BBC Casts ‘My Name Is Leon’
BBC One has announced the cast for its adaptation of Kit de Waal’s debut novel My Name is Leon. Malachi Kirby (Small Axe), Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), Olivia Williams (Counterpart), Christopher Eccleston (The A Word), Poppy Lee Friar (In My Skin), and Sir Lenny Henry CBE (The Lord of the Rings) headline the drama special. Cole Martin will play the lead, Leon, in his first TV role. Set in 1980s Birmingham, the drama tells the uplifting and incredibly moving story of nine-year-old Leon, a mixed-race boy, and his quest to reunite his family after being taken into care and separated from his blond and blue-eyed baby brother. My Name is Leon is produced by Douglas Road Productions in association with Tiger Aspect Productions, Ringside Studios, and Vicarious Productions. It is executive produced by Lenny Henry and Angela Ferreira for Douglas Road Productions, Gub Neal and Edward Barlow for Ringside Studios, Mona Qureshi for the BBC. The director is Lynette Linton. Ingenious Media provided funding alongside Lipsync Productions and Creative England through the West Midlands Production Fund using ERDF funding.
Red Arrow Locks-In CPL
Red Arrow Studios has renewed its deal with UK producer CPL Productions — an important win for the German production group after 2020 was marked by a period of uncertainty, with an abandoned sale and executive departures. The A League of Their Own and Married At First Sight producer will remain part of Red Arrow for an undisclosed period of time. The company is run by Danielle Lux, Murray Boland, and Janet Oakes.
ITV Renews ‘Finding Alice’
ITV has commissioned a second season of Keeley Hawes series Finding Alice. The first season is averaging 7 million viewers for the UK commercial broadcaster with its darkly comic story about a woman’s life following the accidental sudden death of her husband. Season 2 will follow Alice (Hawes) as she decides to have her dead husband’s baby. Production will commence in February next year. The show is made by Red Production Company in association with Bright Pictures TV, Buddy Club Productions, and Genial Productions. Roger Goldby, Keeley Hawes, Simon Nye, Nicola Shindler, and Sarah Doole are executive producers, while StudioCanal handles distribution.
ITV Orders ‘Britain’s Tiger Kings’
ITV is hoping that it can capture some of the magic of Netflix’s Tiger King by sending Ross Kemp on a mission to find the UK’s big cat keepers. Britain’s Tiger Kings – On The Trail With Ross Kemp (working title) is a two-part series made by Honey Bee and Freshwater Films, with Ed Taylor and Kemp executive producing. Johnny McDevitt is the producer. In the series, Ross meets a man who keeps two lions in his back garden, as well as a couple who have used the profits from their scrap metal business to build a 200-strong animal collection.
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