Titanic

6:05pm Saturday, May 19 on C4

James Cameron’s Oscar-laden epic – currently the world’s second highest grossing film -tells of the first and final voyage of the ‘unsinkable’ luxury liner through the love story of two very different passengers. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jack Dawson, a brash chancer who talks his way up to the staterooms and fancy restaurants where he meets – and falls for – Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet).

Sunday, 15 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Titanic, Sunday 14th April 1912. Mrs Widener’s party are enjoying their dinner in Gatti’s Restaurant. In the First Class saloon Lightoller chats to Dorothy Gibson, and Molly Brown sympathises with an affronted Grace Rushton over her omission from the Wideners’ dinner party. Jim and Mary prepare for bed, with Jim still angry at Lubov’s effrontery and Mary dreaming of a new life in New York. On the bridge Officer Murdoch is maintaining the ship’s speed, but is not happy with his orders. Paolo takes Annie to meet his brother Mario. Although Annie still hasn’t said yes to his proposal, the brothers agree that her willingness to meet is a good sign. 

In her cabin, Grace Rushton is fretting about her dog. Back on the bridge, Officer Moody gets a warning from the lookout of an iceberg dead ahead, but too late for Murdoch to do more than avoid a head on collision as it scrapes down the ship’s side. John Batley tells an unimpressed Muriel of his encounter with the iceberg on deck. Guggenheim is in bed with his French mistress Mme Aubart when her maid bursts in and announces hysterically that they’re all going to drown. 

The Duff Gordons make their selfish escape in a near-empty boat, much to Hugh’s anger. Officer Wilde tells his stewards to lock the cabins to prevent looting. In doing so, they inadvertently lock in Watson who’s in the Mantons’ cabin searching for her father’s book. Amidst the chaos on deck, Harry and Georgiana share a brief moment together and she tells him that she loves him. Barnes comes to Watson’s rescue, kicking at the cabin door until a passing steward unlocks it, whilst threatening to report Barnes for damaging White Star property. 

Barnes has Watson’s book – he has mended it and was going to give it to her as a gift. Grace Rushton is still refusing to board a lifeboat without her dog when Astor appears with Suki and his own dog Kitty, amongst others. He has found and released them. In her gratitude, Grace takes Astor’s dog as well as her own and finally boards the lifeboat, briskly dismissing the admonishments of Officer Boxhall that dogs are not allowed. 

On the Promenade Deck, Theresa flees from her lifeboat after overhearing Murdoch tell Hart that it will split if any more passengers are loaded. Jim pursues her, as does Lubov at Mary’s urgent pleading. Once below decks they split up, whilst Mary, clutching her remaining children to her, is rowed away from the ship. Officer Murdoch, in danger of losing control, fires his pistol to quiet the crowd. John pulls Muriel away, but she is fast losing heart. 

Barnes and Watson join the Mantons. Barnes gives Watson an envelope to open later. Jack Thayer and another youth discuss the safest way to get off the ship without a lifeboat. Louisa is about to board the last of the boats when she has second thoughts about going without Hugh. Paolo learns from a stoker of his brother’s fate and races off to find him. Louisa is still hesitating but Hugh persuades her that her duty lies with her daughter. In return, she promises Hugh that she will care for his other illegitimate daughter, who she’s known about all along. Murdoch orders Lowe to take charge of the boat. As it’s lowered, Ismay steps in. 

Paolo finds the cabin in which his brother is incarcerated with the other Italians, but the water is rising and the door is locked. He chances upon Lubov and begs him to help. Lubov still has the piece of wire Watson gave him to open the jewellery case. After several desperate attempts underwater he manages to pick the lock and release the prisoners. Murdoch reports back to a sombre Captain Smith. Bitterly regretful of his hubris, the Captain is determined to go down with his ship. As is the designer Thomas Andrews, and the sublimely debonair Benjamin Guggenheim. Deep in the bowels of Titanic, Jim finally locates his terrified daughter. Wrapping her comfortingly in his arms, he settles down to await their inevitable fate. 

