Ann's Angle

It’s hard to believe that my good friend Joe Longthorne has reached 60 – looking not a day older than 40, the star sings even better than ever, and I witnessed this at a special concert he gave at the glamorous location of the Hippodrome Theatre in London.

A brand-new DVD called ‘Live at the Hippodrome’ was made by our good friends at Maycon Productions, and also features a never-screened-on-TV interview with Joe and Neil Sean.

For a chance to win a copy, simply answer this question: Which London Theatre does Joe appear at in his latest DVD? Send answers to Ann Montini Quiz, The Press, 31 Branch Road, Batley WF17 5SB or email the answer to  with ‘Montini’ in the subject box.

Proof if needed that TV fame is fickle. While in London last week I was taking tea at the Café Royal Hotel in Regent Street, when in walked Paris Hilton to launch a new perfume. No one took a snap or even cared, yet a few years back she was all over the media ... still she told me she was on her way to Superdrug in Liverpool, to promote it there!

Kylie is back in promotion mode and was at the Blakes Hotel in Kensington last week, and she told me that she has great affection for her early hits. “I have grown to love them again, I mean people can be cruel about them, but they have stood the test of time and that is a good thing really,” she said.

I ATTENDED the Variety Club UK James Bond Launch at the Film Museum in London, with a host of stars including Dame Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black, and hosted by my good friend Eamonn Holmes, who tells me: “You know Ann, like all men I secretly think I am still in a with a chance to play James Bond, but in my heart I think it just may be over...”

Barbara Windsor who plays Peggy in EastEnders tells me that she has loved some of the exciting storylines of late in the show. “I think it’s on fire right now, and my good pal June Brown, who plays Dot is amazing, I mean she is just brilliant at some of the stuff they have given her to do “..

X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini may be returning to the show, but it will be for a lot less money. A source tells me that “this year the money on offer for judges is far less, due to the low ratings of the last few series. She will be back, but it’s a budget return...”

Former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman has had a dig at what he called the BBC’s ‘Meddling Department’. “It was a lot harder to work there than people expected, and yes in a way it’s great to be free of it ... I know we will all return, and it will be even better success.”

Kellie Bright won Best Actress at the British Soap Awards, and she told me “I love playing Linda, I like the fact she is feisty, and full of life, plus she has something about her ,even we don’t know about... It’s the best role of my career so far.”

Lee Mead is to tour a Hollywood musical classics with Casualty co-star Amanda Henderson. “We both talked about it a lot on set, and we have a passion for musicals so it seemed like a good idea  ... who knows, we may even come out and sing in our uniforms,” he said.

Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh has opened up about taking a break from her relationship. “It’s so hard when you are in the public spotlight, and my life thanks to the magazine deals, books and chat shows is up for grabs, but then we all deserve some privacy don’t we?”

Ricky Gervais’s Office alter-ego David Brent is to hit the big-screen in the summer of 2016. However many people think the idea of bringing back the character is way too late, but Ricky believes he is still popular, and that the character will be a huge hit all over again.

Verity Rushworth says the scene which won her and Emmerdale a British Soap Award  was ‘a gift’. “I knew it would be explosive and all that, but it touched viewers hearts, and I am so happy that the writers gave it to me to play ... people ask me about Donna all the time which is lovely.”

The producers behind TV drama Poldark are turning their hand to another small screen epic – about Queen Victoria. No word of casting yet, but it appears that Dame Helen Mirren is not in the running to play the Queen for the third time.

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson revealed he recently received a prank phone call from a certain eminent aristocrat, Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham! “I honestly thought I was up for a role in the drama, but it was Hugh having a laugh, which was great fun.”

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