News In Brief: BBC Pay, Love Island, Kit Harington on Game of Thrones and Celeb Big Brother

A round-up of recent entertainment and television news with ATV Today’s Mike Watkins.

Welcome to the first of a new run of weekend news round-ups, bits of this, that and the other brought together in one quick article. This week Kit Harington isn’t keen to sit on the throne, Katie Price is drooling, the BBC have exposed their stars earnings, Celebrity Big Brother, Davina McCall is taking a long walk for a good cause and lots more…

BBC pay revelations

The acting might be dire, but the bank balance is booming.

It was to much amusement on Wednesday when Aunty Beeb were forced, by the dear old Tories, to reveal how much their ‘talent’ – and in many cases that word is used in the loosest sense – are paid. Adam Woodyatt and Danny Dyer both on nice little earners down at EastEnders with the pair each pulling in 200k-£249k. Who’d have thought timber was so expensive. You could hear the sound of splintering as the ‘Enders cast pay was revealed.

Jeremy Vine earning £700k-£749k, which got several newspaper reporters in a flap due to ‘poor’ Fiona Bruce only getting £350k-£399k. Of course Vine hosts a lot more programming than Bruce, which is probably the reason. While Fiona reads the news, once a week or so, and fondles antiques at the weekend, Vine hosts a daily radio show, Crimewatch, quiz shows and Panorama. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good newspaper sensational spin.

Let’s picture the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow, an aged newsreader is presented on a stand, of Welsh origin and in pretty good condition for its age. Well looked after by its owner. This item, named Huw Edwards, is valued at around £550k-£599k. Cue a twisty faced Fiona, screeching; ‘that’s worth more than me?’

The only real shock is that someone at the beeb believes that Chris Evans is worth £2 million a year. I don’t think Top Gear viewers somehow will share that view on his ‘talent’ and while Radio 2 does okay, there are thosands of decent proper DJs left in the cold for ‘star names’…

“Personally I think if its not a ‘public service’ programme then it shouldn’t be funded by the licence fee. Soaps, dramas, music, populist radio and sport are all commercially viable and should be funded by advertising. The PSB progammes, including factual, arts, news and minority programming should be funded by a much reduced fee.” – TV Critic Vivian Summers

Top Flop: Chris Evans is rolling in telly tax cash.

From Scotland to the Channel Islands

STV News reporter Susan Ripoll has left the Scottish television broadcaster and will soon be seen by viewers on the Channel Islands as she joins ITV Channel Television as a roving reporter for their news output. Well, it could be worse Susan, you could have moved to ITV Border where seemingly nothing much ever happens..

TV Highlight of the Week

Will Young nearly falling on his backside on the live final of Pitch Battle. Some viewers blamed his outfit which host Mel Giedroyc described as a “sleeveless monk’s onesie”. I’d just call it ridiculous, but it’s more interesting than talking about the winner. Speaking of winners…

Bets on Love Island Winner

“We think that Kem & Amber could become the favourites in the very near future,” – William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams speaking on Friday

Who is going to win Love Island? ITV2’s reality hit. The bookies have had their say. On Friday they told us Marcel and Gabby continued to drift in the betting and were 10/1 – having been odds on with William Hill last week. Jamie and Camilla were the 11/8 favourites but the big movers within the last 48 hours had been Kem and Amber, whose odds have come in from 8/1 to 7/4 since Wednesday morning.

Saturday and the bookies were back in touch with updated odds. For the first time, Ken and Amber became the (6/4) favourites to win Love Island as they leapt ahead of Jamie & Camilla who had drifted to 7/4. Personally, the only winner is ITV2 who have turned a total flop of a show into a reasonable success. Who’d have bet on that when the original show came to its end all those years ago?

“It looks as though the lie detector challenge has done for Marcel & Gabby and the betting is wide open as we head into the final couple of days,” – William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

Special Kyle Show causes ‘viewer fuss’

The Time, The Place. Ah yes, I remember it well, Mike Scott and later John Stapleton overseeing debate and chat weekday mornings on ITV. These days its, of course, a very different kind of show with Jeremy Kyle. The public flogging session where the dregs of society air their dirty laundry to millions of viewers. Who has slept with who, who is the father, who ate the cactus and urinated over the cat? The usual lowlife twaddle each episode pumps out like a televisual sewer. Every now and again though, to prove the show has some genuine merits, they do specials. These touching and decent programmes bring the better side of humanity to the small screen. This past week one such show aired – and it seemingly didn’t sit well with Kyle’s viewers.

