Ann's Angle

Ann's Angle

ANN DRUMSIT'S not every day that a megastar allows you to sit behind their very expensive drum kit which has played on tracks that have sold millions around the world. But just who was kind/foolish enough to let me have a go at this? All will be revealed next week, but here is a clue ... he is one crazy horse!

Ratings are so low on Emmerdale right now that show bosses are speeding many dreary storylines to a hasty conclusion. Murder, illness and fugitives are the current hot topics, but apparently not with viewers, who want to see a more sedate storyboard and familiar faces back in the Dales.

In Coronation Street Sean Ward has been cast as Kylie Platt’s ex-boyfriend Callum and will make his debut later this year. The character has been described as having “good-looking charm and a dark edge” and looks set to have a negative influence on Kylie.

The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice scored impressive audience figures for its debut. The Jo Brand-hosted companion show to The Great British Bake Off had an opening night audience of 2.05m at 9pm on BBC Two. Jo tells me: “I think the British public’s obsession with cake is as bad as mine, but I do love this show as I get to keep all the leftover cake to take home...!”

Judy Murray will be swapping tennis for tango after being confirmed as the second celebrity to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. She told me: “My son Andy suggested I give it a go, and I think I may be terrible, but what a great experience. And yes he better come to cheer me on.”

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is teaming up with historian Lucy Worsley for a new show about the history of dance. The pair will join amateur dancers to research and recreate popular dances dating back to the 17th century, with each episode ending with a performance in full historical costume.

Martine McCutcheon has revealed she is to be a mum after thinking she may never have children following a health scare. The former soap star tells me: “I am over the moon and. I won’t be giving up my career, just moving things around a bit.”

The Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With the Stars merry-go-round has taken another spin, with former Strictly professional Artem Chigvintsev now agreeing to star in the US version. He tells me: “I love the idea, and when an offer came through I figured why not, but I won’t be leaving the UK version for good, hopefully they will ask me back next year.”

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville tells me that he often gets mistaken for the TV presenter Eamonn Holmes. “I can’t quite see it myself and yes I do wonder why it happens, but I feel more sorry for Mr Holmes,” he said.

Dr Who assistant Jemma Coleman was wanted for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, but now delays in the filming of the Dr Who Christmas special may just mean she appears in the festive edition, although she tells me: “I am a huge fan of the show.” You read it here first...

Coronation Street star Wendi Peters has returned to the famous cobbles to reprise her role as Cilla Battersby-Brown.  Wendi is returning to Corrie for a six-week stint as part of an upcoming storyline to tie in with Fiz’s temporary departure, when actress Jennie McAlpine goes on maternity leave in the autumn.

The cast of Downton Abbey have been banned from bringing their own items on set after a stray bottle of water inadvertently appeared in a recent publicity still for the fifth series. However it’s proving far harder than first thought, as cast members tell me: “We need our mobiles on set, even Dame Maggie likes hers near, so they have to give in on some things.”

This year’s Strictly Come Dancing line-up has already been partially leaked, with boy band member Simon Webbe being the latest to reveal all. Fans though are not that happy, as many like to wait for the official launch show like last year’s, when all the major stars were unveiled.

The old Coronation Street set is due to be demolished, following the show’s move to a new site. The Granada TV plot in central Manchester has been a tourism attraction since the set move in January, attracting over 200,000 visitors. But from next year the famous studios will become a new housing estate with penthouse flats and a retail park ... what would Ena Sharples say?!

Eighties funny man Russ Abbot is back on our screens playing a man who’s reached retirement in BBC One’s new comedy drama Boomers. But he tells me he won’t ever give up preforming full-time. “Why would I? I enjoy it and anyway the wife likes me out of the house every now and again,” he said. “I still get exciting projects to appear in, so all is good for me.”

Sunday Night at the London Palladium is set to return to ITV with an all-star line-up of hosts ... well the stars being Jack Whitehall and various Mock the Week guests. Insiders at ITV tell me that the idea is to make the variety format fresh and exciting again, but with plenty of pop bands and the line-up short on comedy, can this TV giant rise again?

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