Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was once seen as Myanmar’s hope. More recently, she’s accused of standing by as the country’s military waged a brutal campaign against Rohingya Muslims. Now, FRONTLINE shines new light on the effort to kill and expel the Rohingya people from Myanmar — an effort that has been described by the United Nations as having the “hallmarks of genocide.” Investigate Myanmar’s Killing Fields – Tuesday night at 10 on UNC-TV.

First it was a cult comedy cinema classic … then it was a Broadway musical … and now it’s going to be a movie again! Regardless, Monty Python fans can rejoice as Eric Idle plans to turn Spamalot into a motion picture. Continue reading


Where Do I Know That Actor? (Paddington Edition)

Occasionally, I like to veer away slightly from UNC-TV programming to tackle a feature film that’s heavy with appearances by faces familiar to public broadcasting viewers. As such: Paddington 2. Now, I haven’t seen the film but it’s got a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes (which is pretty impressive) and the cast is rife with actors from many of our favorite shows. Let’s get into it, shall we?

We’ll start with Paddington himself. Actually the titular bear from deepest, darkest Peru is computer generated but the character is voiced by Ben Whishaw. Fans of Shakespeare may remember him as King Richard in Richard II on The Hollow Crown.

Next up: the Browns, Paddington’s adoptive family. Parents Henry and Mary are played by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, respectively. Bonneville is best known as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, on Downton Abbey. Hawkins was Anne Eliot on Persuasion, a 2007 Masterpiece adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Shakespeare fans no doubt enjoyed Sunday night’s Great Performances – The Hollow Crown: Henry VI, Part I. And keen-eyed viewers no doubt recognized quite a few faces familiar from other series UNC-TV has aired. Let’s go over some of them.

I think it’s safe to say Hugh Bonneville may be the most well-known of the actors. He played Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Henry VI’s uncle and Lord Protector of England. Bonneville was, of course, Earl of Grantham on Downton Abbey. He has also appeared in other Masterpiece offerings in the past. He was Charles Bovary in a 2000 adaptation of Madame Bovary and, a few years later, he was Hugh Cazalet in The Cazalets. Also, Bonneville portrayed Henleigh Grancourt in Daniel Deronda and Andrey Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago.

Sophie Okonedo was Queen Margaret, Henry’s betrothed. Okonedo portrayed Nancy in a 2009 presentation of Oliver Twist on Masterpiece. She was also Maggie Gardner on The Escape Artist, which aired on Masterpiece Mystery in 2014.

Michael Gambon was Mortimer, Earl of March. Granted, Gambon may be more famous for his role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise but he’s well known to public television fans as Chief Inspector Maigret on Mystery! Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

I just can’t seem to get away from The Durrells In Corfu. This week’s episode featured a visit by a passel of relatives from England led by the domineering Aunt Hermione. Hermione was played by Barbara Flynn, an actor I immediately recognized from a show we broadcast thirty years ago. Some quick research shows she’s been in a few series UNC-TV has aired over the years.

Barbara Flynn played Jill Swinburne in The Beiderbecke Affair – that’s the series I knew her from – back in the mid-80s. She was also seen in the Geoffrey Palmer comedy The Last Song as Shirley and as Madame Maigret opposite Michael Gambon in Mystery‘s Maigret series. Plus, there were several Masterpiece series where you may have seen her – she was Miss Browning in Wives and Daughters, Emily in The Forsyte Saga, Mrs. French in He Knew He Was Right and Mrs. Jamieson in Cranford. Along the way, she’s popped up in guest appearances on everything from Poirot to Inspector Lynley. And I’m sure there are some other roles I’m missing but that’s a pretty healthy resume for public television viewers.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at and I’ll try to help out.