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Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win Catch Phrase


Win Catch Phrase from Drumond Park

A great family game
from Drumond Park

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Drumond Park to offer three lucky readers the chance to win Catch Phrase, the perfect game for all the family to enjoy.

Just “SAY what you SEE!” These famous words will ring in your ears as you compete to complete the infuriating, colourful, all new Catch Phrase puzzles!

Catch Phrase from Drumond Park

ITV’s hugely popular Catch Phrase game show is back on UK TV screens. Now up to six players can take it in turns to step into presenter, Stephen Mulhern’s shoes, and play host in Drumond Park’s newly updated All-New Catch Phrase TV Board Game (RRP £22.99, age 8 to adult).

It’s a battle of wit and brainteasers – a veritable twirl of tongue twisters and picture puzzles… all amazingly true to the latest version of this popular TV game show. In the box are Regular Catch Phrase Cards, double-sided Bonus Cards, Super Cards and board, a quirky Mr Chips Card Holder and a clever Bonus Catch Phrase Picture Frame, all of which play a part in recreating the lively fun of the TV game.

The Catch Phrase Cards

Game play is straightforward and follows the frenetic format of the show. The ultimate aim is to accrue the most ‘money’ by guessing Catch Phrase puzzles over each of the rounds… with increasing amounts of ‘prize money’ on offer. Each player keeps his or her accumulated winnings, as play passes from Host to Host – and the person with the most money after everyone has played Host is declared the winner.

It’s a battle of wit and brainteasers – a veritable twirl of tongue twisters and picture puzzles that’ll have you shouting out with frustration or jumping for joy when the penny drops and you’re able to literally “Say what you see!”

"Say what you see!" with Catch Phrase

This hugely entertaining, hilarious board game is a faithful rendition of the much-loved TV game show. It’s excellent value for money and guaranteed to provide hours of raucous family fun and frivolity for all!

For more information and stockists visit www.drumondpark.com

And for grown-up giggles and to share adult games experiences, go over to Drumond Park's ‘Not so Quiet Night In’ blog at www.drumondpark.com/blog




You can also find out more about Drumond Park at www.facebook.com/drumondpark
and www.twitter.com/drumondpark

For Your Chance to Win

Tell us who presents the Catch Phrase television show?

Tell us who presents the Catch Phrase television show?

a) Chris Tarrant
b)
Bradley Walsh
c)
Stephen Mulhern
d)
Alexander Armstrong

 To Enter the Competition

Tell us who presents the Catch Phrase television show? Then send in your answer, together with your full name, postal address and telephone number by clicking on the Sixtyplusurfers link below: sixtypluscomp@hotmail.co.uk

* Please label your entry
Catch Phrase Competition


* This competition is open to
our UK readers only
 

The Last Post

Amanda Drew and Ben Miles as Mary Markham and Major Harry Markham

Coming soon to BBC ONE

Jessie Buckley (War and Peace), Jessica Raine‎ (Call The Midwife), Amanda Drew (Broadchurch), Ben Miles (The Crown) and Stephen Campbell Moore (History Boys)‎ star alongside newcomer Jeremy Neumark-Jones in The Last Post, a sizzling six-part drama series set in the swinging Sixties.

Written by BAFTA winner Peter Moffat for BBC One, The Last Post is based on childhood memories, his father's career as an officer in the Royal Military Police and his mother's struggle between being what the army required her to be and what she felt like being. The Last Post is a close up view of army life set in the heat, glamour and extreme danger of Aden in the 1960s.

Jessie Buckley as Honor Martin and Jeremy Neumark Jones as Captain Joe Martin

Peter Moffat explains, “Young married couples in the heart of the Sixties living in extremely close proximity in a very alien and dangerous environment has always struck me as ripe territory for drama. Men full of vim, vigor and a desire to be heroes in a situation where that isn't always possible; alongside young women who are starting to feel the emancipation of the Sixties and a sense of new freedoms but who are living in a constrained setting where their role is supposed to be merely supportive.

"Throw in tumultuous love stories alongside the unexplored territory of this period in our history and you have a pretty heady mix. This was my parents world and one I have wanted to write about all my career.”

Set in the shimmering heat of Aden (Yemen), the drama centres on a unit of Royal Military Police officers and their families. Their job is two-fold: half soldiers and half policemen who face constant insurgency and threat. Danger is everywhere. Hand grenades, mines and sniper attacks are a constant threat.

