Ann's Angle

Joe Brown is without doubt a rock and roll legend, from his first hit with ‘Picture Of You’ way back in the early 60s until the present day. He’s still making hit albums, with his latest called ‘The Ukulele Album (Deluxe Edition)’. Joe told me backstage: “I am busier than ever, but I suppose a return to acting in the future may be nice.” Who knows, maybe even EastEnders as a cameo, eh Joe?

Hugh Bonneville has said that Downton Abbey will have a “natural” conclusion when the show ends. “I think naturally people will be upset, but Lord Grantham and co can’t go on forever,” he said. “I don’t expect the writers would want it to, but we are all a happy team and love making the show for the fans. It really is joyous.”

Boyzone star Ronan Keating is making his West End debut in the musical ‘Once’ and admits he was attracted to it simply because: “Well, it’s a musical, but I prefer to look at it as a play with music rather than a musical. I am so nervous about it but I wanted to find a new challenge.”

Former Strictly Come Dancing star James Jordan has hit out at the BBC show in which he made his name. “I do think it’s a mistake to get rid of Sir Bruce, and above all else I think they don’t treat the professional dancers with enough respect,” he said. “After all we are the ones that get the stars through the show ... it’s our talent really.”

The Hugh Bonneville-fronted BBC mockumentary W1A is heading back to BBC Two for a second series in 2015. The BBC tell me that they are also planning to include some top-line cameos in the series too with, BBC boss Tony Hall being cited.

The Great British Bake Off hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins tell me they will have to go on diets after the show yet again, because: “We eat the lot – I mean it’s so hard to resist the temptation, and the food is amazing, but yes we both pile on the pounds during every series.”

ITV’s Celebrity Squares failed to impress viewers after losing 20 per cent of its audience following last week’s opener. A source tells me: “We took a risk putting it on a Wednesday night, and we hope that the audience and the show will build week-on-week and end on a high.”

Dog-lover Paul O’Grady tells me he is “in bits” over the recent fire at a Manchester dogs home – so much so he would like to do a TV special from the centre once it’s up and running again. “We need to show them all the support we can,” he said.

Emmerdale has announced that the character Robert Sugden is to return to the ITV soap, played by a new actor, Ryan Hawley. A source revealed to me: “The original actor decided against a return, but we had a great storyline planned and thought we would simply re-cast so that is what we did. We do think the fans will love the storyline we have lined up, which includes Andy and Katie, and we all know how that panned out last time, don’t we?”

EastEnders’ Jake Wood reveals he’s been getting tips from an old friend as he starts his stint in Strictly Come Dancing. He said: “It was my old co-star Scott Maslan who made me do it as he enjoyed the show so much back in 2010. He said I would too, so I figured why not just give it a bash, and I am really enjoying the whole experience so far.”

Former Coronation Street actress Natalie Gumede, notorious in Weatherfield as Tyrone-basher Kirsty, has started filming the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas special in Cardiff. Natalie told me: “I am now in the Dr Who club. I can’t believe really, as I have dreamed of appearing in this show since I was a kid. I keep dashing in and out of the Tardis to check it all out.”

Michael McIntyre will be back with his BBC Two chat show in the New Year. A source tells me: “Bosses have decided to go ahead with a second series, and believe people will eventually see him in a chat show mode after a slow start.”

Emmerdale’s Duncan Preston reveals to me that Doug hasn’t lost his romantic interest in Diane. “Oh I think there is a candle still aflame there you know, and I think coming towards Christmas there might be some interest back ... after all remember Doug still owns Diane’s half of the Woolpack,” teased Duncan.

Sheridan Smith says creating the live scenes at Liverpool’s Cavern Club for ITV biopic Cilla was excruciating. “It was the toughest part, simply because that is where her story really kicks off and I had to get into just how she felt at that period of her life, but then all the crew were there as well which was terrifying for me,” she laughed.

The BBC have announced that Kay Mellor’s In The Club, about a group of expectant mums who bond at ante-natal class, will be returning for a new series next year. It stars Will Mellor, who tells me: “We are all so excited, as it’s something we all hoped would happen and Kay is thrilled with it too.”

• Neil Sean, Ann Montini and Mark Grant would like to thank the following people for making An Audience with Neil Sean such a huge success. They include Café Boo, Café Ravello, Sean Fairweather Butchers, Lisa Jackson Hair Studio and Oops a Daisy Mirfield.


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