Since the demise of his chat show ‘Chatty Man’ Alan Carr has been signed up to front The Remote Controller, a Dragons’ Den-style format, devised by Harry Hill.
Alan told me earlier this year that the show will involve members of the public pitching their ideas for TV shows to a panel of experts, including Hill. Alan said: “I love the idea Ann, as we all sit at home going ‘I could programme better than this’, and with the internet now many people are, so we are hoping to re-address this a little.” Channel Four is piloting an hour-long episode, but it won’t be broadcast just yet.
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Top impressionist Jon Culshaw has announced The Great British Take Off, a 14-date UK tour. Jon will be joined on stage by Dead Ringers producer Bill Dare, and Jon told me: “I think now more than ever we need to laugh at the world and the situations around us. That, along with my many comedy faces and voices, is the plan with this tour.” The tour will run from September 2 to November 30, 2017.
Strictly champion Joanne Clifton will not be returning to the BBC show. She won the show last year with Ore Oduba, but is leaving to concentrate on musical theatre. Oksana Patera and Natalie Lowe are also leaving to be replaced by three new professional dancers.
It looks like Miranda Hart won’t be appearing in your favourite game show after all. Miss Hart – who is currently starring in ‘Annie’ in the West End – piloted a reboot of The Generation Game for the BBC two years ago. But the show went no further, with the comic saying she wanted to focus on acting and writing. Now BBC bosses are once again looking around for someone to host it, with the firm favourites being so far the duo that hosts The One Show...
Anton Du Beke and Brendan Cole have both signed up again for Strictly Come Dancing, making them now the longest-serving regulars in the dance show’s history. Anton tells me: “I would have loved Len’s role as head judge of course, but I still love the show and all that it entails, I don’t know what I would do with my time if I were not on it.”
Who knew Freddie Flintoff could sing and act?! Well Kay Mellor, writer of ITV’s Fat Friends, worked it out quickly, having cast him in both her latest TV show and now her musical. Freddie, who retired from cricket in 2010, admits he is nervous as the show will also see him singing on stage, but he is prepared to take singing lessons, and develop his voice. He added: “Who knows, I may even end up topping the charts.”
Antiques Roadshow recently filmed a special on the set of EastEnders for broadcast this autumn. It appears that the theme was how people can find hidden gems while searching around second-hand markets, and what they may discover ... with of course a huge plug for the show.
Actor Adam Thomas has quit Emmerdale after eight years. He tells me his real reason is that as an actor he wants to try his hand at many other roles, adding: “I think being part of Emmerdale has been great, but I am still only young and want to see if I can play other roles.” Adam, though, plans to try his hand at acting on stage in pantomime too, as he was told by other cast members that the money for such a short stint is very good...
Alan Titchmarsh tells me that the Queen has ‘green fingers’. He adds: “She’s more knowledgeable than people give her credit for and knows her onions, as they say up North. I think she really enjoys her garden and her passion for that shines through when you get chance to speak to her about it.”
Hard to imagine, but Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes admits a secret penchant for high street restaurants rather than posh food in London. “I honestly don’t mind where I dine, and yes I do enjoy many of the high street brands like Nando’s and Pizza Express,” he said. “I think they are popular, so why not?”
The new biopic of Churchill has flopped on its UK release, grossing just £391,000 from 345 screens for a screen average of little more than £1,000. It stars Brian Cox as Winston Churchill, who plays a great role, but many insiders believe that it’s not historically accurate and, worse than that, it’s a bit more of a soap opera than a movie.
With Coronation Street going to six days per week in the autumn, it appears that many of its stars are worried about screen time and exposure on the soap. A friend reveals: “We have a bigger cast now than ever before, and this means many struggle for screen time, with more storylines and fan favourites, but we are all hopeful viewers embrace the show six times per week.”
Adam Rickett, now starring in teen soap Hollyoaks, tells me that he has fond memories of his pop career back in the 90s. “I never took it that seriously, but it was fun touring with all the bands ... I don’t see many people asking me to return to the world of pop, is that a signal?” he giggled.
It’s been 14 years since Dean Gaffney had a regular role in EastEnders, and while he was upset to be written out of the soap way back then, he’s equally delighted to be back. He is now the new market inspector and said: “I am glad he has moved up in the world and it gives us some scope to work with.”