A right royal night of celebrations for ‘SBS Shownieuws’ in Holland

A right royal night of  celebrations for ‘SBS Shownieuws’ in Holland

It was the highest-rating royal wedding TV celebration in Holland, with an audience of nearly a million watching SBS Shownieuws.

I was lucky enough to be a guest on the show as we celebrated the recent marriage of HRH Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle – it proves just how popular the British royal family are worldwide, and how many supporters they have in the Netherlands. A huge thank you to the whole team for making me so very welcome.

The BBC are really pushing the Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard, who has joined Celebrity MasterChef. He says he is very nervous as: “I normally let my dancing do the talking, but on this occasion, I have to make sure I can do something more than just dance...”

Did you know that one-time This Morning host Fern Britton was a judge on an unaired pilot of Britain’s Got Talent? Then someone suggested Amanda Holden, who got the role in the series that went out, and the rest as they say is history. But Fern tells me that she would have loved to have been a judge as: “I love giving hope to talent, and I enjoyed the whole show too.”

Still Open All Hours starring Sir David Jason will return to BBC One for a fifth series later in 2018. The recommission means that the sequel has now accumulated more episodes, and more series, than the original hit show.

While in London recently I spotted the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, at the exclusive Connaught Hotel taking afternoon tea with her daughters. My spies also tell me that they would very much like to invite the Duchess on to this year’s Strictly Come Dancing ... could that be what the meeting was about? I’ll keep you posted.

Former Doctor Who co-stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate are set to be reunited in a new TV comedy. Tate is also writing the show, Americons, about a couple who move to America. According to showbusiness industry insiders, the show is “in the advanced stages of development for Sky One”.

Judy Finnigan has ended her TV career, according to a friend of the presenter. Judy is best known for being one half of a TV duo with husband Richard Madeley, with whom she hosted ITV’s flagship daytime programme This Morning from 1988 until 2001. After her TV work Judy has enjoyed success as an author and may be looking at TV drama writing too.

ITV has recommissioned drama series The Durrells for a fourth series, it has been announced. The programme is based on conservationist and author Gerald Durrell’s trilogy of books about his family’s time on Corfu during the 1930s. ITV confirmed that the new series of The Durrells will be filmed on the Greek island.

Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge Shirley Ballas tells me she signed up to appear in pantomime this year, simply because: “It’s at the Liverpool Empire, which is in my home town, and what an honour. But I am not, I might add, playing the wicked witch, as many have said. It’s more comedic than that and it will be good fun.”

Tom Bradby has been missing from ITV’s flagship bulletin News At Ten for more than a month without explanation, sparking concern among the four million people who tune in each night. Now I can reveal the reason for his absence – a chronic bout of insomnia. A source tells me: “It’s been a tough battle, but we hope to have him back soon.” Should it be called ‘Snooze At Ten’ then?

Distinguished actress Julia McKenzie, who played the Queen in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony James Bond clip, recently went to Buckingham Palace to collect a CBE. TV’s Miss Marple tells me: “It was wonderful, you don’t expect to get things at this stage in your career do you? But I am so happy about it.”

One of the most feared and unpredictable stars of 70s and 80s British Television – and a foe of famed talk show host Michael Parkinson – goes up for sale at Chippenham Auction Rooms. Emu, Rod  Hull’s puppet which cost £10,000 to make, was to be used by him on stage for a pilot TV show. Emu has made various comebacks, but without great success...

If you saw the recent reports in the press that actress Charlie Brooks had said she wanted to return to Albert Square and play the iconic Janine Butcher, think again. Charlie tells us that, sadly, it’s not true. Now touring in a stage play she told me: “I get this all the time, and while I am fond of her as a character, it’s not right for me now to go back. But I won’t ever say never, you have to keep your options open, don’t you?”

Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley tells me she is so grateful she is not being killed off as she would like to try something new. She would like to see her character Eva return at some point “But if you’re killed off, unless it’s like Dallas and Bobby returning, then there is no chance, really...”

Fans of Cuban music take note – Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s smash-hit musical On Your Feet is coming to London, direct from Broadway, for a strictly limited season at London’s Coliseum, from June 14 to August 31. Gloria reveals: “I think you will love it as it’s fun and heartfelt, plus we have all the great hits in there that people have taken to their hearts.”

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