Radio 4 newsreaders performed SS-GB so we could all hear it properly

If you were watching SS-GB on Sunday night and were among those who couldn’t make out what the characters were saying you’re in luck because BBC Radio 4’s Caroline Nicholls and Zeb Soanes have recreated the whole thing for you.

The pair teamed up to put audible words in the mouths of Sam Riley’s Douglas Archer and Meave Dermody’s Sylvia Manning after viewers reported that they were having a LOT of trouble hearing the duo during the show’s premiere on Sunday night.

In their pitch perfect radio presenter tones, the pair nailed the tension and urgency of the new drama, which depicts what life might have been like in German occupied London if the Nazis had won the Battle of Britain.

In fact, the clip played at the end of Newsnight was such a smash hit that some begged for them to re-record the whole episode – and every single show that had ever been accused of mumbling.

We’re certainly up for round two. Are you?

SS-GB continues on BBC1 on Sunday night at 9pm

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On the trail of BBC1 crime drama The Coroner in South Devon

Never has there been so much life in a place whose on-screen persona is all about death. We’re in Dartmouth and it’s peak tourist season in the town that doubles as Lighthaven in The Coroner.

The hit daytime show returns to BBC1 next week, starring Claire Goose as single mum Jane Kennedy, who returns to her hometown to investigate murders alongside childhood sweetheart Detective Sergeant Davey Higgins.

Producer Sandra MacIver says series two has even more “wow factor” than before: more action, more stunts, but still the usual mix of intrigue, humour and chemistry between Kennedy and Higgins.

Dartmouth – the Coroner’s office

“We wanted to feature Dartmouth as a major location as it’s so beautiful and the view across to Kingsweir is breathtaking,” says Sandra. “The way the light twinkles across the River Dart always makes it feel like summertime, even in February. The slogan we use for The Coroner is ‘summer holidays all day long every day’.”

With miles of sandy beaches, historic villages and fishing harbours, the district known as South Hams, which stretches from Dartmoor to Salcombe, is also the perfect destination for a family beach holiday… give or take the odd dead fish.   

We’re sitting on the cobbled quayside of Bayards Cove, outside the Old Customs House, which doubles as the Jane Kennedy’s office. My five-year-old’s just caught a crab but unfortunately, having demolished the bait we bought in the secondhand bookshop (everywhere sells bait in Dartmouth), the crab’s now gobbling up the little fish in the bucket.

Horrified, my son screams “stop him” but it’s too late; the fish is dead, and there are witnesses gathering. Flustered, my husband tries to conceal the evidence by tipping the crab back into the water but drops the bucket, too, and now my son is inconsolable. Fish. Identity unknown. Coroner’s verdict: manslaughter.

For us, this is as dramatic as it gets in Dartmouth, an attractive, upmarket fishing village with Tudor buildings and patisseries where stonewash nautical clothing is de-rigueur.  

“Dartmouth provided us with a town feel to our fictional Lighthaven,” says Sandra. “We’re made very welcome by the locals. They help us out a lot and we in turn we try and keep ourselves discreet and not get in the way of the busy town.”

Looking around, it’s a wonder the film crew managed to get any shots done with all the customers spilling out from the pub next door. In fact, for the scenes portraying Kennedy’s local, the Black Dog Inn, the production team resorted to hiring a derelict pub, the Crooked Spaniards Inn in Cargreen, as the nearby pubs were far too busy.

Resident Stuart Woolvin, who lives a couple of doors down from the Old Customs House, points out the bench where Higgins and Kennedy eat fish and chips. Next to it is a cannon that my two-year-old is clambering over, and down the street is the remains of a 16th century fort.

Stuart enjoyed watching the filming, he tells me; they put a note through his door to warn him. In fact, he’s used to film crews on his doorstep, as this very spot was also used for the Onedin Line, a 1970s BBC shipping drama set in Liverpool.

“Film production is great for Dartmouth, as we rely on tourism,” he says. “But the best advert for Dartmouth is the food festival in October, and the regatta in August. They’re fabulous.”

Celebrities are a common sight here, I’m told by Dartmouth newsagent Gordon Barnes. He digs out a notebook in which he’s listed all the famous people who have visited his corner shop. Alongside the cast of the Coroner, he’s also served Christian Slater and Neil Morrissey, who owns a home down the road. “The nicest of them all, though, is Dame Judi Dench,” he says with a smile. “She often comes in here to buy toys for her grandchildren.”

