OUR GIRL RETURNS: THE CAST AND CREW TALK SERIES 3 198

Written and created by Tony Grounds and made by BBC Studios, Our Girl returns to BBC One starring Michelle Keegan (Our Girl, Tina and Bobby) as Corporal Georgie Lane.

In an ambitious 12-part series commission, Our Girl series three will comprise of three separate tours. This first tour of four episodes finds Georgie on a relief mission in Nepal following a devastating series of earthquakes. Additionally tasked with mentoring the young and rebellious new 2-Section recruit Private Maisie Richards (Shalom Brune-Franklin – Barracuda, Crossing The Border), Georgie will have to tackle an unpredictable natural landscape and an increasingly dangerous human threat to the area, alongside the reappearance of Elvis (Luke Pasqualino – The Musketeers, Snatch).

Filming took place in Kathmandu and Cape Town and the further two tours will transmit in due course with more details to follow.

Executive produced by Caroline Skinner and Tony Grounds for BBC Studios, this tour of Our Girl is written by Tony Grounds (episodes 1,2,4) and Amy Roberts/Loren Mclaughlan (episode three), produced by Tim Whitby (Shameless, The Best Of Men) and directed by Tim Fywell (River, Happy Valley) and Jon Wright (Ordinary Lies, The Good Karma Hospital). Christopher Aird is executive producer for the BBC.


Character Biographies

Corporal Georgie Lane
Gutsy, passionate and unstoppable, Georgie is an army medic from Stockport who relishes the adrenaline that comes with the adventures of her work. Having completed a number of tours, she’s proven she has strength, courage and, above all, a big heart. Georgie’s decision to join the army has since led her to the front line in Afghanistan, where she met her first true love and heartbreak, Elvis. After another failed romance, Georgie has spent every waking moment devoting herself to her work – despite the fact that thoughts of what could have been are never far from her mind.

Elvis Harte
Elvis is a cheeky Londoner who has grown into a remarkable leader, joining the SAS selection after a number of tours with the army. Fearless, self-confident and cool under pressure, Elvis has worked across both covert and overt operations fighting for counter terrorism and drug operations in the Middle and Far East, Afghanistan, and, most recently, Syria. Having already broken Georgie’s heart, he’s determined to make amends.

Captain James
A charismatic leader and brilliant officer, Captain James is an army man to the core and well respected by the men who fight alongside him. The consummate professional, he had no problem keeping his private and his personal life separate – until he met army medic and now wife, Molly Dawes, while on tour in Afghanistan. However behind closed doors, Captain James battles many demons.

Private Maisie Richards
Brash and fearless, Maisie has always been front and centre of any group within which she finds herself. A free spirit, she often pokes fun at Georgie’s traditional ideas of love and romance. Maisie is from a typical working class background and has worked hard to become a skilled driver, but is eager to prove herself as a capable and fearless fighter. However, as confidence risks turning to recklessness, she soon finds herself pushed to her limits.


Interview with Michelle Keegan, who plays Corporal Georgie Lane

We left Georgie in Somalia at the end of season two. What’s happened since and has anything changed?
This season we pick up with Georgie at home with her friends and family, and she gets a call from Captain James asking her to come out to Nepal for a NGO relief mission. She’s still independent, not with Elvis, putting her career first and loving being in the Army.

What about Jamie?
Unfortunately there’s no news of Jamie! He’s probably settled down, got married and still a doctor!

Have you had to go to Bootcamp for this series?
Yes we did Bootcamp just like last year and we did it in Sandhurst and South Africa. We work alongside people who are in the Army and it’s about getting us in the mind-set of being back in the Army, running drills, how to hold a weapon, discipline, all about your kit and a lot of medical skills. I’ve learnt so much. I know how to use a tourniquet, a bandage, I know how to stitch, how to do CPR and a lot of technical bits too.

What’s the shooting schedule been like for a commission of 12 episodes?
I have been filming since end of April and we had Bootcamp the week before that. We filmed in Nepal for two weeks, then to South Africa until end of July. Then we flew to Malaysia for the next mission so it’s a long shooting schedule!

