Superstar lyricist Sir Tim Rice simply adores his many worldwide fans

Superstar lyricist Sir Tim Rice simply adores his many worldwide fans

Lyricist Sir Tim Rice seems to never get fed up with devotees of the musical blockbusters he wrote with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Sir Tim was in New York for NBC Television’s live production of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he admitted there is no limit to his enthusiasm for his 1971 musical. He said: “I never thought it would last this long, I think we both thought that, but it has and the fans are wonderful and know far more about it than I care to remember now, to be honest.”

Al Murray, Roy Hudd, Elaine C Smith and the Chuckle Brothers have all gone away winners at the Great British Pantomime Awards. Murray won best newcomer for his performance as Idle Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at the New Wimbledon Theatre, and Al tells me: “I never thought I would win. After all, the Pub Landlord is not that family-friendly, but people seem to enjoy him, which is great.”

When it was announced that Brendan Cole was leaving the show, Strictly fans have been eagerly awaiting news of his replacement. Curtis Pritchard, 20, looks set to step into 41-year-old Brendan’s shoes, and Strictly bosses are reportedly calling him the ‘perfect fit’. Curtis is the brother of AJ Pritchard, 23, who joined the show in 2016. Plus, more importantly he is less expensive...

Coronation Street’s Jennie McAlpine has said her second baby may end up having a name inspired by the ITV soap. The actress, who announced recently that she is expecting again, already has a son named Albert. “I do like some of the names of the cast, so yes it’s an option and quite historical in a way,” she said.

Did you know that Coronation Street co-stars Brooke Vincent and Ellie Leach are cousins in real life? Brooke Vincent has played Sophie since she was 11, while Ellie joined the Corrie cast in 2011 as foster child Faye. A friend tells me about the casting process: “Lots of times we just ask about, and then another family member joins, it’s that simple.”

Funny man Bernie Clifton, is to retire his double act with Oswald The Ostrich, but the star is not quitting performing on his own. The TV legend previously said: “Oswald appeared on my debut TV show The Good Old Days, and then we did Crackerjack together.

“I was doing my act with Oswald at a club in 1979, and in the audience was the producer of The Royal Variety Show. He put me in the show and everything took off after that.

“I did an eight-minute spot, and it was a show-stopper - even the Queen was wiping away tears of laughter.”

Hugh Grant has admitted he misses the days of analogue television and has not yet worked out how to use Netflix. The Four Weddings and A Funeral star said he is still old fashioned in his tastes. “Why do we need all this choice, four channels were fine,” he said. The actor will next be seen in A Very English Scandal on BBC One in May, playing British MP and leader of the Liberal party Jeremy Thorpe.

Former EastEnders star Glynis Barber reveals she’d consider a return as Glenda Mitchell. “I don’t see why not, after all people do return, but I have no idea what she may be up to now,” she said. “The storyliners could dream up all kinds of good stuff for her, I would think...”

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel-Horwood has spoken out about axed professional dancer Brendan Cole. He said: “I do think that you have to remember we have all done well out of the show, and why say negative things? You have to have an opinion, but look at where it’s got Brendan. I do feel sorry for him, but that as they say is showbiz...’

Former Strictly head judge Len Goodman quit the BBC show last year, partly because he was struggling to juggle the job with Dancing With The Stars in LA. But now his contract is up with the US show and they may now refresh it with a younger, more hip judge. Something I hear that Len is not so keen on ... oh dear.

Emma Willis fully plans to return to The Voice UK in 2019, and hopes the current coaches join her. Emma has been fronting the singing contest for a number of years both on BBC One and on its new home on ITV. As yet no contract has been offered for her to return, but we all wish her well...

ITV has released the first PR shots for the new look, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and it sees new host Jeremy Clarkson whizz into his presenting chair in a flash car. The seven new episodes, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show, will be shown across one week in May, with members of the public once again getting the chance to win £1,000,000. If it’s a success it will be back for more.

Little Big Shots will be returning to ITV for a third series, it’s been confirmed. Award-winning actress and comedian Dawn French, is once again the host of the show, which is based on an original US idea.

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