ITV1

ITV1 has commissioned An Audience With Donny & Marie, the first time the Osmond duo have appeared together in the UK for 20 years.

The hour long special hosted by Donny & Marie will be based on their hugely successful Las Vegas stage show. They will be singing some old favourites and some new ones in front of a celebrity audience.

In 1976, the pair had their first US hit variety show, Donny & Marie, where they performed songs such as I’m A Little Bit Country, I’m a Little Bit Rock and Roll. They have had huge success with top 10 hits such as I’m Leaving It All Up To You and Morning Side of the Mountain.

John Kaye Cooper, Controller of Entertainment at ITV, said: “ITV is delighted to welcome Donny & Marie over from the US, and we are looking forward to a great show that will give their many fans a night to remember.”

Donny & Marie said: “We are looking forward to bringing a bit of Las Vegas to the UK and performing some of our old favourites with some new surprises for our dedicated fans.”

An Audience with Donny & Marie is an ITV Studios production for ITV1. It was commissioned by John Kaye Cooper. It is being produced by Kim Ross and executive produced by Lee Connolly for ITV and Eric Gardner and Karl Engemann for Donny & Marie.

The first of another four cases for Miss Marple to solve on ITV1

Julia McKenzie, Agatha Christie’s famous spinster sleuth, Miss Marple, returns to ITV1 joined by an outstanding cast in the first of a series of new Marple films.

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side stars Samuel Barnett (Desperate Romantics, History Boys), Hugh Bonneville (Lost in Austen), Brennan Brown (Orange cinema commercials), Michele Dotrice (Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em), Lindsay Duncan (Margaret, Criminal Justice), Nigel Harman (Hotel Babylon, EastEnders), Martin Jarvis (Taking the Flack, Numb3rs), Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous), Caroline Quentin (Blue Murder, Life of Riley), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, The Take), Victoria Smurfit (Trial & Retribution), Neil Stuke (Monday, Monday), Hannah Waddingham (Spamalot) and singer Will Young.

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side tells the story of Hollywood star Marina Gregg (Lindsay Duncan), who has left the palm trees and bright lights of Los Angeles for the leafy lanes and picturesque countryside of St Mary Mead, England. Having taken up residence at Gossington Hall with her dashing young English husband, film director Jason Rudd (Nigel Harman), his secretary, Ella Blunt (Victoria Smurfit) and Marina’s exclusive personal assistant, Hailey Preston (Brennan Brown), it’s not long before she becomes lady of the manor.

When the glamorous couple decide to throw a benefit for the St John Ambulance, the grounds are abuzz with curious locals including previous owner of Gossington Hall, Dolly Bantry (Joanna Lumley). But when a local fan, Heather Badcock (Caroline Quentin) consumes a poisoned daiquiri, Marina finds herself starring in a real-life mystery – supported by Miss Marple and Inspector Hewitt (Hugh Bonneville), who suspect that the lethal cocktail was intended for someone else. But who? If it was meant for Marina, then why?

Which other characters from the Mary Mead cast will perish before the end credits roll?  And will Miss Marple produce yet another stellar performance to steal the show?

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side has been adapted by Kevin Elyot and directed by Tom Shankland. Karen Thrussell produces both current Marple and Poirot series.   

Julia McKenzie said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to the role. I’m very much looking forward to filming with such a wonderful guest cast.”

Renowned for her work with Stephen Sondheim, Julia has starred in The Philadelphia Story at the Old Vic, and has achieved numerous awards, both on Broadway and in the West End.  She won an Olivier for her performance as Mrs Lovett in the National Theatre production of Sweeney Todd. Julia has appeared in Cranford as Mrs Forrester and the critically acclaimed Notes on a Scandal. Earlier credits include Fresh Fields, Bright Young Things and Blott on the Landscape.

Julia is the seventh actress to take on the much-loved character on screen, following in the footsteps of Geraldine McEwan, Gracie Fields, Margaret Rutherford, Angela Lansbury, Helen Hayes and Joan Hickson. 

The Marple stories are co-produced by ITV Studios and Agatha Christie Ltd, a Chorion company, and US network WGBH.  Mammoth Screen’s Michele Buck and Damien Timmer executive produce Marple on behalf of ITV Studios. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer for WGBH. 

