Ann's Angle

EMMERDALE, Crossroads, Neighbours and Hadleigh are just some of the most famous theme tunes from our favourite shows, and now composer extraordinaire Tony Hatch, who has created hundreds of hits, is performing a rare selection of such tracks this summer at the Royal Festival Hall. He tells me: “I get asked all the time, but I think now is a good a time as any. People are listening to my music every day and many may not even know it.”

Fans take note – if you love the shows Call The Midwife and Death In Paradise, they have been renewed by the BBC. Officials have confirmed that the two hit series will both return for fourth runs.

Michael McIntyre says his success is all down to his agent and nothing to do with any famous connections like his father being a Kenny Everett scriptwriter, or his mother a dancer on the same show, or indeed his wife, who is the daughter of the respected actor Simon Ward. I am sure they did nothing to help at all, don’t you all agree?

TV chef James Martin tells me that people have now forgotten he appeared Strictly Come Dancing. “I was in the earliest of shows, and yes we were lucky really, thinking back, as it was in its infancy and there was less pressure, but now it’s a full-on big event .... terrifying,” he laughs.

National TV Award winners Ant and Dec tell me they are still planning their own comedy drama on ITV.

I heard: “We started out as actors, and then got into presenting, but we think there is more to us, and hope that we can develop something along those lines.”

Michael Parkinson may think he is still the king of the chat shows, but now in a bid to remind people of his greatness he has agreed to make an online chat show for a food store. He boasts: “I love the idea and think we will do quite well with guests and chefs, who have already agreed. It’s simply a brand-new venture – not bad for my age, eh?”

Richard E Grant has talked about joining the cast of Downton Abbey.

The actor will reunite with Gosford Park writer Julian Fellowes on the period drama, when he appears in the fifth series.

“I am so happy to be involved as I feel that I am ripe for a part in the show. I have always played toffs, and what better show to do it in,” he laughed.

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant and Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh has revealed to fans she is expecting her first child. But this has put paid to her plans to co-create a dancing show with ex-Strictly partners Kara Tointon and Denise Van Outen – I hear Denise and Kara may now look for another partner to team up with in the forthcoming months.

The One show host Alex Jones always likes to claim that her presenting career on TV was something of a fluke, but I can reveal she wanted fame and fortune way back when, even appearing on a tacky TV game show with Davina McCall called ‘Prickly Heat’. Alex admits: “The show was dreadful, but I managed to get a show reel out of it, and that led to more work...”

Sir Tom Jones says being a judge on The Voice is a great experience. “You know I think had my friend Elvis been alive to today, he too could have been tempted by a role in a show like this,” he said. “Can you imagine that – being mentored by the greatest pop star ever?”

Our favourite Yorkshire gal Jane Macdonald is still reeling from being let go from the panel of Loose Women. But it appears that there’s more bad news on the way, with her makeover show ‘Star Street’, which saw Jane treat someone to a home and personal makeover, being axed after just one series.

Cilla Black tells me that she will be very hands-on with the planned ITV drama based on her early life in Liverpool. “They have got Sheridan Smith to play me and I think that is great. She is a smasher, and it can only be an improvement, can’t it?” she laughed.

Maxine Peake, who stars in the hit BBC legal drama Silk, tells me she would love to have become a barrister now she has played the role. “I think there is a lot of theatre in what they do,” she said. “It’s a performance and of course the acting is as good as any theatre production – trust me.”

EastEnders legend Dot Branning will be left shell-shocked later this month as she learns that her villainous son Nick Cotton has died. Dot, played by June Brown, will be grief-stricken when the police break the bad news to her in an upcoming episode. However many fans are predicting that he will have in fact faked his own death...

Alan Davis, who stars in Jonathan Creek, tells me that wearing a wig for the show is far easier than he thought. “My hair now is a lot greyer and less curly, so they made these new wigs and you know, I have grown rather fond of them,” he said.

Robbie Williams tells me that he would not be able to commit to being a full time judge on a TV talent show. “It’s a nice idea, and I like it really, but it’s six months of the year and that is a huge commitment,” he said.

“I love appearing on the shows when I can, though.”

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