Ann's Angle

Ol’ Blue Eyes fans are in for a real treat in what would have been Frank Sinatra’s centenary year.

A new production will pay an extraordinary tribute in Sinatra at the London Palladium – fittingly the venue where Sinatra made his British singing debut in 1950. I was lucky enough to get a peek behind the scenes, and the show is simply terrific. It’s on from July 20 until October 10 at the world-famous London Palladium.

Britain’s Got Talent is over for another year, and ITV are still worried about the decline in viewers. A source tells me: “The show is still popular, but we think it won’t ever have the audience figures that it generated when Susan Boyle was in the final. It seems to have had its day in many respects.”

Myleene Klass has signed up to host ITV’s answer to The Great British Bake Off – a barbecue show. Myleene claims: “This show is ideal for me as I love cooking outdoors and all that type of food, so it’s something I would be watching if I was not in it ... it’s my type of show.” Quite...

Second World War drama Home Fires has been commissioned for another series. Samantha Bond, who stars in the hit drama, tells me: “We are all thrilled as when we were making the first series we all felt it was something rather special, and we just hoped that the public would like it too. They have, which is great.”

Kristina Rihanoff is not leaving Strictly Come Dancing. The blonde bombshell tells me she is staying and has agreed a new deal already. “I love the show and as long as they want me I will be glad to stick around. It’s part of my year now,” she laughed.

Miranda Hart has revealed she won’t be hosting a Generation Game reboot any time soon. “I was having a simple chat about it and that was all, but then I read I would be doing it, which is simply not true,” she said. “I have always been a fan of the show, it’s pure family fun, don’t you think?”

Coronation Street actors are said to be less than happy that they are missing out on big-money panto deals. Bosses at the show have reportedly placed a ban on stars doing pantomime until they leave ITV. A source tells me: “We can’t accommodate all of them disappearing just because they want to go off and earn extra cash, yet expect the job to be open when they decide to come back. It just does not happen like that.”

King of comedy Ken Dodd has signed up to appear at a famous hotel chain in the UK doing his special brand of comedy. He tells me: “I like new challenges and this seemed like a good idea to me. Making people laugh is a funny business, you know.”

Jason Donovan is going back out on tour next year with his album ‘Ten Good Reasons’, which he will play live in full for the first time in 25 years. He tells me: “It seemed a good time to do it, also I think ‘do it while I can’, and so far it’s been a great response.”

Jake Wood has quit EastEnders to pursue other projects, and show bosses have promised he will have a ‘dramatic exit’. Wood, who plays womaniser Max Branning, recently appeared on Strictly Come Dancing and now will also tread the boards in a panto for the first time. But he tells me: “I will be returning in a year, I just fancied a year off to recharge.”

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Artem Chigvintsev has denied claims by his one-time dance partner Fern Britton that he mistreated her on the show. He reveals: “I have no idea why she would say this at all, maybe she has a book to promote, but for me I enjoyed the experience of dancing with her.”

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, the writers behind hit comedies including Porridge and The Likely Lads, have scripted a brand new sitcom. Henry IX, which has been ordered by UKTV channel Gold, is a three-part sitcom focused around a king.

The Voice coach Rita Ora tells me she has no idea if she will be asked to appear in next year’s show. “I thoroughly enjoyed it all, but as yet nothing has been offered and nothing is coming up, so yes I would love to do it and fingers crossed,” she said.

Robson Green has revealed he couldn’t wait to start filming the second series of Grantchester. He tells me: “I loved doing the first series, and James Norton and I really both clicked on camera and in real life, so we hope to make this series even better than the first.”

Michael Gambon will play prime minister Winston Churchill in a new ITV drama about his final years in office. Michael tells me: “He is such a fascinating character and people are in awe of him, but the script has quite a few surprises in it, and I am sure it will shock many also.”

Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid has said that she is frustrated at being labelled a flirt. “It always happens to women and it’s also normally written by a women, which is even more annoying, yet I don’t think I flirt and if I do, so what? It’s not the end of the world, is it?”

Chat show host Paul O’Grady says he won’t be appearing as Lily Savage again, as: “It’s a bit degrading at my time of life. It was great fun and all that, but honestly doing all that dressing up ... I can’t be bothered with it really.”

Share this post