Hacking Trial Lawyer: Brooks And Coulson Had 6-Year Affair
The phone-hacking trial taking place in London was the source of new revelations Thursday as prosecuting attorney Andrew Edis told jurors that defendants Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson carried on a six-year “secret” affair from 1998-2004. Brooks is the former head of News International (now News UK), the British press arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and Coulson was editor of the now-closed News Of The World before leaving to join Prime Minister David Cameron’s team as his communications director. As part of his opening remarks, Edis stressed that he was not bringing up the relationship between Brooks and Coulson, which the prosecution said was evident from a letter to Coulson that was found on one of Brooks’ computers, to intrude on their privacy or pass judgment. “The point that I’m going to make in relation to that letter is that over the relevant period, what Mr Coulson knew, Mrs Brooks knew too. And what Mrs Brooks knew, Mr Coulson knew too — that’s the point.” He told the court the affair spanned the period covered by the phone-hacking conspiracy charges the pair is facing, according to The Times. “Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are charged with conspiracy,” Edis said, “and, when people are charged with conspiracy, the first question a jury has to answer is how well did they know each other? How much did they trust each other?” At the time of the letter in 2004, Brooks was editor of The Sun and Coulson was at NOTW. Brooks is alleged by the prosecution to have been part of a phone-hacking conspiracy during her time editing NOTW, with victims that included Prince William, Prince Harry, Paul McCartney and Joanna Lumley. Coulson is alleged to have continued the conspiracy when Brooks left to edit The Sun. On Wednesday, as prosecutors set out their case, it was revealed that three former news editors have admitted involvement in the phone-hacking conspiracy. Per The Independent, Edis told the jury on Wednesday their job was to decide: “If there was phone hacking, who knew?” There are six other defendants in the current criminal proceeding, and all — along with Brooks and Coulson — have pleaded not guilty. Edis has promised a “long trial.”
Claire Danes Hosts Nobel Peace Prize Concert In Oslo
Claire Danes will host the Nobel Peace Prize Concert on December 11 in Oslo, Norway. The concert will honor the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for its “extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.” The annual award is given to an individual or organization whose work exemplifies a spirit of hope and leadership that will help promote peace in the world, Nobel Concert organizers said today. The concert will follow the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony that takes place on December 10.
‘Rev’ Set To Return On BBC Two
BAFTA-winning BBC Two comedy Rev is set to return for a six-part series in the spring. Produced by Big Talk, principal photography started today on the show that stars Tom Hollander as Reverend Adam Smallbone and Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman as his wife as they adjust to life as new parents in the inner-city parish of St Saviour’s. Guest stars this year will include Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, who reprises his recurring role as the reverend’s nemesis. Dexter Fletcher, who recently directed Toronto pic Sunshine On Leith, will play an artist who befriends the reverend. The series was created by Hollander and James Wood who is lead writer. Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) returns to direct the third series alongside new producer Polly Buckle (Being Human). BBC Worldwide has international sales.
Modern Times Group Launching Free-TV Channel Is Norway
Modern Times Group is launching a new free-TV channel in Norway in late November. TV6 will be MTG’s third free-TV channel in Norway, joining TV3 and Viasat4. The new general entertainment and lifestyle outlet will broadcast a combination of talk shows, drama, crime series and movies. Formats such as The Great British Bake-Off, The Jonathan Ross Show, Location, Location, Location and MasterChef UK will be aired. TV6 will also broadcast locally produced programming in 2014. It will be distributed on Norwegian TV platforms including MTG’s own Viasat satellite platform
Orb Media Group Launches Ironpond In China
Orb Media Group has formed Chinese-language, China-based production/financing entity Ironpond. Chen Yuling, formerly of Phoenix Film Group and Zebra Media, has been named executive in charge of the company in Beijing. Orb is partnered with LeVision Pictures on the $40M English-language project, The Legend Of 18 which is being readied for production in 2014. Ironprod will have a multi-pronged collaboration with martial arts writer Shiao Yi as one the pillars of the new label. Ironpond was the name of Shiao’s previous venture, which was the first private equity-style fund for films in China in partnership with the China Film Group. The group is planning scale and ambition that’s accessible to non-Chinese audiences around the world. The initial lineup includes a new interpretation of The 19th Assassin and the first installment of the Immortal Sword series. Each project will be in the $30M range, and will be financed by Orb Media Group and other partners including the Strategic Bang Group of Shanghai and China Mainstream Media Fund of Beijing. Ironpond will also be mine the Shiao library of books for exploitation across a range of media.