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Former Strictly Come Dancing champion and ex-boyband member Jay McGuiness is tearing up the dancefloor in a new show called Rip It Up.
It’s touring theatres now across the UK, but Jay let slip to me backstage at the Palladium that he and his former band ‘The Wanted’ are looking at doing something to celebrate their 10-year anniversary next year. “It’s something we all would like to do, and yes it’s top secret so far,” he said. Likewise, my spies tell me that a new solo album could be on the way for Jay too, so it looks like he is still very much ‘wanted’ after all...
An audience of almost 10 million watched the finale of BBC drama Doctor Foster as the show’s popularity soared during its second series. The drama, starring ex-soap actress Suranne Jones, could now be back for a third series. A friend reveals: “We never thought it at the start of this series, but it appears that fans really do want more of Doctor Foster.”
Neighbours fans are thrilled by the news that Channel 5 has agreed a multi-year deal with the show’s makers to keep the much-loved Aussie soap on British screens for years to come. The new deal involves an increase in the number of episodes produced, resulting in Neighbours airing on Channel 5 for 52 weeks of the year.
Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas has landed a role in Aussie soap Neighbours. The actor who was Weatherfield’s Jason Grimshaw, will play the role of Rafael Humphreys, a loner with dark secrets who comes to Ramsay Street to confront a difficult chapter from his past. Ryan who is gearing up for panto in Wales this festive season, tells me: “I just wanted a change, something so different and the other side of the world is indeed very different.”
Absolutely Fabulous stars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley have reunited to film a one-off travel-based show for TV. The duo, who play Patsy and Eddy in the hit sitcom, have visited France to film a travelogue. The programme will see the friends investigate how champagne is made.
Antiques Roadshow host Fiona Bruce tells me she always feels sorry for those that find their valuables are not worth as much as they had hoped. She said: “It’s heart-breaking at times, because they believe it’s worth so much and of course our brilliant experts know what the deal is, so yes it can come as something of a shock when they find out, but that is the show and good or bad, we’re all hooked on watching it.”
Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke could still be sitting in the head judge’s chair next year, as the jury is still out on new judge Shirley Ballas. A source tells me: “Anton was the favourite to take over from Len Goodman, but now Shirley is here ... the thing is will she still be here next year? It’s all down to ratings and if the public take to you.”
Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole denies that his arguments with the judges are set up to gain attention in the media. “I know it may look like that, but yes I am hot-headed, and I do say what I think,” he said. “It’s only when I look back that I remember how I need to keep it all in check and that the show is live, but I think the fans like me to speak out too. It can be fun.”
Call the Midwife actress Helen George, tells me that she believes the show is so popular because: “It’s set in a different time that we all remember with affection, and that makes it an easy watch. Plus, the 60s were very free-thinking too.”
Gloria Hunniford OBE tells me she won’t be retiring any time soon, as Rip Off Britain has been commissioned until 2019. She told me: “I think it’s a great show and we uncover some great stuff which I believe needs exposing, so yes I’m very happy to keep hosting the show with Julia and Angela, who are as ever such good fun.”
From Cagney & Lacey to Casualty! Sharon Gless is appearing in medical drama Casualty in a special guest role. She reveals: “I love the show, and I mean that. I watch it over in the US so when they asked me about appearing in it, how could I refuse?” The episode will air next month on BBC One.
You may have noticed more and more young actors in soaps like Coronation Street and Emmerdale. The trick is that they are far cheaper to use than adult actors, so like Hollyoaks, and in a bid to keep costs down, ITV are pushing more youth storylines to make sure they get them on screen more. So you see, it’s another cost-cutting drive.
Sky One’s acapella show ‘Sing’, hosted by Cat Deeley, has been deemed such a success they are already looking at a second series. Cat admits: “I love the fact that it’s all about the voices, no tricks but just sheer talent, and even better the public love it too.”
Brendan O’Carroll, the star of Mrs Brown’s Boys, is to host a new studio entertainment show pilot for BBC One called Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. He tells me: “It’s a fun show of course and we want people to relax and enjoy it, but above all it’s funny and that is what we all need right now – a really good laugh.”
The revival of the 70s sitcom Porridge starring Kevin Bishop went cold with viewers, despite a promising start when it aired as a one-off last year. A source reveals: “We are hopeful that fans will support it and hopefully embrace the Christmas special, but for now we’re all happy with it.”