My Autumn Television Favourites

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons, it’s a far more welcome sight when it takes over from a glorious summer and this year, us brits have been spoiled, sunny days making staycations the holiday of choice for many. Television isn’t always at the forefront of our minds, when outside looks so inviting we tend to forget the box indoors.

It might be just me, but I’ve long been of the opinion that the selection of television programmes reflects the fact that most of us won’t be lounging on the sofa at the end of a long day at work. However, with the change of season comes a change of TV shows and I am loving the full Sky Box planner. My top 5 must-watch programmes this autumn are a heady mix of variety and drama, take a look:

Strictly Come Dancing

When that glitter ball trophy’s up for grabs each autumn, I’m ready for BBC One to take over my television on Saturday and Sunday nights. I love everything about Strictly Come Dancing, from the judges (Shirley Ballas is a fantastic replacement for Len Goodman) to the inspired mixture of contestants from across sports, television, etc. I also have a thing for professional dancer, Aljaz Skorjanec! So the sight of him cheers me up no end as the dark nights draw in. I am sorry that he and Kate Silverton have been voted off the show, as not only does that reduce my Aljiaz time, but I also really like and respect Kate – she was coming on leaps and bounds. It’s the ultimate autumn AND winter telly, though and much as I miss Sir Brucie (RIP) you’ve gotta love Claudia with her one liners and dry wit. It’s a TEN from every member of the panel at Entertainment Views HQ.

Doctor Who

Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor has stolen my heart and mind! She is everything I hoped she’d be and more. Sunday evenings are so much better for a dose of Doctor Who and together with her band of companions, the Doctor is rocking some exceptional storylines. Chris Chibnall should be congratulated for injecting verve, vibrancy and very current topics into the scripts. The Tardis has never been in better hands. The guest stars are brilliant too, Lee Mack was certainly a favourite (if not short-lived) addition in one episode and I can’t wait to see Phyllis Logan, I think she’ll be awesome as usual. Whittaker is my new favourite since the wondrous David Tennant took over the Tardis. If I’m not mistaken, their characterisation of the Doctor is similar.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here

Dingo dollars, Kiosk Kev (ahhh see ya later Kiosk Keith!) and a brand new set of celebrities for Dec and his newly appointed assistant, Holly Willoughby to play with! With Noel Edmonds has been the first camp mate to cause a stir, all seemed fairly settled in both camps until he became Emperor. Harry Redknapp is already established as one of my favourites, his stories are fantastic and he’s such a down to earth bloke. Anne Hegerty is doing a great job of raising the awareness of Autism and actually not handling jungle life too badly, although she does like to use the phrase ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ she has no qualms about it. Nick Knowles is proving himself to be a kind and useful sort of person and Rita Simons is so to the point, I love her. I haven’t picked a winner yet but there are a few who already deserve the crown. A superb line up this year!

There She Goes

This has just finished on BBC Four and it has been gripping yet hilarious drama. In fact it’s been the type of programme you feel it’s disrespectful to laugh at and yet that’s exactly what the script and performances are inviting the audience to do. There She Goes centres around a girl called Rosie who is learning disabled and although she’s age 9 she’s suffering from severe developmental delay. David Tennant and Jessica Hynes play her parents and they’re a great tag team, an ideal combination to take on a challenging drama peppered with light comedy. Watching their daily struggles, flashbacks to when Rosie was born and they were looking for answers and the brutal reality of the consequences of her impairment are at once cringe-worthy and life-affirming. It’s been a must-see series and if you can get it on catch up, I highly recommend you give it a watch.

The Apprentice

You’re fired! Good old Sir Alan is back with his straight-faced sidekicks, Karen and Claude (bring back Nick and Margaret!). Lord Sugar’s in search of a new business partner and as usual, there are a selection of candidates vying for the prestigious position and kicking each other when they’re down in a bid to be the one to win the prize. As much as there are always a number of candidates whom I find perpetually annoying, I always take a step back and remember that editing takes responsibility for the persona of each individual. Although the business world is dog eat dog and that is reflected in their behaviour. Some of the tasks have had me glued, the art gallery in particular was a fascinating watch and I had the fired candidate pegged from the start. Other weeks it’s not been so easy to guess. This series has renewed my love of the show, though and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Photo Credits: BBC & ITV 

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Doctor Who ~ Series 11 ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’

I’m late to the Doctor Who party, although I did watch the first episode of the brand new series ‘live’! I for one was delighted that a female doctor had been chosen when Capaldi hung up the sonic screwdriver so my eagerness to see Jodie Whittaker in the role was bubbling over. The latest instalment not only did not disappoint, but Whittaker has brought a whole new persona to the doctor which hardly relates to the gender at all. There was also a stellar cast to back up the new recruit and it looks as though some famous faces are set to grace our screens in upcoming episodes too, including Phyllis Logan! Here are a few highlight of an episode jam-packed with goodness.

