CLARE HALSE stars in the role of Peggy Sawyer, who famously segues from unknown to star while tapping her heart out in the smash hit musical 42nd Street.
She tells me: “I love the show and can’t believe how I get to star on that famous stage every night, plus of course we have the lovely Sheena Easton starring too.”
Clare adds: “I believe if you want a role and dream hard enough it can come true.” So we can assume that Clare’s dreams have been realised – check out the show at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London right now.
If you’re a fan of the BBC Sunday night drama Call The Midwife then you may like to know that many believe there could be a musical of the show. A friend tells me: “They made a compilation album a few years back now which sold well, and it got them thinking, given the era it’s set in, it could be oh so simple to turn this into a stage show too.” I’ll keep you posted.
Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips has given her seal of approval to recruit Shirley Ballas. The so-called Queen of Latin was announced as the surprise new head judge on the BBC One show, taking over from Len Goodman. Arlene told me: “She is fierce, she is tough, she is hard and she’s sharp. I believe she will really mix up the show for the better.”
Coronation Street actress Jane Danson revealed she is devastated at the departure of actor Ben Price, who plays Nick in the show, and added “absolutely stunned too. I completely understand his reasons for wanting to go, but he will be a huge loss to the show, and selfishly, on my part, to my working day. I will miss him so much, it’s hard when a cast member goes as it throws the whole team into chaos for a while, until we regroup again and move on.”
The Britain In Bloom contest, which began half a century ago as a way of ‘prettifying’ the nation’s villages and towns, is to become a television show for BBC. If successful they also plan to launch seasonal versions of the show, and hope this will encourage others to start to look after their gardens and homes a bit more.
Tough guy actor Ray Winstone tells me that he is always having to deny he is joining EastEnders. “I have seen the show of course, but for me I don’t want to be tied to a long series, and as much as I love it, I am not ready to be that committed, but you never know in the future,” he teased.
Coronation Street actress Claire King has revealed she is leaving the soap and has not been fired, to head for new challenges beyond Weatherfield. Claire, who had been well known as an Emmerdale star before joining Corrie, had only planned to stay at Corrie for six weeks when she first joined in 2013 as shop worker Erica Holroyd.
Former EastEnders Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins believes Mick and Linda could be the next couple to follow Kat and Alfie with their own show. He said: “I could watch them for ages, but it’s because they’re based on my mum and dad, so I’ve got a lot of stories there.”
Line Of Duty actor Martin Compston has joined the cast of Victoria for the second series. The actor, best known for his performance as DS Steve Arnott in the hit BBC police drama, will guest-star as Dr Robert Traill, a key campaigner in the fight to raise awareness of the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s.
NBC has just announced its next live production of a major musical will be Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Following on from its successful Christmas season broadcasts of live musical productions, they have unveiled plans to bring the groundbreaking musical to the small screen for one night only on Easter Sunday next year. NBC’s live broadcasts of major Broadway shows began in 2013 with The Sound of Music featuring Carrie Underwood. It will be shown over here on ITV2.
Fans of The Great British Bake Off will be treated to two Christmas specials on Channel Four. The ex-BBC show, now with Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood as judges and Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig presenting, is set to debut later this year. It will also return for a pair of hour-long festive specials, Channel Four confirmed.
Location, Location, Location presenter Kirstie Allsopp denies that coming from a wealthy background means she cannot help others create fun things on a budget. She said: “I don’t think people mind at all, but I always try to offer some good advice and of course we all have varied incomes. My shows just give you ideas that you may want to make.”
Always remembered for his portrayal of James Bond in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, George Lazenby tells me that he would like to still act more in the UK. “I don’t get it as my Bond has now become a cult classic as they say, and I would love to appear in a comedy or period drama,” he said. “I loved Downton for instance, but I never get those kind of calls.”
Doctor Who Actress Pearl Mackie says she has no idea whether she will be kept on the hit show following the departure of Peter Capaldi. Peter, bows out as the Doctor after the current 10th series of the BBC One show.
Former Hollyoaks and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ricky Whittle told me about his new role in the US fantasy series American Gods. He revealed to me: “I always try to spread positivity online about chasing your dreams, so I went to America and gave it a go. Sometimes things happen, and they take off and this is what happened for me, I am so over the moon about it all.”