Joe Brown MBE is unique, a genuine one-off. Starting out in the late 50s with the likes of Billy Fury, Gene Vincent and many more, Joe has continued to play to packed houses across the globe, and he tells me he has a brand-new ukulele album out.
“George Formby and George Harrison were my heroes in the UK, so this is a dream come true for me,” he said. Joe could also be popping up in one of your favourite dramas on TV very soon, but right now we’re sworn to secrecy ... the album is out now.
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While they’re still hugely popular on TV, Ant & Dec have no plans to return to the land of pantomime. The duo appeared in panto at the Sunderland Empire back in 1994, when there were groups of Sunderland supporters picketing the theatre because Ant and Dec are well-known Newcastle supporters. Dec recalls it well, and said: “It was rather scary at the time as we were so young, but now looking back, a bit of good fun.”
Poldark actor Aidan Turner has vowed never to show off his skills on Strictly Come Dancing, saying he ‘can’t stand’ the show. The BBC are less than thrilled with this ringing endorsement of their biggest variety show – Poldark is shown on the BBC, and now PR spinners for Turner are claiming that it was just a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ statement.
The BBC were planning to build a mosque on the new £15m EastEnders set as the show aims to be as authentic as modern East London. But that idea has now bitten the dust due to claims that it will be too expensive, and they will now just be recreating the set as it stands, with better detail for HD TV.
Robson Green and Sue Johnston are to lead the cast of a new BBC One drama from the pen of Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield. The pair will star in Age Before Beauty, a family saga set in a Manchester salon which will air in six parts and feature the likes of Polly Walker (Mr Selfridge) and Lisa Riley (Three Girls). Robson assured fans that this will not affect his role in the ITV hit show Grantchester.
Coronation Street is set to air in fans’ homes six times a week from the autumn – yet fans are already leaving in droves due to dire storylines and depressing content. ITV though dismiss this and believe that they can make even more money through advertising from the show.
Series two of Harry Hill’s Tea Time is set to be filmed this June and July. Guests will include Sir Trevor McDonald, Gregg Wallace and Kate Humble. According to Sky, who paid millions for the services of comedian Harry, they believe they have created “something for the whole family”.
After the success of the Great British Bake Off and in a deal to keep him sweet, the BBC offered star baker Paul Hollywood a show called the ‘Big Continental Road Trip’ as a ruse to make him stay on the channel. Well, ratings have failed to rise, like some of his loaves, and so far plans for a second series are now on hold.
Actress Patsy Kensit, who has appeared in Holby City and Emmerdale, tells me that she struggles to get great work offered on TV, as people assume “You’re always being offered great big film roles and that there is a stigma to that as well. I am just an actress who loves to work, and all that’s required is a great role, and right now those are in TV, it seems to me.”
Paul O’Grady has revealed that he took on Blind Date because he was worried about who would present it if he didn’t. He explained that initially his close friendship with the late Cilla Black made him hesitant to say yes to the role, but the prospect of a reality TV star presenting the reboot made him reconsider. “I can’t be having that I thought, so I signed up and here I am,” he said.
‘Outnumbered’ actor Hugh Dennis has signed up to host the one-off TV show Possibly ... The Best Adverts in The World. The two-hour show, which is recorded in front of a studio audience, will be on ITV later this year.
TV dramas which the whole family can watch are a rarity these days, according to Keeley Hawes. The Durrells, in which the star plays a widowed mother who has uprooted her boisterous family from Britain to Corfu, has been a hit on ITV. “It’s such a good feelgood show that we can all enjoy, and I am pleased to say we are coming back for another series which we start filming later in the year,” she said.
X Factor winner James Arthur has confessed he’s never read his own book. And by the sounds of it, he’s got no plans to do so either. ‘James Arthur: My Story’ was released after James won The X Factor back in 2012. Despite appearing at signings to plug the book, James has admitted he’s never actually read it himself. It now resides in pound stores and charity shops...
The Voice Kids judge Pixie Lott has been criticised on social media because many think that she is not a great choice to present the show. And more so given the lacklustre performance of her comeback single in the charts, with many asking the question ‘what advice can she really give for success’?
Aled Jones will forever be the choirboy singing Walking In The Air at Christmas, but his little-watched chat show ‘Weekend’ is being overlooked, according to him. Aled said: “I would love to see the show move into a prime-time slot as we have some great guests, but that is up to the bosses of ITV in the end.”
It appears that ITV’s plans to make more money from top shows like Loose Women and Coronation Street have failed. They had hoped to lure product placement into many shows, but advertisers still feel it’s better to advertise ‘up front’ rather than get lost in the background of say This Morning, with the occasional shot of their product. Plans for a Loose Women perfume were also scrapped as the ratings for the show decrease each series.