Paolo and Mario reach the deck and jump, as does Jack Thayer. Hugh, Lightoller, Harry and the Batleys are amongst those trying to free the last collapsible lifeboat when they’re all washed overboard, along with Bessie Allison and her family. Mario has made it to the upturned collapsible and calls desperately for his brother Paolo. Behind him, with a terrible sound of rending metal, the stricken liner breaks in two. Its stern rises up out of the water, towering over the survivors like some mythical sea monster, and finally sinks below the surface. 

In the boats, the survivors can hear the cries of those in the water. Louisa and Georgiana are determined to go back, and along with Officer Lowe override the objections of the more nervous passengers. But first Lowe must link two or three of the boats into a makeshift pontoon and transfer some of the passengers to make room. 

Despite the pleas of Lady Rothes and Mrs Widener, the seamen in their boat refuse to go back. And the Duff Gordons show no enthusiasm to hunt for survivors in their boat either. In the water, John Batley desperately searches for Muriel. Lowe carefully transfers his passengers to empty one of the boats. As he does so, one of the women turns out to be the Chief Steward. Lightoller struggles onto the upturned collapsible with the help of Mario and despite the reluctance of some already aboard as it’s becoming increasingly crowded. 

Back in their lifeboat, Molly Brown, Lady Rothes and the other women have lost patience. On the upturned collapsible, now precariously full, Jack Thayer is pulled aboard to replace a dead man. Lightoller leads them in the Lord’s Prayer anxiously awaiting rescue from the life boats.

Sunday, 8 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

The Siege of Sidney Street, London, January 1911. Home Secretary Winston Churchill surveys the burnt out house in which a group of Russian anarchists have been cornered and killed after a gun battle with the army. However, to his fury, the body of their leader, Peter the Painter, is not among them. 

Southampton, Wednesday 10th April 1912. Second Officer Lightoller is checking the vast quantities of food destined for Titanic’s maiden voyage when his attention is diverted by an altercation. An Italian stoker is trying to persuade Fifth Officer Lowe to take on his brother as a waiter. Given that one of the waiters has failed to turn up, Lightoller agrees to hire him. 

Once aboard, the stoker Mario confesses to his brother Paolo that he got the missing steward drunk to give Paolo the chance to join him in New York. Paolo is initially hampered by the sleeves of his waiter’s jacket, but a sympathetic steward, Annie Desmond, sews them up for him. In steerage the mysterious Peter Lubov tells Jim Maloney that he’s had enough of trying to change society. He’s off to the New World and won’t be back. Mary drops her cotton reel. Lubov returns it but her response is uncharacteristically abrupt. Paolo, who’s missed his rendezvous with Annie, catches up with her as she begins her rounds. 

Meanwhile Lubov is approached by ex-soldier David Evans, but brushes him off. On deck Paolo and Annie encounter Bessie Allison trying to get her young daughter Loraine to go to bed, and are stopped by an officious seaman who won’t let Annie back into Second Class until Paolo berates him for his lack of class loyalty. Annie visits her charges, amongst them the Batleys. Muriel is attacking her husband for deferring so readily to Lord Manton.

Sunday 14th April 1912. Jim and Mary attend Catholic Mass in steerage. Lubov has decided to attend the Anglican service in First Class. A curious Mary decides to go too. When Lubov arrives he sits next to her and tells her not to be frightened by the strength of her feelings. Mary moves away, but her eyes hold his. Annie visits Paolo as he lays the table in the First Class dining room, and he tells her something of his dreams for the future. Later he tells his brother Mario that he believes Annie is the one for him, although he has nothing to offer her. Mario wisely tells him to offer her his dreams. 

