‘Doctor Who’ Unveils Jonathan Groff First Look
Jonathan Groff has begun filming his Doctor Who scenes and the BBC has unveiled a first look. The BBC is keeping details about Groff’s character close to its chest but the images show him dressed in Victorian-style clothing flanked by the new doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, and Millie Gibson, who is playing companion Ruby Sunday. Groff, who shot to fame in Glee and has since starred in the likes of Knock at the Cabin, Mindhunter and The Matrix Resurrections, is one of the most high profile stars to have landed a role in the new season, which will air later this year. The likes of Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney and RuPaul star Jinx Monsoon have also boarded, while David Tennant and Catherine Tate are returning for anniversary specials. Upon the Groff news last week, showrunner Russell T Davies called his signature “an incredible coup.” The show has been given a major cash injection from new co-commissioner Disney+ and is being co-produced for the first time with His Dark Materials indie Bad Wolf.
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Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú & Jodie Whittaker In BBC’s ‘Tabby McTat’
The BBC has lined up an animated Christmas special starring Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey), Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú (Gangs of London), Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show) as Prunella, Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It) and Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes), with former Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker as the narrator. Tabby McTat is based on the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book of the same name and marks the 11th animated special Magic Light Pictures has made for the BBC based on their work. Donaldson and Scheffler are in their 30th year of creative partnership. The story follows a busker’s cat, who is left alone on the streets of London after his owner breaks his leg and is taken away in an ambulance. Sarah Scrimgeour (Superworm) and Jac Hamman (Superworm) are directing, Max Lang and Suzanne Lang are writing and Barney Goodland and Michael Rose of Magic Light Pictures are producing.
Banijay Promotes James Townley & Lucas Green
James Townley and Lucas Green, who oversee Banijay’s Creative Networks, have been promoted to Chief Content Officer, Development and Chief Content Officer, Operations respectively. Creative Networks comprises the French-headquartered super-indie’s unscripted operation, featuring superbrands such as Big Brother and Survivor, which have seen something of a boon of late. Taking effect immediately, Townley will expand his remit to include documentary while also overseeing third-party format acquisition. Green will partner with Banijay’s global unscripted labels, establishing healthy production ecosystems and providing consultancy on format bibles. “James and Lucas have been fantastic forces for Creative Networks, ensuring a productive, well-travelled non-scripted pipeline,” said Marco Bassetti, Banijay CEO. “Creative reinvestment, efficiency and rights retention are all central to our global strategy, and to date, the pair have been key in championing these elements across the group globally.”
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