Ann's Angle

Sad news that my good pal Graham Walker, founder of the comedy musical and impressions group The Grumbleweeds, has died at the age of 68. Graham started the group with Robin Colvill in Leeds in 1962. They toured the Northern club circuit before getting their big break five years later, when they appeared on the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks, by which time they had grown to a five-piece. In 1998, they pared back to a more financially viable two-man band, with just Walker and Colville. They were due to tour later in the year, including a summer season in Skegness. I know we will all miss him.



Former Emmerdale and Strictly Come Dancing star Lisa Riley has ruled out a return to the soap this year. Which is handy as according to insiders the soap has no plans to offer her a return at present. I heard: “She is a great girl, but the truth is the character has moved on and so far we don’t require her.”



With Alexandra Burke recently being let go from her record deal all eyes are now on fellow Simon Cowell acts Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle, both of whom have suffered with very low sales of their last albums. Insiders tell me: “Simon has a clear-out around twice a year so expect these two on the list...”



Paddy McGuinness is to front another prime-time ITV entertainment show. The comic and Take Me Out host is to front Your Face Sounds Familiar, which is essentially a live, celebrity version of Stars in Their Eyes. The twist is that celebrities will have no control over which musical star they will have to impersonate – but will be given one week’s notice of their task.



ITV has decided to green light Holly Willoughby’s Surprise Surprise for a second series, and ten more episodes will be broadcast on the channel in late 2013. Insiders tell me: “It rated okay but the real truth is that it’s popular around the world, so sales of the show are very lucrative indeed.”



A report has revealed the earnings of some of British comedy’s top stars. According to the insiders Peter Kay now generates almost £45,000 a day, whilst Michael McIntyre has recently pocketed £21 million thanks to his sell-out tour and DVD sales … who’s laughing now?



The character Todd Grimshaw, played by Bruno Langley, will return to Coronation Street this autumn. Todd has been away in London since he left Coronation Street in the autumn and programme bosses are staying tight-lipped about why Todd has chosen to return.



The Loose Women show continues to slide well down in the daytime ratings, and bosses are now once again looking at ‘refreshing’ the panel after it takes its summer break and comes back in September. All on the panel are said to be very worried...



Gillian Taylforth has revealed that her new role in Hollyoaks is more glamorous than her previous soap turn on EastEnders. The actress, who appeared in Albert Square as downtrodden Kathy for 15 years, has now joined the cast of the  soap as Sandy Roscoe, a single mum of five boys. “Sandy’s not as glamorous as most Hollyoaks girls believe me,” Gillian said. “But she’s a bit more glamorous than Kathy Beale.”



Morse prequel Endeavour has been recommissioned for a second series. The ITV drama made its debut in 2012 with a feature-length story starring Shaun Evans and Roger Allam to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Morse, and the full first series was screened earlier this year. The second series of four two-hour Endeavour films will go into production in Oxford later this year.



Former soap star Patsy Kensit is finally planning to reveal all in a book due out towards the end of the year. The actress, who also appeared in Holby City, tells me: “It feels the right time and I love the idea of putting this chapter of my life down on paper ... it will be revealing for sure.”



It looks like Britain’s Got Talent could have a children’s special after all. Officials on the show tell me: “We never considered this before, but now looking at various options we think we could maybe do a one-off and see how it’s reacted to by the public. If it goes down well, who knows, it could be a full spin-off series.”

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