A Very English Scandal ~ Episode One


British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe is accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover and is forced to stand trial in 1979.

Hugh Grant plays the role of Thorpe, a closet homosexual who pursued Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw), giving him a roof and keeping him for his own amusement. It’s a wholly different role for Grant and he is an inspired choice. Opposite Whishaw the chemistry was believable and intrigued me from the outset. Thorpe is soliciting the aid of Peter Bessell (Alex Jennings) to ensure Scott’s silence about their relationship when he calls time on their affair. To further his political career and assist the party in currying more favour, Thorpe is plotting to marry and portray himself as a family man.

Although Scott has secured himself a modelling job, he’s not going to keep quiet about Thorpe ‘infecting him’, not only has he been to the police, he’s also written to Thorpe’s unwitting mother, Ursula (Patricia Hodge) revealing all. With a wife, baby and family man public image – there’s only one way to ensure the scandal fails to surface. We were left on a cliff-hanger, however if you are aware of the history (and the premise gives it away, too) there’s further scandal to come.

A cast de force overtly portray this twisting, insightful story. Given the era we’re looking at, it’s interesting to see how far we’ve come where the issue at the heart of the scandal is concerned. It’s an apt time to choose to broadcast such a dramatization.

Missed the first instalment? Catch up here: A Very English Scandal Episode One

Watch the second episode on BBC One next Sunday at 21:00

Photo Credits: BBC Pictures


BAFTA Television Awards 2018

BAFTA Television Awards were a must-watch for us here at Entertainment Views on Sunday 13 May. I’ve had a week to reflect on the winners, they’re panel-selected so I often find that there is a vast difference between the calibre of choice at the National Television Awards, for example, and BAFTA choices. However, this year, although there were several worthy winners whom I could have predicted would lift the coveted trophy, there were a few rogue ones in there as well as some nice surprises too. Here are a few of my musings:

Super Sue

I though Sue Perkins was a superb host (forgive the pun!), her humour, verve and tenacity shone through – can we always have Sue, please?

At last, Casualty!

BBC One’s Casualty has been on the cups of winning more than once, I’m pleased that the panel came to their senses on this one and awarded the series the accolade it deserves. The One Shot alone was worthy of the trophy.

Cruising with Jane McDonald? Love Island? Really?

This is where the evening fell flat for me, personally. I’ve got nothing against Jane McDonald, in fact I think she’s a talented lady and I’ve even been in the audience at a number of her concerts. However, when you pit a show which features lovely Jane having a glorified jolly against the likes of The Secret Life of the Zoo, to name just one fellow nominee – there’s almost no comparison. It begs the question whether Ms McDonald’s programme was just in the wrong category. Although it was alright as far as she and her team were concerned as they accepted the trophy.

I had already fallen foul of confusion when Love Island nabbed an award, I accept that every opinion is different – however I don’t see what this show has to offer in terms of making it a BAFTA winner. Had it have been a public vote winner that wouldn’t have come as such a surprise.

Triumph for Three Girls

Three Girls thoroughly deserved their two accolades, there have been a number of true life dramas recently and this one towered above. Not only highlighting horrific events but portraying it sensitively without losing the gritty realism.

Britain’s Got Talent

ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent provided an opportunity for Dec (without Ant) to receive an award without the limelight. It was a sound choice, however it does beg the question was it a diplomatic choice? Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway is, in my humble opinion, the outright winner in the category.

The public got it right

There is one category the public could vote for – Virgin TV’s Must-See Moment and the public got it right! Blue Planet II still resonates now and Sir David Attenborough can never have enough awards!

For she’s a jolly good fellow

The Fellowship award went to the amazing Kate Adie, she’s an inspiration. As a role-model for women she is in a class of her own. A fantastic choice.

Here’s the full list of winners:



THE LAST LEG Production Team – Open Mike Productions / Channel 4
MURDER IN SUCCESSVILLE Andy Brereton, Avril Spary, James De Frond, Tom Davis – Shiny Button Productions / Tiger Aspect Productions / BBC Three
TASKMASTER Andy Cartwright, Andy Devonshire, Alex Horne – Avalon / Dave
WOULD I LIE TO YOU? Peter Holmes, Rachel Ablett, Ruth Phillips, Adam Copeland – Zeppotron / BBC One

RAPED: MY STORY Catey Sexton, Jonathan Braman, Emma Wakefield, Ollie Tait – Lambent Productions / Channel 5
SYRIA’S DISAPPEARED: THE CASE AGAINST ASSAD (DISPATCHES) Sara Afshar, Nicola Cutcher, Callum Macrae – Afshar Films / Channel 4
UNDERCOVER: BRITAIN’S IMMIGRATION SECRETS (PANORAMA) Karen Wightman, Joe Plomin, Callum Tulley, Gary Beelders – BBC Current Affairs / BBC One
WHITE RIGHT: MEETING THE ENEMY (EXPOSURE) Deeyah Khan, Darin Prindle, Andrew Smith, Melanie Quigley – Fuuse Films / ITV

THE CROWN Production Team – Left Bank Pictures / Netflix
THE END OF THE F###ING WORLD Production Team – Clerkenwell Films / Dominic Buchanan Productions / Netflix / All 4
LINE OF DUTY Production Team – World Productions / BBC One
PEAKY BLINDERS Production Team – Caryn Mandabach Productions / Tiger Aspect Productions / BBC Two

ADAM HILLS The Last Leg – Open Mike Productions / Channel 4
GRAHAM NORTON The Graham Norton Show – So Television / BBC One
MICHAEL McINTYRE Michael McIntyre’s Big Show – Hungry McBear / BBC One
SANDI TOKSVIG QI – QI Ltd / Talkback Thames – BBC Two

