Category: News

The much anticipated adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s award-winning young adult book series Noughts + Crosses has begun filming in South Africa for BBC One.

Mammoth Screen is producing this gripping story of first love in a dangerous, alternate world where racism divides society. The six-part series is written by Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Lydia Adetunji (Riviera), Nathaniel Price (Tin Star) and Rachel De-Lahay (Kiri).

Noughts + Crosses follows two young people Sephy and Callum, who are divided by their colour but united by love. Sephy is a ‘Cross’, a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a ‘Nought’, a white member of the underclass. The two have been friends since early childhood but their relationship grows ever more complicated as they come of age. It’s the story of two families separated by power and prejudice but forever entwined by fate.

BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Peaky Blinders, Born to Kill) will play Callum McGregor and newcomer Masali Baduza has been cast as Sephy Hadley.

Paterson Joseph (Timeless, Peep Show) plays Sephy’s father, the Home Secretary Kamal Hadley, Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) plays her mother Jasmine and her sister Minerva is played by Kike Brimah (Love Type D).

Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Cuckoo) and Ian Hart (The Last Kingdom, The Secret Agent) play Callum’s parents Meggie and Ryan and Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The Little Stranger) will play his older brother Jude.

Shaun Dingwall (Goodbye Christopher Robin, The Long Firm) plays Liberation Militia leader Dorn. The cast also features Jonathan Ajayi and Rakie Ayola (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, No Offence).

Malorie Blackman, author of the Noughts & Crosses novels, says: “I’m thrilled that the TV dramatisation of Noughts & Crosses has such an amazing cast to bring the story to the screen. It will be so exciting to see how the writers and actors open up the world I created, adding new breadth and detail.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama said, “Noughts & Crosses is a novel that leaves an indelible impression on anyone who reads it. It’s fantastic that we have such an electric cast and crew bringing this powerful story to the screen for the first time on BBC One.”

Executive producer Preethi Mavahalli says: “It is an absolute honour to be adapting this treasured novel for television.  We are delighted to have such a phenomenal cast bringing this iconic love story to the screen for both existing fans and a whole new audience.”

The adaptation is based on the first book in the Noughts & Crosses series for young adults, which has won the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award among other accolades. The author, Malorie Blackman OBE, was the Children’s Laureate from 2013 to 2015.

Noughts + Crosses is directed by Julian Holmes (Daredevil, Iron Fist) and Koby Adom and produced by Johann Knobel (Shameless). Executive Producers are Toby Whithouse, Kibwe Tavares (Jonah), Patrick Reardon for Roc Nation; Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Miura Kite; Preethi Mavahalli and Damien Timmer for Mammoth Screen and Ben Irving for BBC One. It will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

Press contacts:
Katy MacMillan-Scott – katy@riotcommunications.com

Lisa Vanoli – 07899 060230, lisavanolipublicity@gmail.com

About Mammoth Screen

Mammoth Screen is one of the UK’s leading production companies. Current and forthcoming shows include POLDARK series 5,  THE ABC MURDERS, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, WORLD ON FIRE and THE SERPENT for BBC1, Mammoth Screen is an ITV Studios Company.

About Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts & Crosses series, Thief and most recently her science fiction thriller Chasing the Stars. Her work has also been adapted for TV with the 6 part adaptation of Pig-Heart Boy winning a BAFTA. A stage adaptation of Noughts + Crosses was produced by the RSC, with a new production staged by Pilot Theatre running in 2019 under the direction of Sabrina Mahfouz. In 2005, Malorie was given the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her distinguished contribution to the world of children’s books, in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature and, between 2013 and 2015 she was the Children’s Laureate. Malorie wrote the acclaimed Rosa episode for the new Doctor Who series on BBC One and the fifth novel in her Noughts & Crosses sequence, Crossfire, will be published by Penguin Random House Children’s in summer 2019.

Alice Roberts for RIGB

Riot Communications has won a three-way pitch to promote the Royal Institution’s annual Christmas Lectures, the  Ri’s biggest  and  most  famous,  demonstration-based  science  event for  young  people.

With the exception of a pause during WWII, the Christmas Lectures have run continuously since 1825 and featured many famous scientists including Nobel  Prize  winners  William  and  Lawrence  Bragg,  Sir  David  Attenborough,  Carl  Sagan  and  Dame  Nancy  Rothwell. This year’s Lecturer will be Professor Alice Roberts, broadcaster and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. Professor Roberts will be exploring the topic of identity in a series of three lectures entitled “Who Am I?”

