OH. MY. GOD.
Fan Fun with Damian Lewis is eight years old today!
YES, eight years!
I vividly remember the conversation I had with Lewisto in the last weeks of 2014 about whether it would be worth keeping an online fan diary about Damian Lewis. Being the rational guy that he is, Lewisto suggested I do it only if I was confident I could commit for at least two years so it would be worth the effort.
2 years?!?! We just quadrupled that 😀 😀 😀
I was burst with excitement when I made my first ever post on Fan Fun. And after 2922 days, 1226 blog posts and over 3.6 million views from 229 countries later, I am absolutely thrilled and totally beaming about how far we have come! I feel deeply satisfied with the community we have collectively created and I am deeply committed to writing about the one and only Damian Lewis and his brilliant work <3
Now, please bear with me as I reflect on the last eight years, get a bit emotional about this anniversary, and thank all the people that made Fan Fun with Damian Lewis a success story.
When I kicked off the blog on January 5, 2015 I knew that I would have fun doing this and meet like-minded fans along the way to team up with. What I did not know was we would have the best team! I thank all my blog mates, current and former, who have contributed to Fan Fun over the years, from the bottom of my heart. And I want to give standing ovation to one person who deserves much more than that: Gingersnap has been doing a fantastic job on our sister site damian-lewis.com giving the fandom all the news, events and pictures! Thank you, Gingersnap, for being you, a true friend and a confidante. Your work ethic is inspirational. I love you to the moon and back!
Lewisto, my number one guy and our Fan Fun tech guy, who has supported the blog since its inception, deserves special thanks! I would never ever have started a blog should he have not encouraged me. And I will never forget him saying:
“Some people love golf. You love Damian Lewis. What’s the difference?”
And have I ever told you Lewisto named the blog, too? He said:
“You are a big fan and you will be doing this for fun so why not call it Fan Fun with Damian Lewis?”
And I ran with it.
Lewisto, you are absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me. THANK YOU for playing ball with me, even in my craziest endeavors like Fan Fun, making everything in life better, funnier and happier!
And I cannot thank Damian enough for his kindness, trust and generosity towards us. I do not know about other fandoms but I do not think actors typically introduce the fans who manage their fan sites / blogs to their agent, PR person and their personal assistants, invite them backstage after their stage performance, make a “thank you” video for them, treat them like a friend on a film set, or call them “a lovely, smart woman” in an interview with GQ magazine. Damian, you are one in a billion and the best procrastination ever. Ever. Thank you for the inspiration! <3
These eight years have brought so much love and laughter to my life thanks to our wonderful readers! And this anniversary is a great opportunity to thank YOU, our readers – some of whom have become dear friends, you know yourselves! – for the overwhelming love and support you have given us! As we have collectively shared Damian Lewis FUN, you have made our dreams come true. So a BIG thank you to each and every one of you for reading us, following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, giving us feedback, and spreading the word about the blog.
As I review the blog’s year, the first thing I should say is that we are thrilled Damian is back to public life and his projects after a very hard year. We’ve seen him returning to his happy place, aka the football field for Soccer Aid 2022, singing and dancing on stage with his fellow actors at the fundraising event Sondheim: Old Friends Gala , supporting the two charities he is the Patron of, namely Cure EB and Sir HvH Arts Foundation, as well as Ride4Hugo, a campaign Damian’s family ran to raise funds for four charities in memory of Damian’s nephew Hugo and Helen who passed away only months after Hugo’s tragic accident. And he has constantly kept celebrating and remembering Helen this year with a poetry event at the National Theatre in Helen’s memory, a memorial service with her fellow actors at the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden, an award, The McCrory Award, to be given to young people working in arts, in her memory, and much more.
Damian made us proud when he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire as part of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours. He received this big honour for his services to drama and charity, especially for the Feed NHS campaign he and Helen launched and ran during the pandemic, a time that Helen was obviously quite ill.
And it is very moving that Damian said he’d share the CBE honour with Helen because if she had been with us today, there is no doubt in our minds that she would have been made a CBE herself.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) June 1, 2022
Damian accepted the honour at Windsor Castle on December 14 with his kids as well as Helen’s parents present. You can read about the details of the CBE honour and the investiture ceremony here.
Although we already knew that Damian was making music with the wonderful jazz band Kansas Smitty’s and that there was talk about making an album, Damian’s return to stage with a guitar in his hands has been the most exciting surprise of the year! I was extremely lucky to be at Damian’s first ever gig at Omeara London where our ‘Ginger Elvis’ and his fabulous band ruled the stage with Damian’s originals as well as some beautiful covers.
