EXCLUSIVE: Strike Back alum Rhashan Stone has been cast as a series regular in Sky1’s fire-fighter drama series The Smoke, which just recently entered production. Stone plays a member of the fire crew featured in the series, and joins Battlestar Galactica alum Jamie Bamber who has also been cast in the drama series. Created by Lucy Kirkwood, The Smoke follows a family of firemen and women who, no matter what, always have each other to fall back on. But being a hero isn’t easy, especially in a world that regularly disregards them, and it certainly doesn’t pay. Many crew members are forced to hold down other jobs on the side, taking some of them into the city’s after dark world. The stakes are high but, in The Smoke, it’s the very lives and souls of the White Watch crew that are at risk. Sky 1 has ordered eight episodes for the show’s first season. Kudos Film & TV is producing with Anne Mensah, Jane Featherstone and Noelle Morris serving as executive producers.
BBC One’s comedy series Big School has cast another key role. Jovian Wade (Youngers) has joined the cast of the the comedy as a series regular. Sources tell me that Wade has been cast as one of the students at the school. Created by David Walliams, Autumn Leaves is set in an urban secondary school and is a comedy about a dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive white boards. Walliams plays a chemistry teacher who’s hopelessly in love with the school’s new French teacher, who in turn is being chased by a lothario gym teacher. The comedy series is being produced by BBC In-House Comedy and stars Walliams, Philip Glenister (Mad Dogs), Catherine Tate (Doctor Who), Frances de la Tour (Rising Damp), Joanna Scanlan (The Thick Of It), Steve Speirs (Eragon) and Daniel Rigby (Eric & Ernie). Tony Dow is attached to direct, with production on the six episode series set to commence in the next few weeks in the Greater London area.
ITV’s new crime drama The Guilty has added another cast member. Alan Williams (Endeavour) has been cast in the three part drama, which is currently in production. Williams’s casting comes after TVWise revealed last week that Jay Simpson (Mrs Biggs), Milo Twomey (Doctors) and Pooky Quesnel (Starlings) have all landed roles in the drama alongside main cast members Tamsin Greig (Episodes), Katherine Kelly (Mr Selfridge), Darren Boyd (Spy) and Jamie Sives (Secret State). Penned by Debbie O’Malley, The Guilty is set in both 2008 and the present day and follows DC Maggie Brand (Tamsin Greig) who investigate the disappearance of a little boy named Callum Reid. In 2008, at a neighbourhood barbecue Claire Reid (Katherine Kelly) and Daniel Reid (Darren Boyd) relax amongst their friends and neighbours as little Callum plays contentedly with the other children. The evening sours, however, when after an alcohol fuelled evening tempers flare and a violent fight erupts at the barbecue. In the hours that follow Callum disappears and nothing is ever the same again. Five years later, the body of Callum is found buried mere yards from his front door. Now a DCI, Brand leads the new investigation and will leave no stone unturned, and going as far as risking her own happy family life with husband Jeb (Jamie Sives) to find out what happend to Callum. Hartswood Films is producing the serial, with Elaine Cameron serving as producer and Bery Vertue serving as executive producer. Ed Bazalgette is attached to direct.