Filming has just finished on the fourth series of Call the Midwife, which is due to premiere in January. A new face you may know well is that of former classical singer and actress Charlotte Ritchie, who was part of the singing group ‘All Angels’. Charlotte tells me that the new series is “more gripping than ever, and many fans will be shocked at a new twist that will happen with one of the more famous characters.” The secret is safe with me for now, Charlotte...
Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta Jones, who has been filming in Bridlington for the big-screen remake of classic comedy Dad’s Army, tells me: “I went along to a couple of pound stores and got some good gimmicks and rock and stuff. I was born in a seaside town, so I totally love the attractions and Bridlington is a super place to film in, even though it’s a bit cold right now.”
Fans of the hit rural detective drama ‘Grantchester’ starring James Norton will be thrilled to learn that the show will be returning for another series next year. The Robson Green vehicle has proved a ratings hit and now bosses have sold it to more than 30 countries so far too.
Sir Bruce Forsyth tells me that he has not been watching this year’s Strictly Come Dancing – and he is happy about it. “Well I left to take a break and that has been great, so I decided to stay away from the show for good this year and I know I will enjoy it all the more for it,” he said.
Two previously missing episodes of pre-Monty Python sketch series ‘At Last The 1948 Show’ have been discovered in the personal collection of the late Sir David Frost. One of its original stars, the lovely Aimi McDonald, tells me: “I can’t wait to see them, as this was back in the day when very little was saved, so it would be interesting and scary in some respects too.”
UK boyband Blue have filmed a four-part TV series in Ibiza. All four members have now been declared bankrupt despite a string of hits and tours, but they hope the show will finally put them back on the pop map. Simon Webbe, who is appearing in this series of Strictly Come Dancing, tells me: “I think with this show we get to show our fun side and hopefully it will lead to more TV adventures on the whole.”
Christine Bleakley is to front a six-part travel series for ITV. Christine tells me: “I can’t wait to get started, after all this really is my area and I will be glad to pop back home and see old friends too. It will be an exciting journey.”
ITV has confirmed Downton Abbey will return for a sixth series in 2015, with filming to begin early next year, and that its creator Julian Fellowes will remain as the sole writer of the hit drama. A source tells me: “The show remains an important part of our ITV year and fans still want more.”
Leader of UKIP Nigel Farage tells me that he agreed to appear on the Channel Four show Gogglebox simply because: “It’s popular and a great way to connect with the public, plus hopefully it will show a totally different side to me and how I operate. Don’t worry, I know how to look after myself.”
Holly Willoughby made a surprise visit to the set of This Morning recently, but don’t believe the ‘surprise’ element. This Morning has been losing viewers year on year, and insiders thought Amanda Holden would be a good replacement while Holly is away. But she has not proved so popular after all, hence the ‘surprise return’ of Holly...
Nick Berry, who starred in the original series of Heartbeat, tells me: “I stayed for quite a few years and really enjoyed it, but I did not want to get known for one role only, and so I left, but I do look back on the show with great fondness.”
John Stapleton may have been on our screens since the days of ‘Nationwide’, but the Good Morning Britain host tells me: “TV is still essentially the same, I mean we sit there and just hope that you will watch and be kind to the entertainment offered ... it’s not that difficult.”
Downton Abbey is to bid farewell to one of its longest-serving cast members when Allen Leech exits the series in the Christmas special. “I think his story will be finished by then, and I really want to explore those opportunities that have been offered so far,” he told me.
Michael McIntyre will host the Royal Variety Performance 2014, featuring Dame Shirley Bassey and Bette Midler, in front of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It’s said that the Queen is now planning to attend a very special edition, when she celebrates her 90th birthday next year.
Strictly Come Dancing star Frankie Bridge has revealed she would like to continue dancing – and is even trying to teach her husband Wayne some moves. She tells me: “I come from a stage school background, and I think that once this is all over I would love to open a dance studio and maybe when I am way older teach classes too ... you can’t be a pop star all your life can you?”
‘Detectorists’ have been renewed for a second series by BBC Four. The Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones sitcom will return next year, following high viewing figures for a comedy on the channel.