Death on Blackpool Sands

Away from the hustle and bustle of Dartmouth are many quieter locations, which appear in season two of the Coroner. We’re staying three miles away in a mobile home at Leonards Cove, which has spectacular sea views, and is a 15-minute walk from Blackpool Sands, one of Devon’s finest beaches, and a firm favourite among The Coroner cast and crew.

“That’s not our reason for choosing locations, but it certainly makes for a great day’s filming when we break for lunch and eat on the beach,” says Sandra.  “This season, the audience can look forward to a murder overlooking Blackpool Sands – this time character is killed with a harpoon gun!”

We visit Blackpool Sands ourselves, and though we don’t encounter any harpoon-wielding assailants, we do discover some suspicious activity on the beach: the fish are literally jumping out of the sea. The shore is lined with frantic children picking up the flapping silver shards and throwing them back into the receding tide.

My sons join in, but they’re too slow, their little fish float limply on the surface. The youngest returns to his bucket and spade, but yet again, my eldest’s day is clouded by dead fish. Verdict: suicide, misadventure, or were they driven ashore by an unknown perpetrator?

After hauling the bodyboards, buggy and other paraphernalia back across the shingle beach everyone is exhausted. Whilst the kids recover with an ice-cream from Venus Cafe (a fantastic chalet-style bistro on the beach), I hike back to the campsite to get the car, and with the kids asleep in the back, we drive west towards Slapton Sands. This is a lonelier stretch of beach, which played a vital role in training the troops for the D-Day Landings, and also appears in season two of The Coroner.

Lively Salcombe

The following day we head for Salcombe. During early development of The Coroner, the team considered using this upmarket yachting town to depict Lighthaven, but it proved too challenging to get around on a regular basis (though look out for some shots from Bolt Head airfield by the estuary this season). 

When we arrive in Salcombe, we can see why. It’s Regatta Week and the streets are closed to traffic. The doors of every shop, from sailmakers to ice-cream parlours, are thrown open, with stalls on the street and hoards of dawdling holidaymakers stopping to hook-a-duck and pose with giant Minions. Teenagers in the latest surf fashion are dive-bombing off the quayside whilst the seagulls dive-bomb their unattended chips. 

It’s fun but hectic with a double-buggy, so we walk through the town, past the yacht club featured in season one (The Salcombe Skerrie) and work up a sweat hiking half an hour up and down steep roads to Salcombe’s beautiful beaches. Unlike steeply shelving Blackpool Sands, these are much shallower and safer for the boys so we potter for an afternoon before catching the ferry back, and recuperating in the sunny beer garden of the Victoria Inn. With a fenced-in play area and chickens, it’s ideal for the kids to run around whilst we tuck into fresh crab and chips.

Contrasting Dartmoor

On the way back home to Dorset, we stop for a walk and coffee in the grounds of Dartington Estate. This features regularly throughout the series, and is where The Coroner’s production office is based. 

Afterwards we drive via Dartmoor National Park, a remote and rugged antidote to the holiday crowds of the coast. Here, Bellever Forest, Bonehill Rocks and Hound Tor make a cameo in two episodes shot this season – ‘Life’ and ‘The Beast of Lighthaven’.

“We were eager to reflect the moors as their contrasting landscape is so spectacular,” says Sandra MacIver. 

In three days we’ve seen just a snapshot of the beaches and locations featured in The Coroner, but it seems the production team certainly know how to pick a good backdrop. With a dozen other locations on the checklist – from Royal William Yard in Plymouth to Kent’s Cavern in Torquay, we will definitely be returning to seek out more West Country delights in the Coroner (though we might give Shepton Mallet prison a miss). 

Essentials:

At holiday home for four at Leonards Cove can be booked from £204.50 for a week at this time of year. Leonards Cove.co.uk

For more information on South Devon, go to: visitsouthdevon.co.uk

The Coroner returns to BBC1 on Monday 21 November at 2.15pm

You might also like: Where to find the upcountry locations in Poldark – from Frome to Berkeley Castle


 

 

 

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Fake news! Piers Morgan and Dan Walker in the Twitter battle of the breakfast shows

It began with an innocent morning tweet from BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker…

But then his Good Morning Britain counterpart Piers Morgan stepped in to do some trademark stirring…

That led to claims of fake news…

…and a dig at Breakfast’s captioning, which to be fair was a pretty glaring error…

But finally – in a move that would make a New York Times journalist proud – Walker trumped his opponent with some accurate numbers… 

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Ben Price teases Nick's Coronation Street exit – and it's sooner than you might think

Ben Price has revealed that his time on Coronation Street is fast coming to an end, with his exit set to air in the near future.