But life and love must continue. The Sixties are starting to swing: sexual liberation, polka dot bikinis, new music and prized copies of Vogue have reached the sun loungers of the glamorous BP Club. Dashing, newlywed RMP Captain Joe Martin (Neumark-Jones) and his wife Honor (Buckley) arrive dressed like JFK and Jackie, full of excitement and ambition about the start of married life. A big new adventure. But how well does Honor know the man she’s just married?

Feisty Alison (Raine) couldn’t be more different. Direct, funny, a woman ahead of her time, she feels cooped up and claustrophobic and ready to lead Honor gloriously astray. Alison’s husband Lieutenant Ed Laithwaite (Campbell Moore) is a progressive soldier, a deep thinker. The army doesn’t like this about him. Somewhere down the line Ed and Alison seem to have lost each other. Gin, red lipstick and other men give Alison what she feels she needs now. Can these two outsiders find each other again?

Mary Markham (Drew) is the embodiment of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’; she puts loyalty, service and discretion above all else. She’s the best possible officer’s wife – the one everyone goes to for help. Her inner strength will be tested to its limit by what happens to her husband and family.

Her husband Major Harry Markham (Miles) is the man in charge. He’s the CO. His greatest source of pride is that he’s never lost a soldier serving under him. Is this a record he can maintain? What will it do to him if he does lose any of the men he calls family?

As the insurgency takes a real hold and casualties mount it becomes harder for everyone not to start to ask the big questions. What are we doing here? Is it right? Is it right to ask is it right? As the old established order of the Fifties comes apart who will survive and who will flounder?

Also starring Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk)as Lance Corporal Tony Armstrong, Chris Reilly (Homefront) as Sergeant Alex Baxter and Essie Davis (The White Princess) as war reporter Martha Franklin.

Jessica Raine is Alison Laithwaite

Jessica Raine is Alison Laithwaite


What kind of woman is your character, Alison Laithwaite?

“She is witty but she hums with dissatisfaction, and she’s on a path of self-destruction littered with downed gin and tonics. I imagine her stalking around her apartment, climbing the walls with boredom. She’s desperate to have fun but there’s not much of the type of fun she wants in the strict military environment.”

She seems to be a woman ahead of her time; does this create a struggle for her?

“She’s very liberated in the way she thinks and acts. Everything about her is forward looking and she needs constant entertainment and stimulation. To be quite literally locked away in a compound on an army base is a very real hell for her. But she gamely tries to survive it by throwing herself into drinking and dancing at every opportunity.”

How did the female characters and cast bond?

“I think we have a very strong team of actresses on this production. Watching them work filled me with confidence and made me raise my game. It has been a complete delight to mine the relationship between Honor and Alison; they quickly become very close and support each other in a beautiful way. The feminine and masculine worlds are so separate, and we were often as groups of actors like ships in the night passing each other on the way to set! But that felt right, mimicking how it must have been.”

Alison and her husband, Lt. Ed Laithwaite (Stephen Campbell Moore), seem in crisis at the start of the drama. Do you feel hopeful for their marriage?

“They have grown accustomed to the disconnect between them, and of course Alison clearly has a reputation among Ed’s colleagues. But Ed never ever judges her, and his utter support of her is one of the most touching and surprising things about their relationship. I love how they are both rule breakers, questioning and testing the fabric of army life. Together they are a very subversive couple - I think perfectly suited - and I am hopeful for them.”

What have been the highlights and challenges of the shoot?

“It’s been a joyous shoot, and filming in Cape Town while it’s winter in England has been a real treat. The heat, especially in the desert, was a challenge. But the payoff to that landscape is phenomenal. And I really loved driving that little blue Fiat!”

Life for families in the British Army in Aden in the 1960s will be new to most viewers - how would you describe it?

“During my research I stumbled upon an internet forum for people who were children in Aden in the 60s. Their words and images offered a snapshot of families living an idyllic life, occasionally shattered by the odd grenade being lobbed over the wall, deliberately targeting children and families. It was hard to get my head around living in that situation. There is something funny and disturbing about trying to maintain British values under those conditions, whilst blithely unaware that they’re not welcomed there.”

Do you think The Last Post is a timely piece?

“What drew me to this piece is the central question: what the hell is Great Britain doing in Aden? The Last Post raises all the critical issues of a receding empire: what we leave behind, the arrogance, the mess, and the grey areas. The fact that there are no easy answers, no good guys and bad guys, make it a great drama. And yes, a very timely one too.”

