Jane McDonald & Friends may have become a huge hit for Channel 5, but now fans want to know why the channel does not offer the same deal to another huge star of the variety world, Joe Longthorne MBE.
A friend tells me: “We all adore him and he sells out theatres, so what’s the problem? Better still, why not get them to team up for a one-off special to test the ratings, I am sure it would be a hit.” Channel 5, I am told, like the idea, so you never know...
Former Dr Who star Bonnie Langford is set to leave EastEnders in the autumn. The actress, who plays Carmel Kazemi, will depart Albert Square soon. The 53-year-old said: “I’ve had a wonderful three-and-a-half years at EastEnders, and it’s been a privilege to be part of such an iconic show.” Her character will not be killed off, leaving the door open for a return.
Insiders at the hit daytime show ‘Escape To The Country’ tell me that they are so shocked when people on the show turn down such beautiful homes. One said: “Some people may be in it for the exposure and a day out, rather than seriously looking at a new property, but you can never tell.”
Catherine Tyldesley has revealed she would love to appear in Strictly Come Dancing now that she has left Coronation Street. Best known for playing Eva Price in the ITV soap, she is a huge fan of the BBC dancing competition and said: “I love watching Strictly, I think it’s a fantastic show. Never say never. Now I’m just focusing on the acting, but it’s a great show – it’s amazing.”
Martin Clunes has been busy filming scenes for new ITV drama Manhunt. It’s based upon the memoirs of former London Metropolitan police detective DCI Colin Sutton, but as Martin tells me: “People will always remember me as Doc Martin, which is so lovely, but I know when someone is so popular like that it takes some time for people to accept you in other roles.”
Simon Cowell tells me his ‘Mr Nasty’ personality, is not really him. The music mogul says the persona was created by American Idol producers, and he ‘hated’ it. “I knew it would get attention and of course it worked on that level, but for me, no I am nothing like that at all.” Maybe all the axed acts may differ though, Simon...
Coronation Street’s Kate Ford, who has played Tracy in Coronation Street on and off since 2001, tells me that there is one part of her job that she particularly loves – and that’s dressing up for the red carpet. “I like the red carpets, because it’s an excuse to buy a pair of Louboutins, put a nice dress on and get my hair done,” she said.
Actor Thomas Atkinson, who plays Emmerdale character Lachlan White, tells me that he is loving having such a bad boy role. “I never imagined when I joined the show that it would turn out like this, as we were booked as this posh family up in Home Farm, and now they have all gone and it’s just me being evil all over the village, which has been such fun to play.”
EastEnders star Charlie Brooks has been crowned ‘Best Bitch’ and ‘Villain Of The Year’ for her menacing portrayal of murderous Janine Butcher, yet she told me: “I think people get mixed up when they meet you and expect you to be like that. I do explain I am an actress playing a part on screen and that’s all it is, but some people won’t believe you...”
Craig Revel Horwood has revealed how he could soon be joining Loose Women - as their first ever full-time male panellist. However, the Australian-born star, hasn’t ruled out another TV project. Craig said: “Don’t put it past me to have my own chat show!”
Brendan Cole, the former Strictly Come Dancing pro, says he won’t be attacking the show when it returns in the autumn. He revealed: “I owe Strictly my career, so of course not, but I will be offering my opinion on the contestants I am sure, but like everyone I will be glued to the screen when it comes back.”
Coronation Street actress Beverley Callard has said she is excited about the return of her character’s ex-husband Jim McDonald. Beverley, who plays former Rovers Return landlady Liz McDonald, teased the return of Jim, played by Charles Lawson by saying: “I think fans really enjoy a popular character returning, it makes people have great memories and affection for them, and Jim was so very popular.”
He became the most hated man in Britain, playing evil Andrew Earlham in last year’s sensational ITV thriller Liar. And, like viewers, Ioan Gruffudd can’t wait for the second series! “I’ve sat with the writers (brothers Jack and Harry Williams) and I don’t envy them having to work it out, but they told me it is very exciting.” It will be back on screen in the autumn.
It looks like the soon-to-be vacant Question Time presenter job will be taken by a lady, and according to my spies she must be older. Emily Maitliss had hoped to be considered, but now they are speaking with ITV presenter Julie Etchingham, who they believe can bring some much-needed gravitas to the proceedings.