This is one game you will enjoy as smash hit musical Chess returns

This is one game you will enjoy as  smash hit musical Chess returns

Sir Tim Rice was asked by a fan why his lyrics to Any Dream Will Do from the musical Joseph came from. 

He told me: “I made it up, that’s lyrics of course, and people will know it’s all about the start of a dream. It’s mad in a way, but it started my career which is no bad thing is it?”

Sir Tim is one of our most beloved musical lyricists, and fans can look forward to his collaboration with Abba, Chess, coming back to the West End next year. Sir Tim of course will be there, front row, cheering the show on. 

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The recent Royal Variety Show at the London Palladium turned out to be a damp squib for many attending, due to a false terror alert in central London on the night. It resulted in no photo opportunities and the entrance line-up cancelled due to a late start, and no cameras permitted at the interval private drinks reception. Many fans also felt they missed out on seeing just how wonderful the Duchess of Cambridge looked on the evening.

Vanessa Kirby, who plays Princess Margaret in the £100million hit series The Crown, was presented with a commemorative plate by Netflix to mark the release of the second series. Vanessa told me that the great thing about playing such a great lady was the clothes. “She was a real style icon of her time, and created so many trends which we now forget, but for sure a wonderful ambassador for Great Britain,” she said.

If you thought that Strictly Come Dancing’s Claudia Winkleman’s jokes (and I use the term loosely) on the show are all ad-libbed... I’m afraid not. Everything she says is on the autocue, which even tells her when to smile and laugh. Not as off-the-cuff as you may have thought, and they also have a highly-paid scriptwriter to write for her too, amazing...

Environment Secretary Michael Gove could do an Ed Balls should he get removed from office, as I can reveal he is a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan and never misses a show. He told me: “I love it and it’s a great escape, but would I ever go on it? Well I have never been asked, but look at how great it was for Ed, I mean that dance will live on forever, so yes, never say never to anything.”

Aidan Turner, who plays Captain Ross Poldark, has confirmed that the hit BBC One drama will end after five series. Aiden revealed to me the fifth series of Poldark will be the last due to all the stories being covered. “I am sure that is it, but who knows, someone may come back with some stories. I’m not quite sure, but as far as I know that will be the end of it. Aiden is also going back to the stage and will be on in the West End next year.

BBC Two is to broadcast Eric & Ernie’s Home Movies, a documentary special featuring footage from Morecambe & Wise’s personal collections. The hour-long documentary will look at the early days of the legendary comedy double act, via the previously unbroadcast video footage. Filmed in the 1950s and 1960s by the comedians themselves, this is the first time that the film stock has been made available to documentary makers in its entirety.

After replacing Len Goodman as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Shirley Ballas has become a household name. However, she reveals: “I never get noticed at all when I am out, but I think that is more to do with the fact that I don’t have all the glamour on, but I am told it will change as the series goes on further.”

Before the year is out, Ben Mitchell will have left EastEnders. Actor Harry Reid who plays Phil Mitchell’s son, said that his character’s big exit is “exciting” but has no idea at this stage if he will be killed off or not. “I hope I am not, as I may return one day, who knows, but that is all I’m saying right now,” he laughed.

Peter Kay and Sian Gibson have confirmed that Car Share will return, as a concluding ‘season finale’ was filmed alongside the four episodes of series two, to be broadcast in 2018. Peter says: “We were completely overwhelmed by the response, and even though we’ve no plans to write a third series, we knew we couldn’t end the story there.”

ITV has opted not to recommission comedy format Don’t Ask Me Ask Britain. Hosted by Alexander Armstrong, each episode saw teams of two people, captained by Frank Skinner and Jonathan Ross respectively, trying to second-guess the British public on a series of topics. It was a total flop first time around, so no surprise that it won’t be back.

The Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood has a new Channel Four show to promote, but also says how Mel and Sue have failed to keep in touch since he quit the BBC and moved channels. Some might consider that a blessing, but Paul sniffles: “I thought we were all great friends as we started out together on that great show, but I have not heard from them, so I guess they have moved on.”

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch may be a huge hit all over the world with the reworking of the show, but he reveals it’s only when he wears the famous deer stalker that is he recognised. “Its wonderful to think that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle really did create something so memorable, and I think all actors who play Sherlock owe a lot to the famous hat,” he said.

Michael McIntyre’s BAFTA-winning ‘Big Show’ could soon also be a huge success in the US as TV bosses there want to screen it with a view to making their own version, with Michael remaining in the hosting job too. A friend revealed to me: “We predicted the show would be a hit.”

It may surprise some that EastEnders hard man Steve McFadden, aka Phil Mitchell, is in fact very shy, hence he rarely gives interviews. He told me “I much prefer to let the work speak for me, and then of course you get people who actually believe you’re Phil when in real life I am nothing like that at all.”

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