Steerage steward John Hart comes across Louisa’s maid Watson. The lock on Louisa’s jewel case has jammed and she wants to find someone in steerage who can unpick it. Hart leads her through, and Lubov volunteers to help. Strangely, Watson insists he take the case into a corner. He comes back to say that the key turns easily. At that moment Barnes appears and takes Watson away. He wants to know what she’s up to, and it doesn’t take long before she breaks down and tells him. Her beloved father is ill and she’s hatched a crazy scheme to steal a piece of jewellery Louisa hardly ever wears. The charade with the jewel case is to give her the alibi that it was taken by Lubov. Barnes is horrified by both the hopeless naivety of her plan and her willingness to cast suspicion on an innocent man. Watson is in floods of tears as they encounter Lightoller, but Barnes passes it off as seasickness. He suggests to Watson that during dinner they retrieve the brooch, which she has concealed in her trunk in the hold. Then she can slip it in with the jewels Louisa is wearing when she takes them off, and return it to the safe. 

Later, as Paolo puts together some dinner for Annie to take to Barnes and Watson, she asks him to tell her more about his dreams and he impulsively proposes to her. She is too startled to reply. On deck, a pensive Mary is joined by Lubov. She no longer pretends that she’s not attracted to him and they kiss, but it’s broken up by a furious Jim. He punches Lubov, who refuses to fight back and walks away. Mary pretends that he stole a drunken kiss. It’s steerage. What does Jim expect? 

Later that night Paolo and John Hart, and Mary and Jim are woken by the sound of escaping steam. In the engine room Mario and others escape as the doors begin to close. Billy Blake stays behind to rake out the boilers to stop them exploding. The bully will die a hero. 

Lightoller tells Annie to get her passengers up on deck. Paolo finds Annie outside the Purser’s office, and forces a reluctant Muriel to don her lifejacket. Meanwhile Ismay is anxious that the Italian waiters will spread panic, so they are taken below decks and locked in a cabin. Back on deck, Paolo and Officer Lowe try in vain to prevent the Duff Gordons having their boat lowered practically empty. 

In steerage, Lubov engineers a diversion that enables Mary and her children to escape. Evans beckons to him and Lubov follows, thinking he’s found another way out. But Evans has remembered why Lubov seemed familiar. His was the face on the wanted posters after the Siege of Sidney Street. Lubov is Peter the Painter. 

In the First Class dining room, Mary encounters a dazed Bessie Allison, still searching for baby Trevor. On his way up the ship Mario sees the rest of the steerage passengers, still held below decks. He argues with the officer in charge and is dragged off to be locked up with the Italian waiters, but his intervention enables both Jim and Lubov to get out. Jim and Hugh help Mary and the children into a boat but her daughter Theresa, terrified of the water, bolts back into the ship. 

Jim takes off after her. On deck Paolo and Annie find the last of the boats, surrounded by a group that includes the Mantons and Ismay. Paolo and Ismay persuade Annie to get aboard to help calm the women. Just then Paolo discovers from a stoker that Mario has been locked up and dashes off in search of his brother. He finds the cabin as the ship starts to flood, but the door is locked and there’s no key… 

Sunday, 1 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Drama

Belfast, March 1912. Workers enter the Harland and Wolff shipyard past angry Protestant Unionists, incensed by the prospect of Irish Home Rule. Inside the yard designer Thomas Andrews and shipyard chairman Lord Pirrie are concerned about slow progress on the fitting out of the new liner Titanic. They talk to electrical engineer Jim Maloney, a middle class Catholic. Maloney needs to recruit his own team with the expertise to get the job done, but they are Catholics and Lord Pirrie is under pressure to get rid of his Catholic workers. Jim despairs at the sectarian divide, and wants to get away from Ireland. Andrews offers him a deal – a steerage passage on Titanic with his family if he gets the wiring done on time. In a meeting with Pirrie and White Star Line chairman Bruce Ismay Andrews expresses his concern that corners are being cut in the construction. Ismay angrily dismisses his assertions.

Southampton, Tuesday 9th April 1912. After the sea trials, Captain Smith shuffles his crew, causing some confusion as the officers are assigned new duties. The following day, cabin steward Annie Desmond prepares for the first passengers, and encounters newly-recruited Italian waiter Paolo Sandrini. Meanwhile Jim Maloney smuggles his wife Mary and their children into a single steerage cabin to avoid them being split up, facing down steward John Hart to do so. At dinner in First Class, Paolo serves the Mantons’ table, winking at Georgiana. She’s amused, but the Chief Steward is not. 

