BBC Two announces new period drama Harlots

Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville in Harlots (credit: BBC)

Written by playwright Moira Buffini, Harlots explores the world of Georgian London’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.

Inspired by the stories of real women in 18th century London, the high-powered family drama follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a brothel owner struggling to reconcile her profession with her role as mother to her daughters.

Lesley Manville (Mum) stars as the rival madam Lydia Quigley, who ruthlessly attempts to upend Margaret’s business.

Scottish drama Guilt to return for a second series

Jamie Sives and Mark Bonnar in Guilt (credit: BBC)

Written by Neil Forsyth (Bob Servant), the four-part series is expected to begin filming in Scotland later this year to air in 2021.

The first series, which earned Forsyth an RTS-award nomination for Writer - Drama, follows two dissimilar brothers, played by Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe) and Jamie Sives (Chernobyl), who are forced together when they accidentally run over and kill an old man on a darkened street.

Just as the brothers begin to think they have gotten away with their crime, the neighbours raise their suspicions.

A House Through Time to return for a fourth series

Historian and presenter David Olusoga will return to explore the lives of residents within a single house and uncover the untold stories of the previous occupants through detective work, contemporary documents and genealogical records.

The four-part series will see Olusoga head to Leeds for series four, a city filled with historical ties to the Civil War and technological advancements.

Mary Berry returns with a brand new cooking show for BBC Two

Mary Berry (Credit: BBC)

The six-part series will see Berry show viewers easy to follow recipes so they can create the ultimate comfort foods from their homes.

Berry travels the UK and goes abroad, inspired by the people she meets and the food she tastes, giving viewers simple dishes to cook that will brighten their day.

Commissioned by Sidney Street, the series finished filming in January 2020 and a book of the same name will be published by BBC Books.

BBC announces month of programming to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

The curation includes several brand new productions and a range of documentaries from the last two years all chosen to provide support to those struggling.

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, said: “Mental health is important - and during this pandemic more important than ever. Many people may be struggling alone, they may be worried about maintaining their own well-being or want to better equip themselves to help loved ones.

“That’s why bringing mental health issues out into the open is so important. Our programmes aim to do just that.”

BBC Two announces new comedy slate

Starting in May, Thursday nights will feature a full comedy slot, with a new series from the creators of The Inbetweeners called The First Team, which will run alongside the new series of QI.

Later in the year, they will be replaced by the second series of What We Do In The Shadows, starring Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou and Kayvan Novak, and There She Goes, with David Tennant and Jessica Hynes.

Peter Bowker and Christpher Eccleston make real reality television

Peter Bowker doesn’t “do diversity”. Yet, over the past couple of decades, this RTS and Bafta award-winning screenwriter has become TV’s “go-to guy” for dramas featuring people with disabilities.

A comic and compelling double act, of Bowker and his long-time collaborator the actor Christopher Eccleston, entertained the RTS North West’s capacity audience at the Lowry in March. They traced the development of Bowker’s work as he has, increasingly, challenged stereotypical representations of people affected by learning disabilities.

Working lives: Quiz editor

What does the job involve?

You need to know how to put together good quiz rounds, balancing easier and harder questions. And, literally, you need to edit questions – rewording, reframing or even flipping them. You then have to get questions and answers verified. You also need a deep understanding of the show, so you can bring its character out in the questions.


How did you become question editors?

We did a lot of question writing in the quiz world and put on quizzes through our company, QuizQuizQuiz, and made connections.