Robert Davies, Head of Marketing and Communications at the Royal Institution said: “The Christmas Lectures aren’t just about inspiring a love of science, but rather they’re about a critical examination of its place in our lives. In identity, we’ve chosen a topical subject that will resonate with everyone, and Alice will be asking some challenging questions about what identity means in today’s world and what genetic advances in particular might mean for our future. We were really impressed with the way Riot’s pitch went straight to the heart of what we want to achieve through the Christmas Lectures.”

Riot Communications MD Preena Gadher said: “As an agency driven by a desire to work with clients making a positive impact in the world, the Royal Institution is a perfect partner for us; it strives to inspire everyone to think about the role of science in their daily lives and the Christmas Lectures are a crucial platform for that. As the world’s oldest TV science series, the Lectures have become part of the festive tradition in households across the nation for generations. We can’t wait to help spread that magic to even more people.”

The Christmas Lectures will be broadcast on BBC Four between Christmas and New Year.

–ENDS–

For more information contact Emily Souders at Riot Communications: emily@riotcommunications.com / 020 3174 0118

About Riot Communications

Riot Communications is a PR agency specialising in culture and entertainment, because, like our clients, we want to make a positive impact in the world. We passionately believe that culture and entertainment help promote empathy, creativity, respect for others and joy which is why we love what we do.

About  the  Royal  Institution 

The Royal  Institution’s  (Ri)  vision  is  for  a  world  where  everyone  is  inspired  to  think  more  deeply  about  science  and  its  place  in  our  lives.  Home to  eminent  scientists  such  as Michael  Faraday,  Humphry  Davy  and  Kathleen  Lonsdale,  its  discoveries  have  helped  to shape  the  modern  world.  Just  as  importantly  these  scientists  recognised  the  importance  of  sharing  their  work  with  the  wider  public.  Today  it  continues  its  mission  to  build  on  its  heritage  and  create  opportunities  for  everyone  to  discover,  discuss  and  critically  examine  science  and  how  it  shapes  the  world  around  us.  An  independent  registered  charity,  the  Ri  provides  science  education,  public  engagement,  and  heritage  activities  for  people  of  all  ages  and  backgrounds  across  the  UK  and  around  the  world.

Prize backed by Cambridge University aims to promote innovative thinking that tackles the major issues of our time

The Nine Dots Prize has today (Friday 5th October) announced that it is offering US$100,000 and a book deal with Cambridge University Press to whoever can best answer the question ‘Is there still no place like home?’

This marks the launch of the second cycle of the Nine Dots Prize, which is designed to promote and encourage innovative thinking and engaging new writing that addresses the challenges facing the modern world. The Prize is judged entirely anonymously and encourages submissions from both experienced authors and new voices.

Entrants must respond to the set question in 3,000 words and provide an outline showing how they would expand their response, backed up with relevant research and evidence, into a short book of between 25,000-40,000 words. The winner will receive editorial support from Cambridge University Press as well as the opportunity to spend a term at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), at Cambridge University, to help develop their ideas and focus on their writing.

The Prize will be judged by an 11-strong Board of internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. In 2018/2019 they will include Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author Anne Applebaum; Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge Professor David Runciman and co-founder and publishing director of one of Africa’s leading publishing houses, Cassava Republic Press, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf. The Board will again be chaired by Professor Simon Goldhill, Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge.

Professor Goldhill says: “What makes the Nine Dots Prize unique is the anonymous judging process, which ensures that it is awarded solely based on the entrants’ ability to engage fully and insightfully with the question and deliver an original and well-evidenced response. The Prize seeks answers to some of the major challenges facing the world today, but the questions that we set are intentionally open to allow for different responses. We are looking for a new voice that has a new perspective on one of the most pressing issues for modern life.”

The inaugural Nine Dots Prize posed the question ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?’ and was won by former Google employee turned Oxford philosopher, James Williams. The resulting book, Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy, was published in May 2018 to critical acclaim (‘A landmark book’ – the Observer; ‘Switch off your smartphone, slouch in a comfy chair, and pay your full, undivided, attention to this short, absorbing, and deeply disturbing book’ – Financial Times).

