It's a wet rainy Monday morning in London ... the phone rings and suddenly I am invited to the famous Dorchester Hotel to meet Julio Iglesias. Julio has just been named the most successful Latin recording artist of all time and he said: “I am thrilled to pick up this award, it’s down to my fans here in the UK that I owe it to. Will you thank your readers for me, Ann?” Julio kissed my hand and I promised I would...
Amy Walsh, sister of Girls Aloud singer Kimberly, is popping up in Emmerdale shortly, but she insists she had to audition like all the rest. “I am pleased I got the role on my acting ability and not because I have a famous sister,” she said. “That part was really important to me.”
Samia Ghadie who plays Maria in Coronation Street, tells me she has enjoyed playing her as a bad girl. She said: “When you look at what has gone on in her life it was time that she would do something silly, so for me this is great, you know her being a bit of a bunny boiler and all that...”
EastEnders star Michael French is to bow out from his role as David Wicks. The actor’s popular character will depart screens once again in an upcoming storyline. Now of course the speculation is that he could be the killer following the murder on the square of Lucy Beale, but so far he is denying this, saying: “I only ever agreed to a short stint return, and now it’s time to move on.”
The next series of Matt Le Blanc’s BBC comedy Episodes will be filmed entirely in England because of rising costs. “It’s amazing now what you can do with a green screen studio and that is how we’re saving the money,” he laughed.
Kylie Minogue has not ruled out returning to The Voice UK in series five. Given her new album has failed to make a massive impact in the charts, a source reveals: “She never actually said she was leaving for good, but just taking some time out for her tour and promotion, so yes it could happen.”
Sue Nicholls who plays hairdresser Audrey in Coronation Street, tells me she gets many requests for her to do women’s hair. “Honestly, they ask me if they need a trim or a perm, but I do have to remind them it’s acting, as I can’t do hair for toffee. I mainly just fold towels in the salon,” she laughs.
Let Me Entertain You, the video show hosted by Michael Underwood, won’t be coming back to ITV, I can reveal. The show, which was basically You’ve Been Framed under another name, has failed to ignite with audiences so ITV bosses have decided to scrap any more filming dates.
Claudia Winkleman has been confirmed as the new host of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing, and Sir Bruce has reacted to the news, telling me: “She is replacing Tess, and Tess is replacing me. Tess has worked hard for the job, and I am so happy for her, but I want people to get that in the correct order.”
Bradley Walsh and Kayvan Novak are to star in a new BBC One sitcom. Woody will be a six-part half-hour comedy, created by Neil Webster and Charlie Skelton. No news yet on transmission dates, but I will keep you all informed...
Jonathan Ross believes his chat show’s revamp will overturn disappointing ratings. The last series of The Jonathan Ross Show saw viewing figures drop below three million and Jonathan reveals: “I have a few secrets to make it fresh and yes, it will be a shorter run this time around.”
Cilla Black may have picked up a Bafta of late, but she says she has no plans to return to the world of TV on a full-time basis. “I enjoy doing the odd Loose Women show or Paul O’Grady but no, I want to see young people on TV now not old frogs like me,” she laughed.
British Olympic star Victoria Pendleton is set to appear in ITV’s Emmerdale. She tells me it’s all part of the Tour De France coming through Yorkshire in July and admits: “I was nervous for sure, as I am no actress, but I really enjoyed the whole experience, to be honest, it was great.”
The new Saturday night quiz The Guess List which is basically Blankety Blank with another name, won’t be coming back too fast for a second series, but may be given a Christmas special to see how it fares for the future.
Lisa Stansfield the soul singer from Rochdale who shot to fame in the late 80s, is back with a new album and tells me: “The man I owe my TV career to is Johnny Hamp, the man who created and made The Comedians TV show. He really was great fun, and basically believed in me from the start, so yes I owe him a lot.”
Former Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison is to front a UK version of the American show Dance Moms. The eight-part series will have a similar format to the US show, with Ellison’s Liverpool dance school, Fame Academy, providing the setting.
EastEnders bosses have confirmed that Gillian Wright is reprising her role as Jean Slater for a short stint. Jean will be back on screen later this year, when she will be reunited with her daughter Stacey. Gillian tells me: “I can’t wait to pop back, as I have really missed the show, but I am not staying forever.”
Remember the hit quiz show ‘321’ which was made by Yorkshire TV and starred the comedian Red Rogers alongside Dusty Bin? Well, it looks like it’s on the way back, with a new host and a revamped format. But can anyone ever be as good as Ted and Dusty?