Hailing from Bombay, singer and actress Indiraa is launching her own UK chat show later this month.
A winner of British Indian Award for Entertainment from the Queen no less, she told me about the star line-up. Indiraa said: “Ann, we have everything from Eammon Holmes to going behind the scenes of the hit musical Thriller and Pop Idol winner Will Young.” Indiraa has also starred in a movie with EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, but admits: “The chat show right now is my priority.” Is there anything this talented lady can’t do?
Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke still has no idea if he will be back for the new series later this year. The professional dancer tells me that he’s “hopeful”. Anton added: “I have not heard yet but again we don’t normally know until later in the year, but I would miss the show so much if I did not return.”
Brendan Cole has revealed his hopes of joining I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here later this year. Since the announcement of his shock exit from Strictly Come Dancing, the professional dancer confessed that a lot of doors have now opened up for him, Brendan told me: “I would never say never to anything – except Big Brother. Doors come along and you open them, and you choose to walk a different path. I have not had from July until Christmas off for years.”
Hugh Bonneville is to lend his voice to one of two new UK-based wildlife series announced by Channel 5. It appears the former Downton Abbey actor hopes to become the next Sir David Attenborough as he narrates the new eight-part series Wild Britain. “It’s a passion of mine and I was delighted when they asked me, but I am nowhere near the great Sir David,” he said.
Coronation Street actor and singer Shayne Ward has decided to remove tattoos to land a period drama role after getting the axe from the soap. He reveals: “I think they were a mistake and yes I regret it, but now as an actor you have to be a blank canvas and that is now what I am aiming for.”
Season 10 of the much-loved sitcom Benidorm only began two weeks ago, but claims that it has been axed have put a dampener on fans’ excitement. It’s now been reported that the current series will be the last, amid falling ratings, but ITV bosses may look at a one-off movie option.
Actors from ITV soap Coronation Street are said to have snubbed offers to join Dancing On Ice next year, which has not pleased the new boss of ITV. Many are worried about the chance of injury, with one confiding: “I love the show, but how dangerous is it, and really we can’t have all that time off work, can we?”
No word yet on the BBC’s singing format All Together Now, hosted by Rob Beckett and Geri Halliwell. It recently posted its worst ratings to date at the end of the series, and bosses are “looking at new options”.
Green-fingered presenter Alan Titchmarsh still bemoans the loss of his daily chat show which was axed a few years back. Alan laments: “I get asked about it all the time, as I think people miss it, and it was company for a lot of people, so who knows one day it may even come back.”
Jason Donovan may be on tour across the UK right now with his one man show, but he admits that he would love to get back on TV in an acting role. He said: “I do wonder if casting directors see me, or remember me as a pop heartthrob, but we all get a little older and need new challenges.”
Laurence Fox is to play Viscount Palmerston in the ITV series Victoria. The Lewis actor, and the Prime Minister he portrays are both old Harrovians. Laurence, though, will have to have make-up on to cover up the rather obvious tattoos he currently sports, but admits: “I do love historical roles, and this is one great one.”
After the huge flop of The Nightly show, ITV is currently working on developing new comedy entertainment formats, including It’s Alive, hosted by Lenny Henry, and impressions-based show The Imitation Game. ITV hope that “we can find a late-night show that will keep our viewers with us and stay with us till the end.”
Singer and actress Jane McDonald is back with her own music show called ‘Jane & Friends’ on Five. She admitted that she hopes to emulate the success of shows by entertainers like Cilla and Lulu in the 70s and added: “I adored them, and they were such feel-good shows, which is what we all need right now. A good cheering up.”
Good Morning Britain continues to fail with viewers, despite what the presenters may claim. The BBC breakfast show has double the number of viewers, hosted by Dan Walker, and of course sticks to news, rather than personality of the hosts. A friend on the show tells me: “We have tried many things, but viewers simply prefer the BBC.”