What’s been your favourite scene to shoot in the new series?
My favourite scene so far has been a bust up with Georgie and Elvis; we have a row where there’s a lot of frustration and a lot of jealousy but the love is still there. It was a great scene to film.

There’s a new member of 2-Section, Maisie. What can you tell us about her?
Maisie is very strong natured and it’s very challenging for Georgie as she’s her mentor. She has to look after her and keep her in check but Maisie is a bit of a rebel. At the end of the last episode they do come together as a team and it’s a bit of girl power. They are a strong force to be reckoned with.

The finale of this series is big. What was it like to film?
Filming the last episode was epic.

How would you describe Georgie in three words?
Strong, independent and a romantic.

Do you think you and Georgie would be friends in real life?
I do think we’d be friends in real life, I think she’s a girl’s girl. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and I love her attitude. She looks after number one but also looks after everyone else.

What have been the challenges from this block? Have you had any injuries from any of the stunts this mission?
It’s been a lot more physically demanding than the first one, definitely. There are a lot more stunts involved, more Army-based scenes and a lot more running which I’m not very good at! I’ve had to learn how to run like I’m in the Army – nightmare!

When we join Georgie in episode one, how does she feel about Elvis?
We join Georgie and Elvis in episode one in Syria where they left things on an even keel. They are work colleagues but there is still love there. Georgie still believes they can’t be together but Elvis still tries his luck a couple of times. Obviously Elvis is a ladies’ man but she does find out a few things she doesn’t like. She tries to be professional but deep down I think she’s genuinely hurt.

Have you picked up any bruises from filming?
I’ve been covered in bruises!

Finally, have you bought any comfort items with you from home for the long shoot?
I wanted to feel at home so I’ve brought Yorkshire Tea Bags in my suitcase, as well as my slippers!


Interview with Luke Pasqualino, who plays Elvis Harte

Where do we find Elvis at the beginning of this tour?
We find Elvis on a plane to Syria; he’s assembled his team together, all his SF boys. He’s drafted Maisie into drive them and asked Georgie to tag along as his medic as he needs someone he trusts. We know Elvis is back on the scene, but we don’t know if he’s invited Georgie along as a medic or because he’s interested in her. But all will come to light!

Did you have to do any preparation to get back into the character of Elvis?
I watched some of series two to get the feeling back for it. A lot of it was remembering how to use weapons, how to stand and hold the weapon correctly, recapping all these bits at Bootcamp and getting together with our military advisors Nigel and Roger. We needed to make sure everything looked as it should and to look like it was believable that I would be in the SF.

It’s more physicality to get back into character. At Bootcamp we did a bit of paintballing which was fun, and we did a couple of activities too. In one activity the aim was to kill Nigel, our military advisor, before he killed us. We had to do it really stealthily; it had to be silent and just done with hand signals.

What are Elvis’ feelings towards Georgie in this series?
They are as they always have been. Incredibly head over heels in love with her and he wants to reconcile. She obviously still has her guard up and that frustrates Elvis, to know that there’s little he can say or do to win her back, but that doesn’t stop him from trying! I do respect him for that. Elvis and Georgie are still very much up and down with their feelings and what their future has in store for them as a couple. It’s all very much unknown and I think audiences will be surprised…

What’s it like working with Michelle?
Working with Michelle is amazing – she’s hilarious. How could anyone not get on with Michelle! She knows everyone’s name on set and a complete pro. She’s beautiful and lovely inside and out, and Michelle has really taken the show to new levels. She’s happy to be back working on it again, has an emotional connection to the show and all she wants to do is do the show justice and make everyone proud.

What have the stunts been like this year, have you learnt any new skills?
No injuries but I got my finger caught in the magazine of a gun which holds the bullet which hurt! I also had to learn to fast rope this year! Elvis’s stunt double jumped out of helicopters last year but this year they let me do that, which was great.

Can you tell us about new character Maisie?
Elvis is in one of those situations which goes from bad to worse. Maisie and Elvis have their own history, and when Georgie finds out, he knows he has his work cut out and it’s another hurdle to jump over. What would the love story between Georgie and Elvis be if there wasn’t a bit of a spanner in the works? Maisie is that spanner.

