On one of my many trips to London in search of exclusive stories for The Press, I was lucky enough to stumble across this great TV gem – the fictional home of ‘Lord Sinclair’ in the iconic TV series The Persuaders.
It’s discreetly hidden in the heart of Mayfair and was used in many on-screen shots in the show. I am told the building is still home to a multimillionaire lord in real life, but for me and many others it will always be the home of the one and only Sir Roger Moore.
Alan Carr hosted a revived one-off pilot of the 80s cult game show The Price Is Right recently on Channel Four, and it did well in the ratings. Some 2.2 million viewers tuned in to the special, which was reportedly aired to test the waters for a full series. However, Alan’s chat show on C4 has been quietly axed.
Recently-axed Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley is set to join Strictly Come Dancing. It’s claimed the actress, who plays feisty Eva Price in the hit ITV soap, has been “desperately keen” to take part in the BBC dance contest. Her friends are convinced she will make a great contestant, but as yet there’s no offer from the BBC. Ah well, pantomime is always available...
It appears that the expensive Dancing On Ice signing Donna Air has hit the skids. You see she was dating James Middleton, brother of the Duchess of Cambridge, and so ITV figured they may get someone along to support her. Sadly for ITV James has “moved on” from Donna, and so in effect they have paid for an ex-Big Breakfast presenter with a new cut-glass accent.
Dewsbury-born ‘Diana’ author Andrew Morton has revealed that he is busy on an “in-depth biography” entitled Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. He said: “I think people are interested and yes it will be revealing, but that is what I do best and I think she has a fascinating story to tell.”
Emmerdale actress Louise Marwood has now left the soap after three years of playing Chrissie. She told me: “I am going back to London, and who knows? It was time to leave, because three years I think is a good stint to do. My life’s in London, so it was time to go.”
If you enjoy your TV nostalgia then you’re not alone, as I reveal that BBC favourite Call The Midwife is popular in over 100 countries who all buy and tune in to see how people coped in London way back in the 60s. Helen George, who appears in the show, tells me: “I think that period is fascinating as it was so much more stylish.”
TV actor and comedian Ben Miller has become the latest comedian to turn children’s book author. His first title, The Night I Met Father Christmas, will be out in November – part of a two-book deal he signed with publishers Simon & Schuster. Ben was last seen on screen as the face of Tesco and says it was always his dream to write a children’s book.
Comedy star David Jason has criticised award-winning show BBC Mrs Brown’s Boys for its regular use of profanities. Sir David, best known for his role as market trader Del Boy Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, believes its use of swear words alienates key audience members and prevents it from being a regular family show. “I do think it would pick up an even bigger audience if it lost its swear words, but maybe that’s just me,” he said.
Tamzin Outhwaite has revealed she had a code name in the EastEnders scripts to hide her shock return as Mel Owen. The actress made her big return to Albert Square 16 years after Mel fled to Portugal. She told me: “At the very beginning my return was all quite top secret. My name in all the scripts wasn’t Mel, it was Phoenix – rising from the ashes is what I assume.”
Michael Portillo is the unlikely new face of Channel 5, where the ex-minister will present his own ‘Hidden History of Britain’ show. It comes after years of him explaining train journeys on BBC2, but the channel had steamed off and left Michael at the platform, so Channel 5 agreed to “test him out”.
Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas is set to score a new job on UK telly. Shirley could be about to swap the judges’ desk for the Loose Women panel. Don’t worry she is not quitting the BBC show, but will be occasionally popping up on the ITV daytime panel programme.
Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who now plays Prince Philip in the hit Netflix show The Crown, tells me that when he’s off-set it’s hard to adjust. “You spend all day being waited on and all that, then it’s back to the supermarket alone and cooking. I do like living like a Royal you know,” he said.
Downton Abbey star Phyllis Logan has revealed that negotiations haven’t even started on the movie version, but that she would “definitely like to do it”. Phyllis, who was a firm fan favourite as Mrs Hughes (later Carson), said that there was a will from the cast to make a film of the ITV hit.
Actor and musician Martin Kemp and his wife Shirlie are among the stars taking part in a new BBC Two show which will see stars drive over 3,000 miles through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam in a fleet of classic cars. Noel Edmonds and his wife Liz, chef Andi Oliver and her TV presenter daughter Miquita Oliver, and good friends Tinchy Stryder and Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks), are the other ‘stars’ taking part...
Britain’s Got Talent is looming again, and many are annoyed that the show often does not use just genuine unsigned talent, but people who have had record deals or are signed already to management deals. The team on the show claim they have “no idea” when they sign up...
Actor Nigel Havers is well off, but he thinks he could have made much more money had he been a bit more ambitious after his starring role in the hit 1981 film Chariots of Fire. He reveals: “I don’t think I knew how to make the most of it to be honest, and todays stars do. It was a totally different time, looking back we all learn, don’t we?”