She just won’t go away: Michelle Collins is still recognised as Cindy Beale!

She just won’t go away: Michelle Collins is still recognised as Cindy Beale!

Michelle Collins, who played the manipulative Cindy, wife of the hapless Ian Beale in EastEnders from 1988 to 1998, says: “She just won’t go away. I still get called Cindy even today!” 

The actress also starred in Coronation Street as Stella Price and revealed to me: “I don’t think she will ever be back, as the only character I was related to is now leaving also which is a shame, as I did enjoy playing her.” The actress, though, is as busy as ever with the launch of her own skincare range. “It’s simple and works, plus I like also now being a businesswoman,” she added.

Call the Midwife star Charlotte Ritchie said she “howled like a child” over her character Nurse Barbara’s death.

She said: “I read the script of course, but when you film it and then it becomes a bit real, you do think ‘oh no this is it, I can’t come back from this can I?’ But seriously it was a well written piece and I have enjoyed my time on the show so much.”

Charlotte, though, thinks the show would make a great theatre piece. “As a musical or as a play, I think people would love to see it live,” she said.

Sir Michael Caine admits he loves so much of the dramatic TV that is on right now. He said: “I do honestly, I mean a lot of the productions are topping so many Hollywood films, but I never get asked to be in them, which is odd ... but maybe one day eh?”

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire returns to ITV with Jeremy Clarkson as host, and will be stripped across a week in the spring on ITV. If the show is a success, it will return for a full series. This is the way ITV hope to make even more money by attracting big advertisers to the channel.

They are more usually seen spoofing other people’s movies, but Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, are now planning to make their own film together. French said the pair are planning to put all of next year aside to work on the project, and that it will be “very funny, bringing lots of fun elements and fan favourites together”.

Harry Potter star Sophie Thompson’s arrival into Coronation Street as clairvoyant Rosemary has proved a great success, and added some much-needed comedy into the dreary soap of late – so much so that viewers are calling for her to become a regular on the show.

TV’s Judge Rinder tells me that he would have loved to become an actor like his best pal Benedict Cumberbatch, but in reality he said: “I did not have that talent at all, but I loved performing so in the end, I have combined the two and ended up on TV which has been great fun.”

Julie Walters has spoken about how she relished playing off-the-wall character Petula Gordino in Victoria Wood’s classic comedy Dinnerladies. The 68-year-old actress is reuniting with other stars for a new Gold documentary, called Dinnerladies Diaries. Julie said: “She played to your strengths as an actress, and that is what made the shows gold in many respects. That and her brilliant writing.”

Former EastEnders actress Louisa Lytton claims, like so many actors who leave: “I don’t watch the show now, not many people who leave do as it’s a job and you don’t have time to tune in like a fan as we all work so many different things ... but I am being honest at least.”

Domestic Goddess Nigella Lawson might not be happy to hear this, but I hear that she is often mistaken for Coronation Street actress Alison King, who plays Carla Connor in the soap. A friend reveals: “I know it’s happened as I have been with her, but I don’t think she is a fan of the soap and would have no idea who Carla is...”

Extracts from Larry Grayson’s never-published autobiography are to feature in a new two-hour TV documentary about the comedian’s life. However fans may not be so keen on the TV show, as the people speaking rarely worked with Larry or knew him professionally, but as it is ITV3 expect it to have a darker element too.

Countdown host Nick Hewer tells me he has no plans to ever quit the show. “I enjoy it so much and I find we get a great class of viewers who are just as addicted to it as I am,” he said. “It’s so amazing that the show itself has lasted so long, but what a show we have.”

Emmerdale’s Emily Head, who plays Rebecca White in the soap, tells me she misses all the other members of the White clan that were axed a few months back. She says: “I started out living at the glamorous Home Farm and now she is destitute with a baby, so yes I do look back at that time with fondness, but who knows if she may climb back up again.”

Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke has said he feels “terrible” for Brendan Cole, who has been dropped from the show after 14 years. The pair had both featured in every series of Strictly since it began in 2004, but the BBC made the “editorial decision” not to renew Brendan’s contract. “It will be different, I will miss him. He was a big part of the show and I am sad to see he is not returning this year,” he said.

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