Jessie Buckley talks about her role as Honor Martin

Jessie Buckley as Honor Martin

Tell us about your character, Honor Martin

“Honor Martin is the newlywed, wide-eyed military wife to Captain Joe Martin (Jeremy Neumark Jones). She lands in Aden with the eyes and enthusiasm of a child who wants to soak up all that this adventure has to offer in this exotic world. Little does she know however that the parameters don’t just exist around the army barracks but within her own marriage and she is hit with the stark reality of its loneliness and isolation. Through her friendships with Alison (Jessica Raine) and the other military wives she grows up and realises what is needed to survive the brutality of war whilst holding on to her open heart, full of love, life and hope.”

How does she change as the series progresses?

“Honor makes many mistakes and bakes a lot of dodgy cakes along the way, but from each fall she learns to pick herself up and learn from it. Her story is a real coming of age. She starts as this beguiled innocent girl who grows into a woman whose strength and bravery to question what is socially and morally right throughout the story injects life, truth and love into those around her who have become numbed by war.”

How did you research Aden?

The Last Post is set in a war zone in the 1960s


“Filming a story set in a war zone in the 60s was such a treat as it gave me so much scope to dive into. Not only the world of Aden but also to explore where women were socially in the Sixties. The military wives weren’t just women going about their shopping in Selfridges, they held huge responsibility in being the emotional backbone to these men who were risking their lives day in and day out. I actually took a lot of inspiration from reading about people like Jackie Kennedy. Her story was similar in ways as she was groomed by the world to be a trophy wife in a political sphere yet she managed to fight and carve out her own identity.”

Do you feel the script is very relatable to now?

“Definitely. When you look at what’s going on in Syria, Iraq and around the world, the sheer bravery that people have to have, day in and day out, and still hold on to their normal lives and find hope is incredibly relevant.

How has it been working with Jeremy who plays your husband?

“It’s been fab. He’s been such a pleasure to work with and we’ve had a lot of fun. The entire company and crew have been such a great group. We have been very lucky.”

After War and Peace, how are you finding being the one in the nice frock for a change?

“I’m loving it! It took a little getting used to as I’m not accustomed to putting on pink nail varnish regularly but it’s been great fun. Always good to shake it up and do something different.”

Ben Miles is Major Harry Markham

Ben Miles as Major Harry Markham

Your character, Major Harry Markham, is struggling to uphold establishment values within a changing world; do you feel he has to subjugate his own needs to the greater order?

“Harry is a very traditional man and the benevolent power of the British Empire has been drilled into him his entire life. He genuinely believes in its civilising influence. But in 1965 in Southern Arabia, one of the last remaining outposts of a diminishing empire, these ideals were really being challenged.”

Do you get a sense that Markham struggles to explain how he feels?

“As a Commanding Officer he has to maintain this constant order and level of efficiency and lack of emotional engagement, whilst being completely aware of the emotions his men are going through… and of course not talk about it. There is a certain lack of emotional vocabulary to discuss feelings, combined with his desire to not appear weak or unsure.”

How does Markham cope with finding himself at a time when Aden suddenly is at a tipping point, where the political situation quickly becomes very intense and dangerous?

“The question for Markham is whether he can hold onto those values, and at what point he will be prepared to turn away from them and employ means he wouldn’t ordinarily use to achieve certain ends. Both his sense of decency and his moral framework are very fundamentally challenged in the show.”

Markham experiences a dramatic collision between his personal and professional worlds. Do you see The Last Post as a psychological drama as well as a political/military drama?


“The authority with which Peter Moffat writes the non-fiction side is very reassuring, because he himself was a young boy in Aden and his father was a Royal Military Policeman, but he’s also very adept at writing human characters. He has such great empathy for so many different viewpoints and attitudes that you end up with a drama full of well-rounded characters.

How has it been for you to play this role?

“It’s an interesting challenge to portray this character who tries to maintain order, trust, respect amongst his men, tries to live a family life as a father and a husband, tries to uphold and maintain a sense of Britishness in a country that is hostile to his presence. He has a lot of plates spinning.

Do you see any contemporary parallels?

“Oh yes. There was the struggle for national autonomy that we are still seeing today in the Middle East. And this was a time of great change, for the whole word. We were entering a very different age, with America in Vietnam and the emergence of the swinging Sixties counterculture, and yet there was still great conservatism and a great desire to hang on to the dominance and values of Britain.”
 

