Actors and Actresses

A New Detective for 'Death in Paradise'

No doubt many PBS viewers are familiar with the charming BBC mystery/dramedy Death in Paradise. Every episode provides a not-so-gruesome murder or two, a display board full of suspects, a few red herrings and a conundrum. Our hero suddenly has a eureka moment – and gathers everybody together to explain exactly how the murder went down, Agatha Christie style. And all this in a breathtaking tropical island setting no less.

But now the popular series seems to be taking a page from The Doctor Who playbook. After a few seasons of six month location shoots and time away from family, the lead actor makes the difficult but necessary decision to move on to other pastures only to be replaced by another Brit with a comedy background. It appears the DI torch has been passed yet again and right in the middle of Season 6 which just finished airing on BBC1 last week.

Read on to find out who's the new sheriff of Saint Marie.

In Memoriam: 2016

Few people would dispute that 2016 has been a tough year. It's been particularly devasting in regards to the number of entertainment icons who have passed away with upsetting regularity over the past twelve months. Please join me in honoring the memory of many of the British actors, musicians and broadcasters who have shared their talents with us over the years. 

In Memoriam candle

In Memoriam 2015

Another year has flown by and with it some of our favorite icons of the arts and entertainment world have gone as well. Please join me in honoring the memory of many of the British actors, musicians and authors who have shared their talents with us over the years. 

The cast of "Downton Abbey" during the Season 6 press tour. (Photo: Stephanie Berger/PBS_

‘Downton Abbey’ Actor Role Reversals

The final series of Downton Abbey may still be a little bit away, but they already have us thinking about what the end will bring for the Crawleys and all the staff we’ve come to know on the estate.

So while we endure the wait, I started to scout out how often the actors who inhabit these well-known characters have actually reversed roles – you know upstairs people playing servants, downstairs folks playing the privileged. Here’s what I found.

Michelle Dockery to Star in ‘Good Behavior’ Pilot for TNT

As the clock ticks down to the (sniff!) end of megahit costume drama Downton Abbey, fans can take some comfort in watching the stars of the show line up their next projects in a post-Crawley family world. Sure, it’s not the same as the show continuing – though let’s all keep the dream of a prequel series alive in our hearts okay?! – but it’s in many ways comforting to know that we’ll still get to see our favorite Downton-ian actors starring in new things in the coming months.

Joanne Froggatt was the first to announce her post-Downton plans – she’ll be playing well against type as a Victorian serial killer in a drama for UK network ITV – and now Michelle Dockery has signed on to star in a new pilot for TNT called Good Behavior, a project which also seems a pretty big change from her role as heroine Mary Crawley.

A Chat with 'Vera's' Brenda Blethyn

A few weeks ago I received a press release in my email from Acorn TV alerting me, as a blogger, that the streaming service was about to premiere a new episode of Vera Series 5 every Monday for the entire month of July. (Editorial note: For those of you without Acorn TV access, Series 5 of Vera begins on WETA on July 17, and on other PBS stations around the country beginning at various points this month. Enjoy!)

What really caught my eye, however, were these words - INTERVIEW OPP: Brenda Blethyn. I immediately shot off a reply to Acorn’s publicity assistant expressing my keen interest to interview the Academy Award nominated actress. After over a dozen emails and lot of re-watching of Vera episodes, I found myself sitting in my living room yesterday morning waiting for a conference call from Brenda Blethyn herself.

This being my first interview with a well-known actress (or anyone really for that matter), I was a bit nervous and more than slightly giddy. Nonetheless, as soon as I got the first question out of the way, Ms. Blethyn put me at my ease. I know it’s not very professional to gush about your interview subject and perhaps I should be more objective, but I just have to say that Brenda was gracious, generous with her laughter and obviously very passionate about her work. I was already a fan of her acting and now, after speaking with her, I’ve gotten the distinct impression she’s a pretty awesome human being as well.

But enough from this star-struck blogger; please enjoy the conversation I shared with Brenda Blethyn wherein we discussed cast changes, Vera’s fashion sense and why she enjoys playing our favorite Northumberland and City police officer, DCI Stanhope.

This Giant Chocolate Benedict Cumberbatch is an Actual Thing

Springtime - when everyone's thoughts turn to warmer weather and a proliferation of Easter candy, most notably in the shape of rabbits, eggs and your favorite actor. Okay, so I made that last bit up - except for how I didn't, really. Thanks to some enterprising chocolatiers and the launch of a new Drama channel on British on-demand service UKTV Play, we now know what everyone's favorite It British Actor of the moment - Benedict Cumberbatch - might look like if he were comprised entirely of chocolate. About 40,000 grams (or ~500 bars) of Belgian chocolate, to be exact.

In Memoriam 2014

Another year has rushed by and alas some talented and beloved performers have left us in that time. The following is a list of British entertainers who passed away in 2014. While their departures were, in many cases, far too soon, we will always have the memories of magical screen moments to keep their legacies alive.

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