This long hot summer, Sky1 and Sky1 HD will bring you exclusive as-live coverage of Girls Aloud’s recent ‘Out Of Control’ UK tour, filmed at London’s 02 Arena on 24th May 2009. The unmissable live show was a total sell out, but for those who were unable to get their hands on tickets, Sky1 are granting you access directly to your living room in crystal clear high definition.

The poptastic five-some – Cheryl, Nadine, Nicola, Kimberley and Sarah – will be delivering all of their greatest hits including The Promise, Sound of the Underground and Something Kinda Ooh, as well as some new tracks from their latest studio album, Out of Control and a few surprises along the way.

Since their creation on Popstars: The Rivals seven years ago, Girls Aloud have cemented themselves as one of the most successful girl groups of all time, notching up 20 consecutive top ten singles, including four number ones and two UK number one albums, rounded off earlier this year with a long overdue Brit award win for their single The Promise.

The ‘Out Of Control’ tour comes off the back of their fifth studio album of the same name, which debuted at number one at the end of last year and has since gone twice platinum. Over the course of their tour, the girls played to a combined audience of 335,000 fans and no expense was spared as they wore intricate costumes designed by Julien Macdonald using Swarovski Crystals.

Girls Aloud: ‘Out Of Control’ Live from the 02 will be an unmissable poptastic treat, also bringing to you what you don’t see on stage – behind the scenes interviews and gossip from the girls themselves.

Girls Aloud: ‘Out Of Control’ Live from the 02 will be broadcast on Sky1 and Sky1 HD in August 2009. Fans who subscribe to Sky HD will be able to see the girls up close and personal in glorious high definition for the first time and for viewers with compatible home entertainment systems, hear them in stunning Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

Sky1 HD has announced the start of production on GOING POSTAL (2 x 120 minutes), an adaptation of one of Sir Terry’s Pratchett’s most popular Discworld novels. An adventure story filled with romance and revenge, GOING POSTAL features an all star British cast that includes Richard Coyle (Coupling) as Moist Von Lipwig, David Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot) as Reacher Gilt, Charles Dance (Gosford Park, Bleak House) as Lord Vetinari, and Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) as Adora Belle Dearheart. Adding to the cast with their comedic talents are Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen, Psychoville) as Drumknott, Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers) as Groat and Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Black Books) as Miss Cripslock.

Produced by The Mob film company, GOING POSTAL will be broadcast on Sky1 HD and Sky1 Easter 2010.  The adaptation was commissioned by Elaine Pyke, Head of Drama, Sky1 HD, will be produced by Sue De Beauvoir (Merlin) for The Mob film company, and directed by Jon Jones (The Diary of Anne Frank, Northanger Abbey).

Pyke commented: “Following the Sky1 HD successes of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather and The Colour of Magic, we’re thrilled to now be bringing GOING POSTAL to life. Adapted by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle, GOING POSTAL is a hugely enjoyable epic adventure story guaranteed to delight audiences across the country next Easter.”

GOING POSTAL is the story of arch-swindler Moist Von Lipwig (Coyle) and the beautiful, vengeful Adora Belle Dearheart (Foy). A life long travelling con-artist, Lipwig’s crimes finally catch up with him in the town of Ankh-Morpork. Faced with death by hanging, Lipwig is spared by Lord Vetinari (Dance), who sees him as the perfect man for the role of Postmaster in the decrepit Ankh-Morpork post office. Faced with an almost impossible task, and making an immediate enemy of bloodthirsty tyrant Reacher Gilt (Suchet), owner of the rival money-hungry Grand Trunk Clacks communication monopoly, Lipwig’s first instinct is to run. That is until he meets the spellbinding Adora. Captivated by her beauty and brains, Lipwig will try anything to win her affections…little knowing the part he has played in her family’s downfall.

Sir Terry Pratchett’s 33rd discworld novel, GOING POSTAL was released in 2004 and shortlisted for the Nebula Award for Best Novel. Shooting for the drama is taking place on location in Budapest, Hungary, providing a beautiful, atmospheric backdrop to Ankh-Morphork, the epic fantasy world created by Pratchett.

GOING POSTAL is a Mob production for Sky1 HD and Sky1.  The film will be shot on HD CAM-SR for broadcast on Sky1 HD and Sky1 in Easter 2010.  ALL3MEDIA International has secured the international distribution rights.

