Peter Capaldi revealed a few secrets to me about the latest Doctor Who festive special. Called Last Christmas, he reveals: “It’s a rather clever episode, because it’s incredibly festive and jolly, but also quite terrifying. I’d say it’s one of the scariest Christmas adventures ever and who knows, maybe the Daleks will even show up ... they always do just when the good Doctor does not need them.”
Craig McLachlan has confirmed that he will be involved in Neighbours’ 30th anniversary. The actor famously played Henry Ramsay in Neighbours from 1987 to 1989, and has since gone on to star in Aussie dramas such as Packed to the Rafters and The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
Sally Bercow (the wife of the House of Commons Speaker), Strictly’s Ola Jordan, Heather Mills and Gogglebox tippler Dom Parker are among the contestants confirmed for daredevil Channel Four show The Jump. However as always with these reality shows not all the ‘stars’ are receiving the same fee, and many have just now found out. Oh dear...
Could TV ideas really get more boring than this? Well, the makers of The Great British Bake Off are hoping to repeat their success with another show – this time about potters. Britain’s Best Potter will screen on BBC Two and is currently on the hunt for contestants.
He may be the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, but Len Goodman tells me: “I haven’t really danced since 1973 and I just get to jig around a bit on Strictly. I do miss it – I don’t get a lot of call for it but that does not mean I am not still an expert...”
Comedy fans can come face-to-face with one of their heroes next year at a Blackpool attraction. As his UK arena tour continues, Madame Tussauds Blackpool has confirmed that John Bishop is the next British comedian to be honored with his own wax figure. John tells me: “It’s mad when I think about it, but I am also very flattered too ... imagine me in a wax work!”
When ‘Still Open All Hours’ finishes shooting at Teddington Studios later this month, Thames Television’s former home will close forever. Soon, a 213-flat development will stand where Errol Flynn first topped a movie bill, where Honor Blackman startled in a leather cat suit, where the Beatles arrived by boat and where celebrities’ lives emerged from a big red book. A source tells me: “Many people are furious, but for years now the studios have been in decline and so they have been sold on.”
EastEnders icon Barbara Windsor is returning to the BBC One soap for one episode as Peggy Mitchell. A source reveals though: “She is coming back for the anniversary year, but it’s a one-off because they can’t afford her for longer ... Mrs Windsor is a trifle expensive to play Peggy full-time.”
BBC chiefs are planning a £3million bid to poach top comic Harry Hill from ITV. The wacky TV Burp star tops a wish list of big names the Beeb hopes will help boost ratings. He was described by BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore as “one of the great comic talents of British television”.
Hollyoaks bosses have announced that England rugby union international Ben Foden has filmed a guest appearance on the soap. The sportsman will appear as himself at John Paul McQueen’s wedding episode this Christmas.
Chris Tarrant is to host a new quiz show pilot. The show will see participants compete against each other and the studio audience. Chris tells me he knows it will be tough to follow the success of ‘Millionaire’, but adds: “I am hopeful with this idea as it’s good fun and has the basics of a really good quiz.”
• Finally, I’d like to wish all the readers of The Press a wonderful happy and festive Christmas and New Year. Thanks for all your kind comments, here’s to even more fun, news and exclusives in 2015...