Ann's Angle

Russell Brand may be in the news for his controversial book ‘Revolution’, but he also has his first children’s book out too. He tells me: “It was a lot of fun and I do hope that it gets taken up as a TV series for children. It’s a fun tale that never really goes out of fashion.”

 

Former MP Edwina Currie signed up for a stint in the ITV jungle after failing to see that people do not warm to her, even after her stint on Strictly Come Dancing. Her ‘deal’ means that she received almost half the normal fee as “she was so keen to appear we got her at a knockdown price”.

The Apprentice adviser Nick Hewer has admitted that the candidates on the show are “not the brightest of people”. Nick, though he favours the fame game himself, says: “They all have an agenda and sometimes it’s simply to be on TV and make a media career for themselves.”

Former EastEnders actress Charlie Brooks has revealed she would consider a move to LA following a TV cameo she filmed in the city. She said: “It was just a guest role, but I do love the lifestyle over there and the opportunities that can happen. I am just keeping my fingers crossed right now, as you never know.”

Judy Murray tells me that she first got offered a slot on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing in March. “They really do plan that early, but as far as I am aware I was one of the first to be asked so it’s that organised,” she said. “I had no idea at that time if I would agree, but I am so glad that I did.”

Joan Collins has decided to switch agents in a bid to kick-start her career at the age of 81. Joan, who also launched her own make-up range a while back, is hopeful of some regular TV work both in the UK and the US. Good luck, Joan...

Tumble has been dropped by BBC One. The celebrity gymnastics competition, which was hosted by Alex Jones, will not return for a second series, the BBC confirmed to me. Now though, the bosses are stuck as to what to do with the expensive presenter...

Coronation Street is to broadcast a live episode in September 2015, marking ITV’s 60 years of broadcasting. However my spies tell me that it won’t be as expensive as the 50th anniversary episode, simply because: “We are making sure that we give fans what they want, a good storyline and backdrop to that, rather than massive special effects...”

Strictly Come Dancing recently travelled up to Blackpool, but where do the stars actually stay while in the famous seaside town? I can reveal the more mature stars like to be in the luxury of the Hilton on the North Shore, while the younger ones like the vibrant Big Blue hotel at the side of the Pleasure Beach. So now you know...

Jamie Oliver is going off the boil if his latest book sales are anything to go by. Normally his publishers can rely on him selling masses of his cookbooks in the run-up to Christmas, but not this year it appears. Jamie, though, says that people are “looking at value, and I think they will find my books are the best value, with such great pictures too.”

ITV has commission of The Frankenstein Chronicles, a re-imagining of the Frankenstein story. Sean Bean will star as Inspector John Marlott, who will pursue a terrifying foe through 1827 London, in what is described as a mix of the investigative and horror genres.

Aldi is launching a Christmas TV advert starring Jools Holland, who also created the soundtrack for the piece. But the pianist, who is famously against reality TV, defended his “selling out” for the ad. “It was a golden opportunity and I relished the challenge, so yes I am very happy with it,” he said.

EastEnders star Ben Hardy is leaving the soap. The actor, who has been playing the role of Peter Beale since mid-2013, is the number one suspect for the murder of Lucy Beale, who is his sister in the show. Ben, though, is remaining tight-lipped about his departure.

EastEnders celebrates 30 years on screen in 2015 and there is a week of specials planned in February. But according to my spies the BBC are planning to keep the costs down on the celebrations, as: “It’s seen very much as the public’s show so we want to get street parties going, and let’s see how the fans want to celebrate it.” What, in February?!

Ex-Brookside actor Philip Olivier is delighted at landing a co-starring role in pantomime this year with a real legend –  Priscilla Presley, who plays the wicked queen in Manchester. Philip tells me: “I am the biggest Elvis fan ever, so for me I was over the moon with the news she was joining the show.”

Coronation Street bosses have decided to extend Claire King’s storyline. The former Emmerdale and Bad Girls actress recently filmed a short guest stint with the ITV soap, but show producers are already making plans for her character to return. Claire tells me: “I am over the moon as it’s the show that I really wanted to be in. My lips are sealed for now.”

Nineties pop band S Club Seven returned to the fame game after a stint on this year’s Children In Need. Now they have announced a tour and a re-issue of their one and only film ‘Seeing Double’ which will be out on DVD. Rachel Stevens tells me: “It’s really down to the fans on this, they were so happy that we’re back for the tour.”

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