ANT & DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY Pete Ogden, Saul Fearnley, Diego Rincon, Andy Milligan – ITV Studios / Mitre Television / ITV
BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT Amelia Brown, Lee McNicholas, Richard Holloway, Charlie Irwin – Thames / Syco / ITV
MICHAEL McINTYRE’S BIG SHOW Dan Baldwin, Claire Horton, Christian Fletcher, Michael McIntyre – Hungry McBear / BBC One
THE VOICE UK Production Team – ITV Studios / Talpa / ITV

AMBULANCE Jo Hughes, Bruce Fletcher, Kirsty Cunningham, Simon Ford – Dragonfly / BBC One
CATCHING A KILLER Anna Hall, Jezza Neumann, Erica Gornall, Brian Woods – True Vision / Channel 4
DRUGSLAND Sacha Mirzoeff, Xavier Alford, Bart Corpe, Simon Ford – BBC Studios’ Unscripted Productions / Open University / BBC Three
HOSPITAL Production Team – Label1 / BBC Two

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Simon Shaw, Julia Foot, Robert Murphy, Sophie Wogden – BBC Studios’ Unscripted Productions / BBC One
CRUISING WITH JANE McDONALD Production Team – Elephant House Studios / Channel 5
NO MORE BOYS AND GIRLS: CAN OUR KIDS GO GENDER FREE? Javid Abdelmoneim, Helen Veale, Jeremy Daldry, Samuel Palmer – Outline Productions / BBC Two
THE SECRET LIFE OF THE ZOO Production Team – Blast! Films / Channel 4

ANNA MAXWELL MARTIN Motherland – Delightful Industries / Merman / BBC Two
DAISY MAY COOPER This Country – BBC Studios Comedy / BBC Three
SHARON HORGAN Catastrophe – Avalon Television / Merman / Birdbath Productions / Channel 4
SIAN GIBSON Peter Kay’s Car Share – Goodnight Vienna Productions / BBC One

BIG LITTLE LIES Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Bruna Papandrea, Per Saari – HBO / David E. Kelley Productions / Pacific Standard / Blossom Films / Sky Atlantic
FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN Ryan Murphy, Dede Gardner, Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall – Fox 21 Television Studios / BBC Two
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, Kari Skogland – MGM / Channel 4
THE VIETNAM WAR Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Geoffrey C. Ward , Sarah Botstein – BBC / Florentine Films / BBC Four

JACK ROWAN Born to Kill – World Productions / Channel 4
JOE COLE Hang the DJ (Black Mirror) – House of Tomorrow / Netflix
SEAN BEAN Broken – LA Productions / BBC One
TIM PIGOTT-SMITH King Charles III – Drama Republic / BBC Two

CLAIRE FOY The Crown – Left Bank Pictures / Netflix
MOLLY WINDSOR Three Girls – BBC Studios Drama / Studio Lambert / BBC One
SINEAD KEENAN Little Boy Blue – ITV Studios / ITV
THANDIE NEWTON Line of Duty – World Productions / BBC One

ONE LOVE MANCHESTER Production Team – BBC Studios / SB Projects / BBC One
WILD ALASKA LIVE Production Team – BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit / PBS / BBC One

ASIM CHAUDHRY People Just Do Nothing – Roughcut TV / BBC Three
ROB BRYDON The Trip to Spain – Revolution Films / Baby Cow Productions / Small Man Productions / Sky Atlantic
SAMSON KAYO Famalam – BBC Studios Comedy / BBC Two
TOBY JONES Detectorists – Channel X North / Treasure Trove Productions / Lola Entertainment / BBC Four

HOWARDS END Kenneth Lonergan, Hettie Macdonald, Laura Hastings-Smith, Sophie Gardiner – Playground Entertainment / BBC One
THE MOORSIDE Neil McKay, Paul Whittington, Ken Horn, Jeff Pope – ITV Studios / BBC One
THE STATE Peter Kosminsky, Steve Clark-Hall, Liza Marshall, Kris Thykier – Archery Pictures / Stonehenge Films / Channel 4
THREE GIRLS Nicole Taylor, Philippa Lowthorpe, Susan Hogg, Simon Lewis – BBC Studios Drama / Studio Lambert / BBC One

THE BATTLE FOR MOSUL (SKY NEWS) Production Team – Sky News
THE GRENFELL TOWER FIRE (CHANNEL 4 NEWS) Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Jackie Long, Cathy Newman, Ben de Pear – ITN / Channel 4
THE ROHINGYA CRISIS (SKY NEWS) Production Team – Sky News

CELEBRITY HUNTED Production Team – Shine TV / Channel 4
LOVE ISLAND Production Team – ITV Studios / Motion Content Group / ITV2
OLD PEOPLE’S HOME FOR 4 YEAR OLDS Trish Powell, Murray Boland, Benjamin Leigh, Belle Borgeaud – CPL Productions / Channel 4
THE REAL FULL MONTY Nick Bullen, Kevin Mundye, Daniela Neumann, Will Yapp – Spun Gold TV / ITV

CATASTROPHE Sharon Horgan, Rob Delaney, Ben Taylor, Jack Bayles – Avalon Television / Merman / Birdbath Productions / Channel 4
CHEWING GUM Production Team – Retort / E4
THIS COUNTRY Daisy May Cooper, Charlie Cooper, Tom George, Simon Mayhew-Archer – BBC Studios Comedy / BBC Three
TIMEWASTERS Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Josh Cole, George Kane – Big Talk Productions / ITV2

BRITAIN’S FORGOTTEN MEN Production Team – BBC Three / BBC Three
EATING WITH MY EX Production Team – Shotglass Media / BBC Three
MORGANA ROBINSON’S SUMMER Production Team – Merman / Sky Arts
PLS LIKE Production Team – BBC Three / BBC Three

