Urban Myths
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Urban Myths

Urban Myths
GenreComedy drama
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series3
No. of episodes22
Running time21-26 minutes
Production Sky UK
Original networkSky Arts
Original release19 January 2017 (2017-01-19) -
present (present)

Urban Myths is a British biographical comedy drama television series first aired on 19 January 2017 on the Sky Arts Channel. Each episode featured a story surrounding popular culture which may or may not be true, ranging from Muhammad Ali talking a man down from a ledge to Bob Dylan turning up on a stranger's doorstep. A second series was announced featuring The Sex Pistols and Salvador Dali, which began airing on 12 April 2018.[1]

The series was most notable for a controversy surrounding the casting of Joseph Fiennes in the role of Michael Jackson, an episode that was pulled from transmission.[2]


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1619 January 2017 (2017-01-19)16 February 2017 (2017-02-16)
2812 April 2018 (2018-04-12)31 May 2018 (2018-05-31)
3810 April 2019 (2019-04-10)29 May 2019 (2019-05-29)

Series 1 (2017)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
11"Bob Dylan: Knockin' on Dave's Door"Ben PalmerNeil Webster19 January 2017 (2017-01-19)0.13
Starring: Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan, Paul Ritter as Dave, Katherine Parkinson as Ange, Cavan Clerkin as Taxi Driver, and Jessica Gunning as Border Officer
22"Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant"Ben PalmerNeil Forsyth26 January 2017 (2017-01-26)0.09
Starring: David Threlfall as Samuel Beckett, Liam Macdonald as André the Giant
33"Hitler the Artist"Dan ZeffBen Edwards2 February 2017 (2017-02-02)0.09
Starring: Iwan Rheon as Adolf Hitler, Rupert Grint as August Kubizek, Dustin Demri-Burns as Josef, James Fleet as The Professor, Vincent Franklin as Alexander
44"Cary Grant and Timothy Leary"Geoffrey SaxRoger Drew and Ed Dyson9 February 2017 (2017-02-09)0.04
Starring: Ben Chaplin as Cary Grant, Aidan Gillen as Timothy Leary
55"The Greatest of All Time"Ben PalmerNeil Webster and Mark Boutros16 February 2017 (2017-02-16)0.08
Starring: Noel Clarke as Muhammad Ali, Danny John-Jules as Don King, Osy Ikhile as Joe, Lucian Msamati as Herbert Muhammad
66"Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon"Ben PalmerNeil ForsythN/A (N/A)N/A
Starring: Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson, Brian Cox as Marlon Brando, Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor, Carrie Fisher as herself

Series 2 (2018)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
71"Marilyn Monroe and Billy Wilder"Sean FoleyDavid Cummings12 April 2018 (2018-04-12)0.21
Starring: Gemma Arterton as Marilyn Monroe, James Purefoy as Billy Wilder, Adam Brody as Jack Lemmon, Felicity Montagu as Paula Strasberg, Alex Pettyfer as Tony Curtis, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller
82"Backstage at Live Aid"John HardwickNeil Forsyth19 April 2018 (2018-04-19)0.12
Starring: Jonas Armstrong as Bob Geldof, David Avery as Freddie Mercury, Seb Cardinal as Rick Parfitt, Martin Compston as Midge Ure, Karla Crome as Sade, Dustin Demri-Burns as Francis Rossi, Kerry Howard as Marsha Hunt, Rufus Jones as Elton John, Con O'Neill as Tony
93"Johnny Cash and the Ostrich"Al CampbellFrank Skinner26 April 2018 (2018-04-26)0.08
Starring: Frank Skinner as Johnny Cash, Isy Suttie as Jean, Toby Williams as Mike
104"The Dali and The Cooper"Iain Forsyth and Jane PollardRoger Drew and Ed Dyson3 May 2018 (2018-05-03)N/A
Starring: David Suchet as Salvador Dalí, Noel Fielding as Alice Cooper, Paul Kaye as Shep Gordon, Sheila Hancock as Gala Dalí, Alice Cooper as himself
115"David Bowie and Marc Bolan"Jim O'HanlonFreddy Syborn10 May 2018 (2018-05-10)0.11
Starring: Luke Treadaway as David Bowie, Jack Whitehall as Marc Bolan, Adrian Edmondson as Leslie Conn
126"Agatha Christie"Guillem MoralesPaul Doolan and Abigail Wilson17 May 2018 (2018-05-17)N/A
Starring: Anna Maxwell Martin as Agatha Christie, Bill Paterson as Arthur Conan Doyle, Rosie Cavaliero as Dorothy L. Sayers, Mark Bonnar as Billy, Adrian Scarborough as Chief Inspector Danders, Nick Mohammed as Horace Lambardi, Robert James-Collier as Archie Christie,
137"Public Enemy (feat. Kev Wells)"Ben PalmerNeil Webster24 May 2018 (2018-05-24)0.07
Starring: Robert Glenister as Kev Wells, Paterson Joseph as Chuck D, Abdul Salis as Flavor Flav, Tanya Franks as Becca, Sidney Kerr as Martin, Lauren Socha as Amy, Steve Edge as Barry, Steve Oram as Brian
148"The Sex Pistols vs. Bill Grundy"Simon DelaneySimon Nye31 May 2018 (2018-05-31)0.09
Starring: Steve Pemberton as Bill Grundy, Daniel Mays as Mike Housego, Rachel Bright as Christine Whitehead, William Kettle as Paul Cook, Frankie Fox as Johnny Rotten, Charlie Wernham as Steve Jones, Matt Whitchurch as Glen Matlock, Kayvan Novak as Freddie Mercury, Laurence Howarth as Tony Bulley, Kieran Hodgson as Malcolm McLaren

