Stay Close premiered on Netflix in the New Year, starring the likes of Cush Jumbo, Richard Armitage, Daniel Francis, and James Nesbitt.
Cush Jumbo as Megan Pierce in Stay Close. (Photo: Netflix)
Stay Close follows the characters’ seemingly ordinary lives until an incident causes their pasts to catch up with them. Jumbo portrays Megan, a mother-of-three who is gearing up to marry their dad and her long-term partner Dave Shaw (Daniel Francis). Little does he know, his wife-to-be is hiding a secret past from her family.
While she is seen as a typical mum, Megan had a difficult upbringing. This led to her becoming a stripper at the nightclub Vipers when she was younger. She believed this part of her life was firmly put behind her but soon enough the days of her youth begin to catch up with Megan who then went by her real name, Cassie. In order to get ready for the role, actress Jumbo needed to learn how to pole dance.
Jumbo said: “[Pole dancing] is really hard! I said to Harlan [Coben, creator] that I wanted to get it right and hadn’t intended to have my head superimposed on a really good body double, although maybe that might have been better. I haven’t seen the dancing yet so I don’t know how it came out but it was actually really fun. I got to learn at two different schools over three months, a tonne of pole dancing and pole fitness.”
Not one to miss, Stay Close is available to watch here.
Karren Brady CBE, Lord Alan Sugar, Tim Campbell MBE (Photo: BBC/ Ray Burmiston)
The Apprentice 2022 began on BBC One last week. Alongside a fresh batch of 16 contestants vying to win £250,000 for their businesses, there’ll be another new face on the show – Tim Campbell MBE.
This year’s Apprentice sees advisor Claude Littner replaced by Tim Campbell, former winner of the competition himself. The replacement came after TV favourite Littner underwent an operation that meant he could not return to the show for 2022.
“My former winner Tim Campbell will step into Claude’s seat and be my eyes and ears as the candidates face a tough set of business challenges in the upcoming series,” said Lord Sugar of the change.
“Having been on the show myself, I know the hard work that goes into it, so I didn’t take the decision lightly,” said Tim. “I wish Claude the very best as he recovers,” he added.
The Apprentice is available to watch here.
Dancing On Ice
This year’s Dancing On Ice sees Oti Mabuse debut on the judging panel. The Strictly Come Dancing professional, who has won the classic dance competition twice since she joined in 2015, swaps the ballroom for the ice rink as she replaces John Barrowman.
Oti said of her role,
“For me as a person in entertainment I really want to learn, and I want to grow, and I want a long career. Especially in this country as I came all the way from Africa, so I have to make something of myself. So, I’m really trying to learn and do as much as I can for as long as I can, while I can.”
The South African professional dancer will be appearing on the show with Ashley Banjo, Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill, with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield back to their hosting duties.
Dancing On Ice is available to watch here.
Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend The Bay. (Photo: Ben Blackall/Tall Story Pictures/ ITV)
The Bay newcomer Marsha Thomason is cast in lead role as DS Jenn Townsend, replacing Morven Christie in ITV’s crime drama. The actress has worked in the industry spanning a quarter of a century, boasting credits in Prime Suspect, Lost, and The Good Doctor.
DS Townsend (Marsha Thomason) is immediately thrown into the deep end when a body is found in Morecambe Bay on her first day in the job. She must get under the skin of a grieving and complicated family if she has any chance of solving the premature death of an aspiring young boxer.
“I was definitely aware that those are big shoes to fill, [Morven] was so great as Lisa [Armstrong]. I was a bit like Jenn really, because it’s like: ‘New day, new job with these people who’ve all been working together for ages’, but everybody was brilliant.
The Bay is available to watch here.
Pioneering ITV series Driving Force began its second season this week, with host Judy Murray in conversation with some of the most successful athletes of all time and the driving forces who inspired and motivated them.
With the rocketing expansion of women’s sport, Driving Force celebrates and showcases the stories of the biggest sporting names and their stories of skill, resilience, and determination. These female athletes are all part of a generation that is addressing the balance of equality in sports for women, sharing some of the most controversial and uplifting stories to date.
Each episode features a sports star in an open and honest conversation with Judy Murray, with no topic off limits, discussions will unravel the personal hurdles and physical and mental barriers each woman has overcome.
The season begins by delving into the life and career of England Football superstar Eni Aluko, from growing up playing football on a council estate in Birmingham to reaching the world stage.
Driving Force is available to watch here.
Adrian Lester (Life, Trauma) and Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) to star in new ITV drama Trigger Point. The pair play bomb disposal operatives known as ‘Expos’ in the new series.
The high-octane six-part thriller series stars Vicky McClure (Line of Duty) as front line officer Lana Washington, and Adrian Lester (Life, Trauma) as Joel Nutkins, who works alongside her. Both ex-military, the pair are close, having served together in Afghanistan.
“When a terrorist campaign threatens the capital over the summer, the Expos are at the forefront of urgent efforts to find out who is behind the bombings before fatalities escalate…,” a teaser reads.
ITV adds: “The series, which is currently in production, turns the spotlight on counter terrorism policing and the extraordinary work of the Metropolitan Police Bomb Disposal Squad.”
Trigger Point launches its new series on Sunday, 23 January at 9pm on ITV.
Adrian Lester and Vicky McClure in Trigger Point. (Photo: ITV)
Beverley Knight at The Black British Theatre Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)
Black Country soul singer Beverly Knight will be part of star-studded panel for Starstruck, new ITV Saturday night entertainment show.
Following in the footsteps of Stars in their Eyes, Starstruck will see members of the public transformed into their favourite music star for one night only, teaming up as part of a trio who all share the same love of a music icon to perform on stage.
The talent team will help to transform those taking part into some of the world’s biggest music icons from Amy Winehouse to Ariana Grande, Lionel Richie to Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye to Michael Buble, and many more.
Knight said: “Every show, we get to witness ordinary people emulate extraordinary icons on a huge scale and I’m so here for it. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing those spectacular transformations and being a cheerleader for every contestant”
Starstruck will air on ITV in Feb 2022, though exact start date is to be confirmed.