Jodie Whittaker

The arrival of the new doctor was typically chaotic, straight in through the roof of a train without so much as a bye your leave! From the outset Whittaker established the character as whacky, nonchalant, determined and with the kindness streak still flowing freely. I loved the throw away comment of her being an alien, the desire to be a friend to the crowd she found herself mixing with and the clumsiness. One of the defining moments was the costume selection in the charity shop! Chris Chibnall is undoubtedly a fine choice of writer for the series and hand in hand with Whittaker at the helm, there’s a short-hand here that will enhance the much-loved series further.

New Friends

I’d been dubious about Bradley Walsh taking on the coveted role of the companion, however, as Graham he has already shown what a superb sidekick he could be and the chemistry with Whittaker is already palpable in my humble opinion. Sharon D Marshall as his wife of three years was also a superb addition – it’s a pity it was a short-lived role. However, with Graham’s backstory including Cancer and now the death of his wife, he’s got a lot of personal experiences to bring to the table. Setting his back story up so early on will surely make sense of his reactions as we move through each story. He’s a steady influence too, which never hurts when you’re supporting the doctor!

Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) also seem to be a strong addition, each one having suffered loss and with a desire to embrace whatever life throws. Ryan might be a loose cannon though, which might be frustrating and exciting in equal measure, while I’m anticipating a more sensible approach from Yaz. It’s a team de force so far, with the doctor they make a formidable foursome!

 

Alienated

The alien enemy featured in this episode both fascinated and frightened me! It was a sight to behold once the armour was removed and the powers were believable too, as a sci-fi villain he was captivating and almost gained my sympathy once or twice – wholly unexpected.

Chibnall’s Vision

Chris Chibnall has fast become one of my best-loved drama writers, from back in the days of Sunday evening BBC favourite ‘Born and Bred‘ to the mighty ‘Broadchurch‘, his vision is one I can always get on board with and that I enjoy dissecting. By taking the reigns of Doctor Who he’s adding his uncanny ability to characterise a role fully to an already winning formula. His history with Whittaker from the ‘Broadchurch‘ series makes for the right combination to drive forward the new concept of casting a female in the title role for the very first time. So far so good, too!

Catch up here: 

Doctor Who on BBC iplayer

Photo credits: BBC

Coventry Comic Con ~ Review

Comic Cons are one of mine and my family’s favourite things to go to together and Coventry Comic Con offered every opportunity for some fantastic memorabilia and nostalgia in the company of cosplayers and a number of celebrities.

The venue, Sports Connexion was the perfect venue for an easy and effective layout. Plenty of space between the stalls and no shoving and pushing to have a look at the all important merchandise (yes, I came home with not one but TWO bags to satisfy my loud and proud geeky side). There were stars at every turn signing autographs and enjoying selfie time! Notably, David Prowse (Darth Vader… DARTH VADER!!) was present and Sylvester McCoy, my Doctor, was also in attendance with his companion, Ace (Sophie Aldred). Patricia Quinn of Rocky Horror fame was also looking resplendent as ever and loads more cult television series and movies were represented – it was an impressive line up.

The piece de resistance was the panel talks – well organised, a good range of guests and I loved listening to Sylvester McCoy, everyone should hear him talk about Doctor Who and anything else for that matter.

Comic Cons are great fun, where else can fans walk around in costume with the only form of judgement being the cosplay competition they can enter. There are so many to choose from and if you’re taking young children, the smaller-scale events are often a better starter – not so overwhelming but still generating excitement in the little ‘uns. Our three year old is still talking about Coventry’s.

Want to know amore about this fantastic event for all the family? You can read more about it here: Coventry Comic Con

 

Trust Me, Series One, Episode One ~ Review *** GUEST BLOG ***

Chloe Buckles, a member of Team Break A Leg has very kindly offered to review the new series on BBC One, ‘Trust Me’. We love a guest blog from Chloe, so here she is to tell you all about the show which stars the new Doctor-to-be.

