Ann's Angle

Cilla Black will reportedly return to ITV for a one-off Blind Date special. The presenter will host the classic dating game as part of a programme marking her 50 years in the entertainment industry, She trills: “I am hoping to get a few of my celebrity friends down too.” Bet it’s Dale Winton...?


ITV’s hit period drama Mr Selfridge has been sold to 99 territories after the broadcaster’s international sales arm closed deals in Africa, Italy and the Netherlands. The drama is currently in production in London, with a Christmas special planned and a new series early next year.


Five has ordered a spin-off of its successful long running franchise The Hotel Inspector. The factual series which is hosted by Alex Pollizzi will see her returning to previous hotels and guest houses that she had visited to see how they have got on in since left. A source reveals: “It should be explosive given how she normally gets on with them on the first visit.”


Holly Willoughby admits she was furious to be snapped smoking and drinking outside a bar in London as “many of my fans don’t realise that I smoke at all. I have tried to give it up, but I can’t seem to stick to it, which is annoying.”


The Voice has seen its ratings drop to a new low as the show went live for the first time this series. According to estimates just 4.2m viewers tuned in to the main show on Friday night as the remaining 12 made their first bid for a place in next weekend’s -final. Yet the BBC has signed an £11million deal for yet another series next year ... why?!


The X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger tells me she won’t compete fashion-wise with rival judge Sharon Osborne. She said: “We are totally different in that respect, and I think we will complement each other. If nothing else I am really looking forward to the show returning.”


Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood may be known as the silver fox here in the UK, but in the US, where the show has just made its debut, all is not going to plan. Perhaps it’s due to the fact he keeps zipping off to have a crafty ciggie break and the clean cut US bosses don’t like it at all...


EastEnders star Tony Discipline is set to leave the show this summer as his character Tyler Moon is written out. The actor, who has been in the show for two years, will film his exit over the summer, with a dramatic storyline planned for Tyler before his goes. However Tony reveals that the character will not be killed off, leaving the door open for a possible return.


Shane Ritchie tried and failed to bring the Jim’ll Fix It format back before the BBC decided it was not a good idea. Now, though, he is back with a new quiz for the BBC, some say as a pay-off for losing out on the Jim’ll Fix it debacle.


ITV has announced the celebrity lineup for upcoming entertainment series Your Face Sounds Familiar. Emmerdale’s Natalie Anderson will join the show, but as fans will recall she actually got her big break on TV in the very original series of Pop Idol way back in 2002. She gushed: “It will be great to sing again on TV, I have missed singing so much too.”


Despite all the hype and the egg throwing, it appears that Britain’s Got Talent failed to dent the ratings with the lowest final viewing figures in its history. ITV reveal they were “happy” but advertisers who spend thousands on the ad breaks less so…


Actor Nigel Havers has signed up to appear in the new series of Who do You Think You Are. He tells me: “I adore the show, and can’t wait to discover what they find out about my family ... it really is the most impressive show.”


Gino D’Acampo is moving into primetime with a series that will see him travelling across Southern Italy. If you’re a fan you will be thrilled to know there is also a book looming to coincide with the series, but I hear fellow This Morning chef Phil Vickery is less than happy...


Downton Abbey’s Rob James-Collier has explained why he currently has a shaved head. The actor, who plays Thomas Barrow in the hit ITV drama, told fans his new look was for a very different role. He said: “I shaved it off for a role where I was playing a crazy psychotic drug dealer.” But Rob reassured Downton Abbey fans he would be back to his usual hairdo for the new series with the help of a wig.

Best known for her roles in Victoria Wood sketches and now starring in ‘Love and Marriage’ on ITV, Celia Imrie tells me she is gearing up to appear for the first time in Cabaret at the newly-launched Crazy Coqs cabaret room in London. “It’s terrifying in some respects, but it’s a challenge,” she said.


Robin’s Nest star Tessa Wyatt will play new character Betty in EastEnders. She teams up with Patrick (Rudolph Walker) and immediately clashes with the fiery Cora (Ann Mitchell) who wants him back on the dance floor with her. Tessa tells me: “I can’t believe I have finally made the show having watched it for so many years, I am really thrilled.”


A huge thank you to Father Gregory, Mr and Mrs Harrington, Max, Angela and all the excellent staff at the Healds Hall Hotel and Restaurant, Liversedge, for a lovely ‘first class’ evening, that everyone so enjoyed. Many, many thanks!

Ann Montini

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