CHRIS PACKHAM: ASPERGER’S AND ME Charlie Russell, Lizzie Kempton, Tom Barry, Will Grayburn – Raw TV / BBC Two
LOUIS THEROUX, TALKING TO ANOREXIA Louis Theroux, Ellena Wood, Simon McMahon, Peter Dale – BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit / BBC Two
ONE DEADLY WEEKEND IN AMERICA Sanjay Singhal, Ursula Macfarlane, Jon Alwen, Sarah Hunt – Voltage TV Productions / BBC Three
RIO FERDINAND: BEING MUM AND DAD Rio Ferdinand, Grant Best, Matt Smith, Martin Thompson – Only The Best Productions / BBC One

AGAINST THE LAW Aysha Rafaele, Scott Bassett, Fergus O’Brien, Brian Fillis – BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit / BBC Two
HANG THE DJ (BLACK MIRROR) Charlie Brooker, Annabel Jones, Tim Van Patten, Nick Pitt – House of Tomorrow / Netflix
KING CHARLES III Mike Bartlett, Greg Brenman, Rupert Goold, Simon Maloney – Drama Republic / BBC Two
MURDERED FOR BEING DIFFERENT Aysha Rafaele, Scott Bassett, Paul Andrew Williams, Nick Leather – BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit / BBC Three

CASUALTY Production Team – BBC Studios Continuing Drama / BBC One
CORONATION STREET Production Team – ITV Studios / ITV
EMMERDALE Production Team – ITV Studios / ITV
HOLLYOAKS Bryan Kirkwood, Emily Gascoyne, Vikki Tennant, Colette Chard – Lime Pictures / Channel 4

BASQUIAT – RAGE TO RICHES David Shulman, Janet Lee – BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit / BBC Two
BLITZ: THE BOMBS THAT CHANGED BRITAIN Tim Kirby, Emily Thompson, Francesca Maudslay, Cate Hall – Wall to Wall Media / BBC Two
BLUE PLANET II Production Team – BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit / BBC Worldwide / Open University / WDR / BBC America / Tencent / France Televisions / CCTV9/ BBC One
ELIZABETH I’S SECRET AGENTS Chris Durlacher, Bernadette Ross, Julian Jones, Claire Guillon – 72 Films / BBC Two

ANTHONY JOSHUA v. WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO Adam Smith, Ed Robinson, Sara Chenery, Jennie Blackmore – Sky Sports / Sky Sports Box Office
THE GRAND NATIONAL Paul McNamara, Richard Willoughby, Amy Lewin, Tony Cahalane – ITV Sport / ITV
SIX NATIONS: WALES v. ENGLAND Production Team – BBC Sport / BBC One
UEFA WOMEN’S EURO SEMI-FINAL: ENGLAND V. NETHERLANDS Sunil Patel, Mark Cole, Kay Satterley, Ian Finch – Whisper Films / Channel 4

ADRIAN DUNBAR Line of Duty – World Productions / BBC One
ANUPAM KHER The Boy with the Topknot – Kudos / Parti Productions / BBC Two
BRÍAN F. O’BYRNE Little Boy Blue – ITV Studios / ITV
JIMMI SIMPSON USS Callister (Black Mirror) – House of Tomorrow / Netflix

ANNA FRIEL Broken – LA Productions / BBC One
JULIE HESMONDHALGH Broadchurch – Kudos / Imaginary Friends / Sister Pictures / ITV
LIV HILL Three Girls – BBC Studios Drama / Studio Lambert / BBC One
VANESSA KIRBY The Crown – Left Bank Pictures / Netflix

VIRGIN TV’S MUST-SEE MOMENT (voted for by the public)
BLUE PLANET II Mother Pilot Whale Grieves – BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit / BBC Worldwide / Open University / WDR/ BBC America / Tencent / France Televisions / CCTV9 / BBC One
DOCTOR WHO The Thirteenth Doctor Revealed – BBC Studios Drama / BBC One
GAME OF THRONES Viserion is Killed by the Night King – HBO Programming / Bighead, Littlehead / Television 360 / Sky Atlantic
LINE OF DUTY Huntley’s Narrow Escape – World Productions / BBC One
LOVE ISLAND Stormzy Makes a Surprise Appearance – ITV Studios / Motion Content Group – ITV
ONE LOVE MANCHESTER Ariana Grande Sings ‘One Last Time’ – BBC Studios / SB Projects / BBC One

Photo Credits: BBC Pictures 



This Morning Live! ~ NEC, Birmingham

Put your hands up if you love ITV’s This Morning! I think it’s one of the best television shows and find it an amazing achievement that the award winning magazine programme has been on our screens for 30 years now. We’ve all got our favourite presenters and items on the show, This Morning Live! encompasses everything, it’s like the team stepped out of the television screen! You can:

  • Shop!
  • Meet the Presenters
  • Get your hands on a ton of freebies
  • Watch your favourite Cooks at work
  • Pick up make up and well being tips
  • …and much, much more

Plus the atmosphere is a combination of chilled decadence mixed with the thrill and excitement of walking amongst some of the most popular faces off the television. As an event it has it all, and I was only able to attend on the Saturday and Sunday this time. It’s actually a four day event and next year I’m going to make sure I’m there every day to get an even fuller picture of one of the year’s hotly anticipated shows.

The added bonus this year was that we were able to watch the Royal Wedding on the big screen on the main stage with commentary from Rylan Clark-Neal. It was great fun watching a milestone occasion with other This Morning enthusiasts, I’ll never forget it. Here’s some more memories from my weekend together with some useful hints and tips for your trip next year and a few reasons why you should go!