And, lo and behold, the “next time” happened only three months later on the closing night of the London Jazz Festival. I had a 72-hour lightning trip to London for a special weekend with fan friends and a magical evening of music at The Tabernacle London in Notting Hill!
It was such a night that, more than a month and a half later, I am still the under the spell of Damian’s spectacular performance and his kindness: he made time for everyone, VIPs (I mean half of West End royalty was there!) and fans alike, after the gig. And I was over the moon to give him the Christmas gifts Gingersnap and I put together.
You can read about every single detail that I could remember from the incredible evening as well as about our Christmas gifts for Damian here.
Damian has said in an interview with The Guardian that he would do more gigs in the new year and that they are trying to book festivals, including a big one like Glastonbury. And he announced on his “A Blues and Swing Special” on Jazz FM on New Year’s Day that his album was coming out in Summer 2023! What can I say other than “Hallelujah?” 🙂
Another exciting event I was privileged to be a part of was the screening of the newly 4K restored “Keane” followed by a lively discussion with Damian and director Lodge Kerrigan at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in late August. Damian was very kind to make time for me at the end of the Q&A and even offered to make a “thank you” video for the fandom!
And do not worry Daman is not leaving acting for his musical career. In addition to his upcoming debut album “Mission Creep” and live music gigs, he also has small and big screen projects in the pipeline that we are quite excited about!
Firstly, A Spy Among Friends, the mini-series that we were dying to see, has finally arrived on the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK. And it is coming to MGM+ (yes, yet another new streaming platform in the US) in early 2023. We do not know how early but we will let you know as soon as they announce a date!
Me being me, I have not been patient enough to wait for A Spy Among Friends to arrive on TV here in the US. I saw the mini-series on ITVX using VPN (not the ideal way since the VPN often disconnects but, come on, I had to do it!). While I am currently writing individual recaps for each episode (you can read my recaps for Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3) I would love to give you my short review below.
As someone who read Ben MacIntyre’s book twice, I find Alexander Cary’s adaptation very clever. Nick Murphy’s background in documentary is evident and Joanna Eatwell proves once again she is the master of costume design. Damian Lewis, Guy Pearce and Anna Maxwell Martin give off-the-chart brilliant performances.
A Spy Among Friends is slow-cooking, captivating and elegant. It is cinematic to a degree that I envy the viewers who could see the first two episodes on big screen at the BFI London Film Festival. There are time jumps and you need to pay attention – don’t text and watch 🙂 So, yes, ladies and gentlemen, A Spy Among Friends is exactly my cup of tea! And don’t miss it when it arrives at a TV channel or a streaming platform near you!
Secondly, We finally got the answer to the big question we’ve been asking for months: Will Bobby Axelrod be returning to Billions? And the answer is, ladies and gentlemen, YES! And, ladies and gentlemen… WE TOTALLY CALLED IT! We followed the clues and called that Bobby Axelrod will return to Billions -maybe in a cameo, maybe in a recurring or regular appearance…and guess what ?!?! Damian was spotted filming Billions at iconic Tower of London with Maggie Siff, David Costabile and Asia Kate Dillon in November! No wonder Damian Lewis called us “spies” multiple times. Because we are 🙂
We do not know at this time if Damian will have a recurring role or just a cameo in the show, but we guarantee that we will see him as Bobby Axelrod one more time. If you want to know how we we followed every single tease and clue and answer (or lack thereof) and called it, you can read our story here.
Last but not the least, we got word in October that Damian will play twin brothers Peter and in director Euros Lyn’s supernatural black comedy The Radleys. The production marks a reunion between Lyn and Damian since they also worked together on Dream Horse.
The Radleys is based on Matt Haig’s popular book that follows Radleys, a seemingly ordinary suburban family who hold a huge secret: they are vampires! Only the parents Helen and Peter know about the family’s secret, they actually decided to be abstainers, vampires who choose not to drink blood despite their natural cravings, when they decided to have a family. Helen and Peter are forced to share the secret with their teenage children Clara and Rowan after Clara had a very strange incident one evening. And as uncle Will, who is a practicing vampire, arrives, nothing will be the same ever again for the Radleys.
Talitha Stevenson has adapted the script for the big screen. The film is a Genesius Pictures production, produced by Debbie Gray with Damian as an executive producer through his Ginger Biscuit Entertainment. They are planning to start filming in May.
