New year, new red-hot titles to binge on BritBox South Africa

MATTHEW MACFADYEN as John Stonehouse

TWO brilliant detective shows as only the Brits can make them – Grace and The Chelsea Detective – plus the BritBox Original Stonehouse, lead a choice range of exclusive series this January. 

Launching on January 17 hot from British screens and starring real-life husband-and-wife Matthew Macfadyen (Succession, Pride and Prejudice) and Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty, Bodyguard, The Durrells), limited three-part series Stonehouse is based on the true story of a high-flying UK Labour MP who faked his own death with disastrous consequences.

As a high-flying member of Harold Wilson’s Labour government and a seemingly devoted family man, John Stonehouse’s perfect life spirals out of control in the early 1970s amid rumours of fraud and espionage. It turns out that while Stonehouse has been climbing the political ladder, he’s also been forging secret relationships – with his secretary Sheila Buckley (Emer Heatley – Showtrial) and shadowy figures in Prague – that will threaten him personally and professionally.

Matthew Macfayden as John Stonehouse, flanked by Keeley Hawes as Barbara Stonehouse, and Emer Heatley as Sheila Buckley, in Stonehouse

As the drama unfolds, suspicion from his wife Barbara and the media grows. Stonehouse embarks on an outlandish escape plan that will lead him to Miami, Melbourne and eventually – hand-in-hand with Sheila – the dock of London’s highest criminal court. All this, while Prime Minister Wilson’s (Kevin McNally – The Crown, Unforgotten, Pirates of the Caribbean) slender majority hangs in the balance.

You can treat yourself to some great British entertainment this month with the second season of Richard Hammond’s Workshop now streaming, which sees the former Top Gear presenter continuing his lifelong dream of restoring classic cars – but with an array of entertaining roadblocks thrown in!

The first season, also available to stream on BritBox, showed Hammond fulfilling a lifelong ambition of starting his restoration and repair workshop, The Smallest Cog, near his home in Herefordshire.

Richard Hammond

Striving to learn the business from the ground up, Richard teamed up with car “wonder family” Neil, Anthony and Andrew Greenhouse. These all-new episodes will see the team get a crash course (!) in racing and follow Richard as he tries to impress prospective clients at a high-end car event. We’ll also see Richard’s wife, Mindy, investigate her husband’s business management skills, leading to some tricky conversations, plus the dad-of-two will be taking on one of his biggest challenges yet as he tries to teach his daughter, Willow, how to drive.

Peter James’s best-selling detective novels, which have sold more than 21 million copies worldwide, are brought to life from January 12 in season one of Grace, with two feature-length episodes set on the Brighton coast and featuring a critically acclaimed lead performance by John Simm (Doctor Who, Life on Mars, Cracker) as an unorthodox detective in search of redemption. 

John Simm as DS Roy Grace

The drama opens with DS Roy Grace’s career at rock bottom. Fixated by the disappearance of his beloved wife, he’s in the last-chance saloon, running enquiries into long-forgotten cold cases with little prospect of success. Following another reprimand for his unorthodox police methods, Grace is skating on thin ice. But when a stag night prank appears to go wrong and the groom goes missing, Grace doggedly probes his disappearance and becomes uneasily close to the bride-to-be …  Also starring Zoë Tapper (Liar, The One) as Cleo Morey and Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty) as DS Norman Potting.

Can’t get enough of UK crime dramas? Moving to one of London’s poshest neighbourhoods, The Chelsea Detective stars Adrian Scarborough (The King’s Speech, Killing Eve) as a houseboat-dwelling detective solving crimes among the upper crust, coming on January 26.

The Chelsea Detective

Across four feature-length episodes, Max and DC Priya Shamsie (Sonita Henry – Luther, Krypton) investigate a wide range of crimes at locations ranging from a stonemasons’ workshop at Brompton Cemetery to a fashionable school for international students and a local garden centre with links to Chelsea Football Club hooligans. A hit with UK and international audiences, The Chelsea Detective has already been commissioned for a second season.

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