Appearing on This Morning, Price – who plays Nick Tilsley on the ITV soap – was asked when his final scenes would be shown and answered: “I think a few months-ish, I can’t tell you. Not long.”

But as to how his storyline reaches its conclusion, the Corrie star is happy to remain in the dark: “I don’t want to know how it ends. Our producer Kate [Oates] wanted to tell me and I said don’t. Let’s just see how it rolls out. She’s been amazing, just fantastic. And she understood exactly why I had to go.”

Price revealed last month that he was leaving the show to spend more time with his family, having spent the last seven years commuting from London to Manchester to play the role of Nick.

Commenting today on his decision to depart, he said: “I live 200 miles away, I see my wife and children on a Saturday and I go back on a Sunday. It took me quite a while to think about, it was a big decision, but in the end it’s my family and I miss them.”

On his immediate plans, he added: “I’ll be making papier-mache volcanoes and reading stories to my kids and taking them to school and then we’ll see. I don’t know. I’ve just got to go home. Yeah, it’s great. I lose one family and I gain my family back and I think that’s a perfect trade.”

During his years on Coronation Street, Price has seen his character involved in no end of drama, from a one-night stand with his brother’s wife Kylie, to a road accident that left him with brain damage and an ill-fated one-day marriage to Carla Connor.

Currently, Nick looks set to bring up Steve McDonald’s baby with partner Leanne. But Price hinted that the paternity secret looks set to be revealed:

“Nick doesn’t want anyone to find out. It’s a bit strange – I think Nick wants the perfect family, doesn’t he? He wants to stand by Leanne, he wants to be that guy. He wants to be the good man – I will look after you. But it’s going to come out.”

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.

And visit our dedicated Coronation Street page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.

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Made in Chelsea reveals new cast members including a lifetsyle guru and an ex-rugby star

Made in Chelsea returns to E4 in March with Binky and her baby bump front and centre. But Ms Felstead’s little’un won’t be the only new arrival as a lifestyle guru, ex-rugby star and assorted socialites and university students join the cast.

“Super smart university student Ella Willis, fun-loving single socialite Daisy Robins, Canadian lifestyle-guru Mimi Bouchard, cheeky teen troublemaker Sam Prince and ex-professional rugby player James Sandford” (above, centre) make their MIC debut and promise to bring plenty of mischief and mayhem to the already rather dramatic series.

Player and cheeky charmer Sam is keen to become a king of King’s Road, while Northern Irish born James is just as much of a player off the pitch as he is on it. And he has a connection to Julius and JP, so who knows what might happen when the trio join forces?

Edinburgh University student Ella is billed as a “brainy blonde bombshell” who isn’t won over easily. We’re told she’s already got her eye on a regular, though. And given the fact she has three homes in Fulman, Suffolk and the Balearic Islands, PLUS her own helipad (who DOESN’T have their own helipad guys?) we doubt she’ll have much trouble fitting in.

Then there’s new socialite Daisy (above, right), a party-loving Sloane Square flirt with quite the pedigree. The granddaughter of D’Arcy Defries, who was responsible for establishing women’s polo in 1930s Britain, has sport in her veins. She’s “sassy, single and looking for love”, and absolutely loves a bad boy. She won’t have to look too far to find one in Chelsea…

And finally there’s Canadian lifestyle guru Mimi Bouchard (above, left), who “always get what she wants”. Mimi is “single and more than ready to mingle”, so chances are she’ll slot seamlessly into the Chelsea pack.

Speaking of which, returning for series 13 (along with Binky and her bump) will be MIC favourites Jamie Laing, Mark-Francis Vandelli, Ollie Locke, Oliver Proudlock, Francis Boulle, Josh Patterson (JP), Alex Mytton, Louise Thompson, Tiff Watson, Rosie Fortescue, Victoria Baker-Harber, Sam Thompson, Stephanie Pratt, Georgia Toffolo (Toff), Frankie Gaff, Olivia Bentley, Fredrik Ferrier, Ryan Libbey, Akin Solanke-Caulker, and Julius Cowdrey .

