Simply Dolly Wells

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December 15, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

In his first lead role on British television, Oscar winner Christopher Walken has been tapped to star in The Offenders (working title), a six-part series for BBC and Amazon Prime Video, from The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant and Mayans M.C. co-creator Elgin James. He is one of seven leads in the project, starring alongside Merchant, Rhianne Barreto (Honour, Hanna), Gamba Cole (Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle, Hanna), Darren Boyd (Killing Eve, Lucky Man), Clare Perkins (EastEnders) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, The War of the Worlds).

The series had just started filming in March when production was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Filming recently resumed in Bristol, UK, with Walken making his debut.


Described as crime thriller-meets-state-of-the-nation commentary, The Offenders hails from Mum producer Big Talk, part of ITV Studios, and Merchant’s Four Eyes. It is the latest co-production between Amazon Studios and the BBC, which have previously partnered on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s award-winning Fleabag and Steve McQueen’s drama Small Axe.

Created by Merchant, who also directs, and James, the series follows seven strangers, The Offenders, from different walks of life (Walker, Merchant, Barreto, Cole, Boyd, Perkins, Tomlinson) forced together to complete a Community Payback sentence in Bristol. As they become involved in each other’s lives, they also become involved with a dangerous criminal gang. At first, the Offenders seem like archetypes easy to pigeonhole, but gradually we see behind their façades, understand their hidden depths and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad. Everyone has a story.

2020 Amazon Prime Video Pilots & Series Order

Walken plays Frank, an inveterate scoundrel trying to reconnect with his family. Merchant plays Greg, a lonely lawyer coping with divorce, work-place bullying and scary men with knives. Barreto is Rani, a gifted but rebellious math student who has been hot-housed from a young age by her loving but controlling parents. Cole portrays Christian, a young man struggling to raise his kid sister while staying one step ahead of the Brook Hill Crew, a notorious Bristol crime gang. Boyd plays John, a businessman and law-abiding pillar of the community furious at being labeled a criminal. Perkins plays Myrna, an aging activist and campaigner who has lost none of her youthful radicalism. Tomlinson portrays Gabby, an aristocratic celebutante whose glamour and life of leisure masks deep-rooted problems.



Additional cast include: Jessica Gunning (Back, Pride) as Diana; the Offenders’ Community Service Supervisor, who supervises with what she deludedly believes is an iron first, Dolly Wells (Dracula, Doll & Em) as Frank’s daughter, Margaret, Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) as John’s father, John Snr, Nina Wadia (Goodness Gracious Me, Bend it like Beckham) as Rani’s mother, Shanthi, Aiyana Goodfellow as Esme and Charles Babalola as Malaki.

“Like so many other productions, we’d just begun filming when Covid-19 struck and we had to shut down,” said Merchant. “I’m delighted that we’re now finally able to resume filming with this incredible cast and finish this long-standing passion project. This is the first series I’ve made in my hometown of Bristol and I’m so excited to showcase the city and utilize the amazing local talent.”

As filming is taking place during a new wave of the pandemic, additional safety protocols, including rigorous testing, are being implemented by Big Talk and Four Eyes, working closely with the BBC and Amazon Studios, in accordance with current government guidelines.

The Offenders, a co-production between BBC One and Amazon Studios, was commissioned by BBC Comedy and BBC One. The series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. BBC Studios is handling global distribution and brokered the deal with Amazon Studios.

Merchant executive produces for Four Eyes, Luke Alkin Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice for Big Talk, and Kate Daughton is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC. Directors are Merchant and John Butler. Producer is Nickie Sault.

Walken also is a lead, alongside Adam Scott, Patricia Arquette, Tramell Tillman, Jen Tullock, Zach Cherry, Britt Lower and John Turturro in Severance, Apple’s upcoming workplace thriller drama directed by and executive produced by Ben Stiller. He can currently be seen starring alongside Jamie Dornan, Emily Blunt and Jon Hamm in John Patrick Shanley’s feature Wild Mountain Thyme.

