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TV & Film

The Traitors returns to BBC One tonight with new series

It starts tonight!

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BBC

Hit psychological reality TV show The Traitors is back on TV screens tonight with a brand new series.

The nail-biting reality game show first debuted in the UK in November 2022 and viewers have been hooked ever since.

Set in the Scottish Highlands and hosted by Claudia Winkleman, the show sees 22 strangers compete in the ‘ultimate game of detection, backstabbing and trust’ by completing a series of challenges together as a team in the hope of winning up to £120,000.

BBC

Among the ‘faithful’ contestants are ‘traitors’ hiding in plain sight secretly looking to sabotage the game and eliminate their fellow players one by one.

The traitors’ aim is to go undetected, while the Faithfuls must find out who the traitors really are. 

After completing their daily challenges, the group finishes the evening with a round table where they ‘banish’ the suspected traitor from the game.

BBC

Here’s everything you need to know about The Traitors season two.

The first episode of the new season will debut on BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm on Wednesday, January 3rd. 

The following two episodes will be available to watch right away afterwards on iPlayer. The show will air on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights and will be 12 episodes long, running for four weeks.

Host Claudia Winkleman will be back to take the contestants on their journey of truth and deceit in a castle set against the stunning backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. She says ‘the missions this year are epic’.

The 22 contestants have been revealed as follows:

BBC / Andrew

Andrew

The 45-year-old insurance broker from Talbot Green in Wales, says he wants to inspire people who have ‘had a traumatic experience or suffered with their mental health’ never to give up.

More than 20 years ago, he nearly died on a roadside and was left with brain damage, in a coma and his parents were told he would never walk again.

Andrew said: “You only have one life, and I know that more than anyone because I suffered a serious accident many years ago. Your life is short, and it can get taken away at any moment.

“I live my life as best I can and take as many opportunities as possible that come my way. I never thought I’d get on the show in a million years.” 

If he wins Andrew says he would like to pay off a couple of debts and start his own business.

BBC / Ash

Anthony

The 45-year-old chess coach from Birmingham says when he first saw the show he thought, ‘this has me written all over it! It’s like a real life, live game of chess’.

He says he has a very good poker face and is very good at ‘being able to manage my emotions’.

The chess extraordinaire says he has a ‘very loose game plan’ and is prepared to be ‘adaptable’.

Ash

The 45-year-old events co-ordinator from London says she is ‘looking for an adventure’ and thinks ‘the best way for me to win is to be a traitor’ where she can bring ‘strong alliances’.

Ash said if she wins she will spend the money on getting on the property ladder as she does not want to be ‘renting when I’m 60 years old, renting with housemates’.

BBC / Aubrey

Aubrey

The retired shop owner, 67, believes his moustache will come in handy to maintain his poker face.

Aubrey, from Loughborough, Leicestershire said if he wins he will ‘travel more’ and give money to the Mykonos Animal Welfare charity in Greece, where he likes to go on holiday.

Brian

The 33-year-old photographer, from Glasgow, plays the Werewolf game with his family which has a similar format.

Brian says if he wins he’d like to use the money to ‘take my girlfriend and her family away on holiday’ as well as put some ‘towards a house’.

BBC / Brian

Charlie

The mental health area manager, 34, from Bristol, says she would not want to do a challenge based around sound as she wears hearing aids.

Charlie hopes to use the money to get married following a nine-year engagement to her partner.

Charlotte

The 32-year-old recruitment manager from Warwickshire, who used to compete in poker tournaments, says she thinks people will not suspect her as she can play the ‘the ditzy one’.

Charlotte says: “I think I’m really good at pretending I don’t know what’s going on, when actually, I have a very good idea.” She wants to use the money to take her dogs Lady and Lolly on a private jet.

BBC / Charlotte

Diane

The 63-year-old retired teacher, from Lancashire, says she has taught ‘some very difficult kids’ and knows how to remain calm.

If she wins Diane says she would ‘love to take my children, and grandchildren, on a holiday’.

Evie

The veterinary nurse, 29, from Inverness says she entered as she is ‘having a bit of an existential crisis’ ahead of approaching 30.

Evie said she has a good poker face and would make a good traitor because people would not suspect someone who is blonde, with dimples, who works with animals.

BBC / Evie

Harry

The British Army engineer from Slough says he wants to be a traitor as he is a bit of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.

Harry, 22, a corporal, says if he wins he would like to take his girlfriend and family on a holiday. He would also like to use some of the money towards a new chapter in his life.

Jasmine

The 26-year-old sales executive from London says she would be happy to be a traitor so she can ‘steal the big pot of money’ but being ‘naturally very empathetic’ she would make a good faithful.

If she wins Jasmine said she would use the prize money to help her parents, who have been ‘through some tough financial times’.

BBC / Jazz

Jazz

The 30-year-old national account manager from Manchester says nothing apart from his wife and his wedding day has meant more than competing on The Traitors.

He says he will bring ‘pure energy’ to the game. If he is a traitor he will be ‘buzzing’ and if he is a faithful he will be ‘a team player’, he says.