In steerage, Jim falls into conversation with the taciturn Peter Lubov, another man escaping his past. Jim introduces Lubov to Mary, but her response is uncharacteristically abrupt. Up on deck, Paolo and Annie discuss the passengers in their charge, and she describes the altercation between the servants. Her theory is that Barnes has a soft spot for Watson. 

Sunday 14th April 1912. A mixed group attend the Anglican service which is held in First Class but open to all classes. Lubov attends and deliberately places himself next to Mary Maloney, who moves away. Grace Rushton is horrified by the class mix. Hugh finds it amusing. That evening Lightoller comes across Barnes trying to gain access to steerage, in pursuit of Watson who has made her way down there. Later, Lightoller comes across them together. Watson is in tears, but Barnes tells him it’s merely seasickness. Dressing for dinner in their cabin after the less than successful tea party with the Mantons, Muriel launches a verbal assault on her husband, accusing him of cringing subservience to his English master. Unable to contain her bitterness at his stalled career, which has condemned her to a life in Croydon amongst those she regards as her country’s long time oppressors, she lets him know that she’s aware his loyal service includes acting as a go-between with Hugh’s illegitimate daughter, a secret supposedly unknown to Louisa. 

Jim goes looking for Mary and finds her on the deck. As always she is coping with the vagaries of life, condemned to crowded steerage despite Jim’s skills because of their background. Jim promises her that things will be different in America. On the bridge, Captain Smith wants to maintain a fast pace to arrive in New York early on Titanic’s maiden voyage, but Ismay is against taking any risks. However, after Ismay leaves the bridge Smith instructs his officer of the watch, Murdoch, to keep up the pace despite warnings of icebergs. 

Smith takes a tour, greeting the card-playing Andrews and Dorothy Gibson and finally ending up on deck with a glum John Batley, recovering from the altercation with his wife. Smith wisely leaves him to it, but no sooner has he gone than Batley finds an iceberg towering over him as it scrapes down the side of the ship. Below decks, Smith and Andrews go on their voyage of discovery and we see the full impact of the collision. The extent of the gashes is so long that it will outweigh the buoyancy afforded by Titanic’s compartmentalised design. The supposedly unsinkable ship has only hours to live. 

Whilst the passengers remain oblivious to the danger for the moment, Lightoller is roused and tries to get orders from Smith and his Chief Officer Wilde, but they are both dazed by the enormity of what has happened. Lightoller takes matters into his own hands, organising the evacuation but restricting the numbers in each boat and allowing only women and children to board. Annie tries to help Muriel and John Batley with their lifejackets, although Muriel is more concerned with recovering her jewels. Outside the Purser’s office we experience again Muriel’s attack on Louisa and Hugh, but this time from the point of view of her horrified husband before he drags her away. 

Jim and Mary and their children are being held below decks with their fellow steerage passengers, until Lubov creates a diversion that allows Mary and the children to escape. Lightoller helps a distraught Dorothy Gibson persuade her mother to don a lifejacket. He presses an unwilling Dorothy to take a bottle of brandy with her in case it’s needed for medicinal purposes. 

Meanwhile, Annie and Paolo are trying to bring some order to the chaos, which is only increased when Steward Hart leads a party of steerage passengers up to the deck. Muriel is almost trampled underfoot. Andrews has joined Guggenheim and his valet in the saloon. Despite Lightoller’s urging, they are not planning to go anywhere. John and Muriel struggle unsuccessfully to find a boat, until Muriel slumps down in exhaustion and despair. And then, at their darkest hour, they find a way back to each other. 

