I enjoyed a glittering red carpet reception at the star studded-opening night of 42nd Street alongside HRH Duchess of Cambridge – but the real star of the night was Sheena Easton.
Playing the lead Dorothy Brock, Sheena told me: “I have enjoyed success on Broadway previously, and of course Las Vegas, but this was my opening, and what a night it’s been. The show is a riot of fun and glamour, plus all the tunes you know and love.”
And Sheena? Well she makes the part her own, and what a five-star debut it was. Book now.
Coleen Nolan has agreed a massive panto pay deal for just eight weeks’ work. She will be paid the money for her brief run as the Fairy Godmother in the Alhambra Theatre’s production of Cinderella this Christmas, according to the Bradford production team, though they are ‘playing the fee down’ so as not to offend anyone.
TV presenter Kate Humble revealed that she turned down Strictly Come Dancing because the idea of wearing sequins sent her into a ‘panic’. But bosses are having a hard time actually remembering if she was really ever offered a spot on the show in the first place ... oh dear.
An Only Fools And Horses comeback will ‘never happen’, star Nicholas Lyndhurst has stated. The Rodney Trotter actor said the show died with its creator John Sullivan, who passed away in 2011. And co-star Sir David Jason agreed, saying: “When we did Fools and Horses we had a writer who just wrote, and that was his craft and he handed it on to us.”
TV star Bradley Walsh will release a second album later this year, after he was crowned the UK’s most successful debut artist of 2016. The comedian and presenter’s first album of covers, Chasing Dreams, went gold and outsold records by former One Direction star, Zayn Malik.
He’s made his big Hollyoaks debut, but that hasn’t stopped fans speculating that Adam Rickitt will reprise his role Nick Tilsley, in Coronation Street. “Current Nick, Ben Price, he’s not even left yet!” Adam told me. “As soon as he said he was going, people on Twitter were asking if I was going back. But I’m very happy with Hollyoaks, so doing Corrie again is not on the cards.”
DCI John Barnaby and DS Jamie Winter will be joined by a new pathologist – Dr Fleur Perkins (Annette Badland) – in the 20th anniversary series of ITV’s Midsomer Murders. Annette, best known for playing the fiendish Aunt Babe in EastEnders, said: “I have always enjoyed living dangerously, so arriving at Midsomer is thrilling.”
Not content with clogging up the airwaves with endless shows of Pointless, Alexander Armstrong is to front a new game show for ITV. ‘Don’t Ask Me Ask Britain’ is a live interactive series that asks viewers to vote on opinion-based topics, while a celebrity panel tries to second-guess what the audience at home will answer. Viewers will be asked to download a free app to answer the questions.
Paul O’Grady is now hosting a new version of the 80s and 90s cult classic Blind Date, and he tells me: “I think it will be a hit with viewers, as I believe that it’s the fun people have been missing from their screens. Plus Cilla was wonderful, the looks she used to throw to camera and the things she said, I just hope I can do it justice.”
Dead Ringers star Jan Ravens is working on a Radio 4 sitcom pilot about the private life of Prime Minister Theresa May. The BBC is planning an insight into what might be going on behind closed doors at No 10 for the radio comedy starring the impressionist.
Little Britain comedian Matt Lucas’ memoirs are to be published on October 3, it has been announced. Little Me: My Life From A-Z, promises to cover his story ‘from youth to Shooting Stars, Little Britain, Doctor Who and beyond’. Matt reveals: “I think now is a good time, and of course the money comes in handy too...”
Did you know that the director of the Gary Barlow musical ‘The Girls’ has a soap connection? It’s directed by none other than Jack Ryder, who played Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders almost 15 years ago. Jack told me: “‘I much prefer life behind the scenes now, rather than in front of the camera.”
The character of Denise Osbourne is returning to Coronation Street. Actress Denise Black – who was last seen playing Joanie Wright in Emmerdale, is back and filming, and the actress told me she was glad to be killed off in Emmerdale. “They all knew what was happening, so I was glad they made it final, but I did enjoy my time on the soap. It was good fun up in the Dales,” she said.
He may now be a star in Casualty, but former Heartbeat star Jason Durr tells me he would be happy to see the famous Yorkshire show return. “I know it’s still so popular with so many people, and yes we have all aged a bit, but with the power of so many repeats no-one can tell,” he laughed.