News in Brief Extra: Strictly no Corrie stars, boozy bake off, Tiswas-not its sofa and fabulous felines

An extra edition of usual news in brief rounded up with Mike Waktins, following on from our special edition of ATV Sunday celebrating Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Michael Sheen and David Tennant to star in beeb drama

The popular actors will appear in Good Omens for the BBC and Amazon. Equal parts humour and horror, fantasy and drama, the six part series, written by Neil Gaiman, is based on the well-loved and internationally bestselling novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett.

“I first read Good Omens as a teenager and it’s been one of my favourite stories ever since. To be part of the team entrusted with bringing it alive on screen is a bit of a dream come true to be honest. To work alongside Neil, who I think is one of the greatest storytellers of all time, is incredibly exciting. And, just like the rest of the world, I’m a huge fan of David’s so I relish trying to save it with him.” – Michael Sheen

Sheen will star as the somewhat fussy angel and rare-book dealer Aziraphale, and Tennant will play his opposite number, the fast living demon Crowley, both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and of each other. So it’s really terrible news for both of them that, if Heaven and Hell have their way, the world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis has risen, tempers are flaring. The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse are ready to ride. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist

“Michael Sheen, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and directed by Douglas Mackinnon, it’s a dream team and a dream gig. I am very excited that I’ve been asked to be part of this amazing project. Bring on the Apocalypse!” – David Tennant

Katie Price Weekly

Alex Reid has slammed his marriage to Katie Price, The Sun reported, with the former lover of the reality ‘personality’, describing his time with her as the ‘prostitute years’ due to selling their lives to the press for money. Reid, the tabloid thrillingly added, that he said she’d ‘do anything for money’. Reflecting about his marriage to the Loose Women regular the former cagefighter and Big Brother winner added;

“The celebrity world doesn’t really make me money – it might do for Katie, but it’s a pretty crappy life having to sell your soul to make a living. I call it the prostitute years and now it’s self worth. I’m going back to what I love.”

I don’t personally understand why so much money is thrown at celebrities to reveal all about their lives. I mean I can understand people wanting to know more about the lifestyle of say Diana Ross or Madonna, but bargain-basement Z-list ‘celebrities’, really? What’s so interesting, even the often scripted twaddle printed in the tabloids about the ‘stars’ is only there to plug something or other…

Katie Price, according to Alex Reid, likes her dosh

Obscene Highlight of the Week

The Mirror reported recently how, as their headline ran, a “Fire chief accidentally sends photograph of his erect penis to entire crew – including his son – instead of wife.” Grandfather Ian Draper, 60, the newspaper noted, had apparently sent the X-rated snap over WhatsApp to his team of part-time firefighters as they were waiting for him in a briefing room at their station in Woodhall Spa, Lincs. A caption attached to the image allegedly described Draper as “Mr Smooth” and boasted that his penis was “XXL”. No I’m not doing any powerful hose jokes, or makes a change from blue flashing lights comments…

Who has ever said Preemark?

Last week several papers ran stories about “how to correctly pronounce Primark” with it claimed some people were calling the bargain-basement department store ‘Preemark’. In all the places I’ve been with a store, from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle – no one I’ve ever encountered has called it Preemark. I mean the fact its clearly said with the pronunciation of its ‘i’ is a bit of a clue, there isn’t an ‘e’ in sight – this isn’t some 1989 rave after all, even if some of the fashions in the store look like they’re from that year. So its obviously, as the store themselves confirmed, spoken as ‘Pr-i-mark’. It does of course have the nickname Primarni. If anyone out there is brave enough to admit their stupidity and had called it Preemark, get in touch. Or should that be get in teeech?!

Primark, as in Pr-i-mark. Who the heck calls it Preemark?!

Children in Need Rocks the 80s

The beeb are heading back to the 1980s. When the corporation was apparently rife with naughty presenters and even naughtier goings on off screen. Seems legit for a children’s charity fundraiser… Children In Need Rocks The 80s, a very special fundraising concert at The SSE Arena, Wembley, celebrating the decade in which their first major TV appeal took place. 

The 80s extravaganza will be hosted by Fearne Cotton and Sara Cox and will feature performances of some of the most iconic hits of the era. Artists confirmed to perform include Bananarama, Boy George, Erasure, Europe, Imagination, Jason Donovan, Katrina from Katrina & The Waves, Louisa Johnson, Nick Heyward, OMD and UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey. Roman Kemp will be capturing all the excitement backstage and interviewing many of the night’s performers.