Muriel expresses her regret that she has allowed her bitterness to destroy their relationship. John immediately forgives her – she remains the best thing that ever happened in his life. Muriel says that if they can do nothing else they can at least die together, but just then John spies one last boat preparing to launch, and drags Muriel towards it. As they get there to find a group that includes Hugh Manton, Harry Widener and Barnes there is the roaring sound of an approaching wall of water…

The Press Association today reports that actress Kate Winslet reckons her new TV role is much harder to work on than the blockbuster film Titanic was. Here’s the report…

Kate Winslet has admitted her new TV role is the hardest work she’s done since Titanic. The Oscar-winning actress has joined the ranks of film icons flocking to the small screen by taking the lead role in new television drama Mildred Pierce.

Kate, 35, who appears in virtually every scene of the series, said the part was physically gruelling.

“It was like doing two-and-a-half films in 16 weeks. I think this was so much harder than any film project I’ve done since Titanic,” she said.

Series’ director Todd Haynes said there was only ever one actress he could envision in the role, adding: “I had never met Kate, but I could not get her out of my mind while I was reading [the book].

“She was the only actress I could see playing the part”.

Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood also star in the five-part mini-series, which was aired on HBO in the US and will now be shown on Sky Atlantic HD.

Evan said she was terrified by the nude scene, but helped through it by Kate.

“She coached me through my first nude scene. I mean, she’s done it all and was literally next to the camera going [thumbs up],” she said.

Lookout Point, ITV Studios, Deep Indigo Productions, Sienna Films and Mid Atlantic Films announce the first day of principal photography on TITANIC.

The all-star ensemble miniseries from the creative minds of Nigel Stafford – Clark and Julian Fellowes will be shot over ten-weeks in Budapest and on location around the city.

Written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes and directed by Jon Jones (Northanger Abbey, Diary of Anne Frank), the 4 x 60’ series is produced by Nigel Stafford-Clark (Bleak House, The Passion) and Chris Thompson (The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Love Actually).

TITANIC is the extraordinary re-telling of that doomed voyage, cleverly weaving action, mystery and romantic plots featuring fictional and historical characters, before coming together in an explosive and unforgettable finale.

TITANIC was originated by Nigel Stafford-Clark’s Deep Indigo Productions and international co-production specialist Lookout Point, who teamed up with ITV Studios to further develop the project.

Working with distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the project has since attracted a host of global partners including US Network ABC and ITV1, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster.

The project is produced as a treaty co-production between the UK, Hungary and Canada. Simon Vaughan, Chief Executive of Lookout Point and Executive Producer of TITANIC explains, “The goal is to mount a global co-production that does not look or feel like one. The material itself straddles the world.

“Working with ITV Studios Global Entertainment we have pulled together over a dozen separate sources of finance – but we are producing a miniseries with a clear creative voice: an authored piece from a wonderful creative team.”

Julian Fellowes has a unique take on the story presenting a rounded, human version of life on board the ship, encapsulating the society in which she existed and providing a comprehensive portrayal of all the passengers and crew.

Whilst James Cameron’s 1997 film was primarily a love story between the two central characters, Fellowes was inspired by the hundreds of poignant untold stories of those aboard and the miniseries will show the bravery, courage and sometimes bad behavior demonstrated by all sorts of passengers and crew, using both fictionalized and real-life characters.

Following on from Gosford Park and Downton Abbey, TITANIC will feature Fellowes’s trademark ensemble cast of leading stage and screen actors, flowing camerawork and interweaving multi-arc storylines, as viewers get to know the multi-class, multi-nationality characters, brought to life by a huge company of no less than 89 actors, including Linus Roache, Celia Imrie, Toby Jones, Geraldine Somerville and Timothy West.

Production designer Rob Harris (Generation Kill, Hornblower, The Devil’s Whore) has created an extraordinary 2-tier set, housing a 60m promenade deck, 50m boat deck, 4 working lifeboats, 2 collapsible lifeboats, the ship’s bridge and pursers’ offices, stairways, 75m of interior corridors and over a dozen separate interior rooms – from boiler rooms to dining rooms, third-class bunkrooms to first-class suites.

