Olivia Colman has been named the most powerful person in British television, according to a ranking by the Radio Times.
The actor, who will star as Queen Elizabeth II in the next series of Netflix’s The Crown, comes top of the magazine’s TV 100 power list, which attempts to rank the on-screen and behind-the-scenes individuals who have had an exceptional past year in British television.
Colman rose to prominence in Channel 4’s Peep Show before making award-winning performances in Broadchurch and The Night Manager. She is also due to star in the BBC’s forthcoming Les Misérables drama and as Strawberry in an adaptation of Watership Down.
Chris Chibnall, the new Doctor Who showrunner, takes second place, while third place is shared by siblings Daisy May and Charlie Cooper – the creators, writers and stars of BBC comedy This Country, which parodies rural life.
Other stars who make the top 10 include Declan Donnelly, who is preparing to host I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here without longt on-screen partner Ant McPartlin, BBC natural history presenter David Attenborough, and Luther star Idris Elba.
Hugh Grant is in seventh place following praise for his performance in A Very English Scandal, one spot above Vanessa Kirby, who won a Bafta for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in The Crown. Benedict Cumberbatch, who is preparing to play Vote Leave boss Dominic Cummings in a forthcoming Channel 4 drama, comes ninth following his performance in Sky’s Patrick Melrose, while Nicola Walker completes the top 10 after appearing in The Split and Unforgotten.
Other individuals to make the top 20 include Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee, BBC journalist Carrie Gracie, who helped campaign for equal pay, and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.
The list is drawn up by dozens of actors and industry executives from major broadcasters and independent production companies, including Sir Lenny Henry, ITV director of television Kevin Lygo, and Amazon’s director of original TV Georgia Brown. Radio Times editors then choose the final ranking.
Susanna Lazarus, RadioTimes.com associate editor, said: “At a time of rapid change in the way we watch TV, how appropriate that our list is topped by a brilliant performer who has starred in some of the biggest broadcast shows of recent times and is soon to become the queen of on-demand as the lead in Netflix’s The Crown.”
The top 20
- Olivia Colman
- Chris Chibnall
- Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper
- Declan Donnelly
- Idris Elba
- David Attenborough
- Hugh Grant
- Vanessa Kirby
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Nicola Walker
- Lisa McGee
- Gareth Southgate
- Carrie Gracie
- Richard Cowles
- Jodie Whittaker
- Laura Kuenssberg
- Romesh Ranganathan
- Gary Lineker
- Piers Morgan
- Lennie James
Since you’re here…
A new period drama starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz is to premiere during the BFI London Film Festival.
The Favourite will be shown on the event’s American Express Gala night at Cineworld in Leicester Square on October 18.
Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Yorgos Lanthimos, known for The Lobster, the film is set in the early 18th century against the backdrop of the war between England and France.
Colman plays Queen Anne, while Weisz portrays Lady Sarah, her close friend who governs the country while the tempestuous Queen is unwell.
However, Lady Sarah’s close bond with the Queen is threatened when charming new servant Abigail, played by Stone, arrives, and she sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.
The film also stars Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, James Smith and Jenny Rainsford.
BFI London Film Festival artistic director Tricia Tuttle said: “This is wickedly funny film-making from Yorgos Lanthimos, who is operating at virtuoso frequency.
“The Favourite is a delight from start to finish, powered by a trio of riotous performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, who are all clearly revelling in the wit and rhythm of the script. The perfect Gala for our principal partner, American Express.”
The film festival kicks off on October 10 with Widows, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Viola Davis.
It ends on October 21, with Laurel and Hardy film Stan And Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly and directed by Filth director Jon S Baird.
The Favourite, the new Irish-produced film from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos, which stars Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, is to receive its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
The period drama is the third collaboration between Greek director Lanthimos and Irish company Element Pictures, and follows their success with The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lanthimos, Colman and Weisz previously worked together on The Lobster.
Set in the early 18th Century, The Favourite promises much in the way of political and personal intrigue involving Britain’s Queen Anne (Colman), the Duchess of Marlborough (Weisz) and her servant, Abigail Hill (Stone).
Sensing an opportunity to move back up the social ladder, Abigail becomes the Queen’s new companion and, we are told, “she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way”.
