Happy Birthday, Alfie!

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Alfie is a 5 year old boy who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in February 2018. Sadly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, his 6th birthday party on 25 April 2020 had to be cancelled. To make his day extra special, his dad has asked people to send video messages to his page.

Here’s Andrew Gower‘s video message. You can send one, too, and help raise awareness by using the hashtags #HappyBirthdayAlfie #DuchenneAwareness #StayHomeSaveLives


Further Links:

Black Mirror’s Andrew Gower: My Everton Story

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Toffee TV – Everton’s fan channel – have posed a video interview with Andrew Gower in which they talked about his acting career and all things Everton (Andrew’s favourite football team).

Watch the interview below and tweet to let Toffee TV (@ToffeeTVEFC) and Andrew (@TheAndrewGower) know what you thought of it!

Exclusive Q&A with Andrew Gower

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With most of us in some form of quarantine during the Covid-19 epidemic, we hope the follwing interview will provide some welcome distraction. Andrew Gower graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us earlier this week – little did he know how many there would be! He answered all of them nonetheless and we cannot thank him enough for his time and patience!

We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did coming up with questions and covering “a bit of everything”.


First things first: How are you?

Right now, I feel like I should be asking all of you … how you are? … but I shall answer your question : despite the craziness of the world right now – I’m well thank you and healthy. Self isolating in London. In a VERY clean flat.

This question needs to be asked: On a scale from 1-10, how weird or how awesome is it for you to have your own small fanbase?

10 for awesomeness. The weirdness has worn away.

Do you remember the first time someone asked you for your autograph?

The first autograph I ever signed was at a cinema in Angel – the person sat next to me thought I was Andy Murray.

You’re not very active on Social Media. What changed your mind about joining Instagram? Do you have a preference?

I love Twitter for football. All Everton news. That’s a daily go to. I do like to post random photos or music on both – sporadically. I think it’s a nice way to share work you’re passionate about. But I’ve definitely made a conscious effort to spend less time on them. Nothing wrong with a bit of mystery.

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Tell us something about Andrew, the actor: when you’re filming, what’s the first thing you do when you come on set? Do you have a special routine?

This changes from set to set … or whatever scenes I’m filming that day. But I’d say a common go to is a cup of black coffee or at a push a red bush tea.

Is it as hard for you as it is for us fans to wait for a new film or TV series to come out after you’ve wrapped filming?

Part of the fun of wrapping a project is knowing that when it comes out you’ll be in a completely different headspace/another role 🤞. There’s something magical about that. Much nicer to be able to watch a project from a distance – not that I’m an avid viewer of my work anyway.

Out of all the characters you played, do you have a favourite?

I really don’t. The joy is being able to think what you can play next or how you could improve the role you just played/make better for next time.

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Probably one of the most beloved characters you’ve played so far is Sherlock Holmes (lovingly nicknamed “Baby Sherlock” by your fans btw) on Murdoch Mysteries. It’s been 7 years and people are still asking if/when you’ll make a comeback. Are you aware there’s even an online petition that asks for your return?

I’m not aware but that’s very lovely to hear.

What would Sherlock Holmes think about Miss Eliza Scarlet?

Probably be incredibly envious of her talents … and hat collection.

Sherlock Holmes, Rupert Parker and Ezra Spurnrose are all Victorian men (even though Ezra isn’t really from the 19th century). Were you able to use some of your research for the other characters?

I’ve definitely had my overdose of Victorian England. Etiquette coming out of my ears. Although with every character I try and approach them with a different mind set or from a different angle – but it definitely helps to have researched a time period.

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One of your fans once commented that it takes “guts and talent” to take on characters like Caligula or Bonnie Prince Charlie. What do you think were some brave choices you made in portraying either character?

That’s lovely to hear. I think one of the main things I took from drama school and from actors I admire … is that we should always be taking risks. Creative risks. Bold choices. Just like Brian Epstein took a risk on 4 lads from Liverpool. Best creative decisions are always risks.

Speaking of Caligula: there were moments when he definitely reminded us on Peter Ustinov’s Nero in the old classic Quo Vadis. Have you ever seen it?

I’ve never seen it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Three of the characters you played recently (Tommy Quickly, James Hadfield and Ben Taylor) are all battling (different) mental health issues. Coincidence or is this a topic you particularly liked exploring at that moment?

Honestly, it’s just they’re all really interesting characters on the page. It’s an amazing opportunity to play somebody who faces different day to day obstacles than yourself.

Can you share any news on Running Naked?

The last I heard the final edit is finished.