Made in Chelsea returns to E4 in March

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FriendsFest to return for UK tour with a full scale set of Joey and Chandlers apartment

FriendsFest is coming back – and this time it’s going to be even bigger and better.

The celebration of all things Friends is going on a 12-week tour of the UK this summer and for the first time will feature a full scale set of Joey and Chandler’s apartment – complete with corridor leading to Monica’s digs.

Returning highlights of the event also include Central Perk, Monica’s Moon-Dance Diner, Ross and Rachel’s Vegas Wedding Chapel and also the newly-invented Chick and Duck bar.

A Friends quiz and themed food stalls have also been added to the bill for the tour.

Here’s when and where FriendsFest will be heading in 2017:

Hillsborough Park, Sheffield: July 7 – July 16

Bute Park, Cardiff: July 21 – July 30

Heaton Park, Manchester: August 4 – August 13

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire: August 18 – August 27

Hylands House, Essex: September 1 – September 10

Clissold Park, London: September 15 – September 24

Fans will need to register before midnight on Tuesday February 21st for pre-sale tickets at www.comedycentral.co.uk/friendsfest. Tickets will then be available from 10am on Wednesday February 22nd.

General sale tickets will be available from Friday February 24th and will cost £26 including booking fee.

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League of Fandoms February 2017 Fixtures List

The League of Fandoms returns for a 12 month long battle in 2017 – here’s what’s happening in February.


What is the League of Fandoms?


HEAD-TO-HEAD MATCH #1

Wednesday February 1st

4pm GMT to 5.30pm GMT

Home Fires v Versailles

The Musketeers v Banished

Outlander v Star Trek

The X-Files v Twin Peaks

Poldark v The Walking Dead

Hannibal v Merlin


Valentine’s Day ChampionShip

Nominations: Monday February 13th

ChampionShip Battle: 10am GMT Tuesday Feb 14th to 10am GMT Wednesday Feb 15th

Fans must nominate their favourite couple or ‘Ship’ via RadioTimes.com’s Facebook and Twitter accounts on Monday February 13th. Only one nomination per person will be counted.

The most popular will be selected to represent their team in the League of Fandoms Valentine’s Day ChampionShip.

The winning couple will get 10 points for their team, the couple in second place will receive 9 points, third place = 8 points, fourth place = 7 points, fifth place = 6 points, sixth place = 5 points, seventh place = 4 points, eighth place = 3 points, ninth place = 2 points and tenth place = 1 point.

Bonus points will be awarded for inventive campaigning on Twitter and Facebook, so don’t be afraid to have some fun!


Head to Head Match #2

Thursday February 16th

4pm GMT to 5.30pm GMT

Banished v Home Fires

Star Trek v Versailles

Twin Peaks v The Musketeers

The Walking Dead v Outlander

Merlin v The X-Files

Hannibal v Poldark


 

Fandom Banner Challenge

Tuesday February 21st to Thursday February 23rd

We’ve seen great examples of the creative capabilities of our teams and now it’s time to really put those skills to use to create your very own team banner. 

Each of the 12 teams will need their very own flag to fly through the next stages of the competition and we want YOU to design them. 

All you need to do is design a banner and tweet it to us @RadioTimes using #LeagueOfFandoms. If you don’t use the hashtag we might miss it so be sure to include it.

We’ll pick the best banners, which will then be put to the Fandoms for a vote. 

You’ve got until midnight (GMT) on Thursday February 23 to get your creations in (that’s Thursday night/Friday morning UK time) so get those creative cogs in gear and best of luck!

Watch this space for the rest of February’s fixtures, coming VERY soon

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All 13 episodes of Inside No 9 ranked from worst to best

Twisted, macabre, hilarious, horrible. Inside No 9 is everything but predictable.

As Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s black comedy anthology returns for a third run, we’ve ranked every episode so far – from worst (unlucky number 13) to best (number 1).

This is of course a subjective view, so do feel free to post your own rankings in the comments box below.

13. The Harrowing

Although it’s a genuinely terrifying half hour of television, suffice it to say there’s little or no humour in The Harrowing. The grotesque Andras, with his cloven feet and bandaged mouth, is the thing of nightmares and the gothic horror is ramped up to 11 but overall the episode is let down by a lack of comedy and an absence of a twist in the tale – two staple elements of Inside No 9.

