Netflix

How Sally Wainwright brought her heroine to life in Gentleman Jack

Suranne Jones playing Anne Lister and Sally Wainwright (Credit: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

Some 20 years in the making, Sally’s Wainwright’s new television drama, Gentleman Jack, was originally rejected by every broadcaster she took it to. The story of an openly gay woman who farmed in 19th-century rural Yorkshire was considered a non-starter by TV networks. Starting this month, the topic is getting eight hours of BBC One Sunday-night primetime.

It’s common for writers to describe their latest work as a “passion project” – often industry-accepted shorthand for what they hope is infectious enthusiasm for their new offering.

Interaction Man: Bear Grylls explores new territory for Netflix

When he’s not jetting across the world to tackle some of nature’s harshest conditions, the 44-year-old survival expert can be found with his family on a remote island off the coast of Wales, living a life you can only imagine is the real-life equivalent of The Wild Thornberrys (minus the talking animals).

He was able to correspond from a mountain in Switzerland in what could possibly be the most Bear Grylls-esque setting for an interview you could imagine. 

Netflix announce seven new commissions from the Obamas' production company

The range of programmes features a children's series about food around the world, a series shining a light on remarkable people whose deaths were not reported on and a film adaptation of David W. Blight's novel Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.

The commissions also include documentaries exploring America's disability rights movement, and the story of a Chinese billionaire who faces problems opening a factory in a post-industrial Ohio. 

Our Planet Q&A | Highlights

Following a screening of the Our Planet episode Frozen Worlds, members of the crew, including series producer, Keith Scholey, producer Sophie Lanfear, camera operator Jamie McPherson and assistant producer​ Olly Scholey, spoke to Lynn Barlow about how the episode was made.

The panel shared their experiences working on the nature series and how it was created.

How Netflix's Our Planet was made

The panel (l-r): Jamie McPherson, Sophie Lanfear, Lynn Barlow, Oliver Scholey, Keith Scholey (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

The sequence – a huge topic on social media - was described by award-winning natural history cinematographer Jamie McPherson as “the most powerful he’s ever shot.”

McPherson was discussing the series, which launched on the streaming service on April 5, at a joint RTS-Wildscreen screening of the Frozen Worlds episode, which featured the walruses.

“The sequence has become a symbol of climate change,” said Keith Scholey, series producer of the eight-part Our Planet, which is narrated by David Attenborough.

Filming begins on Julian Fellowes football drama The English Game

Julian Fellowes (Credit: ITV/Kieron McCarron)

The six-part series will tell the story of the origins of football, and how the people behind the game’s beginnings overcame class divides to make it the world’s most popular sport.

Also starring in the series, which is currently shooting in the UK, are Line of Duty’s Craig Parkinson, James Harkness (The Victim), and Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Indian Summers).

BritBox: Traditional media's answer to US streaming giants

Queen Victoria (Jenna Coleman) in Victoria (Credit: ITV)

It seems only a few short years ago that the BBC and ITV were thought of as the titans of British media. But all of us in the UK’s traditional media solar system are getting smaller and smaller in the Apple, Amazon and Netflix universe.” Thus said Lord Hall, Director-General of the BBC, in March, as he unveiled the corporation’s plans for its new financial year.

“We need to find new ways to adapt to the changing needs of our audiences, and we need to be able to do it in real time to keep pace with our global competitors,” he continued.