The Mirror reported ‘Disgusting Jeremy Kyle Show fans were outraged today [July 20th] as the usual slanging matches and screaming were replaced with adorable children – who were all disabled.’ The tabloid notes that ‘viewers really weren’t happy with the heartwarming episode’ with the paper going on to add that it seems the usual output of ‘rowdy families swearing at each other’ was much missed by the telly audience.

I used to think it was just TV standards that had fallen, but it seems society, in general, is having a decency crisis.

No throne for Jon Snow

Kit Harington at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy.

I’m not talking about Channel 4 News, although I wouldn’t mind personally if Mr Snow hosted said programme from a porcine privy, but we’re actually talking Game of Thrones.

Kit Harington has spoken about the future of his GOT character, Jon Snow, at the Giffoni Film Festival 2017. Harington was literally overwhelmed by the affections of his fans, many of which had been waiting all night at the Cittadella to see their idol.

“I don’t think Jon Snow will ever become king, he’s not ambitious enough for that, but I could see Tyrion sitting on the Iron Throne: I’ve always considered him the right person to rule over the Seven Kingdoms…. What I like most of my character is the fact that he’s always siding with the weakest. He’s a man of action and I like fighting in movies. That’s why this show fits me so well. The hardest scene to shoot? Maybe Ygritte’s death”- Kit Harington

The actor also discussed the plots from the HBO series.

“When I read the script of the 5th season, which ended with something like: ‘Jon Snow dies with his black curls’, I tried to react without panicking and started waiting for an official mail of dismissal from the production, but a week went by, then two and three and nothing happened, until I was eventually summoned by the producers.  Then I thought: ‘That’s it: they will either ditch me or tell me that somehow Jon is rising from the dead’. Luckily, the latter supposition proved to be right, but I was imposed the utmost confidentiality because only for people, including me, knew the forthcoming development of the plot. I took a great leap and shouted: ‘Yeah! What a relief!”

Kit attended the festival where he was given the Giffoni Experience Award. Game of Thrones returned to Sky Atlantic earlier this month.

Katie Price Weekly

A weekly watch of one of our favourite telly personalities. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Antony Cotton and Roxanne Pallett ATV News turns to the one and only – thank God – Katie Price. What’s our darling of the television screen been up to this week? On Thursday The Sun newspaper reported how Price had admitted she can’t help herself ogling men.

The Loose Woman regular says she’s perfectly happy in her relationship with Kieran Hayler but admitted she might be undergoing a “mid-love crisis”. The tabloid continues that ‘Katie Price claims Love Island’s Chris Hughes ‘will be her next husband’ as she’s ‘found to be menopausal’’ Lucky Chris Hughes and even luckier Kieran Hayler. I can’t keep up with Price and her men, is the one she’s with now the one who likes to wear knickers or was that someone else?

So Sinitta, So Demanding

Sinitta, who you may remember had a hit in the 1980s, has spoken about the ‘demands’ she issued to Channel 5 in order to appear on Zelebrity Big Bore. Well that’s not strictly fair, I mean Big Brother is a Big Bore, but the Z-list ‘celeb’ version is usually good for a laugh. Kim Woodburn will forever be an icon in my home thanks to her outspoken views and tantrums, its just the way it is luvvie.

Anyway the performer – who is only in the limelight nearly 30 years after her moment of glory thanks to her association to ITV personality, and music mogul, Simon Cowell – told Lorraine Kelly last week her ‘demands’ were ‘reasonable’. Sinitta, who was accompanied on the ITV morning show by her dog Scarlett O’Hara, said:

“Well they said my demands were ridiculous –  I said they were reasonable… We’ve been talking for years and we’ll go on talking. I’m going to live for a few more years and I think they’ll come around to my way of thinking.”

It was reported the So Macho singer wanted a 24-hour security guard, visits from her mutt Scarlett O’Hara, a house-wide swearing ban and tequila. All the luxuries and everyday life the programme is supposed to make its contestants do without. Although the way the show manipulates its housemates these days a security guard inside 24/7 may not be such a bad thing.

In other CBB news Dan Wooton revealed, like a dog pulling gift wrapping off a Poundland Christmas present, that Paul Danan has apparently joined the summer 2017 Celebrity Big Brother line up. The Sun showbiz hack, and regular on ITV’s Lorraine Kelly show (ooh that’s greeeat), told readers of the low-quality paper (its like Netto bog roll rather than using Andrex) that Paul will appear in CBB which launches next month.

Lorraine, ITV, STV and UTV, weekdays 8.30am – 9.25am.

