Ann's Angle

Ossett became the place to be recently, as Mirfield’s own Simon Clayton Stead, the king of the keyboards, was interviewed at the Dimple Well Lodge along with myself for a new TV documentary on the orchestra leader Mantovani. The film will be screened next year and out on DVD via Odeon Entertainment in the spring.

Paul Hollywood is to undergo surgery on his hands, after revealing that he is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The Great British Bake Off judge said that 30 years as a baker led to the condition, which has left him with nerve damage in his wrists.

You know that expensive TV campaign for Marks & Spencer which starred Dame Helen Mirren and co? It did nothing to raise sales – and many customers complained that it was a waste of time as many of the items had in fact sold out when asked for in stores.

Leona Lewis has released a Christmas album, but it appears that fans are less than keen and the album is going down the charts already. The singer admits she could see herself in musicals in the future and said:  “You can’t be a pop star forever, unless you’re Madonna, can you?”

Michael McIntyre is developing a new comedy entertainment show. Each show will see Michael deliver his usual brand of stand-up and be joined by celebrity guests and members of the public. The programme will also feature comedy VTs and studio games.

Strictly Come Dancing dancer Ola Jordan tells me that she has no idea if she will be returning to the show next year, as: “They never tell you that far in advance. Of course I love being on the show but even if you win, they don’t look at it like that, its more to do with trying out new people.” Or the money...

The failure to land huge celebrity guests and politicians is one the reasons that BBC Breakfast could be making a move back to London sooner rather than later. Insiders at the BBC tell me: “It’s been a trail up to Salford, and I think everyone agrees that it’s far better to be based where the action is.”

Emmerdale will air scenes this Christmas as a fire rages through Home Farm, leaving Megan Macey’s life hanging in the balance. The reality is that the show is revamping many of the sets, so this works as a good way to do that, with hopefully some dramatic tension too...

Chico is in Bradford this year in panto and tells me that he is now working on  his next album after a few years touring in musicals. “I think that the novelty stuff I do is perfect when people are down, and need a quick pick-me-up, so I am working hard again,” he said.

Simon Cowell recently did a spate of interviews with the media, but his PR team insisted that no questions were allowed about the demise of X Factor USA, or his ratings problems with the X Factor in the UK. Fancy...

Sir David Attenborough may be best known for his wildlife programmes, but did you know that he also was one of the original producers of HM The Queen’s Christmas speeches? He said: “I was not really nervous at all, as she was so good at being a professional for TV, so in many ways it was a dream job.”

Len Goodman may be best known as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, but it appears he is also wanted by BBC Radio Two, who liked his recent stint on the station. They want to make him a more permanent fixture in the new year ... can there ever be enough of Len?

Cook Mary Berry may is hopeful of a pay rise now that her Bake Off show is moving to BBC One in the new year. “I did hear we may get a bit more, which would be nice of course, but it’s not down to me, dear, is it?”

It’s one of the most successful children’s TV shows ever and now it’s live on stage in London. ‘Peppa Pig’ is at the historic Criterion Theatre and I spotted in the audience Kate Moss, Charlie Brooks and Kate Garraway, who had all brought along their children to enjoy the wonderful experience. Go see it now...

Take a look at the famous ‘Wow’ album cover by 80s band Bananarama. It features Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, no less, being clutched by Sarah of the band. He tells me: “How did you find out about that? It’s my secret, but yes, if you look closely you can tell it’s me for sure.”

Shirley MacLaine is back on Downton Abbey this Christmas and admits she is the envy of all her actress pals for landing the role. “I think it could be even bigger in the US than it is in the UK,” she said. “But I know all my LA friends beg me for the storylines, of which I reveal nothing, of course...”

Emma Willis is “nervous” about her new presenting role on The Voice UK. She tells me: “I keep looking around and seeing Sir Tom Jones and Kylie sitting there and it’s like you’re in a dream, you know, with people you have admired for years right in front of you. It’s mad, basically.”

Lesley Joseph says that she can’t wait to get started filming the return of ‘Birds Of A Feather’ next year. “I am still playing the same vampish Dorian, but it’s good in a way. I do love her, even though she has not got any better with age.”

Louis Walsh depressed us all pre-Christmas with the news that he won’t be quitting X Factor after all, despite saying he would. A source at ITV tells me: “He is already begging to come back next year, so basically it was all a big PR stunt by him.”

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