With award-winning premieres and returning series of well-known favourites, BBC Entertainment showcases seductive new contemporary drama and thrilling crime series, along with classic and cutting-edge comedy.
BBC Entertainment is also the home of firm favourites such as The Graham Norton Show, Top Gear and the award-winning series, Sherlock and Downton Abbey.
Benedict was born in 1976 to actor parents, Timothy Carlton and Wanda Ventham. It wasn’t long before he followed in their footsteps, and after studying drama at the University of Manchester, he continued his classical acting training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Benedict has built up an impressive acting résumé across film, television, theatre and radio.
Since 2001, Benedict has had major roles in numerous classic plays at the Regent’s Park Open Air, Royal Court and Royal National Theatres. Among his many standout roles is his 2011 performance in Danny Boyle’s stage production of Frankenstein, in which he played both Victor Frankenstein and his creature on alternate nights, sharing the role with Jonny Lee Miller.
His screen breakthrough came in 2004 when he portrayed Stephen Hawking in the television movie Hawking, for which he received a BAFTA Best Actor nomination. In 2010 he became a household name as Sherlock, earning him another BAFTA nomination. He then followed this up with acclaimed film roles in 12 Years a Slave (2013), The Fifth Estate (2013) and as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014).
His acting success has earned him numerous accolades and a wax figure in Madame Tussauds. In 2014, Time magazine named him as one of The 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Born in Devon in 1972 to a Royal Navy captain father and aristocratic mother, Miranda was raised in Hampshire and attended the prestigious independent girls’ boarding school, Downe House, in Berkshire.
After reading politics at Bristol Polytechnic, showbiz ambitions lead her to study acting at London’s Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). In the following years, Miranda focused on performing stand-up comedy and sketch shows at the Edinburgh Festival and on the London circuit, supporting herself with administrative temping work, including being a PA for the charity Comic Relief.
She first came to public recognition playing clumsy cleaner Barbara alongside Lee Mack in the hit TV sitcom Not Going Out, and went on to earn a Comedy Award nomination for her portrayal of Chloe Alice Teal in the sci-fi comedy Hyperdrive. She has also made memorable guest appearances in the TV comedy shows Nighty Night, Smack the Pony, Absolutely Fabulous, Vicar of Dibley and Lead Balloon.
In 2009, she struck comedy gold as the writer and star of her self-titled sitcom, Miranda – a series that has garnered an enviable four BAFTA nominations, three RTS Awards and three Comedy Awards.
Since 2012, Miranda has gained kudos as a straight actress, starring as a nurse in the hit drama series, Call the Midwife.
Before he became better known as Mr Norton, Graham Walker was born in the village of Clondalkin, near Dublin in Ireland on 4th April, 1963. His father Billy was a sales representative for Guinness, so the Walker family were on the move for much of Graham’s younger years. At the age of 12, he was sent to school in Bandon in County Cork, where he excelled in debating and drama. He was keen to escape school at the earliest opportunity and, at the age of 16, headed off for a job in a pottery – although when this didn’t work out, he ended up peeling apples for a meagre wage in order to make ends meet.
After winning a place at University College, Cork, Graham settled into studying for a degree in English and French. But he found college life lonely, and struggling to come to terms with his sexuality, he dropped out and headed for a commune in San Francisco. After an adventure-filled sojourn in the US, Graham then travelled to London where he secured a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Although he started out by training to become an actor, it soon became very obvious that his talents lay in making people laugh instead of impressing them with his Hamlet. In 1992, Graham Norton (as he had now become after a name change to satisfy the British acting trade union Equity) took his one-man show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Making a splash as a drag act, his appearance as tea towel-bedecked Mother Theresa got him noticed and he was nominated for a Perrier Award. His foray into the Fringe provided a springboard into the world of radio and he made a number of appearances on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends. He also went on to play the camp, jolly Father Noel Furlong in the classic priest-based sitcom Father Ted.
But he really hit the jackpot when Five (then Channel 5) launched in the UK in 1997. When the channel’s regular chat show host, Scottish comedian Jack Docherty went on holiday, Norton stepped into his shoes and won an award for his trouble, stealing the best newcomer gong at the British Comedy Awards that year.
He then went on to guest star in the comic quiz Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment and the game show Carnal Knowledge, but topped all of that in 1998 when he joined Channel 4 to present his own cheeky, innuendo-laden show, So Graham Norton. He followed this up with another smash hit in the shape of V Graham Norton, which ran for five nights a week, every week for a considerable period of time.
His success on Channel 4 led to the BBC signing him up to host shows including the Saturday night reality TV offering Strictly Dance Fever, Graham Norton’s Bigger Picture and his own eponymous chat show, The Graham Norton Show. In 2008, it was announced that Norton would also step into Sir Terry Wogan’s shoes as the regular UK presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest.
At the BBC, he added to his reality show host CV by fronting How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, Any Dream Will Do, I’d Do Anything, and Over the Rainbow alongside West End musical legend Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 2009, Graham hit London’s West End himself, starring in the cult musical La Cage Aux Folles.
Born in London in 1989, Charlotte was studying English and drama at Bristol University when she gained her big acting break and was cast as idealist literature undergraduate Oregon in the BAFTA-nominated sitcom, Fresh Meat.
In addition to winning the hearts of the nation as naive nurse Barbara Gilbert in Call the Midwife since 2015, Charlotte is also known for playing lazy sister Hannah to Tom Stourton’s incompetent Dan in the hit comedy series Siblings.
Beyond being an accomplished actress, Charlotte boasts a successful music career as a member of the classical crossover group All Angels. In 2006, the group's self-tilted debut album charted at number nine in the British charts, and also garnered a Classic BRIT Awards nomination. Signed to produce five albums, the four-strong group have clocked up three hit albums so far and have sold more than a million records.
Born in Birmingham in 1984 to a politics professor father and mother who works in the social care sector, Helen’s passion for dramatics was ignited starring in a production of Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical, Les Misérables, at the age of 15.
She mastered her craft at Birmingham School of Acting, and went on to secure a prestigious Ian Fleming Award to study musical theatre at the Royal Academy of Music.
Helen gained her big professional break when she was cast as Laura Fairlie in the original 2004 London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Woman in White, and progressed to garnering critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sharpay Evans in the 2008 touring stage adaptation of High School Musical.
In addition to portraying glamorous nurse Trixie Franklin in Call the Midwife since 2012, Helen’s other TV roles include playing Suzie in the hit drama series Hotel Babylon and frosty Selina in the sitcom Over to Bill.
Helen’s film credits include Valerie in Paul Wilkins’ 2011 flick 7 Lives, and starring as Blonde in Paul WS Anderson’s 2011 remake of The Three Musketeers.
An accomplished singer, Helen has also performed as a backing vocalist on tour with Sir Elton John!