Entertainment

Sennheiser Redefines
TV Listening


Sennheiser redefines TV listening

Demand more from your TV experience when your hearing needs change, great sound can still be enjoyed at home thanks to Sennheiser’s new RS 5000 smart listening solution. 

The audio specialist is putting the clarity into the TV experience by adding crystal clear, high-quality sound and the freedom of digital wireless technology, so users can continue to enjoy their favourite entertainment at its very best.

Sennheiser’s new ergonomically-designed TV headphones bring a new way to improve TV audio by adding exceptional sound performance, attractive modern designs and excellent quality and durability

Sennheiser’s new ergonomically-designed TV headphones bring a new way to improve TV audio by adding exceptional sound performance, attractive modern designs and excellent quality and durability.

“These next generation devices focus on giving listeners an intensified TV sound experience. They offer excellent audio quality and clearer speech, plus wireless flexibility and greater comfort, all in an elegant and ease-to-use solution,” says Irene Strüber, Head of Portfolio Management Audiology at Sennheiser.

“Those who love to enjoy life to the fullest can now continue to demand more – even as their personal hearing needs change.”

The + of intuitive, cable free sound

The next generation listening device from the leader in the European TV headphone market, the RS 5000 has been created to be supremely easy to set up and intuitive to use

The next generation listening device from the leader in the European TV headphone market, the RS 5000 has been created to be supremely easy to set up and intuitive to use. Users can tailor the sound to meet their individual needs using the easy-to-operate volume and balance controls. Clear LED indicators for battery status and operating state on the receiver and base station add further to a system that is effortlessly simple to set up and use.

Ease of use is increased by the freedom and flexibility of these wireless solutions. Leading-edge digital wireless technology ensures that you get great sound. The RS 5000 offers an impressive 70 metres range.

The RS 5000 features durable, integrated batteries which allow for up to 9 hours of consecutive use and even offers 12 hours of battery life

The RS 5000 features durable, integrated batteries which allow for up to 9 hours of consecutive use and even offers 12 hours of battery life.

The RS 5000 provides a choice of three hearing profiles to enhance TV, movies or music to further tailor the sound to personal listening requirements. It also features a unique Speech Intelligibility function that makes speech clearer and easier to understand by dynamically reducing TV background noise that may interfere with dialogue.

The RS 5000 provides a choice of three hearing profiles to enhance TV, movies or music to further tailor the sound to personal listening requirements

This impressive new model has been designed to offer elegant, practical simplicity. The slim below-the-chin design provides comfortable ear bow pressure for any head size. Meanwhile, the base station has a sleek, high-end appearance, which makes a stylish yet subtle addition to one’s home entertainment system.

When charging the durable integrated batteries, this unit serves as a smart docking station that lets the headset lie in a compact and tidy horizontal position.

RS 5000 is part of Sennheiser’s new range of smart listening products which also includes the Flex 5000, a digital wireless audio system for headphones

RS 5000 is part of Sennheiser’s new range of smart listening products which also includes the Flex 5000, a digital wireless audio system for headphones.


RS 5000 headphones are available to buy now from http://en-uk.sennheiser.com

The Apprentice

Sir Alan Sugar

Watch it on BBC ONE

The Apprentice will soon be returning to our TV screens, bringing with it a new batch of fawning would-be tycoons, all eager to earn the approbation of Alan Sugar. In other words, it's business as usual.

The 13th series of The Apprentice begins on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday October 4th. The date announcement was made on Twitter, alongside a new slogan (which might, perhaps, be a quote from one of the candidates): "Patience is a virtue. Profits are a necessity."

Sir Alan Sugar with Karren Brady and Claude Littner in The Apprentice

Everyone's favourites, Claude Littner and Karren Brady return for the new series.

Icy human calculator Claude Littner is a man who once said he "couldn't see the point of credit cards". Meanwhile the formidable Karren Brady, Vice Chairman of West Ham FC, will be helping Sir Alan to find a new apprentice.

Rod Gilbert hosts The Apprentice: You're Fired

Rhod Gilbert will also be back in the hot seat presenting The Apprentice: You're Fired, together with a host of celebrities to chew over the tasks shown in each programme, Sir Alan's decisions, and whether the audience feels the would-be tycoons should be Hired or Fired.

So don't forget to tune in on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday October 4th to meet the new apprentices and follow their potential successes or failures in the most gruelling and comprehensive job interview possible.

