Killing Eve

Jodie Comer: The woman behind TV's most ruthless villain

With a wardrobe to die for and a closet of weapons that would impress an international arms dealer, Comer’s refreshing portrayal of the free-spirited assassin threw all of television’s gendered troupes out the window. Cold, ruthless and carefree, Villanelle is not your typical female character in a spy drama.

“This role should be stereotypically one-dimensional and probably played by a man, but Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] has completely turned all those stereotypes on their head,” says Comer.

BBC renews Killing Eve for a third series

The announcement comes just days after the US premiere of series two, which aired on BBC America and AMC on Sunday 7th April.

Killing Eve, which follows MI5 agent Eve (Sandra Oh ) on the hunt for assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), was a break out hit in 2018, with BBC iPlayer receiving over 46 million requests for series one of the drama so far.

Launch date announced for second series of Fleabag

Fleabag's Godmother/Stepmother(Olivia Colman) (Credit: BBC)

The new series picks up with protagonist Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) trying to made amends with her dysfunctional family by attending an uncomfortable dinner to celebrate her Dad’s (Bill Paterson) engagement to her villainous Godmother (Olivia Coleman).

The evening takes a dramatic turn when old tensions rise to the surface after an unexpected attack.

Joined by familiar faces, Fleabag shares the awkwardness with successful sister Claire (Sian Clifford) and alcoholic brother-in-law Martin (Brett Gelman).

Watch the trailer for Killing Eve series two

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh (Credit: BBC)

Based on novellas by Luke Jennings, the first series followed MI5 officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) as she pursued international assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) across Europe.

The new trailer shows Polastri on the hunt for Villanelle once again, after the psychopathic killer goes on the run from hospital.

The first series was adapted by RTS award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who acts as an executive producer on series two with writer-actor Emerald Fennel taking over as lead writer.

Bodyguard snags the top spot on BBC iPlayer

David Budd (Richard Madden) (Credit: BBC/BBC Studios)

In 2018, BBC iPlayer received requests for 3.6 billion programmes throughout the year.

Among the top ten requested shows per series included Bodyguard, Killing Eve, McMafia, Doctor Who, Keeping Faith, The Cry, Dynasties, Our Girl, Bing and MOTD Live.

“In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it,” said Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC.

Fleabag series two casts Kristin Scott Thomas and Fiona Shaw

The stars will be joining Andrew Scott (Sherlock) as new cast members for the second series of the hit BBC Three comedy.

“Phoebe Waller Bridge cannot be ignored,” said Dame Thomas. “She manages to hit core issues with sledgehammer brutality as she trips along with a spring in her step.”

Fiona Shaw added, “Phoebe's mind is like nothing else.”

Agents make a bid for content production

Entourage (Credit: Sky)

This begins with a true story. I have withheld the real names, as I still want to do a little business, and certainly have lunch now and again, in LA. Some years ago, I went to see some senior executives at one of the major US talent agencies. We chatted amiably for the first 10 minutes, as you do. The normal stuff. “How long are you in town?” “I love London… you must know my friend Jack. He lives in Liverpool. That’s kinda near, isn’t it?” “The guy who runs NBC is going to be toast by Christmas.”

Sally Woodward Gentle: making risqué Killing Eve a mainstream hit

The Durrells (ITV)

Through the glass of Sally Woodward Gentle’s office in Fitzrovia, the founder of Sid Gentle Films looks out on to a large space filled with hard-working media types.

Only a modest nine of them work for her, however. The rest are social-media people and TV-commercial producers. Sid Gentle may be one of television’s most creative young indies, but it is not, at a time of rising drama costs, wasting its money on an F-off HQ.

Charlotte Moore: "We risk seeing fewer and fewer distinctively British stories"

Three Girls, written by Nicole Taylor (Credit: BBC)

Further evidence that the BBC is striking a more strident tone as it calls for greater resources in the streaming era was provided by the corporation’s director of content, Charlotte Moore, in her recent Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture.

In a wide-ranging and, at times, feisty speech aimed primarily at policy­makers and politicians, Moore argued that trusted, authentic British storytellers in the tradition of Hewlett risked being undermined unless the BBC was properly funded.

Sherlock star Andrew Scott joins Fleabag

Andrew Scott joins a returning cast which includes Olivia Colman (Godmother), Sian Clifford (Claire), Bill Paterson (Dad), Brett Gelman (Martin), Jenny Rainsford (Boo) and Hugh Skinner (Harry).

According to Executive Producer Lydia Hampson, Waller-Bridge began writing the new series in January this year, and the results, promises BBC Comedy boss Shane Allen, are “knockout”.