Believe it or not, we’re now halfway through 2023 – and what a six months it’s been in the world of entertainment.
Over in the cinema world, we’ve loved films like M3GAN, The Little Mermaid, Rye Lane and Pearl, while new releases from Lewis Capaldi, Raye, Jessie Ware, Lana Del Rey and PinkPantheress have all been on repeat up and down the country.
Still, don’t go thinking 2023 has already peaked. Here are 23 of the biggest things to look out for in the six months ahead…
It feels like forever since we last checked in on Heartstopper’s Nick and Charlie, but the wait is finally almost over.
Season two of the hit teen drama is arriving on Netflix in August, and even though more hard-hitting storylines and a game-changing trip to Paris have been teased for the new batch of episodes, we’re hoping they can still pack in some of the heartwarming and wholesome action we’ve come to expect from our favourite fictional couple.
The movie event the whole world has been holding its breath for finally hits cinemas in just a few short weeks.
Ever since we first saw Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in action as Ken and Barbie (not to mention their star-studded co-stars like Issa Rae, Hari Nef, Dua Lipa, Nicola Coughlan, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa), we’ve been counting down the days until we can immerse ourselves in Barbie’s candy-coloured world.
The only question is… can this film possibly live up to the hype? We certainly hope so.
Of course, it might not have escaped your attention that Barbie is going head-to-head with another of 2023’s most anticipated films on its release day, with Christopher Nolan’s epic biographical thriller hitting screens on the same day as Greta Gerwig’s fun-filled Mattel adaptation.
Plenty of cinephiles are already planning the most disjointed double-screening of all time, and to be honest, we can’t say we’re not tempted either…
4. Doctor Who
It’s a pretty exciting time to be a Doctor Who fan.
Not only are viewers gearing up for Ncuti Gatwa’s long-awaited debut at the helm of the Tardis, before that, there’s one of the most exciting comebacks in TV history as David Tennant steps up as the Fourteenth Doctor.
He’ll be back in action as the Time Lord in a series of specials later this year (produced by returning showrunner Russell T Davies, no less), where he’ll be joined by Catherine Tate as his former companion Donna Noble.
At the end of the year, we’ll then see Ncuti taking over in one of the small screen’s most coveted roles.
5. And Just Like That…
And speaking of exciting TV comebacks – the moment Sex And The City fans have been praying for ever since Carrie sent her first “text to Samantha” is within reach.
The cast of And Just Like That have been urging fans to keep their expectations about Kim Cattrall’s cameo low (she apparently filmed the whole thing in a garage in a matter of hours, without interacting with any of her former castmates), but will we be heeding that warning? We will not.
With past projects including the likes of Wall-E, Inside Out and Soul, Pixar has proved that no one takes on animated storytelling quite as ambitiously or uniquely as them.
The latest film in the Pixar canon focusses on the four elements, and what happens when two characters from different groups embark on a romance after a chance meeting. So far, so cute, but given it’s a Pixar film, it’s probably for the best that you prep yourself for an ugly-cry just in case.
7. The Bear
The second season of the award-winning dramedy The Bear has has already been released in America – where it’s proved to be just as irresistible as the first run.
Fortunately, fans’ patience looks like it’s about to be rewarded, as the new episodes will be streaming on Disney+ in the UK from 19 July.
8. Olivia Rodrigo – Guts
Two years have passed since Olivia Rodrigo’s explosive arrival on the pop scene, dominating the charts on both sides of the Atlantic with her debut single Drivers License, and in that time she’s been busy scooping Grammys, touring the world and releasing follow-up hits like Deja Vu, Traitor and, of course, Good 4 U.
She’s also been hard at work on album number two – and if lead single Vampire is anything to go by, then the former Disney star is onto another winner.
9. Kylie Minogue – Tension
That being said, our most anticipated album release of 2023 has to be the latest from Kylie Minogue.
Lead single Padam Padam has already proved to be the surprise hit of the year that’s got absolutely everyone talking. And given how much we loved her previous album Disco, we’re on tenterhooks to see what the pop icon has been cooking up for the follow-up.
10. The Crown
After five years, three lead actors and multiple wheelbarrows’ worth of prestigious awards, 2023 is the year The Crown comes to an end – but not before what may well become the show’s most-discussed season yet.
With the action coming ever closer to the present day, we can’t wait to see how the show tackles some of the biggest royal stories of the 1990s, most notably the death of Princess Diana, played once again in the final season by Elizabeth Debicki, while Imelda Staunton returns as Queen Elizabeth II.
Later episodes will also explore the relationship between Prince William and Kate Middleton, played by Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy.
11. Sex Education
Moordale High is reopening its doors later in 2023 after an extended break – with season four set to make for a very different viewing experience, following the shake-up at the end of the most recent finale and the news that multiple cast members are not returning.
