Birds of a Feather will return for a new series on ITV, it has been confirmed. The 1990s BBC sitcom is making a comeback after 15 years away, but will now be on a new channel. Lesley Joseph tells me: “It’s a relief as there have been so many false starts, but after the success of the stage show I think it proved its popularity.”
Scott & Bailey are to return to ITV for a fourth series. The crime drama stars Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp as police officers Rachel Bailey and Janet Scott, two members of Manchester’s Major Incident Team. The show’s third run drew to a close on May 23, pulling in a final audience of 7.1 million viewers.
It appears that one-time good pals Babs Windsor and Dale Winton may have had a fall-out. Both were down to host the special ‘50 years in showbiz’ special for their friend Cilla Black on ITV this September. A friend reveals: “We have no idea why, but it appears there is a rift, which is odd when you think about it. So far we’re not sure who is going to host alone...”
X Factor winner Leona Lewis is recording a new Christmas album, according to her song writing team. Leona, who won the show way back in 2006, says she is happy to look at a festive record as “I buy them all, as it’s my favourite time of the year, but it’s early days yet.”
Former EastEnders star Sid Owen’s decision to quit the BBC soap to launch a Hollywood career is already looking a tad worrying, after his attempts to land top roles have so far failed. Sid is determined to give it a go but has to make a decision if he wants to star in panto in the UK this year also ... tough choice.
Cher has said that she would have auditioned for The Voice if the series had been around when she was young. The ‘Believe’ singer reveals: “I think anywhere you can be seen is a bonus and you know if the show had been around when I started, why not?”
Hollyoaks star Gillian Taylforth has hinted that she would like to stick with the soap beyond her current contract. The former EastEnders actress is currently on a one-year deal playing Sandy Roscoe, a new matriarch for the Channel Four show.
Sharon Osbourne was reportedly forced to move to a budget hotel after a power cut at Claridge’s. The X Factor judge got ready at a nearby Premier Inn, but it’s not confirmed if Lenny Henry was there to meet her, as he does in the famous TV ads...
Sue Johnston has decided to call time on her role as Stella in Coronation Street. The actress has said that she wants to concentrate on other roles and her departure won’t see her killed off, as Stella will “move to Spain”, but insiders say they are “trimming the wage bill”.
Britain’s Got Talent winners ‘Attraction’ deny they have been offered a million-pound Las Vegas deal, as reported in the national tabloids. I heard: “We read these crazy stories, but for us they are not true and we are just looking forward to appearing on this year’s Royal Variety Show.”
EastEnders bosses have confirmed that former Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas is joining the soap. The actor, best known for playing Chester villain Warren Fox, has landed the part of Albert Square newcomer Jake Stone and will begin filming in a few weeks.
Former Coronation Street actress Denise Black, best known as hairdresser Denise Osbourne, is joining the cast of Emmerdale. Denise 55, began filming on ITV’s Emmerdale last week and will play the adoptive grandmother of Kyle, the child Amy Wyatt gave up shortly after he was born.
Dallas is coming back to Channel 5 later in the year, but bosses on the US show are not planning to bring in a long-lost brother to the recently departed JR Ewing. “We don’t think anyone could replace Larry Hagman in the show, so we are just moving on.”
Christine Bleakley is left pondering her career at ITV while her latest effort, a cheap-as-chips DIY show which was made months ago, is still sitting on the shelf. A source tells me: “It was okay, but it’s not a ratings smash, and of course people want to see her in something successful after her shaky start at ITV.”
Former EastEnders star Rob Kazinsky has revealed that working on soap is the toughest acting work he has ever done. “We never really had time to rehearse or anything so what you saw on screen was basically it,” he said. “I am proud of the work we put in the show, I do miss playing Sean Slater, he was good fun.”
After seven years of high drama and surprise storyline twists, EastEnders favourite Tanya Cross has said an emotional farewell to Albert Square. But the actress tells me she did help herself to a trinket from the set ... “I took a flying pig which was discreet but I always liked it so I thought why not? Don’t tell anyone, will you?”
Jessie J has admitted that she is unsure about her future as a coach on The Voice UK. However TV bosses have also revealed that drastic changes are planned which could include one host, new judges and better promotion of the show across all BBC brands ... could they do any worse than now though?
Dame Helen Mirren is the latest star to try and rejuvenate the fortunes of Marks & Spencer by starring in their latest ads. The actress reveals: “I am over the moon to be featured as I am a genuine fan of the brand, and it was all so exciting being a model at my age too.”