Director Jon Jones says, “It’s an incredible, evocative playing space. We have built a huge section of the ship, that is jam packed with a warren of rooms arranged to allow us a sense that we have the run of the ship. Once you enter the studio, it is like boarding the ship – you get a real sense of the space.

“We want to get to grips with how it really was to be confined in a tiny cabin in steerage – or effortlessly ensconced in a First Class stateroom. Our set allows us to really enter that world.”

To deliver the key water sequences, the team has built the biggest indoor tank in mainland Europe, on the outskirts of Budapest.

This vast 900m2 water tank features a sliding immersible section of the ship’s deck and interior, and a huge 360º green screen backdrop. A project of this scale cannot be achieved without CGI, the storylines include scenes in London, the shipyard in Ireland, and the Southampton departure dock and on to open water.

VFX Supervisor Tom Turnbull of Rocket Science (The Nativity, The Day of the Triffids, National Treasure) is recreating the huge gantry cranes and the imposing cathedral-like brick and sandstone Victorian building which housed Harland & Wolff’s headquarters, and of course the arresting sight of the grandest ship ever built.

Broadcast partners around the globe include ITV1 in the UK, ABC Network in the US, Global Television in Canada, Seven Network in Australia, Antena 3 in Spain, TV3 in Ireland, Network Seven in Australia, SVT in Sweden, TVNZ in New Zealand and SIC in Portugal.

TITANIC is a Deep Indigo, ITV Studios, Lookout Point, Mid-Atlantic Films and Sienna Films Production. The drama is executive produced by Lookout Point’s Simon Vaughan (Ben Hur, Coco Chanel, The Hot Zone (working title)) together with ITV’s Kate Bartlett (Marchlands, Identity, Vera), Sienna Films’ Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny (Diamonds, The Hot Zone (working title)) and Mid Atlantic Films’ Howard Ellis and Adam Goodman (The Borgias, Pillars of The Earth) and David Collins of Samson Films, Ireland.

The miniseries will air globally in April 2012, to coincide with the landmark centenary anniversary of the ship’s sinking.

© Courtesy of ITV Television By entertainmentnews

ITV, ITV Studios and Lookout Point TV announce the cast of Titanic:

LINUS ROACHE (Law & Order, Batman Begins) and GERALDINE SOMERVILLE (The Harry Potter films, Survivors) lead the cast and will be joined by others including – CELIA IMRIE (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Kingdom), TOBY JONES (Captain America, W.), PERDITA WEEKS (The Promise, Four Seasons), LEE ROSS (Centurion, EastEnders), JENNA – LOUISE COLEMAN (Waterloo Road, Emmerdale), SOPHIE WINKLEMAN (Peep Show, The Palace), STEVEN WADDINGTON (Sleepy Hollow, The Tudors), DAVID CALDER (The World is Not Enough, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor), JAMES WILBY (Gosford Park, Clapham Junction), ANTONIO MAGRO (Little Dorrit), DRAGOS BUCUR (The Way Back, Youth Without Youth) STEPHEN CAMPBELL MOORE (Ben Hur, Ashes to Ashes), NOAH REID (Three Inches, Jane and the Dragon), LYNDSEY MARSHAL (Hereafter; Being Human; Rome), MARK LEWIS JONES (Robin Hood; The Other Boleyn Girl; Troy), RUTH BRADLEY (Primeval), PETER MCDONALD (The Damned United; City Of Vice), SYLVESTRA LE TOUZEL (Amazing Grace; Northanger Abbey).

Four hour-long episodes from the creative minds of Nigel Stafford Clark and Julian Fellowes will be filmed on location in Hungary from the end of April.