Piper and Slippers

On Friday we were sent some photos of pregnant telly presenter Katie Piper who had been spotted sporting her finest pyjamas outside Chigwell parade in Essex, while running her daily errands earlier in the week. The ‘pap style’ images were to promote Vauxhall Motors latest advert for the new Crossland X which champions ‘Pyjama Mamas’ who get stuff done with swagger.

The philanthropic mother of one, who is expecting her second baby, was ‘caught’ getting out of a Vauxhall Crossland X in her floral PJs, stopping for a tea break and then walking with a friend to pick up her daughter from nursery school. Stylish Katie accessorised her statement pyjamas with dark sunglasses and a pair of strappy black heels.

“It seems Katie is following the latest ‘PJs in public’ trend, where celebrities with swagger including Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham, Emma Watson, Cara Delevingne and even Rihanna have been caught wearing their nightwear out and about.” – a spokesperson for Vauxhall Motors

I know in some areas this has been common place for years, fag in mouth, slippers and dressing gown on and a quick nip up to the local convenience store for some milk. Of course the only thing that was accessorised with that was the occasional ‘borrowed’ shopping trolley. Who’d have thought celebs would take being a bit lazy and turn it into a trendy look. BTW my favourite car of all time is the Vauxhall Nova, long discontinued and, for me, much missed.

Katie Piper cuts a stylish look in her nightwear, near to a Vauxhall Crossland X car we should probably add.

Messi, Spiderman and MUM are Brit Kids’ Top Heroes

A study carried out among six to 13-year-olds placed a string of celebrities and sporting legends in the top 50, reports Emma Elsworthy, but even Barcelona and Argentina ace Messi, considered the greatest footballer ever, wasn’t able to replace mum at the top of the pile.

The research was carried out on with 1000 children questioned. The top ten are as follows: 1. Mum, 2. Dad, 3. Lionel Messi, 4. David Walliams, 5. David Beckham, 6. My teacher, 7. Spiderman, 8. Batman, 9. Harry Potter, 10. Little Mix. The poll was commissioned by the people behind Fireman Sam to celebrate Prince George’s birthday.

Davina McCall and family unite with Alzheimer’s Society to kick off Memory Walk

Davina has joined forces with the Alzheimer’s Society to tackle dementia after being inspired by her dad who is living with Alzheimer’s disease. The Channel 4 and UKTV television star, alongside her mum and dad, Gaby and Andrew, are supporting Memory Walk, Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship fundraising event taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland this autumn.

This year’s event comprises of 34 flagship walks – including the first ever night walks in London, Liverpool and Cardiff – will raise vital funds to improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia. In a bid to encourage families to unite against dementia by taking part in their local Memory Walk Davina and her parents will join this year’s Brighton event.

“I have grieved the loss of my old dad. But we are forging a new relationship, a different one – one where perhaps he might need me more. Our dynamic has changed, but he’s still my dad. The person I do worry about is my mum. It’s a lot, watching the man you love struggle and I know it’s tiring for her. Each day is a blessing. We as a family are learning to adapt fast. Each step we discuss together. Taking part in the Memory Walk is a great way to come together and show each other support. As a family, we fundraised to support the work of Alzheimer’s Society. Seeing the number of people affected by dementia all coming together to support each other and fundraise was important.” – Davina McCall

If you want to get involved with the campaign you can register now at


Its been another sad week in the world of showbiz as we said goodbye to John Heard, the actor best known for his appearances in the Home Alone films. He passed away aged 72. Martin Landau died aged 89, he is fondly remembered for numerous roles including in the ATV funded Gerry Anderson sci-fi series Space 1999. Doctor Who co-star Deborah Watling passed away aged 69. She was best known for her time on the beeb sci-fi show working alongside lead actor Patrick Troughton.

Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington died on Thursday aged just 41. His demise is being treated as an apparent suicide. This week also said farewell to Pudsey; the dog that found fame on Britain’s Got Talent and went on to star in his own movie. The 11-year-old had to be put to sleep following a leukaemia diagnosis. The border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross was in much demand following his burst onto ITV screens in 2012.

Only East and Enders

Finally, we had to end with another look at the fabulous Only Fools and Horses / EastEnders mash-up which brings all the woes of the long-running BBC One soap opera or is it a sitcom? into one 3 minute video clip. The show full of brats (to use Grotbags joyous word) and ridiculous plots is captured in this YouTube moment. Enjoy, we certainly did…

The views expressed here are by the author and are not endorsed by ATV News, ATV Network Limited or Associated Television Network Limited. © Mike Watkins 2017
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