Iceland, Sweden, the Czech Republic – you filmed in some pretty cold places lately. Which one was your favourite (and do we need to knit some mittens for the future)?

I really couldn’t choose. V lucky to have filmed in all those countries. My mitten game is strong … don’t you worry.

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Congratulations on a second season for Carnival Row! How does it feel to be back for another season?

It’s great to be back!

Our corner of the internet imploded a little, when you announced your part in the final season of Poldark. To see Mitchell and Cutler unite is probably the biggest dream, Being Human fans never knew they had, come true. How was filming with Aidan Turner?

Great to finally meet Aidan. Was lovely to chat about our time on Being Human and many of the Poldark crew had been on the show too. Joy to see them all!

You recently completed your first film as a producer. Can you tell us something about the experience to be in charge of a project from beginning to end? Would you like to produce again, maybe also direct?

It’s definitely something I’d like to do again. Though like with everything … It’s all about finding the right project and then you’ll NEED to do it.

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It seems you often manage to include some of your music when you’re acting, for example one of Emerson’s songs is featured in an episode of Monroe. How did that happen?

Our wonderful producer Jennie Scanlon found out I had been in a band and asked if they could use the music for the episode.

Another example is Rob (Black Mirror), who is singing in his car just before the fatal accident. Was that scene improvised?

That was scripted. Charlie Brooker and John Hillcoat were very specific with the song choice.

If you had become a professional football player, which position would you have played? Who’s your favourite player?

Oh best question of the day. I was a delusional central midfielder. Still am. My favourite player is Leighton Baines.

Anything you want to say to your fans?

Thanks so much for all your support and now more than ever please stay safe n at home.

Thanks a million, Andrew, for taking the time and agreeing to answer this really long list of questions. Stay safe and well, and we can’t wait to see you in your upcoming projects!

>>> Don’t miss Miss Scarlet and The Duke on 31 March 2020 9:00pm on Alibi channel! <<<

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Miss Scarlet and The Duke Video Interviews

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Media blog HeyUGuys met up with Miss Scarlet and The Duke‘s creator and executive producer Rachael New and director Declan O’Dwyer as well as the show’s two leads Kate Phillips (Eliza Scarlet) and Stuart Martin (William “The Duke” Wellington) and talked with them about the upcoming period crime drama.

Watch the interviews below, and read our own exclusive interviews with Rachael New and Declan O’Dwyer! Find out how to watch Miss Scarlet and The Duke in your country!

Andrew Gower plays Miss Scarlet’s best friend Rupert Parker, a mild mannered and slightly nervous young man who invests in Eliza’s agency and is one of her few supporters.

  • Rachael New and Declan O’Dwyer
  • Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin

ETA (31 March 2020):

In this episode of A Stab In The Dark, Mark Billingham talks to Kate Phillips and Rachael New. Kate and Rachael discuss with Mark the enduring appeal of the Victorian era when it comes to crime fiction and drama and explain why Eliza Scarlet is the female Sherlock Holmes.

Kate Phillips / Miss Scarlet on The Balance Podcast

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The Balance Podcast posted a special bonus episode with Kate Phillips (who plays Eliza Scarlet in the upcoming Miss Scarlet and The Duke) for International Women’s Day.

Kate is arguably best known for the role of Linda Shelby on BBC mega-smash Peaky Blinders. And she’s also enjoyed huge success with Aftermath, The Crown, the Downton Abbey film and much more.

Kate also talks about the great work done by Era 50:50, who campaign for 50-50 representation on stage and screen.

Listen to the whole interview on The Balance Podcast.


Exclusive Q&A with Rachael New

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Rachael New

We had the great pleasure of speaking to the wonderfully talented Rachael New, creator of the upcoming drama Miss Scarlet and The Duke. We talked about her work on the 6 part series, the challenges of writing in a period setting and her plans for the future.


The British screenwriter’s impressive CV consists of a wide variety of drama and comedy series, both in contemporary and historical settings. In 2009 she wrote and co-created comedy drama series Monday Monday (starring Tom Ellis and Miranda Hart) for British channel ITV. She’s well-known for her work on The Mallorca Files (BBC), which also features a male and female detective clashing on how to investigate, and period drama Grantchester (ITV). Miss Scarlet and The Duke is the first time she serves as creator, writer and show runner.


What are you most excited about for fans to discover about Miss Scarlet and The Duke?

There is so much I’m looking forward. The characters have been so much fun to write. My protagonist Eliza Scarlet is a force of nature – an ambitious, independent woman living at a time where women had little or no rights. This creates lots of lovely conflict which you need to create a cracking story. I also think the tone of the series is quite a fresh take on the period genre. It’s a drama but punctuated with lots of comedy. I think this is something that will feel quite new and exciting to watch.

