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TV & Film

New Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer drama shines light on ‘undervalued’ care workers during pandemic

The film will follow a young care home worker throughout the Covid-19 pandemic

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Channel 4

A new Channel 4 drama airing tonight will be shining a light on the undervalued carers who worked valiantly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Help, written by Jack Thorne, will be telling the tale of Sarah, played by Jodie Comer, a newly appointed carer who strives to protect her patients in a fictional Liverpool care home throughout the 2020 lockdowns. This is England star Stephen Graham plays one of the care home’s residents who is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s.

An official synopsis reads: “A determined Sarah goes to extraordinary lengths to protect those in her care, whose conditions make their suffering and isolation all the more traumatic. But the staff’s unwavering commitment, compassion and heroic efforts can only do so much, and Sarah is pushed into a dark corner and desperately looks for a way out.”

Channel 4

A large part of the film will focus on a daunting night shift in which Sarah is left to run the care home alone and tend to patients struggling with the side effects of Covid, something that many care workers across the country will have had to endure.

Speaking of the particular scene at the show’s BFI launch, Comer said: “I think that big sequence was probably the most difficult for us all.

And Marc [Munden, the director] really pushed me on that, I remember there was a moment, we’d done this whole take and I was so in my own head and I was like, ‘I think we’ve got it,’ and Marc was like, ‘No, we’re going to do one more,’ and I was like, ‘Uhh, okay.’

“And we did it again, and the moments we got in that second take we never would have got in the first. And I think Marc was phenomenal at that, knowing when to push you that little bit more. That was probably the most difficult for all of us, because we had to huddle together and act as a team.”

Graham also noted that his role helped him to see carers in a different light, with him saying: “It takes a special kind of human being to be a carer. I’ve had children, had to change my children, wash and bathe them, that’s one thing. But to do that for an older person, someone who’s coming maybe towards the end of their life, you’re trying to make their days as comfortable as can be.

“For someone to do that day in, day out, and not just the practical but the humane aspect… You’re their source of the outside world, their communication. And this is what’s so beautiful about our story, we see [Sarah] come alive. Maybe she wasn’t the most gifted academically, maybe she wasn’t going to change the world with her brain, but she’s changing somebody’s life.”

Help airs tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.

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TV & Film

First look at new Channel 4 prison drama written by Killing Eve creator

The series will be based upon Williams’ real-life experience from working in prisons

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Channel 4

Channel 4 has given viewers the first glimpse at their upcoming new prison drama Screw, written by BAFTA nominated writer Rob Williams, one of the masterminds behind Killing Eve.

The new series will throw viewers into grisly mens prison Long Marsh, a place tinged with humour, emotional high stakes and an overwhelming danger for prisoners and officers alike.

Nina Sosanya will take on the role of Leigh, the head of the group of Long Marshes prison officers, who having devoted most of her adult life to the prison appears to have her fair share of dark secrets.

Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell will also play an integral part in the show as street-wise copper Rose.

Making up the team of ‘screws’, there will also be Line of Duty’s Faraz Ayub as Ali, I May Destroy You’s Stephen Wright as Gary, Game of Thrones’ Ron Donachie as Don and King Gary’s Laura Checkley as Jackie.

The series, which is said to have been inspired by writer Rob Williams’ real-life experience from working in prisons, will offer an insight into incarceration rarely seen before on British TV, according to producers.

The series is also said to tackle contemporary stories ‘head-on with through a vibrant and multi layered cast of characters’.

Williams said on his new project: “Screw is a real passion for me; I’ve wanted to write about prisons ever since teaching in that environment in a former life.

“I’ve maintained close links since then and the idea has grown.  After the experience of working with Sarah Brown and her team at STV Studios on The Victim, I wouldn’t want to pursue a project that means so much to me with anybody else.

“I feel very lucky to be working with Channel 4 on the show and I can’t wait to introduce the world of Screw to as wide an audience as possible.”

Screw will air on Channel 4 and E4 in early 2022.

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TV & Film

Corrie teams up with Eastenders and Emmerdale for first ever soap crossover

For the first time ever, characters from Corrie, Emmerdale and Eastenders will be on the same screen…

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ITV & BBC

British soaps will be teaming up in a series of crossover episodes for the first time ever, it has been announced today.

Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders, Doctors, Holby City and Casualty will all be joining forces in a new week-long storyline that aims to tackle climate change.

The news, that is bound to ruffle the feathers of many die-hard soap fans, was revealed today by TV journalist Sharon Marshall, who appeared on ITV’s This Morning to discuss what the new episodes may look like.

ITV

Talking to hosts Phil and Holly, Sharon explained that the soaps will be coming together to all tell the same story at the same time about climate change. Each soap will film a scene with a climate change reference and then nod to the other, and characters will start to pop up from one soap in another on screen.

For example; a social media video featuring two of Emmerdale’s residents will be shown to Coronation Street characters.Casualty will also be discussed in The Woolpack, and a social media clip from Weatherfield will be chatted about Eastender’s The Queen Vic.

Jane Hudson on behalf of Emmerdale and ITV Studios, said: “Never before have all five soaps and both continuing dramas come together and united in telling one story. And we certainly haven’t seen characters pop up in other shows before.

“This is a real treat for our audience, whilst also allowing us to get across a very important message.”

BBC

Similarly, the head of continuing drama at BBC Studios Kate Oates added: “I’m thrilled that our soaps and serial dramas have all come together to help highlight the issue of climate change amongst our millions of viewers.

“We’re grateful to the teams that made this happen, and hugely look forward to seeing the talent from our own shows popping up in other iconic programmes.”

The new crossover storyline will begin on Monday November 1st.

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TV & Film

Peaky Blinders creator confirms season 6 will be released early next year

The sixth and final season will be returning to our screens very soon…

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Netflix

The creators of Netflix smash hit Peaky Blinders has revealed when we can expect to see the sixth and final season back on our screens.

During a panel at the BFI London Film Festival, Steven Knight said he is hoping for a Spring-time release, which will be sometime between March and May next year.

Knight also teased some further information about the highly-anticipated Peaky Blinders film, saying as per Variety: “And then I am going to write the feature which will be set in and shot in Birmingham… And that will probably be the sort of the end of the road for Peaky Blinders as we know it.”

Netflix

Knight explained that the upcoming film and TV studio and academy in Birmingham he is backing will feature an initiative called ‘Second Unit’ which enables students to get practical and paid experience on productions.

He said: “For too long productions have taken very enthusiastic, very talented young people, and paid them nothing and had them making coffee and running around and doing nothing. It’s a real shame.”

The writer also said that there could be ‘shows related’ to the Peaky Blinders universe, preferring not to use the term spin-offs, something he ‘is not fond of’.

Knight added that production for the movie adaptation of the series is expected to begin in 2023, meaning we can expect a release date the following year.

Netflix

A couple of months ago, the series’ director Anthony Byrne announced that the sixth season was a wrap, sharing a picture from the set on Instagram stating that the cast and crew are ‘Done & Done & Done.’

Throughout the production of the final season, film crews were seen transforming Manchester’s Castlefield into a post-World War One era Birmingham, with several members of the cast – Cillian Murphy included – been seen around the city.

Several wooden scaffolds, market-style props, trader signs, sacks, barrels and more were seen dotted around the area, with the Shelby’s famous ‘The Garrison’ pub being the most notable sight to viewers.

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