If he wins, Jazz would like to use some of the prize money to take his mum ‘on the Orient Express’.

Jonny

The 31-year-old from Bedfordshire is ex-military, and described himself as someone with disabilities who enjoys ‘psychological things’ and is ‘a problem solver’.

With no game plan in mind, Jonny says he is just going to wing it.

BBC / Kyra

Kyra

The apprentice economist, 21, from Kent, says if she is made a traitor then she will ‘feel a mix of emotions’ but will have to be ‘adaptable’.

Meg

The 22-year-old illustrator from Herefordshire says she ‘wouldn’t throw somebody under the bus so that I could win more’ money so is unsure about being a traitor.

But watch out as she says she is ‘very competitive’.

She wants to spend the money on ‘the most expensive pair of dungarees ever’ and a motorhome trip around Scotland.

BBC / Miles

Miles

The 36-year-old Brummie veterinary nurse who now lives in Worcestershire, said he has done the ‘cookie cutter’ life by having a husband, going to college and having a family and thinks this will be a change.

After joking about spending the money on ‘loads of plastic surgery’, Miles says if he wins he would spend it on a ‘forever home’.

Mollie

The 21-year-old disability model from Bristol says looking ‘innocent’ and young will help in the game if she becomes a traitor.

Mollie, who also works as a healthcare assistant, believes she is also able to be ‘quite good at building that relationship but also separating myself in a way which I feel like will be really good in the game’.

BBC / Paul

Paul

The business manager from Manchester says as someone who has done stand-up he can use his comedy skills to ‘diffuse situations when they get so tense’.

Paul, 36, said if he becomes a traitor he is ‘never washing’ his top when Winkleman touches his shoulder – the host taps the contestants during the round table to secretly let them know what side they are on.

Ross

The 28-year-old video director from Lancashire says he sees it as a ‘good excuse to tell my business partner that I just can’t work for three weeks’.

Ross also said that being a traitor would make him feel a ‘bit gutted because then I’ve actually got to play a game’.

BBC / Tracey

Sonja

The 66-year-old volunteer business mentor from Lancashire says she learned to read body language cues from her son Dan, who died two years ago, and was ‘severely disabled with autism and other disabilities, and was nonverbal’.

Sonja would use the prize money to start her own charity and take her sister on a cruise.

Tracey

The sonographer and clairvoyant, 58, from Inverness says she is ‘quite eccentric’ and ‘good at lying’.

Tracey, who used to be in the air force, said: “The only thing that would be my downfall is that I do really like to be liked.”

BBC / Zack

Zack

The parliamentary affairs adviser, 27, from London says he thinks he would be ‘cutthroat’ as a traitor and not ‘factor in sentimentality’.

He says he has a good poker face but does ‘do this stupid thing where my lips curl up’ that he can’t help doing.

He also said his girlfriend does not know he wants to spend the money, if he wins, on a Mazda MX-5 and he will tell her it will go on a flat deposit as he says she ‘will break up with me if I didn’t say it’.

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TV & Film

Online stalker from Cheshire focus of new Netflix true crime documentary

It’s out this week

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Netflix & Cheshire Constabulary

A new Netflix crime documentary will retell the story of a prolific cyber stalker from Northwich, Cheshire.

Can I Tell You A Secret? will land on the streaming site on February 21st and tells the story of Matthew James Hardy – Britain’s most prolific cyber stalker.

Hardy was sentenced to nine years in prison for five counts of stalking, the longest custodial term in British history for online stalking.

Netflix

Between 2016 and 2021, Hardy infiltrated the social media accounts of women, using fake profiles so he could befriend his victims online.

Targeting mostly young women, he would then spread lies about them to create rifts among their families and friends.

On one occasion Hardy pretended to be a small business owner and on another, he spread false rumours about a woman having a sexual relationship with her father-in-law.

Netflix

He also told a woman that her late mother had been cheating on her father, and taunted her by telling her he was going to speak to her dad. And he told another woman’s fiancé, on their wedding day, that she had cheated on him.

Judge Everette said Hardy had an ‘innate criminality’, highlighted by his ‘sophisticated’ form of harassment. “Over a period of five or years, you conducted a campaign principally against young women who I am sure you researched on social media,” he said.

“They had done nothing to harm you – most, if not all, did not know who you were. You chose them at random and they had to pay for it with sheer misery.”

Cheshire Constabulary

“You sat there in your room, wherever you were, and you deliberately sent these spiteful messages. It’s difficult to imagine the fear and shock and worry that you caused to your victims and their families,” he added.

Following the sentencing on January 26th, 2022, PC Kevin Anderson from Northwich Local Policing Unit, said: “Having led on this case for more than 18 months I have seen the emotional distress and turmoil that Hardy has inflicted on his victims – he did all of this while hiding behind his computer screen.”

The two-part miniseries explores three of the women’s experiences, the police investigation, and how Hardy was ultimately brought to justice.

Netflix

The first part will relive the impact Hardy’s actions had on his victims as he reigned terror on their lives from behind his screen and keyboard.

