IBMT to release a new CD featuring Maxine Peake

Thanks Sylvia for the heads-up!

The International Brigades Memorial Trust is holding a special event to mark the 75th anniversary of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia.

The Len Crome Memorial Lecture, ‘George Orwell: Homage to Catalonia 75 Years On’, will be held on Saturday 2 March 2013 at the Manchester Conference Centre.

The day will include discussions on May Day and the British battalion, the reception and impact of Homage to Catalonia, and the other ILP volunteers. Speakers include Dr Richard Baxell, Professor Paul Preston, Dr Tom Buchanan and Chris Hall while Professor Mary Vincent will chair the event.

The conference costs £10, or £25 with refreshments and lunch (concessions available). The deadline for booking is 31 January 2013.

Further information and booking forms from:

Hilary Jones:; 0161 224 1747

Dolores Long:; 0161 226 2013

The IBMT are also releasing a new CD featuring singer Billy Bragg and actor Maxine Peake to salute the anti-fascist volunteers of the Spanish Civil War.

IBMT CDBragg performs ‘Jarama Valley’, the famous song of the British battalion, and on ‘Brigadista Reprise’ Peake delivers La Pasionaria’s emotional farewell speech to the International Brigades over a dub backing track by The Urban Roots.

The CD is available exclusively from the IBMT and can be ordered for £5 plus £1.99 p&p. Go to the IBMT merchandise page to order.

The International Brigade Memorial Trust was formed in 2002 from the veterans of the International Brigade Association, the Friends of the International Brigades Association, representatives of the Marx Memorial Library, and historians specialising in the Spanish Civil War.

For more information go to:

Information on the CD:

Jarama Valley/ Brigadista Reprise CD Single
Billy Bragg performs the famous song of the British Battalion, plus Maxine Peake delivers La Pasionaria’s emotional farewell speech to the International Brigades with a dub backing from The Urban Roots.


Maxine Peake nominated as Best Actress for BPG Award

Great news everyone, Maxine has been nominated as best actress for a BPG Award! 🙂 Below you can find the press release and the list of all nominees.

The Broadcasting Press Guild is Britain’s professional association of journalists who write about TV and radio, and our awards are the biggest event in our annual calendar. The awards present a rare opportunity to the hacks who vote in them: the chance to be unstintingly nice about the programmes that we select.

I chair the Nominations Committee which, by comparison to the judging processes for other TV awards, has an odd role to play. It neither creates the shortlists, which are published today, nor picks the winners. Both of those things – again, I believe, uniquely to the BPG – are done by democratic votes of all our members. What the Nominations Committee does is to whittle down the entirety of a year of British television, to longlists of 15 to 20 programmes. We invite broadcasters’ nominations of their finest work, but we also add suggestions from our broader membership – and from the nominations committee members themselves.

It was a cold January night when we gathered in Soho for this year’s meeting. But things soon warmed up, with – how shall I put this delicately – divergent views expressed passionately around the table. Our Nominations Committee members have very different tastes – and thank goodness for that – but what they all have in common is a deep and broad expertise in evaluating TV programmes. This year I was joined by Vicky Frost from The Guardian, Steve Clarke from Variety, Alison Graham from Radio Times, Robin Parker from Broadcast, The Guardian’s John Plunkett and Simon Horsford from The Daily Telegraph.

What I realised was that 2012 had been a vintage year for British TV. The biggest scoop of the year – about Jimmy Savile’s unsavoury activities – came from an ITV documentary. Contemporary events had also been parodied with biting skill, in BBC Two’s The Thick of It and Twenty Twelve. And then, of course, there were the Games themselves, from the first strains of Jerusalem in Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony to the last song by Coldplay as the Paralympics closed. Surely only in Britain do we have not one but two public service broadcasters, of the calibre of the BBC and Channel 4, to put on such a magnificent show. Last year also reaffirmed the scale and quality of the output from Britain’s pay-TV broadcasters such as Discovery Channel, who are supporting the BPG awards.

The BGP Shortlist 2013 – who gets your vote?

Best Single Drama
Best Possible Taste: the Kenny Everett Story (BBC Four)
The Hollow Crown: Richard II (BBC Two)
Loving Miss Hatto (BBC One)
Murder (BBC Two)

Best Drama Series
Last Tango in Halifax (BBC One)
Line of Duty (BBC Two)
Parade’s End (BBC Two)
Sherlock (BBC One)

Best Single Documentary
Arena: Jonathan Miller (BBC Four)
Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile (ITV1)
London: The Modern Babylon (BBC Two)
Storyville: Fire in Babylon (BBC Four)

Best Documentary Series
Grayson Perry: All in the Best Possible Taste (Channel 4)
Inside Claridge’s (BBC Two)
Meet the Romans with Mary Beard (BBC Two)
Putin, Russia and The West (BBC Two)
Secret History of Our Streets (BBC Two)

