Website for the over 60s  November 2014
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Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win THE SIXTIES 3 Disc DVD Set

Win THE SIXTIES 3 Disc DVD Set

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with FremantleMedia International to offer five lucky readers the chance to win THE SIXTIES, a fabulous 3 disc DVD set.

FremantleMedia International is proud to announce the DVD release of  THE SIXTIES, available as a 3 disc DVD set from 17th November 2014. The Sixties is co-produced by Tom Hanks.

Actor Tom Hanks explores this fascinating and important decade that changed the world.  THE SIXTIES series does not just re-examine the familiar… it unearths the unknown.

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan

From protest and war, to the space race, The Beatles, innovative technologies, fashion, ground breaking music from both sides of the pond and politics. Few decades have had the breadth of impact as the 1960s.

The events of that tumultuous ten-year period reshaped the world, making it the most transformative decade of the modern era. THE SIXTIES explores how and why this decade was a period of such consequence and still today remains an epoch of such fascination.

The day JF Kennedy was assisinated

Executive produced by multiple Emmy® award-winning producers and Hollywood actor Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman (HBO's John Adams and The Pacific) and Mark Herzog (History's Gettysburg), THE SIXTIES is currently being broadcast in the UK on the Yesterday Channel where it is over performing for them and bringing in new viewers.

This considered and serious series will be available as a 3 disc DVD set immediately at the end of its UK broadcast making it ideal for those all those history buffs as well as those born in the 1960’s.

THE SIXTIES is available now to pre-order on DVD from
Amazon

Synopsis

The 60s was a time for protest and doing your own thing

Few decades have had the breath of impact of the sixties. Over ten episodes THE SIXTIES series examines the familiar and unearths the unknown. The events of that tumultuous ten-year period reshaped America to such an extent that a individual peering forward from 1960 would barely recognize America in 1969.

The 1960s was the decade America transformed from a country of general conformity to land of “Do your own thing” and it was all documented for the television audience.

A protest march in the 1960s

Key moments of the era are revealed and explored through archival newsreel footage which has rarely been seen, personal movies, and expert commentary from historians, as well as interviews with eyewitnesses to history such as Historians David McCullough and Robert Dallek plus Carl Reiner, Mickey Dolenz, Michelle Phillips, Smokey Robinson, Tom Smothers, Bob Moses, Dick Cavett, Eric Burdon, Graham Nash, Petula Clarke, Sally Field, Susanna Hoffs and many more.

This extraordinary series explores the most transformative era of consequential cultural and global change. Explore on DVD the decade that changed the world.

Filming the 1960s at NBC

THE SIXTIES 3 disc DVD set has an RRP of £29.99. It has a running time of 312 minutes.

THE SIXTIES is distributed by FremantleMedia International and will be available from all good DVD stockists from the 17th November 2014.


 For Your Chance to Win

Tell us the name of the co-producer of THE SIXTIES series?

   a) Tom Baker
   b) Tom Jones
   c) Tom Hanks
   d) Tom Cruise


  To Enter the Competition

Just tell us the name of the
co-producer of THE SIXTIES
series? Then send in your
answer, together with your full name, address and telephone number to the Sixtyplusurfers email address as shown below:

 sixtypluscomp@hotmail.co.uk

* Please label your entry
THE SIXTIES DVD Competition


* This competition is open to
our UK readers only

 

The Passing Bells

The Passing Bells

     A powerful five-part drama for
BBC ONE set in the First World War


The Passing Bells is a powerful five-part drama for BBC One, which sees the conflict of the First World War unfold through the eyes of two very ordinary young men. Written by Tony Jordan (Hustle, Life on Mars), the series has been commissioned as part of the BBC’s programming to mark the Centenary of WWI.

Paddy Gibson (What Richard Did) and Jack Lowden (The Tunnel, Wolf Hall) star as Thomas and Michael, two young men for whom the war has little mercy, no matter which side they might be fighting for. Over five chronological years The Passing Bells follows their lives, as they grow up, lose friends and find love amid the horrors of the war. Back home, their families and loved ones anxiously await news from the front.

Paddy Gibson in the Passing Bells

Gibson and Lowden, who this year won an Olivier Award and the Ian Charleson Award for Ghosts, are supported by a host of upcoming talent including Charles Furness, Brian Fletcher, Wilf Scolding, Hubert Burton, Felix Auer, Ben McGregor, Mark Burghagen and Matthew Aubrey.

