It may only be September, but in TV land they are already planning what you and I will be watching over the Christmas period. One of these will be the celebrity panel show Celebrity Juice featuring Holly Willoughby and Fern Cotton. I was lucky enough to tour the set on a recent visit, as you can see here, and of course park myself in the host’s chair...
More bad news for Simon Cowell and his much-maligned cookery show ‘Food Glorious Food’, in which the winner saw their recipe being launched in Marks and Spencer. The programme, hosted by Carol Vorderman, has been quietly axed by ITV after very low ratings. Sources tell me: “It simply failed to take off, let’s say it’s failed to rise in the baking...”
Looking like they will be voted off Strictly Come Dancing before their fake tan has had even time to dry, Dragon’s Den judge Deborah Meaden and Hairy Biker Dave Myers are set to be the first to face the chop on the show.
A source tells me: “Expect to see Vanessa and Sophie Ellis Bextor, in the show for a long time.”
Diana Vickers, who was a runner-up on The X Factor, says that people are now bored of the format and admits that she never hears from her mentor Cheryl Cole now. She said: “I laugh when people ask me that, because truly it’s just all for the TV show and nothing more – why she would stay in touch?”
Fans of One Direction take note – ITV are planning a special on the band in time for Christmas with guests and songs from their new album. The boys will round off a successful year singing and dancing, plus meeting some of their biggest fans. A source tells me: “It’s an ideal festive treat for all Directioners.”
West End star Lee Mead is warming up for his first full-time television role in BBC1’s medical drama Casualty as likeable nurse Lofty, who hails from an unusual background. Lee, 32, became a household name in 2006 when he took part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV talent competition Any Dream Will Do, winning the starring role in the West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Seventies heartthrob David Essex has been voted the EastEnders actor most people want to see return to Albert Square but the actor and singer tells me: “I enjoyed my time, and yes if possible maybe a one off slot would be good, but I have no plans to return full-time.”
X Factor Judge Gary Barlow is to release his first solo album in 14 years this November. He reveals: “After 14 long years, I’m proud to announce my new solo album is out on November 25th. I’m excited for you to hear it.”
He will of course be appearing on the show to promote it..
Peter Andre is back hosting a new version of the ‘60 Minute Makeover’ show and hopes that this will lead him into the world of interior design. A source tells me: “He thinks this will help him secure bigger things for his brand, like his own paint range and wallpaper...”
Jason Gardiner has blasted Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, claiming he attacked his show ‘Stepping Out’ before he had even seen it. “I think he is a tad annoyed that no-one cares about him when Strictly Come Dancing is over, so he makes the most of what he has, when he has the chance,” he sniped. Boys, really...
Coronation Street star Kate Ford has reportedly split from her TV producer husband. The actress, who plays Tracy Barlow on the ITV soap, has agreed a trial separation from Jon Connerty six years after they married, according to soap sources.
EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor has suggested that the soap is struggling without its matriarchal figures. Famous for her Carry On roles and as Peggy in the soap, she claims: “I think killing Pat Butcher off was a huge mistake, and then of course I decided to bow out, but the ratings have suffered because of it, I am sure.” Do we agree?
‘Lost’ star Matthew Fox tells me he has not ruled out a return to TV in the future, but that: “I like the idea of a drama-based show. something with a twist. I adore Mad Men but those shows are very rare, when you look at how often they are made…”
Michael Barrymore is planning his TV comeback – as a dramatic actor. He said: “I was offered something recently, it is actually for an acting part. I think the role will surprise people. It’s dark. When I read the script I was excited and got a good feeling about it. Acting’s my comfort zone.”
Paul O’Grady is returning for a trial run of his chat show just before Christmas, once again on ITV. “No-one has ever managed the ratings I had in that slot and that is why they invited me back,” he tells me. “I have some great guests lined up and a few cheeky surprises too.”
Piers Morgan is finding that his ‘Real Life’ series is struggling thanks to its budget, with many big Hollywood stars failing to respond to the small fee on offer to spill the beans about their lives to date. Not so ex-Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear, who jumped at the chance to reveal all...