Russian Themed Season at BBC
Marks the October Revolution


Simon Reeve

'Russia With Simon Reeve' is featured
part of the season of Russian themed programmes on the BBC in October

To mark the centenary of the October Revolution, the BBC has commissioned a selection of programmes across television and radio examining this significant event and its continued impact on society.

Spanning, art, culture and politics, these new programmes explore the historical context for the formation of the first communist state, as well as current attitudes towards Russia - held by both those living there and those looking in.

On BBC Two, Countdown To Revolution is an in-depth exploration of the October Revolution. Including contributors Martin Amis, Orlando Figes, Helen Rappaport, Simon Sebag-Montefiore and China Miéville, this film asks how events a century ago continue to shape the world we live in.

Also on BBC Two, Simon Reeve takes audiences on a journey across the world’s biggest country in Russia With Simon Reeve. Simon shows first-hand what it’s like filming in Putin’s Russia and introduces audiences to the vast range of characters inhabiting this diverse nation.

Meanwhile, BBC Four delves into the art, architecture and music of the period. Revolution - New Art For A New World reveals the Avant-Garde movement that flourished after the October Revolution, only to be stifled by Stalin.

The Real Doctor Zhivago goes behind the written text of Pasternak’s masterpiece and the series, Tunes for Tyrants: Music & Power With Suzy Klein, looks at how revolutionaries and despots exploited music’s emotive power to manipulate the masses.

BBC Four also presents a re-mastered version of October: Ten Days That Shook The World - the 1928 film made in Russia, for Russian audiences. More than an archive of footage, October: Ten Days That Shook The World continues to receive acclaim for its use of imagery 90 years later.

Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says, "I am delighted to announce such a stunning and important range of arts, music and history documentaries across BBC Two and Four to mark this anniversary. As revealed across this challenging and stimulating range of programmes, the October Revolution was a seismic event that changed global history in ways that are still being felt today."

BBC Radio 4’s coverage of the centenary begins with a Start The Week Special: Russian Revolution, with Tom Sutcliffe. Broadcasting from Moscow, Tom explores how Russians today embrace or reject this momentous occasion in their country’s history.

A major new drama, Ten Days That Shook The World, tells the story of the October Revolution over two weeks based on the day-to-day reportage of John Reed, an American journalist, dramatized by Robin Brooks for Radio 4.

Uniquely Russian outlooks on philosophy and humour are also examined in Revolution In Ideas and It's Just A Joke, Comrade: 100 Years Of Russian Satire respectively. While the vast history of Russia is explored from varied angles in Russia in Five Babushka Dolls, which tells the tale of Russia through five influential women and The British Road To Bolshevism, which uncovers how London played an unassuming role in the rise of communism.

BBC Radio 3 brings Russia to the forefront of many of their weekly shows. Michael Berkeley is joined by Russian historian and best-selling author, Simon Sebag Montefiore in Private Passions.

A special edition of Composer Of The Week sees Donald Macleod joined by musicologist and music historian, Professor Marina Frovola-Walker and The Essay aims to capture the spirit of the Revolution through the stories and artists of the time in a special two week series. Specialist programming will also feature.

Between The Ears - Bring Me The Head Of Karl Marx investigates pilgrimages to Karl Marx’s Highgate cemetery, Tom Service tells the story of the Russian century through ten works of art in From Russia With Love and Drama On 3 presents Brian Friel’s acclaimed dramatisation of Turgenev’s novel, Fathers And Sons.

Anton & Erin Broadway to Hollywood

Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag

Celebrating a decade of dance

Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag announce an exciting new show ‘Broadway to Hollywood’ as they take to the road for a nationwide tour for 2018.

A stunning new production of dance, music and song, ‘Broadway to Hollywood’ showcases the undisputed talent of the nation’s favourite ballroom couple and a stellar supporting cast including brilliant star vocalist Lance Ellington, six world-class Ensemble Dancers and the 25-piece London Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe.

Sensational choreography, sparkling costumes and a musical score to include such classics as ‘Somewhere in Time’, ‘Cry Me a River’, ‘Mr Bojangles’, ‘Downtown’, ‘This Nearly Was Mine’, ‘New York, New York’, ‘Couple of Swells’ and ‘Libertango’ promise a performance befitting the King and Queen of the ballroom. The show will also feature the very popular ‘Q and A’ section providing some fun interaction with the audience.

