We have all loved seeing some of our greatest variety stars in Last Laugh In Vegas, from the ever-brilliant Cannon & Ball to Anita Harris and Mick Miller.
While ITV tried to push the show into the realm of reality TV, it appears that the audience had other ideas and embraced the show 100 per cent, but many asked why the final show was shown on ITV3 and not ITV as the other shows had been? Well, I can reveal ITV thought this would deliver them a bigger audience as the demographic for ITV3 is the over-50s, clearly not thinking all ages go to see our variety stars. Never mind, the show was a ratings hit and now more are planned. Congratulations to all who took part.
James Norton will depart Grantchester after the fourth series, ITV has confirmed. The actor, who has been tipped as a contender to play James Bond, has starred as the charismatic, crime-fighting clergyman Sidney Chambers in the series based on the novels by James Runcie since it started. He will return alongside Robson Green, who plays Detective Geordie Keating, for one final series.
Victoria Wood is to be the subject of a major new official biography, but fans will have to wait until October 2020 until the book is released. It will be written by journalist Jasper Rees with ‘the exclusive authority and full co-operation of Victoria Wood’s estate’.
It’s not quite clear if Sony are going to press ahead with a third Bradley Walsh album after the shock surprise success of his first. So far insiders are saying nothing, but even though his second did not sell as well, Sony claim they are “more than happy with it”.
Mackenzie Crook is developing a new adaptation of Worzel Gummidge, it has been revealed. The scarecrow character was last seen on screen in the late 1980s, with the last of six hit series starring Jon Pertwee. Reports confirm that Crook, the actor, director, and writer behind similarly rural comedy Detectorists, is working on a new TV sitcom starring the character.
Les Dennis is to star in a new play about a washed-up comedy star. In the piece, entitled End Of The Pier, the former Family Fortunes host plays a forgotten entertainer called Bobby who is now resigned to a life of solitude, and second-rate panto performances. Les reveals: “When I was starting out I met a lot of these comics, but when you’re young you don’t really relate, but the story is very touching and moving.”
He may have been axed from the show when The Voice UK was on the BBC, but Tom Jones is hopeful it won’t happen again. He said: “You can never be totally sure, but the best thing is I do enjoy the show and above all we try to change someone’s life, and give them a great start in the biz too.”
Famed for some of the biggest hits of the 80s and the TV show The Hitman and Her, Pete Waterman tells me he won’t ever return to a TV talent show as a judge. He said: “I think I am there looking for an artist that I can produce, but really it’s just a TV show with a lot of drama, and that is not what I really signed up for.”
The Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant is hopeful that the show could come back on another channel at some point. “I don’t see why not, I mean we did really well but the powers-that-be decided otherwise, but we could rise up again for sure,” he said.
It’s not even summer yet, and now we have former Treasure Hunt presenter Anneka Rice staking her claim that she too would love to be part of the Strictly Come Dancing machine in 2018. She told me: “I love the show and everything about it, plus as everyone knows I do love a challenge, so wait and see.”
Coronation Street is still losing viewers despite all the hype and terrible storylines the soap is currently pushing. But as ever TV bosses are hopeful that fans will begin to embrace it all over again, and I heard: “We are bringing in older actors and adding in more comedy, but it takes time as we film so far in advance.”