The US dream is over for Simon Cowell as his X Factor show has been dropped after three poorly-rated seasons.
A source tells me: “It simply was a waste of time and effort. The money to make the show was horrific and we decided to simply pull the plug while we are ahead. The next problem could be his much-hyped West End show ‘I Can’t Sing’, which is already facing very low bookings. Will that face the ‘X’ next?
Jeremy Piven, who plays Mr Selfridge in the ITV drama, thinks that the show could easily become a spin-off movie. “We could go far more dramatic and effective on screen, and I know this is something that the team and the production team think would be a good idea.”
Rupert Penry-Jones sets sail in a new US pirate drama called Black Sails and tells me: “After the people at ITV decided to ditch my show Whitechapel this is a great boost for me. I always wanted to work on US TV, and I think the timing is just great, plus the subject matter of the show is brilliant. Kids always love playing pirates, don’t they?”
Pixie Lott has just appeared in the BBC drama George Gently and admits that if her pop career stalls, musicals and drama will be the way for her. “I do love music, but I went to stage school and covered everything, you have to be a master at everything to succeed in this job,” she said.
Andi Peters is to front an ITV teatime quiz that physically ejects contestants from their seats if they answer questions incorrectly. Andi, still best known for being stuck in a broom cupboard on BBC children’s slots in the 90s, reveals: “It’s a fun show, and of course, it’s not been borrowed at all from the Graham Norton red chair slot...”
Britain’s Got Talent runners-up Jonathan and Charlotte have announced they are splitting up to pursue solo careers. Both have signed solo deals with Sony Classical, and are expected to release separate albums in the summer and autumn. Charlotte says: “We will always be the best of friends though, no matter what.”
ITV’s celebrity dancing contest Stepping Out which featured the talents of Denise Welch and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, has been axed after just one series. Many described it as a poor relation to the hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, but ITV insist their plan was only ever for one series...
Louise Minchin, who hosts BBC Breakfast and other news shows, is a jolly nice lady, but one thing that makes her annoyed is the fact she gets mistaken for actress Lesley Sharpe of ‘Scott & Bailey’ fame. “I can’t see it at all myself, yet it happens quite a lot of the time,” she said.
Coronation Street duo Georgia May Foote and Paula Lane are reported to have been offered six-figure salaries in a bid to keep them in the soap. That was according to reports, but I can reveal that the production team laughed at this, telling me: “We don’t have the money to offer this kind of salary ... it’s very nice, but while we love them on the show, its their decision and the money on offer is in line with relevant pay to actresses.”
The BBC has announced that Rob Brydon will host The Guess List, a new Saturday night comedy entertainment series for BBC One. Each episode of the show will see two contestants compete for a prize which has been specially selected for them. There will be five famous faces from the worlds of sport, music, TV or film. Additionally, along the way, the host will ensure that the celebrity guests “take on one or two unexpected questions of their own”.
Kylie Minogue is set to pocket a bumper pay rise for her services on The Voice after pulling in the viewers during her first month on the show. But I can reveal this will only happen when the live shows start, and she still has the same effect on the ratings. TV bosses think she has in fact “saved the show”. Do you think the same?
The daughter of Coronation Street star Kym Marsh looks set to follow in her mother’s showbiz footsteps, after she auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent. Emily, her eldest child, is a still a teenager but mother Kym says: “It’s all she wants to do, so you just have to let them. I hope though she pulls it off and enjoys the experience.”
Emmerdale actress Gaynor Faye tells me that her character Megan Macey is set for a happier storyline with a new romance on the cards. “After what she has been through it would be nice, and the idea is that she takes charge again. I love it when I get to boss people around, it’s so funny,” she adds.
Martine McCutcheon has said that her time on EastEnders was the toughest job she’s ever had. But the actress admitted she was glad that her character Tiffany Mitchell was killed off, because otherwise she’d still be in the soap.
She reveals: “EastEnders was the hardest thing I ever did. Forget theatre, film, music, touring day in and day out – filming EastEnders was tough.”
Paloma Faith ‘turned down’ a coaching role on The Voice, she managed to reveal ahead of a tour and new album. BBC bosses say: “We were keen to see her, but once Kylie agreed we lost all interest in her as a judge, but we liked the idea for a while...”