This weekend on the show, Stephen Byrne talks to the cast of Netflix's brand new Sherlock Holmes supernatural spin-off The Irregulars; Maisie Peters talks writing John Hughes Movie, and AJR talk their latest album and the success of Bang!.

The Irregulars hit Netflix on Friday and tells the story of a bunch of misfits recruited by Sherlock and Watson to solve spooky happenings in Victorian London. The series stars a young cast, including Irish newcomer Thaddea Graham, who takes on the lead role of Bea. Speaking about when she got the script for the first time, Thaddea said she couldn't believe what she was reading.

Royce Pierreson and Thaddea Graham in The Irregulars

"Well, when we first audition, you get, like, a little bit of the script from different episodes, and all of my scenes were with [co-stars] Darci [Shaw] or Harrison [Osterfield]. So, I thought, 'Oh, this is a story about someone with her friends'. Then, I got the full script and saw all the horror and all of the really heavy stuff and I went, 'Oh my God, I didn't know this is what this was'. And it just felt like I'd been given an absolute gift."

The show gives us a Sherlock and Watson that we haven't seen before, played by Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Royce Pierreson, respectively. They give a different take on the iconic characters and speaking of the opportunity, Royce couldn't help but contemplate the significance as a black man playing Watson in Victorian London - something that would have shaped the character's existence in society at the time.

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"My Watson is a black man in high society Victorian London and it's never mentioned, so I asked myself why isn't it mentioned? It gave me something really interesting to play on because my John Watson has created a barrier and has integrated himself into this position. He puts up a barrier that says, 'I'm a black man, I've established myself. You need to deal with it or leave me alone'."

The Irregulars is available to stream on Netflix now.

Also on the show this weekend, I talk to Maisie Peters all about her latest single, John Hughes Movie. The song is an infectious tale of unrequited love, inspired by the legendary film director and his classic coming-of-age teen comedies. Maisie was set to have a big 2020 with a headline European tour and high-profile support slots with LAUV and Niall Horan, so I'm delighted to see her back with a bang - hopefully we will be able to see her live here again soon.

Maisie Peters

Speaking of the song, she said: "I wrote it when I was 17 about a house party that I had gone to. It's a really honest depiction of being a hopeless, melodramatic teenager, being awkward and drunk and getting your heart broken by people you don't even remember anymore. John Hughes films encapsulate that foolish romantic energy of high school and everything that I, a smalltown English wannabe Molly Ringwald, wanted to be, but was not."

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Also on the show this weekend, we catch up with AJR. Their viral hits Bang! and Bummerland have given them yet another high point in a career that has spanned 15 years. They have just released their fourth full-length album, OK Orchestra, and the group have described it as the most sonically experimental and emotionally raw album they've ever made. One of their latest singles, Bang!, marked their first Top 10 entry on the US Billboard Hot 100 and even booked them a performance spot at Joe Biden's virtual inauguration ceremony. Their music is insanely catchy but at the same time tackles many topics you might not expect to see in songs with that many hooks and melodies. Speaking about it, they said it's all about balance.

AJR

"The goal is not to make fun music, but I think we always have wanted to talk about really serious things, presented in a way that is more palatable. Like when you're watching a movie; it's really hard to just watch a dark film where there's death and darkness and it's non-stop. There's gotta be some element of, 'Here's a character I can attach to. Here is some fun and quirkiness'."

Bang! was a massive success on Tik Tok and across streaming, notching up over 135 million Spotify listens. Every element of the song draws you in because it doesn't sound like anything else - you don't know where it is going to head next. According to AJR, it's all about writing every element of the track like a chorus.

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"Every section is a hook. If we have a verse that's kind of a throwaway - that we can't quite remember the melody and it's not as catchy as the chorus - we scrap it and keep going. We kinda want three or four choruses within a song, and that's really how we know that this one is probably a single."

AJR's OK Orchestra is out now and available across all music streaming platforms.