Ann's Angle

Singing star Alfie Boe had the official screening of his forthcoming stint on Mr Selfridge last week in London, and the singer tells me: “I did enjoy the experience and it made me think that maybe I could look at doing some more acting in the future. It all depends on how it goes.” Many, though, agree that singing is indeed his best forte...

Emmerdale actress Gemma Oaten has revealed more details about her exit from the soap, confirming that she will be bowing out before the end of her contract. Gemma  said: “Obviously it’s out there that I will be leaving next year. It’s sad for me, but it’s exciting as well. The door’s wide open.”

Reports that some of the dancers on Strictly Come Dancing, like Anton and Kristina, are charging for signed autographed pictures are not shocking fans at all. A source tells me: “It’s really up to them if they wish to, and of course the decision is down to the fans who decide to buy them. It does not affect the status they have on the show, or with the BBC.”

Former soap actress Martine McCutcheon has revealed she plans to record a new album and perform a few live shows too. “I have missed singing, and so it appears have my fans,” she said. “I owe it to them to get back out there and give it my best shot.”

Speculation is rife that Dannii Minogue may follow Cheryl Cole back to the X Factor judging panel in 2014. Ratings are so bad this year that Simon is prepared to do anything he can to make the show a success again, and he believes that bringing her back into the fold is the key.

Rachel Riley’s Strictly dream may be over, but the Countdown queen reveals she plans to do the live tour and will continue to dance as often as possible. “It’s a career ambition,” she said. “I enjoyed all the elements of the show and did well to last as long as I could, but I was so sad to go.”

Former Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel, who played Frank Foster, is back on stage next year playing Beatles manager Brian Epstein in a new musical. He tells me: “It’s a dream role and the story is really the story of how British pop came about, so it’s a great challenge.”

Paul O’Grady, now back with his own chat show on ITV, tells me that after appearing in the dire Coronation Street musical for just two nights it took him over a year to bare to watch the show on TV again. “Even the theme tune sent me crackers. It really was the worst experience of my career now looking back,” he laughed.

Coronation Street Actor Ryan Thomas, who plays Jason in the soap, may have been declared bankrupt recently, but turning on the Christmas lights in Reading will no doubt help swell the coffers of his bank balance for the future...

Arlene Phillips says she would love to help choreograph some of the dance routines that are featured in Downton Abbey. “I love the show, and do think that if they had a big ballroom scene I would love to help out,” she said. “It would be great to do, but I have to wait for the call...”

TV presenter Terry Wogan has suggested that young female TV presenters rely too much on their looks to get jobs – and it may not be to their advantage once they get older. However one younger star has criticised him, saying: “It’s a bit rich when he has made a living and now at 75 to have a crack for a headline is a bit tragic.” Oh dear Terry, what have you done?

Despite dispensing with Denise Welch, and Carol McGriffin from Loose Women, the ratings have yet to rise. A source at ITV tells me: “The format is a tad stale, and of course the show has a reputation of being a bit low-brow, so hopefully things will turn around.”

Emmerdale bosses have cast former Hollyoaks star Anthony Quinlan as a new member of the Barton family. The actor has landed the role of Pete Barton, who is the son of recent arrival James (Bill Ward) and a new regular for the ITV soap.

Despite playing Doctor Who longer than any other actor, veteran star Tom Baker admits he never watches the sci-fi show. “I never have, but I did take a quick peak at the 50th anniversary edition – I felt I had to,” he laughed.

More bad news for Frank Skinner – his Saturday night prime time show ‘I Love My Country’ has been axed after only one series due to mega-low ratings. BBC bosses felt that: “It was a good effort, but we are looking at new options for next summer.”

It was meant to be like the Muppet Show for a new generation, but it appears that the summer tryout ‘That Puppet Show’ has been axed despite the hidden talents of guest stars like Jonathan Ross and Katherine Jenkins. BBC bosses may bring it back, but this time as a children’s show rather than in prime time.

Former Spice Girl Geri is finding life tough after the demise of the group. Her much-hyped comedy drama series has so far failed to be picked up as an option, and now her big comeback single ‘Other Half Of Me’ sold only 400 copies when released. What next for the one they call Ginger?

Joan Collins appeared on Alan Carr recently to plug her book, but was stunned at some of the risqué questions that the host planted on her. A friend tells me: “She was a little shocked but rode it out well, but I don’t think she will be rushing back to the show in a hurry.”

I’m A Celebrity is back soon with a very cheap cast of TOWIE cast-offs, and Matthew Wright, who appears on Channel Five every morning. Insiders reveal: “We have decided not to try and get big names, as it brings in the same ratings whoever we have.”

Share this post