The Favourite will screen in competition at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs from August 29 to September 8.
It will be released worldwide by film studio Fox Searchlight, opening in US cinemas on November 23 – a key month in awards season – and in Ireland on January 1.
One of the film’s Irish producers, Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, described Venice as “the ideal world premiere for Yorgos’ bold and audacious foray into period filmmaking”.
“We hope audiences will embrace this unique and entertaining film and we are delighted to be working with Fox Searchlight on its international release,” he added.
God save Olivia Colman: Netflix has released a first look image of the new star of The Crown in character as Elizabeth II.
The Broadchurch and Peep Show star may not be doing much in the new photo – she’s simply sipping tea with her toast and marmalade – but this sneak peek means that filming has finally begun on the third season of the royal drama, due later this year.
So, what can we expect from Colman’s reign? The actor – who replaces Claire Foy – will play the monarch from 1964, with her first season likely to explore the queen’s unusually steady relationship with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Plus, we’re likely to see the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the birth of Prince Edward (March 1964) and a larger role for Prince Charles following his investiture in 1969.
And if you’re not already excited enough, here’s a reminder that the season three cast also includes Outlander star Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Jason Watkins as Harold Macmillan.
The Crown season three is set to arrive on Netflix UK in 2019
The Crown is set to be very different when it returns to Netflix for its third season. That’s because the action has moved on and it’s all change in the cast – with Olivia Colman taking over where Claire Foy left off as Elizabeth II’s reign moves on. But just when do we get to see it all and what can we expect? Here’s what we know so far…
What will happen in The Crown season three?
While the first two seasons of the show covered Queen Elizabeth II’s life from 1947-1963 including the early years of her reign, the third and fourth series will bring the action into more modern times as it covers the time period from 1964-1976.
And series three is set to go up as far as 1970 – meaning it will cover some major events in the Queen’s reign from Prince Charles moving more into the public eye, through to her relationship with then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Filming is due to begin on the series this month.
Who is new to the cast?
Olivia Colman has joined as the older incarnation of the Queen – and previously confessed nerves at taking over from Claire Foy, who played the role in the first two series.
She told The Sun: ‘I’m really nervous to take over something that’s been so great – it’s scary.
‘They’re giving me a great voice coach who will make sure I speak like the Queen. So I’ll just learn the lines and try to copy exactly what they do.’
Olivia will be joined by actor Tobias Menzies – aka Game Of Thrones’ Edmure Tully – who will take over from Matt Smith as Prince Philip.
News of his casting was revealed by Netflix back in March, with Tobias adding he had ‘never been more happy my entire life’ to be playing the role.
Other cast newcomers will include Helena Bonham Carter, who is playing Princess Margaret, and Jason Watkins, who’ll be appearing as Prime Minister Harold Wilson – while Call The Midwife’s Erin Doherty will play Princess Anne.
Helena reacted to the news via a photo of herself and actress Vanessa Kirby – who played Margaret in previous series – saying she was ‘honoured’ to be stepping into her shoes.
Will Princess Diana feature in this series?
Diana won’t be a feature of the next series, as it’s still set several years before she joined the royals, but she will feature in later seasons as the action moves forward into the 80s and 90s.
‘Diana’s not in this season,’ casting director Nina Gold explained, ‘but when we do get to her it’s going to be pretty interesting.’
Camilla Parker Bowles, however, will feature in the next series – although casting has yet to be revealed on that front.
When is the series released on Netflix?
There’s no confirmed release date for it yet, but as filming is only due to begin this month it could be a while before we get to see it – maybe even 2019.
You’ll just have to hang in there, Crown fans…
It is common knowledge by now that Olivia Colman is set to replace Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown‘s third season, which will once again chronicle a new decade of her reign. However, that apparently isn’t the only royal ruler Colman will be portraying in the near future. And her latest role definitely offers a unique perspective on life in the monarchy. The trailer for Fox Searchlight’s newest projectThe Favourite, finds Colman working alongside the likes of Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in a zany (and comically absurd) look at British history.