The second part will see PC Kevin Anderson, who was assigned to the case in 2019, as he finds over 100 complaints made from 62 victims on Cheshire’s systems alone. The episode focuses on the evidence that eventually leads authorities to Hardy’s home in Forest Place, Northwich.

Can I Tell You A Secret? is available to stream on Netflix from Wednesday, February 21st.

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TV & Film

Blue Lights: Gripping police drama set in Northern Ireland shares first look of season two

Can’t wait for this!

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BBC / Two Cities Television

The BBC has shared a first look ahead of the second season of the hit police drama Blue Lights.

The broadcaster has also confirmed which cast members will return as well as the fresh faces who have joined the series for new episodes.

Set in Belfast, the drama followed a batch of new constables as they navigated a post-conflict Northern Ireland.

Before the first series came to an end, a second series had already been commissioned. The new series will follow on one year later.

BBC / Two Cities Television

Reprising her star role as Grace Ellis is Sian Brooke, also joined by Martin Mccann as Stevie Neil, Katherine Devlin as Annie Conlon, Nathan Braniff as Tommy Foster and Joanne Crawford as Helen McNally.

Also returning are Andi Osho as Sandra Cliff, Hannah McClean as Jen Robinson, Paddy Jenkins as Happy Kelly, Desmond Eastwood as Murray Canning, Andrea Irvine as Nicola Robinson, Aoibhéann McCann as Geraldine Gilroy and Abigail McGibbon as Tina McIntyre.

New cast members joining the show are Frank Blake (Sanditon) as new Constable Shane Bradley, along with Seamus O’Hara (An Irish Goodbye) as Lee Thompson, and Seána Kerslake (Bad Sisters) as his sister Mags.

As well as Craig McGinlay (Cobra) as Craig, and Dan Gordon (Bloodlands) playing Mags and Lee’s Uncle Rab.

BBC / Two Cities Television

At the end of the last season, viewers watched on as the team lost Gerry, who tragically died after being shot by Sully, and the McIntyre Crime Gang collapsed.

In new episodes the new recruits, Grace, Annie and Tommy, are now fully fledged officers who have to face new turmoil as rival gangs try to fill the void after the downfall of the McIntyre’s.

More drama is promised in season two, as the synopsis continues: “Constable Shane Bradley is drafted in to help, but his motivations are unclear. Tommy is dangerously seduced by the world of intelligence policing, while Grace struggles to deal with her son’s absence, and growing feelings for fellow officer Stevie. 

“As a young loyalist threatens to take over the city, the officers face a major gangland feud – culminating in a violent and devastating confrontation.”

BBC / Two Cities Television

Commenting on the series and teasing the upcoming episodes, writers and directors Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson, said: “Blue Lights is a very personal project for us, set in the city where we live, so for us making this show is a special kind of privilege. 

“In series two we join our officers exactly a year after the events of series one, and now they’re facing a whole new set of professional and personal challenges. We’re very excited indeed about bringing you this next chapter of the Blue Lights story. Take a beat!”

Season one landed on screens in March 2023 and received a slew of five-star reviews as well as more than 7 million viewers (28-day figure). 

BBC / Two Cities Television

It was in the top ten new drama series of 2023 across all broadcasters and streamers, and the biggest drama series in Northern Ireland in 2023. More than half of the 28-day audience (56%) came from BBC iPlayer.

The BBC has not yet announced a release date for series two, but as filming took place over summer 2023 we expect it to come out some time this spring.

If you haven’t seen it yet or need to refresh your memory, season one is still available to watch on iPlayer.

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TV & Film

Gavin and Stacey set to return after five years for Christmas special 2024

What’s occurring?

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Best loved Welsh comedy Gavin and Stacey is set to return to TV screens after five years away for another Christmas special.

Here’s what’s occurring, a Gavin and Stacey Christmas special is officially ‘in the works’ and is expected to land on screens this festive season.

According to a new report, the beloved TV show will be returning for a Christmas special, with actors including James Corden and Ruth Jones set to be in the cast once again.

BBC

Filming for the one-off episode is due to take place in the summer, according to Deadline, who broke the news of the show’s comeback.

The last time the beloved BBC series aired was for another festive special in December 2019, where the episode saw Nessa (Ruth Jones) get down on one knee and propose to Smithy (James Corden).

But it ended on a cliffhanger and left fans wanting more as they wondered what happened to them next.

BBC

Well hopefully, viewers will soon be able to tune in to find out if they got their happily ever after or not.

The show will be produced by Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow, Jones’ Tidy Productions and Fulwell 73, which is co-owned by Corden. 

It has aired on the BBC for almost two decades and the last Christmas special was the most-watched show in a decade with more than 18 million viewers.

BBC

It is understood that James, 45, and Ruth, 57, had been discussing another Gavin and Stacey just last year.

According to Deadline, the majority of the main cast are likely to reprise their roles as well, despite cast members expressing doubts of a return in the future.

As of yet, further details about the reported special remain under wraps, so stay tuned for more updates.

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