Top 5 Highlights Of The Weekend

  • Alison Hammond – Alison won one of my blog’s awards for Pantomime last year. Her performance of ‘Get Ya Freak On’ as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella at Malvern Theatres. I was over the moon to be able to present her with the award, personally. She truly is the Queen of Birmingham.
  • The Speakmans – This inspirational pair are always a favourite of mine on This Morning and their session about teaching yourself to be happy was invaluable. They speak so much sense and their style of self-help is the best I’ve ever come across. An uplifting, life-affirming presentation.
  • Charlotte White – Charlotte White is one of my best-loved foodies and her session all about red velvet cupcakes made my day. She’s one of the most comprehensive Cooks in my humble opinion and her style adds to her natural vivacity. A fantastic piece to listen to and interesting too. Nobody makes red velvet like Charlotte does.
  • Ainsley Harriott – Ainsley is like a breath of fresh air and I can attest that his Rum punch packs a punch too. Watching him cook and create was a privilege, he’s a talented man and engaging to listen to.
  • Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langsford – I love these two, their style of presenting and the way in which they complement one another makes Fridays one of my favourite days to watch This Morning, on. They were predictably superb on the Main Stage and my only regret is I didn’t manage to meet them, but everybody who did couldn’t stop gushing about them which was so awesome to hear. My little dream of a selfie with the inspirational duo can stay on the wish list for another time!

Top 5 Tips To Get The Best Out Of The Show

  • Meets and Greets: If you want to meet the This Morning Presenters and have a photograph taken with them as well as a bit of a chat – Gold tickets can be purchased (there are two type of ticket, with Silver being the basic admission ticket available). Gold tickets do sell out fast as meeting the Presenters is on many show-goers agenda so if you do fancy upgrading to get the VIP experience, book early. However, it is worth noting that where possible a few Silver ticket holders were permitted to join the queue for the meets and greets – although you’ll be queuing slightly longer due to the Gold ticket holders having booked their slot in advance. Is it worth queuing to meet the Presenters? If that’s your bag then a resounding YES!
  • Shopping: I was unprepared for the number of bargains to be had at a variety of different stalls, so if you’re the type of person who’s head is turned by a good deal have your purse or wallet to hand. From jewellery and books to food, there’s lots of choice and there are loads of gift ideas.
  • Schedule: If you want to make the most of the content on the various stages, make sure you take a look at the show schedule – you can find this on screens around the arena and I saw many people have the bright idea of taking a photo of it on their phones. It’s sound advice! There’s the Main Stage, Beauty & Well-Being and Food & Drink – make a note of the times your preferred article is scheduled for and get yourself to the appropriate area early if you want a seat. Seats for the Main Stage fill up very quickly with so many show-goers keen to get a good view of the main Presenters.
  • Book Signings: Another great way of meeting some of the Presenters if they happen to have a book out, times of the signings can be found near the book stand they’ll be appearing at. I made the mistake of realising too late that The Speakmans were signing their latest, so be sure to check out the book signing list early and be prepared to queue if you are up for this activity. I watched the interaction fans were having with Rylan and it looked well worth the queuing to me!
  • Competitions: There are loads of competitions so keep your eyes and ears peeled. Plus this year there was a selfie competition so make sure you’re connected with This Morning Live! on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Top 5 Reasons To Go Next Year

  • Stars of the small screen – where else will you see them all in one place?
  • Atmosphere – if you want to go to an event where you’re surrounded by the buzz of happy show-goers and plenty of exciting content for a full day’s outing, this is the place for you.
  • Bargains – it comes back to shopping again! The deals and offers are incredible, I’m still getting over it now… as you can tell!
  • Live demos – Cooking, Happiness Training, Beauty tips, there’s a long list of demos you won’t want to miss.
  • It’s a fantastic day out, fun and entertainment for all the family and worth going on more than one day if you can as no two days are the same.

Keep a look out on the This Morning Live! website for details of next year’s show and you can also sign up for news: This Morning Live! Website

In The Shadow of the Mountain ~ Old Red Lion

In The Shadow of the Mountain stays at the Old Red Lion until Saturday 2 June 2018, book tickets here: www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/in-the-shadow-of-the-mountain.html

Star rating: ****

Guest Review by Francesca Mepham 

From the outset of Felicity Huxley-Miners new play In The Shadow Of The Mountain, Rob (David Shears) may be on the edge of oblivion, ready to throw himself under a train, but he certainly gets swept up on an unexpected journey, when he meets Ellie (Felicity Huxley-Miners).

The chemistry between the two characters, is very authentic, it makes you care for these two polar opposites. Ellie is magnetic and witty, but her erratic behaviour starts to unravel in front of the audiences eyes and Rob is dryly funny and caring, but lost, after a recent betrayal. Ellie’s BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), that is never labelled in this play, is what makes her want to move this relationship along at an alarming fast pace. Her pleading to Rob that she “..wants to be saved” was so incredibly poignant and seem to summarise Ellie’s whole being.

Both performances are spot on, with excellent direction by Richard Elson, who gets the balance between both characters expressing their fears and bewilderment (especially with Shear’s Rob), in a thought-provoking way. The actors commanded the stage throughout, keeping the energy consistent and the story flowing. The taunts and emotional manipulation of Rob, by Ellie, are conveyed very convincingly by Huxley-Miners.

Meticulous research in to BPD is evident, as the balance between humour and poignancy, is very intricate. Nearer to the play’s conclusion, the full extent of Ellie’s condition is handled by cast and director, with a heart-wrenching honesty. In The Shadow Of The Mountain, shows the reality of mental health, on a person’s life and relationships.

Fundamentally this new play is about a couple, conceived in two people’s mental health struggles with BPD and depression, but it is also about what it means to be human and all its fragilities. I look forward to seeing more work produced by Instinct Theatre and Quantum Frolic Theatre, as this outstanding debut collaboration, is a beautifully written and acted piece of theatre.

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em ~ Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em stays at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 19 May – to book tickets follow the link: Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Star rating: ****

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was a television favourite of mine and I admire the work of both Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice, therefore the idea of a new cast in a stage version was one I struggled with. However, I was certainly willing to watch the show with an open mind and with Joe Pasquale at the helm as Frank, I felt it might just work.