12. The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge

Seeing a witch trial play out is surprisingly amusing, as Shearsmith and Pemberton go to town parodying the absurdity of the process. There’s a clever use of dialogue – playing with 17th century English – but a lack of excitement in the plot and a relatively predictable ending mean it’s not up to the standard of many of the episodes that came before it.    

11. Tom & Gerri

This episode is one long lesson in not judging others or taking things for granted. Seeing how quickly Tom slides from a judgemental man with a steady job to being completely cut off from everyone around him is sobering, but the ending is actually quite puzzling, unsatisfactory and doesn’t feel as if it does the story justice. 

10. Cold Comfort 

Another innovative use of camerawork, Cold Comfort plays out entirely from the perspective of CCTV cameras. Set in a Samaritans-style call centre, the darkly-brilliant script is spot on (“She’s had to take a bit of gardening leave. She had three dead dads in two days, it tipped her over the edge”) even if the the twist at the end, with a suitably horrible final scene, is a little bit ridiculous.

9. The Understudy

Split into five Acts, The Understudy draws on plenty of Shakespearean references with its tale of rivalry and hierarchy between the leading actor and his understudy. There are more than a few sparky lines and nuanced observations, yet while extra points have to go to Julia Davis for a scene-stealing performance, the pace is at points slow and the ending could be better.

8. Séance Time

This is a rare episode that balances the hilarious with the horrible in almost equal measure. Alison Steadman is fantastic as Madam Talbot – both chilling and pompous – and the hidden camera TV show plot lends itself to some real comedic gems, sending up demanding actors and the TV industry in general. The ending is suitably nasty, but it arguably isn’t an absolute classic.

7. The Devil of Christmas

Filmed in the “style of a 1970s portmanteau horror episode”, Inside No 9 thoroughly pushes the envelope with this Christmas-themed episode. There’s no turkey or tinsel to be seen in the folk tale of bad Santa Krampus set in an Austrian log cabin. What you at first think is a standard TV show soon gives way to footage being rewound and a directors’ commentary – but as always with No 9, all isn’t as it seems and the shocking snuff movie twist is a very fitting ending.

6. Last Gasp

When we live in an age where Harry Styles’ vomit can find its way onto eBay, this tale about a singer’s final breath being captured in a balloon was a nicely conceived idea. Shearsmith described it as like a My Family episode “gone wrong” as all the characters’ greed quickly emerged when superstar Frankie Parsons dies while blowing up a balloon on a visit to terminally ill 9-year-old girl Tamsin. Granted, there was no massive twist at the end, but the darkness of greed and a disregard for life is both dark and hilarious.

5. Nana’s Party

Inside No. 9 doesn’t often stray into the territory of banal domesticity. And yet for the majority of Nana’s Party, that’s exactly what it does. And does it brilliantly. They captured the heart of awful relatives and awful family parties perfectly as a seemingly happy nuclear family implodes over the course of a Sunday afternoon. Although there wasn’t much of a twist at the end, the high emotion and high stakes make it a brilliant half hour of TV.

4. Sardines

The very first episode of Inside No. 9 set the bar very high. Based largely inside a wardrobe in one room of the house, the ensemble cast was second to none: Katherine Parkinson, Timothy West, Anna Chancellor, Ophelia Lovibond and Luke Pasqualino all starred. At the centre was Tim Key as Ian – an inspired piece of casting, who flipped effortlessly from innocent bore to murderous villain. The speed at which a fun family game becomes an immensely disturbing tale is shocking and brilliant.

3. La Couchette

Another fantastic cast were on board for La Couchette – the memorable opening episode of series two. Comedy turns from Jack Whitehall, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Mark Benton really injected the humour into this episode set inside a sleeper carriage and made it undoubtedly one of the most laugh-out-loud episodes of Inside No. 9. The twist was as amusing as it was dark, and the scene in which Whitehall’s Hugo willingly climbs into bed with a corpse and comments: “I hope you don’t mind a bit of spooning, pal” almost perfectly sums up the whole ethos of No 9.

