GMTV’s Ben Shephard has landed a part playing a wizard in the new Harry Potter film. The 34-year-old TV presenter, who’s made an upcoming ITV1 behind-the-scenes documentary about the new movie, has shot a scene for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which is released on 15 July. And Ben told TV Times that playing a wizard gave him a chance to fulfil a lifelong ambition to have long hair! “My parents always insisted I kept my hair short and smart, but in Harry Potter I have long locks and a moustache, which unfortunately was very ticklish,” chuckled Ben. “I play a wizarding parent at the opening of Weasleys‘ Wizard Wheezes, which is a joke shop run by Ron’s brothers – it was just the most beautiful, stunning and exciting set.” In ITV’s Behind the Magic documentary Ben gained exclusive access to the set, plus he interviewed the film’s young stars, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). And Ben discovered there's a lot of romance in the new movie. “Considering it’s quite a dark story, there’s tonnes of snogging and romance going on because Harry falls for Ginny and there’s a three-way tug of love between Ron, Hermione and fellow student Lavender Brown,” says Ben.
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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