Trailer Has Rami Malek Rocking Out as Freddie Mercury
Bohemian Rhapsody has been in development for what seems like forever, so today is a very special day with the first trailer from the biopic hitting the internet. Queen has been teasing the trailer ever since it made its debut at CinemaCon a few weeks ago and yesterday, the band unveiled the first poster of the biopic, which featured Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. The poster was then followed with a 10-second teaser of Bohemian Rhapsody that had Queen fans begging for more. Thankfully, the teaser was only released 24 hours before the actual release of the trailer.

The first trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody shows off more of Rami Malek's brilliant Freddie Mercury than we've seen thus far. The previous leaked footage from the set is absolutely nothing when compared to the official trailer. It really is remarkable how much Malek was able to channel the look and energy of one
See full article at MovieWeb »

Barbara Windsor suffering from Alzheimer's disease

Husband Scott Mitchell reveals EastEnders and Carry On star was diagnosed four years ago

The EastEnders and Carry On actor Dame Barbara Windsor has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her husband has revealed.

Scott Mitchell said Windsor, 80, had kept the news secret since they were first told four years ago, but that her symptoms had grown worse in recent weeks.

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Today in Soap Opera History (May 5)

1965: As the World Turns spin-off Our Private World premiered.

1985: Days or our Lives' John rescued Marlena.

1992: Another World's Donna and John shared a kiss.

2004: The Young and the Restless' Kevin flatlined."All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut."

Anne Brontë in "Agnes Grey"

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1948: On This is Nora Drake, Bob had disappeared from the hospital, and Nora knew that she was the cause of Bob's unhappiness. Peggy found him in the park,
See full article at We Love Soaps »

BAFTA Elevate Rocket-Boosts Female Directors in the UK

The 2017 BAFTA Elevate Participants: BAFTA’s Twitter account

“Thousands of talented young women have been excluded from careers as film and television directors every year simply because they are not men. I am one of a very small group of lucky ones.” Those are the words of veteran film and television director Susanna White at this week’s culmination of BAFTA Elevate, a year-long program to nurture and highlight the work of 15 British female directors, underrepresented across the industry.

White made the keynote speech about her career, which includes the films “Woman Walks Ahead,” “Our Kind of Traitor,” and “Bleak House,” as well as television series from “Jane Eyre” to “Generation Kill.” She began by showing video of the moon landing in 1969, which made her realize, as a child, the power of television. In the UK last year, 92 percent of television drama was directed by men, so White’s long
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Trailer, poster and images for British thriller Welcome to Curiosity

Ahead of its release next month, a trailer, poster and images have been released for the British psychological thriller Welcome to Curiosity, which features a cast that includes Richard Blackwood (EastEnders), Stephen Marcus, Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones), Cristian Solimeno (Rush), Jack Ashton (Call the Midwife) and Kacey Clarke (The Inbetweeners). Check them out here…

Welcome To Curiosity explores four parallel storylines with the fates of five key characters unwittingly and sometimes fatally intertwined; a heist gone wrong, a serial killer on the rampage, a lunatic missing from the asylum, a vulnerable girl mixed up with a predatory man and a salesman with a vivid imagination. All with just one thing in common; an insatiable curiosity which may ultimately cost them their lives.

Welcome to Curiosity is set for release in the UK on Friday, June 8th.

The post Trailer, poster and images for British thriller Welcome to Curiosity appeared first on Flickering Myth.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Today in Soap Opera History (April 28)

1978: Delia started talking to her dead mother on Ryan's Hope.

1981: Another World's Rachel chose to be with Mitch.

1986: Santa Barbara's Minx shot Cc when he tried to evict her family.

1994: One Life to Live's Joey returned to Llanview."All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut."

Anne Brontë in "Agnes Grey"

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1967: Erik Howell debuted as Johnny Fletcher on The Guiding Light, replacing Don Scardino in the role.

1967: On Dark Shadows,
See full article at We Love Soaps »

Blade Runner 2049’s Ana de Armas joins Danny Boyle’s new film

Knock Knock and Blade Runner 2049 star Ana de Armas has become the latest addition to director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Richard Curtis’ as-yet-untitled musical rom-com.

According to rumours, the film will follow a struggling musician who wakes up one day to find that he is the only one who can remember the music of The Beatles.

Himesh Patel (EastEnders) is set to portray the musician, while the cast also includes Lily James (Cinderella) and Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters). Musician Ed Sheeran is also reportedly being lined up for a role, as well as writing original music for the film.