Episode four is very dramatic for your character – what can you tell us about that?
You will be on the edge of your seat…

How would you describe Our Girl to a viewer that hasn’t seen the series before?
I think it has something for everyone, whether you are 14 or 84, you’d enjoy it. It doesn’t target just one audience or for a certain age group. It’s got romance, action, some comedy and it shows relationships and the idea of what military life is like.


Interview with Ben Aldridge, who plays Captain James

Where do we find Captain James at the start of this series?
At the beginning of this series we find him in Nepal, its unknown territory. He’s dealing with a post-earthquake disaster zone which he isn’t very comfortable with. He likes an enemy he can see being in the field of war. He’s a bit afraid basically. He’s not quite sure of his footing this time, which was interesting to play, and it progresses from there.

Is there any difference between Captain James from series two to the Captain James of series 3?
I think he started to become a little war weary in series two and that’s progressed even more. We go back to Afghanistan in this series and I think he starts to question the British involvement in the country. He’s done five tours there – was it worth it? He’s starting to question what he does and the ethics of it. We see him losing it a little bit.

How’s it going with Molly?
He mentions her once or twice in this series but we’ll get more insight in a later tour.

Can you tell us about where you’ve been shooting and how long?
We started off in Nepal for two weeks, it was a beautiful country. Waking up to the Himalayas every day was sensational. Then we came back to South Africa; we love filming there, it’s beautiful and with a great crew.

What about Bootcamp?
We had another boot camp led by Colonel Nigel Partington who always trains us. This one was less hectic, I think because we’ve done a few of them now so it’s less scary. But it did end with a massive training exercise where I was in charge the whole day with millions of casualties, wounded soldiers and blood. For preparation, I always return to a BBC documentary called Our War, and I have a couple of books that I dip back into and watch war films to get myself back into that headspace.

Have there been any challenges for you on this block at all?
It’s been very physically demanding, there’s a lot of action but it’s just fun. Every day is a fun day on this set.

Have you had a favourite scene to film?
There’s a scene set in Kabul where 2-Section is attacking a target building and we storm it. That was fun scene as it was very high octane and we filmed it like the Bourne films, very shaky and handheld.

The end of episode three is big for Captain James…
Captain James experiences a massive betrayal from someone he thought he could trust. As a result, he almost loses the section and jeopardises everyone’s life. For the first time in any drama that I’ve seen on TV, it gives a look into life in Afghanistan and for the soldiers in their Army who fought alongside them. It’s been written very carefully and delicately and well handled. It’s hard-hitting drama.

Tell us about Maisie and how she affects the dynamic?
Maisie is a natural rebel. She doesn’t adhere to the protocol for the Army, or the chain of command. Her character is quite rebellious and heroic. It causes some problems for her as she’s trying to save the day. But actually she’s not too dissimilar to Georgie in that way. She’s fun, spunky and sassy.

Would you be friends with Captain James in real life?
Probably not, we’re not overly alike I don’t think! We might have an awkward chat…


Interview with Shalom Brune-Franklin, who plays Private Maisie Richards

What’s it been like joining the cast?
It’s been nuts. It’s always pretty daunting walking into something on its third season and I didn’t think I’d have it as easy as I did. It hasn’t really hit me yet, but everyone was so incredibly lovely and welcoming.

When did you audition?
I auditioned in late February and then March was the call backs. Then after that, we did a Bootcamp in April, I flew back to Australia to see my family before I flew off for the rest of the year and then we flew straight to Nepal. I didn’t have time to process it all! This shoot has taken up the whole year, I now have a very strange relationship with my phone!

Did you have to do any other preparation?
Bootcamp was very intense and we had to shoot out in Nepal before the elections. We had about four days to learn everything – the procedures, the terminology and to feel comfortable even holding a weapon. I got in so much trouble for calling it a gun and not calling it a weapon system!

How do you find working with the military advisers?
So good. I have a lot of banter with them, I probably annoy them as I always question them and ask things like, “does it matter that my beret is this way?!” – but it really does. It’s so regimented and because you’re coming from it from an acting point of view, you think that we’re just playing humans. But its serious and we have all these protocols to follow.

