Tuesday 20 March 2018

From Bridget Jones to The BFG, 2016 offers new fun with familiar faces

Adele takes her new album 25 on tour in 2016
Adele takes her new album 25 on tour in 2016

2016 is set to be a blockbuster year for British talent across TV, film and music.

From glossy period dramas to fill Downton Abbey's shoes to a third outing for Bridget Jones; from long-awaited David Bowie and Elton John albums to the big screen revival of champagne-soaked duo Patsy and Edina; and from a new trio tackling Top Gear to a feast of festival headliners, the showbiz calender will be jam-packed with the best of British next year.

Here are the events you cannot miss in 2016.

The movies.

:: Dad's Army

The beloved BBC war sitcom gets a big screen makeover as Sergeant Wilson, Captain Mainwaring and Privates Godfrey and Pike try to rout out a German spy hiding in Walmington-on-Sea. Starring Bill Nighy, Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

:: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

Lily James takes the lead in this mash-up of Austen's classic and modern zombie fiction that re-casts Lizzie Bennett and her sisters as a kick-ass zombie-killing army facing the threat of becoming one of the walking dead as well as lonely, penniless spinsters.

:: Bridget Jones's Baby

Twelve years after last starring as Bridget and her boyfriend Mark Darcy, Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth will reprise their roles for the third flick of the series. Little is known about the plot although we can pretty confidently guess there's a baby involved. And we know there's a cameo from Ed Sheeran.

::The BFG

Steven Spielberg's live action version of Roald Dahl's classic stars Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant who joins forces with orphan Sophie (British newcomer Ruby Barnhill) to defeat the inhabitants of Giant Land who plan to eat all of England's children.

:: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders are taking Patsy and Edina to the silver screen as the vodka-dependent duo find themselves fleeing to the French Riviera after causing a major incident at a chic fashion party. Star-studded cameos include Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian, Emma Bunton and Joan Collins.

The music.

:: Adele on tour

Christmas came early for those lucky enough to get a ticket as Adele takes her latest album 25 on the road and does what she does best - perform live. She'll begin in Belfast on February 29, before taking on Europe and North America.

:: Blackstar from Bowie

January 8 sees David Bowie's 69th birthday coincide with the release of his 25th studio album Blackstar. This rock-cum-jazz offering earned four stars from both Mojo and Q magazine, so treat yourself to a copy as a late Christmas present and a happy birthday to Bowie.

:: Elton John's Wonderful Crazy album

It's a return to the Rocketman's bluesy roots as he releases Wonderful Crazy World on February 5. Reuniting his lyricist Bernie Taupin, original drummer Nigel Olsson and guitarist Davey Johnstone, his first single Looking Up suggests an anthemic album of stomping piano chords and pop riffs.

:: Rock royalty headline

Glastonbury's headline acts are still stuck in the rumour-mill stage, but for the rest it's a feast of British talent. Queen, Stereophonics and Faithless have been announced for Isle of Wight; Take That, Mumford And Sons and Florence + The Machine will take over Hyde Park for Barclay's British Summer Time; and Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath will headline Download.

:: Newcomer Jack Garratt

Stardom surely beckons when your predecessors to the Brits' Critics Choice awards title are the likes of Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, and Adele. 2016 winner Jack Garratt flits between rock, pop and dubstep on his debut album Phase, due out on February 19, with the multi-instrumentalist playing the music himself too.

The TV.

:: Victoria

ITV's eight part drama Victoria - exploring the life of Queen Victoria from her ascension to the throne at 18 to her marriage to Price Albert - was good enough to persuade Jenna Coleman to leave behind her role as the Time Lord's assistant in Doctor Who, which bodes well for those desiring a bit of bodice-busting drama in the new year.

:: Doctor Thorne

Those missing Downton Abbey can get their Julian Fellowes-fill with his adaptation of Trollope's tangled tale of penniless aristocrats, scheming families and lustful young love. Rev's Tom Hollander plays the lead, with a stellar supporting cast that includes a small role for Prince Harry's ex Cressida Bonas.

:: Cold Feet

How will our couples navigate the minefield of middle-age? Cult relationship drama Cold Feet will return for a new series in 2016 after a 12 year break. Sadly Rachel (Helen Baxendale) won't be rejoining old chums John Thompson, Fay Ripley, Robert Bathurst, Hermione Norris and James Nesbitt.

:: Top Gear

All eyes will be on Chris Evans to see how the car-enthusiast revs life back into Top Gear after the fraught departure of its previous hosts. He'll reportedly be joined by Formula One star David Coulthard, German racing driver Sabine Schmitz and journalist Chris Harris in the new series.

:: War And Peace

The Beeb's ambitious six-part adaptation of Tolstoy's classic story about the repercussions of the French invasion of Russia on its aristocratic families stars Lily James, Paul Dano, Gillian Anderson and James Norton, and is penned by Andrew Davies, the man behind a shirtless Darcy in Pride And Prejudice. It has already been signed up to broadcast in 10 countries worldwide.

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