Bobby Ball has joined the cast of ‘Benidorm’.
The 73-year-old star – who is one half of the comedy duo Cannon and Ball along with Tommy Cannon – will team up with fellow veteran funnymen including Hale and Pace and the Chuckle Brothers in the upcoming 10th series of the popular ITV series. Bobby tells me: “I love the show and always watch it as I have a few pals in it, so it should be great fun, given what we have seen before.” Rock on...
Jodie Whittaker, who will be the first female to play The Doctor in Doctor Who, tells me she was so stunned when offered the role. “I was delighted by the offer for sure, but you never expect it, so I am just hopeful I can live up to the fans who love the show so much.”
Hairy Bikers Si and Dave may be a huge success now as TV cooks, but did you know Dave started out as a BBC makeup artist? “It’s true yes, I am professionally trained and yes I have made up many famous faces, and know quite a few secrets, but my lips are sealed,” he said. “I always do my own make-up on set too, as I know my face better than anyone.”
The BBC has now officially confirmed that comedy show W1A is to return for a third series, and released more details about the new episodes. Now reflecting the recent publicity surrounding huge pay deals, the new series will focus on the BBC’s need to cut costs. A source tells me: “This will be very hard for people to actually laugh at, given the problems now, but again it’s proved rather popular.”
Multi–millionaire composer and impresario Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has rejected criticism that London’s theatre ticket prices are too expensive for ordinary people. He revealed: “I think it’s great value, and if you look around on sites you can really get some wonderful bargains. My new show ‘School Of Rock’ is well priced because we aim it at the young and we want them to be able to come along and see it.”
The BBC has revealed that Peter Kay’s Car Share continues to break iPlayer records. The show – which stars Peter Kay and Sian Gibson – is already one of the most watched comedies on TV, but star and creator Peter tells me: “I don’t think we should do any more, personally I love the fact people like it but sometimes less is more.”
Last year’s X Factor winner Matt Terry is naturally cautious about releasing his debut album. “They are all saying it’s a curse, but for me I see this as a great opportunity to do well and show people what I have been doing since I won the show. I am super excited about its release,” he said.
American pay TV network HBO is reportedly set to make a new version of satirical puppet sketch show Spitting Image. “It’s a huge project by HBO and preparation on the famous faces has already begun,” a source tells me. “Naturally they are really keen to feature the likes of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to make it very topical.”
Quite a few soap stars are enjoying success in the world of musical theatre, including Deena Payne. Deena, who became a soap favourite playing Emmerdale’s Viv Windsor for 18 years, has a starring role in Our House, which revolves around the music of British band Madness. She tells me: “This was really my era, and I adore Madness, so what could be better?”
TV chef Levi Roots tells me that he has been asked to appear on Strictly Come Dancing for years, “I don’t know why they like the idea of me, but they do, and yes, I love show, but I don’t think I am really up to that challenge just yet,” he said. “Who knows in the future, though?”
Christopher Biggins has issued a ‘come and get me’ plea to the casting directors of hit BBC historical drama Poldark. Christopher was voted the most hated man on TV when he played villainous vicar Reverend Osborne Whitworth in the original series back in the 1970s.
Biggins tells me: “I loved the show and think why not? I also like the idea of one of the originals being back in it, and why not me?”
Brendan Sheerin is ready to hit the road with a new series of E4’s Coach Trip. With non–stop sun, drink and gossip, he tells me: “When I was working at Dewsbury bus station, and I mean the old one back in the 70s, I never thought I would end up on TV or the stage, but it just goes to show you how a life can change ... I mean, I remember Woods and Longstaff’s buses so well.”