Channel 5

Channel 5 announces the cast for new thriller The Catch

Credit: Charlie Gray, Dave Buttle, Ruth Crafer

Based on the novel of the same name by T.M. Logan, the four-part series introduces Ed Collier (Jason Watkins), a proud and happy father, husband and local fisherman who will do anything to keep his family together. 

He finds his happiness threatened when the rich, handsome and young Ryan Wilson (Aneurin Barnard) begins a relationship with his daughter Abbie (Poppy Gilbert), threatening to break up the family unit. 

Collier finds his life turned upside down as secrets and lies are exposed from all around, including his own past. 

Channel 5 announces new drama Maxine

The three-part drama written by Simon Tyrrell, revisits the Soham murders through the eyes of Maxine Carr.

The series will follow the 2002 police investigation into school assistant Maxine Carr (Jemma Carlton) and her caretaker fiancé Ian Huntley (Scott Reid).

Huntley was convicted of the murders of ten-year-old schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The drama will look at Carr’s complicated and turbulent relationship with Huntley, uncovering why she gave him a false alibi and her label as public enemy number one.

Channel 5's controller Ben Frow: An audience with the outsider

Jay Hunt and Ben Frow (credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

Ben Frow is nothing if not candid. During a high-energy RTS two-way with Jay Hunt, the architect of Channel 5’s revival gave an insight into how he’s turned around a broadcaster that last year enjoyed its strongest performance since 2009.  

“Quite a few of you turned up thinking this would be the channel controllers’ version of Fight Club,” joked Hunt, one of British TV’s most successful content supremos, most notably at Channel 4 – she is now creative director, Europe, worldwide video at Apple. 

Channel 5’s drive for drama

There must be something in the water at Channel 5. In 2020, it won Channel of the Year at both the RTS Programme Awards and the Broadcast Awards. The RTS’s judges remarked that it was “a confident broadcaster reaping the rewards of years of steady growth and development – a channel that increasingly now both surprises and delights”.

That momentum careered into 2021, as The Drowning – the four-parter about a mother who befriends a child she believes is her missing son – became its most-watched drama to date. A record 5.1 million tuned in for the first episode.