Series 3 (2019)

No. in
Title [3]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [3]UK viewers
151"Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and Kenny Everett"Sean FoleyPete Jackson10 April 2019 (2019-04-10)0.25
Starring: Sophie Rundle as Diana, Princess of Wales, David Avery as Freddie Mercury, Mathew Baynton as Kenny Everett, Richard Gadd as Gareth
162"Andy & The Donald"Molly MannersBen Boyer17 April 2019 (2019-04-17)0.10
Starring: Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump, Jack McBrayer as Andy Warhol, Natasia Demetriou as Agnieszka, Rich Hall as Jimmy Gould, Pearl Mackie as Kay Fortson, Paul Putner as Howard , Jaada Lawrence - Green as Cheerleader.
173"Bleak House Guest"Robert DelamereJess Jackson24 April 2019 (2019-04-24)0.07
Starring: Stephen Mangan as Charles Dickens, Ian Hart as Hans Christian Andersen, Monica Dolan as Catherine Dickens
184"The Trial of Joan Collins"Elliot HegartyAndrew Dawson, Steve Dawson, Tim Inman and David Walliams1 May 2019 (2019-05-01)0.05
Starring: Victoria Hamilton as Joan Collins, Michael Brandon as Robert Calgary, Haydn Gwynne as Joni Evans, Mark Heap as Ken Burrows, Dominique Moore as Journalist, David Walliams as Monty
195"Grace Under Pressure"Ollie ParsonsGrace Ofori-Attah8 May 2019 (2019-05-08)0.08
Starring: Gloria Onitri as Grace Jones, David Ajala as The Burglar, Emily Atack as Debbie Harry, Joshua McGuire as Jean-Paul Goude, David Mills as Andy Warhol,
206"Madonna and Basquiat"Sarah Solemani and Adam WimpennySarah Solemani15 May 2019 (2019-05-15)0.08
Starring: Sophie Kennedy Clark as Madonna, Calvin Demba as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul Kaye as Piano Man, David Bamber as Drunk
217"Paul McCartney"Simon DelaneySimon Nye22 May 2019 (2019-05-22)0.04
Starring: Tom Connor as Paul McCartney, James Coward as John Lennon, Rosie Day as Jane Asher, Hugh Dennis as Richard Asher, Simon Gordon as George Harrison, Juliet Howland as Margaret Asher, Jordan Scowen as Ringo Starr
228"Mick Jagger and Princess Margaret"Ben PalmerNeil Forsyth29 May 2019 (2019-05-29)0.07
Starring: Jamie Campbell Bower as Mick Jagger, Kelly Macdonald as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon


Although stories surrounding the pulled episode overshadowed the rest of the series, the aired episodes attracted a positive response. The opening episode, featuring Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan was described in newspaper reviews as "charming and hilarious"[4], "short, charming and light-hearted"[5] and "different and pleasing"[6]. The series drew over 600,000 viewers and charted in the top three programmes for Sky Arts each week it aired, save for the episode "Cary Grant and Timothy Leary", which came seventh, largely due to broadcasts of the programme Portrait Artist of the Year.[7]


After it was revealed that Joseph Fiennes was to portray Michael Jackson in the series, several members of Jacksons' family objected, including his daughter, Paris Jackson, who wrote on Twitter, "I'm so incredibly offended by it, as i'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit." The tweet was later deleted.[8] After widespread criticism following the release of the series trailer, the episode was pulled from broadcast indefinitely.[9]


Year Award Category Nomination Result
2018 46th International Emmy Awards Best Drama Series Urban Myths[10] Nominated


  1. ^ "Sky Arts Presents: 'Urban Myths'". Sky Corporate. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ Barraclough, Leo (13 January 2017). "'Urban Myths' Episode With Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson Canceled by Sky TV". Variety. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ a b Dessau, Bruce (15 March 2019). "News: Details Of New Urban Myths Series Revealed". Beyond The Joke. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Wollaston, Sam (20 January 2017). "Urban Myths: Bob Dylan review - his Bobness pops to Crouch End for tea". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Butler, Mark (20 January 2017). "Urban Myths review: Eddie Marsan had a blast as Bob Dylan". The i newspaper online. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ McEwan, Cameron K. (22 January 2017). "'Urban Myths' Premiere Recap: 'Bob Dylan: Knocking' on Dave's Door'". The Observer. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Weekly top 10 programmes". BARB. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Sisavat, Monica. "Paris Jackson Is 'Incredibly Offended' by Joseph Fiennes Playing Her Dad, Michael". PopSugar. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Kreps, Daniel (13 January 2017). "Joseph Fiennes' Michael Jackson Episode Pulled After Outcry". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "International Emmy Award Nominations Unveiled". Variety. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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