I’m happy to report that I enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining evening at the theatre, it’s a laugh-a-minute comedy bonanza with innovative staging which almost steals the show by itself.

Guy Unsworth has written the ‘new’ script and based it on the original scripts by Raymond Allen, so there are elements of the famous television episodes peppered with new material. Joe Pasquale looks the part with the trench coat and beret, his mannerisms are similar to those associated with the original Frank, however he puts his own stamp on the role. The fact that Pasquale is an established comedian enhanced his characterisation and he even attempted a stunt or two, without the signature black gloves which Crawford was renowned for!

The story follows Betty’s (Sarah Earnshaw) discovery that she’s expecting a baby, Frank’s unemployed again and the local Vicar (David Shaw-Parker), Betty’s mum (Susie Blake) and her new chap, David Worthington (Moray Treadwell) are all on the scene too. The Vicar is permanently baffled, as most are in the company of Frank. Betty’s mum Barbara is getting stuck into Frank’s late mum’s homemade wine, while her new man is of particular interest to Frank because he’s a Bank Manager! With the added excitement of an impending visit from the BBC who intend to film the Spencers for a forthcoming talent show, the chaos, mayhem and sheer madness is overt and thoroughly slapstick from the outset.

The entire cast are a tight knit unit who each support one another superbly as the set is literally falling down around them. In particular, there is a stand-out performance from Susie Blake as Barbara, her facial expressions alone had me weeping tears of laughter. Blake’s physical comedy ability was a match for Pasquale’s too which was an inspired combination in the scenes they had together.

Does this work as a stage show? A resounding yes, the story lends itself to the stage and has been cleverly and intricately written. It’s also notable that Joe Pasquale is not trying to impersonate Michael Crawford, therefore it was engaging to watch a fresh take on a much-loved character. At times it seemed like some of the easy chemistry I’d expect to see between Frank and Betty was lacking, perhaps this is where my knowledge of the television version was a hindrance for me personally as a viewer. However on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed a good belly-laugh courtesy of a classic piece of comedy.

Photo Credits: Scott Rylander

The ENO New Season 2018/2019

Welcome to the New Season from the ENO! If you’re as fanatical about Opera as I am, you’ll be excited to see the exceptional line-up of productions and casting, not to mention Conductors! I’ll let the listings speak for themselves: 

Listings Information: ENO performances at the London Coliseum

Richard Strauss – Salome Libretto: Hedwig Lachman, after Oscar Wilde New production Sep 28 & Oct 3, 6, 12, 18, 23 at 19.30, Oct 20 at 18.30
Conductor: Martyn Brabbins, Director: Adena Jacobs, Designer: Marg Horwell, Lighting Designer: Lucy Carter, Choreographer: Melanie Lane, Translator: Tom Hammond CAST INCLUDES: Allison Cook (Salome) David Soar(Jokanaan) Michael Colvin (Herod) Susan Bickley (Herodias) #ENOSalome

The Gershwins – Porgy and Bess By George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin New Production Oct 11, 17, 19, 24, 26, 29, 31 & Nov 8, 14 at 19.30, Oct 13, 27 & Nov 10 at 18.30, Nov 3, 17 at 15.00
Conductor: John Wilson, Director: James Robinson, Set Designer: Michael Yeargan, Costume Designer: Catherine Zuber, Lighting Designer: Donald Holder, Video Designer: Luke Halls, Choreographer: Dianne McIntyre
CAST INCLUDES: Eric Greene (Porgy) Nicole Cabell (Bess) Nmon Ford (Crown) Latonia Moore (Serena) Gweneth-Ann Rand (Serena Oct 27, Oct 31, Nov 10) Nadine Benjamin (Clara) Tichina Vaughn (Maria) Donovan Singletary (Jake) Frederick Ballentine (Sporting Life) Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi (Mingo) Chaz’men Williams-Ali (Robbins/Crab Man) Byron Jackson (Frazier) Sarah-Jane Lewis (Annie) Nozuko Teto (Strawberry Woman) Njabulo Madlala (Jim) Whitaker Mills (Undertaker) Thando Mjandana (Nelson)
A co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Dutch National Opera Supported by a syndicate of donors The worldwide copyrights in the works of George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin in this presentation are licensed by the Gershwin Family. GERSHWIN is a registered trademark of Gershwin enterprises. Porgy and Bess is a registered trademark of Porgy and Bess Enterprises.

Gaetano Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor Libretto: Salvatore Cammarano, after Walter Scott Revival Oct 25, 30 & Nov 2, 7, 9, 15, 24, 30 & Dec 5 at 19.30
Conductor: Stuart Stratford /James Hendry (Dec 5), Director: David Alden, Set Designer: Charles Edwards, Costume Designer: Brigitte Reiffenstuel, Lighting Designer: Adam Silverman, Movement Director: Maxine Braham, Translator: Amanda Holden CAST INCLUDES: Sarah Tynan (Lucia) Lester Lynch (Enrico Ashton) Eleazar Rodríguez (Edgardo) Michael Colvin (Lord Arturo Bucklaw) Clive Bayley (Raimondo Bidebent) Sarah Pring (Alisa) Elgan Llŷr Thomas (Normanno) #ENOLucia

Benjamin Britten – War Requiem Missa pro Defunctis and Wilfred Owen New Production Nov 16, 22, 27, 29 & Dec 4, 7 at 19.30 Conductor: Martyn Brabbins, Director: Daniel Kramer, Designer: Wolfgang Tillmans, Associate Designer: Justin Nardella, Costume Designer: Nasir Mazhar, Lighting Designer: Charles Balfour, Choreographer: Ann Yee CAST INCLUDES: Emma Bell (Soprano) David Butt Philip (Tenor) Roderick Williams (Baritone) Co-production with National Performing Arts Center, Taiwan
Supported by Linda Christmas and a syndicate of donors #ENORequiem

