ALAN CLEGG, the former manager of the world-famous Batley Variety Club was in Mirfield last weekend and filming at Café Boo for a new documentary all about his former life with the stars. Alan also told me he is campaigning for a new road to be named ‘Corrigan Way’ in recognition of the former owner and showman of the club, who “simply put Batley on the worldwide map, and it really should be recognised.” I think we all agree with Alan, don’t you?
Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has told me how much he’s going to miss Bruce Forsyth being host. He said: “It will be odd looking over and not seeing him there as he is a huge part of the show, and such a class act, but only time will tell if the show will be the same, and of course be as big a hit without his charm and style.”
Mr Selfridge creator Andrew Davies has said that he always planned the show to be four series long. ITV want him to make more, and so does the star of the hit drama Jeremy Piven, but so far Andrew states: “I am not sure where we will go with it but I know everyone is having a great time, and hopefully the viewers will love the new series too.”
Is Mrs Brown about to become the new Mrs Merton? Brendan O’Carroll, who created and stars in the hit BBC sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys, is said to be being lined up for a chat show in the style of 90s programme The Mrs Merton Show, which saw Caroline Aherne acerbically quiz celebrities. But did you know the comedy star has spurned the chance to revive the Generation Game, telling me: “I loved it as a kid, but I think it’s moved on, and we need something new now.”
Ex-Coronation Street actor Roy Barraclough has hit out at the ITV soap. Roy, who played Alec Gilroy on and off for 22 years, revealed that he no longer watches the soap and that its storylines don’t appeal to him. “I am not alone in this, I think it’s all too dark now and the comedy has gone,” he said. “But then maybe they are not trying to appeal to my age group any more, who knows?”
Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne is stepping down from the BBC Two show after 12 series, telling producers: “I’m out.” The health club boss was one of the original team of business experts when the programme launched nine years ago, and his departure leaves just Peter Jones from the starting line-up of Dragons. Duncan says he decided that the next series will be his last after so many wonderful years on the show, but insiders tell me that it could actually be the final series anyway, due to the low ratings of the previous ones.
Coronation Street’s Tony Stewart will be one to watch in the summer, as his nasty side starts to be revealed.
Tony, played by Terence Maynard, will begin to prove himself as a true Corrie villain following a shock accident on the cobbles. “It’s great that his true self is starting to make itself known, and I know the viewers love a baddie, but how far will he go?” Tony teases. More heartache for Liz McDonald then?
Sharon Osbourne has advised songwriters not to take part in The X Factor. Despite the show making her millions and raising her profile worldwide, she attacks the format and show by claiming: “I think if you’re a songwriter that has that quirk, say an Ed Sheeran type, then no this is not the show for you at all ... it needs big personalities and people who can fill a stage with their presence, so it’s not an ideal format for everyone.”
Darcey Bussell has admitted that appearing on live television can be “terrifying”. The ballerina joined the Strictly Come Dancing panel in 2012 when she took over from Alesha Dixon. “I do enjoy it now, but the worst bit for me is when you have to attack someone’s performance,” she said. “I always try to find a positive about it, because I know I would hate to stand there and have people attack me, and they are doing their best after all.”
Former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson has won a lucrative contract for his cheese-making business, it has been reported. Sean, who played Martin Platt in the ITV soap for 20 years, will supply a range of Lancashire cheeses to nationwide discount store B&M Bargains. Sean told me: “I would go back if asked, but then when I was in the show, over 16 million people watched the soap, and now it’s not even half that.”
This Morning may have failed in the ratings of late, but can talent judge Amanda Holden help stem the flow? She has been invited to be guest host while Holly Willoughby takes maternity leave and admits: “I am terrified of the prospects, but this is just another string to my bow, that is all really.”
The Graham Norton Show may be the biggest chat show on the BBC with A-list star guests, but Graham told me: “I have no idea just how long it will run for, I mean ideally it could go on forever, but then it all depends on the guests. They are the ones that make the show, I just link it all along.”