Tell us a bit about Maisie.
Maisie is one crazy lady. She’s rebellious, she loves to be the hero and bend the rules to save someone. She’s a helper. She does clash at first and we’ve been told this is like quite a few young kids in the Army. She’s outspoken, rebellious but good-natured.

What’s her relationship with Georgie?
Georgie doesn’t really like Maisie – she thinks she’s rude, she doesn’t care, she doesn’t have a lot of respect for authority. She does what she wants. Georgie always tries to put her in her place. But there are a few situations where they come to each other’s aid.

What about new character Rab?
He’s obsessed with Maisie and won’t leave her alone. He’s like a pest!

Would you be friends with Maisie in real life?
Probably. I feel like she was the girl in school was loud and lairy and the class clown, which definitely wasn’t me as I was much more shy, but I’d always have a giggle with those people.

What’s the experience been like?
Amazing. I’ve managed to go to so many different countries and it’s been a bit of a dream.


Interview with Writer and Executive Producer Tony Grounds

How does this third series of Our Girl differ from the first and second series?
This is an emergency disaster relief mission after a devastating series of earthquakes in Nepal. There are no obvious enemies. You will see 2-Section also get involved with the issue of child trafficking. There are thousands of children trafficked from places such as Nepal, some of them voluntarily as they think they are heading to a better life.

Will 2-Section be back, and what new characters should we look out for?
Yes and we have two new recruits! Females are now allowed into the Army – not just as medics but the infantry. We have a female coming in as a specialist driver called Maisie and there’s another member who comes in called Rab.

Twelve episodes is a big commission but it will be separated into three different tours. How did you tackle writing three different stories?
It isn’t one story throughout all 12 episodes. I divided up the stories into separate tours, so you’ll see Nepal also leads into Afghanistan. Looking ahead, the second tour is also four episodes and this is two episodes in Nigeria and two in the Belize/Guatemalan border so there is movement.

Why did you set this mission in Nepal and Afghanistan and did you get to visit Nepal?
I’m fascinated by Nepal as there’s always been historic British involvement as we have links through the Gurkhas. Everyone knows about the big earthquake and there are smaller ones all the time. The Army aren’t just there to fight anymore; 90 percent of their work is humanitarian work. We’d never told a disaster relief story. I imagine a lot of our audience is the same age as 2-Section and might not know anything about Nepal.

I went to a village affected by the earthquake and that was the village we ended up shooting in. We needed to audition a child to play one of the villagers named Tara, and one of the young local girls wanted to do it so it was a no-brainer really! We also filmed in South Africa, of which some doubled as Nepal, and the little girl didn’t have a passport as she had never been out of the village, let alone the country, so the locals were a bit sceptical of us. When we were in the hotel in South Africa, she kept going up and down in the lift as she’d never been in a lift before!

What does Michelle bring to the role as Georgie Lane?
I think she’s fantastic, she embodies Georgie Lane now. She brings a young modern girl to the Army who is committed to making the world a better place. I think it’s one in nine new army recruits are female so it’s going up all the time.

Viewers love the Elvis/Georgie storyline, do you enjoy writing that?
I love writing Elvis and Georgie. It’s a real burning love story where they can’t function without each other or function with each other. It’s a passionate love and its wonderful writing it for Michelle and Luke.

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JAMES CORDEN TO BRING LATE LATE SHOW TO LONDON NEXT MONTH 38

The Emmy® award-winning The Late Late Show with James Corden will return to London to broadcast four special episodes from the historic Central Hall Westminster, from Tuesday 19 June to Friday 22 June 2018, to air exclusively on Sky One and TV streaming service NOW TV in the UK.

Corden will host a star-studded lineup for the show’s second UK adventure, including Cher, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Niall Horan and Foo Fighters, with additional guests to be announced.

The episodes, produced by CBS Productions and Fulwell 73, will air in the US on the CBS Television Network and share highlights of James’s time in the UK. The Late Late Show’s signature musical and comedy segments, such as Crosswalk: The Musical and Take a Break, will be given a British twist.

Ben Winston, executive producer of The Late Late Show with James Corden, said: “Broadcasting The Late Late Show from James’s hometown of London last year was such a thrill. Thanks to CBS and our partners at Sky One, we are back for a second year. We are looking forward to a fun week in London, putting a UK spin on our nightly show.”