The Passing Bells is a five x 30-minute co-production from Jordan’s independent production company Red Planet Pictures and Apple Film Production through BBC Cymru Wales Drama.

Paddy Gibson in The Passing Bells

The executive producers are Tony Jordan and Belinda Campbell for Red Planet Pictures, Dariusz Jablonski for Apple Film Production and Bethan Jones for the BBC. The producer is Nick Pitt and Brendan Maher will direct.

The Passing Bells was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama, and Danny Cohen, Former Controller BBC
 

Partners in Crime

Partners in Crime with Jessica Raine and David Walliams

     Coming soon to BBC ONE

BBC One brings Endor Productions and Acorn Productions' Agatha Christie’s married couple Tommy and Tuppence to life in a brand-new six-part adventure series for the channel. Partners In Crime stars David Walliams (Little Britain, Big School) as Tommy and Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife, Wolf Hall) as Tuppence.

Directed by Edward Hall (Restless, Downton Abbey), episodes 1-3, 'The Secret Adversary', are written by award-winning author, playwright and director Zinnie Harris, (Spooks, Born With Two Mothers, Richard Is My Boyfriend) with the following three, 'N or M?' penned by Claire Wilson, (Where There Is Darkness, Twist).

Partners In Crime is produced by Georgina Lowe, (Mr Turner, Mad Dogs), executive produced by Emmy award-winning Hilary Bevan Jones (Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, State Of Play), David Walliams, Hilary Strong (Poirot, Have I Got News For You) and Mathew Prichard for Acorn Productions/Agatha Christie Ltd and Matthew Read for the BBC.

Partners In Crime is an adventure series with espionage and humour at its heart. Set in a 1950s Britain rising from the ashes of the Blitz into the grip of a new Cold War, our beekeeping duo stumble into a world of murder, undercover agents and cold war conspiracy.

Tuppence is a woman who sees adventure round every corner, throwing herself head first into every mystery with passion and fervour, determined to get to the truth no matter what it takes, much to the dismay of her more cautious husband Tommy.

Hilary Bevan Jones, executive producer and founder of Endor Productions says, “To introduce the iconic Christie characters Tommy and Tuppence and their adventures to a whole new generation, is a fabulous opportunity for all of us at Endor. Our incredible creative team of David Walliams, Zinnie Harris and Claire Wilson are crafting a drama that promises to be exciting, fun and fresh. With the inspirational Edward Hall directing the whole series, and Georgina Lowe producing, we have a clarity and cohesiveness of ambition that promises only the best.”

David Walliams explains, “In bringing these thrilling stories to the screen, it is our ambition for Tommy and Tuppence to finally take their rightful place alongside Poirot and Marple as iconic Agatha Christie characters. I was first drawn to the delicious notion of a married couple solving crimes together, and the more I read of the Tommy and Tuppence novels and short stories, the more I realised they are among Christie’s very best work.”

Hilary Strong, Managing Director, Acorn Productions says, “We are excited to be working with the BBC and Endor to bring Agatha Christie to a whole new generation of viewers as we continue to build the Christie brand worldwide. Partners In Crime is the first of two major new dramas for 2015, the second of which is a new production of And Then There Were None, one of Christie’s most popular novels of all time. I am delighted that our partnership with the BBC will play a central part in our 125th anniversary celebrations next year.”

Mathew Prichard, Chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd says, “The first Tommy and Tuppence novel was published in 1922 and my grandmother, Agatha Christie, would be thrilled to see her crime-fighting team reinvigorated for the BBC over 90 years on from when she first brought them to life.”

Ben Stephenson Controller of Drama Commissioning adds, “This new and exciting partnership between David and Jessica promises to bring a fresh new take on these classic and well-loved adventures. With their combination of humour, wit and talent, I can’t think of two people better suited to take on the iconic roles of Tommy and Tuppence.”
 

Entertainment


BBC Children in Need Appeal Show

Sir Terry Wogan in the BBC Children in Need Appeal show


With Sir Terry Wogan, Friday 14th November, BBC ONE


An exciting array of the biggest names in music and entertainment are coming together for the annual BBC Children in Need Appeal show extravaganza on Friday 14th November 2014. The glittering night will be live from the home of EastEnders, Albert Square, which will host big name guests, and show-stopping performances.

Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, and Nick Grimshaw will be joined by new host for BBC Children in Need, The Saturdays singer and presenter Rochelle Humes. The fantastic five welcome an array of stars as they join together to help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

A stand out moment on the night will come from legendary cartoon characters Tom & Jerry who star in an exclusive cartoon made especially for BBC Children in Need, alongside the BBC's biggest faces and best-loved shows as you've never seen them before.

There’s a special treat in store in Walford, as some famous faces from EastEnders’ history will return to Albert Square in an exclusive sketch to be broadcast on the night, when one character is visited by some infamous ghosts from their past.

Gareth Malone with his All-Star Choir

Headlining on the night is Gareth Malone and his All-Star Choir, starring amongst others Jo Brand, Mel Giedroyc and Craig Revel-Horwood performing the official BBC Children in Need single for the first time on television; One Direction; Cheryl; The Script - who will be performing in The Queen Vic - Susan Boyle and Boyzone.

This year BBC Children in Need puts the children into Strictly, as Strictly Come Dancing hosts a special performance featuring the return of Sir Bruce Forsyth, alongside Tess Daly as hosts. Four talented young ballroom champions will be taking to the Strictly dance floor in teams alongside professional dancers, in a Strictly first, dancing head-to-head in a bid to win the Pudsey glitterball trophy.

There will also be performances from the West End’s hit musicals ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Made in Dagenham’, ‘Once’ and ‘Sunny Afternoon’. Plus the cast of EastEnders in a musical performance that will transform The Square. Also helping out Pudsey on the big night will be Doctor Who and Call The Midwife.

Back for its fourth year, The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge will culminate live on the night, after following five young people – each supported by BBC Children in Need funded projects – on their journey across the country.

Sir Terry Wogan

Sir Terry Wogan, BBC Children in Need Life President says, “It was my privilege to present the very first Children in Need in 1980 and over the years it has truly become the British public's charity. Their extraordinary generosity has meant that their donations of over £740 million have made a real difference to the lives of this country's disadvantaged children and young people.

"It's an honour and pleasure to be part of a great charity and I am looking forward to presenting an evening full of entertainment with the usual suspects, Tess, Fearne, Nick and our new host Rochelle.”

Rochelle Humes says, “I’m so excited and honoured to be asked to be part of the presenting team for BBC Children in Need this year. I hope everyone tunes in on the night to support this amazing cause and really make a difference to children across all parts of the UK.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One comments, “It's a stellar line-up and promises to be a spectacular Children in Need night. From Gareth's fabulous All Star Choir to the Rickshaw challenge and the surprise characters returning to EastEnders, everyone is pulling out all the stops to raise money for children all over the UK, so don't miss it!"

Paul Wright, BBC Executive Producer says, “BBC Children in Need is one of the biggest nights of the year on British television that millions of people enjoy. I’m very proud of the spectacular line-up we’ve brought together and they are all taking part for one special reason - to raise money for disadvantaged children throughout the UK. It’s going to be a great night!”

David Ramsden, BBC Children in Need Chief Executive adds, “This year’s Appeal is really special thanks to so many truly talented people coming together to help make a difference to young lives right here in the UK. It is going to be a fantastic show.”

Programme Times

Sir Terry Wogan with Pudsey Bear

The One Show’s Children in Need special BBC One, 7.00pm – 7.30pm

BBC Children in Need BBC One, 7.30pm – 10.00pm

BBC Children in Need BBC Two, 10.00pm – 10.35pm

BBC Children in Need BBC One, 10.35pm – 2.00am

About BBC Children in Need


Pudsey Bear

BBC Children in Need makes a pledge to the public that every penny they donate or fundraise for BBC Children in Need will be used to help disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. That pledge is honoured by awarding funding to projects run by charities and community groups who apply to BBC Children in Need outlining their track record and how their specific project will make a real difference.

After each Appeal, BBC Children in Need knows how much it has raised and so can set a budget of how much it will have to award. BBC Children in Need is open all year for applications and so spreads the budget across the period to give organisations a fair chance of getting funding. Money is awarded a few weeks after each Appeal and after just over a year all of the budget is committed to specific projects.

Many of the projects supported run for three years and BBC Children in Need do not think it appropriate to simply give a lump sum at the start of the period. BBC Children in Need releases funding on a quarterly basis and asks the organisation to give clear evidence that the project is running successfully each year. This process coupled with BBC Children in Need’s rigorous approach to assessment, safeguards the money that the public has raised and ensures that it has the maximum impact on young lives.

