Black Mirror: 15 Million Merits – the second of three episodes in Charlie Brooker’s darkly comic series – stars Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown-Findlay and veteran comedy actress Julia Davies in lead roles.
But the person whose involvement is perhaps the most intriguing is Konnie Huq – the wife of Charlie Brooker and former presenter of The Xtra Factor, the ITV2 companion show of The X Factor.
Huq co-wrote 15 Million Merits alongside Brooker, no doubt spilling secrets about the ITV juggernaut to her husband as they crafted the episode.
Konnie was Xtra Factor host for the 2010 series of the show, before being axed by bosses after receiving poor reviews from critics and viewers. Brooker abandoned his Screen Burn TV criticism column in The Guardian midway through his new wife’s stint on The Xtra Factor.
15 Million Merits is set in a time – supposedly at some point in the future – when people ‘are confined to the drudgery of real life unless they can impress the judges of a popular TV talent show’.
If the premise sounds familiar, the newly released pictures of the upcoming episode will seem like even more of a dig at The X Factor, as three judges are seen sitting behind an X Factor-style desk as they pass judgement on contestants.
The first episode of Black Mirror, The National Anthem, was a resounding success, attracting high ratings for Channel 4 and gripping critics and viewers alike.
Black Mirror: 15 Million Merits airs on Sunday at 9pm on Channel 4.