Lovely Chloe, who is one of our treasured Guest Bloggers

With Tuesday nights rapidly becoming a prime time for the BBC to show it’s latest mini drama series, plus the added surge of interest in actress Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor Who, Trust Me is, in my opinion, a piece of ‘must-watch’ TV. And this first episode of the series didn’t disappoint…

So, Who is the Doctor here? Well, one thing’s for sure, Cath Hardacre (Jodie Whittaker) is not. When we first meet her she’s a capable and caring nurse, frustrated by how the system is letting not only her, but more importantly, her patients down. After toying with the idea of taking her concerns to the press, she eventually does the ‘right’ thing and keeps it in house. Unfortunately, her own conduct has been called into question and tables are quickly turned with Cath’s job now on the line.

Losing her job, and watching her best friend Ally Sutton (Andrea Lowe) get ready to jet off to New Zealand for her new life, you see the idea ignite and formulate in her mind – she could become her best friend. An A&E doctor. I’m not sure that when Ally said she’d do anything for Cath, she meant let her steal her identity!

Ally (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (C) Red Productions – Photographer: Mark Mainz

With so much against a character, who is painted to the viewers as honest and capable, you do feel for Cath. However, her decision to then steal her best friends identity didn’t entirely sit right for me – a hugely drastic decision with potentially enormous consequences for a situation that I didn’t feel was desperate enough, especially given that she is a good character who clearly cares about the quality of care of her patients.

Regardless, what follows is a highly anxious time with Cath masquerading as a qualified doctor, now in Edinburgh having moved from Sheffield. Despite doing her research, Cath is quickly overwhelmed by the pace and complication of an A&E department – apparently not just anyone can do it even with some YouTube tutorials! I felt genuinely uncomfortable, and not just at watching that foot be pulled back into place, but at the concern that she may get it wrong. A rabbit in the headlights. Her time in resus was particularly frightening and reminiscent only of a bad dream – where you are put in a situation where you have absolutely no idea how to respond. This is credit to the exceptional writing and directing, which made the scenes so tense and uneasy to watch as a viewer.

Despite Cath quickly becoming comfortable in her new role, especially in minors, huge cracks are already forming in her plan (which at its heart is simply to give her daughter, Molly, a better life). I look forward to seeing where this is going and, inevitably, how it all unravels as her past life catches up with her.

Trust Me airs on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC One.

 

Chloe blogs at Inept Ramblings Blog

Spotlight On… Actress, Clare Calbraith

Clare Calbraith burst onto our screens in 1960’s drama heartbeat, she has skipped around a variety of periods, since then. Downton Abbey was her home for a short time and then she shot to fame in Home Fires. I caught up with Clare to ask her all about her illustrious career to date.

Thanks for talking to Break A Leg, Clare. Starting with Home Fires, it was a wonderful series and I am a fan of the show, what are your favourite memories of filming it and what did you think of Steph?

 

I have only good memories of working on Home Fires. Genuinely the most extraordinary bunch of people I’ve ever worked with, we still spend an unhealthy amount of time together, even though the series is over!

And I loved Steph, chopping wood, shooting, driving tractors and barely ever having to wear painful high heels. The amazing Chris Coghill and Brian Fletcher in my Farrow family…dream job.

Any favourite scene that stands out?
Actually one of my favourite scenes was one I wasn’t in, when the village comes together to help with harvest. Against the backdrop of Samuel Sim’s wonderful music, I loved it, a may have shed a little tear.
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Clare appeared in Downton Abbey. Photo Credit: ITV

 

Moving on to Downton Abbey, did you have fun on the show?
I had a great time on Downton, it was already a massive hit when I joined so it was a little nerve wracking but Hugh Bonneville was a joy to work with, a privilege to play a tiny part in such a wonderful show.
Heartbeat, is one of my earliest memories of your appearances on screen, how did you like playing a Doctor and did you enjoy working in and around Goathland? Any particular memories you can share with me?
Oh gosh Heartbeat was pushing 20 years ago now, it was kind of my training ground, 12 hours a day, full on for 11 months of the year. I had a ball, met one of my best friends, we had amazing guest artists every week that were far more experienced than me, a real learning curve.
You’ve also notably appeared in Doctor Who audio dramas, how does working on an audio piece compare to on-screen? What are the main differences with the way you take on a character?
Audio is honestly a gift. Its playtime without all the vanity and insecurity than being on film brings. I don’t know any actor that doesn’t love it.
Are there any roles that you have a burning ambition to play in the future?
My ambitions change with every job. After TV I’m desperate to get back to theatre and vice versa. If I can keep working I’m happy. If I get bored (or I guess if people get bored of me) I’ll stop. You need to love it. Too many people would kill to make acting their job, if you don’t love it, move aside, because someone at least as good as you is probably waiting in the wings.
What’s next for you now that Home Fires has finished?
Next I’ll be on the new series of DCI Banks which I think airs in August or possibly a little later, a very different character for me so it was really great to get my teeth into. After that who knows, I’ll miss Home Fires of course but am excited to see what comes next.
I’m so grateful to Clare for a lovely interview and look forward to DCI Banks!
Images courtesy of ITV

Wales Comic Con ~ Wrexham

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April, Wales Comic Con hosted their first ever weekend, and it rocked!