April 2012 sees the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the HMS Titanic. To mark this significant centenary, BAFTA winning producer Nigel Stafford Clark (Bleak House, Warriors, The Way We Live Now) has created Titanic, an epic 4 x 1 hour mini series written by Julian Fellowes, the Oscar winning screenwriter of ITV1’s hit costume drama Downton Abbey as well as Gosford Park and The Young Victoria, directed by Jon Jones (Going Postal, The Diary of Anne Frank, Northanger Abbey) and produced by Nigel Stafford-Clark and Chris Thompson (Love Actually, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency).  Titanic is the extraordinary re-telling of that doomed voyage, cleverly weaving action, mystery and romantic plots featuring fictional and historical characters, before coming together in an explosive and unforgettable finale.

Titanic will focus on different characters ranging from steerage passengers to upper class guests.  Each point of view will culminate in a cliff hanger as the ship begins to founder, building to an explosive conclusion which draws together each of the stories.   Viewers will be taken on a heart wrenching journey through Titanic’s last hours, as the drama reveals which of the characters they have come to know so well will survive…and who does not.

Laura Mackie, Director of ITV Drama commented, “Following the hugely successful Downton Abbey,  Julian Fellowes has delivered another compellingly written and ambitious drama for ITV1. Coupled with exceptional homegrown talent both on and off screen Titanic promises to be the must-see original drama for this landmark  anniversary.”

Creator and producer, Nigel Stafford Clark of Deep Indigo Productions commented, “There is a lasting fascination with the Titanic’s one and only voyage, and never more so than in the year of its hundredth anniversary.  We will tell the story in a way that is bold, fresh and gripping, with all the human detail that television does so well.  We hope it will be a fitting tribute to the events of that night”.

Produced in association with ITV Studios and Shaw Media who are partnered with Deep Indigo Productions and Lookout Point in the UK, Sienna Films Inc in Canada and Hungary based Mid Atlantic Films to produce this UK-Hungary-Canada co-production.

Titanic is executive produced by Lookout Point’s Simon Vaughan (Ben Hur, Coco Chanel, The Hot Zone (working title)) together with ITV’s Kate Bartlett (Marchlands, Identity, Vera), Sienna Films’ Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny (Diamonds, The Hot Zone (working title)) and Mid Atlantic Films’ Howard Ellis and Adam Goodman (The Borgias, Pillars of The Earth) and David Collins of Samson Films, Ireland.

ITV have commissioned a new drama series of the Titanic and rumour has it they have landed both Dame Helen Mirren and Romola Garai to take on starring roles.

The studios announced that the project was green-lighted yesterday and will also air in the US on ABC and in Australia on Channel 7.

The screen adaptation has been written by Downtown Abbey writer Julian Fellowes and although the roles Mirren and Garai will take on are as yet unconfirmed, the series has been described as a “heart-wrenching journey with multi-arc action, mystery and romantic plotlines.”

Filming is due to start soon in Hungary and will air next year to commemorate the centenary of the ship’s final journey.

Garai is an English actress and model who, in 2009, was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance of Emma in a television adaptation of Jane Eyre’s Emma.  More recently she starred alongside Keira Knightley and James McAvoy in the Oscar nominated Atonement.

US X Factor announcements “may surprise”

Simon Cowell has said that two impending announcements for the US version of The X Factor may surprise people. Cowell told on the show’s official YouTube page: “I think the next two announcements – particularly one – may surprise people, but they’re coming soon.”

Blue Peter plans 360 degree show

Blue Peter has announced plans to create the first 360 degrees UK TV programme where viewers will be able to rotate the view to watch whatever they want.

Mrs Brown’s Boys given second season

A second season of Mrs Brown’s Boys has been green lit by the BBC. The series’ star Brendan O’Carroll said: “This is unbelievable! I’m just thrilled that the BBC continues to have confidence in the show. The support we have had from all involved, from Danny Cohen and Mark Freeland and BBC Scotland, makes us just so excited to get back there and do it all again.”

Mirren rumoured to be in talks for Titanic

Dame Helen Mirren has been linked to the new Titanic drama series announced yesterday that will be broadcast here in NZ through TVNZ. Its reported that the actress is in talks regarding a role in the series.

