….Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde in talks with producers
Fans of TV soaps are in for a big treat as rested soap opera, Palace returns bigger and better, precisely two decades after its first broadcast on Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi’s African Independent Television (AIT). Parading many of its regular cast, Palace with its intriguing hooks, twists and turns depicts the life of the nouveaux riche, the family, and the intrigues that play out in their estates, writes BIODUN KUPOLUYI.
With a robust cast including TV favourite, Liz Benson leading the pack, other stars that returned to the new, improved Palace include Yomi Obileye, Jide Kosoko, Antar Laniyan, Kate Adepegba, Funso Adeolu, Foluke Daramola, ace broadcaster now Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Dayo Adeneye and popular sports broadcaster, Jide Alabi. It will be directed by Tunji Bamishigbin and his co-producer, veteran TV director cum producer, Ralph Nwadike.
With scripts that promise to hold audiences spellbound, Bamishigbin hinted that ever reliable and experienced scriptwriter, Charles Owoyemi, joined by young and creative, Ade Adeniji and Biola Afolabi, to add the feminine touch, would develop the characters, the conflicts and feed the appetites of the fans with best stories under the sky.
Acclaimed Wedding Party star actress, Sola Sobowale and popular fashionista and actress, Mercy Aigbe are the fresh faces in the revamped soap that will be shot in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria. Fans would miss the face and theatrics of Kofo, played by Funlola Aofiyebi, her role will not be reprised but a relatively fresh face( names withheld) with a lot of promise has stepped in, and in due course, it will also feature alluring Anaeze played by Ayo Adesanya who had a child outside marriage for Banky Stephens (Antar Laniyan). Also in the plot to return is Old Sam, played by veteran Tunde Alabi, a distinctive and loyal cook.
While the return of Palace would excite many soapie fans, critics are wont to ask if the actors could still display the ability and aplomb that made the soap unrivalled in Nigerian television history, 20 years after.
Speaking to E24-7Magazine, a co-Producer and director, Tunji Bamishigbin, who also plays the stammering gateman, Loco, said: “The return of Palace is a real test of any actor that returns to play his or her role. It is a test of our professionalism. Trust me, Ralph and I know the arduous task ahead of us and we shall deliver to the admiration of fans of this great soap. Now, the plot is thicker, full of twists, suspense and of course, new faces that are making their marks in the acting world. The fresh faces will show that we have never run short of talents but veritable platforms to showcase them and Palace is here to make that statement.”
He assured that Palace would not revel in its past glory but woo a new generation of fans and celebrate life, capture audience with melodramatic episodes full of hopes, suspense and intrigues. Honestly, I feel excited Palace is back. For me, among all the works I have done, it remains a career-defining effort, a reference point for me, Ralph(Nwadike) and Charles(Owoyemi) and I feel very strongly that we can do it again with the support of fans and advertisers.”
As fans wait with bated breath, it is assuring that Palace back on African Independent Television (AIT) as from the next quarter would not only keep the audiences glued to their TV sets but on the edge of their seats.