Bobby Ball Dies After COVID Diagnosis; BBC Studios MasterClass-Style Service; Acorn Renews ‘My Life Is Murder’ – Global TV Briefs

British Comedian Bobby Ball Dies
Bobby Ball, the British comedian and star of shows including BBC One’s Not Going Out, has died at the age of 76 after testing positive for coronavirus. He was one half of double-act Cannon and Ball alongside Tommy Cannon, while he has appeared in comedies including Last of the Summer Wine and Benidorm. He was also a contestant on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2005. “At first it was thought to be a chest infection but a test proved positive for Covid-19,” his manager said in a statement. “His wife Yvonne said the hospital and staff could not have been more wonderful, as they were outstanding in their care of duty and they did everything possible for him and she cannot praise them enough.” Cannon paid tribute by quoting his partner’s catchphrase: “Rock on, my good friend, I can’t believe this, I’m devastated.” UK television industry figures chimed in, with Big Talk Pictures CEO Kenton Allen tweeting: “Rock On Bobby.”

BBC Studios Launches MasterClass-Style Service
BBC Studios is launching an education platform, named BBC Maestro, which is similar to the American MasterClass platform. The commercial arm of the BBC has teamed with stars including Bodyguard writer Jed Mercurio and Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams to provide courses in disciplines such as writing for TV. Each BBC Maestro course can be purchased for a one-off fee of £80 and is personally crafted by the individual leading the course. Stephen Davies, managing director of consumer products and licensing at BBC Studios said: “BBC Maestro offers the ultimate guides for anyone who has a dream or a passion that they’ve always wanted to perfect. Whether you want to write a best-selling book or TV series, become a songwriter, learn to act, cook like a Michelin-starred chef or become an entrepreneur, these lessons provide a rare opportunity for novices and experienced amateurs alike to hone their craft and learn from the very best in the world.”

Acorn TV Back In For ‘My Life Is Murder’
Lucy Lawless (Top of the Lake) drama My Life Is Murder is to return for a second, 10-part season after being greenlit by a patchwork of international players. AMC-owned streamer Acorn TV is coming back in for the series, taking the North American, UK, and Australian rights, while New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ and Network 10 in Australia are also on board. Sales house DCD Rights will sell the show to the rest of the world. My Life Is Murder stars Kiwi actress Lawless as private investigator Alexa Crowe, who brings her unique brand of investigation to an unsuspecting New Zealand. It is a Greenstone TV production.

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