‘Sherlock’s’ Martin Freeman Does ‘Star Wars’ Skit for BBC’s Children in Need

Martin Freeman, channeling his inner Jedi Master. (Photo: BBC)

One of the best things about Fall is the return of the BBC’s annual Children in Need charity telethon, which generally features celebrity appeals, comedy sketches and musical performances, all in the name of raising money for a good cause.

The UK tends to do these sort of specials fairly often see also: the annual Red Nose Day and Sport Relief events. Thankfully, they usually turn out pretty great, and this year appears to be no exception.

Sherlock star Martin Freeman appeared in what was probably the evening’s best bit – a Star Wars-themed sketch in which Warwick Davis, with assistance from robotic friends C3PO and R2-D2 was charged with locating the film’s biggest fan in order to trigger the first Children in Need totalizer of the night. (This means they get to push a big button that reveals how much money has be raised so far, so it’s actually pretty cool, if you ask me.)

Shakespeare and Benedict Cumberbatch Remind Us Why We Love BBC Drama

Benedict Cumberbatch has been everywhere lately – appearing on The Graham Norton Show, getting his own wax figure, filming the sequel to The Hollow Crown, and doing loads of press for the impending release of his latest film, The Imitation Game. And now, apparently, he’s serving as a BBC spokesperson these days – starring in a fantastic new clip that highlights the corporation’s impressive drama line-up.

But honestly – and I say this as a fan – Cumberbatch is probably the least exciting part of this clip for those of us who love British drama, as he very rightfully plays second fiddle to the outstanding parade of quality BBC programs featured.


‘Being Human’s’ Aidan Turner to Star in Remake of BBC Classic ‘Poldark’

The BBC has cast former Being Human star Aidan Turner in their forthcoming remake of the popular British classic Poldark. The new eight-part series is written by Debbie Horfsield and is based on the novels by Winston Graham.

The original 1970s Poldark was one of the BBC’s first and most beloved costume dramas. Set in Cornwall in 1793, it tells the story of a man named Ross Poldark, a brooding British officer returning from the American Revolutionary War who finds his home life much changed. He finds his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin.

Outnumbered Renewed for a Fifth Series and Christmas Special

Award-winning sitcom Outnumbered is officially set to return for a fifth series, the BBC and producers Hat Trick have confirmed.

The comedy’s fourth series was rumored to have been its last, given the fact that its child stars are rapidly growing up. However, Outnumbered will return for a Christmas special later this year, followed by a full six-episode run sometime in late 2013.

The series stars Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner as two stressed-out parents who are often overwhelmed by the chaos caused by their three children. The series is known for its semi-improvised scripts, most particularly the bulk of the parts of its three child stars Tyger Drew-Honey, Ramona Marquez and Daniel Rouche. Ostensibly this move was meant to get more realistic performances from the child actors, and, to be fair, it has generally worked a treat. Though, this style is probably the main reason that Outnumbered is certainly one of those series that you either love or you hate, almost instantly.

Tyger Drew-Honey, who plays eldest child Jake, will be 17 when the series starts filming next year. The young actor had previously speculated that he didn’t think the comedy would go much further than a fifth series, if that, because it will lose some of the “madness” that comes naturally to a show centered around the children’s school lives. To be honest, I sort of agree, and am hopeful this fifth series will be an opportunity to wrap things up and give the show the proper send-off it deserves.

Outnumbered won Best Comedy at this year’s National Television Awards, and has also scored prizes from the Royal Television Society and British Comedy Awards. It was the 16th most popular program on BBC One last year.

We’re currently airing Outnumbered Fridays on WETA UK, if you’ve never seen this series before. While it’s the sort of show that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – I think it’s rather hilarious and worth giving a try, if you haven’t yet.

First Preview for the BBC’s New Great Expectations!

As the centerpiece of their 2011 Christmas schedule, the BBC is presenting a new three-part, star-studded adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations.

The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson – who has already done fantastic work in a Dickens adaptation in Bleak House – stars as Miss Havisham, and is joined by Ray Winstone, Vanessa Kirby, Douglas Booth and Poirot’s David Suchet.

The first official promotional trailer was released last week and it looks wonderfully creepy. (And Anderson certainly looks the part of Miss Havisham, that’s for sure!)

Take a look for yourself via the clip below and let us know what you think. Great Expectations will be coming to Masterpiece and WETA in the Spring of 2012.