Commenting on the show, Anton Du Beke says, “It’s Show Time again! Erin and I are delighted to be back with a brand new production. This will be our tenth tour so we really hope you will be able to join us in celebrating a decade of dance!”

Anton & Erin... Broadway to Hollywood
                2018 Dates and Venues:

Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag


Friday 19th January 7:30pm Northampton Derngate Theatre 01604 624811

Saturday 20th January 2.30pm Bristol Hippodrome 0844 871 3012 - Calls Will Cost 7ppm Plus Your Network Access Charge.

Sunday 21st January 5:00pm Southampton Mayflower 02380 711811

Tuesday 23rd January 8:00pm Southend Cliffs Pavilion 01702 351135

Wednesday 24th January 2:30pm Southend Cliffs Pavilion 01702 351135

Saturday 27th January 2:30pm & 7.30pm Birmingham Symphony Hall 0121 780 3333

Sunday 28th January 3:00pm Cardiff St David’s Hall 029 2087 8444

Thursday 1st February 7:30pm Nottingham Royal Concert Hall 0115 989 5555

Saturday 3rd February 2:30pm & 7.30pm Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre 0844 576 3000

Sunday 4th February 3:00pm Oxford New Theatre 0844 871 3020 - Calls Will Cost 7ppm Plus Your Network Access Charge.

Friday 9th February 7:30pm Reading Hexagon 0118 960 6060

Saturday 10th February 2:30pm & 7.30pm London Barbican Hall 020 7638 8891

Sunday 11th February 3:00pm Woking New Victoria Theatre 0844 871 7645 - Calls Will Cost 7ppm Plus Your Network Access Charge.

Saturday 17th February 2:30pm & 7.30pm Guildford G Live 01483 369350

Wednesday 21st February 7:30pm Gateshead Sage 0191 443 4661

Friday 23rd February 7:30pm Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 0151 709 3789

Saturday 24th February 3:00pm Manchester Bridgewater Hall 0161 907 9000

Sunday 25th February 3:00pm Sheffield City Hall 0114 2 789 789

Saturday 3rd March 7:30pm Dunfermline Alhambra 01383 740 384

Sunday 4th March 3:00pm Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 0141 353 8000

Thursday 8th March 7:30pm Llandudno Venue Cymru 01492 872000

Saturday 10 March 7:30pm Belfast Waterfront Hall 028 9033 4455

Saturday 17th March 3:30pm York Barbican 0844 854 2757- Calls Will Cost 7ppm Plus Your Network Access Charge.

Sunday 18th March 3:00pm Wimbledon New Wimbledon Theatre 0844 871 7646- Calls Will Cost 7ppm Plus Your Network Access Charge.

Further information and tickets are available from www.raymondgubbay.co.uk


Also the national ticket hotline: 0844 847 2319 (booking fees apply) – 0844 calls will cost 7 pence per minute plus your network access charge.

Strictly Ballroom
The Musical


Strictly Ballroom The Musical

Dazzling musical set to waltz
in to the West End

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is to make its West End debut at the Piccadilly Theatre in 2018. Following the success of its UK Premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2016, the opulence and glamour of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical will open in London on Wednesday 11th April (Previews from Friday 16th March 2018).

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is the hilarious story that inspired the world to dance. Based on the multi award-winning movie, the first instalment from Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed Red Curtain Trilogy, the musical production is a kaleidoscope of colour and fun. When maverick championship ballroom dancer Scott defies all the rules of competition to follow his heart, he teams up with left-footed partner Fran to win the National Championship his way.

Featuring the film’s classic break-into-song numbers such as Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps and Time After Time, Strictly Ballroom The Musical will also include electrifying songs from a host of internationally acclaimed artists.

Drew McOnie (whose dazzling choreography for In The Heights earned him the 2016 Olivier Award) will direct and choreograph the production. Strictly Ballroom The Musical is based on the original Australian musical created by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, with a book by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is produced by Global Creatures (the team behind Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, the upcoming production of Muriel’s Wedding, the Broadway-bound King Kong and Moulin Rouge! The Musical).

Carmen Pavlovic, CEO, Global Creatures says, “I’m thrilled that we are bringing Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical to the West End. The film’s irresistible heart and humour were immediately embraced around the world and 25 years later remains a beloved title.

“We are delighted that audiences can now enjoy live on stage the uplifting story of how one boy following his heart, triumphs over oppression and changes the lives of everyone around him for the better. Drew McOnie’s direction and choreography has brought further vitality to Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin’s original vision. Together they’ve reimagined the story for audiences of today and created a show full of joy and celebration.”