James Williams says: “Before winning the Nine Dots Prize, I’d spent several years at Oxford investigating a problem that I felt was of great consequence for society. However, I lacked a clear platform for bringing that thinking to the world. Winning the Nine Dots Prize gave me such a platform: it afforded me the time, the resources, and the support structure I needed to quickly distil some of those ideas into a book. Throughout the writing and editing process, I was particularly fortunate to have benefitted from the expert editorial guidance of Cambridge University Press, research support from CRASSH, and perceptive feedback from the Nine Dots staff and board. This is a unique prize. If you feel you’ve got something unique to say, I’d strongly encourage you to contribute a response to this year’s question.”

The Nine Dots Prize is open to anyone worldwide aged 18 years or over writing in English. Entries must be submitted through the online submission form by midday (GMT) on Monday 21st January 2019. The winner will be announced on 29th May 2019.

For more information, submissions guidance and to enter the Nine Dots Prize, visit http://www.ninedotsprize.org/ and follow the Prize on Twitter @ninedotsprize

Gutsy Animations, the Finnish production company behind the cutting-edge family TV drama MOOMINVALLEY, have struck a deal with Columbia Records, part of Sony Music Entertainment, which will see numerous Sony artists contribute songs to the show’s soundtrack.

The first series of the animation – which is based on the beloved Moomin stories by Finnish-Swedish author and artist Tove Jansson – is currently in production. MOOMINVALLEY will consist of 13 x 22-minute-long episodes and will be broadcast in 2019 on Sky One and Sky’s on-demand service NOW TV in the UK and public broadcaster YLE in Finland, with many more deals under negotiation worldwide.

As a result of the collaboration with Sony Music, each of the episodes will include a featured track by one of the record label’s artists.

Marika Makaroff, Creative Director and Executive Producer at Gutsy Animations, said: “From the beginning of this project we have been ambitious with our vision – and it has paid off in spades. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Sony Music, which is home to some of the world’s best artists, and can’t wait to announce the incredible names that will be writing brand new music for Moominvalley. What we’ve heard so far is truly magical – it perfectly captures the sense of wonder and spirit of adventure so central to the world Tove created.”

Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, president of Columbia Records UK, said: “We are very proud here at Columbia Records to collaborate with Gutsy Animations on the MOOMINVALLEY soundtrack. The Moomins are culturally important around the world and we have a fantastic line up of artists across Sony Music Entertainment contributing featured songs to the soundtrack.”

The full line-up of Sony Music Entertainment artists contributing featured songs to the MOOMINVALLEY soundtrack will be announced in the coming months, ahead of the animation airing in spring 2019. The tracks will complement an original score composed by Finnish musicians Pekka Kuusisto, whose father composed with Tove Jansson in the 1970s and wrote the Finnish National Opera’s Moomin Opera in 1974, and Samuli Kosminen.

The Moomins are one of Finland’s biggest exports and have a global fan base. They have enjoyed popularity in the UK since the 1950s, when the original Moomin comic strips were published in the Evening News newspaper. MOOMINVALLEY has the approval of Moomin Characters, the business set up by Moomin creator Tove Jansson and her brother Lars in the 1950s, and Bulls Licensing, their global licensing agent.

For further information please contact Caitlin Allen at Riot Communications on

020 3174 0118 / caitlin@riotcommunications.com

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Cast and characters of MOOMINVALLEY

  • Moominmamma – Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, A United Kingdom, An Education)
  • Moominpappa – Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, Toast of London, The Philanthropist)
  • Moomintroll – Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Eddie the Eagle, Testament of Youth)
  • Snorkmaiden – Akiya Henry (Bing, Bottersnikes and Gumble, Noddy in Toyland)
  • Sniff – Warwick Davis (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Life’s Too Short)
  • Little My – Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, A Royal Night Out, Carrie Pilby)
  • Snufkin – Edvin Endre (Eddie the Eagle, Vikings, Nameja gredzens)
  • Ninny – Mayumi Kawai
  • Teety-Woo – Matt Lucas (Bridesmaids, Doctor Who, Little Britain)
  • Too-Ticky – Katie Leung (Harry Potter)
  • Misabel – Rebecca Root (The Danish Girl, Boy Meets Girl)
  • Mymble – Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, French and Saunders, Shrek)
  • Emma the Stage Rat – Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey, Pride & Prejudice)
  • Hemulen (Female) – Susie Brann
  • Hemulen (Male) – Joe Wilkinson (Rovers, Miranda, Him & Her)
  • Mrs Fillyjonk – Kate Winslet (Titanic, Revolutionary Road, The Reader)
  • The Muskrat – Will Self (Shooting Stars, author of Phone and Sky Arts drama The Minor Character)
  • The Ghost – Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, presenter of Travel Man & Crystal Maze)

About Gutsy Animations

Gutsy is a team of creators and producers who believe that the world is in need of funny, clever, gutsy and – above all – meaningful content. All of its productions are aimed at international audiences and based on a concept of genuine social impact.

