If you’re a fan of Coronation Street, be quick if you want to get on the tour of the original set.
This December we’ll be saying farewell to something special as it will close down for good. Once the tour has closed, ITV will return the site to property company Allied London with the Coronation Street lot removed, a source tells me. Coronation Street was filmed at the Quay Street site for 50 years before it moved to a new set.
Former Emmerdale actress Adele Silva has told me about her new role in Hollyoaks: “Well let’s just say she is nothing like my Emmerdale character, although I am sure she has some hidden gems we have yet to see. It’s so different here though, fast-paced and full-on, but the storylines are wonderful and I can’t wait to get started.”
A new series by comedian Paul Merton will be on screen later in the year called, Secret Stations which will follow the comedian as he travels around Britain via train. Merton will explore the “weird and wonderful world of request stop railway stations”, speaking to local people, experts and enthusiasts.
Piers Morgan has agreed to fill in any time on the ailing breakfast show Good Morning Britain, and the bosses of the show love him for the simple reason that he is inexpensive. A source reveals: “Since his return to the UK after failing in the US, he is glad of any work and so we can get him far cheaper than people realise.”
Strictly Come Dancing is on its way back as ever, but I can reveal here in The Press that fees for the show are about to be cut right down as part of a cost-saving campaign by the BBC. Judges’ fees will remain the same, but the celebrities will be given a wage for the duration of length they stay in the show. A source tells me: “Many would do it for nothing anyway, just for the exposure really.”
Comedian and broadcaster Don Maclean tells me he thinks it’s time for a return to the kids’ hit show Crackerjack. “I get asked about it all the time, and people are right you know,” he said. “It’s variety for children with pop stars, games and lots of fun. I believe it would still work today, after all, you’re never not going to laugh at funny things, are you?”
Good Morning Britain’s sports presenter Sean Fletcher has signed up to present his first game show on TV. A source reveals: “He is not that stylish as a host, but we hope more people may grow to like him then hopefully watch the breakfast show.”
Now there is a vacant place on The Voice for a judge again, after Rita Ora left after just one series, original judge Jessie J is I hear, keen to return. “It’s no secret, I love the show, but it’s not up to me,” she said. “Although if they called I would be back as I love it and think it’s a great show.”
Tristan Gemmill, the former Casualty star, is taking on the role of Tracy Barlow’s ex-husband Robert Preston in Coronation Street. The actor has described his character as a “nice guy” with “a bit of an edge”.
Bradley Walsh is looking at a flop with his new SunTrap comedy. He told me it was the funniest thing he had seen in script form for years – but sadly the script appears not to have transferred to the screen, and this will remain a one-series-only show.
Fans are hoping for a special show on the late singer Val Doonican. BBC bosses are looking at options to celebrate his life and career after his 21-year stint as a host of Saturday night TV throughout the 60s and 70s.
Former Bond actress Grace Jones is publishing her autobiography next month. The singer, actress and model will release ‘I’ll Never Write My Memoirs’ on September 29, and I am told it’s explosive, as they say.
It’s not looking too good for Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) on Emmerdale. He tells me: “Well it’s fair to say that Bob never really keeps his nose clean for long, and we have a good storyline coming up very soon. It will change the whole course of his life, but then again it’s great to play.”
Actress-turned-author Sammy Winward, who played Katie Sugden in Emmerdale, tells me she is loving the response her debut children’s novel has been getting. “Thanks to this the publishers are already asking me about the next two, so it’s great as I have another career going as well as acting. I am over the moon,” she said.
Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages is coming back for a second series after the success of the first. The Good Life star will explore Cornwall and Devon, Cumbria, and the Lake District, Sussex and Kent and Royal Deeside in Scotland. It will air in the autumn.
One of the biggest hits on TV last year was the great Timothy West and his wife Prunella Scales going on their canal journeys. Viewers will again be able to follow the duo as they navigate their way through canal routes across Britain and Europe.
Dean Gaffney tells me that Robbie Jackson is coming back to EastEnders – with a son! Dean reveals: “It’s all about paving the way for the departure of Carol, but it’s a great send-off and I am hoping they may just get me to stay on for a while longer, who knows?”
Paddy McGuinness’s Madame Tussauds statue in Blackpool was officially unveiled last week. The Take Me Out host joins the likes of Keith Lemon, Alan Carr and Simon Cowell at the venue.
Cheryl may be back as an X Factor judge but her own singing career is not doing too well. Her record label are looking at launching a ‘Greatest Hits’ album towards Christmas with a “couple of new tracks” included as singles...
Coronation Street’s Beverley Callard reveals to me what happens when Liz finds out her new man, Dan, is not quite all he seems. “Oh Ann, she does pick them don’t you think? But I think also that is the beauty of Liz, she is ever-hopeful and sees the good in everyone, despite all the signs. It’s going to be a funny storyline to do though.”