Colman stars as Queen Anne, loosely based on the real Queen Anne, who suffered from ill health for a great portion of her 18th century reign. That’s probably why the trailer shows Anne lean so heavily on her good friend, Lady Sarah (Weisz) for council during the stressful political climate (England was at war with France at that time). The video doesn’t offer a ton of details about the overall plot, however, based on the brief snippets from various scenes, it’s clear that life in the palace is utter chaos. Whether the Queen is preparing for yet another duck race or the new servant, Abigail (Stone), is being propositioned to be “stripped and whipped” by a courtier, The Favourite offers a new, never-before-seen take on past royals, while blatantly reveling in its own absurdity.
As you can see, this is a far cry from the character Colman will portray on The Crownas Queen Elizabeth. The Netflix series prides itself on its accuracy and staying fairly consistent to real life events that took place throughout the Queen’s reign (The Great Smog, Princess Margaret’s relationship with Peter Townsend, etc.). Of course, some parts were most likely fictionalized for the sake of dramatic storytelling (like Prince Philip’s resistance to kneel during the Queen’s coronation), but the series definitely strives for accuracy whenever it can. The Favourite, however, is taking a somewhat different approach to things and it’s impossible not to enjoy the madness of it all.
Perhaps with a different cast, the film wouldn’t able to pull of such a wacky approach to royal life. But Colman, Weisz, and Stone all prove to be comedic gold in the trailer. Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, and Mark Gatiss are also part of the impressive ensemble, though they might be difficult to spot in the trailer, since the majority of the time is rightly given to the three leading ladies. The project is also directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, best known for his work behind The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
The costumes and witty dialogue are guaranteed to pique your interest right off the bat, and make you eager to see how this completely bonkers plot will inevitably play out. Unfortunately, there’s still a bit of a wait until this film hits select theaters. As of now, The Favourite is scheduled to come out on Nov. 23 of this year, which means there’s well over four months of waiting left until that joyful day occurs. So, for the time being, you’ll to have to be satisfied with watching the trailer on repeat. (It’s definitely worth a second or even third look.)
Weisz’s Sarah says it best at the end of the clip: “Sometimes a lady likes to have some fun.” That’s definitely what this film aims to do and so much more. Social Studies may have been a total snooze fest for you back in school, but The Favouriteis looking to redefine how you think about history. And based on the trailer alone, it could succeed in doing just that. Is it November yet?
British stars have been recognised by Hollywood’s social elite in a new push to make the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences more diverse.
A record 928 members have been invited to join the Academy – which votes on the nominees and the winners of the Oscars each year – which is a significant increase on the 774 new members asked in 2017.
Among the names is a number of homegrown filmmakers, including JK Rowling, who only wrote her first screenplay, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in 2016. Olivia Colman, who has received BAFTA recognition but never Oscar; Brotherhood actor Noel Clarke; stage and screen actors Celia Imrie, Ben Whishaw, Toby Jones and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke have also been invited. Daniel Kaluuya, who earned a Best Actor nomination for his performance in the Oscar-winning Get Out earlier this year, is on the list, too.
Academy officials hope that the new membership will improve the Academy’s much-criticised lack of diversity, which has repeatedly resulted in #OscarsSoWhite controversies during ceremonies in recent years, due to the lack of recognition of women or people of colour by the awards.
The new membership has meant that 38 per cent of the Academy’s new class is comprised by people of colour – boosting the proportion within the Academy as a whole to 16 per cent (up on 13 per cent in 2017). Women, meanwhile, make up 49 per cent of the new intake, raising the percentage of women in the Academy to 31 per cent.
Notable new US members include writers and actresses Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones and Tiffany Haddish.
Membership to the Academy is notoriously strict – applicants are not welcome, instead potential members must be “sponsored” by two existing members to be considered. If, like Kaluuya, you have received an Oscar nomination, then you can be considered without sponsorship.
However, even then, members must meet certain requirements: directors, for instance, must have two directing credits within the past decade and actors must have racked up at least three theatrical credits in films that “are of a calibre that reflect the high standards of the Academy”.
She plays Hildegarde Schmidt, handmaiden to Judi Dench’s character Princess Dragomiroff, and it sounds like she couldn’t have had a better experience on set.