Giacomo Puccini – La bohème Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, after Henri Murger Revival
Nov 26, 28 & Dec 3, 6 & Jan 29 & Feb 2, 7, 12, 14, 20, 22 at 19.30, Dec 1 & Feb 16 at 15.00, Dec 8 & Feb 9 at 18.30
Conductor: Alexander Joel/ Valentina Peleggi (Feb 7, 9, 14), Director: Jonathan Miller, Revival Director: Natascha Metherell, Designer: Isabella Bywater, Lighting Designer: Jean Kalman, Translator: Amanda Holden
CAST INCLUDES: Natalya Romaniw (Mimì) Jonathan Tetelman (Rodolfo) Nicholas Lester (Marcello) Nadine Benjamin (Musetta) David Soar / David Ireland Jan 29, Feb 2, 7, 9 (Colline) Božidar Smiljanić / Matthew Durkan Jan 29, Feb 2, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 20, 22 (Schaunard) Simon Butteriss (Benoît/Alcindoro) Co-production with Cincinnati Opera #ENOBoheme

Philip Glass – Akhnaten Libretto: Philip Glass in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel, Richard Ridell and Jerome Robbins Revival Feb 11, 15, 21, 23, 28 & Mar 7 at 19.30, Mar 2 at 18.30
Conductor: Karen Kamensek, Director: Phelim McDermott Designer: Tom Pye, Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard, Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet, Skills Ensemble Choreographer: Sean Gandini
CAST INCLUDES: Anthony Roth Costanzo (Akhnaten) Katie Stevenson (Nefertiti) Rebecca Bottone (Queen Tye) James Cleverton (Horemhab) Keel Watson (Aye) Colin Judson (High Priest of Amon) Zachary James (Scribe) A collaboration with Improbable
Co-production with LA Opera #ENOAkhnaten

Franz Lehár – The Merry Widow Libretto: Victor Léon and Leo Stein, after Henri Meilhac New Production Mar 1, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 22, 27, 29 & Apr 1, 4 at 19.30, Apr 13 at 15.00
Conductor: Kristiina Poska /Martin Fitzpatrick (April 1, 4, 13), Director: Max Webster, Set Designer: Ben Stones, Costume Designer: Esther Bialas, Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet, Choreographer: Stephen Mears
CAST INCLUDES: Sarah Tynan (Hanna Glawari) Nathan Gunn (Count Danilo Danilowitsch) Andrew Shore (Baron Mirko Zeta) Robert Murray (Camille de Rosillon) Rhian Lois (Valencienne) Nicholas Lester (Vicomte Cascada) Jamie MacDougall (Raoul de St Brioche) Supported by a syndicate of donors #ENOWidow

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – The Magic Flute Libretto: Emanuel Schikaneder Revival Mar 14, 21, 23, 28 & Apr 2, 9, 11 at 19.30, Mar 16 at 18.30, Apr 6 at 15.00
Conductor: Ben Gernon/Chris Hopkins (Mar 28) Director: Simon McBurney, Associate Director and Movement: Josie Daxter, Set Designer: Michael Levine, Costume Designer: Nicky Gilliband, Lighting Designer: Jean Kalman, Revival Lighting Designer: Mike Gunning, Video Designer: Finn Ross, Sound Designer Gareth Fry, Translator: Stephen Jeffreys
CAST INCLUDES: Rupert Charlesworth (Tamino) Lucy Crowe (Pamina) Thomas Oliemans (Papageno)Brindley Sherratt/Jonathan Lemalu Apr 9 & 11 (Sarastro) Julia Bauer (Queen of Night)Jonathan Lemalu/David Ireland Apr 9 & 11 (Speaker) Daniel Norman (Monostatos) Eleanor Dennis (First Lady) Samantha Price (Second Lady) Katie Stevenson (Third Lady) Rowan Pierce (Papagena) David Webb (First Priest/First Armed Man) David Ireland (Second Priest/Second Armed Man) A collaboration with Complicite Co-production with Dutch National Opera and the International Festival of Lyric Art, Aix-en-Provence #ENOFlute

Iain Bell – Jack The Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel Libretto: Emma Jenkins World Premiere Mar 30 & Apr 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 at 19.30
Conductor: Martyn Brabbins Director: Daniel Kramer, Designer: Soutra Gilmour, Lighting Designer: Paul Anderson

CAST INCLUDES: Claudia Boyle (Mary Kelly) Josephine Barstow (Maud) Janis Kelly (Polly Nichols) Marie McLaughlin (Annie Chapman) Susan Bullock (Liz Stride) Lesley Garrett (Catherine Eddowes) William Morgan (Writer) Alex Otterburn (Squibby) Alan Opie (The Pathologist) Robert Hayward (Commissioner of Police) Nicky Spence (Sergeant Johnny Strong) James Cleverton (The Photographer) Commissioned by ENO and Opera North, Co-production with Opera North Supported by a syndicate of donors #ENORipper


Entertainment Views Interviews: FFIT Cymru’s Catherine Lewis

S4C’s innovative health, fitness and well-being series FFIT Cymru began airing on 10 April (with English sub-titles available). The show’s mission is to create a fitter Wales one step at a time.

Five inspiring and committed contributors (known as Leaders) will be guided by three experts during their journey to change old habits for good by following a fit and healthy lifestyle. Personal trainer Rae Carpenter, dietician Sioned Quirke and psychologist Dr Ioan Rees will support the Leaders every step of the way as they aim to transform their health and subsequently their lives.  Each Leader has a compelling story to tell and we invite you along for the journey.  Viewers are encouraged to take part by following a customised weekly online diet and fitness plan as the series progresses and track their own development.  FFIT Cymru is a 360-degree project that spans television, social media and online.