The film is set for release on September 13th 2019 – a week after It: Chapter Two, and two months earlier than Bond 25, which Boyle is also expected to direct.

The post Blade Runner 2049’s Ana de Armas joins Danny Boyle’s new film appeared first on Flickering Myth.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Lee Sizemore May Look Familiar, but You Probably Haven't Seen Him Outside Westworld

In case you missed it, the season two premiere of Westworld hit us with an unexpected full-frontal scene from handsome British actor Simon Quarterman. Granted, the nudity isn't a first for the series, but the scene is a turning point for his character, Lee Sizemore, and a metaphor for the shift in power that has taken place in the park.

"There's a few moving parts in the scene," said Quarterman to The Hollywood Reporter. "There's the shift in power, in those terms, especially in seeing this happen with one of Maeve's creators, someone who writes her storylines and has controlled her actions and her mind. Seeing her take her creator and stripping him naked . . . we're seeing that shift in power now. The hosts are now in control."

At the end of season one, Lee agrees to create a story narrative that would allow executive director Charlotte Hale to smuggle valuable
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Ed Sheeran in talks for Danny Boyle’s new film, release date set

According to The Daily Mail, singer Ed Sheeran is set to follow up his guest appearance in Game of Thrones with a role in Danny Boyle’s next film, the as-yet-untitled musical comedy from screenwriter Richard Curtis.

The film, which is being produced by Working Title and Universal pictures, will follow a struggling musician who, for plot reasons as yet unknown, thinks he’s the only person who can remember the Fab Four. Himesh Patel (EastEnders) portrays the musician, while the cast also includes Lily James (Cinderella) and Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters). In addition to an on-screen role, Sheeran is also said to be writing new music for the project.

In other news, Universal has announced that the movie will open on September 13th 2019. That’s two months earlier than Bond 25, which Boyle is also expected to direct.

The post Ed Sheeran in talks for Danny Boyle’s new film,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Ed Sheeran in negotiations to star in Danny Boyle’s untitled musical comedy

  • HeyUGuys
The British superstar musician, Ed Sheeran, is currently said by a British tabloid to be in talks to star in Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis’s upcoming untitled musical comedy.

Based on the music of The Beatles, the project has a script by Love Actually’s Richard Curtis. If casting plans go well – Himesh Patel, the actor who played Tamwar Masood in EastEnders, has been cast to play the up-and-coming musician, Also on board is The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie star Lily James and potentially Kate McKinnon – executives are looking to film this summer. Boyle has made it no secret that he wanted to be involved in a musical, only stating last year that it is the purest form of cinema.

As well as featuring musical material from The Beatles’ vast catalogue of hits, new music will also be written for the film which Sheeran is also said to be involved with.
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Ed Sheeran Is In Talks To Star In The New Richard Curtis/ Danny Boyle Musical Movie

Hot off the presses comes news this morning that superstar musician Ed Sheeran is set to join the Richard Curtis scripted and Danny Boyle directed musical comedy currently in development. The news comes from the pages of the Daily Mail in the UK, who say that Sheeran is set to play the new comedy – tentatively titled All You Need Is Love.

The film revolves around am a man who wakes up one day to realise that he’s the only one who remembers the music of The Beatles. Sheeran is said to be ‘in talks’ to join the production, which will be directed by Danny Boyle. Sheeran will apparently write new songs, while tracks from the legendary British group will also feature in the film.

A source close to Working Title, the studio that is making the film, said: “Everything Ed touches turns to gold.”

“He is the biggest hit-maker on the planet.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

How Anna Scher's maverick acting school created so many working-class stars

For 50 years Anna Scher has taught acting to north London children, with many – such as Kathy Burke, Daniel Kaluuya and Adam Deacon – becoming household names. What is it about her approach that has brought so much success?

Jake Wood was nine when he first met Anna Scher, and he didn’t know what had hit him. “She was just this whirlwind of energy. I was like: ‘What the hell is that?’ I’d never met anybody with that drive. I was a bit intimidated, to be honest.” The actor, best known for playing Max Branning in EastEnders, told his mother he didn’t want to go to Scher’s theatre school. His mother persuaded him otherwise. “And it changed my life. I don’t know what I would be doing if it weren’t for Anna Scher.”

Scher is celebrating her 50th year teaching drama. In that time, she has created numerous stars,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »
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