Wrexham Glyndwr University was the venue and it was perfect, there were various indoor areas to check out, where you purchase merchandise or hanker your dream item! The rooms used for the various panel sessions were well laid out with great capacity and it was a coup to be able to sit on the front row because we were present as press. It makes such a difference when there is no hassle to get a seat in a panel you intend to cover. There was also plenty of activity going on outdoors including the presence of Lightning McQueen, available to sit in at no charge (he was quite something to see!) and owls and reptiles to say hello to.

UK Garrison were present to keep a watchful eye over proceedings, they make a Comic Con for me and Chewbacca never ceases to amaze me, he is spot on. If you want to start a Star Wars costume of your own, see these guys!

Not only was the layout of the event excellent and easy to navigate, but the organisation was also second to none. The team could not be faulted from how they handled queues to get into the event overall, to organising lines to go into the panel sessions.

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Photograph above: actor Mark Ryan (R) with Break A Leg Reviewer (aka my husband) Garry McWilliams (L)

There was a huge number of celebrities available for signings and not many cancellations before or on the day. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones this was certainly the Con for you! Also present were John Challis and Sue Holderness, aka Boycie and Marlene from Only Fools And Horses, Mark Ryan from Transformers and Black Sails, plus Doctor Who Doctors Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davison. Star Wars creature actors, Kiran Shah, Arti Shah and Paul Warren were also on hand to sign autographs and have selfies taken with fans.

The two panels that I attended, Star Wars and Doctor Who were both extremely entertaining and informative. I won’t look at the creatures in Star Wars the same way again! Plus any Doctor Who panel session is worth attending that has Sylvester McCoy present, he was the highlight of the con for me, extremely funny guy. The Star Wars panel covered everything from the appearance of Mark Hamill on set, to the process involved when a creature actor is filmed. While the Doctor Who panel consisted of an avoidance of the question about the new companion(!) and a live email to Stephen Moffat  from Peter Davison. Gemma Redgrave was on hand to keep the boys in check and her eyes lit up at the thought of taking on the role of a female Doctor Who!

I attend a number of comic cons and I have to say, Wales, this one takes some beating! I can’t wait for next time. Guest feedback from the signing area was so positive and look out for my interviews with Mark Ryan and Mark Addy (Game of Thrones).

 

 

 

Spotlight On… Paula Tappenden

*** Spotlight on… Paula Tappenden ***

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She’s currently playing Mrs Lyons in the UK tour of Blood Brothers, but was also the first ever on stage Miss Honey in Matilda before the current musical incarnation was thought of. We spoke to Paula Tappenden about life on tour and her career so far…

How has the current tour of Blood Brothers been going? What do you love about the show?

The tour is flying by – I’ve really enjoyed being back in the show, over the years I have returned to the role many times and there is always something new to discover. I have loved being part of the ‘Blood Brothers family’ – it’s a very large slightly dysfunctional one with a huge heart.

For me and quite a few other cast members we also met our partners through Blood Brothers…both my husband and my brother-in-law have played Mr Lyons…and I played Mrs Lyons with both of them in the West End. I think the strangest show must have been when Stephen my husband played Mr Lyons and Kevin his brother went on as Narrator (…just to add they also happen to be identical twins!).
Do you have a favourite theatre on tour?
Impossible to choose! Although some theatres can be more challenging than others, for example, working on a very steep rake in heels isn’t the easiest thing to do, and although some theatres are really beautiful with lovely ornate auditoriums, FOH, and lovely staff …backstage can sometimes be quite cramped with fairly basic facilities.
Mrs Lyons is a great character and has that lovely duet with Mrs JohnstoneMy Child do you feel any affinity with Mrs Lyons and who has been your favourite Mrs Johnstone been?