The 8 x 60’ series is currently airing weekly and presented by Welsh broadcaster Lisa Gwilym who is best known for presenting shows on BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales and S4C.

There is increasing concern for the nation’s health with 60% of adults in Wales overweight and 1 in 4 considered obese**.

According to the National Survey of Wales 3 in 5 adults in Wales are overweight or obese; 1 in 5 adults in Wales smoke; 1 in 5 adults in Wales drink more than the weekly guidelines and only 1 in 4 adults in Wales eat the recommended 5 fruit or vegetables per day. The NHS in Wales spends £73 million each year treating and trying to prevent obesity – according to research from Welsh Government. 

The show has been created with help and support from the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Sports Wales, the Football Association of Wales, mental healthy charity MIND, Bangor University, Sustrans and Parkrun UK.

For more information, and to follow the diet and fitness plans, go online to: www.s4c.cymru/ffitcymru

S4C is available on all TV platforms in Wales and across the UK on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media. The Welsh language channel is also, available across the UK on s4c.cymru, BBC iPlayer, YouView, Amazon Fire and Samsung Smart TV and on mobile devices via the S4C App. English subtitles are available on most programmes, including FFIT Cymru, either as an optional service or burnt-in.


One of the 5 leaders, Catherine Lewis chatted to Entertainment Views about the series:

Tell me about the TV programme and what inspired you to apply?

FFIT Cymru is a TV programme to help the lucky 5 Leaders chosen to be apart of it to lose weight, get fit, have a healthier lifestyle and body and ultimately transform their lives! But the programme isn’t only there for us 5, they also want everyone in Wales to take part in some way or other.  By watching the programme everyone across Wales will be able to watch and get an idea of how the food and exercise plan works.  The series also has a website with many recipes for healthy foods to cook – they are super easy and anyone should be able to give them a go.  Check it out here: https://www.ffit.cymru – it is in English and Welsh.  I was inspired to apply because the advert looked absolutely incredible.  I have tried so many different diets that I no longer knew what to do.  I started to think at one point “this is how I am now and I need to start accepting it”. But once I saw the advert I just knew straight away “this is what I NEED”!  We receive the help from 3 amazing experts in fitness, diet and psychology every step of the way for 8 weeks – there really isn’t a better way than this.  I have a daughter who is only 2 and I really want her to grow up knowing everything she should know about keeping her body healthy, so I am now doing this for me and her.

What does fitness mean to you?

Fitness to me means having your body in the best shape: having your body’s fitness age at the age you are living at the moment – even younger.  Now I’ve started with my fitness I’m beginning to realise how important fitness is to our bodies and how much my body enjoys it.  And this is exactly what FFIT Cymru wants everyone to do. Your body LOVES it when you work out, do some cardio or even just going for a walk!  It’s surprising how good my body feels just after a month of trying to get fitter. Your body will never say no to exercise, it is always your mind. It’s important to try to change the way you think of these things and they will start to happen.

How do you feel that our well-being can be improved physically and mentally?  

Our well-being can be improved physically and mentally just by eating healthier and exercising. It sounds obvious but it’s true. You eat healthier- you feel it too! You feel amazing just by changing the things you eat. Changing the way you think of food is important too. Yes, it’s important that you enjoy what you eat but food isn’t there just to enjoy, food is the energy our body needs to move around, to do day to day life things.

How do you personally keep motivated to maintain your own fitness?

I keep motivated by thinking of how many days of exercising I have completed and how I don’t want to un-do everything I have done up till now. The harder the cardio gets, the more I start to realise how far I have come and how I’m getting used to running longer.  The longer I run – the prouder I feel.  It just makes me eager to carry it on and achieve more after seeing that I can do it.

What can we expect from the television programme?

You can expect to see how we deal with day to day temptations and the things that bring us down the most.  But you will also learn how to deal with those situations if it happens to you.  The expert advice we receive is invaluable too – anyone can take that on board.  You can learn how to eat healthier and how to keep your body healthy by watching the programme.  I’ve learnt so much from it all and it’s all on TV so, if I was a viewer knowing what I know, I would definitely tune in to see what I could learn!

Why should everybody tune in?

Everyone should tune in if they want to be healthier but also even if they don’t think they want to make the change – it might motivate you to make a change for your own well being!  You will honestly learn so much from the series.  Not only have we grown in our fitness and addressed our eating habits but we have also grown in our confidence and how we push ourselves out of our comfort zone to achieve higher things that we would never do!  It might be just the push you need to start your journey.  Everything you need to start off is on the FFIT Cymru website: https://www.ffit.cymru – go on give it a go.

FFIT Cymru continues on S4C on Tuesday at 8pm.  
For more information and to follow the diet and fitness plans, go online to www.s4c.cymru/ffitcymru  S4C is available on all TV platforms in Wales and across the UK on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media. The Welsh language channel is also, available across the UK on s4c.cymru, BBC iPlayer, YouView, Amazon Fire and Samsung Smart TV and on mobile devices via the S4C App. English subtitles are available on most programmes, including FFIT Cymru, either as an optional service or burnt-in.

Entertainment Views Interviews: Thomas Meadmore Chats about ‘The Outsider’


A legendary figure in the industry, could shipping magnate Nobu Su be the one to bring down the banking world? In a stranger than fiction tale that gives Oceans 11 a run for its money, brand new feature documentary The Outsider is a story of a man who didn’t fit in, taking on one of the biggest corporations in the world.

Filled with financial rackets, conspiracy theories and a story of a multi-millionaire businessman and his mighty fall from grace, The Outsider, from Thomas Meadmore, award-winning editor (The Guv’nor) and director (How to Lose Jobs and Alienate Girlfriends), has its world premiere at the East End Film Festival, on 20 April 2018. This will be followed by a limited theatrical release as well as an iTunes and DVD release, full details to follow.