The generosity of the public over recent years means that BBC Children in Need has been able to award more funding than ever before. BBC Children in Need is currently supporting over 2,500 projects to a total grant value of over £110 million and its investments are held so that they can meet their commitments to those organisations as they fall due.

The BBC Children in Need team

For more information about Children in Need click on www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk

The Nation's Favourite Queen Song

Queen


Saturday 8th November - Friday 14th November ITV1


The Nation’s Favourite Queen Song uncovers the origins of their best-loved tunes and tells the stories behind the band’s bold and inventive music videos.

Featuring interviews with celebrity fans and Queen friends including Katy Perry, Tony Hadley, Mel C, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Al Murray, Noddy Holder, Dame Zandra Rhodes, McFly’s Tom Fletcher, and Arlene Phillips, this 90 minute special counts down Britain's 20 favourite Queen songs.

As rock’s ultimate showmen, the band formed an irresistible combination with Brian May on guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, John Deacon on bass and Freddie Mercury commanding audiences up front. The programme features brand new interviews with band members Brian and Roger, plus archive interviews with Freddie Mercury.

The Nation’s Favourite Queen Song hears from Freddie Mercury’s friends and band members about the singer’s decline in health towards the end of his life.

When discussing their 1989 hit I Want It All, Brian May says, “The first time we played it live was at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and I played it with Tony Iommi and Roger Daltrey. I just wish Freddie had been there to enjoy it because that song was made for him, he would have made such a good job of it live.”

Arlene Phillips, a friend of Freddie’s, discusses the poignancy of The Show Must Go On, released six weeks before Freddie’s death in 1991. She says, “My favourite song is The Show Must Go On, because ‘The Show’ means life. I think because of what was happening to Freddie, with all of that knowledge there’s an emotion in it you can never take away.”

Brian reveals what this song meant to him saying, “I heard the lyric ‘My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies’. To me, it expressed all that I felt about Freddie and that, unbelievably, we might be losing him.”

As well as memorable lyrics and inimitable showmanship, Queen were pioneers in creating innovative music videos. On filming the video to Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie said, “People think we took hours and hours to make that video, in fact it took about four hours.”

When discussing their video for I Want To Break Free, which featured the band in drag on a Coronation Street-style set and a surreal ballet sequence, Roger Taylor says, “The English and the Europeans absolutely loved that video and all the dressing up as women and everything. The Americans absolutely hated it.”

Brian May

Brian May adds, “That’s what alienated us from a huge part of America for the next few years because they just couldn’t deal with us being in drag for no apparent reason.”

Queen not only had unique videos and unforgettable melodies, their songs had distinctive lyrics. Discussing the lyrics to Killer Queen, US superstar Katy Perry says, “I was 15 and I heard this song and my world just kind of stopped and went into slow motion, listening to the lyrics. I just couldn’t believe that anyone could be so magical with their words in that way.”

Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet similarly applauds Queen’s songwriting saying, “I can’t actually think of another band that each member of the band individually wrote top ten songs. That’s incredible.”

Mel C

On Freddie’s performance-style, former Spice Girl Mel C says he is "the ultimate performer". In an archive interview, Freddie himself says, “I like to really ham it up and perform a song. I like to enjoy myself.”

The countdown, narrated by Matt Lucas, includes:

Under Pressure – two rock greats came together as the band made a duet with David Bowie, although Brian May reveals there were tensions behind the scenes saying, “I think it was the only time in Queen history where I’ve bowed out.”

These Are The Days of Our Lives – the last video Freddie recorded. Arlene Phillips says: “It’s the hardest video to watch. I get emotional when I see it or hear it.”

I Want It All – Brian May reveals the idea for the song came from his wife Anita Dobson saying ‘I want it all and I want it now!’

Radio Ga Ga – which the band played at Live Aid and saw 72,000 people mirror Freddie’s ‘hand clapping’ move from the video

Another One Bites The Dust – the song Michael Jackson convinced the band to release as a single

The 20 classic Queen tracks featured in the show have been voted for by a representative panel of ITV viewers from across the country.