My Child is a lovely song, and shows Mrs Lyons’ real longing to have a child. The tune is also repeated later in the show, which some people may not notice. I also understudy/cover Mrs Johnstone so in a way I have an affinity with both characters (especially when I am trying to hurry my son to school and I catch myself using Willy Russells dialogue!!). When I joined the show I was told that Mrs Lyons is not a villain; I feel sympathy for her as she is trying so hard to be a great mother but is only too aware she fails and because of misguided actions she is not an instantly likeable character. This makes her a much more challenging role to play.

Over the years I think I have worked with about nine Mrs. J’s and I am still in contact with a lot of them so, as with the favourite theatre question, I couldn’t possibly choose the best one…They are all Fabulous! …In a couple of weeks we may need to share dressing rooms again so I may have to add that Maureen Nolan is particularly fabulous this tour!
What have been your career highlights so far?
Creating the role of Miss Honey in the first ever production of Matilda. Unfortunately not the huge West End success that the current one is – but I did get to meet Roald Dahl. Also my first ever theatre tour, Dr Who the Ultimate Adventure – we had a hoot and I think I was possibly the first ever female Cyberman!
What led you to become an actress?
 went to college and couldn’t decide between Art and Drama – when a school friend turned up naked to the ‘life art’ class to be sketched I decided I would choose Drama.
Any particular role you’re keen to play in the future?
I would love to play a part/create a role in a new play that no one has performed yet or have free rein to adapt an already written part. Anything by Mike Leigh or Alan Ayckbourn would be great.
What is your advice for anyone wishing to enter the industry?
Learn a musical instrument – there seems to be many more parts for actors who are also musicians.
Favourite Things (give me your gut reaction to these questions:)
Favourite musical?
Sunny Afternoon ( @kinksmusical ) currently on at the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End, as my husband plays the part of Mr Davies in it.
Favourite food?
Sunday Roast.
Favourite time of year?
Autumn without the spiders.
Favourite landmark?
The UK’s first roundabout (It’s an unassuming little sign and roundabout) but it means I’m nearly home.
Favourite way to spend a weekend?
I’d like to say having lunch and drinks with friends and family – although while touring Sundays are usually spent taking the kids to Karate/swimming/rollerskating, washing, getting the school stuff ready and then collapsing in front of the telly with a glass of wine. The last couple of venues we have been lucky enough to have Monday off as well as Sunday, so it feels like a whole weekend.
For details of the UK tour of Blood Brothers and to book tickets, please follow this link: http://www.kenwright.com/index.php?id=590

Spotlight On… Tracey Childs

February’s Spotlight On……

*** Tracey Childs ***

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Can you tell us about your new permanent role at the Mercury Theatre and what it was that attracted you to it?

I love Colchester Mercury Theatre – it was the first ‎theatre I visited when I moved to Essex, it was the first theatre I ever did a co-production with as a producer (Haunting Julia) and it was the first theatre where I was recruited to serve on the board so – when the producer role was advertised I knew I had to apply.

I hadn’t been looking for a permanent job but it felt like such a perfect fit that I was prepared to relinquish being an independent producer and a freelance actor. Now I have discovered the joy of getting paid regularly and having weekends (almost) off – bliss!

Does this mean that you’ve effectively ‘given up’ acting or are you of the opinion ‘never say never’?

I love producing, being proactive and making things happen (rather than waiting for the phone to ring) but never say never. The joy of my current position is that acting is now just fun for me. I occasionally do voice overs or Big Finish Dr Who audio plays or, in April I’m going to the Isle of Wight to do a poetry evening with 3 girlfriends, all of which are great fun and stop me missing acting. However, producing is absolutely my priority.

If you were to consider acting again, would there be a particular role or show which would force your arm towards that direction?

Curiously, my greatest ‘must play role’ was always Lady Macbeth and what was the show playing in the Main House when I joined The Mercury? Macbeth! I can honestly say I was too busy relishing my new Producer role here to spend a second thinking ‘what if…’ Therefore I am not sure what would tempt me back. I never expected to find anything I loved as much as acting but actually I find producing far more fulfilling. Lucky me!

Can we expect anymore productions from ‘Hall & Childs’ in the future?

Andrew and I are currently taking ‘a deep breath’ but watch this space, there will be more to come, I’m sure.

Which current theatrical production would you recommend that all our readers must go and see?

‘Sweeney Todd in Harringtons Pie and Mash shop’ I saw it at Tooting and LOVED it. I am so proud to be Associate Producer on this transfer to a restaurant pop-up on Shaftesbury Avenue. The joy of this talented cast standing on your table singing their hearts out is so exhilarating.

http://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/Tickets/SweeneyTodd/SweeneyTodd_TheatreInformation.asp

Favourite things (quick fire questions):

Favourite musical?