Christie remains the most popular novelist in history, with her work being published in 50 languages in over 70 countries and more than two billion of her books sold to date.  As well as the renowned Poirot and Miss Marple series, Christie also wrote the detective series Tommy and Tuppence and a wealth of other murder mysteries and thrillers between 1920 and 1976 including the bestselling And Then There Were None and the record breaking play The Mousetrap. 

LWT began broadcasting Agatha Christie’s Poirot in 1989 and the BBC was previously the producer of the Miss Marple dramas.

ITV and National TV Awards agree new deal at the 02, hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

ITV is pleased to announce that it has agreed a new deal with Indigo Television which secures the National Television Awards on ITV1 until 2011.

As part of the new deal the much-anticipated television awards ceremony will move in its 15th anniversary year to the 20,000 capacity O2 arena in Greenwich, London and will also move from its traditional autumn slot and be broadcast live in January 2010 on ITV1.

After hosting the prestigious awards ceremony since 1996, Sir Trevor McDonald has decided to relinquish his role as presenter and Dermot O’Leary can today be confirmed as the National Television Awards’ new host.

ITV’s Director of Entertainment and Comedy, Elaine Bedell said: “I’m delighted to announce this new deal which secures the NTAs – the most popular television awards, as chosen by viewers – on ITV1 until 2011 at a fantastic new home in the O2 arena.

“I’m also very pleased  to be announcing Dermot as the new host of the awards, and I have no doubt that he’s the right man to continue the excellent job that Sir Trevor has done over the last 13 years.”

Executive Producer of the National Television Awards, Kim Turberville, said: “The bedrock of the NTAs is the massive nationwide poll in which the public choose all the winners with millions of votes cast each year.  The exciting move to the much larger O2 arena means we can strengthen our bond with viewers still further by accommodating even more members of the public, and staging the NTAs biggest event ever!”

“Sir Trevor McDonald has been a sure hand on the tiller over the past years and coped magnificently with a live and unpredictable show.  Now we go in to our fifteenth year in a new venue with a great new host at the rostrum who we are confident can build on Sir Trevor’s success and contribute to the NTA’s position as Britain’s favourite awards ceremony.”

Dermot O’Leary said: “The NTA’s have always been one of the biggest nights in British Television and what makes it extra special is the fact that all the winners are 100% voted for by the viewers. Taking over from Sir Trevor is a daunting prospect but it’s a genuine honour and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m especially looking forward to compering the EastEnders/Coronation Street blood feud. May the best soap win!”

Sir Trevor McDonald said: “I’ve had great fun hosting the National Television Awards, but after 13 years I think it is the right time to relinquish my role as presenter.”

The National Television Awards are the only television awards to be 100 percent voted for by the UK public in a huge nationwide poll. The voting for the 15th NTA will open in September 2009.

To be sure of joining the stars on their big night out at the NTAs, simply call Ticketmaster on 0844 8472536 when lines open from 9am on Friday 17th July. Or you can visit the website at www.theo2.co.uk/nta.

Timothy Spall plays The Fattest Man in Britain and Bobby Ball is his agent and sidekick in a new comedy drama written by Caroline Aherne and Jeff Pope for ITV1.

Timothy (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd, Oliver Twist) and Bobby (Cannon and Ball, Last of the Summer Wine) and are joined by Frances Barber (The Street, Law and Order UK)  who plays Janice, a kindly neighbour who tends to Georgie’s needs in the one off comedy drama which is set in Rochdale and inspired by real events.

Morris Morrissey (Bobby Ball) is in charge of making sure Georgie Godwin (Timothy Spall) retains his title and cashes in on his size by feeding him up and then bringing taxi loads of tourists to gawp at the “eighth wonder of the world.”

It’s 23 years since Georgie left his house and he relies on Morris and Janice to survive. A new addition to his ‘family’ arrives when social services send problem teenager Amy, played by Aisling Loftus (also starring in Dominic Savage’s forthcoming Dive), to tend to his overgrown garden. When the pregnant teen rows with her drug addict boyfriend, Georgie offers her a safe place to stay.

