Henry VIII

Last Update: 30 Oct 2004
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Thanks to Lynn from Full of Beans for the scan.
Pic from the Sunday Express (UK).

The violence, sex and corruption of the Tudor court is to be played out on TV screens in a £6 million epic about Henry VIII for UK's ITV1.

Granada Television has commissioned screenwriter Alan Bleasdale to paint a warts-and-all picture of the period, omitting none of the seamier elements of Henry's reign. Directed by Pete Travis, who created the comedy series Cold Feet, the 100-minute film, to be broadcast in the autumn, promises to capture a "complex and charismatic King who turned from handsome playboy to a bitter invalid, desperate for a son and heir".

The production is co-funded by international broadcasters, including WGBH of Boston, CBC of Canada and the Australian ABC channel.

Filming locations include Rochester and Leeds castles, East Head in Sussex, and Middle Temple in London.

Ray Winstone, best known for his East End gangster roles, has been cast to play the king. Helena Bonham-Carter stars as Anne Boleyn. David Suchet, Emilia Fox, Joss Ackland, Charles Dance and Michael Maloney also feature in the star-studded cast.

Sean has filmed a cameo appearance as Robert Aske. The role involved several days' filming from March 31-April 4, 2003.


Click on the thumbnails to see larger screen caps from the Henry VIII promo trailer
currently running on UK television.

Granada says that the series would show the "ruthless ambitions, power struggles and the magnificence" of the period. The resulting drama will be a "sexy mix of power, intrigue, glamour and danger". Henry's six wives will feature strongly but the show will also explore his whole 40-year reign. "It's a fantastic part for an actor to get his teeth into," said Winstone, who was last seen on screen in the ITV series Tough Love.

Andy Harries, the controller of drama and comedy at Granada, says the project should prove popular with modern viewers. "Henry VIII's reputation as a womaniser and tyrant lives on 500 years after his death," he says. Bleasdale, creator of Boys from the Black Stuff, was the obvious choice: "He's the perfect writer to portray fully the cut and thrust of the Tudor court."

- Info from The Guardian (16 March 2001), OK Magazine (March 2003) and The Times (22 March 2003)

Part 1 of 2 (from ITV TV Listings)

First in a two-part drama starring Ray Winstone as the 16th-century monarch Henry VIII, chronicling his 38-year reign and epic descent from handsome playboy to embittered invalid through a series of unsuccessful marriages, political intrigues, religious upheavals and the failure to produce a male heir.

When the Plantagenet claimant to the throne of England, the Duke of Buckingham, leads a revolt against the king, Henry's retribution is so merciless that his own wife, Catherine of Aragon, can barely recognise the man she married.

But relations between the royal couple deteriorate further when he sets eyes on the strikingly beautiful Anne Boleyn. Determined to have her as his mistress, he forbids her imminent marriage to Henry Percy, but the ambitious Anne is not about to accept life as a mere courtesan.


Part 2 of 2

Conclusion of the two-part drama starring Ray Winstone as the 16th-century monarch Henry VIII, chronicling his 38-year reign and epic descent from handsome playboy to embittered invalid via a series of unsuccessful marriages, political intrigues and religious upheavals.

Merely a day after Anne Boleyn`s execution, Henry weds Jane Seymour, against a backdrop of violent countrywide rebellion resulting from the torture and slaughter wreaked by Henry`s soldiers during the dissolution of the Catholic monasteries.

Henry is forced to face a growing army of dissenters led by his former lieutenant Robert Aske.

Worse is to come when Jane dies giving birth to his desperately awaited son and heir, Edward, propelling Henry into deep depression and weight gain.

A disastrous, unconsumated marriage to Anne of Cleves follows, but it is not long before the 15-year-old beauty Catherine Howard is hovering in the wings...

With Danny Webb, Emilia Fox, Sean Bean, Pia Girard, Emily Blunt and Mark Strong.

Read more about Robert Aske here.
Click here for Henry VIII Production Notes.

Visit the Henry VIII Press Archive (includes more pix of Sean as Robert Aske).


Joss Ackland
Sean Bean
Lara Belmont
Emily Blunt
Helena Bonham-Carter
Charles Dance
Marsha Fitzalan
Emilia Fox
Pia Girard
Christopher Good
Scott Handy
Terence Harvey
Clare Holman
William Houston
Kelly Hunter
Edward Kelsey
Thomas Lockyer
Dominic Mafham
Michael Maloney
Rhys Meredith
Sid Mitchell
Joseph Morgan
Edward Tudor Pole
Assumpta Serna
Mark Strong
David Suchet
Tom Turner
Danny Webb
Benjamin Whitrow
Ray Winstone

Henry VII
Robert Aske
Mary Tudor
Katherine Howard
Anne Boleyn
Duke of Buckinghamshire
Duchess of Norfolk
Jane Seymour
Anne of Cleves
Sir John Seymour
Lord Henry Percy
Bishop Gardiner
Katherine Parr
Thomas Seymour
Lady Rochford
Edward Seymour
George Boleyn
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Smeeton
Young Henry
Thomas Culpeper
Friar Peto
Catherine of Aragon
Duke of Norfolk
Cardinal Wolsey
Francis Dereham
Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Boleyn
Henry VIII


Produced by

Directed by
Production Design
Costume Design
Film Editor
Music by
Running time
Transmission date (UK)
Projected transmission date (US)
DVD Release (Region 2)
Projected DVD Release (Region 1)

ITV/Granada Television, WGBH
(Boston), CBC (Canada), ABC

Francis Hopkinson
Pete Travis
Peter Morgan

2 x 100 minutes
Oct 12 and 19, 2003
November 7 and 14, 2004 (PBS)
Oct 27, 2003
November 16, 2004



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