The Hired Man to listen to, Chicago to watch and High Society to appear in – Tracy Lord was one of my favourite roles ever – and yes, I know that’s three. I’m greedy, sorry.

Favourite co-star?

Matthew Kelly – has to be. We’ve worked together and played husband and wife umpteen times and it is always a delight. To know and love someone so well that on the first day of rehearsal you can say ‘OK, let’s go for it, you hit me and I’ll spit on you’ is very comforting!

Favourite food? (e.g. Italian, Chinese…)

FOOD! All food! I told you, I am a very greedy woman but, if I had to choose one then, Italian because it encompasses so many different choices.

Favourite animal?

Too hard to choose. I had always had dogs but, when I started working too much to own one, my husband bought me a huge rabbit hutch that has been filled with rescue bunnies until the last one died last week – I am missing them like hell but last summer I discovered the joy of kittens and currently our rescue brother and sister tabbies ‘Mr Spats’ and ‘Lulu’ are filling our lives with joy.

Favourite Doctor Who?

I grew up with Jon Pertwee but I would have to say Matt Smith – I think he was glorious – I am also loving seeing ‘my husband’ Peter Capaldi now playing the role and suspect he may become joint first VERY soon.

MCM Expo – NEC, Birmingham

 

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Reviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams

MCM Expo at the NEC, Birmingham was a fabulous joy to behold and scheduling it post-Halloween and Bonfire night makes for great timing as the highlight of the autumn calendar for Cosplayers, gamers and film/TV fans alike. If this con was anything to go by, we’d say that the number of Cosplayers has increased and long may it do so – we’re considering joining in next time, too.

The downside of this particular event was that we could only stay for Saturday, so we missed out on some promising talks on the Sunday. To give you a flavour of the line-up, there was an opportunity to join the cast and crew of upcoming movie “The Call Up”, a Q&A session with voice actor, Todd Haberkorn, and a panel for the 50th anniversary celebration of ‘Goldfinger’. All of that and much more, and that was just on Sunday!

On Saturday, our visit got off to a tremendous start with various members of UK Garrison meeting and greeting outside the hall. Mostly Stormtroopers at this particular point, they were all resplendent in their gear, spot on as usual. These guys are an asset to conventions and we feel it wouldn’t be MCM Expo without them. The layout of the event was well planned, plenty of room for manoeuvring a buggy (our youngest and newest member of the team joined us, this year!) and it was an ingenious idea to allow the Steampunk area to stand out upon entry. The Victorian Steampunk Society, who have been part of MCM London for 11 Comic Cons were immediately visible and packed a great programme into the two days.

So many famous faces to meet and obtain autographs from, too, they ranged from a few cast members from hit TV series ‘Allo Allo’ to stars from ‘Doctor Who’ and a variety of Movie stars, with some ‘Only Fools and Horses’ thrown in! An impressive line-up, to say the least, and the schedule of panels for the day were outstanding. We joined the ‘Red Dwarf’ session where Chris Barrie, Hattie Hayridge, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn and Chloe Annett answered some insightful questions from the audience who had gathered inside of ‘the marshmallow’ aka the theatre area which consisted of an inflatable marquee. We applauded the fact that Chris Barrie launched so easily into the voice of ‘Gordon Brittas’ and there were some respectful nods towards Craig Charles who has prematurely left ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ due to the death of his brother. It was an interesting panel and one we would be keen to see repeated in future.

The arrival of ‘Harry Potter’ star Tom Felton was the ‘piece de resistance’ and we think it’s safe to say, a moment that the Potter fans who, were clambering over one another to get a space in ‘the marshmallow’ will never forget. Tom is fronting a documentary for BBC3 about ‘what it is to be a fan’; it’s a good concept and a subject which could easily go on and on. An hour passed and he still hadn’t gotten through all of his questions, but it was a panel with a difference, with all questions being aimed at the audience instead of vice versa. We felt this added an extra dimension to the Con and it was a privilege to be part of it.

All dates and venues for next year’s MCM Expos are available on their website www.mcmcomiccon.com, and as always, this is a must-attend event for ‘Break A Leg Review’.

Please check back for an exclusive interview with author, Andrew Ross – who has written “Too Happy A Face” (which is an authorised biography of screen legend, Joan Sims) published by Fantom Films. Andrew was signing copies of his book at MCM Expo and it was a pleasure to meet him.

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Members of the cast of Red Dwarf                    Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter)     

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