Help's Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham call for more Scouse TV shows
IT was a dream Scouse line-up when Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham appeared together in the Liverpool drama Help.
But Killing Eve actress Jodie, who played a care home worker employed during the Covid pandemic, said it highlighted the lack of shows set in her home city.
She said of the Channel 4 drama: “It was so nice to celebrate Liverpool. I feel like it’s so rarely seen on television. Even in my own life, I’ve always felt like, to be closer to a character, I’ve had to get further away from myself. I’ve rarely been able to use my own accent.
“There was something really special about being able to explore that side of myself, and the woman I know, and the fire that those women in my life have.”
Once, Merseyside was the backdrop for plenty of screen stories, from soap Brookside to movie Shirley Valentine.
But these days it’s often just used as a double for other cities.
Jodie will return to her best- known role as Russian assassin Villanelle on the BBC early next year. And her new movie, The Last Duel, with Matt Damon is out this week.
But despite becoming a major TV and movie star, Jodie loves her native Liverpool so much she still lives at home with mum and dad Donna and Jimmy, and her younger brother Charlie.
And it was in their home city that Stephen, who has just appeared in BBC2’s The North Water, met Jodie almost a decade ago while making Good Cop, a BBC1 police procedural drama.
He championed the then little-known actress and begged her not to lose her accent — advice that she has stuck to ever since.
In Cheshire Life magazine, Stephen said the days when Liverpool was on our TVs gave inspiration to a generation of Merseysiders, including him.
He said: “When I was younger, there was lots of great stuff from Liverpool on the telly, which made me want to be an actor.”
It’s worth getting Liverpool on our screens more, if only to find the next Stephen and Jodie.
'Mand gets soapy
AMANDA HOLDEN can now add Neighbours to her CV after joining the Channel 5 Aussie soap.
My first-look pictures show the Britain’s Got Talent judge taking on her role of Harriet, who is the aunt of Ramsay Street character Harlow Robinson, played by Jemma Donovan.
Amanda and Jemma, who is the daughter of former Neighbours star Jason, can be seen enjoying an outdoor coffee as Harlow meets Harriet in London.
She is in Engalnd to get to the bottom of a family mystery involving her late mum Prue Wallace, who was played by Denise Van Outen.
Amanda said: “My first day on set was such a fun and surreal experience. If I’d told my 12 or 13-year-old self I would one day appear in Neighbours I’d have never believed it.
"So many people were beeping in their cars, and passers-by assumed that Jemma was my real daughter because we look quite similar.
“I can’t wait to continue the journey of my character Harriet.”
Viewers will see the scenes next spring.
Fleur's take on 'bigger' return
ANT & DEC’s Saturday Night Takeaway will return bigger and better than before after the Covid restrictions.
Its roving star Fleur East has revealed she will be back in 2022 and plans are already being put in place for the launch next spring.
Fleur said: “I have just had a really exciting meeting about the show. It’s going to be a lot bigger.
“We had to restrict a lot because of the pandemic, so there’s a lot of exciting things to come. Now we can go further afield and I’m really looking forward to it.”
She was last seen on screen in ITV game show The Void with Ashley Banjo earlier this summer, but is yet to find out if that will return.
At last week’s Attitude Awards, Fleur added: “It’s dog eat dog out there. I would love it to come back but I’m just so glad I got the chance to host a primetime TV show on ITV.”
BBC Three is turning Nicole Lecky's Superhoe play into a six- part drama, starring Game Of Thrones’ Paul Kaye and Years And Years actress Jessica Hynes.
Nicole, who plays Sasha Clayton, said: “Working with the team to bring the characters to life on screen has been a dream. I cannot wait for everyone to see our super-talented cast.”
Tom: My dream is Bond
LUCIFER actor Tom Ellis says he will be more than happy to take over as James Bond now Daniel Craig is hanging up his Walther PPK.
The leading man in the Netflix comedy drama, who was also in sitcom Miranda, said: “If it was offered to me I’d snatch it. I’m quite happy to not be on that list and just wait and see what happens.
“It is an iconic job and it is something I have watched since I was a kid. It is something I have always dreamed about.”
Dream on, Tom.
Ali fills in with Dermot
THEY’VE hooked viewers with their banter every Friday on This Morning.
Now Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond will be entertaining the ITV show’s audience for a whole week as they take over during the half- term holiday.
From October 18, the duo grab the reins while regular presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are on a break. Dermot said their flourishing friendship has been the highlight of the pair’s time on This Morning so far.
He added: “It’s lovely how it’s been nurtured over time. I’ve found a sister and a friend, which is nice.”
Meanwhile for Alison, it’s been about something a little less deep.
She said: “I also love the half an hour after the show where we can eat the food.”
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