Hugh Bonneville

Everything you need to know about Douglas is Cancelled

The cast of Douglas is Cancelled gather around the office of the fictional news programme Live at Six

Not least because the story bears a striking resemblance to several recent scandals. But also because it so thoroughly, and sensitively, interrogates all sides in the ‘culture wars’.

So who or what exactly did inspire the story? Who’s in it? And what does it have to say about cancel culture? The RTS attended the official ITV press screening to find out.

Steven Moffat on his cancel culture drama Douglas is Cancelled

In an era in which Britain’s culture wars continue to rage, it takes a brave soul to sideswipe their main tenets on a mile-a-minute TV series. But if ever there were a safe pair of hands, it’s those of Steven Moffat OBE.

His ITV comedy drama, densely packed into four 45-minute episodes, embraces many more themes than cancel culture, to which the title, Douglas Is Cancelled, alludes. Also highlighted are wokeness, identity politics, mansplaining, slighting, mental health, “micro-bullying” and equality.

ITV releases trailer and first-look images for new comedy-drama Douglas Is Cancelled

Hugh Bonneville and Karen Gillan sit side by side in a news studio

The eponymous Douglas (Bonneville) is an esteemed news presenter who finds himself in the middle of a social media storm after telling an off-colour joke at a wedding.

“It was sexist, not misogynist!” an exasperated Douglas insists in the trailer.

Though initially on good terms with co-anchor Madeline (Gillan), Douglas’s wife Sheila (Alex Kingston) warns him that his colleague isn’t always to be trusted.

Apple TV+ reveals Noel Fielding as Dick Turpin in new trailer

Beside the Mighty Boosh star and Bake Off presenter, Bonneville (Downton Abbey) will play Turpin’s arch-nemesis, the self-appointed “thief-taker”, otherwise known as Jonathan Wilde.

When Turpin is appointed the unwilling leader of a group of bandits, he is sent on a bizarre journey of strange adventures. Turpin’s highway robbery success is mainly due to his good hair and charisma, but there is only so far this can get him when riding the rollercoaster of a life of crime and being chased by a “thief-taker.”

BBC adds cast and gives first look at new Brink’s-Mat robbery drama

Entitled The Gold, the six-episode series was written by Neil Forsyth (Guilt) and will star Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jack Lowden (Slow Horses), Dominic Cooper (The Preacher) and Charlotte Spencer (Cinderella).

When six men set out on a “typical Old Kent Road armed robbery” of Brink’s-Mat security depot near Heathrow Airport on the 26 November 1983, they inadvertently stumbled upon a pile of gold bullion worth £26 million.

BBC faces tough challenges in hard-hitting 'documentary' W1A

W1A, BBC, High Bonneville, Sarah Parish, Jonathan Bailey, Ophelia Lovibond, Hugh Skinner, Jessica Hynes

It's an exciting time as the BBC’s Head of Values Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), formerly Olympic Head of Deliverance, is throwing open the revolving doors of the organisation in this six-part series.

The cameras will be following Fletcher and his team during and post-Charter as the attempt to decipher the BBC’s new mission statement of doing More Of Less, something Head of Output Anna Rampton (Sarah Parish) described succinctly as “putting what we do best front and centre and about identifying better ways of doing less of it more.”

Tim Minchin and Al Murray to star at BBC Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare, Benedict Cumberbatch,

The event is part of the BBC Shakespeare Festival which will take place in April to mark 400 years since the writer’s death.

The live television event will be hosted by David Tennant and directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, and will feature Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Joseph Fiennes, the English National Opera and more.  

Behind the Scenes of W1A

W1A, BBC, High Bonneville, Sarah Parish, Jonathan Bailey, Ophelia Lovibond, Hugh Skinner, Jessica Hynes

Writer/director John Morton explained to a packed London Centre event at the end of January that the show’s forerunner, London Olympics mockumentary Twenty Twelve, was initially poorly received by the BBC.

Twenty Twelve had a bit of a bumpy start –  it wasn’t always liked very much in the BBC,” revealed Morton. “When it went out and did okay the music changed from ‘We don’t think this is very good’ to ‘Can we have more of these wonderful characters?’.”