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Star-Watching: Keeping Up with the Best of the Brits

As anyone who makes a habit of following VisionTV’s British programming knows, there’s no shortage of talent gracing stages, film sets and television screens across the pond. Luckily for us, some of Britain’s brightest small screen stars are becoming more visible here as well, and with numerous projects on the go, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to see them inhabit some new roles in the coming months. Read on to find out what some of our favourite faces from Vision’s British roster, both past and present, are up to these days, and where you’ll be able to watch them next!

Dan Stevens Shows a Sinister Side in Fall Films

Dan Stevens at the Cinema Society screening of A Walk Among the Tombstones in September. Photo: © wenn.com/wenn.com/KEYSTONE Press

If you still haven’t moved on after Dan Stevens’ abrupt departure from his role as Downton Abbey’s Matthew Crawley, you’re certainly not alone. Though it may come as cold comfort to some, Dan has at least made good use of his freedom from Downton’s demanding schedule and has been busy on the big screen lately, with two films hitting theatres this fall. A Walk Among the Tombstones, which saw him starring as a drug lord opposite blockbuster stalwart Liam Neeson, opened on September 19, and marked a definite departure from the role for which he’s best known.

His leading part in the psychological thriller, The Guest (which opened on September 10), sees him playing against type once again, and has drawn praise from critics and viewers as a chilling and energetic homage to previous comedy-horror explorations. His turn as a quiet, but mysterious, ex-soldier is unfamiliar territory after his portrayal of all-around good guy Cousin Matthew, and the film offers a very different experience for fans of Dan’s previous work that are curious to see where his career has taken him.

Unsurprisingly, all of that onscreen activity has translated into a full calendar for the increasingly in-demand star, meaning that even those of us still reeling from his Downton demise will be seeing plenty of snaps of him out and about in the months to come. In the meantime, you can relive some happier times when Downton Abbey’s first season returns to VisionTV, airing daily at 5pm ET/2pm PT starting December 15.

Watch the trailer for The Guest below:

Sarah Lancashire Makes a Jump to the Big Screen

Sarah Lancashire in costume on the set of Dad’s Army in Yorkshire. Photo: © wenn.com/wenn.com/KEYSTONE Press

While many of Britain’s most well known talents are as notable for the number of roles they take as for the quality of their work, these days, one actress seems more omnipresent on VisionTV than most. Admired by fans since her early days as a regular on Coronation Street, Sarah Lancashire has as varied a resumé as anyone in the business, and only continues to find new and interesting projects. If you’ve been keeping up with The Paradise, Last Tango in Halifax, and even Lark Rise to Candleford, you’ll know that she’s a presence whether she’s playing a buttoned-up saleslady in period dress, or a thoroughly modern, matter-of-fact mother and career woman.

While her impressive catalogue of television roles has continued to grow steadily over the past few years, Sarah’s transition into film is only just beginning. Viewers recently learned that she’d be part of a star-studded, big screen adaptation of BBC sitcom Dad’s Army, as filming began in Yorkshire leading up to an expected release in 2015. Until then, you can look forward to Sarah’s newest endeavours while enjoying her consistently wry and restrained performance as the unflappable Caroline on Last Tango’s second season (Wednesdays at 9pm ET/6pm PT).

Miranda Hart Balances Successful Live Act and Dramatic Roles

Benedict Cumberbatch (LEFT) and Miranda Hart (RIGHT) on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN-21270413 (c) PA Wire/PA Photos/KEYSTONE Press

Whether on stage or onscreen, Miranda Hart has no trouble getting a laugh. On a recent episode of BBC’s The Graham Norton Show, her demonstration of the simple, yet potentially dangerous, “pop star walk” (and fellow guest Benedict Cumberbatch’s attempts to imitate it), garnered both laughs and thousands of online views. The positive reaction and obvious interest should come as no surprise, though, as recent reports found that Miranda, once again, is one of the most highly-paid – and sought after – female comedians in the game.

Though she recently announced that her self-titled comedy series (set to return to VisionTV on January 2) would wrap with a Christmas special this year, she’s had no problem finding an audience elsewhere, recently selling out five shows at London’s O2 Arena. And she’ll continue to be a presence on the lauded Call the Midwife (Wednesdays at 8pm ET/5pm PT), where her unique ability to walk the line between humour and poignancy has served her well over three seasons thus far.

Watch Miranda demonstrate her favourite (and funniest) walks on the Graham Norton Show below:

Kate Shepherd