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TV & Film

The Lowry is live-streaming The Gruffalo to primary schools for free

Amazing news!

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The Lowry has announced their plans to live-stream a performance of the hit show The Gruffalo into every primary school in Salford.

The performance will take place on Friday, December 11th at 1:30pm and will be available to each of the 99 primary schools in Salford for free.

The first 50 schools to register will also receive £50 of art supplies as a gift from Alison & Noel Copley, patrons of the art centre’s Copley Prize for children.

Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “COVID-19 has caused untold disruption to the academic year and the wellbeing of millions of children– not least of all the opportunity for children to come together to experience live theatre.

The Lowry/Flickr

“Had it not been for the pandemic, we would have expected to welcome some 15,000 children to our building this year – visiting one of our theatres, galleries or taking part in our Learning programme.

“By live-streaming this performance exclusively to Salford primary schools, free of charge, we hope to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to more than 10,000 children across Salford.”

Any schools wishing to get involved can email here

Currently, The Lowry is closed as per the national lockdown, but live performances are set to resume on Friday December 4th with galleries open on weekends only from Saturday December 5th.

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TV & Film

Jason Manford joins cast of Waterloo Road as new headteacher

Viewers can expect his character to ‘ruffle a few feathers along the way’

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@jasonmanford / Instagram & BBC

Jason Manford will join the cast of Waterloo Road when the high school series returns later this year.

The actor and comedian will take on a more serious role as headteacher Steve Savage, and he says viewers can expect his character to ‘ruffle a few feathers along the way’.

Manford, 42, from Manchester said it was ‘an absolute treat’ to be joining the show ‘right here in my home city’.

@jasonmanford / Instagram

The series was originally axed in 2015, but following a revival in audiences during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, it returned to screens after an eight-year break.

After admitting to binge watching the show with his family during lockdown, Manford added: “It’s such a brilliant, iconic show, so I’m dead proud to now be part of its history.

“Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher and now, becoming a headteacher, I know I would have been terrible!”

@theangelagriffin / Instagram

While fans of the show may be left wondering where the current headteacher Kim Campbell might be – played by Angela Griffin – viewers will have to wait to see how the storyline plays out, the BBC said.

Waterloo Road’s season 13 finale aired on Monday night (February 26th), with series 14 coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.

Cameron Roach, Executive Producer of Waterloo Road and Founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, said: “We’re thrilled that Jason Manford is joining Waterloo Road, as the show returns for a fourth series since returning to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

BBC

“Jason is a phenomenal comic actor, and has fully embraced the tone and spirit of the show, we can’t wait for the audience to meet Steve Savage and his son Billy. 

“As with all of our adult cast, Jason has been an inspiring and approachable mentor to our younger cast and crew; we love that a new generation of Northern talent are able to learn their craft alongside brilliant household names. 

“The legacy of Waterloo Road goes from strength to strength.”

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TV & Film

Sir David Attenborough is back to present major new BBC documentary series

Attenborough is back!

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@bbcearth / Instagram

TV legend Sir David Attenborough returns to present BBC Studios Natural History Unit’s new series.

The national treasure will revisit an extraordinary group of animals in the new BBC One and iPlayer wildlife show: Mammals. 

The series promises to be full of new, never- before-seen behaviours, offering ‘fascinating insights into the most successful animal group in the world’. 

BBC Studios / Alex Board

From the tiny Etruscan shrew to the giant blue whale, Mammals will reveal the secrets of their success, and how their winning design, incredible adaptability, unrivalled intelligence and unique sociability have all contributed to their remarkable rise.

Less than 6% of today’s mammals are wild animals and many species have become endangered and are facing extinction. 

This new show will give viewers an exciting new perspective on a remarkable group of animals as well as highlighting the many problems they face in today’s rapidly changing world.

@bbcearth / Instagram

Each episode explores a different environment; Dark, Cold, Heat, Water, Forest and The New Wild – an episode which explores the ingenious ways mammals are adapting to a world dominated by humans, arguably the most successful mammal of all. 

Episodes will also take a look at a range of remarkable mammals – from the miniature tenrecs of Madagascar to the humpback whales of the Indian ocean.

Roger Webb, Executive Producer says: “Being mammals ourselves, the animals featured in the series and the stories told about them are instantly relatable. 

@bbcearth / Instagram

“It’s impossible not to admire a mother capuchin monkey who’s able to provide her baby with a drink in a dry, sun baked forest or a chimpanzee father giving his family a lesson in finding honey buried underground. 

“This connection to us, makes Mammals an incredibly engaging and compelling piece of television – one that will also lead us to question our role in the lives of the wild mammals we share the planet with.”

Scott Alexander, Series Producer says: “Mammals includes animals like the great apes, the big cats, dolphins, whales as well as the mythical wolverine and adorable tenrec – who wouldn’t want to make a series with such a wonderful cast of animals.”

@bbcearth / Instagram

Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual, adds: “Following the enormous success of Wild Isles and Planet Earth III last year, I’m delighted Sir David is returning to the BBC to present this fascinating new series. 

“Mammals are the most adaptable and – for my money – adorable animals on earth, and I can’t wait for viewers to learn more about the remarkable strategies they use to survive in every corner of the planet.”

 

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TV & Film

Spin-off series to hit drama The Split set in Manchester announced by BBC

Viewers can enter the world of Manchester’s divorce law circuit

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BBC / Sister Pictures

The BBC has announced a new divorce court drama which will be set in Manchester.

The new series, called The Split Up, will be a spin-off to Abi Morgan’s hit legal drama, The Split.

Last time, the show followed a family of divorce lawyers set in London, which came to a dramatic ending with a third and final series.

BBC / Sister Pictures

Two years after The Split – which starred Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan – the BBC have announced a new show which will focus on a single family of lawyers, the Kishans, who run a ‘British Asian high net worth family law firm’, according to a synopsis.

Noted for its clientele and its reputation, Kishan Law are the ‘go-to firm’ for Manchester’s elite, who come to them for not only their excellence but also for discretion. 

And like the Defoe’s before them, the Kishan family firm’s future will hang in the balance after a family secret comes back to haunt them, throwing their lives into a rollercoaster journey.

BBC

The series will be made up of six one-hour episodes which explore the weight of parental expectation, the forces that keep families together, and the truths that tear them apart.

It’s understood none of the original cast will feature in the new drama. The Split Up’s creator, Ursula Rani Sarma will introduce new characters for the new series based on The Split.

Speaking about the new spin-off series, The Split creator Abi Morgan said: “After the success of The Split, it’s been great to see The Split Up take shape in lead writer Ursula Rani Sarma’s capable hands, reinvigorating all that audiences love.

BBC / Sister Pictures

“A new legal family, grabbing at life in a new city, battling new legal cases, as the professional and personal deliciously collide.

“A brilliant new cast of characters caught in the messiness of love, marriage, deception and divorce, make it their own. It is ripe to be taken into the hearts of anyone who loved the show.”

Ursula added: “I watched The Split with admiration over the years and I was honoured to be asked to create The Split Up: a spin off which introduces a whole new family and city while still holding on to the warmth, humour and heartbreak of Abi Morgan’s original series.

“To be able to place a contemporary British Asian family, helmed by brilliant women, at the heart of a primetime drama series is a dream come true for me as a writer who believes strongly in the importance of representation on our screens.

“It has been a joy to work alongside Abi as well as Lucy Dyke, Jane Featherstone and Sumrah Mohammed at SISTER to bring it to glorious life.”

Filming will take place in Manchester but no exact locations or start date have yet been announced.

The Split Up will be available to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. For further announcements, watch this space.

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