Amy worries about Georgie’s health and wants him to lose weight but Morris thinks their futures depend on Georgie staying fat. Finally, Georgie gets a shot at the big time, when he is asked to take part in a live weigh off with his rival Big Brian on the local TV news.

Will Georgie reign triumphant or will Big Brian take his title?

The Fattest Man in Britain is an ITV Studios production for ITV1. It was commissioned by commissioning editor of comedy at ITV Michaela Hennessy-Vass. The executive producer is Saurabh Kakkar. It is directed by David Blair and produced by Jeff Pope.

Filmed entirely on location in the majestic region of Connemara in the West of Ireland, ITV’s new three-part drama reflects one policeman’s quest to serve a rural community – Single handed..

Jack Driscoll (Owen McDonnell), a Sergeant with the Irish police, is completely at home in his new patch; he ought to be as he was born and brought up there.  He knows the people, he knows the West of Ireland and, more importantly, he knows how the two fit together.  But this is no cushy posting; Jack’s ‘patch’ stretches from the Atlantic coast in the West to the glacial lakes in the East, from Galway City in the South to Killary harbour in the North – he’s on call 24-hours a day and, more often than not, he’s single-handed.

From the team that brought you ITV’s award winning drama The Vice, SINGLE-HANDED explores how policing a rural community differs from city policing.  Your precinct is vast, the terrain extreme and the community lives on the edge.  You are always on duty.  There’s nowhere to hide.

Stationed more than 40 miles from his superior officers and with specialist backup hours away, Jack is used to thinking on his feet.  In circumstances like these, normal procedures are always under pressure and often bypassed altogether, but Jack has the shadow of his predecessor hanging over him.  His father Gerry (Ian McElhinney – Little Dorrit, Closing the Ring, Rough Diamond) has only recently vacated the position and Jack’s methods are not necessarily the same…

The job has taught Jack one invaluable lesson – when the going gets tough, the only person you can rely on is yourself.  Fortunately, the life suits him.

Guest starring in SINGLE-HANDED are Caroline Catz (Doc Martin), Charlene Mckenna (Raw), Stuart Graham (Hunger) and Ruth McCabe (The Street).

Rob Pursey, managing director of Touchpaper TV, says: “Touchpaper are delighted to be launching a new series on ITV1.  Single-Handed brings an ITV audience the wonderful, atmospheric landscape of Western Ireland, three intriguing stories – and a fascinating new lead actor in the form of Owen McDonnell.”

SINGLE-HANDED is made by Touchpaper Television, part of the RDF Media Group.  It is written by Barry Simner (The Vice, Midsomer Murders, Holby City), directed by Colm McCarthy (Spooks, Murphy’s Law) and Anthony Byrne (Wild Decembers) and  produced by Clare Alan (A Harlot’s Progress, Wild Decembers, A Most Mysterious Murder). Rob Pursey (Being Human, Murderland, City of Vice) is the executive producer.  

Celebrities take time out from fame to play tricks on their fans and famous friends by donning cunning disguises in a new ITV1 show.

In Anonymous, presented by Stephen Mulhern, three celebrities will wear prosthetic disguises to carry out gags on unsuspecting members of the public.

Their new ‘characters’ will then perform an elaborate prank on one of their celebrity friends.

The one-off special, made by Tiger Aspect Productions, will see celebrities acting as they have never done so before.

A sporting legend transforms into a well to do theatre luvvie to stitch up his England team mate; a soap star goes on set of the drama she works on disguised as an Essex WAG to fool her cast mates; and a music mogul and talent show judge ages 20 years to fool his music acts.

Stephen Mulhern will take them through the transformation process and help them create their new identity in the one hour show. He will also guide them through the mischievous pranks every step of the way with the help of an earpiece and a microphone.

John Kaye Cooper, controller of entertainment for ITV, said: “It’s fascinating to see how some of our best known celebrities are rendered unrecognisable by their disguises and just how they are treated when they are anonymous.

“Fame counts for nothing if nobody knows who you are and this show provides great comedy moments and an insight into the lives of some of TV’s most famous faces.”

Anonymous was commissioned by controller of entertainment John Kaye Cooper for ITV1. The executive producers are Deborah Sargeant and Clive Tulloh and the series producer is Richard Cook.

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