Puppy Love

Naomi Singh's dog Charlie in Puppy Love

BBC Four, starts in November


A new six-part BBC Four comedy written by and starring Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine, co-creators of the BAFTA-nominated Getting On, Puppy Love is a story of love, dogs and the love of dogs.

A warm and energetic character-based comedy about owners' problems with their dogs and dogs' problems with their owners, Puppy Love is set around a dog training class on the Wirral, ‘For All Your Dogging Needs’. The indubitable Nana V (Joanna Scanlan) runs it, and West Kirby altruist Naomi Singh (Vicki Pepperdine) starts attending the puppy classes.

The series charts the relationship between two very different women as they navigate their headstrong dogs, impossible teenage kids and preoccupied husbands.

Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine in Puppy Love

Scanlan and Pepperdine develop the blend of crafted writing and improvisational techniques they used in the award-winning Getting On, in this warm and witty new comedy, where a dog features in every scene.

Rivalries flair in episode one when Naomi Singh enrols unruly Golden Retriever pup, Charlie into Nana V’s classes. There she meets Labradoodle Toffee, who embarrasses his owner Alexander (Tobias Menzies) with the unpalatable habit of coprophagia (muck munching). Things take an even more complicated turn when Naomi’s school-refusing teenage daughter, Jasmine (Selina Borji) meets Nana V’s grandson Eron (Aron Julius), when Naomi plays a professional visit to Nana V’s rural mobile home in her capacity as scourge-of-poverty maven.

Nana’s live-in ex-husband (her ‘wasband’) Tony Fazackerley, played by Simon Fisher-Becker (Getting On, Doctor Who) is joined by Naomi’s husband, Ravi, played by Gordon Warnecke (The Bill, My Beautiful Laundrette).

Sunetra Sarker from Casualty

        Sunetra Sarker from Casualty

A host of guest stars step in across the series to play all manner of Wirralites, including Sunetra Sarker (Casualty), currently starring in Strictly Come Dancing, Kayvan Novak (Sirens, Phonejacker, Four Lions), Margi Clarke (Coronation Street), John Henshaw (Born and Bred, Cilla), Phil Cornwell (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa), Mark Lewis-Jones (Stella, 55 Degrees North), Gerard McCarthy (Hollyoaks, The Fall), Justin Edwards (The Thick of It), Polly Kemp (The Thick of It, Four Weddings And A Funeral). Plus Alvin Hall, the popular financial advisor, author and media figure takes on his first acting role.

Garret Hughes and Joanna Scanlan

Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, said of the series: “Joanna and Vicki have once again used their immense comedy talents to create what is set to be one of this winter’s comedy gems. The hybrid of professional actors, members of the public and a four-legged supporting cast, is a daunting blend, yet makes Puppy Love all the more of an authentic passion piece.”

Set to air in November 2014, Puppy Love is a co-venture between BBC Comedy North and Woof Productions. It is co-created and written by Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine, directed by Susan Tully (Getting On, The Mill), produced by Jo Willett (Birds Of A Feather) and executive produced by Gareth Edwards, Saurabh Kakkar and David Baddiel.

Joanna Scanlan talks about Puppy Love

Joanna Scanlan


Nana very definitely knows her own mind but also has a certain fragility about her, can you tell us more about this character and how you set about creating her?

"We wanted to create a character who has lost all faith in human beings and has replaced it with the unquestionable loyalty of a dog. Against her better judgement she bounces back time and time again to care about all the people around her."

In the opening episode of the series, we meet No Name (Millie), a ‘dangerous’ dog your character rescues and comes to adopt, what was it like to act alongside your own dog?

"It was difficult to combine being proud showbiz mum with leading lady, I didn’t know whether to push the dog into the limelight or elbow her into the wings! It’s a very special feeling to have your co-star stare deep into your eyes with cupboard love."

Why did you choose to set the series in The Wirral?

"We both have close family connections to the Wirral. I was born in West Kirby and visited for many years when my grandparents lived in Caldy.

"The ‘insular peninsular’ is a wonderful combination of town and country surrounded by the most exciting maritime waters. It’s a place of harbour and adventure, seemingly with more dog owners per square yard than any other location in the UK, the perfect setting."

Do you have a favourite character that you enjoyed writing for or playing opposite?


Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan

"Of course, Naomi Singh! I adore working with Vicki, both in our writing room and together on camera, we just understand the way each other thinks and yet at the same time she constantly delights and surprises me."

