TV & Film
Fawlty Towers to return after 40 years with John Cleese
The best-loved British sitcom will make a come back after four decades.
John Cleese will make a return as Basil Fawlty in hit sitcom Fawlty Towers alongside his daughter.
After more than forty years, 83-year-old Cleese will write and star in the sitcom revival with daughter, Camilla Cleese, which will explore how an older, more cynical and sarcastic Basil, will navigate the modern world and society.
The show originally aired on BBC2 for two series during 1975 and 1979, and followed the life of Torquay hotel owners, Basil and his wife Sybil, portrayed by Prunella Scales, as they tried to keep their family business running and their marriage afloat. It was written by Cleese and Connie Booth.
Fawlty’s revival will see Basil and his long lost daughter, who he has just discovered is his, team up to run a boutique hotel. In 2019, Fawlty Towers was named the greatest British sitcom of all time by a panel of television experts for Radio Times magazine.
As reported by the BBC, the actor and director Rob Reiner will act as an executive producer on the series, along with his wife and actress Michele Reiner, and the director and producers Matthew George and Derrick Rossi.
Cleese said: “When we first met, he [Matt] offered an excellent first idea, and then Matt, my daughter Camilla, and I had one of the best creative sessions I can remember.
“By dessert, we had an overall concept so good that, a few days later, it won the approval of Rob and Michele Reiner. Camilla and I look forward enormously to expanding it into a series.”
Director George said he was ‘obsessed with Fawlty Towers and meeting Cleese and his daughter was one of the great thrills’ of his life, adding: “I’ve watched the first two seasons so many times I have lost count… I dreamed of one day being involved in a continuation of the story. Now it’s come true.”
Rob Reiner added: “John Cleese is a comedy legend. Just the idea of working with him makes me laugh.”
In 2020, Cleese had a disagreement with the BBC after it temporarily removed a classic episode of Fawlty Towers because of ‘racial slurs’. The 1975 episode, called The Germans, featured the Major Gowen character using highly offensive language and Basil declaring ‘don’t mention the war’.
Cleese criticised the decision, saying: “I would have hoped that someone at the BBC would understand that there are two ways of making fun of human behaviour. One is to attack it directly.
“The other is to have someone who is patently a figure of fun, speak up on behalf of that behaviour.” The episode was removed but then reinstated with a warning about ‘offensive content and language’.
Aside from Fawlty Towers, Cleese is best known as one of the original members of the Monty Python comedy troupe.
The comedian revealed last year he was joining GB News. His show is due to begin airing later this year.
TV & Film
Ed Sheeran breaks down over wife’s health issues in emotional new documentary
Ed Sheeran broke down over his wife Cherry Seaborn’s health issues
Ed Sheeran breaks down in tears in new emotional documentary as he talks about his wife Cherry Seaborn’s health issues and the death of his best friend Jamal Edwards.
The pop sensation can be seen breaking down into tears in the first trailer for his new documentary series, The Sum Of It All. The singer, 32, will be showing the ups and downs in his life on the road to stardom in the four-part series on Disney+, airing on Wednesday May 3rd.
As reported in The Mail Online, the clip begins with Ed talking about his childhood, growing up with a stutter, and saying: “That guy doesn’t grow up to be a pop star. It’s so unlikely,” — referring to himself. Childhood videos of Sheeran are interspersed with clips of him on stage during his sellout arena tours.
Fans will be taken through a journey from the beginning of his career, as they will see him first starting out in the industry, working his way up. As viewers watch the timeline of events, they will watch as Sheeran describes first meeting his best friend Jamal Edwards, who gave him his first big break, and their friendship until his sudden death last year.
Edwards, a music producer and son of Brenda Edwards (Loose Women), tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest brought on by taking cocaine and drinking alcohol in February 2022, at the age of 31. Sheeran’s wife Cherry Seaborn is also seen in the docuseries, as clips show her pregnant with the couple’s two children Lyra, two and Jupiter, 10 months old.
They are seen going on dates together with Ed saying: “Everything in my life sort of got so much better when Cherry came into it.” The series also delves into the health issues Cherry faced and the impact it had on the pair.
Just recently, Sheeran revealed they were plagued with ‘fear, depression and anxiety’ after Cherry was diagnosed with a tumour while she was pregnant with their second child. But she was unable to receive any treatment for it until after the birth.
The popular singer is seen breaking down as he cries in the back of a car as the death of his best friend and his wife’s health issues become overwhelming. A clip is also shown of Sheeran crying on stage while Seaborn can be heard saying: “I’ve never seen him cry on stage”.
Adding: “He hasn’t had the time to process and be at peace with his thoughts.”
The first look trailer ends with clips of happier times as Sheeran celebrates his birthday, performs on stage and laughs with his friends saying: “Life can be unpredictable.” The popular singer recently revealed that the first single off his new album Subtract, is dedicated to his late best friend Edwards — with Eyes Closed set for release on Friday March 24th.
