SKY SPORTS presenter Kirsty Gallagher was the host at a St Andrew’s Day event at the deluxe Savoy Hotel in London. She tells me: “I am lucky coming from a sporting family, I have always had an interest, but yes I would love to do some more light entertainment stuff, along the lines of the links I did with Ant and Dec on Takeaway ... I am hopeful of the opportunity.”
Dad’s Army actor Ian Lavender has criticised the costuming of the forthcoming big-screen reboot of the classic sitcom. He tells me: “I noted that the new scarf they have for Pike is nothing like the old one, and it’s not just me, people notice these things, so I think that could be a bit of a bad omen.”
Kelly Brook says she turned down a chance to appear in EastEnders, but the show’s bosses don’t recall that. One tells me: “We just had a chat with her about possible roles and nothing serious was actually offered ... we have no plans to offer Kelly a role at present.”
Christine Bleakley will come back to This Morning in 2015.The presenter will host the ITV show alongside Phillip Schofield from Monday January 5. Amanda Holden will resume again in February until the return of Holly Willoughby in the spring.
Sir Bruce Forsyth has spoken about his time hosting Strictly Come Dancing, saying that it made him feel “stale” towards the end of his tenure. Bruce stepped down as a regular co-host of strictly earlier this year, after 10 years of presenting the primetime BBC One show. He tells me: “I enjoyed the show and yes it was great to have a ratings hit, but it left no time for me as a performer, and that really is what people want to see.”
Jeremy Paxman has revealed he has picked up a sizeable deal to reveal all about the secrets of his years on Newsnight, but he claims that stories of his deal being worth over a million are “simply out of the question”.
For Peter Egan and Penelope Wilton – aka Shrimpie Flintshire and Isobel Crawley – working on Downton Abbey has been both a happy reunion and a poignant reminder. Two of the trio from the much-loved 1980s sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles, Peter said: “We both were laughing at the casting as we knew each other so well from so many other projects. I just hope we stay as a duo on Downton, it’s been great fun filming this year.”
EastEnders star Danny Dyer has said he could swap the Queen Vic for Baker Street and play Sherlock Holmes. “I would love to have a crack at those roles, it would be great to do something for children’s TV too, but people just see you as a hard man of films and TV, so it’s up to me to change that,” he said.
Sammy Winward has quit Emmerdale after 13 years. The ITV soap confirmed that the actress will bow out next year, in pursuit of new acting work. Insiders though reveal that they are also cost-cutting on many artistes that don’t appear in major storylines that often, so could Sammy actually have been one of those...
Miranda Hart has confessed that she loathed doing her own stand-up tour, even though it earned her plenty from tickets and DVD sales. She says: “It’s just not me on stage clowning around and all that, I really can’t see myself doing it all again – not for a very long time...”
Could it be that Lord Sugar could be getting fired himself? Ratings are at the lowest ever for this series of The Apprentice, and BBC bosses are worried that despite the hype the show is over and done with. But who would dare tell this to Lord Sugar himself?
Actor Samuel James has joined the cast of Birds Of A Feather for series two. James replaces Matt Willis in the role of Garth Stubbs after the musician and actor left the show to focus on his ‘McBusted’ commitments. Matt tells me: “I really enjoyed being on the show, but I enjoy being a pop star more, and they understand that.”
Rochelle Humes and Alexander Armstrong will team up to host a new Frank Sinatra-themed competition. Frank Sinatra: Our Way – a one-off special – will see seven relatively unknown acts from across the UK performing covers of Sinatra classics. Alexandra is also threatening to join in on a duet or two...
Jenna Coleman has apparently decided she will be sticking around for part of the next series of Doctor Who. “I enjoy being on the show, and the storylines they are lining up make it too difficult not to stay, plus it’s the biggest show in the world right now, I would be silly to quit at this point,” she said.
Emmerdale producer Kate Oates has announced plans for two more returnees. Amy Walsh has agreed to reprise her role as Tracy Shankley and will be back on screen in the New Year, while another familiar face will also be descending on the village in the near future.
Larry Lamb is joining the cast of New Tricks when it returns for series 12 in 2015. He tells me: “I am a huge fan of the show and loved the part that Dennis Waterman played, as we worked together on The Sweeney, so I always knew the show was good. I can’t wait to get started really, but I don’t know that much about my character yet.”