AIMI MacDonald is a British icon, best known for her role as ‘The Lovely Aimi MacDonald’ in seminal sketch comedy series ‘At Last The 1948 Show’. Aimi wowed the crowd with her return to the Pheasantry Cabaret club last week in London’s Kings Road, and she told me: “It’s so good to be back on stage entertaining and people seem to be really enjoying it.” They were, and myself and Neil Sean will also be appearing in the same club on March 27. See you all there...
X Factor runners-up Little Mix have decided to launch their own perfume ahead of their third album. The girls tell me: “It’s a dream come true knowing we created it and it’s now in the shops.”
Piers Linney has announced he is stepping down from BBC Two series Dragons’ Den, after two years. The show has also lost another dragon in Kelly Hoppen too, but the creators of the show tell me: “We are casting now for some great replacements and many CEOs want to be involved.”
Claudia Winkleman loves presenting The Great British Sewing Bee, but says she is no good at sewing. “Hopeless, actually, which is no use at all, because you really want to help them and pitch in, but then I just end up making it worse,” she said.
ITV has just announced that its hit comedy Benidorm will return for another series in 2015. All seven episodes will again be written by the show’s creator Derren Litten and filming gets underway in the Spanish resort soon.
Gordon Ramsay had better watch out, because he’s got a new culinary rival in his daughter Matilda. He tells me: “I knew cooking would be a passion for her and she has landed her own show on CBBC, which is great, but then she asks so many questions and is quite my critic now, and of course a rival too” he laughed.
Stephen Fry has just hosted the BAFTA awards for the 10th year, however it could be viewer fatigue that is now setting in as people are switching off in droves. A source tells me: “It’s an expensive show to produce and while the BBC likes to cover the arts, it also knows the show needs a radical overhaul if it’s to survive.”
Anton du Beke has been confirmed on the judging panel of ‘The People’s Strictly’ for Comic Relief. The professional dancer will appear alongside Darcey Bussell, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Len Goodman on the show.
Danny Dyer believes that EastEnders has catapulted his career. The actor said that he can’t remember his life before appearing on the popular BBC soap. He added: “It’s all-consuming and the power of the show is great, but people do start to believe that I am Mick Carter and even I forget sometimes as we play so many scenes as my alter ego.”
Fans of the hit high society drama Downton Abbey have reacted with disbelief to reports the show could end this year. The show’s creator Julian Fellowes has admitted his new US show on NBC ‘The Gilded Cage’ will now take up most of his time, but added: “It’s not a given thing it’s over, but we’re working something out, hopefully for the next series. Maybe I will just oversee the final shows.”
Coronation Street’s Georgia May Foote, who plays Katy, tells me that she is upset to be leaving the show and admits: “It was not my decision to go, but now I am happy with it, and I have some exciting things coming up and yes, I have agreed to star in pantomime, which is great as I have never done that before.”
This Morning has been criticised for its segments of low-rent guests, and shocking personal stories of late. Host Phillip Schofield told a friend: “We are simply reflecting modern society and have done for the entire run of the show.”
If you’re a fan of the late great Larry Grayson, look out for the newly-released DVD of his hit 70s show ‘Shut that Door’. Fans will delight in the good fun comedy and some wonderful guest stars.
Anita Dobson has been cast as Queen Elizabeth I in a documentary for BBC Two. The EastEnders actress will play the historical figure in a reconstructions of her intimate life. Anita, best known for playing Angie in the soap, tells me: “It was an honour, she is the woman that so many historical figures really look up to, so I know I had to get it right.”
Natalie Anderson, who plays Alicia in Emmerdale, may have launched her own clothing range last year but now she has set her sights on her next venture – make-up and skincare too. She reveals: “It’s about becoming a brand, a bit like they do in the US, it’s all very exciting really.”
Dame Edna Everage tells me she signed up to appear in the Red Nose Bake Off to show: “Even though I am a housewife superstar I can still cook and make a lovely sponge pudding. I can’t wait to get to grips with little Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. I am sure they can’t wait for me too...”
Graham Norton tells me that he will be sad when his chat show days are finally over. “It’s not like work at all to me,” he said. “I pop along and chat, gossip and fill in the gaps ... to me the guests do all of the work, but I know I will be sad when it’s all over for sure.”
Kelvin Fletcher, who plays Andy in Emmerdale tells me he can’t believe just how long he has been in the show. “I look at old episodes and think really where has all the time gone? It’s shot by, really.”
Former Neighbours star Jason Donovan tells me that he won’t be appearing in the 30th anniversary show, as: “Sadly I am touring the UK in The King’s Speech so I will be just on video there, but I wish them all the best, I really do.”