There’s no release date yet but can you maybe roughly hint at when we can expect to see it?

In the UK it will be on UKTV March time and in the States on PBS MASTERPIECE in September.

Great news, especially for everyone this side of the pond. Thank you!

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Meet the main cast of Miss Scarlet and The Duke!

How much research went into your work on Miss Scarlet and The Duke?

A lot. I wanted the world to feel as authentic as possible so that Eliza’s struggle could cut through. It wasn’t a chore. I love history, and curling up on my sofa with a pile of books, cup of tea (or g&t) usually with a blanket or a cat on my lap, is my idea of heaven.

That sounds really heavenly indeed! Is Miss Scarlet based on historic events? Was there a real “Miss Scarlet“?

The character of Eliza Scarlet is fiction – there were no female detectives in 19th century London – however the world she inhabits is very much an authentic one. I felt it was important to research as much as possible. The 19th century was very much a male dominated society and at its core the premise of Miss Scarlet and The Duke is a woman in a man’s world trying to stay in the game.

What was your inspiration for Miss Scarlet, as a character and as a series?

We have a female Doctor Who so I wanted to write a female Sherlock Holmes, but unlike Holmes Eliza Scarlet is more human and less super hero. And where Holmes would be celebrated for his brilliance, Eliza has to work a hell of a lot harder for any kind of respect or recognition.

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In our recent Q&A, director Declan O’Dwyer called you and Miss Scarlet “one and the same”. Would you agree?

Haha! There is a lot of me in Eliza – her determination, her impatience, her lack of culinary skills – I’d rather be digging in the garden covered in mud than in the kitchen baking. But Kate Phillips (who plays Eliza) has brought so much to the role that now I’m writing season 2 I just think of her. She is sensational.

Can you share anything about the casting process? What were you looking for in the actors portraying Eliza, the Duke, and Rupert?

I was looking for that spark, a connection that the actor has with the script. As soon as I met with Kate (Eliza), Stuart (Duke), Andrew (Rupert), Ansu (Moses) and Cathy (Ivy) I knew immediately that’s who I wanted. Each are very special actors. They’ve brought magic to the screen and I feel extremely lucky to have them on the show.

Standard and inevitable question: how was working with Andrew Gower?

Andrew’s funny, smart, intuitive and just a lovely person to hang out with. Rupert Parker is a complex character and Andrew did a beautiful job of playing those nuances with such subtlety. He manages to make you laugh as well as move you all at the same time. He’s a class act.

We couldn’t agree more!

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Andrew Gower as Rupert Parker

How old were you when you started writing? Has writing always been a passion for you?

I always loved writing as a kid and a teen but never really thought about making a living out of it. It was later when I had my first baby (who is now almost 18!) that a stranger actually paid me for a piece of writing. I haven’t stopped since.

Do you enjoy writing historical stories or contemporary ones? And why? What are some pros and cons of each genre?

I’m a period drama junkie so that is my preference both to watch as a viewer and to write. There are many cons of writing period – it’s costly and it’s tricky when out on location to cover up the signs of our modern age – satellite dishes, telephone lines, street lights… but it’s worth the hassle. I love diving into a world that isn’t recognisable as my own. To me that’s true escapism and what storytelling is all about.

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Filming Miss Scarlet and The Duke in Dublin

Miss Scarlet and The Duke was the first time producing your own show. How did that feel?

It was exhausting, stressful, relentless… and I loved every minute of it. Working with director Declan O’Dywer was a real career high for me. I’ve found a friend for life as well as a trusted colleague who I’ll definitely be working with on other projects. I don’t want to big him up too much or he’ll get a big head and it’s already pretty big – that and the fact that someone else might snap him up if they realise just how good he is.

Show Running Miss Scarlet has been incredible but I had an awesome team behind me. Ben Edwards who over the years has often been my writing partner on other shows (and who rather conveniently also happens to be my husband) wrote a couple of the episodes and helped me break the stories. Then there’s my formidable exec producer team headed up by Patty Ishimoto at Element 8. It was a massive team effort.

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Cast & Crew of Miss Scarlet and The Duke at the World Premiere

What’s your next project? Anything you can share?

I’ve got a Tudor thriller that’s an itch I’m going to scratch at some point, but at the moment it’s all Miss Scarlet. I’m in the middle of writing the first two episodes of season 2.

Thank you so very much, Ms New, for taking the time to answer our questions. We are even more excited to see Miss Scarlet and The Duke now and are loving the idea of a second season!



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