“It was heaven,” she said, speaking on The Andrew Marr Show. “I sat next to Judi Dench all day, holding a dog. It was heaven!”
The Broadchurch actress was recently announced to be taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Clare Foy in Netflix drama The Crown.
And Colman revealed all about just how excited she was to hear the news about her casting.
“I was on speaker phone in the car with my husband and we’d recently finished watching The Crown,” she said. “And my agent said, ‘Would you go and meet, as a secret, about a tiara?’
“She was trying to be subtle and I went ‘The Crown?! The Crown?! Oh my god yes!’ And my husband was silently clapping in the background.
“So we were quite excited – I was very excited!”
She and Murder on the Orient Express co-star Michelle Pfeiffer also spoke about the recent allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein, with Colman pointing out that “women in their 20’s are purposefully targeted”.
Pfeiffer added: “I’ve had some experiences. I have to say since this has all come out, there really hasn’t been one woman that I’ve talked to who hasn’t had an experience.
“And it just goes to show you how systemic the problem is.”
Charting the life and times of the Windsor dynasty, The Crown season three will tackle a time jump for the biographical drama, and include a whole new cast.
Speaking to Radio Times, Colman revealed that she was nervous to take over from Foy to play the country’s longest-reigning monarch.
“She was just very supportive,” confirmed Colman. “She said I’ll have a lovely time, everyone on it is amazing; the voice coaching is impeccable… I’m just full of fear because you don’t want to be the one who screws it up.”
But it sounds like Foy is more than happy to leave behind some handy hints, as Colman added: “She’s lovely, and she said I can call her anytime.”
Foy has already passed her judgement on the casting, and thankfully, Colman’s fear seems to be equally outweighed by her excitement to take on the iconic role of Queen Elizabeth II.
“I have remained ridiculously excited since. I’m trying to be cool,” the Broadchurch and Murder on the Orient Express star said.
“My agent was trying to be subtle, not knowing who was in the car with me, and she went, ‘It’s something about a tiara’, and I went ‘Oh, it’s The Crown!'”
Foy will leave after season 2, leaving Colman as an older version of the Queen in season 3 and 4 of the The Crown.
With six seasons expected from Peter Morgan’s historical heart-warmer, it’s expected that Colman will portray Elizabeth II in the middle of her life.
But with season 2 of The Crown still yet to hit the streaming giant, fans of the show will have to wait until 2019 before they can see Colman pick up the sceptre.
The Crown returns for its second season on Netflix on Friday, December 8.
Olivia Colman says Claire Foy will be an “incredibly hard act to follow” on The Crown.
The star of Broadchurch and The Night Manager takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Foy, who portrays her in the early years of her reign.
She said: “I’m so thrilled to be part of The Crown. I was utterly gripped watching it.”
Colman will be in series three and four of the show and is due to be seen in the role from 2019.
She paid tribute to her predecessor, saying: “I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius – she’s an incredibly hard act to follow.
“I’m basically going to re-watch every episode and copy her.”
Foy was equally complimentary, saying she was “apoplectic with joy” when she found out Colman was being lined up for the show.
“I just love her, I admire her so much and the idea that we sort of will be doing the same job but not actually working together is just enough – I’m honoured by that,” she said.
It is yet to be revealed who will play Prince Philip. Former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith is currently starring as the Duke of Edinburgh.
He and Foy will soon be seen in the second series of the show, due for release in December.
Foy, who has won a Golden Globe for the part, has previously said she was aware she would only be in two series.
“This is the last stint,” she told The Graham Norton Show. “It’s over, I’m done.
“I always knew it was only going to be two series and then the part would be reincarnated and someone else takes over. That’s the nature of the part.”
Colman, who won a Golden Globe for The Night Manager and has also appeared in BBC Three’s Fleabag, will play the Queen in the years from 1963, when the monarch turned 37.
Another actress is expected to take over to play the monarch in later life.
Fans were excited by her casting, with one saying it was “amazing news”.
Colman has form starring as royalty. She played the future Queen Mother in 2012’s Hyde Park on Hudson and will be seen as Queen Anne in next year’s The Favourite.
Netflix’s drama started in 1947 with Elizabeth’s engagement to Prince Philip and is expected to continue up to the present day.