Monday, October 19, 2009

`The No. 1 Ladies` Detective Agency` Puts Spotlight on Botswana

source: Voice of America
By Bart Childs
Gaborone, Botswana
13 October 2009

In Gaborone, Botswana, the joint production of the HBO/BBC series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" caused a sensation, both locally and internationally. It's the story of a young woman chasing her dreams to be a detective, the first in Botswana. But it also was a catalyst to a young film industry just getting started.

It's a story about a dream, about starting from scratch.

But it's about not Mma Ramotswe in the wildly popular books, film and TV series called the "No. 1 First Ladies' Detective Agency." It's about the film industry in Botswana itself explained Alexander McCall Smith, the author of [continue reading]

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mmaramotswe Airs On M-Net Today

source: Mmegi
Monkagedi Gaotlhobogwe

DStv viewers across Africa including in Botswana have the opportunity to watch one of the most acclaimed television series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency on M-Net to night.

The pan African channel has beaten Botswana Television (Btv) to the television series, after the local channel failed to create an enabling environment for the series to be broadcast locally. The producers of the movie had requested Btv to limit its spectrum to Botswana only to ensure the series is not watched by external viewers. Btv was given that task soon after the first series was aired on BBC United Kingdom (UK), early last year.

The producers of the movie have since arranged with a [continue reading]

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

McCall Smith heroine writes cookbook


The heroine of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels is to challenge celebrity food writers like Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson by launching her own cookbook, reports the Telegraph. Mma Ramotswe's Cookbook will be published by Polygon in November.

The cookbook, supposedly written by Precious Ramotswe, is the brainchild of Stuart Brown, a charity worker and [continue reading]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's a Boy for Jill Scott!

By Tiffany McGee and Jessica Herndon
Originally posted Tuesday April 21, 2009 08:00 PM EDT

R&B singer and actress Jill Scott and her fiancé, drummer Lil John Roberts, have welcomed their first child, a boy, her manager confirms to PEOPLE.

Jett Hamilton Roberts was born at 4:20 p.m. on April 20. He weighed in at 7 lbs., 8 oz.

Scott, who stars on HBO's new series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, based on the popular novels by Alexander McCall Smith, discovered she was pregnant shortly before leaving for Botswana to film the show.

"At one point I was trying to gain weight for the role, and I noticed I had put on 7 lbs. in 7 days. And I thought, my god! What's going on here," she tells PEOPLE. "I thought something was wrong with me, and I found out I was [continue reading]

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Agency` In best drama series at the Emmys

source: Botswana Gazette
Written by Botswana Gazette online
Friday, 27 March 2009 00:00

There's been some confusion among Emmy-watchers over whether HBO's "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," which debuts on March 29,
will compete at the Emmys as a miniseries or a drama series. HBO's Emmy gurus tell Gold Derby that it will qualify in the drama series lineup since the program has more than the requisite six episodes airing during the Emmy eligibility period - the network will air seven. "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" stars American R&B singer-actress Jill Scott as "fat and fabulous" Precious Ramotswe, who's devoted to solving crimes in Botswana, and Anika Noni Rose (Tony Award winner for "Caroline - Or Change" and star of the film version of "Dreamgirls") as her hyper, officious assistant.

The show had a successful launch on the BBC in the U.K. over the last week, drawing more than 5 million TV viewers. One reviewer for the London Times offered praise, as he put it, giving it three out of five stars.

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gives it a [continue reading]

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mma Ramotswe markets Botswana in the US

source: Bostwana Press Agency
23 March, 2009

GABORONE - Batswana are proud and grateful for the tremendous extent to which Alexander McCall's Smith No.1 Ladies Detective Agency novel series has marketed and branded the country abroad.

Speaking at the launch of the movie in New York last week, Botswana's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr Charles Ntwaagae said almost every where one goes nowadays, "the moment people discover that you are from Botswana, they start saying how much they have enjoyed reading the series," he said.

Ambassador Ntwaagae said the novel series has made all citizens ambassadors for the country.

He thanked the organisers of the launch on behalf of the government and the Botswana Tourism Board, who were the hosts and sponsors of the event.

Mr Ntwaagae thanked Ms Leslee Hall, a director at Partner Concepts, particularly for taking the lead in organising the event on behalf of the Botswana Tourism Board.