Best Entertainment/Comedy
Fresh Meat (Channel 4)
Twenty Twelve (BBC Two)
The Thick of It (BBC Two)

Best Multichannel
Dynamo: Magician Impossible (UKTV/Watch)
Hunderby (Sky Atlantic)
Moone Boy (Sky1)
Stella (Sky1)

Best Factual Entertainment
Great British Bake Off (BBC Two)
MasterChef: The Professionals (BBC Two)
Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC One)
Paul O’Grady: for the Love of Dogs (ITV1)

Best Actor
Roger Allam (Parade’s End, The Thick of It)
Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, The Hour)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Parade’s End)
Ben Whishaw (The Hollow Crown: Richard II, The Hour)

Best Actress
Anna Chancellor (Pramface, The Hour)
Olivia Colman (Accused, Twenty Twelve)
Rebecca Hall (Parade’s End)
Sienna Miller (The Girl)
Maxine Peake (Silk, Room at the Top)

BPG Writer’s Award
John Morton (Twenty Twelve)
Sir Tom Stoppard (Parade’s End)
Sally Wainwright (Last Tango; Scott & Bailey)
Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock)

BPG Breakthrough Award
Clare Balding, Olympics & Paralympics presenting
Adam Hills, The Last Leg (Paralympics)
Jack Whitehall, Fresh Meat & Bad Education

Once our Nominations Committee had created the longlists, they went to the membership for a first-round vote, which results in the shortlists you see today. There’s then a second-round vote to pick the ultimate winners, which will be announced on March 14 at a glamorous winners’ lunch in central London.

The great virtue of democracy, of course, is that each individual member hopes to see some choices on the final shortlists that they have been cheering all along: I’m delighted to see Sally Wainwright nominated in the writers’ category – and her pitch-perfect drama series about septuagenarian love in my native Yorkshire, Last Tango in Halifax, up for best Drama Series. And the remarkable access of Inside Claridge’s is a worthy nod in the Best Documentary Series category.

Of course, only my fellow members can decide whether they agree and we’ll be all be tweeting on the day, with tweets gathered on the BPG website. So for now, it’s time for me to hang up my chairman’s robes – and wait to find out who, in 2013, will be the worthy Broadcasting Press Guild Award winners.

The BPG awards take place on Thursday 14th March 2013 and are sponsored by Discovery Channel which champions intelligent entertainment. Discovery Networks UK has 12 channel brands in the UK covering factual, lifestyle and entertainment programming.


New article, Maxine Peake drumming for new role

Maxine Peake has apparently been learning the drums with former The Smiths star Mike Joyce for a new acting role.

Mike revealed to The Sun that he has been teaching the Silk actress how to beat the perfect rhythm.

He said “She was looking to go for a part as a drummer and I gave her some tuition.

“I think Meg White [Jack White’s partner in The White Stripes] got the part – but that’s pretty good if you’re being pipped to a role by Meg White. I think another six months’ lessons and Maxine could have got it.”

Maxine is due to return as feisty barrister Martha Costello in BBC drama Silk later this year.


Maxine Peake among nominees for Manchester Theatre Awards

Congrats to Maxine who is nominated as Best Actress for a Manchester Theatre Award!

Maxine Peake, Imogen Stubbs and Lysette Anthony will battle it out for the title of best actress at the 2012 Manchester Theatre Awards.

Peake has been nominated for her performance in Miss Julie, Stubbs for hers in Orpheus Descending and Anthony for her role in Lady Windermere’s Fan, which all ran at the city’s Royal Exchange Theatre.

Also nominated in the best actress group is Victoria Elliott for her performance in Two – again at the Royal Exchange – and Lucy van Gasse for her part in Wonderful Town at the Lowry.

Meanwhile, in the category for best actor in a visiting production, John Owen-Jones and Robert Bathurst will compete for their performances in The Phantom of the Opera and Blue/Orange respectively. They are up against Ray Fearon for his role as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Karl Davies for his performances in Henry V and The Winter’s Tale.

The Royal Exchange Theatre and the Lowry have received the most nominations across all of the 19 award categories, which include best musical, best studio production, best ensemble and groups for dance and opera too.

The Manchester Theatre Awards are chosen by a panel of nine independent regional theatre critics.

Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at Manchester Opera House on March 26.

To see the shortlisted nominations in full go to

Source: the

TV preview: what to expect in 2013 – ‘The Village’

Period drama will get grittier

Forget your dainty Downtons; next year, costume drama gets its hands grubby. Writer Peter Moffat’s new project for BBC1, The Village, stars John Simm and Maxine Peake as an impoverished couple in rural 1920s Derbyshire.


