Ann's Angle

KIKI Dee is a star and also someone I can call a good friend from way back while working and performing in Bradford. It was great to hear her new BBC Radio 2 shows which featured her eclectic mix of chat and music. She tells me: “I am back on tour later in the year Ann, and would love to see all my old friends from Yorkshire there. Lots of hits, memories, and music, naturally – you will all come down won’t you?” See you there Kiki – dates and times simply follow this link

The ever-popular Countryfile presenter John Craven tells me he really knows the appeal of the show. “I think it’s simply we all love being in the country, and so we can now visit it from the comfort of our own homes, and see what life is like on a farm or a small village which is superb, when you think about it,” he said.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage says reality TV is not top of his bucket list but did reveal he loves the show Strictly Come Dancing, he said: “I think there is a purpose in that one for me really, as I would love to be a better dancer, but again it’s time and effort, but maybe I would find it hard to say no.”

Netflix have announced premieres for some new series, the highlight being Black Mirror, starring War and Peace actor James Norton. James who also stars in the hit ITV drama Grantchester tells me, “This is something so different, yet fun and I think watching it, fans will be instantly hooked. I am very excited to be part of this project.”

Celebrity Big Brother contestant Lionel Blair told me he only did the show to remind people that he was still in fact alive. “It’s a young person’s game TV really now, and it’s all ratings and youth, so when I was approached I thought why not? did I enjoy it? Not half as much as the money on offer,” he chuckled….

James Martin may have left Saturday Kitchen, but his stint on This Morning every Friday is proving harder than he thought. He admits: “I have no idea who the celebrities are, and I don’t watch much TV so a lot of it passes me by, but I am trying to catch up with it although it’s not easy.”

Les and Pam Coker are to leave EastEnders. The couple played by Roger Sloman and Lin Blakley were told about their departure from the new producer on the show. Both are said to be very unhappy with the news, but Lin said: “It’s been great to be part of such a big show, and yes I will miss lots of the cast and crew, it’s been so totally different for me here.”

Casualty actor Jason Durr confesses he’s squeamish but is ‘manning up’ now he’s working with blood and guts on the BBC’s long-running medical drama. But far worse is the repeats of Heartbeat! “People keep telling me how young I look, and I do point out it’s a few years back now – we all age you know,” he said.

Former EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham has hit out at the current state of the BBC soap in which he made his name, he said: “It’s all a bit dark now, well very dark, and I do think way back in the day when I was in it there was an element of comedy with Lou and Dot etc. But now it’s all murder and mayhem, which is fine, but all the time?” It does need readdressing but will anyone take notice of an ex-actor on a soap?

The I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here jungle may be a few months off yet, so don’t believe the hype about the star’s salaries for the show. ITV are planning to make vast cutbacks, due to a fall in profits and have warned that people should think of the exposure rather than the fee on offer…

Ex-soap actress Martine McCutcheon claims she has turned down Celebrity Big Brother despite needing the money. She has previously declared herself bankrupt but Martine said the money didn’t tempt her into the house. However the casting department at the show state they “never offered her anything this year. Maybe she is a little confused with previous offers”. Oh dear.

She was a big hit in Emmerdale and Strictly, now Lisa Riley wants to get more known for her acting. “I think when you have been in a soap that is so well received, it’s hard for people to allow you to play other roles, but now I think I am ready for it and I would love to do comedy too.”

Louise Marwood who plays Chrissie White in Emmerdale, tells me she knew it was going to be hard times in the soap, when she moved into Home Farm. “No one lives happily there do they? They have all the money and cars etc but it’s all doom and gloom, so yes I thought they won’t be breaking that cycle now will they?” she laughed

Sinitta may have appeared on Celebrity MasterChef 2016, but she admitted to me that her offerings of raw mince, raw aubergine, and then raw pastry, and some more raw mince proved too much for ‘macho’ judges John and Gregg. “I did sort of explain I am a singer not a cook, but they said they would help, when in effect they just laughed all the time,” she told me.

Former Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan tells me: “I would love to go back, but just for a few episodes, I wouldn’t want to do anything permanent. I think it would be great to see if Rosie’s job as a model is really all it seems, and how successful she really is.”

Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery has signed up to star in a Western. The actress  recently ended her role as Lady Mary in Downton, when the hit ITV show came to an end after five years of global success. Now she has been cast as the female lead in a new period drama, Godless, a mini-series from a US channel to be broadcast next year.

ITV has announced that it needs to slash its overheads by £25 million, because the UK’s decision to leave the EU has upset the markets. It doesn’t look like it will directly come out of the budget of its popular shows, it does mean that there will be job losses. Good Morning Britain, which bosses claim is “not preforming” needs to watch out.

David Essex OBE has announced his first major tour in four years this November. It will see him performing hits spanning his 50-year career.

Former EastEnders star John Altman has criticised the show for becoming too politically correct. “In the old days, you could decide if your character was going to have a cigarette in a scene. Now, you need written permission from someone, its total madness and makes it so unreal.”

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