Ann's Angle

The Strictly Come Dancing arena tour will have a new live host to replace Kate Thornton next year. Previous contestant Lisa Riley has now landed the role and is ecstatic, saying: “I can’t believe what the show has done for me, and I am looking forward to hosting the show rather than appearing. “That way my nerves won’t be as a shot every night, plus I can offer some good advice on the show, as I have been there.”

Get ready to rumble as Ant & Dec take their TV show ‘Takeaway’ on tour next year. The boys may be a hit with fans on TV, but many think it’s a cheap shot given that the TV tickets are free, and these dates are far from it. Ant & Dec, though, say their live show will feature plenty of giveaways and “loads of famous faces”.

Sir Elton John has revealed that he “feels sorry” for winners of talent shows such as The X Factor. The pop icon said that performers should always gain experience on their own before finding success.

It appears that Dragons’ Den judge Deborah Meaden was overwrought at being voted off this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. A source told me backstage: “She really thought she was in it for the long haul, but was stunned when that was not the case. She may just yet sign up for the tour though.”

Nicole Scherzinger tells me that she wishes people would focus on her music talents rather than her looks – and her dream is to star in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “ Oh yes please,” she said. “I adore all his musicals and ever since I started out it was what I wanted to do. Mainly be in ‘Phantom’, but as yet pop music has taken over.”

Gary Barlow tells me that his decision to quit X Factor next year was a simple one. “I never expected to do this much time on the show, and truthfully I miss creating music too much,” he said. “I have enjoyed my time, truly I have, but yes it’s back to music now for me.”

Returning to Coronation Street, actor Bruno Langley tells me he is very grateful as: “It means I can be at home more and know when I have some money coming in and all that.

“I enjoyed the theatre work, but honestly now I have children I have to provide for them too ,and that is far more important than artistic dreams.”

Sky Living has confirmed that it has axed long-running reality series Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model. Next Top Model’s ninth series aired earlier this year and featured Elle Macpherson, Tyson Beckford and Dannii Minogue on the judging panel.

Downton Abbey cannot go on indefinitely, actress Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley) has said, despite the huge success of the period drama. But asked whether her character or Julian Fellowes’ ITV drama had an indefinite shelf life, Penelope reveals: “I doubt it. I don’t think anything can go on and on. Everyone would be bored stiff with it.”

EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks, who plays Janine, is leaving the soap again after three years of claiming she wants to play other people, but admits that if she had known the new producer was coming then she may have stayed around a little longer. Oh dear...

Dame Maggie Smith may play the dowager Lady Grantham on TV, but she tells me she is far from regal off screen. “I do love a good comedy, and I always watch anything that my good friend, the late Kenneth Williams was in you know. To me he was the best at almost everything,” she winked.

Soon-to-depart EastEnders actor David Witt, who plays dim-witted Joey in the show, has landed a new role in a musical Hairspray, which goes out on tour next year. He told me: “It’s a dream job as it’s funny and has some great tunes, which is totally different to the character I have been playing for the last few years.”

He may have won the first series of Britain’s Got Talent but it appears the big-screen version of Paul Potts’ life story on screen is not the box office gold that bosses first thought. Starring James Cordon, the new One Chance film depicts his life totally differently to what actually happened and fans think this is one film  best left “for TV on a wet afternoon when nothing else is on”. Oh dear...

Gareth Malone is back this week with yet another singing choir show, but admits that it can get a bit much at times. “People do sing at me all the time, and yes when someone is bad you do tend to worry if you should be honest,” he said. His beard is getting a lot of attention too, with many preferring his fresh-faced look to his latest ginger hairy one...

Emmerdale star Gemma Oaten has decided to leave the soap. The actress, who plays Rachel Breckle, will bow out on screen next year following a turbulent time for her character. A source reveals: “It’s been a bit of a clear out at Emmerdale, so expect more characters to be going in the New Year also.”

Amanda Holden has released her own tell-all book, but it’s falling rather flat sales-wise and publishers are pondering how to get the interest up for the coming Christmas rush. Many though believe she has sold it too many times to newspapers already – so what is the point of the book?

Hairy Biker Dave, who is on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, tells me that he is something of  a sex symbol with the older generation. “I was told this would happen, but for the life in me I cannot see how ... it’s all good fun, and if people do see it then bring it on,” he says, laughing.

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