Interview: Nicola Walker

Divorce drama The Split, cold case crime series Unforgotten, Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax and The River, how Nicola Walker became everyone’s favourite actorNicola Walker is unemployed. Not something you hear very often from a woman with an industrial work ethic who is currently one of the most employed actors on our screens and airwaves, having just wrapped the third series of ITV’s hit crime drama Unforgotten just as her hit BBC divorce drama The Split is recommissioned.

Yet “as of Friday afternoon last week, I’m unemployed,” confirms the Olivier award winning, Bafta nominated actor when we talk. “So I’ll be doing the school run and putting the correct sports gear in my son’s rucksack for a bit.” When she says ‘unemployed’, it’s more of a between jobs kind of thing, what the less industrious among us might regard as a well-deserved break. And Walker is pleased about the immediate work life balance for the next few weeks with her 11-year-old son Harry to look after while her actor husband Barnaby Kay appears in Home, I’m Darling, with Catherine Parkinson at The National Theatre in London. “It’s worked out very nicely. I finished and Barnaby’s got this play. If I had been still working we would have to juggle the basics, who’s going to pick our child up and things… So I’m happy doing that, but also looking forward to the next thing.” Walker talks quickly, then halts, then talks quickly again and in between you can almost hear the quick flash of her blinding smile down the phone as she modestly ascribes her success to “being lucky.” In fact she has worked consistently for the past two decades and her CV is prodigious [ . . . ]

CONTINUE ARTICLE  at THE SCOTSMAN: Interview: Nicola Walker – The Scotsman



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Harlots: Who are these corsetted women and where do I know them from?

Harlots returns to Lightbox tomorrow with a second season full of intrigue, feminism and corset-ripping good times. The show is full of famous faces, but where have you seen them before?

Samantha Morton

Who is she playing? Margaret Wells! She runs a brothel in 18th century Britain, and her brutal upbringing working in Lydia Quigley’s brothel has turned her into a ruthless madame vying for survival. She’s ambitious, she’s intelligent, and she knows how to survive. Basically, she’s your new problematic feminist idol.Where have I seen her? If you spent the late nineties and early aughts hovering around independent cinema, and why wouldn’t you, you culturista you, then you’ll recognise her from arthouse classics Under the Skin, Jesus’ Son, Code 46 and my own personal favourite, Morvern Callar. If you’re more into the mainstream side of things, you’ll have seen her in Minority Report and as the begrudgingly sympathetic villain in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. She’s also done her dash in BBC-esque drama already, playing murderess Myra Hindley in Longford and a jewel thief in The Last Panthers.She’s kind of a big deal, is what I’m saying [ . . . ]

Continue reading at THE SPINOFF: Harlots: Who are these corsetted women and where do I know them from? | The Spinoff

Keeping Faith: BBC Wales drama success ‘wonderful’  

Hit show’s writer “dazed” by the popularity of drama – staring Eve Myles – and her yellow raincoat.

The BBC Wales production has become the broadcaster’s most successful non-network drama in over 20 years.

It has attracted audiences of more than 300,000 on television, with about 9 million BBC iPlayer downloads.

A second series is in development, but has not yet been commissioned. The BBC has yet to confirm if the drama will be shown on network TV across the UK.

Matthew Hall, the Monmouthshire author responsible for the story, said the team behind the drama had been stunned by the audience reaction on social media.

He said: “We’ve all been kind of surprised and a bit dazed by it really.

“The wonderful thing about it is that the most you ever hope for as a writer, or indeed as an actor or director, is to forge an emotional connection with some of the audience. And that is what it seems to have done.

“I think we’re still trying to work out what that is, what they’re responding to.”

While the series has only been shown on television in Wales, audiences across the UK have been watching on the BBC iPlayer.

It has attracted celebrity support, particularly on social media, while the main character Faith’s yellow mac has prompted people with similar coats to post selfies. It even has its own Twitter account, and was worn by BBC Breakfast presenters to celebrate the show’s success.

The series, which was produced by Vox Pictures, was jointly commissioned by the BBC and S4C. It was first broadcast in Welsh with the title Un Bore Mercher on S4C.

Eve Myles learnt Welsh in order to appear in both the English and Welsh language versions of the series, while the action is set around the west Wales village of Laugharne.

Matthew Hall said he had attempted to capture Welsh traits in the show’s characters.

He said: “There’s a sort of Welsh way of conducting yourself which is different to the English way, and we tried to capture that.

“Certainly the Welsh bits of my family are far more emotionally expressive, are more inclined to tell you how they feel. They’re more Mediterranean in temperament almost, and I wanted Faith to be like that. To have this emotional honesty, so what she was feeling came out of her mouth almost.

“So she gives voice to all her insecurities, and to her anger, and I think the audience likes that about her.”

The programme was due to end its run on the iPlayer on 4 May, but the BBC extended its availability across the May bank holiday weekend following increased publicity for the show.

Source: Keeping Faith: BBC Wales drama success ‘wonderful’ – BBC News

Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

The captivating trailer for new drama Cilla, starring award winning actress Sheridan Smith. Just in case you were wondering, thats actually her singing too!

Acclaimed writer Jeff Pope has penned Cilla, a three-part drama for ITV, starring Sheridan Smith as the famous Liverpudlian songbird.

Sheridan will be joined in the cast by Aneurin Barnard as Cilla’s husband Bobby, Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, John Henshaw as Cilla’s father, John White and Melanie Hill is Cilla’s mother.

‘Cilla’ tells of her rocky rise to fame and will capture the essence of 1960s Liverpool, the atmosphere of promise and excitement as the Merseybeat music scene was on the verge of exploding in a blaze of tight-fitting skirts, stiletto heels, and beehives.

A young, unknown Cilla works in the austere environs of the typists’ pool at a local company, dreaming of stardom. The drama looks at how she met the two men who came to love her and ultimately fought over her – future husband Bobby Willis and legendary manager Brian Epstein, the tragic young businessman who also guided the career of The Beatles.

We learn how Cilla’s burgeoning friendship with John, Paul, George and Ringo – the four young men who went on to conquer the music world – shaped her career. It was family friend Ritchie Starkey (Ringo), the teddy-boy with a greasy quiff, who help her to cross paths with Brian Epstein and producer George Martin – who were to launch her career with recording sessions at the world famous Abbey Road Studios.

The ITV Studios production will recount the dark days of her early career, her on-off relationship with Bobby, a baker at Woolworth’s with the gift of the gab, who struggled to accept Cilla’s iron determination to succeed and become a star at the expense of practically every other area of her life.

Cilla is available to watch in the US online at Acorn