I spent a lovely afternoon at the Westminster Live Studios in London vision-mixing the new chat show ‘Be My Guest’, where the guest was the delightful Nick Emery, who regaled the show with wonderful stories about his late father Dick.
He said: “Father will have been gone 35 years this time, and it’s odd the BBC don’t repeat the shows as at their peak they achieved over 18 million viewers. I know he still has lots of fans.” He sure does, his DVD are best sellers and today everyone still knows his famous catchphrases...
Neighbours has confirmed that Ryan Thomas will be making his much-anticipated debut in the show’s late-night special next month. The actor, best known for playing Coronation Street’s Jason Grimshaw, landed a guest role with the Aussie soap last year as newbie Rafael Humphreys. Ryan is hoping that the role becomes more permanent...
TV chef Mary Berry made more than a million pounds last year, despite quitting as a judge on the Great British Bake Off. The 82-year-old refused a massive pay rise to stay with the hit BBC programme when it moved to Channel 4 last year. But it appeared her gamble paid off as she made more than a million for the first time from her expanding business empire.
While the viewers may have escaped to other channels, it appears ITV is to broadcast a documentary celebrating the fact its Spanish-set sitcom has been on air for over a decade. Benidorm: 10 Years On Holiday will be broadcast this month ahead of Derren Litten’s comedy returning for a 10th series. Guest stars in Series 10 include the Chuckle Brothers, Nigel Havers, Mark Heap, Bobby Ball, Claire Sweeney, Layton Williams, Carol Decker, Tony Hadley and Holly Johnson.
Academy Award-winner Cuba Gooding Jr is to play fast-talking defence lawyer, Billy Flynn in the new production of the musical Chicago, which opens at London’s Phoenix Theatre from March 26. More worrying is that he is currently working with a vocal coach to help him learn the songs and how to sing. Maybe the other way around may have helped?!
Ex-EastEnders star Shane Richie has confirmed he is not ruling out a return to the BBC soap, following various news reports he had turned down the chance to play Alfie Moon again. However, while bosses have decided to bring back Kat Slater, so far no offer has been made to Shane about a return to the world of soap...
The Britain’s Got Talent 2018 auditions are underway, with aspiring hopefuls across the country already trying their best to impress the judges. ITV hasn’t revealed an exact date yet, but we do know the new series will be launching in April.
Debbie McGee showed off her flexibility with an impressive leg lift as she joined her Strictly Come Dancing co-stars at the launch of the show’s tour. The broadcaster posed with her professional partner Giovanni Pernice, but she told me she has no plans for a workout DVD but loves the idea of making a dance DVD to show “that anyone can learn at any age”.
Former Strictly judge and TV personality Arlene Phillips, will be joining the UK’s first ever fully-immersive musical theatre cruise, with her show Glitz, Glamour and Gossip. She will join celebrated West End and Broadway stars on board the Navigator Of The Seas four-night Floating Festival Stages cruise in October 2018. She reveals: “I know I will have to be careful, as there will be no escape once on board...”
Former S Club 7 member Paul Cattermole has claimed he was rejected from I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here because he was “not famous enough”. Cattermole – who made the news recently by putting two of his BRIT Awards on eBay – explained: “I just don’t get those sort of offers, which annoys me as I think the band were pretty famous.”
A large part of Strictly Come Dancing’s success has been not altering all that much with the format since it came back in 2004. However fans weren’t impressed that for the first time in the 2017 final they didn’t announce who came second, third or fourth. A friend behind the scenes tells me that the production team decided against this to save time, but it’s more than likely to be back on screen this year.
BBC One has ordered a new sitcom starring Martin Clunes. Called Warren, it focuses on an uptight driving instructor and has been commissioned for a full series following a successful non-broadcast pilot episode which was filmed at the end of 2017. Doc Martin star Clunes will appear in the titular role as “a pedantic driving instructor, who thinks the world is against him”.
Inspector Lewis’s Angela Griffin, who also played Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street may have left nearly 20 years ago, but tells me she still gets asked about the show all the time. She said: “I think you don’t realise what an impact the show had back then, and I was just starting out, so yes I’m very flattered and hopefully it means I have not aged that badly too.”
Award-winning actress and Hollywood star Emma Thompson’s sister Sophie has been cast in Coronation Street for a new storyline involving Gail and her ex-husband, Richard Hillman. Sophie will play the part of a medium who contacts him, and we may discover if in fact he is dead, or indeed alive.
Diddy David Hamilton, one of the original presenters on BBC Radio One, has released a book about the golden days of the station. It comes ahead of Radio One’s 50th anniversary and tells the stories of the DJs of the day who were all household names – most were even bigger names than the artists they were playing. The book is out now.
The wonderful actress Sarah Lancashire tells me she is looking for a comedy project next, as: “I think people must be sick of me crying and shouting on screen, but I do enjoy comedy a lot and think those roles are just as fun to do, but it’s finding the right one for sure...”