Cassidy Janson HAS wowed West End audiences with her powerhouse performance in the title role of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and has since starred in a string of theatre hits, most recently Chess.
But fans can get even closer to the actress and singer when she appears as joint headliner at the One Borough Festival that takes place at Parsloes Park on Saturday, July 21. Fellow West End diva Kerry Ellis will also be on the bill, and Cassidy tells me: “I love how musicals are now just so accepted and people adore them. Millions go every week, but you hardly ever see them on the TV do you?” Go see her live instead...
Production on the third series of Victoria, starring Blackpool-born actress and former Emmerdale star Jenna Coleman, has got under way along with the announcement that Lewis star Laurence Fox will join the cast as ‘charismatic and wayward’ Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston. It’s expected to be on screen later this year.
Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp is to take over the role of Billy Flynn in the West End production of Chicago from July. Best known for being a member of 80s pop band Spandau Ballet, Kemp’s stage credits include Million Dollar Quartet, and Peter Pan.
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates says she wants to bring back hugely iconic character – but who? It could be Bet Lynch, played by Julie Goodyear The iconic character was last seen in Weatherfield in November 2013, and is still a firm fan favourite. Bet had been a staple on the soap ever since she arrived on the cobbles in May 1966. Actress Julie is said to be at the top of Kate’s list of priority characters to make a comeback...
After hosting the recent Royal Wedding for the BBC, Will Kirsty Young replace David Dimbleby as the host of Question Time? Dimbleby has fronted the panel discussion show for the past 23 years, but BBC executives are weighing up which journalist should take over from the 79-year-old veteran. A source says: “She has long been in the running. There were others, but the list is being whittled down.”
Kirsty Gallacher is leaving Sky Sports after 20 years. The presenter made the surprising announcement that she was leaving the Rupert Murdoch-owned channel to pursue new career opportunities. “I have had 20 wonderful years at Sky and will leave with the best memories,” she said in a statement. “I am excited to start a new chapter.”
Coronation Street is to deliver a shock to fans this summer, when a businessman tries to buy the iconic Rovers Return. Reports say that brewery heir Henry Newton (George Banks) will get together with Gemma Winter (Dolly-Rose Campbell) and make a bid to buy the pub and turn it into ... a trendy cocktail bar! This is supposed to be a light comedy plot after droves of viewers stopped watching the soap...
Shirley Ballas has revealed the BBC have asked her to return for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. Shirley told me: “I’ve been verbally asked, but as of yet I haven’t had a contract. Of course I would be highly delighted to go back on that most fabulous show. I had the time of my life.”
Former cricketer Freddie Flintoff revealed that he almost bagged a role in Prime Suspect 1973, which is currently in production, recalling: “I said ‘I’ll have a try’. I had no experience, no nothing. I got to the last two or three, and I didn’t get it because I think the network thought it was too much of a risk, which I was fine with.”
Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood says the show will now be moving in a different direction after Brenden Cole and Len Goodman left the show. “It’s a shame in many respects, but shows move on and that gives it a new dimension, which is exciting for those that remain,” he said.
Grantchester star James Norton has been shooting scenes in Scotland for his upcoming biopic of Gareth Jones, in which he takes on the titular role of the 1930s British investigative journalist. He admits that he feels he gets offered period parts as: “I think although I am only 32, people assume I am way older, which is a great thing as an actor.”
Hollywood actor Richard Gere is to star in a new eight-part drama series on BBC2. In Mother Father Son, the Pretty Woman and Chicago star will play a self-made American media mogul whose outlets include a London newspaper. Appearing alongside Richard will be Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory.