The muchloved soap star and singer Bill Tarmey sadly passed away earlier this month. The actor, who I had the pleasure of meeting on many occasions, told me: “I loved the job of playing Jack and, between you and me, I just hope after I am gone people will remember him with affection.” We all do, and you too Bill...
Nicholas Lyndhurst is to join the cast of popular BBC drama New Tricks. The Only Fools And Horses star will debut in the crime drama’s 10th series, according to the show insiders, and will not be playing his usual “happy go lucky” fellow.
Former Emmerdale actor Paul Loughran has filmed a guest role on Doctors. The actor, who played Butch Dingle on ITV1’s rural soap, appears as an anarchist in an upcoming episode of the daytime drama next month.
Actress Pamela Anderson is to compete on the upcoming series of Dancing on Ice, it has been reported. The former Baywatch actress is currently training for the show in California with professional skater Matt Evers, according show insiders.
Comic John Bishop is to star in a new TV comedy drama ,which he cowrote, set in the world of pantomime. The Liverpudlian funnyman, who made his TV acting debut in BBC1’s The Accused in the summer, will appear alongside Sheridan Smith in the ITV1 film ‘Panto!’. He tells me: “It’s all based on my true experiences of what local panto was like when I was starting out.”
The new daily drama series on ITV called ‘Crime Stories’ is filmed on the old set of The Bill, and like that show will feature daily guest soap stars including Bill Ward and Darren Day. It’s on daily at 2pm.
While its younger cast members like Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt are swamped with movie offers, Downton Abbey’s more mature actresses are grateful for a major TV drama that doesn’t discriminate based on age. Speaking about ageism in TV, 56yearold Phyllis Logan, who plays Mrs Hughes the housekeeper, tells me: “There’s been a lot of TV drama and Britishmade films which have not had a lot of scope or roles for women of my age. Hopefully that will change in the future.”
All four coaches from The Voice will be reunited when the series returns to BBC1 next year. Sir Tom Jones, Will.i.am, Jessie J and The Script’s Danny O’Donoghue have all signed up for the show when it comes back next spring.
Yet another return for boomerang actress Patsy Palmer, who plays Bianca in EastEnders. She said: “I will be back just in time for the dramatic Christmas episodes, and as ever, I can’t say just how she arrives back in the show, but its explosive.”
It Takes Two host Zoe Ball tells me it was very hard to interview her father Johnny Ball after he was voted out of Strictly Come Dancing. “I had hoped he would have lasted longer, but he really did try his best and I sort of welled up when he came into the studio,” she said.
News that spiky judge Jason Gardner is returning to Dancing On Ice next year is so far unconfirmed by the show’s makers.
I heard: “We can’t comment, but we are seeing quite a few people, and maybe he will return or maybe he won’t.” Oh dear...
James Nesbitt, who starred in the medical drama ‘Monroe’, had one of the most publicised shows on ITV yet bosses have decided that series two will be in fact the last. ITV chiefs have blamed the ultralow ratings for the series ending.
Gary Barlow denies that his quips on the X Factor are scripted, like last year, by comedy actor James Cordon. A source reveals: “Gary decided that everything must come from him, and so he decided against scripted answers this year.”
The big new Saturday night BBC 1 spy drama ‘Hunted’, which starred the lovely Melissa George, has been cancelled after just one series. A source reveals: “While it did well in the UK, it needed to sell around the world and sadly that was not the case.”
Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone in Coronation Street, reveals he would love to see his screen mum, overthetop actress Margi Clarke, back.
“I think in reality now would be the time that Tyrone may just reach out to his mum, even though she has not been the best in the past,” he said.
EastEnders actress Shona McGarty who plays Whitney in the soap, sang on the recent Children In Need show and she says she would consider a pop career if offered. “I think you need to embrace all areas as an actress, but I think the days of soap star/pop star are well over anyway,” she said.
The quiz show ‘Only Connect’ which is shown on BBC 4 has picked up over a million viewers, breaking the channel’s record audience for a quiz show. Insiders now believe it may be transferring to BBC 2 for the next series.