Ann's Angle

JERSEY Boys, the internationally-acclaimed hit musical, tells the remarkable rise to stardom of one of the most successful bands in pop music history, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The cast told me all about their move to a new theatre in London (The Piccadilly Theatre), and I heard: “It’s a great fun family-packed show of hits – everyone come on down and see us.”

Michelle Collins has said she wouldn’t want her teenage daughter to follow in her footsteps by trying her hand at acting. “It’s ruthless really, and you have to have a tough skin, but if she made up her mind, then I would support her for sure,” she said.

Remember the failed Coronation Street spin-off show ‘Albion Market’ which lasted around 60 episodes in total? Now the show is being re-issued on DVD in special four-episode packs. A source tells me: “It’s become quite cult now, and people really want to see it again.”

Angela Rippon is hosting Amazing Greys, a new ITV show that pits the young against some golden oldies. Four decades after becoming national TV’s first permanent female newsreader, Angela remains in huge demand. “The show is great and proves that oldies can be better than the youngsters, and that is what makes the show such good fun in the end,” she said.

Former Dr Who star Tom Baker has revealed that he was not happy a lot of the time on the show. He said: “It’s not like it is now with a huge budget and all that ... we filmed everything on the run, around the empty corridors of TV Centre, so yes it was tough and with very little money. Not the greatest memories...”

Actor Charles Lawson is to make a Coronation Street comeback later in 2014 when he returns as fiery hard man Jim McDonald. Charles tells me: “It’s all down to the fans who want to see Liz and Jim back together again. It’s really them, but I am so happy to be back there doing the show, for sure I am.”

Claudia Winkelman, who hosts the Great British Sewing Bee, tells me she is shocked at the success of the show. “Who would have thought that people sewing on TV would result in such high ratings?” she said. “But I am guessing this is down to the recession and our plans to make our own things.”

Emmerdale fans have been rocked after character Donna Windsor revealed she has a terminal illness. Verity Rushworth, who plays Donna in the soap, tells me: “I teased the fact the storyline would be shocking and had a tragic end, but it will be a real challenge to play on screen for sure.”

Warwick Davis is set to host a new series of the classic game show Celebrity Squares. The Life’s Too Short star originally fronted a pilot episode in November and now the programme has been given a full series order for ITV.

Channel Four show Goggle Box, which reviews TV programmes with ‘real people’ on their sofas at home, is perhaps not as real as you may have thought, with my revelation that the show is part-scripted. A friend reveals: “We give them guidelines and a basic outline, so yes it’s mildly scripted.” And there you have it...

The Michael McIntyre Chat Show is set to return for a second series on BBC One. Michael who picked up over £500,000 for the series, may have failed to land the big guests or indeed big ratings, but the BBC think “it will eventually become a huge hit on the channel and people love him.”

Mary Berry does a nice line in butter-wouldn’t-melt demureness, but when it comes to ratings, the Queen of Buns is a killer. Her latest show on BBC Two was a ratings hit and the BBC were so impressed that they have already signed up for a Christmas special and a further series next year.

Emmerdale stars Jeff Hordley and Natalie J Robb have backed their show’s siege episodes for recognition at this year’s British Soap Awards. “We filmed it at Pinewood Studios and it really got the fans talking, plus it had a great edge ... we should win!” they both laughed and told me.

Shane Ritchie may have been sidelined in EastEnders with the arrival of Danny Dyer on the show, but he is hopeful that it won’t be long before he is centre stage again. A source tells me: “Shane has taken losing the centrepiece that is the Vic very hard, but he is assured by bosses it won’t be for long.”

The Bletchley Circle has reportedly been ended by ITV. Cast members including Julie Graham have retweeted the news of the axing, and encouraged viewers to protest the decision. TV bosses however simply state that not enough viewers actually bothered to watch the show...

Alan Titchmarsh has insisted he is not bothered by Paul O’Grady’s claims that he copies him, saying that the comments made him ‘smile’. But he added: “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

Oh no ... it appears that Piers Morgan will be returning to Britain’s Got Talent after all, not on the main panel but as an occasional guest on the spin-off which airs on ITV2. A source reveals: “Simon feels a bit sorry for him, and thought this might be a good introduction back into the limelight.”

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