FANS were shocked when Kathy Beale seemingly rose from the dead during EastEnders’ 30th anniversary week. Now Michelle Collins thinks the storyline has paved the way for her own character, Cindy Beale, to make a comeback to Albert Square. “I think it could be done and I know also that fans would love it,” she said. “So hopefully someone will get that idea ... I would be up for a return for sure.”
West End star Maria Friedman, who plays Linda’s mum in EastEnders, tells me her character is meant to be a bad singer in the soap. “I keep getting letters saying why don’t you sing better, but in reality she is a landlady who dreams of being a singer, so it’s great if I am having an off-day.”
Robert Carlyle who is on screen starring in repeats of Hamish McBeth on ITV3, tells me that despite a career in TV, stage and film, “that is the show everyone remembers and smiles about. To me it was the perfect Sunday night viewing ... I look at it now with great affection.”
EastEnders actor Ben Hardy is in negotiations to join the X-Men: Apocalypse film. He told me: “It’s very early days, but that was the reason I decided to quit the soap ... I want to expand and move around and experience things as an actor, and not just play the same character all my career.”
Gemma Atkinson has joined Emmerdale as Bob Hope’s estranged daughter Carly – a character she describes as the sort of girl who will sell you anything. “I like the fact she is a bit of a Del Boy and I think will be mixing Bob’s life up no end,” she said. “Plus the fact it’s a part-comedy character for me also, which is something to get fans excited about.”
Mr Selfridge star Lauren Crace has revealed she always knew her character was going to be killed off this series. “It was hard to keep a secret like that, but I think the fact we did was worth it in the end, and I know that it shocked many fans, but what a great way to go out. I won’t be forgotten now, will I?” she laughed.
Coronation Street character Craig Tinker isn’t known for having a huge circle of friends. Apart from his classmate Faye, the only other pal he seems to have is his pet rat Darryl. Young actor Colson Smith said: “We’ve had a couple of funny moments with the rat! One that is memorable for me was when Darryl was on the loose in the Rovers. It took us ages to find him and many of the cast were frightened and jumped on chairs ... but he is only a small rat.”
The Voice judge Rita Ora claims that she’s been rejected many times, but it’s only made her stronger. She said: “I think rejection is a good thing, and those that said no just made me re-think things and apply myself again and again. You can’t ever give up or else they have won and that was never going to happen to me.”
Benedict Cumberbatch may be an Oscar-contending actor and star of Sherlock, but he got his big break here in Yorkshire guesting in Heartbeat. “I do remember it well as it was a big job at the time,” he said. “I recall it being freezing and above all else the cast and crew were so friendly and kind. I still see a few of them now, but I know people will look at that episode and never believe I have come as far as I have.”
Vernon Kay says his young daughters will not get an easy ride just because their parents are famous. “I do explain that we have a charmed life in many ways and that not everyone does, so they too should know the value of hard work. I am sure they will thank me one day,” he added.
Dominic Treadwell-Collins, the executive producer of EastEnders, tells me that he was overjoyed at the response to the week of live episodes. “I loved the reaction we got and I know that the fans loved it, so that to me was more important than the ratings actually,” he said.
The Channel Four show ‘Goggle Box’ is not so off the cuff at all. The show has a team of writers who give the ad-libs and funny lines to the “normal couples” on the sofas from social media and TV review columns in newspapers. So now you know...
Martin Clunes has said he finds the idea of playing a detective or acting in a period drama a TV turn-off – despite starring in the new drama based on the life Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. “I think there are far too many, and while they appeal as an actor, I like something a little more to get my teeth into,” he said.
It appears that Madonna picked Jonathan Ross ahead of Graham Norton to plug her new album, because: “I last did an interview with Jonathan in the early 90s, and I thought it would be good to catch up again, so there is no malice, just me changing my mind all the time,” she laughed.
Stephen Tompkinson thinks he knows why police and hospital dramas are so popular with the viewing public. Now starring as DCI Banks, he tells me: “It’s everyday life really glamorised and exciting ... I get asked all the time if our show is really like that, but while it is in a way, of course it can never be as dramatic all the time, and of course no music in the middle.”
Stand-in Strictly presenter Zoe Ball has ruled herself out of taking the job full-time. She said: “Oh it’s so not for me, I enjoyed it stepping in at the last minute, but I won’t be replacing Claudia or Tess full-time. I love my job on ‘It Takes Two’ and think they do a great job.”