From Great Expectations to Bridgerton: how TV period dramas are breaking the mould

History can be measured by recurrent events, such as the Olympics and American presidential elections that come around every four years. Both, as it happens, take place again this year.

Television drama is less regularly repetitive, but adaptations of Dickens’s Great Expectations were screened by the BBC in 1959, 1967, 1981, 2011 and 2023. The lengthier interval either side of the millennium was filled by major film versions that became fixtures in the TV schedules.

Further casting details revealed for Mark Gatiss’s postwar detective romp Bookish

Mark Gatiss and Polly Walker in 1940s dress, holding a clapperboard for slate one take oneBookish

Joining the cast is Blake Harrison (World on Fire), who plays Sergeant Morris, with Rosie Cavaliero (Funny Woman), Amanda Drew (The Gold) and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (The Great) appearing as guest stars. In addition, Tom Forbes (Rules of the Game), Luke Norris (Poldark), Ella Bruccoleri (Passenger) and Michael Workéyè (This is Going to Hurt) will also guest star.

Jonathan Bailey and Eddie Marsan announced for Heartstopper series three

Joe Locke and Kit Connor as Charlie and Nick are looking intently into each other's eyes, Charlie's hand on Nick's neck

Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton) is making a cameo as Jack Maddox, a classicist making waves on Instagram and setting Charlie’s heart aflutter.

The series two finale saw Charlie (Joe Locke) open up to boyfriend Nick (Kit Connor) about his history of self-harm. Nick tries to say “I love you”, but can’t quite get the words out. Later, Charlie writes it out in a text, and has his finger over the ‘send’ button, before the episode – and series – comes to an end.

Bridgerton series three trailer reveals hotly-anticipated Colin and Penelope romance

Each series of Bridgerton has so far focused on a different sibling of the Bridgerton family and their search for love.

In series three, it is Colin Bridgerton’s (Luke Newton, The Lodge) turn, and his perfect match might just be his long-time friend Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan, Derry Girls) who, unbeknownst to Colin, has been holding a candle for him for years.

The Traitors to be turned into film for Comic Relief with all-star lineup

A movie poster for a spoof film adaptation of The Traitors

The Traitors: The Movie will star Suranne Jones (Vigil) as presenter Claudia Winkleman, Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones’s Baby) as contestant Diane and Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton) as Harry. Expect to see all the iconic moments from the series, from Ross’s winking, Harry’s scheming and Diane’s murder.

Georgia Hobbs on her Emmy award-winning hair and makeup for Bridgerton

First up with advice at the late-January session was trainee Miriam Sumeray, who said: “As a trainee, the thing that’s going to set you apart is your soft skills more than your practical skills.” She added that being “personable and organised” were key.

Sumeray recommended using the ScreenSkills Trainee Finder scheme, which had helped her land her first jobs in the industry.