GOING POSTAL has been adapted for the screen by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle (Primeval, Robin Hood, Jungle Book) and is executive produced by Ian Sharples and Rod Brown for The Mob film company, and Sarah Conroy and Huw Kennair-Jones for Sky1 HD.

Stuart Murphy, Director of Programming, Sky1 HD, Sky1, 2 and 3 today (Friday 19 June, 2009) announced the appointment of Lucy Lumsden as Head of Comedy Sky1 HD, Sky1, 2 and 3. Lumsden, currently Controller of Comedy Commissioning, BBC will start her new role in the autumn.

Murphy commented: “In everything we do we need to be the best, and Lucy is simply the best commissioner in the comedy business.   Her track record is astonishing, from Gavin and Stacey to The Catherine Tate Show, from Lead Balloon to Green Green Grass, she has shown time and again that she is as comfortable working with new talent as she is with established names. Comedy takes time to get right, and it’s an art not a science, but with Lucy at the helm it feels like we are giving ourselves the best chance of generating hits which our subscribers will love. I loved working with her before, and can’t wait to start working with her again.”

Lumsden added: “I’ve absolutely loved being at the BBC, but Stuart’s unstoppable enthusiasm for comedy is utterly infectious and I am really looking forward to working with him again. Sky1 has always delivered big on its programming promise and I’m excited about the opportunities for comedy.”

Lumsden began her career in television in 1992 working at the Comic Strip for BBC Two, then worked across a number of comedies, drama serials and documentaries at the BBC until 1998. From that point until she took up her current role, she worked with the independent comedy team at the BBC on shows including Bedtime (Hat Trick); Human Remains (Baby Cow); Beast (Talkback); Doubletake (Tiger Aspect); Look Around You (Talkback); Sensitive Skin (Baby Cow); Three Non Blondes (Brown Eyed Boy); Monkey Dust (Talkback) and Big Impression (Vera).

Lucy Lumsden was the BBC’s first Controller of Comedy Commissioning and had responsibility for commissioning scripted comedy from both in-house and the independent sector.

Since she took up her current role in November 2005, Lucy has developed, commissioned and worked with the very best in British comedy to produce an impressive array of hits across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Four.

For BBC One this includes the award-winning Gavin and Stacey (Baby Cow), recently transferred from BBC Three, and the genre-busting Outnumbered (Hat Trick). She has been a passionate enthusiast for the audience sitcom commissioning sitcoms such as Reggie Perrin (Objective), Big Top (Big Bear), The Green Green Grass (Shazam) and Not Going Out (Avalon).  Other BBC One highlights include: Jam & Jerusalem (BBC Productions); Harry & Paul (Tiger Aspect); Armstrong & Miller (Toff Media/ Hat Trick); The Worst Week of My Life (Hat Trick), The Omid Djalili Show (BBC Productions), My Family (DLT) and Royle Family: The New Sofa.

For BBC Two, Lucy has commissioned: Down The Line (BBC Productions), Krod Mandoon (Hat Trick), Psychoville (BBC Productions), The Thick of It (BBC Productions), Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop (BBC Productions), Beautiful People (BBC Productions), That Mitchell & Webb Look (BBC Productions), The Catherine Tate Show (Tiger Aspect), Lab Rats (BBC Productions) and Lead Balloon (Open Mike).

For BBC Three, Lucy’s commissioning highlights include Horne and Corden (Tiger Aspect), We Are Klang (BBC Productions), Two Pints (BBC Productions), Grown Ups (BBC Productions); Summer Heights High (Princess); Little Miss Jocelyn (Brown Eyed Boy) and Man Stroke Woman (Rough Cut).

And, for BBC Four, highlights include We Need Answers (BBC Productions), Getting On (Vera), Chasers War on Everything (ABC), Newswipe (Zeppotron), Cowards (Angel Eye), I’ve Never Seen Star Wars (BBC Productions), Screenwipe (Zeppotron) and Freezing (BBC Productions).

Many of BBC Three’s early successes were in collaboration with then channel controller Stuart Murphy including Gavin and Stacey (Baby Cow), Nighty Night (Baby Cow), Pulling (Silver River), The Mighty Boosh (Baby Cow), Ideal (Baby Cow/ Comedy North), Tittybangbang (Pett Productions), Touch Me I’m Karen Taylor (Avalon) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (Hat Trick North)

The Sky1 HD, Sky1, 2 and 3 commissioning team comprises Duncan Gray (Commissioning Editor, Entertainment), Clare Hollywood (Commissioning Editor, Entertainment), Celia Taylor (Commissioning Editor, Factual and Features), Emma Read  (Commissioning Editor, Factual and Features), Elaine Pyke (Head of Drama), Sarah Conroy (Commissioning Editor, Drama), Huw Kennair Jones (Commissioning Editor, Drama) and Lucy Lumsden.