To be honest with you, I am not a big fan of the vampire genre. That said, I read the audio book (read by Toby Leonard Moore aka Bryan Connerty from Billions!) and loved it. In my humble opinion, The Radleys is a fresh take on the vampire genre, and a very funny one at that! It is more of a satire of the middle class suburban lives with a darkly humorous look at addiction (substitute “blood sucking” with any other harmful addiction you can think of) and how it can ruin families. Stay tuned for my write-up about what to expect as we are expecting The Radleys in a month or so!
In addition to these confirmed news, I also have a big hope for the new year that I want to leave here!
BBC confirmed that they would adapt The Mirror and The Light, the final volume in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, for TV as early as in May 2019. The Guardian reported that the BBC adaptation will see director Peter Kosminsky and screenwriter Peter Straughan resuming their partnership from 2015. Mark Rylance has announced in March 2022 that he was to reprise his role as Thomas Cromwell and that he hoped for a 2023 date to start the production. And we are hoping to hear that Damian will resume his role as Henry VIII. Hilary Mantel’s untimely death in 2022 left me heartbroken since she is my favorite author and it sucks to know that I will not be able to look forward to her new book. But I returned to The Mirror and The Light and read it in her memory. It is the perfect ending to Mantel’s fantastic trilogy.
As I leave the word to my fellow bloggers so they can share their feelings about Fan Fun’s eighth birthday with you, I hope you stay with us and we keep following Damian’s brilliant career together! Cheers <3
Happy 8th Birthday to Fan Fun with Damian Lewis and the wonderful team we have. I jumped at the chance to be a part of this team 6+ years ago and the rest, as they say, is herstory!
It has been a joy posting the news over at our sister site damian-lewis.com since 2017, blogging here with my blog mates, interacting with the fandom on social media and commenting with all of you readers. I am grateful for this community and its continued patronage because we wouldn’t be here without loyal readers like you.
It’s also been a blessing to see Damian so active in 2022. I thought he would be more dormant after his Billions role seemingly ended, or should I say, I thought he’d be less accessible to his US fans, but surprisingly not the case. He’s shared with us poetry readings, soccer, charitable events, social outings, Q&A’s, music performances, musical theatre, a mini-series, both a Royal Family engagement and an honor ceremony, a TikTok dance and some Billions filming! I look forward to 2023 with the release of his debut album and filming of new vampire project. Now if we could just hone in on that Wolf Hall sequel…
Here’s looking forward to 2023 and another trip around the sun for the blog.
Happy 8th Birthday FanFun! And as they say, 8 is great!
The past 8 years seems to have just gone by in a blink of an eye! But, as the saying goes “Time flies when you are having FUN”, and that certainly is what the blog is! At it’s core, it’s what this blog is all about: the FUN of writing and interacting with each other and the readers and all the FUN of writing and exploring the amazing acting, philanthropy and now the musical stylings of Damian Lewis!
It never goes without saying say how much I appreciate all the hard work that everyone puts into this labor of love. We all have lives: jobs, families, and other commitments that everyone must attend to; but the attention, level of commitment, and enthusiasm of everyone who is involved with this project is amazing. Damianista is the brilliant leader, and she continually astounds me with her writing, her organization, her encouragement and her tireless support that makes this blog what it is today. Thank you Fearless Leader!
2022 may have been a Bobby Axelrod-free of Season Billions but that didn’t mean the writers here had a second to rest. Mr. Lewis took on new projects, (like A Spy Among Friends on screens now), launched a fantastic musical journey, and as always kept up his amazing philanthropy. I just can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store!
So Happy 8th Anniversary! Just like a fine wine, this site is getting better with age!
I think I discovered Fan Fun in 2017. Season 6 of Homeland was premiering and I started to stream Season 1. You know how that story went! My love for Sgt Brody led me to search forums to discuss the fabulous Damian Lewis…..
……. Fan Fun! Here I was able to enter discussions not simply “ask”. My comments were valued and responded to!?! I’m crazy in love not just with Damian but Damianista, JaniaJania and all the ladies of Fan Fun with Damian Lewis! Happy Happy 8th Birthday!
Happy Birthday to FanFun! It’s been an eventful 8 years, and, despite my no longer writing regularly for the blog, this fandom will always remain close to my heart. As will Damian, of course. Here’s to more years to come following the career and interests of one of the best performers of his generation.