“In the spirit of the occasion, concertgoers will be invited to fully embrace the retro theme and don 1980s-inspired ensembles – the perfect opportunity to dig out those legwarmers, hair scrunchies, parachute pants and shoulder pads!” – BBC

If Nina Myskow is attending, its an easy gig; just wear that same pink-jacket outfit you’ve worn regularly since New Faces ’86.


EastEnders fans were thrilled Hello Magazine reported that Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell had been reunited – well via photographs on Twitter at least. Actresses Samantha Womack (Ronnie) and Rita Simons (Roxy) were seen enjoying a reunion over a recent weekend. Hello noted (Aug 15th) that ‘after working together on the show for ten years, it is little wonder that the pair have remained so close.’ Which is nice…

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake could be recording a song together Wonderwall report. The ex-lovers apparently may have recorded something for a forthcoming album. Whatever next another duet between Katie Price and Peter Andre?

Just when you thought it was safe to flick through the telly box Paris Hilton has revealed she may be unleashing a reality show for her fans. “doing a new TV show that I’m really excited about” the former star, and it doesn’t take much to be one, of ITV2.

Coronation Street actress Beverley Callard revealed that due to ITV ‘malarkey’ the cast of the long running saga are not allowed to appear on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing contest. Speaking on This Morning she revealed it is the only celebrity reality show she’d consider taking part in, but can’t because of the ban on Corrie stars appearing on the beeb show.

Continuing the Strictly theme, Len Goodman, plugging his latest BBC show Partners In Rhyme, told the Daily Telegraph he’s struggled to recognise many of the ‘stars’ announced who appeared during his time with series. The former head judge on the dancing contest, who departed the show last year after 12 years, told the paper that ‘the modern definition of celebrity is rather broad.’

“Totally honest: some of the celebrities we had on the show I didn’t actually recognise at first… There are so many now. So many ‘celebrities’!”

Noel Edmond’s replacement for Deal or No Deal has proved to be a ‘no deal’ for viewers as telly critic Ian Hyland‏ noted on Twitter; “Noel’s new show a flop… Edmonds’ shop-based gameshow #CheapCheapCheap dipped as low as 102k. Closing down sale incoming…”

Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off (get ready for tabloid headlines calling it the Great British Turn Off when its ratings begin to sag like a poorly baked bread) is much boozier than the BBC version judge Paul Hollywood recently said. The Sun reported the expert told them that the revamped show has “lots of laughter” and “certainly more drinking going on – much more than before”. This should balance out the much reduced viewing figures.

Digital Spy reported how Strictly Come Dancing star Laila Rouass was caught up in the recent Barcelona terror attack. The actress hid in a restaurant freezer to escape the terrorists the online publication noted.

Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman has been left baffled by the ‘celebrities’ announced over the years.

Corrie to become ‘more diverse’

Kate Oates, who began her soapy career with Crossroads, moved over to Emmerdale and then took over as Coronation Street’s executive producer in 2016, told The Radio Times that the elderly serial, soon to air six episodes a week, will under her tenure become more racially diverse.

“In terms of reflecting diversity and showing black and Asian characters, yes, we absolutely need to do more of it. And we need more black and Asian writers, to bring out the truth of those voices. It’s important to keep the show strong and relevant, so that it’s running long after everyone’s forgotten who I am.”

The series will celebrate its 57th anniversary in December and has under Kate seen some dramatic storylines, including Bethany Platt’s grooming ordeal and Michelle Connor’s hearbreaking stillbirth.

“The presence of strong women was the backbone of the show as Tony Warren created it. The tone and content of the stories have moved on, and so have the female characters, but that strength has still to be there for it to be truly ‘Corrie’.”

Corrie boss, Kate Oates.

It’s not you, its me…

Madison Parker told E! News that her break-up with Aaron Carter had ‘nothing’ to do with his bisexuality. The 29-year-old singer recently announced he found both men and women attractive, and then shortly afterwards became newly single again.

“My split with Aaron has nothing to do with him being bisexual. Our parting of ways is something that has been coming for some time and it’s the best thing for us both. Some of my closest friends and loved ones are of the LGBTQ community, people I love and support wholeheartedly, so for or anyone to label me ‘homophobic’ is appalling and hurtful and couldn’t be more off character… I’ve been nothing but supportive of Aaron and his career and I’m happy for him that he’s having the courage to live his truth. Breaking up is never easy for anyone, but it is my hope that we can move on from this point as peacefully and respectfully as possible. I wish him all the best.”

