Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 26 January 2007

Brighton Is Setting For Online Only Interactive Broadband Series!

An award-winning new media company's latest interactive broadband project for the BBC, Wannabes, goes live this week at www.bbc.co.uk/wannabes
Sheena Bhattessa: Star Of Wannabies

Bollywood film star Sheena Bhattessa, T4 TV presenter Danann Breathnach and theatre star Anna Winslet head the cast for the series which was filmed in London and Brighton.

Wannabes follows the story of Leila Ahmed, a feisty young would be newspaper reporter who leaves behind her previous life to start afresh in Brighton where she falls in with a group of aspiring young writers, pop stars and celebrities at a club called 'Wannabes'.

Told over fourteen short episodes, the series follows the characters as they pursue their personal ambitions and dreams.

Sheena Bhattessa, who plays the central character Leila, is a former Miss India finalist and Zee TV presenter, Sheena has also starred in various Bollywood productions.

Former Hollyoaks actor, Dannan Breathnach, plays Leila's love interest, undercover cop Paul, while Anna Winslet, elder sister of Titanic starlet Kate, plays Jocasta Harding, a thrusting ex-Fleet Street local newspaper editor who takes a shine to Leila and offers her a job.

Mike Dicks, Head of Development at Illumina Digital and Executive Producer for Wannabes said: "The series is a first for the BBC as it is exclusively available online, unlike most soaps where you can only shout at the screen in frustration, with Wannabes you can really get involved with the characters give them advice and see the consequences - if only we could have done that for Jade!"

The cast of Wannabes also includes the West End theatre actor John Paul Hevey, Dream Team stars Pippa Nixon and Duane Henry, veteran TV star Brian Croucher, and a number of other special guests who play cameos as themselves.

They include the double Olympic gold medal winning athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, who appears as a sports instructor.

Written by newcomers Ariane Sherine and Will Jewell, Wannabes is directed by Rik Lander, a video pioneer who in the 1980s, as one half of the Duvet Brothers, created "scratch video". Lander's TV credits range from A History of British Art to Eurotrash and Lonely Planet.

Using a mixture of streamed video, interactivity, animation and games, Wannabes encourages its TV web viewers to become part of the club crowd.

The Wannabes characters ask for advice on their relationships and life choices and award viewers a rating, depending on how much they value them as a friend.


Check-out Wannabes @ www.bbc.co.uk/wannabes


by: Mike Cobley



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Pic (c) Tony Woolliscroft

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