12. Strictly Come Dancing
For most of us, Strictly Come Dancing is associated with cosy Saturday nights when the temperature has dropped and the dark nights are setting in – so it might come as a shock to hear that we’re just a few weeks away from the first announcement about this year’s cast (check out all the rumoured stars here, by the way).
Now into its 21st series, Strictly is still dominating the headlines and pulling in millions of viewers, with producers adding in new twists to the format and continuing to break down barriers in terms of the celebrities invited to compete. So, we’re curious to see how they pull it out of the bag this year.
13. RuPaul’s Drag Race UK
Similarly, the UK version of RuPaul’s Drag Race is also returning to its usual slot in the schedules in the autumn of 2023, with a whole new batch of queens vying for the title of the UK’s next Drag Race superstar.
Fans of the global franchise can also look forward to *deep breath* the crowning of the eighth All Stars winner (plus the queen of the “Fame Games”), the first ever Spanish All Stars season, the launch of Drag Race Mexico and the return of Canada’s Drag Race, Drag Race Down Under, Drag Race Philippines and Drag Race France.
And trust us – you’ll want to swot up on all those international queens before the launch of the first ever Global All Stars spin-off, which was announced at the end of last year.
14. Big Brother
It’s not just the usual returning reality shows that we’re excited about, though.
Last year ITV confirmed that it had acquired the rights to launch a reboot of Big Brother, which has now been off our screens since the final Channel 5 season came to an end in 2018.
ITV has already promised to lean into what made the show’s original run so compelling while putting a fresh, modern twist on the proceedings, so we can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic told the world one side of the story, but Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla looks set to offer a very different perspective. Based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis And Me, the film will focus on the famous couple’s relationship and marriage.
Given the project has already been been condemned by the late musician’s estate (while Priscilla Presley herself has shown it her support), it’s undoubtedly going to spark plenty of conversation and debate. And with Sofia Coppola on directing duties, it’s sure to be unmissable.
16. Squid Game: The Challenge
Considering the anti-capitalist message of Squid Game, one of 2021’s biggest shows, we felt a little iffy when Netflix announced they were adapting the series into a real-life competition show, offering those involved the chance to win an enormous cash prize if they endure similar challenges to those seen in the drama.
That being said, we’re still pretty excited at the prospect of seeing real-life people taking on those gruelling tasks.
17. The Marvels
What’s better than a Marvel movie with a bad-ass hero at the helm? Well, a Marvel movie with a load of bad-ass heroes, of course.
This latest offering from the MCU sees Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel teaming up with Iman Vellani’s Ms Marvel (hence the title of the film!) and Teyonah Parris, a stand-out from 2021’s WandaVision, as Monica Rambeau.
We still have no idea what to make of Timothée Chalamet’s new all-singing, all-dancing Willy Wonka film, which sees the Oscar nominee portraying the iconic chocolatier as a young man, with Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins and Keegan-Michael Key in the supporting cast (not to mention Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa).
Still, at the very least, it has a high possibility of being very odd, and for that reason we’ll be there front and centre on opening night.
19. Lil Nas X’s second album
Grammy winning singer Lil Nas X has been teasing that his sophomore album would be out in 2023 for months now – and his recent Glastonbury performance was a staunch reminder of why the chart-topper is one of the most exciting stars in pop right now. Bring it on, we say!
20. Miriam Margolyes’ new book
We absolutely devoured Miriam Margolyes’ first memoir, so we were over the moon when a follow-up was announced (even if the woman herself has been pretty candid about the fact her main motivation for doing so was the paycheck at the end of it all).
Plus, there’s the fact that a new Miriam Margolyes book means a new Miriam Margolyes press tour, and we can’t wait for more viral moments from the Bafta winner and all-round national treasure.
With Ariana DeBose (yes, the Oscar and Tony winner of “Angela Bassett did the thing” fame) in the lead role, this brand new story takes on one of the most common fairytale tropes when a teenage girl wishes on a star – only for said star to come crashing down to earth as a real person.
Oh, and did we mention there’s a talking goat? We’re sold.
The release coincides with the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios, and sees the company taking on a brand new approach when it comes to how Wish looks stylistically.
Neighbours fans thought they’d done their grieving when the long-running Australian soap came to a close in 2022, but with the news it’s been given a new lease on life over on Amazon’s Freevee service, viewers are ready to set up residence in Ramsay Street once again.
Most of the show’s recent cast will be returning, alongside a host of new faces – including a certain 2000s icon. Colour us intrigued…
And while we’re on the subject of soap news, we have to talk about the new drama over in Albert Square.
It’s been a jam-packed six months for fans of EastEnders, with the shock return of Cindy Beale and a turnover at the Queen Vic – but the soap’s biggest twist of the year is still to come.
If you cast your mind back to February, you’ll recall one particular duff duff cliffhanger ended with an unexpected flash-forward that left fans with no end of questions.
Stay tuned, folks, because answers are finally coming…