This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, Australia, in 1984. The film was discovered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was the winner of the Prix de Jeunnesse and runner up for the Palme D’Or. When released in Australia, Strictly Ballroom swept the field at the 1992 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, gaining 13 nominations and winning in eight major categories.

It also won three awards at the 1993 BAFTA awards, received a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, and eventually went on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical made its world premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in April 2014, followed by seasons in Melbourne and Brisbane in 2015. Strictly Ballroom The Musical then made its UK premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in December 2016 and toured to Toronto, Canada.

Drew McOnie’s recent theatre credits include On The Town (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park) The Wild Party (The Other Palace), Jesus Chris Superstar (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Jekyll & Hyde (Old Vic), and Hairspray (National Tour).

For details about Strictly Ballroom The Musical visit www.strictlyballroomthemusical.com

      Strictly Come
     Dancing 2017


Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly host Strictly Come Dancing 2017


          Watch it on BBC ONE

Dust off your sequins and put on your dancing shoes as Strictly Come Dancing returns for a sparkling new series on BBC ONE.

Strictly Come Dancing is hosted by the fabulous Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly. The lovely Zoe Ball will also host It Takes Two on BBC TWO, featuring celebrity interviews, on weekdays.

The show includes a stunning line-up with Mollie King, Davood Ghadami, Ruth Langsford, Gemma Atkinson, Reverend Richard Coles, Joe McFadden, Simon Rimmer, Aston Merrygold, Susan Calman, Brian Conley, Chizzy Akudolu, Jonnie Peacock, Debbie McGee, and Charlotte Hawkins.

Mollie King and AJ Pritchard

           Mollie King and AJ Pritchard

Mollie King is best known as one-fifth of leading girl group, The Saturdays. The multi-platinum selling band has sold over five million singles worldwide, scored 13 Top 10 singles and five Top 10 albums.

Mollie says, “I'm a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing so I can't actually believe I'm lucky enough to be taking part in it this year! I'm literally so excited to learn latin and ballroom dancing, and of course I can’t wait to get into the sequins too! It’s going to be a lot of hard work but I'm ready for the challenge.”

Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova

 Davood Ghadami & Nadiya Bychkova

Davood Ghadami is best known for his role as Kush Kazemi in EastEnders for which he won Best Newcomer at the TV Choice Awards.

Davood says, “Having the opportunity to take part in this year’s Strictly is such an honour. It’s going to be exciting, challenging and terrifying all at once and I am so looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and learning to dance. See you under the Glitterball!"

Ruth Langsford and Anton du Beke

    Ruth Langsford and Anton du Beke

Ruth Langsford is a host on two of ITV’s popular daytime shows Loose Women and This Morning - the latter she presents with her husband Eamonn Holmes. Ruth is an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society and she and Eamonn live in London with their son Jack and beloved dog, Maggie.

Ruth says, “I have dreamt about doing Strictly for so long, I can't quite believe my dream has come true! The sum of my dance experience is throwing a few shapes at a party, I've never had a dance lesson in my life. Without doubt it will be the scariest yet most exciting thing I've ever done. It'll be a welcome change worrying about my next hot move instead of my next hot flush!”

Gemma Atkinson and Aljaž Škorjanec

  Gemma Atkinson and Aljaž Škorjanec


Gemma Atkinson is best known for playing Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks between 2001 and 2005. She has since played series regular Tamzin Bayle in BBC One’s Casualty and was most recently seen in ITV’s Emmerdale playing Carly Hope.

Gemma says, “I am honoured to be asked and so thrilled to be joining Strictly Come Dancing 2017! I'm beyond excited and incredibly nervous but I am looking forward to learning a new skill in ballroom and latin dancing and taking on this new challenge.”

Reverend Richard Coles and Dianne Buswell

        Reverend Richard Coles and
                      Dianne Buswell


Reverend Richard Coles is a writer, broadcaster and Church of England priest. Originally a singer with pop band The Communards, they had a hit single with Don't Leave Me This Way in 1986.

Reverend Richard Coles says, “Cometh the hour, cometh the overweight Vicar with arthritis in his knees.”

Joe McFadden and Katya Jones

       Joe McFadden and Katya Jones

Joe McFadden is a Scottish actor, born in Glasgow and best-known for playing the role of Raffaello ‘Raf’ di Lucca in BBC One’s medical drama, Holby City.