As he announced the release of his sixth studio album he said it had been inspired by the personal tragedies he had faced.
In a post on his Instagram account on Wednesday, made to his 42 million followers, he revealed the loss of his close friend who had inspired the track and that in the video he is ‘dancing with my eyes closed to try to get through it.’
Alongside the post he wrote: “Eyes closed is out March 24th, you can pre order it now. “The song is about losing someone, feeling like every time you go out and you expect to just bump into them, and everything just reminds you of them and things you did together.
“You sorta have to take yourself out of reality sometimes to numb the pain of loss but certain things just bring you right back into it. Blue was Jamal’s colour, but now is all I feel. And I guess music helps heal, so I’m dancing with my eyes closed to try to get through it x.”
Alongside the images, the singer posted two black-and-white photographs, where he appeared deep in thought as he reflected on the emotional toll he experienced over the past couple of years.
Sheeran’s latest single, Subtract is set to be released on May 5th with Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. It is thought it will be similar to the hitmaker’s earlier works, having his signature acoustic feel.
TV & Film
Davina McCall announced as host of ‘middle-aged Love Island’
Davina McCall has been announced as the host of new ITV reality dating show The Romance Retreat, which will see a group of single parents brought together in a villa in what is being dubbed the ‘middle-aged Love Island’.
The former Big Brother presenter and The Masked Singer judge, 55, confirmed the news in a post on her Instagram with a video of her showing her sheer excitement for the new show.
In the clip, posted today (Thursday March 16th), she said: “I manifested and I made it happen. I willed there to be an amazing new dating programme for grown-ups, people who have lived a life, who have been through experiences, bad, moving, they’ve had tough lives.
“They’ve got luggage but they deserve love and it’s happening. It’s coming to ITV soon.”
The Instagram caption read: “Omg.. I manifested and it came true!! I’ll be hosting a brand NEW grown up dating series for ITV1 !!
“This is a show for single parents who have lived a life, have stories to tell about their dating pasts and deserve another chance at love and I’m gonna help you. It will all take place in the most romantic countryside location!”
Fans of the familiar media personality congratulated Davina on the new role with one saying: “Oh my god, you really are a power house. I was listening to you talking to Steven Bartlett about this thinking what a good idea. You’re such an inspiration. Go get ’em Davina !!”
Another put: “YESSSSSS! You told me about this and it is SUCH a great idea forwarding to amazing, beautiful single friends now xxxx.”
And many more also wished her a huge congratulations. Davina encouraged anyone who wants to find love, and who has a child over the age of 18, to apply before adding: “It’s going to be amazing.”
TV & Film
The Luther feature film is being released on Netflix this week
After four long years, DCI Luther will be returning to TV screens with a Netflix feature film.
When we last saw the troubled detective DCI Luther, he was arrested and sent to prison after five seasons of skirting the law. Diehard fans will be more than pleased to hear their favourite anti-hero is back after a four-year hiatus — he’s not done yet!
Luther is returning with one big massive serving in the form of a feature length film rather than a series — co-produced by Netflix and the BBC. Though idea of a movie had been circulating since about 2013, it was shelved until the last series finished up in 2019 and was later corroborated by Netflix in 2021.
Only a handful of actors have been confirmed to star in the new Luther: The Fallen Sun and of course, Idris Elba will be back in his tweed overcoat to play the role of DCI Luther. Alongside him will be Dermot Crowley as DSU Schenk as well as two more confirmed actors. Cynthia Erivo from Bad Times at the El Royale and Andy Serkis.
Unfortunately, there’s been no giveaway as to whether Ruth Wilson will return as criminal psychopath Alice — we can only hope and watch to find out later this week! The new movie, directed by Jamie Payne and written by Neil Cross, builds on and reimagines the award winning series, throwing Luther and his colleagues into an even bigger, bolder game of cat and mouse.
In 2021, speaking to musician MistaJam, Elba —who’s also a DJ — said: “I’m super excited and I hope the fans are sort of excited for that. It’s been a long time coming for a movie, so I’m excited about that. We’ve been making the show for 10 years, so we’re making a film.”
The plot kicks off with Luther behind bars after crossing a line in his pursuit of justice. Elba said: “He’s done so much to bend the law in order to catch the bad guys that he’s ended up in jail. That’s where we start the story.
“This old case that didn’t really ever get solved creeps up back into his life. And John can’t help but find a way to get involved. This bad guy is out there and he has to go out and get him.”
Payne, who also directed the series’ fifth season, added that the movie introduces a new take on the beloved character, dropping him into a situation he’s never been in before. “Luther’s an unstoppable force,” he said.
“But up to this point, he’s had to tread around the law of the police, because that was his job.
“Now, he’s a fugitive. This is Luther untethered. This man is so forward in his thinking and is in action. He’s like a wrecking ball, but the smartest wrecking ball you’ve ever met in your life.”
Luther: The Fallen Sun will be released on Netflix on Friday March 10th, after appearing in cinemas from February 24th.