Killing Eve

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”. 

Sandra Oh to star in new spy drama by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Sandra Oh starred in Grey's Anatomy as Cristina Yang (Credit: Sky/ABC/Bob D'Amico)

Killing Eve is a dramatic thriller revolving around a psychopathic assassin and the woman charged with hunting her down.

Waller-Bridge, who is best known for her RTS Award-winning comedy Fleabag, spoke to the RTS about the project earlier this year.

“It’s basically a game of cat-and-mouse between two women who in a lot of ways are very opposite to each other, but who become obsessed with and by each other,” she explained.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge on Star Wars and the return of Fleabag

“I’d always seen it as a one-off,” she says. “It feels so fragile. I’d hate to ruin it, to extend it longer than it is, [but] I think I’ve found a way.”

Waller-Bridge was nominated in the Breakthrough category of the RTS Programme Awards 2017, alongside Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain and documentary-maker Philip Wood, for her work on Fleabag.