What is your approach to writing comedy?

"Start at nine in the morning and don’t stop until six at night, with a break for a nice homemade lunch. We tend to write with character first and the character’s actions then create the plot for you, oh and that small matter of research!"

How did you set about casting the dogs, what was it like to work alongside them?

"We wanted to work with local dogs and their owners, to capture real relationships and allow ourselves to respond to the dogs’ behaviour rather than training the dog to ‘interpret’ our script. It turned out to be one of our best decisions as we think all the dogs are magical on camera, giving some BAFTA-deserving performances."

Vicki Pepperdine talks about Puppy Love

Vicki Pepperdine


Why did you choose to write a comedy about dogs?

"Some are born with a dog, some achieve a dog and some have a dog thrust upon them…

"We wanted to write a series about dogs, but more specifically about why people choose to get a dog. What is it that is missing from their lives that they hope to get from a furry companion?

"The series is about getting a dog to love, getting a dog to love you back and by accident learning that a dog can teach you everything you need to know about loving yourself.

"And we wanted to tell some of the stories of why 7.3 million people in the UK choose the joy of owning a dog when the reality of mishap, adventure and tribulation, is often more than they bargained for."

How would you describe your character, Naomi Singh?

"Naomi is a dedicated youth worker in the voluntary sector and is married to cycling enthusiast Ravi Singh. Naomi is motivated, precious and demanding both of herself and her spirited daughter Jasmine, who is about to turn 16.

"Naomi and Ravi have bought Charlie, an expensive pedigree Retriever to try and teach Jasmine a sense of responsibility, but Charlie totally disrupts their family life and Naomi ends up in desperate need of help."

From local dog owners to the former Commodore of West Kirby’s Sailing Club, why did you cast members of the local community rather than using actors?

"We wanted to use ‘real people’ to populate our world and lend it authenticity (like the elderly ladies in their hospital beds in Getting On). There is such obvious authenticity when you get a real lifeboat crew member or a genuine police dog handler.

"For the members of Nana V’s dog class we used local people with their own dogs. The on screen relationships between pet and owner meant we were able to use the dogs to greatest effect."

This clearly is a labour of love, how did you straddle the roles of writing, starring and producing on the same project?

"With difficulty. But it was well worth it."

Director, Susan Tully talks about Puppy Love

Puppy Love

How did you come to work with Joanna and Vicki?

"I’d worked with Joanna on Stella (Sky 1, written by Ruth Jones) and a few months later I was asked to direct Getting On. I was a huge fan of the show."

It is generally advised to avoid working with animals, were you apprehensive about directing Puppy Love’s canine cast, how did it go?

"An animal of some type appears in every scene throughout the series (bar one or two scenes but lets not be picky). I wasn’t as apprehensive as you’d think - occasionally the animals had to do something specific and the approach was - if they can do it fine - if they can’t then we find a way around it.

"Finding creative solutions to problems - thinking about different ways to illustrate story beats if the animals wouldn’t play ball (which was rare) is easier when you’ve got the writers on hand."

Joanna and Vicki have sited improvisation as a key tool in crafting their brand of comedy, how do you set about directing the unexpected?

Joanna Scanlan in Puppy Love


"Improvisation is a key tool but it’s not the only one. Jo and Vicki put enormous amounts of time and effort into their scripts.

"There is depth and subtlety to their comedy, the way they structure their stories are solid yet unexpected and complexity of character are all on the page. So it’s rare that something truly unexpected happens during filming. Improvisation doesn’t work without a context.

"The key for the actors was to know and understand the intention for every scene but not to get hung up on knowing the lines. With some of the smaller parts we didn’t bring the script into play at all - we just talked it through and started shooting - (I’m not a fan of rehearsing).

"For some actors this can be incredibly liberating. I work at my best when I’m working collaboratively so I try to create a working environment that encourages experimentation - but the script is always in the forefront of my mind."

Puppy Love is set against the beautiful backdrop of West Kirby, what was it like working with that community and how involved were they?

"West Kirby is a true gem. It's a joy to photograph - even on a grey day that view across the River Dee towards Wales is stunning. The community of West Kirby and beyond were absolutely invaluable to the making of Puppy Love.

"The series features all local shops and services, all local emergency services including the RNLI, the West Kirby Sailing Club and of course local dogs and their owners. We needed their co-operation and their participation and we got it in spades."