About Sony Music

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars.  The company boasts a vast catalogue that comprises some of the most important recordings in history.  Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About Columbia Records

Founded in 1887, Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in pre-recorded sound.

Columbia Records went on to release records by an array of notable singers, instrumentalists and groups. From 1961 to 1990, its recordings were released outside the U.S. and Canada on the CBS Records label before adopting the Columbia name in most of the world.

Today it is a premier subsidiary label of Sony Music Entertainment. Its roster features some of the most famous names in music history alongside some of the finest cutting edge artists in the world today. In the UK it is led by President Ferdy Unger-Hamilton.

About Moomin Characters

Oy Moomin Characters Ltd is the owner, originator and official company responsible for supervising and managing the Moomins’ brand, copyright and registrations. The company was started in 1958 by Tove Jansson and her brother Lars Jansson and even today is run by family members. Sophia Jansson, Lars’s daughter and Tove’s niece, is Chairman of the Board and Creative Director at Moomin Characters. All characters from Moominvalley are registered trademarks.

Moomin in the UK

The Moomins are currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the UK. Last year, a series of major Moomin-themed events and exhibitions took place, including Southbank Centre’s immersive Adventures in Moominland and Kew Gardens’ Easter Festival. Dulwich Picture Gallery presented the first major UK exhibition of work by Tove Jansson – including not only Moomin drawings but also Jansson’s surrealist-inspired paintings of the 1930s and abstract works of the ‘60s, her satirical anti-war cartoons and book jacket designs – and the Moomins featured prominently at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

A diverse range of quality Moomin products are available in the UK, from new Collectors’ Editions of the original Moomin stories (published by Sort of Books) and a guide to the Moomins, The World of Moominvalley (published by Macmillan Children’s Books), to 100% cashmere sweaters and other accessories from fashion label Chinti and Parker.

Campaigns Manager – permanent, based in London

Salary – £ Competitive

Are you passionate about culture and entertainment? Have you got a track record in comms? Riot Communications is hiring. We want to make the world a better place and we know that theatre, film, TV, books, art do just that. We thrive on devising and executing smart, creative, positive communications strategies that deliver real, measurable results for our clients in these sectors. If you would like to work on some of the UK’s most significant cultural moments, have a lot of fun and make a difference to people’s perspectives while you’re at it, apply now for our Campaigns Manager role.

About Us:

Riot Communications is a multi-award-winning PR agency, specialising in culture and entertainment. Clients include: Moomins; Penguin Random House; Mammoth Screen; Gutsy Animations; William Hill Sports Book of the Year; The Astrid Lindgren Company; Book Trust; Arts Council England; and The Royal Society.

We are looking for an exceptional and experienced Campaigns Manager to join our energetic team.

About the role:

You will be responsible for creating and implementing PR campaigns that are in line with our agency ethos: intelligent, passionate, collaborative, and disruptive.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead and project manage campaigns independently and as part of a team, delegating as required
  • Delegation to junior team members
  • Liaise directly with clients and manage your own clients
  • Liaise directly with and manage talent
  • Organise and attend regular journalist meetings
  • Organise and implement events
  • Help to generate new business and participate in new business activities
  • Manage personal administration

About you:

  • Be a proactive self-starter – you’ll be personally motivated and get things done before being asked
  • Have excellent attention to detail
  • Have experience of delegating to junior team members
  • Be an exceptional communicator in all mediums – writing clear, creative copy is essential as is a natural social ability on the phone and in person
  • Be super-organised
  • Be curious – you will go out of your way to discover new things, and will be eager to question and to learn
  • Be imaginative and thoughtful – your approach to work will be considered, and you will think about things laterally
  • Be able to work independently and as part of a small organisation that places team-work at the heart of the business

Essential Criteria:

  • Minimum 4 years of solid publicity experience either in-house or at an agency
  • A passion for culture and entertainment
  • Event organisation skills
  • Demonstrable experience of creative digital PR

If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. Please apply in writing to info@riotcommunications.com with a CV and a covering letter explaining why you should be our next employee, including your current salary and notice period by Friday 21st September 2018. Only candidates invited to interview will receive a reply.