Simon Cowell and Harry Hill’s X Factor musical ‘I Can’t Sing’ is to close on London’s West End. The final performance of the musical – which features former EastEnders actor Nigel Harman – will take place at the London Palladium on Saturday. Nigel tells me: “It’s such a shame, but we never really recovered from the bad start. Hopefully with more backing it may go on tour, but I am not sure it would be with me right now.”
Former Look North presenter Christa Ackroyd is back and moving into the world of TV drama, this time made by the Danish. Christa, well-known in our area, will play a newsreader in a new BBC 4 drama which will be screened next year. She told me: “It was great fun, we filmed in London at the Westminster Live Studios, and yes I got to be a bit Paxman on camera.” More soon...
Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has revealed he would like the show’s stand-in host Claudia Winkleman to replace Sir Bruce Forsyth. He said: “I think she is great personally, and it would be wonderful to see two women hosting a Saturday night primetime show, don’t you think?”
Gary Barlow has achieved what is thought to be his worst ever performance in the UK singles chart – failing to even make the top 100. The former X Factor judge released ‘Since I Saw You’ last week from his album of the same name. But despite extensive radio airplay and TV plugs, the track limped into the chart at just 129. Maybe he needs to go on the X Factor again...
Hollyoaks star Joe Tracini has announced that he is leaving the soap later this year. The actor, who plays Dennis Savage, revealed the news to me and will appear in panto this winter at the Wolverhampton Grand. He is also Joe Pasquale’s real-life son...
Father Ted star Pauline McLynn is joining EastEnders in a recurring guest role, playing Charlie Cotton’s mother Yvonne. “It’s a great role, and people have no idea if she is good or bad at this stage, but it’s bound to have a twist with it,” said Pauline. “I can’t wait to start working with June Brown, she is a legend really...”
Anton du Beke is to appear in BBC One soap Doctors. The Strictly Come Dancing pro shot a guest appearance in the drama recently, with the episode airing in late August. He tells me: “I hope this is the start of something bigger, as I would love to do more acting in the future.”
Katherine Kelly says as a new mum you can expect to see her looking exhausted on camera in the new series of Mr Selfridge. “No-one tells you all about the late nights and lack of sleep do they?” she said. “It’s tough but I am really enjoying the experience, and my tiredness is making me even more nasty on camera.”
Ejector Seat is the latest try-out quiz by ITV which will hopefully take over from the now-defunct ‘Millionaire’ which was ended after 14 years. Andi Peters is the host, best known for being in the Children’s BBC broom cupboard, but so far ratings are not looking that good.
Danny Dyer may be the owner of the Queen Vic in EastEnders, but he reveals: “I would like my own pub one day ... truthfully, I like the lifestyle. I mean it’s hard work, but then you’re acting all the time really in the bar for the customers, so I could see me doing that.”
Cilla Black has spoken about ITV’s upcoming drama about her life. The 70-year-old said that she thinks Sheridan Smith, is the right choice to play her in the three-part drama. “She is great actually, and I am quite nervous about seeing the end result, as to me it’s real. It’s not a story but my life, so yes I have high hopes for it all.”
Emmerdale actor Jason Merrells, who plays Declan Macey, tells me that playing someone rich in a soap has its downsides when out and about. “If you’re in a restaurant people actually think you do own Home Farm, and have lots of money, but in reality I am just an actor earning a living, so my tips are quite small,” he teased.
Connor McIntyre (Pat Phelan, Coronation Street) tells me he hopes to win ‘Villain Of The Year’ at this year’s soap awards. He said: “Oh yes, after all my character has been so nasty to people. Has anyone been nastier? So hopefully for me, I will be Top Mr Nasty...”
Coronation Street’s Georgia May Foote is to exit the ITV soap. The actress, who has appeared as Katy Armstrong since 2010, will leave Weatherfield at the end of the year. She tells me: “It has come as a total shock, but I knew it would not last forever, thankfully I have had an offer for panto already, which is good news.”
Sir Bruce has famously quit Strictly Come Dancing, but the host and comedian reveals he feels sorry for whoever takes over. “If they have to put up with the flak that I have had over the years, then lord help them,” he laughed. “It’s a tough job and difficult at times, but it can also be the best job in the world too.”
Benedict Cumberbatch to play Ian Fleming? The Sherlock star has been offered the part of the James Bond creator in a new biopic of his wartime years. A source tells me “He would be perfect and has not ruled it out yet, but it’s all early days.”