It’s hard to believe that Anne Kirkbride has been on Coronation Street for over 35 years. The actress, who famously plays Deirdre Barlow in the show, tells me she has some exciting times coming up. “It’s never been quiet for her and the autumn plots are set to bring humour, misery and joy to the Barlow household once more, plus of course the much-needed return of Ken,” she revealed.
BBC Two's latest documentary is to go behind the scenes at Country Life magazine. TV bosses tell me: “We are all fascinated by ‘the season’ and rich people enjoying a life in the country, so this will actually show us the people, what goes on and if their lives are any different to what we perceive them to be.”
Matt Willis is caught in a tug-of-love between McBusted and EastEnders bosses as he revives his musical career. He tells me: “I love acting in the show along with my stint in Birds Of A Feather too, but with the band taking off again it’s hard to try and fit it all in. I love doing both jobs, really.”
Emmerdale bosses have announced that Dan Spencer’s older brother Daz will be joining the village this summer. Former Heartbeat and The Royal actor Mark Jordon has been cast in the role of Daz, and he tells me: “It’s like coming home as we filmed all the Heartbeat stuff at Yorkshire TV so it’s good to be back and hopefully many things will happen to Daz in the coming months. I can’t wait to get started.”
Neighbours star Stefan Dennis has now played Paul Robinson for almost 18 years, but he thinks he’s lucky to have survived. “Many times they have wanted to kill him off for a ratings hit and so forth, but I am so glad it never happened,” he said. “I mean it’s a living, sure, but I think people like Paul and all his bad points too.”
EastEnders bosses are planning to film 15 different endings to the Lucy Beale murder mystery. The show launched a long-running whodunit storyline at Easter as Lucy was found dead on Walford Common. The plot will run until EastEnders’ 30th anniversary in February 2015. Can we all wait that long, really?
Adam Garcia has signed up to return to Got to Dance. Garcia appeared as a judge on the first three series of the Sky One competition and will now come back for its fifth season this summer.
Anthea Turner is looking at TV options now she is single again. The one-time Blue Peter presenter tells me: “I have done a few reality TV shows and actually enjoy them, but for now I would love to have a go at Strictly Come Dancing. I think I would be quite good at that, don’t you?”
Hit sixties series The Saint is being revived by the writer of ITV thriller Prey. The series was a big audience draw in the 1960s, with Sir Roger Moore starring as fictional detective Simon Templar, created by author Leslie Charteris. Now scriptwriter Chris Lunt, who is drawing acclaim for his TV debut Prey, has said he is working on a ‘reboot’ of the programme.
Dannii Minogue has revealed that she would love to return to Home and Away. The former X Factor judge, played Emma Jackson in the soap from 1989 to 1990. “I watch the show again now I am back home, and yes if an opportunity came up why not? But so far no-one has asked me,” she teased.
Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Hi-De-Hi and You Rang, M’Lord were all written by just two men – Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Now a new series celebrates their lives and success stories. The four-part documentary, Perry and Croft: Made in Britain, to screen on BBC Two, reveals that the writers drew on personal experience to create their classic comedies.
Coronation Street actor Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone in the soap, tells me that people see him as a bit daft. “I think it’s fair to say that Tyrone is kind-hearted, but at times simple too,” he said. “But then again it’s nice to play someone who has a good heart, and long may it continue.”
Gordon Ramsey may have shocked everyone with his new dramatic hairstyle, but it appears that he is not going through a midlife crisis, he was asked to get a trendier hair cut for the US version of his show as “you have to look as youthful as possible out there”.
Susanna Reid tells me that she is stunned that people want to know what clothes she is wearing on her new show Good Morning Britain every day. “I don’t pay much attention as long as they are bright and versatile, but I know that the producers get asked a lot where I get my dresses. It’s flattering,” she giggles.
Dr Lucy Worsley, now back on screen with the history series all about ‘The Georgians’, tells me she almost had a date with Hollywood star Johnny Depp. “He was keen to have a look around Hampton Court after hours where I curate, but then at the last minute he phoned and cancelled but it was the nearest I ever got to having a date with a huge Hollywood star,” she laughed.
Coronation Street actor Craig Charles has revealed that Lloyd Mullaney will be forced to make some drastic changes to his lifestyle after his recent heart attack storyline. “I do think the bosses are saying to me ‘get fitter and lose weight’, but if I have to do it on screen then it’s a good thing as it will make me do it, won’t it,” he laughed.