Sky1 HD has commissioned Kaboom Film and Television to produce a 1×90 documentary chronicling the withdrawal of British forces from Basra, Iraq between March and May 2009.

Goodbye Basra (working title) will hear from British troops prior to, during, and post withdrawal and will expose what current and ex serviceman feel about the role they played in the Iraq war, what they feel they achieved in the area, as well as detailing their own feelings and thoughts on what they experienced fighting thousands of miles from home.

The film is an emotional history of British troop’s experiences in Iraq and will reveal how service personnel feel about how they are perceived by the British public and media since the invasion 6 years ago.

With exclusive access to Army regiments – including 5 Rifles, B company – and by using observational filming on the ground in Basra, archive material, and interviews with soldiers on the ground Goodbye Basra is an honest and candid account of one of the key events in one of the most controversial wars in modern day history.

Emma Read, Commissioning Editor, Sky1 HD, Sky1, Sky2 and Sky3 comments; “As per other ground breaking factual commissions on Sky1 Goodbye Basra seeks to do something new and challenging. To present a different viewpoint of the Iraq war that is little heard in the media; the experiences and thoughts of the serving squaddie, all in their own uncensored words.” 

Charles Furneaux, Executive Producer, Kaboom Film and Television: “The experiences of British soldiers who have fought in Iraq over the last six years have been extraordinary, and little heard or read about. The regular soldier has a compelling story to tell.”

Charles Furneaux is the executive producer, Andy Wells directs, Joanne Timoney is the producer. The film was commissioned by Emma Read, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Features, Sky1 HD, Sky1, Sky2, Sky3.

Goodbye Basra will air on Sky1 and Sky1 HD in autumn 2009.

Sky1 announced an exclusive deal to broadcast Madonna and Girls Aloud’s most recent tours. Madonna: Sticky and Sweet and Girls Aloud: ‘Out Of Control’ Live from the 02 will be broadcast on Sky1 and Sky1 HD in July and August respectively.

Madonna: Sticky and Sweet (1 x 120”) features the iconic star’s greatest hits and songs from her latest studio album, Hard Candy. The controversial, record-breaking tour, recorded at Buenos Aires’ River Plate Stadium in December 2008, features four sections ‘Pimp,’ ‘Old School,’ ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Rave’ and has won universal praise with The Times remarking, “In the premiere league of song-and-dance spectaculars, the queen of pop remains unrivalled and undefeated.” Madonna: Sticky and Sweet was directed by Nathan Rissman (Madonna’s “I Am Because We Are”) and is a Live Nation Production. Julia Stuart, Senior Acquisitions Executive brokered the deal with Heather Wyer at Media Push. The deal also gives Sky1 the rights to a special 15 minute behind-the-scenes film to be broadcast alongside the tour, giving fans an intimate portrait of one of the world’s most enigmatic stars.

Girls Aloud: ‘Out Of Control’ Live from the 02 (1 x 120”) features Britain’s brightest pop starlets on their sell-out UK tour. Recorded in May 2009, the tour comprises a selection of their greatest hits from the last seven years and songs from their latest studio album, Out Of Control. The special was commissioned by Donna Taberer, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, Sky1, 2 and 3 and is a co-production between Globe and JJ Stereo Productions.  Directed by Paul Caslin and Exec Produced by Ruth Paveley, John Paveley and Shane Murray for JJ Stereo and Iain Funnell for Globe.

Stuart Murphy, Director of Programming, Sky1, 2 and 3, commented: “I wanted to give something special to our customers and what better gift than to spend a fantastic night with two of the world’s biggest music stars, Madonna and Girls Aloud…live in your living room…in high definition. HD will make audiences feel like they’re literally there with them. It’s fantastic, event television that only Sky1 can offer and both shows are sure to set temperatures soaring this summer.”

Fans who subscribe to Sky HD will be able to see Madonna and Girls Aloud up close and personal in glorious high definition for the first time and for viewers with compatible home entertainment systems, hear them in stunning Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

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