Gareth Gates will no longer be appearing in The Three Little Pigs musical set to open in the West End in August.
Gates, runner-up in the first series of Pop Idol, has withdrawn from the show citing a vocal injury sustained last summer. He told me: “I’m not able to take part in this fantastic show. And I just hope my fans understand.. I will be back soon though.”
Despite his tell-all book not being a huge success, it appears that it’s not put publishers off giving chat show host Graham Norton more money. Graham tells me that he is half-way through writing his first-ever novel. “It’s tough, but I have got over 30,000 words right now, so it’s shaping up a bit more thankfully,” he teases...
Celebrated film star Diana Dors once had her own chat show for regional channel Southern in the 1970s. She had many star names of the day on the show, and now plans are in place for its first DVD release after demands from dedicated fans.
It appears that Aled Jones is not popular at weekends after his stint on breakfast TV show Daybreak. His spin-off chat show, shown on weekend mornings, has a string of celebrity guests, but it’s failed to raise the ratings, and bosses are now seriously thinking about its future.
ITV has announced it’s commissioned a six-part Prime Suspect prequel series, Tennison. One name in the frame is soon-to-be ex-Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggett, who is their number one choice for the role. I will keep you posted.
Paul Nicholas may have joined the EastEnders cast as Kathy’s husband Gavin, but the one-time TV sex symbol tells me: “I keep hearing this, and I am thinking I wish they would drop it as I am 70 next year, and people are going to be so disappointed when I finally get on the screen.”
Who's Doing The Dishes has been re-commissioned for a second series. The ITV cooking game show hosted by Brian McFadden will return for another 30-episode run later this year, ITV Daytime has announced.
Stephen Mangan will star as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in another ITV drama featuring the famous author. Stephen, currently appearing in the comedy Episodes with Matt Le Blanc, tells me: “I think we are all fascinated with Sir Arthur, after all, his creation in Sherlock is spoken about every day.”
Channel 4 has confirmed it’s bringing back Chris Evans’ classic 1990s series TFI Friday in the autumn. Chris told me at the BBC last week: “I am so happy, as it was a risk and many thought it would not work, but we proved them wrong.”
With TFI now making its way back to the screen BBC bosses are being urged to revamp and bring back the Top of the Pops brand. It currently only airs once a year now at Christmas, but fans are demanding a
full-time return and BBC boss Tony Hall also appears keen.
EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor tells me she does not get star-struck, apart from once when she met Hollywood legend Paul Newman. “It was 1964 and I was performing in Oh What A Lovely War on stage, and he came to see the show, he was everything I hoped he would be and more, but yes, I got very shy with that meeting,” she giggled.
Paul Hollywood, Gareth Malone and Jane Seymour are among the celebrities featuring in the new series of hit BBC genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? The others include Jerry Hall, Sir Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, and actress Frances De La Tour.
Classic gameshow Bullseye is the subject of a new Sky Vision Productions documentary for free-to-air channel Challenge. The show hosted in the 80s by comedian Jim Bowen was a huge success, and gave people many gifts for winning, including yachts when they lived in flats….
Telly Salvalas as Kojak is one of the most iconic TV characters of all time, and a much-delayed film is finally going ahead with another famous bald star in the title role. Vin Diesel will be bringing his thespian talents to the role of the legendary lollipop-loving detective. It will be on screen in 2016.
Nicole Scherzinger was ‘dropped by her record label’ after her second album struggles to make impact on UK chart, a source told me. “It’s simple, if she had stayed on the show they may have ploughed on, but once that went, then the writing was on the wall...”
Ex-Baywatch star David Hasselhoff says his new musical Last Night A DJ Saved My Life has its roots in the birth of Ibiza. “You have to remember what the 90s were like and we were the biggest show on TV, so yes we reflect it, and I embrace the cruel jibes that people do to me on stage nightly,” he said.
Recently axed by the BBC due to falling ratings Richard Bacon is set to host a new ITV show that will see sports personalities test their endurance in a bid for life-long glory. Eternal Glory will be a six-part series featuring eight sports stars.
Coronation Street star Samia Ghadie has “no idea” how she will be written out when she takes maternity leave later this year. She said: “I am hoping I pop over to Spain to see some family or something, but hopefully it will be something light and cheery, nothing too dramatic as Maria has had quite enough of that I think.”
Former Emmerdale actress Sammy Winward, who played Katie for over 15 years, tells me she was in shock when they told her she would be killed off. “I thought maybe take a break, and come back at some point, but that idea was killed off and, yes, so was Katie,” she said.
Congratulations to Doc Martin star Martin Clunes who has been awarded an OBE for services to drama, charity and the community in Dorset. Fans of his hit drama will be pleased to know there will be a new series of the grumpy doctor later in the year.
Former X-Factor winner Sam Bailey has joked she only entered the show so she could have building work done on her house. “I am a realist and I thought ‘look, if I earn a bit of money from it, great, and then I can afford some luxuries’. That really was the only plan.”
Michelle Keegan has landed a starring role in BBC One’s drama Our Girl. The new five-parter is about medics in the British Army. Miss Keegan will play Corporal Georgie Lane, an army medic on a risky mission in Kenya. Michelle tells me she will be laying off the fake tan as “I don’t think Army medics have time to get out in the sun much, do you?”