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 on Craven: Series 2 Episode 5 – Jan 25th, 2013

The episode airs next Friday on BBC Radio 4 at 10:45 am.

Series 2 of Amelia Bullmore’s retuning Police Drama ‘Craven’ starring Maxine Peake as Sue Craven concludes on Radio 4.

Craven is determined to prove that the dog bite murder of a homeless man, is part of a new wave of organised crime and the ‘legal’ drugs on sale at the Pet Shop is somehow linked. Her Boss DI Price has other plans.

When one of Adams mates dies of a ‘legal’ drugs overdose it is clear that the problem is wide spread and a local Pet Shop selling pond cleaner is not all it seems. Craven’s ‘regular irregular’ lover, Macca (Jack Deam) helps out.

As Watende Robinson’s wife goes into labour with their first baby, a break, takes the team to a farm in Denshaw where shocking activities and an abandoned child hint at a much bigger crime with big fish Tony Lau at its heart.

But it is the pack mentality of the women on the drug addled estate that brings the investigation to an end. We finish series two as the axe falls on the job of one member of the team.

Producer: Justine Potter
A Red production for BBC Radio 4.


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