Philip Edgar-Jones, head of entertainment at Sky, said: “James Corden is one of Sky One’s brightest stars and we are delighted to welcome him home for his London recordings of The Late Late Show. And with such a stellar lineup of guests, it’s going to make British summer time even hotter.”

Sky One will broadcast the homegrown episodes from 19-22 June at 10.00pm, and they will also be available on TV streaming service NOW TV.

James has been a firm favourite on Sky One and NOW TV for a number of years, presenting A League of Their Own and appearing in two successful series of A League of Their Own: US Road Trip.

The Late Late Show with James Cordon is available daily via Sky’s on demand service and NOW TV. The show regularly features a mix of celebrity guests, musical acts, games and sketches. The show holds the YouTube record for the most-watched late-night clip with Adele Carpool Karaoke, which has more than 180 million views. The Late Late Show with James Corden airs weeknights on CBS. Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe are the executive producers.

ITV TO AIR WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIALS NEXT WEEK 58

To mark the 20th anniversary of the global hit game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, the iconic programme will return to ITV for a week of celebratory episodes, starting this Saturday. Airing as a stripped event across the week, the 7×60 minute episodes will play out every night and will be hosted by brand new presenter, Jeremy Clarkson.

The show will offer members of the public the chance to win £1,000,000. Each contestant will have the opportunity to answer 15 questions on their way to hopefully winning this life changing prize.

The contestants will be helped along the way by familiar lifelines of ‘Ask The Audience’, ‘Phone a Friend’ and ’50:50’, plus a brand new fourth lifeline; ‘Ask The Host’.

This brand new, additional lifeline allows the contestant to ‘Ask The Host’ if he [Jeremy Clarkson] knows the answer or if he has an opinion on what it might be. Jeremy never sees the questions ahead of the contestants so there is no guarantee he will know the answer. Will Jeremy be able to help someone along the way to winning one million pounds or will it cost them everything?

In another twist, contestants will be able to set their own second safety net amount. There is a fixed safety net at £1,000, meaning once a contestant has successfully answered Question 5 and won £1,000, that’s the minimum they will take home.

Traditionally, the second safety net was automatically set at £32,000. However, in these seven celebratory episodes, this new twist will allow the second safety net to be set by each contestant. Once they have banked £1,000, they will be given the opportunity to set their safety net ahead of the next question being asked. They can set their safety net only once and anywhere from £2,000 to £500,000. Will contestants be brave enough to risk losing big money in the hope to go all the way?

Jeremy Clarkson said “If the contestant chooses that lifeline [Ask The Host], they get to ask me if I know the answer. God help them. Anyone who doesn’t win £1,000,000 is bound, at some point, to ask me if I know the answer. And if it’s 1970’s prog rock music, I probably will. If it’s anything other than that, I probably won’t.”

On talking about the safety net changes, Jeremy Clarkson added “They can choose where it goes. So they choose how much they are going to lose at any given moment, which is a very clever idea. That requires balls of steel. To go beyond, say £32,000, when you’re going to drop back to £1,000 if you get it wrong. To say, ‘no I’ll set it at £64,000 and risk losing £63,000 if I get it wrong’, balls of steel.”

The series will be produced by Stellify Media with filming taking place in Manchester. Commissioned for ITV by Siobhan Greene, Head of Entertainment, with Ben Kelly Commissioning Editor, it will be executive produced by Fiona Clark and Stellify’s joint managing directors Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy, with Julia Knowles as Director. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is a Sony Pictures Television format.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? starts Saturday 5th May at 9.15pm on ITV and continues nightly thorough-out the week at 9pm

More Details on All The Format of The Show:
In each episode, six different contestants will play ‘fastest finger first’ for the chance to win a place in the coveted chair and play the game. If a game concludes with one contestant, the remaining contestants will play ‘fastest finger first’ again for another opportunity to play for one million pounds.

Each contestant can see the question, answers, use their lifelines and still choose not to play the question and walk away with any money they have banked. The host is never shown the answer in advance of the contestant deciding to play the question and locking in their answer by saying ‘Final Answer’. The host does not have an earpiece or have any way to find out the answer.