He also thanked Botswana's Ambassador to the USA, Mr Caesar Lekoa and his staff together with his own staff at the Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations in New York.

"I also wish to sincerely commend the lead actor in the movie, Jill Scott for her outstanding performance in [continue reading]

Monday, March 16, 2009

No.1 Ladies` Detective Agency kicks off with 5.2m viewers

source: Brand Republic
by Nikki Sandison and Daniel Farey-Jones, Brand Republic 16-Mar-09, 11:25

LONDON - BBC One adaptation 'The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency' returned for a six-part series following its successful pilot last Easter, with 5.2m viewers tuning in last night, but the series debut was handily beaten by ITV1's 'Dancing On Ice' skate-off, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Botswana's first lady detective Mma Precious Ramotswe, who uses her understanding of human nature rather than any forensic knowledge to solve mysteries, pulled in a 20.3% share of the 9pm-10pm audience for BBC One.

Based on Alexander McCall Smith's novels, the series stars Jill Scott as Mma Ramotswe and Desmond Dube as her irrepressible hairdressing neighbour BK.

Earlier in the evening, the series finale of 'Lark Rise to Candleford', which saw postman Thomas Brown finally marry his timid bride Miss Ellison, netted 5.8m viewers and a 21.5% share of the 8pm-9pm audience for BBC One.

ITV1's 'Dancing On Ice' ruled Sunday's night's ratings once again, attracting 9.2m viewers and a 36.6% share of the 7.15pm to 8pm audience for its first show of [continue reading]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to Botswana on BBC1 this Sunday

source: Property Wire
Written by Limpopo Lipadi
Monday, 09 March 2009

Following the huge success of the first feature length drama broadcast on the BBC last March, the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency filmed entirely in Botswana will return to our screens this month as a six part series starting on Sunday 15th March 2009 at 9pm on BBC1.

Based on the best selling novels by Alexander McCall-Smith, the series chronicles the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of the only female-owned detective agency in Botswana. And with an all star cast including Grammy Award winning singer Jill Scott and Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose the second series promises to continue the vision of the late Academy Award winning director, Anthony Minghella.

But it's not just the actors who are the stars of this show, with the series being entirely filmed on location in Botswana the stunning country in southern Africa and the Batswana people also play a starring role as producer Timothy Bricknell commented,

"Everyone involved is very pleased to be back in Botswana and capturing the essence of such a remarkable and extraordinary country."

This is a sentiment shared too by Alan Marneweck, founder and shareholder of the Limpopo-Lipadi Game & Wilderness reserve located in the malaria free Tuli block of eastern Botswana, who goes on to [continue reading]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Anika Noni Rose in Botswana

source: Mmegi

Bloomfield's Anika Noni Rose went a long distance for her latest role, playing a co-starring role with Jill Scott in the HBO series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, based on the books by Alexander McCall Smith. "I had read several of the books before I was cast, and I read the script," Rose said in a session at press tour. "For me, when something resonates with me, I can hear the voice as I'm reading the script. So for me, she came to life immediately from these pages."

Rose, who won a Tony for her role in Caroline, or Change and is best-known as a member of the trio in Dreamgirls, was not familiar with the accent in Botswana, where the series was set and shot. So she improvised.

"I auditioned with a South African accent, because it was one that I knew and I wanted them to be able to hear that this was something that could fit on my tongue," Rose said.

She got the role as Mma Makutsi, the strange secretary to Scott's character Precious Ramotswe in the series co-produced by[continue reading]

Saturday, January 10, 2009

R&B Singer and Actress Jill Scott Is Pregnant

By Lisa Ingrassia
Originally posted Friday January 09, 2009 07:25 PM EST

Jill Scott is pregnant with her first child, the R&B singer and actress revealed to reporters at the Television Critics Association conference in Los Angeles on Friday.

Promoting her new HBO series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, based on the popular novels by Alexander McCall Smith, Scott said she discovered that she was pregnant just before leaving for Botswana where she filmed the show.

"The first trimester I spent in Botswana," said the star, who is due April 25. "That was one of the biggest challenges of my life. First trimester! You're sick every morning. It was seven hours time difference, the heat, the bugs, the 14 hour days."

Still, the actress, who is engaged to drummer Lil' John Roberts, says she's glad she went [continue reading]