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TV & Film

Line of Duty’s Martin Compston to star as serial killer in ITV drama starting tonight

Compston is back on our screens, though his role hasn’t been without controversy…

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ITV

Line of Duty star Martin Compston will be portraying the role of real-life serial killer Peter Manuel in a series set to air on ITV tonight.

In Plain Sight will see Compston as the evil Peter Manuel, who was convicted of seven murders back in 1958. Douglas Henshall stars as detective William Muncie who eventually brought the killer to justice.

Manuel, who had been dubbed ‘the beast of Birkenshaw,’ was born to Scottish parents in New York City before moving back to Scotland where he committed the string of horrifying attacks.

The three-part mini-series about Manuel’s exploits, arrest and eventual execution was first broadcast on STV, a Scottish channel part of the ITV network, in 2016 and was filmed in locations across Compston’s hometown of Glasgow. 

ITV

And this week, starting tonight, it is set to air once more for British audiences on ITV.

However, the series, written by Nick Stevens, hasn’t been without its controversy.

A relative of three of the women murdered by Manuel recently implored TV bosses not to show the ‘horrendous’ drama on the criminal again.

Stuart Reid’s father Robert was the brother of Marion Watt and Margaret Brown, who, along with Marion’s daughter, Vivienne, were all killed by Manuel. Upon hearing the plans to re-show the programme tonight, the seventy-six year-old spoke out, saying the remaining family ‘can’t believe’ the decision to re-air the show.

Stuart told the Daily Record: “They’re going to show this programme again from 2016 called In Plain Sight about the murderer Peter Manuel who murdered my dad’s two sisters and his cousin.

ITV

“All we want is for someone to stop this horrible decision. I was twelve at the time, I will be seventy-seven at the end of this month – it’s terrible that this is still going on. Me and my brother David are the last of my dad’s family. We don’t want to see it again.

“If my dad was alive today or any of his brothers he would certainly not be pleased to see this again on national TV.”

An ITV spokeswoman said: “Before the drama commenced filming, the production team set out to trace and contact as many surviving relatives of Manuel’s victims as they could, but unfortunately we were unable to find the Reid brothers, hence them learning about the drama from pre-tv publicity.

“At the time we spoke to the brothers to reassure them that we fully respect and understand their views.”

In Plain Sight is set to air tonight on ITV at 9pm. The second and third parts will be broadcasted on Tuesday, June 8th and Wednesday, June 9th.

TV & Film

Manchester crime series The Detectives to ‘return this year’ as reason for delay revealed

The Detectives could be back sooner than you think…

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The Detectives: Fighting Organised Crime will reportedly be returning to our screens later this year when the next story ‘concludes’. 

The series, which first hit screens across the UK back in March 2021, gave viewers a rare glimpse into Manchester’s world of crime.

Real-life investigations led by Greater Manchester Police into criminal activity and organised crime gangs spanning across two years were shown in a startlingly candid manner, as were the gang members behind the heinous crimes happening across the city. 

The first episode, which aired on March 23rd last year, saw police officers called out to a hostage situation in central Manchester, where a man had been taken by an armed gang in front of his wife and children, only to be released after a £34,000 ransom was paid.

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Episode two, which aired the following week, followed Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team as they launched a murder investigation into the murder of a known drug dealer, with officers meticulously piecing together CCTV evidence and information from phone records to uncover a large-scale conspiracy.

Both episodes proved to be hugely successful, with millions of people tuning in from all across the country. However, despite the anticipation surrounding the next episode, it was never aired.

BBC 2 never broadcasted the third instalment of the series and, more recently, the existing episodes were removed from BBC iPlayer.

But now, fans of the show have been given an idea as to why the episodes never aired and when they can expect to see them back on their screens.

Tweeting in December, Minnow Films, which produced the series, replied to a query about when it will next be shown on television, writing: “It will return next year [2022], there are delays due to ongoing investigations.”

In a different tweet, Minnow Films also wrote: “It will return next year [2022], date TBC. We do need to wait for stories to conclude.”