Taiwanese shipping magnate Nobu Su rose through the ranks of his family business and built it into one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Powerful, revered and described as a ‘visionary and revolutionary’,  he was one of the most respected people in the shipping world, the world’s biggest transportation business. It’s an industry that accounts for the movement of some 90 per cent of everything we consume in Western Society, but a business that has very little scrutiny.

When the 2008 financial crash happened, Nobu Su lost everything. And everything for him meant several billion dollars.. He felt cheated, believing that rivals were out to get revenge on perceived business slights, leaving him to sink like the rusting hulk of an old ship. And much more disturbing, he genuinely believes that The Royal Bank of Scotland hijacked his account and swindled him out of billions of pounds.

Since 2008 he has been on a one man crusade to understand what went wrong and who was to blame; himself, the banks, his rival ship owners or the system?

Featuring interviews with the man himself, renowned shipping experts, some of the world’s most respected shipping analysts and those close to Nobu Su, The Outsider gives a tantalising look at how the  little known world of  global shipping operates, told from the point of view of the greatest maverick the shipping world has ever known.

Running time: 100 mins approx.                                            Language: English  

Entertainment Views grabbed an exclusive interview with Thomas Meadmore

Thanks for talking to Entertainment Views, tell me about the Outsider and your inspiration for the film

My pleasure – thanks for your interest in the movie!

The Outsider is a character study of a man on a mission against the biggest institutions during the global financial crisis. Without judging his actions, it illustrates the life and fall out from an obsession to prove oneself. This is all wrapped up in an entertaining ‘oceans eleven on the high seas’ heist story and banking scandal. It’s great fun.

And of course the inspiration came from the man himself, Nobu Su – an incredibly charismatic man who’s passion bowls you over. How could I not want to tell his story!

What elements do you look for when choosing a subject to centre a film around?

There are a few things. Who is the person, what are they like? Will they be good speakers and open up about their lives and go deep into their emotions? Importantly, is their story compelling? It always comes down to story and the ability to tell the story in a dramatic way. With Nobu Su, I was certain that we could do that.

What were the challenges with this film?

Ironically – the biggest challenge was understanding this story!! It’s a complex financial story – so I had to understand it before I could explain it in a film to an audience. This difficulty was compounded by a fundamental secrecy which our main character, Nobu Su, likes to shroud all of his activity within. No one really knows the full story with him – and this was the case from go to woe with me! We got there in the end. The other biggest challenge was just trying to control him. Impossible. One minute we would be ready to film, microphone on and suddenly… he was gone. Run off somewhere for twenty minutes. Hilarious. We just had to roll with it.

What were the highlights of making the film?

Beyond the stress of the above, it created a tremendous excitement – and making the chaos part of the story allowed for a very smooth filming process. It became quite exciting – we didn’t know where we would end up next, who we would be with or what we would be doing. One day we were in Taiwan, the next we were on an enormous ship in Dubai! Also working with the man himself, Nobu, is fun. He has an enthusiastic energy which syncs with mine and as a result we had a terrific rapport.

What can the audience expect from it?

You’re going to enter the world of a billionaire (or a once upon a time billionaire), you’re going to see how he made his money, and you’re going to witness the phenomenal so-called heist/scandal that brought him to his knees. It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s eye opening and it’s a world (the world of shipping & shipping finance) I am sure you have never seen before. With one of the most enigmatic characters right at the centre of the whole she-bang.

Strap in.

What do you hope the audience will take away from it?

I hope the audience will take home insight into the sacrifices people make when they are trying to fire-fight their own problems, to their own detriment… the cost on family life and personal sanity. Is it worth it? And I hope people will get a fresh perspective on the impact of the de-regulation of banks – how one individual can be taken advantage of for the benefit of a bank. Because it’s wrapped in a fun, entertaining character study you, hopefully, won’t glaze over when we start showing you the money (so to speak).

Any advice for budding film makers?

Today the advice would be make sure you get good sound!

The Outsider arrives on iTunes on 4 June and screens at Bertha DocHouse from 25 Mayhttp://dochouse.org/cinema/screenings/outsider

The Little Mermaid ~ Malvern Theatres

Little Mermaid is on UK tour – check our all the dates/venues here: Little Mermaid

Star rating: ****

It was a first for me to see a Circus performance and definitely a first to be able to appreciate Little Mermaid performed this way. However, I hope this will be the first of many opportunities I will have, as I have witness something extraordinary in Metta Theatre’s production.

With book, lyrics and additional song melodies from Poppy Burton-Morgan, we were treated the tale of the mermaid’s quest to live on land which is mirrored by the Prince’s desire to be by the sea. A fateful storm throws them into one another’s path and so begins the classic love story, it’s a rollercoaster of dark magic from the Sea Witch, life-changing choices and the overall feeling that love will conquer all eventually.

The music was played on stage by the cast and they all possessed stunning singing voices, their musicality matched their physical abilities and made for quite the spectacle. The strength, trust and confidence that each one emulated was thrilling too.

With a set which was minimalistic yet represented the sea beautifully, with the sparse addition of relevant apparatus, the scene was set for a story of wonder. The talented ensemble demonstrated their abilities as acrobats, singers, musicians and story-tellers. I can honestly say this was the first time I’d ever seen an individual swinging upside down and simultaneously playing the violin! It looked as natural as the other stunning choreography and movement, though, the entire show was seamless.

It was unfortunate that my eyes were drawn to the wings as I was eager to watch the technicalities, this may have distracted me from the splendour unfolding on stage. However, there’s no denying that the production is flawless both on and off stage.

I’m delighted to have dipped into a different genre of live performance and Malvern Theatres provided a superb space to watch it in.

Photo Credits: Robert Day


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