Keith Duffy found fame with Boyzone in the 90s and moved into acting via Coronation Street.
Now, the former Boyzone star has joined forces with a Westlife singer to become ‘Boyzlife’ and will be touring Hilton hotels around the UK this autumn. Brian McFadden confirmed that he and Keith Duffy are forming the duo and said: “It will be great fun, and of course a chance for our fans to see and hear a totally different show live and close up.” For more details see Hilton.com.
A blue plaque dedicated to Dad’s Army star Arthur Lowe was unveiled at his Derbyshire birthplace by comedy co-star Ian Lavender. Lavender, who played Private Pike in the long-running sitcom, was in Hayfield to lead the tribute to the much-loved Captain Mainwaring actor. “It’s been a few years now, but fans all over the world will flock to take a look at the memento,” he said.
The Voice is moving to ITV next year and, in a bid to find new talent, the channel’s scouts are heading to open mic nights around the country. A source tells me: “We are taking the show back to basics, and this is where we hope to find some raw and as-yet-unseen talent.”
The BBC has now confirmed that it has ordered a second series of Tracey Ullman’s sketch comedy show. A source says: “Tracey was received with open arms when she returned to BBC One at the beginning of January after a break of 30 years, and the series garnered great critical acclaim and peak audiences of over 4m viewers.”
Benidorm actor Johnny Vegas has a new sitcom coming to BBC Two this summer. In Home From Home, Johnny will play a man who’s had the long-held dream of buying a place in the Lake District. He finally achieves his ambition and the years of scrimping and saving all feel worth it – until he meets his eccentric neighbours!
Emmerdale actress Emma Atkins loves playing ‘the bad’ Charity Dingle. She tells me: “There are no words to describe just what she gets up to, but it’s a soap opera and we need a good baddie. I think she fits the bill rather well to be honest, and above all people seem to like her too.”
After starring in BBC’s War and Peace and Happy Valley, London-born actor James Norton has captured the interest of Hollywood film executives. Gorgeous James said: “There has been some interest, but I’m going to consider my options. I like the idea of making films, but I am enjoying all the varied TV work I have, and who knows what the future holds?”
Sir David Jason will star in a new David Renwick radio comedy show, Desolation Jests, featuring quirky sketches in a variety of styles, framed in a dark, surreal and joke-filled faux interview format. David tells me: “I am delighted to be able to say that we will be giving the Radio Four audience some comic gems from the pen of the great David Renwick, who fortunately has not got One Foot In Ihe Grave...”
Goodbye Harry! Mr Selfridge fans have waved a fond farewell as the drama recently came to an end after four series. Jeremy Piven, who played Harry, told me: “We always knew it was only going to be for this period, but I hope the fans have enjoyed it as we have. He really was an icon of our time and hopefully people will think about him when they are in his store now.”
TV weather presenter Carol Kirkwood has revealed she’s missing her old Breakfast chum Bill Turnbull. “I do honestly, it’s because we were together for so long, and you get attached and enjoy the time you work together,” she said. “I do hope he asks me to be on his new quiz show too, that would be great fun.”
Louis Walsh is set to return to The X Factor a year after he was replaced by Nick Grimshaw. The 63-year-old allegedly held talks with Simon Cowell recently about an ‘£800k pay cheque’. ITV though tell me: “As ever Louis likes to create his own PR, and nothing has been agreed, and there would not be that kind of fee on offer even if he were to return.”
Tommy Cooper is to be honoured with a blue plaque at his West London home. The English Heritage marker will be at 51 Barrowgate Road, Chiswick, where the comedian lived with his wife and two children from 1955 until his death in 1984.
The BBC have launched Yes, Chef! a new series hosted by Sheree Murphy in which top professional chefs mentor amateur home cooks to do battle in the kitchen. For the amateurs, it’s a chance to work alongside the best in the business. For the pros, it’s an opportunity to train their partner and lead them to victory in an industry where ego is king.
Channel Four show The Jump has finally been dropped after ratings ‘fell off a cliff’. An insider on the show tells me: “Not only were the ratings terrible, but the cast were also hurt, plus the real problem was the cost of putting the whole production up in a posh hotel and expenses, and then Davina McCall has a big salary too...”
Soap queen Dame Joan Collins, the glamour icon who has bypassed the surgeon’s knife in favour of ageing gracefully, has sealed a deal with Marks & Spencer to stock her ‘Timeless Beauty’ range. From April 21, Collins’ art deco-themed range of cosmetics and perfume will be available through the retailer’s website. She tells me: “I am thrilled as I shop there, and now I can check up on my range too. It’s working out perfectly really.”