October 13, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

The Pursuit Of Love executive producer Charles Collier has revealed that his production outfit Open Book and Moonage Pictures are planning to make three seasons of the buzzy Lily James period drama.

The adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s classic novel is a co-production between the BBC and Amazon, and Collier told a Mipcom Online+ event on Monday that his aim is also to bring the author’s two sequel books to the screen.

“It’s part of a trilogy of books. We hope to bring the books to life in future seasons, so The Pursuit Of Love Season 2 would be called Love In A Cold Climate based on a brilliant book by Nancy. The third book would become our third season, Don’t Tell Alfred,” he explained.



The Emily Mortimer-penned and -directed project follows James as free-spirited aristocrat Linda, who falls in love, first with a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice. Emily Beecham features as Linda’s best friend and cousin Fanny Logan and the story is largely seen through her eyes.



Fanny is central to Mitford’s second and third novels, but Collier said the first book’s “extraordinary characters continue to circle around the place.” Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif and Freddie Fox also star in Season 1.

Speaking at the Mipcom showcase, organized by The Pursuit Of Love sales house BBC Studios, Mortimer said she wanted the 1930s-set series to subvert period drama conventions, revealing that she drew inspiration from Sofia Coppola’s 2006 feature Marie Antoinette.

“I don’t want this to feel like a period drama that’s made now about the 1930s. I want it to feel like a French film that’s made in 1965 or something, I want it to feel cool and sexy. I kept sending Lily videos of Anna Karenina doing funny dances and made them all watch A Bout de Souffle and Jules et Jim,” she said.

“Sofia Coppola’s films I kept watching as well, particularly Marie Antoinette, which is so brilliant because it is a period film but you don’t have the feeling that you’ve watched a period film when you finish it. You feel like you’ve watched a film about a girl living in extraordinary circumstances at a certain time. It feels fresh, live, and exciting. She doesn’t play by any rules at all — you’re in this bucolic, beautiful period movie and suddenly the Strokes start playing or she’s wearing Converse trainers underneath her huge crinolines running down the hallway. That was inspiring to me.”



The Pursuit Of Love will premiere in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer, while Amazon will stream the series in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Distributor BBC Studios brokered the deal with Amazon. Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady are executive producers, while Rhonda Smith is the producer.

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September 26, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

August 13, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

Amazon will co-produce the BBC’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel The Pursuit Of Love, with an eye-catching cast joining Lily James.

Deadline first revealed last December that James will star in the three-part Emily Mortimer-penned series, while we also reported in June that it will be among the first dramas to restart production in the UK. The BBC confirmed today that filming is underway.

Joining James in the Open Book and Moonage Pictures-produced The Pursuit Of Love is Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif and Freddie Fox.



The story is based on the first book in a trilogy about an upper-class English family between the First and Second World Wars. The comedy deals with issues of growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric. James plays Radlett family daughter Linda, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.



Beecham stars Linda’s best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, while Dominic West and Dolly Wells feature as her parents. Andrew Scott is Lord Merlin, the Radlett’s wealthy and eccentric neighbor, and Mortimer has written herself a role as Logan’s mother. Mortimer also directs.

“I’ve always loved Nancy Mitford so when I was asked to adapt The Pursuit Of Love it was impossible to say no. It’s an outrageously funny and honest story, whose central character — the wild, love-addicted Linda Radlett — still reads as a radical,” she said.

Production is underway in the Bristol and Bath area of south-west England. The BBC said producers Open Book and Moonage have created comprehensive production protocols and are working with safety consultants to guard against coronavirus. It is the second major show to go into production in the UK in the pandemic era following War Of The Worlds earlier this month.

The Pursuit Of Love will premiere in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer, while Amazon will stream the series in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Distributor BBC Studios brokered the deal with Amazon. Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady are executive producers, while Rhonda Smith is the producer. BBC director of content Charlotte Moore commissioned the series alongside drama controller Piers Wenger.

June 25, 2020  admin Comments are off Uncategorized

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