There have been rumours that the show’s second run will focus on Rochdale grooming gangs, though the BBC are yet to confirm what the series will follow and when exactly it will air, with the broadcaster simply asking people to ‘keep an eye on the programme page for dates nearer the time.’

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TV & Film

Waterloo Road confirms three popular characters are returning for the new series

Fans will spot some familiar faces in the new series…

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BBC

Waterloo Road will be bringing back three characters from the original series for this year’s reboot, the BBC has confirmed.

Back in September, it was announced that the iconic drama would be making its long awaited return, with the official Waterloo Road Twitter page sharing a cryptic post that read: “Psst. We’ve heard a rumour going around school”, alongside a snap of a piece of paper with the words: “Brand new Waterloo Road coming soon!”.

Director of BBC Drama Piers Wenger then confirmed the news, saying: “Waterloo Road is the perfect lens through which to explore post-Covid Britain, from the perspective of those who have arguably been affected most: young people in education.

“We are thrilled to be returning to this brilliant format – its thrills and spills, unmissable characters and high drama – at a time when audiences across Britain need it most – and to be collaborating with the brilliant Cameron Roach and Wall To Wall on its return.”

Ever since the announcement, details surrounding the reboot have been scarce; but now, the BBC has confirmed that three of the original characters will be reprising their roles; Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths.

Angela will return as popular teacher Kim Campbell, who has since been promoted to Headteacher of the school, while Adam will make his return as Donte Charles, and Katie will reprise her role as Chlo Charles.

All three actors have since shared their excitement about returning to Waterloo Road, with Angela promising ‘amazing storylines’ ahead.

She said: “I feel really honoured to be joining the new series of Waterloo Road. It is exciting to be stepping back into Kim’s shoes and I can’t wait to explore her life, character and how she has evolved since we last met her.”

Former Emmerdale star Adam Thomas has also expressed his excitement, with him saying he’s ready to go ‘back to where it all started’.

BBC

Adam explained: “Waterloo Road was a huge part of my life and career so to go back fifteen years later is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see some old faces and some new. I know this series is going to be the best one yet.”

And Adam’s on-screen wife Katie Griffiths is just as excited, with her saying on the return of her character: “Chlo was my first professional acting role, and I feel so lucky to be part of the show again.

“I can’t wait to see what stories unfold!”

The BBC has said the new series will be filmed here in Greater Manchester, and will boost drama production skills in the North of England and help to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

Waterloo Road will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.

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TV & Film

Coronation Street and Emmerdale change time slots in huge ITV shake-up

Big changes to the soap schedule are coming…

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ITV

Soap fans, beware: Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be changing their time-slots in one of ITV’s biggest schedule shake-ups in years.

From March 2022, Emmerdale will be moving to Coronation Street’s usual 7:30pm time slot following an hour’s worth of news programming, while the latter will have three hour-long episodes on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8pm.

Corrie’s usual split episodes will end with the arrival of the new TV schedule.

ITV

But for the most dedicated of soap fans, this new schedule will see Corrie clash with Eastenders, which airs on BBC One at either 7:30pm and 8pm on every weekday except Wednesday.

According to ITV, the changes have been introduced in a bid to strengthen regional and national news output with a direct lead into the popular serial dramas, giving a 6:30pm-9pm chunk of consistent output.

So it isn’t because of Sally’s raunchy scenes

ITV’s Managing Director Kevin Lygo explained: “As viewing habits rapidly change, live audiences to our national and international news programmes remain remarkably strong.

ITV

“Our evening news programme reached an impressive 35.6 million viewers in 2021. We are very excited to be announcing this investment in what is an important public service strength of ITV – high-quality, impartial, trusted broadcast journalism – at a time when it could not be more important.”

John Whiston, ITV’s Managing Director of Continuing Drama, added: “With Coronation Street bursting at the seams with fantastic story and character, the new format gives the show a brilliant new canvas on which to shine.

“And Emmerdale will do what it does best in this new time slot where viewers can continue to enjoy the dramatic goings on in the Dales.”

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