Ricci Martin has the same swinging personality as his late great father, Rat Pack legend Dean Martin, and he tells me “I am now bringing my own tribute show to my father to the UK for the first time. “So I want you all to come on down – those that met him, performed with him or were fans. It’s a great show and we get some lovely memories from his wonderful career in films, on stage and in music.” As Dean famously said, see you there kiddo.
Channel 5 has confirmed that it will make no more programmes about the Eddie Stobart trucking company. The four-part series Eddie Stobart's Excellent Adventures will bid a “fond farewell” to the lorries. Fans of the trucks though, are hoping for one-off specials which have remained a ratings hit for the channel.
Heartbeat's Jason Durr will play Hercule Poirot in a new stage play. The actor who played Mike Bradley in the ITV drama between 1997 and 2003 will take on the iconic role for a new stage production of Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee, replacing Robert Powell.
Ronan Keating is in awe of Simon Cowell, branding the Britain’s Got Talent boss a “very impressive man” and revealing that he would love to join The X Factor UK. Ronan said: “He is successful and, unlike so many managers I know, actually does the job; so yes, I would love to do more work for him.”
The Royle Family star Sue Johnston is to guest star in the new series of Downton Abbey. Sue who recently left Coronation Street, tells me she is over the moon but laughs: “I am glad she is downstairs, as there is much more gossip and we all like to sneak a peek at the posh lot don’t we?”
Leona Lewis has said that she fancies a part in EastEnders. The former X Factor winner, who has taken acting lessons, also tells me she is more qualified than most: “I come from the East End of London, Hackney to be exact, so I think I know the kind of place these people live in. Even a cameo would be cool.”
Britain’s Got Talent winners Attraction have brushed off Simon Cowell’s suggestion that they didn’t make the most of their victory. They laughed: “We had hoped that he may be more supportive but we have done many things and are planning a tour, plus a TV documentary. Unlike him, we like to take things at a slower pace really!”
The One Show presenter Alex Jones has been confirmed as the host for BBC One’s new gymnastics reality show, Tumble, which will feature 10 celebrities learning and mastering gymnastic skills across six weeks of live TV shows. The challenges will include tumbling, double trapeze, acrobatic gymnastics and trampolining.
Coronation Street’s Andrea Beckett has been keeping a shocking secret from Lloyd Mullaney that will be exposed this month. Throughout her time on the cobbles, Andrea (Hayley Tamaddon) has actually been leading a double life, and has a husband, who she has been married to for 20 years. Fans claim, however, that this, once again, is just a “re-hashed storyline done so obviously, and so many times.” Oh dear …
Atlantic Productions has secured unprecedented access to the House of Commons for a four-part BBC2 documentary. A source tells me: “Given we have an election, it seems the MPs taking part want to be seen as warm and caring.” The show will air in the Autumn.
Ex-Eastenders actor Dean Gaffney, who played Robbie Jackson, is furious that he was left out of the recent Jackson wedding. A friend reveals: “Dean had hoped even for a one-off appearance.”
Dawn French may have been a judge on the Oz version of “Got Talent” but back home her tour which starts this month is far from a sellout and many blame the success of her book, which detailed her life story. Insiders tell me: “What can she say that we have not already seen and read in the book. Plus, the tickets are way too expensive...”
Fresh from the demise of I Can’t Sing, the X Factor musical, its star Nigel Harman has decided to move into directing for his next return to the stage. He tells me: “It’s called Rabbit Hole and it will star Joanne Froggit, who also appears in Downton Abbey.”
Eastenders actress Jessie Wallace, who plays Kat in the soap, is missing of late as she is starring in the revival of Things Are Not What They Used To Be at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. She tells me: “I do miss playing Kat but I like to try other things when I get the chance, so it’s the best of both worlds.”
Look out for a young actress called Phoebe Dynevor, who will appear in the BBC drama, The Village – she is the daughter of Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster in Corrie. Sally tells me: “It’s her big break and I am so excited for her and a little nervous too.”
Did you know that BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth had a huge helping hand while growing up, thanks to her mother also being a model? Sophie let slip: “When I was quite young, the family appeared with mum in an ad for Milk Tray, and that got me started on thinking of a career in the media.”
Jeremy Paxman may have decided to leave Newsnight but many in the BBC wonder if he was asked to move sideways after ratings fell and a new editor was brought in to shake up the programme.
TOP Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans thinks we should see more of him on TV but bosses are “struggling to find the right format for his talents.”