Ann's Angle

THE THEATRE Royal Wakefield was the setting for celebrating the centenary of the greatest singer of the 20th century. It was the swing, the swagger and the velvet vocals of Sinatra in concert, starring Stephen Triffitt who packed the theatre and was greeted with cheers and standing ovations at the close of the show.

Stephen tells me he has a new album out soon, and this, he says, “is my best work yet”. He did it his way folks, don’t miss if him if you get the chance. More details at www.stephentriffittasfranksinatra.com.

It appears that hard man actor Ross Kemp is looking to have his book Moving Target made into a TV drama. He reveals: “It’s been optioned and I am just hoping that it all comes together. I do also have ideas of who I would like to cast in the roles too.”

Holly Willoughby has signed up to host a new dating show on ITV. ‘Meet The Parents’ is another attempt to take on the Blind Date mantle and ITV have “huge hopes” for it.

It must be nice to get the royal seal of approval from the Duchess of Cornwall, who has revealed she is a fan of The Great British Sewing Bee. She said: “I like the gentleness of the show, and the fact it’s not so rushed, people take their time to have a go at something they really enjoy.”

Bruno Langley who plays Jason Grimshaw in Coronation Street, is planning a move back into theatre – and not just pantomime. He tells me: “I need to experience live theatre and prove that I can be more than just Jason. I know it will be tough to prove to people, that is why I am taking the risk by leaving, but the good news is that I won’t be killed off which is a relief, I can tell you.”

Hollywood star Renee Zellweger went behind the scenes at the BBC and shadowed Fiona Bruce as research for her new Bridget Jones film. Insiders tell me that they were sworn to secrecy about the regular visits, but in the film Bridget has landed a job in a news channel, and so the BBC was considered the perfect place for her to see real TV anchors in action. Fiona Bruce may also appear in a cameo in the movie too...

Brooke Vincent has signed a new Coronation Street deal after taking a break to star in a theatre play. The actress, who plays Sophie Webster in the show, tells me: “I never assume I will be offered a new deal, but I am always grateful as I love the show and think playing her is a great honour. Plus appearing in the theatre has made me want to make Sophie different too, maybe I’ll expand how I play her.”

As she has now departed EastEnders for good what next for Dame Barbara Windsor? The Carry On veteran is being targeted by the bosses of Strictly Come Dancing, but it appears that Dame Barbara likes the idea of the Christmas special more than the long slog of the main series.

Simon Cowell will reportedly take a pay cut as he signs a new three-year deal with ITV. According to sources, the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent judge is finalising a contract with the channel that will see him take a dip in his salary. The deal would mean that his shows stay on ITV until at least 2019.

Danniella Westbrook has apologised after accusing an EastEnders cast member of revealing details about her to the press, and now has decided that this was not the case after all, despite saying this on a TV show. She reveals: “I now know this not to be true.” However her return to the soap has once again been put in serious doubt.

ITV’s Killer Women with Piers Morgan bowed out with 600,000 fewer viewers than first tuned in, which was underwhelming to say the least. Plans for a second series have now been firmly locked away.

New BBC One series the Big Chef Showdown will be hosted by Celebrity MasterChef and Emmerdale star Sheree Murphy. The upcoming daytime show sees Michelin-starred chefs mentor amateur home cooks to do battle in the kitchen. “I’m a huge foodie and a big fan of cooking shows, so to be in the presence of these world-class chefs every day is an amazing experience,” Sheree said.

Dame Joan Collins has been busy reminiscing about her past, and says because she has done so much in her career, casting people don’t offer her work as they think: “I will be too expensive, or the role is not glamorous enough, but the truth is I am a working actress and look at any role offered. I just love acting, basically.”

Former Coronation Street actress Georgia May Foote will make her theatre debut in the musical My Fair Lady, but she tells me: “I am taking singing lessons so that I can sing the iconic song ‘Moon River’. I am really nervous about this, but I relish the challenge and think that this will take my career in another direction and maybe even some grittier roles.”

After the huge failure of the Spice Girls musical on the London stage, Jennifer Saunders decided to write a big-screen version of her TV show Absolutely Fabulous. Insiders though tell me that despite plenty of A-list stars in the movie it’s not funny, and the editors are trying like fury to cobble something together that may just make cinema goers laugh.

Vernon Kaye continues to sink down the popularity scales after his latest TV show ‘Drive’ was dropped after just one series. Plans for a chat show have now been put on hold, which would have given him a late-night audience, and it appears that his recent bad press has not helped matters...

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