Guest hosting job for Mirren

Mirren has also been announced as guest host of an episode of Saturday Night Live, marking her first time on the American comedy series. Mirren will take the reins of the April 9 episode that will also feature the Foo Fighters.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment, ITV Studios, Lookout Point, Global TV and ABC Television Network Present an Epic Television Event

Confirmed Broadcast Partners include : ITV 1 (UK), ABC Television Network (USA), Global (Canada), Channel Seven (Australia), SVT (Sweden), TV3 (Ireland), TVNZ (New Zealand), SIC (Portugal)

ITV Studios Global Entertainment, ITV Studios, Lookout Point, Global TV and ABC Television Network  can today confirm the major television project Titanic, written by Julian Fellowes, is now green lit for production. Distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment, along with co-production and finance company Lookout Point, has secured broadcast partners in America (ABC), Australia (Channel Seven), Canada (Global), Ireland (TV3), New Zealand (TVNZ) Portugal (SIC),  Sweden (SVT) and UK (ITV1). The television event is scheduled to coincide with the centenary of the tragic event and will simulcast on Global and ABC followed closely by premieres in all other territories.

The epic drama is being produced as a 2 x 90 minute and 4 x 1 hour mini series and will start filming in Hungary this Spring.

Maria Kyriacou, Managing Director at ITV Studios Global Entertainment commented, “The fantastic pedigree of the production talent behind this major series has generated huge interest from our global broadcast clients and we are very pleased to announce these new partners today.  Providing a vividly different experience of the ship’s last hours alongside a definitive snapshot of what was a unique and uncertain moment in history – Titanic promises to be the must-see original drama for this landmark centenary anniversary and gripping primetime content for audiences around the world.”

“Despite its legendary fate, on the whole, the Titanic remains a mystery to most, which explains the public’s never ending fascination,” said Barbara Williams, SVP, Content, Shaw Media (Global). “From the vision of one of the industry’s finest writers, we’re able to delve a little deeper into the grey areas by way of the characters and their unique perspectives. This is an amazing collaboration with our Canadian producers and the international broadcasters, and a befitting tribute to this moment in history.”

Quinn Taylor of ABC Network added: “The tragic tale of the Titanic has retained a powerful hold on people around the world for almost 100 years, and this new miniseries will offer a compelling take on this epic, tragic story. We look forward to bringing this remarkable series to our viewers.”

Interweaving multi-arc action, mystery and romantic plot lines and featuring fictional and historical characters, Titanic will focus on different characters ranging from steerage passengers to upper class guests.  Each point of view will culminate in a cliff hanger as the ship begins to founder, building to an explosive conclusion which draws together each of the stories.   Viewers will be taken on a heart wrenching journey through Titanic’s last hours, as the drama reveals which of the characters they have come to know so well will survive… and who does not.

ITV Studios is partnered with Deep Indigo Productions and Lookout Point in the UK, Sienna Films Inc in Canada and Hungary based Mid Atlantic Films to produce this UK-Hungary-Canada co-production. Titanic is written by Julian Fellowes, the Oscar winning screenwriter of ITV1’s hit costume drama Downton Abbey as well as Gosford Park and The Young Victoria and produced by the multi-award winning Nigel Stafford-Clark (Bleak House, Warriors, The Way We Live Now) and Chris Thompson (Love Actually, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency).  The drama is executive produced by Lookout Point’s Simon Vaughan (Ben Hur, Coco Chanel, The Hot Zone (working title)) together with ITV’s  Kate Bartlett (Marchlands, Identity, Vera), Sienna Films’ Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny (Diamonds, The Hot Zone (working title)) and Mid Atlantic Films’ Howard Ellis and Adam Goodman (The Borgias, Pillars of The Earth) and David Collins of Samson Films, Ireland.

Executive Producer, Simon Vaughan of Lookout Point commented, “We are delighted to be underway with the production. To produce a drama of this scale required us to bring together more than ten pre sale partners.  This is also the first time in many years that major UK, US and Canadian networks have joined forces on a major mini series drama and we hope this will be the global broadcasting event of 2012”.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1