DOWNLOAD: Eccentronic Research Council & Maxine Peake – Black ChristMass

Sheffield’s Eccentronic Research Council, along with actress Maxine Peake, released one of our top albums this year, with the 1612 Underture’s musical inquiry into the story of the Pendle Witch Trials.

As tQ ed John D says, the ERC’s Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer “conjured up a beguiling brew of elektronische, keyboard led psych, synth pop and analogue ambient to act as the musical accompaniment to a prose poem… a genuinely unhinged, unique and deliciously weird pop album.”

To cap of the year, they’ve delivered us and all you readers an early Christmas present in the shape of ‘Black ChristMass’ (artwork above), which essentially takes the phrase “Merry Christmas” and shoves it where the sun don’t shine. It’s a driving synth pop call to arms to get unfestive, where shakin’ sleigh bells get taken out in the first four seconds and Peake intones “no to the TV ads’ sincere banjo desecrations of alternative hits of the 80s, for the demographic of spoiled, fur-wearing plebeians crying wanking into their mulled wine” over sneering organ and dentist’s drill synth waves, all hurtling to the refrain of “what a load of rubbish”.

Download, and don’t dare glean the faintest hint of mirth while you’re at it, below:

Say the ERC: “We wish you & your reader(s) a strong but beautiful jaw line for 2013 and less tolerance to fucking zany idiots from Eton in Blue ties…

Love, your incredible chums in The North.

Adrian, Dean & Maxine for The ERC.”

The collective will be setting out for a couple of dates next year, on their 1612 Under Tour – here are the dates:

Fri 18 – Queens Social Working Men’s Club, Sheffield
Sat 19 – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge

Additionally, they were also recently featured on the BBC’s Culture Show – have a watch of the feature below:


‘Silk’ star Maxine Peake names Trades date

‘Silk’ and ‘Dinnerladies’ TV star Maxine Peake is making a special date with the Calder Valley in the new year.

She will join the Eccentronic Research Council to narrate a show about the Pendle Witches at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, in January.

Bolton-born Maxine will taking on the narration duties as the ERC kick up a storm of synth pop as the musical accompaniment to a selection of prose poems, based on a psycho-geographical trip taken by a priest and a nun from Salford to Pendle to learn more about the town’s most notorious daughters.

“Maxine is one of our best young actors so we had to fit this gig in around her incredibly busy filming schedule,” said Trades entertainments manager Mal Campell.

“It’s a real coup to get the only Yorkshire date for this fascinating show.

“ERC’s live set with Maxine was a big hit at the award-winning Festival Number 6 held at Portmerion.”

RADA-trained Maxine’s career really took off last year when she played hard-as-nails barrister Martha Costello QC in the smash hit BBC One legal drama Silk. But she first came to the public’s attention when she joined Victoria Wood to play dim Twinkle in Dinnerladies.

Since then she has won plaudits playing the feisty Veronica in Shameless and the critics loved her portrayal of Myra Hindley in See No Evil: The Moors Murders.

Maxine is also an accomplished stage actor, taking on a demanding leading role in Terence’s Rattigan’s Deep Blue Sea at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.

She also took the title role in Miss Julie at Manchester’s Royal Exchange as well as writing, directing and starring in a BBC radio drama about legendary cyclist Beryl Burton.

Maxine Peake and ERC will play the Trades Club on Saturday, January 19.

The oddball Sheffield electronic duo ERC are Dean Honer, formerly of electronic music group All Seeing I, and Adrian Flanagan.

Tickets are now available at the club (tel: 01422 845265) or and are limited to four per person.


The E. R. C. featuring Maxine Peake – ‘1612 Underture’

With Dean Honer (All Seeing I) and Adrian Flanagan (Chanteuse and the Crippled Claw), plus support: Paper Dollhouse & Emma Tricca
An exclusive performance somewhere in Preston of their ‘14 chapter sound poem’ 1612 Underture, which retells the tragic tale of the Pendle Witches who were executed in Lancashire, on 20 August 1612.
Electronics enthusiasts from Sheffield, the The Eccentronic Research Council feature Adrian Flanagan, Dean Honer and Maxine Peake.
1612 Underture is a concept album based on historical events but reflects the present social climate. Looking through contemporary eyes the story contrasts fictional with factional occurrences around various Pendle Witches.
‘Exactly 400 years since the trials and execution of the 12 women now known as The Pendle Witches, a purpose assembled collective of artists, sound designers, experimental pop performers, writers, poets (and one actress) pay homage to the legendary Lancastrian sisterhood.’
You may have seen Maxine Peake on television in Channel 4′s Shameless, BBC comedy Dinnerladies, and, most recently, barrister Martha Costello QC in BBC legal drama Silk.