SHE IS best known for her role in the Channel 4 soap Brookside, but the ever-versatile Claire Sweeney wowed audiences at the London Hippodrome last week with her own show, showing off her singing, comic and acting skills.
She told me: “I still like to act and my dream role would be a Coronation Street part. It’s the best, and they don’t have a scouse girl in there do they, so I would be perfect.” Claire, who has appeared in various musicals like Guys and Dolls and Hairspray, also tells me: “I love to sing, it’s what I started with on the cruise ships, so to combine the both would be wonderful.”
Detective drama Endeavour, the prequel to Inspector Morse, is set for a fourth series and it will pay homage to Morse’s 30th anniversary. Insiders on the show tell me they are overwhelmed by the success of the show, and think it’s right to make such a celebration in view of the length of time.
Bradley Walsh has landed himself a new ITV game show following the success of The Chase. ‘Cash Trapped’ is based on one of Bradley’s original ideas and has a genuinely unique twist – nobody leaves until somebody wins. ITV has commissioned 10 60-minute episodes of which will air on the channel later this year.
Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas has dismissed rumours that he is to take part in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. He tells me: “I love some of them, but you don’t get a career appearing in those do you. I want to act and try new adventures, hence the reason I am leaving the Street, but who knows in the future?”
Former boyband member Duncan James believes Hollyoaks has saved his life – because he’s now getting a regular pay cheque. “It’s tough when you have been in a successful band and then it stops,” he said. “It’s really a case of what to do next, and what is out there, so for me this role is security, plus a chance to show I can really act, and not just be Duncan from Blue.”
Following Emmerdale’s success at the British Soap Awards, I think Christopher Chittell (Eric Pollard) is definitely worthy of a lifetime achievement award. On September 30 2016, Chris will have played Eric Pollard for 30 years! Insiders on the show are already pushing for a celebration, but this would be the icing on the cake.
It ran for eight series and almost 13 years, but Foyle’s War finally bowed out on ITV last year. The creator of the show, Anthony Horowitz, has told me that he’s happy to have wrapped up the 40s-set drama. “I’ve written 26 two-hour films for that show,” he said. “Seventeen years of my life have been devoted to Foyle’s War. I do miss them from time to time, you know.”
If anyone actually believes that Sharon Osbourne has landed one of the biggest deals in X Factor history after negotiating a £2million contract to return then they are gravely mistaken. The deal is far less than her previous pay packets, but she agreed as: “I know my value is shrinking in the UK and this will help with it.” The rock manager, who was one of the original judges on the ITV talent competition, announced her comeback alongside Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger.
EastEnders Grant Mitchell (Ross Kemp) tells me he could be tempted back again to the show, as: “I have really enjoyed acting again, I did miss it and you do wonder if you can still create Grant. Yes, I would have a re-think if I am asked.”
Did you know that although the show is all things UK, Coronation Street airs in 40 different countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Morocco, Taiwan, South Africa, Estonia, and Poland? There are legions of Corrie fans the world over, and bosses also make special promo films of the show’s favourite characters to help sell it to other countries.
Peter Andre tells me he’s dropped the ballroom after Strictly Come Dancing, because: “It’s tougher than you think, and I would say while the show is great fun, it’s harder than you realise. For me there was not a lot of call for ballroom in my life once I had left the show, but who knows, it may return.”