Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with present-day resonance as it explores a relationship that sparks intense social and political fallout. And it's made properly engaging with central roles beautifully played by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. So it's a shame that the screenplay is so simplistic, failing to generate any momentum in the story with its awkward structure and paper-thin side characters.
It opens in 1947, as Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) has spent 20 years of his life studying in London and is ready to return to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) to take his rightful place as king. But he has fallen in love with white, working-class Englishwoman Ruth (Pike), and they decide to return to Africa together. This causes a crisis for Seretse's uncle Tshkedi (Vusi Kunene), who has been ruling the country while Seretse was away. And there's even more fierce resistance from the British colonial officials (including Jack Davenport and Tom Felton), who refuse to allow the couple to live together in Bechuanaland because a mixed-race marriage undermines the UK's acceptance of South Africa's policy of Apartheid. So they exile Seretse from the country and manipulate the situation to Britain's political benefit. But Ruth stays and fights on.
The film chronicles this astonishing battle with a fascinating attention to detail, although screenwriter Guy Hibbert struggles to avoid repetition as the events shift between Africa and London, leaving main characters off the screen for what turns out to be years at a time. Meanwhile, the British are portrayed as moustache-twirling villains who lie and conspire to undermine the government of Bechuanaland. A bit more complexity might have made the situation compelling on-screen.
Continue reading: A United Kingdom Review
Viewers were calling for the sitcom to make a permanent return after Friday night’s episode.
The BBC resurrected classic nineties sitcom ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ on Friday night, as part of their series of one-off revivals which also saw the return of ‘Are You Being Served?’ and ‘Porridge’. But while most of the reboots got a lacklustre response from fans, the return of ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ landed with almost unanimous praise, as fans called for the show to make a full-time return.
Nicholas Lyndhurst stars in ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’
The sitcom, which originally aired from 1993 to 1999, stars Nicholas Lyndhurst as Gary Sparrow, a TV repairman, who accidentally discovers a time portal which allows him to travel back to 1940s London. Gary ends up leading a double life, travelling between his present-day home life with wife Yvonne and the past, where he begins a relationship with a woman named Phoebe. At the end of the series the portal closed and Gary ended up trapped in the 1940s for good.
Continue reading: BBC's 'Goodnight Sweetheart' Revival Is A Big Hit With Fans
Once upon a time, a handsome, intelligent man fell in love with an equally clever and intelligent woman, the couple married and lived happily ever after. Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama met in Britain in 1947, he was a young man training to be a barrister and she was a clerk working for Lloyds of London.
The pair immediately felt an affinity for one another and courted for a year before Seretse and Ruth married. As well as being an interracial couple, Seretse has a lot more to his past than Ruth ever knew. Seretse is a prince of Bechuanaland and lives a hugely important life in a county that feels a whole world away from the comparatively cosmopolitan London.
Though Ruth and Seretse married - much against the advice of all their peers - apartheid in South Africa, the people of Bechuanaland and the British government all played a part in keeping Sertse from his birth right and went to extreme lengths to have the couple extradited from the country.
Continue: A United Kingdom Trailer
The special 90-minute doc will go out in time for this summer's World Cup
There are many strings to David Beckham’s bow. A long and illustrious career in football is one of them, as he uses his sporting nous to potentially create an empire over in Miami. Acting is another one; though only for special occasions, like his cameo on 'Only Fools and Horses.' And he likes to support charities, too. But traversing Brazil’s vibrant rainforest is new to us.
Becks drops in on Del Boy and Rodders for Sports Relief
Beckham, accompanied on his expedition by fellow explorers Dave Gardner and Derek White, travelled to Brazil in secret to make the 90-minute film, which will tie in with this Summer’s World Cup, giving fans an insight into the country’s natural beauty while swarms of football fans descend upon city centres to soak up the atmosphere.
Continue reading: David Beckham: Footballer, Actor, Philanthropist... Rainforest Explorer?
David Beckham stars in Only Fools and Horses later this month.
Viewers have got their first look at David Beckham's upcoming appearance in an Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief. The new skit, which reunites Del Boy (David Jason) and Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) for the first time in over a decade, also stars Beckham - who made the first move to get the project off the ground.
David Beckham Joins Del Boy and Rodney in Peckham
In a newly released teaser clip, Beckham is seen sitting with Del Boy and Rodney in a Peckham café, wearing a pair of oversized spectacles. When Del Boy quizzes him on his peculiar eyewear, the former England captain offers up a line that Jason's market trader character would be proud of.
David Beckham is making the journey to Peckham for the 'Only Fools and Horses' Sport Relief sketch
David Beckham says he can "die a happy man" after making an appearance alongside David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst in a new Only Fools and Horse sketch for BBC1's Sport Relief. The former England captain is said to have instigated the TV special, which reunites Del Boy and Rodney for the first time in a decade.
David Beckham Stars In A Sport Relief Sketch
"The day of filming started off with a slightly sleepless night, going over my script," Beckham told Radio Times magazine.
Continue reading: David Beckham "Can Die A Happy Man" After 'Only Fools And Horses Sketch'
Only Fools and Horses' David Beckham episode will air in March.
Only Fools on Horses, David Beckham? Not two things you'd traditionally put together, but both British institutions formed a comedic alliance to shoot a special sketch for BBC One's Sport Relief. The scene - filmed this week - sees the English sports star head to Peckham to meet up with Del Boy and Rodney - Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst - in a local greasy spoon.
David Beckham meets up with Del Boy and Rodney in one of Peckham's greasy spoon.
The actors last played the wheeler-dealer Trotter brothers in a Christmas special in 2003. The new sketch will be broadcast on March 21 as part of the Sport Relief weekend.
Continue reading: 'Only Fools And Horses' Returns, With David Beckham
Del Boy and Rodders will be scheming through a short due to air later this year
There had been rumours floating around, but now it has been confirmed that Del Boy and Rodney will definitely be back on TV as an Only Fools And Horses short has been green-lit by the BBC. Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst will both return to the show for the one-off short, which will air in March as part of Sports Relief.
David Jason [L] and Nicholas Lyndhurst [R] will both be back for the sketch
The beloved UK sitcom, regularly voted the nation's favourite, will see the return of Del Boy and Rodders to their South London stomping ground in a "a short Only Fools and Horses sketch," which was confirmed by a BBC spokesperson this week. A statement from the network read: "There are plans afoot for a short Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief. Further details will be announced in the build up to the appeal night on March 21."
The beloved sitcom might be back by spring next year
Christmas is the season of TV specials and on screen treats, and before we've even seen 25th December this year, it already looks like we know what to look forward to seeing on the box next year and we might not even have to wait until Christmas for the TV treat!
Will the Trotter's iconic Reliant Robin be back too?
You may have thought it ended for good almost a decade ago, but it looks as though Del Boy and Rodney could be on their way back to our screens once again. Following the untimely death of series creator John Sullivan in 2011, it looked as though we had seen the last of the Trotters after all, but according to the show's star David Jason, that might not be the case. Lavely jubbly!
Continue reading: Is 'Only Fools And Horses' Returning To TV In 2014?
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.