Many were shocked when King of light entertainment Lionel Blair entered the famous Big Brother house earlier this year, but has this tap-danced his career up a notch? He tells me: “Not really, but I did enjoy the experience no end and now a younger generation of people know of me, so fingers crossed...”
BBC Two’s white-knuckle thrill ride The Great British Sewing Bee is back with the lovely Claudia Winkelman, who is stitching us up for the next seven weeks. But is this sort of programme really not better suited to daytime TV? It appears that even a Christmas special is on the cards too...
Emmerdale’s Roxy Shahidi tells me that she is surprised the shop in the village actually makes any money. “I mean people come in all right, but they just have a gossip, fall out and then go off without buying anything,” she laughs.
The Voice may be a success now that Sir Tom Jones and Kylie are at the helm, but BBC bosses are still hoping that in this series they can find a true star to make the show go further. Last year they axed the tour and did very little promotion of the winning artiste after low ratings...
Joan Collins has not ruled out a stint in Bendorm again. “I thoroughly enjoyed it to be honest, and while it was a quick shoot, I think I would go back for a long run if invited,” she said. “The cast have such a good time filming it, and I think it shows on screen.”
Could this be the last year of the cuddly gardener Alan Titchmarsh’s chat show?
It appears that the show is out of contract at the end of the year, and as yet bosses are undecided over its future. Despite its budget being cut and the level of guests being far from A-list, Alan insists the show is a huge success...
Ex-MP Michael Portillo always wanted to be an actor, but went into the House of Commons instead and now can be seen cluttering up platforms while he takes endless train jounrneys for his TV shows. But he has not ruled out a return to acting: “If offered and the part was right, why not?” he teased.
The Big Reunion on ITV2 has not been as successful this year despite the talents of Gareth Gates, Girl Thing and 3T. Insiders on the show insist it’s a great success, but fans think the acts are too little known, unlike last year which included 90s boy band 911 and Atomic Kitten.
Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole, who danced with Sophie Ellis-Bextor to the show’s final, has given us a glimpse into what happens when the show is over. “None of us have any idea if we will be back for another year,” he said. “The thing is it’s tough, and it’s a long time dedicated to one show, but yes I do hope they pick me again, as it’s sort of become a tradition.”
It appears that The Voice host Emma Willis could become the new younger face on This Morning after a few guest slots earlier this year. The show is due a shake-up and the fact they recent tried out Dermot O’Leary means they are trying to get a younger audience and also think that Emma will be ideal.
Expect even more cuts over at EastEnders. A new producer has brought back several old characters, which are very expensive in fact, so we will see less of the others and many more will exit later this year in order to free up costs and keep the wage bill down.
Suzanne Shaw is reportedly in talks to join ITV’s Loose Women. Fresh from her stint on Dancing On Ice, the one-time pop star tells me, she would love a stint on the show. “I think now as an older person who is also a mum, yes I could contribute, plus I have seen the other side too,” she said. “That of the glamour of showbiz and the like.”
Ant & Dec are back with their Saturday Night Takeaway, but don’t expect great A-list guests as the budget is meagre thanks to the huge pay deal that the duo took on from ITV, so most guest stars come from their own agents. You have been warned...
The One Show is losing audience again and now bosses are thinking of ways to freshen up the show. Hosted by Matt Baker and Alex Jones, they feel a new co-host could just be the trick – but who do they have their heart set on? More soon...
The Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi tells me that the famous bag she hoists around when arriving at the hotel is in fact just a prop.“I have my own suitcase which is far easier as any lady will tell you, with all the things you need to pack for an overnight stay, but the bag has some kind of cult following too,” she said.
Lee Mead’s Casualty debut is proving a success with diehard fans of the show already. He recently joined the cast as Nurse Lofty – a ‘likeable and popular nurse with a less-than-ordinary background’. Lee tells me: “He is a nice, but slightly dim lad, but he laughs in all the right ways of course, I just hope people like him enough.”
Dennis Tanner exiting the Street, leaving Rita heartbroken at the Rovers, was apparently deemed a badly-written send-off by dedicated soap fans. It appears that the actor was not that keen to go too, given he had waited over 40 years to return, but bosses say he did not connect with fans and they prefer Rita alone.