Ann's Angle

BEST-KNOWN for hit shows like Long Lost Family, Big Questions, and of course BBC Five Live Breakfast, Nicky Campbell showcased his new album of original songs with co-creator Kate Robbins in London. Now some may be shocked, but this is a wonderful feel-good album. Called Just Passing Through, it’s out now.

Justin Moorhouse is to join the cast of Coronation Street for a brief stint this summer, as the landlord of the Rovers’ rival pub, the Flying Horse.

Paula Abdul is making a guest appearance on Neighbours in July. The former American Idol judge tells me she jumped at the chance: “I wanted to do more acting and this is a great fun show, plus for me the added bonus is we get to film and hang out in Oz.”

Cheryl Cole has spoken of how X Factor boss Simon Cowell begged her to return to the judges’ panel this year. But insiders on the show tell a rather different story and reveal “she jumped at the chance; after all, she needs to plug her new album and tour...”

Name That Tune is set for a return to our screens later this year, but so far ITV have not actually said who’ll be hosting it. The betting is it will be the ever-present Vernon Kaye, who was released from the channel but is available “when needed”.

Ant and Dec may find themselves shopping at stores other than Morrison’s after the chain announced a string of job losses due to the downturn in takings. The Morrison’s marketing team are “looking at refreshing” the TV ads, currently fronted by the lads...

Piers Morgan may have signed a new six-episode deal for his Life Stories chat show but his UK return after being axed by CNN is for far less money than he had hoped.

Coronation Street’s Marc Baylis tells me that while the viewers know his character Rob is the murderer of Tina on the show, he knows his time is now up. “I don’t expect my contract to be renewed. I mean he has to pay, and that means a long stint in Weatherfield Jail.”

Danny Dyer is now the boss of the Queen Vic in Albert Square, but he also had a great film career prior to going into the soap, and so a new book simply called The Films of Danny Dyer is being released. He tells me: “It’s funny looking at your film work all in one book, but the author has worked hard on this, and I am really appreciative.”

Fern Britton is not such a fan of one-time best TV friend Philip Schofield. Asked why she does not present the game show All Star Mr and Mrs, she replied, “You will have to ask Phil about that. I have no idea, as I did enjoy presenting the show...”

Michelle Dockery has revealed she will stay on Downton Abbey “’til the end”. Michelle, who plays Lady Mary, tells me: “I love being on the show and have no desire to move on. Plus, it’s given me a huge profile. I am so grateful.”

Celebrity Masterchef contestant Ken Morley says judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace are “sadists”. He tells me: “I love the show and never thought it would be easy, but honestly there is no let-up.”

Matt Richardson has explained why he left Xtra Factor ahead of the show’s 11th run. “I just wanted to get back to doing my live comedy stuff.” But X Factor bosses tell me: “We just needed someone funnier and decided to revamp the whole show.”

Sinitta will relaunch her music career with a new single – her first in almost two decades. She said: "It was long overdue, to get back in the studio. And I have some great tunes ready to roll out in the near future.”

Shane Richie will host a new BBC game show called Decimate. The actor, who plays EastEnder Alfie Moon starts filming in August and the show launches in the autumn. His last game show, Reflex, was axed after just a few episodes.

Maureen Lipman trills she would love to go back to Coronation Street, where once played Lillian Spencer, the bossy stand-in boss of the Rovers. She is surprised at not being invited back yet.

Nigel Havers, who played bad boy Lewis in Corrie, has not ruled out a return. “Let’s face it, he was dreadfully mean to Audrey, but I do think she would welcome him back, despite what he did, and I know it’s something the writers would like to revisit at some point.”

EastEnder Sharon (Letitia Dean) tells me she is once again enjoying the show as her character becomes more of a businesswoman. “I know the fans love it when Sharon is in this mode, as it reminds them of the Den and Angie days, but we’re getting great scripts at the moment and things are looking good for her.”

Tim Henman has offended many Sir Cliff Richard fans when by stating that the reason the centre court roof was finally built was “so that he would not start a sing-a long again”. He received a lot of social media comments but sticks by his comments, adding “I am not a fan of his music...”

David Beckham's documentary on Brazil failed to be a ratings hit, with the BBC left wondering what went wrong. An insider tells me: “We had high hopes for the show and given his fan base, high ratings in mind, but that appears not to have happened.”

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