Fastest finger first
The host will read out a question and four answers. Contestants will need to put the answers in the correct order. Fastest finger first questions are timed and the contestant who answers correctly in the fastest time, wins a place in the chair to play for one million pounds.

The contestants will face 15 questions for the chance to win one million pounds. Money will increase in the following increments:

Question 1 – £100
Question 2 – £200
Question 3 – £300
Question 4 – £500
Question 5 – £1,000
Question 6 – £2,000
Question 7 – £4,000
Question 8 – £8,000
Question 9 – £16,000
Question 10 – £32,000
Question 11 – £64,000
Question 12 – £125,000
Question 13 – £250,000
Question 14 – £500,000
Question 15 – £1,000,000

Safety Nets
There is a fixed safety net at £1,000. This means that once a contestant has answered the £1,000 question correctly, this is the minimum they will take home. Traditionally, the second safety net was automatically set at £32,000.

However, in these seven celebratory episodes, a new twist will allow the second safety net to be set by each contestant in play. Once they have successfully answered Question 5 and won £1,000, they will be given the opportunity to set their safety net ahead of the next question being asked. They can set their safety net anywhere from £2,000 to £500,000. The can only set this once during their game and until they set their second safety net, they will be asked ahead of seeing the next question. If they choose to set their safety net at the next question, they must correctly answer that question for it to be set and be in play. For example; A contestant has successfully answered Question 10 and won £32,000, they could then be asked if they want to set their safety net at £64,000. If they say yes, they will then see the question, four possible answers and can decide if they want to play. If they play and correctly answer the question, the minimum they will go home with is £64,000. They can continue the game and their safety net will remain at £64,000. This cannot be moved or reset. If they answer the question incorrectly, they will lose £31,000 and leave with £1,000.

Four lifelines are available to all contestants to use once at any point in their game, one more than was traditionally available.

The four lifelines available to each contestant in the chair are:

50/50
Contestants can choose to use this lifeline to remove two random wrong answers, leaving one correct answer and one random wrong answer. Even after they have used this lifeline, the contestant can still choose to not answer the question and take the money that they have currently banked.

Ask The Audience
If a contestant decides to use this lifeline, the host will read the question and all possible answers. The host will ask the audience to vote for the answer they think is correct via an electronic keypad within an allotted time. The audience will not have access to any device where they could find out the answer from a third party or Internet. The contestant does not need to take the advice given nor continue playing the game. The contestant can still choose to take the money they have currently banked.

Phone A Friend
If the contestant wants to contact a friend, the host will lead the call and explain to the chosen friend that the contestant needs assistance on a question. Once the host hands the call over, the contestant will have 30 seconds to read the question, possible answers and have any discussions. The ‘friend’ will not see the countdown clock. The contestant does not need to take the advice given nor continue playing the game. They can still choose to take the money they have currently banked.

Prior to arriving to set, each contestant will be asked to select two ‘phone a friends’ and give their details. On the day that each contestant is set to play the game (six contestants per episode), Production will send an independent security team to all phone a friend residents in that episode. Once a contestant plays fastest finger first and wins a place in the chair, the security team will enter both of the ‘phone a friends’ residents. This is to ensure that if and when phoned, the friend does not source outside help to answer the question. Once the contestant has finished their game or used their lifeline, security will leave.

Ask The Host
This is a brand new, additional lifeline available once to all contestants. This lifeline allows the contestant to ‘Ask The Host’ if he [Jeremy Clarkson] knows the answer or if he has an opinion on what it might be. The host can give his opinion, answer or share his thoughts but there is no guarantee he will know the answer. Once he has shared his thoughts / given as much as he can, he will say ‘That’s my final answer’ which signifies the end of his assistance and the contestant can not ask the host any more questions. The host is never shown the answers in advance of the contestant saying this is my ‘Final Answer’. The contestant does not need to take the advice given nor continue playing the game and can still choose to take any money they have currently banked. If the contestant does decide to play, the contestant will select the answer and say ‘final answer’. Once the answer is locked in, the contestant and host will have the answer revealed at the same time.