Ann's Angle

Robert Powell is a veteran of countless TV shows and stage plays, but age is not slowing him down. Famous for hanging off Big Ben in The 39 Steps, playing Jesus of Nazareth and recently appearing in Holby City, the actor is back in fine form in the touring version of the Agatha Christie play ‘Black Coffee’. Robert tells me: “I am enjoying the show and love Christie as a writer, so the opportunity to appear in a Bill Kenwright production was way too good to miss.” I am sure we will all enjoy it...

James Jordan has spoken out following his departure from Strictly Come Dancing. He reveals that after appearing in eight series he would have been more than happy to stay, but was offered a vastly reduced role in the show and decided against it. His wife Ola will remain dancing with a celebrity, though.

Britain’s Got Talent did not perform well yet again for Simon Cowell, who appears to have lost his Midas touch with X Factor USA axed and his West End musical having to close. But now he assures fans and the network that he plans a radical shake-up of the show prior to its return next year. Maybe it’s time to rest Simon from the show?

Former EastEnders actor Todd Carty tells me: “The Master Chef kitchen is terrifying – no, honestly, it all looks easy to get around, but with the lights and cameras plus the judges it’s not that easy at all. I think I will do okay, I can cook a bit so that should keep me in good stead for a while … who knows, I may even just win.”

Linda Barker is to front a new Channel Five property series. Brand New Home for £5k will see Barker achieve “amazing home transformations for jaw-droppingly small amounts of money”. Linda tells me: “I think the show will be amazing, moreso in these cash-strapped times.”

Sir David Jason has suggested that Only Fools and Horses will not return again. Sir David told me: “I just don’t see it happening to be honest, and while we all like the idea I can’t see how it would come off now. Maybe one day we may do another special, I would like that.”

Claudia Winkleman has said that she is nervous about her new Strictly Come Dancing role. She said: “I'm terrified because you never know, anything could happen. But I know the people love the show and I will give it my best shot.”

Alexander Armstrong is hosting a pilot called You Must Be Joking. It’s described as “an exciting new comedy entertainment show featuring top comedians flexing their comedy muscles across some fun-filled  challenges.” It will air later this year.

The Village star Maxine Peake has said she thinks we are too quick to turn to other countries for good TV and should praise our own talent more. “We make great stuff here too yet all I hear is how this and that is great from other countries, but we should fly the flag more at home, don’t you think?” she said.

A new BBC drama starring Philip Glenister has used charity shops to provide costumes as the corporation tries a range of measures to reduce its environmental impact. A source tells me: “ The BBC knows it needs to cut back, and this really makes sense given the clothes are perfect for the show. It could happen to more series too.” What, even Strictly Come Dancing?

Sky One has cancelled fire-fighter drama The Smoke after a single series. The show, which was billed as a modern day ‘London’s Burning’, failed to set alight in the ratings, and Sky bosses decided it was simply too expensive to keep going with such a low turnout.

ITV has denied reports that Good Morning Britain may be on the verge of being axed. The broadcaster stated that it intends to support the new morning show “for the long run”. However, I can reveal there will be some changes over the summer break, with one or two of the presenting team getting reduced slots and maybe even being replaced. You read it here first...

Tina O’Brien has admitted that she’d love to return to Coronation Street. The actress, who played Sarah Louise Platt in the show, admits that now she is a mother she would love a full-time regular job and the soap: “Offers that in spades, I would jump at the chance if they asked me back, for sure.”

EastEnders character Ben Mitchell is due to return to Albert Square, with producers looking to cast a new actor in the role. A source tells me: “Let’s just say he will come back a full-time Mitchell and won’t be easy-going at all, clashing with everyone and wanting to get back at those that put him in prison.” Normal as ever then...

Alex Jones of The One show tells me she still gets butterflies when she hears the Strictly Come Dancing music. “Unless you have done the show you really have no idea, but yes it’s terrible for me, as I used to get so nervous doing the show ... the dreaded music!” she laughed.

Joan Collins is about to arrive in Spain to begin filming on the new series of Benidorm, playing the resort’s boss. Joan tells me: “I had such fun last year, so when they offered again I could hardly say no, plus this time around we get to see a more vulnerable side to her, and maybe the armour slips a bit, but not for long...”

Michelle Keegan has paid an emotional tribute to her Coronation Street alter ego Tina McIntyre. “She was such a great character to play and I do hope that she goes down in the history of Coronation Street women as being feisty and tough,” she said. “I never wanted Tina to be a victim, but you never can tell how people perceive the character can you?”

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