ITV

Our Friend in Leeds: Andrew Sheldon on the rise of TV production in the North

When George Osborne first uttered the phrase “Northern Powerhouse” back in 2014, it’s fair to say that the TV industry wasn’t at the front of his mind. But, six years on, is it time to start thinking of it as such?

Back then, the mood in the TV industry across the North of England was very different. Both Leeds and Manchester were still struggling with the impact of ITV’s retrenchment to London, while the BBC’s project as the anchor tenant of MediaCity UK was barely into its stride.

ITV commissions new drama from Bodyguard producers

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Adapted by Emer Kenny (Save Me Too) from Val McDermid’s novel The Distant Echo, the drama will follow a young Scottish female detective in the picturesque university town of St. Andrew’s.

While she may not be the type of unorthodox, slick copper who rises effortlessly through the ranks, the refreshingly normal Karen’s quick thinking and silver tongue lands her a promotion to Police Scotland’s Historical Cases Unit.

ITV announces upcoming comedy Kate and Koji

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The six-part series will star Golden Globe winner Brenda Blethyn (Vera) as Kate, who owns a café in a rundown seaside town. Kate forms an unlikely and at times volatile friendship with an African asylum seeker, a doctor called Koji, played by Jimmy Akingbola (Arrow).

While the pair come from very different worlds, they find that they have a lot in common, including a furious determination to never back down from an argument…

ITV announces new true crime drama The Pembrokeshire Murders

The three-part series is adapted from Catching the Bullseye Killer, a true crime book written by Senior Investigating Officer Steve Wilkins and ITV news journalist Jonathan Hill.

Luke Evans (Dracula) stars as Wilkins, the officer who reopened a historic double murder case from the 1980s in the hopes of catching a serial killer in 2006.

When the use of pioneering forensic methods leads the investigation back to a string of burglaries in the 1980s and 1990s, pressure mounts to prove the perpetrator is more than just a thief before his prison sentence is up.

Joanna Lumley and Nigel Havers join the cast of new ITV drama Finding Alice

Keeley Hawes (Credit: ITV)

The six-part drama, Finding Alice, created by Roger Goldby (The Durrells), Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard) and Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly), starts production this week.

Hawes plays Alice, whose life is turned upside down with the sudden death of her husband, Harry (Jason Merrells) which leads to a trail of secrets, debt, suspicion and criminality.

Alice’s parents Sarah and Roger will be played by Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) and Nigel Havers (Benidorm).

Meet the Love Island Winter 2020 contestants

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With a brand-new villa and Laura Whitmore taking over from Caroline Flack as the host, the most addictive reality show on TV is heading back to our screens.

From wealthy property heirs to troublesome twins, the new series is sure to provide the essential juicy drama needed to brighten up dreary January.

Here are the 12 new contestants hoping to find love in the villa.

 

Broadcasting impartiality under siege in 2019 election campaign

Whatever your view of the result, it was a wretched and dispiriting election campaign. Politicians seldom broke away from churning out the same sound bites, and on social media there was a level of viciousness that was unbearable.

It’s therefore not exactly a surprise that the mainstream media, pressured by parties and harried by online trolls, had a rough ride in the 2019 general election, too. It is difficult, as the proverb goes, to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.