2. A Quiet Night In

Shearsmith and Pemberton are always pushing the boundaries with innovative conceits and imaginative plots, but this was truly special. Aside from a line of dialogue from Kayvan Novak’s burglar at the very end of the episode, the completely silent comedy was complete genius. Laugh-out-loud scenes involving the death of a dog (it’s funnier than it sounds) mixed with slapstick, murder and farce that left you constantly on the backfoot. The final twist – with kitchen roll and tin foil being mistaken for priceless art – topped off an immensely clever episode.

1. The 12 Days of Christine

There are no prizes for guessing what would be number one. The 12 Days of Christine was so much more than an episode of comedy drama. Viewers were caught off-guard with a piece of TV so profound and moving, as what had initially seemed like a classic horror tale was revealed to be something far sadder. As Time to Say Goodbye played out, the twist was magnificent – one that was almost impossible to see coming but which on a second watch makes complete sense. Sheridan Smith’s performance as Christine was spot on and the detail – from the smashed eggs to the blue lights flashing on the Christmas tree – was perfect… and devastating.

Inside No. 9 returns on Tuesday February 21 at 10pm on BBC2.

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Theatre review: The Wild Party

The Other Palace was formerly the St James Theatre until recently purchased and handsomely rebranded by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with Paul Taylor-Mills (whose recent producing credits include the Olivier-winning In the Heights) installed as artistic director. The plan is to use the space for the tryout of new musicals, works in progress and not often seen shows.

The venue’s inaugural production falls into the latter category with this deliciously decadent and suitably wild production of Michael John LaChiusa and George C Wolfe’s jazz-age musical, based on a controversial narrative poem, that had a short run of just 68 performances on Broadway in 2000.

We’re in New York in the 1920s where fading vaudeville singer Queenie (Frances Ruffelle) and her husband and fellow performer Burrs (John Owen-Jones) throw a party for friends and acquaintances to give some oomph to their relationship. And if they can catch the eye of two Broadway hotshots along the way, all the better.

As the gin and cocaine flow though, resentments, petty jealousies and infidelities are revealed as proceedings become ever more wild and wayward.

The parade of guests, including a stripper, an ex boxing champ, a gigolo, two song and dance brothers and a naïve out of town gal dreaming of stardom all have their story to tell and by the second act it does begin to feel a little like each person coming on to do their turn.

But director/choreographer Drew McConie has worked wonders with what is often a paper-thin narrative to make this an exuberant and breathless ride. And he’s well served by a smoking hot band under the musical direction of Theo Jamieson and a faultless company serving up some cracking performances.

Frances Ruffelle is a compelling mix of world-weary and vulnerable as Queenie; John Owen-Jones commands the stage as her melancholy clown partner, and Victoria Hamilton-Barrit is irresistibly sassy and sexy as Queenie’s friend and rival Kate — their smokey vocals on the duet Best Friend a real highlight.

It’s not without it’s problems — the band overwhelmed some of the vocals on the night I went with lyrics getting a little lost — but this show feels a perfect fit for the venue, and it’s a fine christening for Lloyd Webber’s new venture.


You can purchase tickets for The Wild Party and other West End shows from Radio Times box office


 

 

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BAFTA gives Steve Hewlett a Special Award for his contribution to broadcasting

Steve Hewlett was given a Special Award by BAFTA before he passed away, it has been revealed.

The 58-year-old had a long and varied career as a TV executive, producer, journalist and broadcaster before passing away on February 20 after losing his battle with cancer.

Now it’s been revealed that Hewlett had been bestowed with a Special Award by BAFTA, but had yet to formally receive it when he passed away.

A spokesperson for BAFTA said: “BAFTA’s Board of Trustees had recently honoured Steve with a Special Award for his outstanding contribution to British broadcasting, and he was delighted to have been awarded it.

“Regretfully, he had yet to formally receive it and it will now be given to his family.


We knew this moment would come for Steve Hewlett, but that does not lessen either the shock or sorrow


The BBC said Hewlett died while listening to Bob Dylan with his family at the Royal Marsden in London.

A statement from his family said that they were “overwhelmed by the support of friends, colleagues and Radio 4 listeners” who followed Hewlett’s cancer treatment in weekly updates on the PM programme.

It added: “The messages helped Steve enormously, especially over the last few months. The Royal Marsden have been amazing throughout the journey and we are indebted to all the wonderful staff there. We’d like to thank Eddie [Mair] and all the PM listeners, and if people are still keen to help, then we’d like all donations to go towards the brilliant care the Marsden provide.”

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