Hunger TV: interview with Maxine Peake

Maxine Peake is not your generic pinup – and that is something she would never aspire to be. She turned up on set for her shoot with her hair scraped back, no make-up on and wearing a rainbow-striped jumper under dungarees – and still looked fabulous.

Peake’s subversion of the conventional is exactly why she’s great. She had a turbulent start at the acting fray: early attempts at securing a place at numerous colleges proved fruitless, until she was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, aged 21. Her granddad, “a massive influence”, told her: “You’ll never make it as an actress, why do you want to go into that profession?” But she recalls this lightheartedly as, she says, “He was the instigator, really, that was what made me interested in doing something creative for a living.”

Bolton-born Peake has since played characters as diverse as rough-as-your-armpits Veronica in Channel 4 drama Shameless and, more recently, barrister Martha Costello QC in BBC legal drama Silk.

Read the rest of the interview here and watch the video on YouTube!

Maxine Peake as narrator on BBC Radio 4 ‘Shedtown’ series 2 – Jan 10, 2013

Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

The first episode of ‘Shedtown’ (series 2) will be broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 next Thursday at 11pm!

Who hasn’t thought about running away from it all at some time or other? Throwing caution to the wind, wrenching oneself out of a long established orbit to head for the deep space of the unknown?

In series two of Shedtown, our wooden icon of escape and isolation – the shed – continues to be a symbol of possibility and change. Our Sheddists arrived and survived – and, now waking from a beach-baked slumber, the familiar residents find faces old and new on the sand.

Episode 1:
Deborah Dearden arrives back at the beach. Not such a stranger – yet stranger still.

Barry……………………….Tony Pitts
Jimmy……………………..Stephen Mangan
Eleanor………………Ronni Ancona
Colin……………………Johnny Vegas
Deborah…………………Emma Fryer
William………………Adrian Manfredi
Diane………………..Rosina Carbone
Dave………………….Shaun Dooley
Father Michael……..James Quinn
Wes………………….Warren Brown
Nell………………………Eleanor Samson

Narrator……………..Maxine Peake
Music………………..Paul Heaton and Jonny Lexus

Written and Directed by Tony Pitts
Produced by Sally Harrison

A Woolyback Production for BBC Radio 4.

Duration: 28 minutes


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.