Alesha Dixon to Host New CBBC Street Dance Contest

Alesha's Street Dance Stars

Strictly Come Dancing judge (and previous winner) Alesha Dixon will soon be hosting her own dance show on CBBC called Alesha’s Street Dance Stars.

The 10 part series is seeking to find the best young street dance talent in Britain, and will see Alesha scouring the nation searching for a new dance star.

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Polly Perkins Joins Eastenders Cast

polly perkins eldorado

Polly Perkins is set to join cast of BBC soap Eastenders as Dot Branning’s estranged sister Rose. Polly is an actress/singer best known for playing Trish Valentine in 90’s soap Eldorado.

Rose will arrive in Albert Square after Dot decides to track her down and put things right following a bout of hypochondria. The sisters have been estranged for most of their lives after Rose had an affair with Dot’s husband Charlie.

Polly says “I am thrilled to be joining the cast of EastEnders, the show is a real British institution with an extraordinary creative team. I’m really looking forward to working with June again, who I have been friends with for over 30 years.”

New BBC Three Shows for 2011

bbc three ident

The BBC has today announced a host of new original programmes which are to be aired on BBC Three in 2011.

Up For Hire Live

This live event will be stripped across a week. The show will follow 4 unemployed youngsters as they fast track their way to a career – going from ‘tea boy’ to executive decision maker in just 4 short weeks. As well as the documentary, there will also be a live studio debate each evening discussing issues and themes from the show.

Mixed Up in the Middle East

This current affairs show centres around Reya, a half Arab, half Jewish girl, whose parents fell in love across the Middle Eastern divide. We follow her as she visits Israel and Palestinian territories for the first time – meeting people from both sides of the divide, and spending time with her extended family to discover how everyday life is for those who live at the heart of the hostilities.

Britain You’re Welcome To It

This show follows a group of fresh off the plane Eastern Europeans on a bus tour around the UK, as they learn about their new home, and face the realisties of life as a newcomer to Britain.

Life Story

Life Story is a new comedy written and starring Sharon Horgan (Pulling) and Holly Walsh (Mock The Week). Sharon stars as Helen, a woman who is falsley imprisoned in Broadmarsh Prison for the murder of her boss.

Other characters include her useless lawyer (who is an injury at work specialist), a fiance who is keen to dump her, a cousin who has stolen her flat and pub quiz team place, a weirdo workmate who visits each week, an arsonist cellmate who just wants a hug, and a death row pen pal.

Wilfred

Wilfred is a half-hour comedy series starring Elijah Wood (Lord of The Rings) which is based on the critically acclaimed Australian series of the same title. Elijah stars as Ryan, a young man who joins his neighbour’s dog Wilfred (who he sees as an Australian bloke in a cheap dog suit) on a series of comic and existential adventures.

Eggbox

This new BBC Three pilot is a comedy drama about life on a teenage cancer ward written by Tom Bidwell and Mark Catley. Tom survived cancer himself when he was 15, and also wrote the oscar-nominated short Wish 143, a film about a teenager with cancer who asks to lose his virginity before he dies.

IED

IED is a single-camera sitcom about a group of soldiers in a British bomb disposal detachment. The series is written by James Cary and Richard Hurst who have co-written episodes of the award-winning Miranda.

White Van Man

Will Mellor returns to BBC Three with a second series of White Van Man. Will reprises his role as Ollie, ‘a man with a van’ who is joined once again by his hapless mate Darren (Joel Fry). Filming on the series will start later this year.

Luther returns to BBC One

One of our favourite BBC dramas from last year was Luther, and we’re pleased to hear it’s returning to our screens soon in two new specials.

Idris Elba stars as the central character DCI John Luther, a maverick detective with a troubled past, who in the first series saw himself framed for the brutal murder of his wife.  The new series kick off with Luther returning to work in the newly created Serious and Serial unit, working alongside his old partner Detective Justin Ripley (played by Warren Brown).    We see the pair faced with a dark and challenging case – a masked man is wandering the streets of London, carrying out ritualistic murders in historic locations.

Returning to the BBC One drama are series one characters Alice Morgan (played by Ruth Wilson) and Mark North (played by Paul McGann).  The cast are also joined by Kierston Waering (who is currently starring in BBC One’s The Shadow Line) as new character Caroline Jones.

The new series starts Tuesday 14th June on BBC One at 9pm.

Ex Hollyoaks Actress Gemma Atkinson Joins Casualty Cast

Gemma Atkinson has today been announced as a new cast member of BBC One’s long-running medical drama Casualty. Gemma previously played Lisa Hunter in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks for over 4 years, and also starred in the spin-off series Hollyoaks: Let Loose.

When Gemma joins Casualty from September (filming starts this month) she is set to play new paramedic Tamzin, who ruffles the feathers of existing paramedics Jeff and Dixie, and charms the rest of the staff at Holby City Hospital.

When asked about her new role Gemma said “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Casualty and really looking forward to getting to know all the cast and crew…..I used to watch the series as a child so to now be involved is fantastic. I’m so grateful to be given the chance to play Tamzin and I hope audiences will enjoy her too!”.

BBC brings a touch of magic to Saturday nights

BBC One are set to put magic back on our screens on Saturday nights for the first time since the Paul Daniel days back in the nineties with a new show (imaginatively) called The Magicians. The premise sounds a bit like Strictly Come Dancing with a magical spin, with 3 well known magicians competing over 5 weeks. In each show the magicians will work with celebrity partners (a different one each week) and perform illusions ranging from the classic to the never-attempted-before.

The magicians will be pushed to excel beyond their own speciality, be it escapology, illusion or sleight of hand card tricks, as the tournament will throw weekly challenges and themes designed to best test the competitors’ originality, ingenuity and ambition with many large scale stunts to be attempted.

Unlike other reality TV competitions there are no judges or phone lines – instead the same 3 magicians will battle each week to win over the audience, with the pair who receive the least applause asked to close the show with an uncomfortable, dangerous or impossible forfeit of a trick that none of them will want to tackle.

It all sounds quite exciting, and something a bit different from the usual Saturday night fare (All Star Family Fortunes, I’m looking at you…). Also by the time it airs all the big guns like Strictly and X Factor will be over, so this should be an interesting replacement.

They haven’t announced who the magicians are, but we’re hoping Ali Cook is involved – we went to see his show at the Edinburgh Festival this year and it was unbelievable (check out the video of him doing the famous Houdini water escape trick below).

The Magicians will appear on our screens in early 2011.

Update: Ali sent us a message on Twitter saying that he’s had meetings with producers of the show, so we’ll just have to wait and see.  Fingers crossed!

New BBC Comedy from Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant

Life’s Too Short, a new six-part series written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant has been commission by the BBC following a successful pilot and is set to start filming next year.

Ricky Gervais said: “Third in our trilogy of TV sitcoms, Life’s Too Short is another naturalist observational comedy, dealing with everyday problems, human foibles and social faux pas… but with a dwarf.”

The series stars dwarf actor Warwick Davis, who has previously appeared in Gervais’ Extras in the episode with Daniel Radcliffe where Ricky’s character knocked Davis unconscious (and he also plays Prof. Flitwick in the Harry Potter films).

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