Getting in a Tiswas over a almost Tiswas Sofa

When is a Tiswas sofa not a Tiswas sofa but is reported as being a Tiswas sofa? Well the answer is when its a sofa used for about an hour or so a decade ago on a Tiswas celebration show. The Birmingham Mail and Made in Birmingham – when its not showing TruTV – put some mighty spin on the fact the sofa from the ITV Studios London production of Tiswas Reunited has ended up now being used for their Midland news programme. This is a step up from their early set which was a kitchen worktop glued onto an IKEA table.

Tiswas, from ATV in Birmingham never used the sofa, in fact Tiswas was mainly desk based for its linking material, however the Birmingham Mail ran the story as if the sofa was rediscovered after decades lost in some storeroom at the back of the old ITV studios. ‘Old Tiswas sofa gets a new use as colours are turned from yellow and red to blue and white.’ the paper said, missing out the all important Tiswas Reunited part.

“In the earlier days of my career I would dream of presenting Tiswas. While the dream never became a reality, at least I now get to present the news from the comfort of its infamous sofa!” – Presenter Mike Prince

Infamous for not being a Tiswas sofa that is.

Lenny Henry sits on the Tiswas Reunited sofa, which Made In Birmingham have now made use of. Chris Tarrant and Sally James sit behind a desk just like in the original series.

The future may now be ‘awight‘ for Michael Barrymore

Comedian and presenter Michael Barrymore is to get “more than nominal damages” BBC News reported following the entertainers wrongful arrest by police which ultimately destroyed his broadcasting career. Barrymore was at the time of the claims one of ITV’s best known personalities having hosted shows such as the self-titled Barrymore entertainment series, game show Strike it Lucky and talent show My Kind of People.

The 65-year-old was detained in 2001 when a guest at Barrymore’s Essex home, Stuart Lubbock, was found dead in the swimming pool. Despite the party having numerous guests at it – including females – the gutter press turned the story into something that sounded like a homosexual orgy with unfounded allegations and abuse wrongly thrown at the former Generation Game warm-up man. A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Lubbock had suffered serious internal injuries, indicating a sexual assault and in 2002, an open verdict was recorded at the inquest into his death.

The police held Barrymore on suspicion of the rape and murder of Lubbock in 2007. While BBC News report ‘Essex Police said there were still “unanswered” questions over Mr Lubbock’s death’  –  Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, ruled at the High Court last week (Aug 18th) that Barrymore should be issued more than the nominal payout, however hasn’t stated a figure for the performer who spent most of his career working for London Weekend Television. Barrymore’s legal team have been looking to claim more than £2.4 million in compensation.

Hugh Tomlinson QC noted the television star was never charged with any offence and the Crown Prosecution Service later made it ‘crystal clear’ there was no basis for any charges. Thomlinson continued that ‘Mr Barrymore remained convinced that Mr Lubbock’s injuries were not caused at his home but he did not know what happened.’ and that ‘this arrest was made without any proper evidential foundation.’ resulting in ‘the worldwide publicity it received, destroyed the claimant’s career.”

Michael Barrymore hosts Strike it Rich, for LWT.

Pussy of the Year

Genie may be asking “Me-how?” after she fought off 14 other finalists to be crowned Cats Protection’s official ‘National Cat of the Year’ at a celebrity-studded event held recently at the Savoy Hotel in London.

The fabulous feline was awarded the overall title of ‘National Cat of the Year’ after winning the Outstanding Rescue Cat category for the incredible support she has given 11-year-old Evie Henderson, who has faced a huge battle since being diagnosed with bone cancer in March 2016. She’s endured six gruelling rounds of chemotherapy; several painful operations; and lengthy hospital stays far from home. Throughout it all, it has been Genie who helped her cope. During painful treatments, Evie would watch video footage of her beloved pet from her hospital bed, and Genie’s fur moulting helped Evie feel less isolated when she lost her own hair.

Now on the road to recovery, Evie is thrilled she can finally spend more time with Genie at home. Organised by the UK’s largest cat charity and sponsored by PURINA®, Cats Protection’s ‘National Cat Awards’ are an annual celebration of the real-life stories of heroism, loyalty and companionship in the feline world. The awards received a record number of entries this year across the five categories – Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Furr-Ever Friends, Outstanding Rescue Cat and Purina Better Together. Last year’s winner, Tink, heroically woke her owners and their two children when an impending fire was about to engulf their home, saving their lives.


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