Whenever there is a day full of news, we’ll round-up some of the main stories in bitesize form in our new Seven O’clock Round-Up. Tonight more drama from RTÉ and ITV, a royal visit to the famous Coronation Street in Manchester and Sir Terry leaves the BBC on a high.Whenever there is a day full of news, we’ll round-up some of the main stories in bitesize form in our new Seven O’clock Round-Up. Tonight more drama from RTÉ and ITV, a royal visit to the famous Coronation Street in Manchester and Sir Terry leaves the BBC on a high.
More Drama From RTE and ITV
ITV and RTÉ have commissioned Touchpaper Television, to make a brand new six part series of police drama Single Handed.
Laura Mackie, ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning says: “We’re delighted to be commissioning Single-Handed for ITV and working with Touchpaper and RTÉ. This new series promises to be as gripping and atmospheric as the first.”
The new series will see Owen McDonnell reprise the role of Jack Driscoll for both RTÉ in Ireland and ITV, and promises yet more muscular, emotionally complex stories.
Single Handed debuted on ITV1 as a three-part drama last summer. Filmed entirely on location in the unforgiving landscape of Connemara, Single-Handed followed Irish police sergeant Jack Driscoll on his quest to serve a rural community.
Jane Gogan, commissioning editor for RTÉ says: “We are delighted to once again present a series that audiences have been drawn to repeatedly on RTÉ and on ITV. It continues to be a great experience working with ITV, Barry Simner and Touchpaper.”
RTÉ enjoyed a ratings success when the drama aired in Ireland, attracting audience shares of up to 38%. More than 4 million viewers tuned in for its premiere on ITV, and the drama received rave reviews for its subtle depiction of rural life set against the stunning landscapes of the west of Ireland:
“…This classy, brooding crime drama is a rare and wise purchase from RTÉ …
Single-Handed was anything but bog standard – five stars.” – The Times
“Two hours of fresh, absorbing drama. Don’t miss it.” – Observer
“…striking for the slickness of its production values and the confidence of its writing.” – Irish Independent.
The cast will return to the west of Ireland for filming in the new production, which is set to begin in spring, 2010.
Rob Pursey, managing director of Touchpaper TV, says: “We are very proud that Single-Handed has been such a success for RTÉ and for ITV. It’s proved to us that it’s possible to make great drama for more than one territory without compromising our ambitions. We are also very fortunate to have two commissioning editors who encourage those ambitions.”
Royal Side Of The Street
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, who’s own life was rather a soap opera previously – having shacked up with Prince Charles while he was still married to the late Diana, Princess of Wales – today enjoyed a visit to Weatherfield, home of Coronation Street.
Producer Kim Crowther, who gave all the main storylines away on This Morning recently, showed HRH around the back lot set of the saga at ITV Granada alongside Executive Producer Kieran Roberts.
Liz MacDonald – actress Beverley Callard- took the royal guest into the Rovers Return Inn, where she had a go at pulling a pint.
Other cast members meeting the Duchess included William Roache, long running ladiesman Ken, Barbara Knox, the shop owner Rita, Anne Kirkbride, regular adultress Diedrie and popular oompa-loompas Tina and David played by Michelle Keegan and Jack P Shepherd.
Coronation Street creator Tony Warren was also present to give a proud history of the Street which is now in its 50th year. No doubt avoiding the 1970s history when it was being bashed around the ring by Crossroads, skipping the 1980s when it was threatened with the axe and beaten around the ring by EastEnders and moving on swiftly to the 1990s.
The Duchess wore a specially created brooch presented to her by the production company. The piece was made in the form of Hilda Ogden’s infamous flying ducks.
Director of ITV, John Whiston, says: “It has been an exciting morning as we’ve thoroughly enjoyed hosting a visit to the set by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.”
The Duchess’ husband Prince Charles was the last royal to visit the set ten years ago when we celebrated our 40th anniversary.
Some photo highlights below…
More images can be found at ITV.com by clicking here
In other Coronation Street news its reported long-running character Ken Barlow and the actor behind him – William Roache – is to be celebreated in a special ITV programme. The star appeared in the twice weekly serial from episode one, through to its more recent transformation into a soap opera when it went four, and now five, episodes a week.
Sir Terry Wogan Leaves On A High
Sir Terry Wogan signed off from his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show in style, with 8.10 million listeners tuning in to his show every week during the last quarter of 2009, matching his previous record reach in the first quarter of 2008.
Sir Terry announced his decision to stand down from the show on 7 September and bid an emotional farewell to listeners during the last Wake Up To Wogan on 18 December.
He begins his new, two-hour show, Weekend Wogan – live from the 350-seat Radio Theatre in BBC Broadcasting House, London – on Sunday 14 February at 11.00am.
Tim Davie, Director, BBC Audio & Music, said: “Terry is a legendary broadcaster and these figures show his popularity has never been higher. I’m now looking forward to tuning in to his new show later this month, along with all the TOGs.”