Joe says, “Strictly is one of the biggest, most entertaining shows on TV and being asked to be part of it is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m thrilled and terrified about in equal measures!”

Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton

      Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton

Simon Rimmer is best-known for being the chef and co-presenter on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

Simon says, “I am so excited, terrified and proud to be invited to be part of Strictly 2017. I've always been a HUUUUGE fan of the show. When I put on my sequins and hit the floor it will genuinely be my very first time dancing ballroom and latin. Nobody will try harder, have more fun or get more out of it than me. I can't wait.”

Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara

  Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara

Aston Merrygold is a singer and songwriter, and is best-known for being a member of the successful British band JLS.

Aston says, “I’m so happy to be joining Strictly 2017, it is such a brilliant show and I’ve followed it for years. I’m both nervous and excited to learn from the professionals about a whole new way of dancing!”

Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton

     Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton

Susan Calman is a Scottish comedian, broadcaster and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.

Susan says, “Being on Strictly is a dream come true. Finally I can reveal all the moves I've been practising in my kitchen to the nation. I am an enthusiastic home dancer and now on Saturday nights I'll be dancing in other people’s homes in a (hopefully) entertaining way. I am terrified but excited to start my Strictly journey.”

Brian Conley and Amy Dowden

        Brian Conley and Amy Dowden

Brian Conley is a comedian, actor and television presenter with a career spanning over 40 years.

Brian says, “I'm delighted and honoured to be asked to strut my stuff on this year’s Strictly. My family all love the show and can't wait to see me do my Dad dancing on national television. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work but I'm up for the challenge, so bring on the spray tan and sequins."

Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev

  Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev


Andrea Chizoba ‘Chizzy’ Akudolu is best known for her role as heart surgeon Mo Effanga, in Holby City. Chizzy joined the cast in 2012 and hung up her stethoscope in June after five years. During her time on the show, Chizzy won the award for Best Newcomer at the Black International Film Festival and Music Video and Screen Awards as well as Best Actress in the same year at the BEFFTA Awards.

Chizzy says, “When I was 13, I made the finals of a disco dancing competition once but there was this amazing girl who exploded onto the stage with a gorgeous sequined costume, throwing glitter everywhere… I knew it was game over for me. That was then, this is now and this is my chance to have even more sequins!”

Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse

      Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse

Jonnie Peacock is a double Paralympic, World and European T44 100m Champion. He won his first Paralympic Gold medal in London 2012 and has gone onto to win every major event that he’s entered, including the 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2017 World Championships in London this summer.

Jonnie says, “The opportunity to be the first contestant with a disability to take part in Strictly’s main show was too good to turn down. I’ve got no previous dance history outside of the occasional ‘worm’ at a mate’s party and I know this will be a challenge and a new experience. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve and how far I can push myself.”

Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez

  Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez

Alexandra Burke is a singer and West End performer currently starring in Sister Act in the lead role of Doloris Van Cartier.  Alexandra first shot to fame after winning ITV’s The X Factor in 2008 and her debut single Hallellujah sold over one million copies.

Alexandra says, “I am so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly cast! I love this show and have followed it from the beginning, so being able to be a part of it is just a dream come true for me - I still can’t believe it! I am very nervous as I am a singer not a dancer, but I am going to give this my absolute everything and try my best to make everyone proud.”

Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice

  Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice

Debbie McGee is a TV personality, presenter and the widow of magician Paul Daniels. Debbie achieved international fame through television appearances with Paul and appeared alongside him in the BBC One series The Paul Daniels Magic Show.

Debbie says, “There are no words to describe how I feel about performing on Strictly Come Dancing. The excitement is overwhelming. I can’t stop smiling. It’s been the hardest secret I have ever had to keep!”

Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole

  Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole

Charlotte Hawkins is a newsreader, journalist and one of the anchors on ITV's breakfast show Good Morning Britain. Before joining ITV, Charlotte worked at Sky News for seven years on Sunrise with Eamonn Holmes and also hosted her own daily show of breaking news and interviews.

Charlotte says, "I am so thrilled to be one of the contestants on Strictly this year! I've always been a big fan of the show. It is a dream come true to be taking part and I'll be following in the footsteps of my Good Morning Britain colleagues. I'm looking forward to stepping out from behind the news desk to cha-cha-cha my way across the dancefloor!"

Exclusive behind-the-scenes action are available on the official Strictly website at bbc.co.uk/strictly and across social media on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.