Ed Stewart is one of Britain’s most loved broadcasters, famed for his ‘Junior Choice’ show on BBC radio. Ed and myself recently hosted a wonderful premiere in Bournemouth, for a documentary film based on the life of Mantovani. Ed told me: “I am hoping to be hosting the show again this Christmas on Radio Two, as it’s something of a tradition now.” Ed also tells me he would love to see a return of his show Crackerjack. “I think it would be still popular today, all kids love fun,” he said.
Cilla Black believes she’ll never have the honour of being made a Dame, as she hasn’t done enough ‘serious’ acting. Cilla told me: “I would have liked to have done some serious stuff you know, I enjoy acting and all that, but it never came along so now I think, well, that’s blown that then...”
American model and actress Jerry Hall is set to play the role of the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Mick Jagger’s ex will star in the production this Christmas at London’s Richmond Theatre, and she told me: “I see this as a challenge, and at my age it’s a good thing, but I am also terrified about it too. Come along and see how well I do, won’t you?”
Loose Women is set to go on tour – with its venues including shopping centres across the UK. A source tells me: “Ratings still have yet to improve, but this is a way of connecting with the viewers. We could host the show, say, in a charity shop or a mall, so people can get closer to the show.”
Strictly Come Dancing dancer Anton Due Beke tells me that his partner this year, Judy Murray, mother of tennis ace Andy, is a far tougher partner than he’s had in previous years. “She has the winning streak, and really wants to train, and train hard, so in a way I am in with a good chance this year for sure,” he said.
Jenna Coleman has insisted that she will not reveal whether or not she is leaving Doctor Who. Jenna, who also appeared in Emmerdale, tells me: “I think whatever I say will be taken wrong, and the producers have decided her fate, so why spoil it for the fans? Just keep watching is what I say.”
Michelle Keegan, who played Tina in Coronation Street, tells me she will have a huge announcement soon regarding her acting career. “I have been auditioning and loving it, so hopefully some news soon about a new role,” she said.
Brendan Cole has announced that he will tour the UK and Ireland with a brand new show in 2015. Brendon’s ‘A Night to Remember’ tour will feature the Strictly professional and a cast of dancers, musicians and singers. A selection of dance styles will be showcased, including waltzes, quicksteps, tangos and salsas. He tells me: “It’s going to be out of this world, and I hope all come along to see me when I hit Yorkshire next year.”
Penny Lancaster has become the latest ‘Loose Woman’. Penny, who is married to rock star Rod Stewart, told me: “I love the show and now instead of answering back at home I can actually get my opinion heard on the show, so yes, I’m delighted.”
Former EastEnders actress Michelle Ryan claims that her failed US TV stint as the ‘Bionic Women’ would have fared better in today’s climate. “I think that type of show takes off when you have people staying in and watching TV. When it was on people had more money and were out and about more ... it could return again,” she laughed.
Mary Berry, of Bake Off fame, tells me she loves attending awards shows. Mary said: “Oh yes, it’s glamorous and people are so kind to me about the show and ask my advice, so I do end up spending the evening talking cooking, almost like when I am at work.”
Dermot O’Leary is now relieved that he never got the call to host the US version of X Factor after its flop on the Fox Network. He reveals: “I think its fare to say I made a good decision there, but at the time of course it would have been great to star in such a big show. I am more than happy where I am right now, thanks.”
A production company is sending Joanna Lumley on a 5,000-mile adventure aboard the Trans-Siberian railway for ITV. She tells me: “I can’t believe my luck in this job, as I love to travel, and this is perfect, even if we have a crew following me around. But what joy I just hope it translates on the screen how beautiful it all is.”
Patsy Palmer, who played Bianca in EastEnders, has left the soap for the third time, and admits she has moved to Hollywood as: “I want other roles, but people here in the UK only see one person, so I figured let’s try something totally different. Who knows, it may just work out, and I could be on a Hollywood red carpet.”
Famous for sitting on comedy panels on BBC TV shows, Lee Mack was given a chance on BBC Radio Two filling in for Graham Norton while he was on holiday, but it appears his abrasive style and ‘lack of comedy’ means it didn’t go to plan. Lee, though, hopes to have a Radio Two career at “some point”.
Strictly Come Dancing fans have taken to fan forums to discuss the fact that a third of this year’s line-up of 15 contestants have had previous dance experience. They include Pixie Lott, Frankie Bridge – whose mother is a ballroom dancing coach – and Caroline Flack. A source tells me: “We all know their background, but they are picked because they have never had this sort of dance experience before.”