News in Brief: anniversary snubs, windy disruptions and naked loo visits

Mike Watkins rounds up recent news and views in ATV Sunday celebrating the world of telly, showbiz and whatever else takes his fancy.

Twinned with Emmerdale

Actor John Middleton has spoken about how he could return to Emmerdale in the future. It’s not unheard of for soap operas to cast the same actor in the role of a sibling with, in the UK alone, General Hospital and Crossroads previously going down that soapy route. Now John Middleton has suggested he could return to the ITV Yorkshire studios in Leeds to return to the long running saga, however not as the ghost of the late Ashley Thomas, but as his brother Luke.

“There’s no hint of Ashley coming back as a ghost but Ashley does have a twin brother called Luke so that could happen.” – John Middleton speaking to The Sun

The character of Ashley was killed off earlier this year following a long-running dementia storyline which gained much praise for its handling by Emmerdale. It’s not just a return to the Yorkshire Dales saga Middleton has eyed up, as he also told the tabloid he’d love to do Strictly Come Dancing, as unlike many of the other reality star shows Strictly is ‘showbiz’

Loose Women turns 18

ITV daytime chat-based series Loose Women turned eighteen on Friday. And while there were lots of old faces present, some notable absences were quite clear with Denise Welch and Carol McGiffin getting barely a mention.

Denise Welch was a regular on the show between 2005 and 2013, but was only briefly shown, again Carol McGiffin had been a mainstay on the series joining in 2001 when the show was known as Live Talk! and remaining until 2013.

Loose Women was launched as a serious discussion show by Anglia Television in Norwich in 1999, however its become most successful as the celebrity gossip shop in recent years. The show originally only had two regular faces with Kaye Adams and Nadia Sawalha as hosts and a rotation of panellists with several becoming occasional regulars such as the late Patti Cadwell and Sherrie Hewson. The show has also switched slots during the years, at one point airing in a 30-minute morning slot, before moving to its now traditional 12.30pm weekday hour-long format.

Later reports suggest ITV has reached out to some of the neglected faces to appear at a later date, which is probably more of an insult to injury really.

Loose Women celebrated 18 years since the show launched, but some faces were missing.

TV Highlight of the Week

The beeb trailers lead us all to believe just married Annie was to fall victim to a bullet in a drive-by shooting, however, the twist saw her sister Lorna hit instead. Neither, of course, were the intended target with criminal boss Lenny deemed the most obvious choice to be snuffed out. Then a further unexpected twist with newlywed Alex also being rushed to hospital. River City should have a network slot really, preferably 7.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8pm on Mondays and Fridays.

BBC One Scotland saga River City has seen a dramatic few weeks following a drive by shooting on Annie and Alex’s wedding day.

Hurricane Irma causes disruption to Death In Paradise filming

Millions of people have been affected by the devastation caused by Irma this week, with homes destroyed and up to, at the moment, around 25 lives lost. Trivial, of course, in the scheme of things, came the news that BBC drama series Death in Paradise had temporarily suspended filming in the Caribbean following a red alert warning. The alarm was issued to the area after worries of potential danger to residents on the island from the Hurricane Irma storm. The Beeb production films on the island of Guadeloupe, however, has been able to resume production again recently.

“The Death in Paradise production team are in constant contact with the authorities in Guadeloupe and as soon as the red alert was signalled, filming was suspended immediately. The safety of the cast and crew remains paramount and when we are given the all-clear, filming will recommence.” – A spokesman for the show speaking to the Radio Times.

Death in Paradise is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie, situated in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. One-tenth the size of its north-west neighbour Guadeloupe the location is prone to regular strange deaths. Like Midsomer Murders, but with more exotic backdrops.


Former Prisoner: Cell Block H actress Val Lehman has landed a guest role on Channel 5’s Neighbours, which will see her appear alongside old Wentworth Detention Centre cellmate Colette Mann. The pair played Bea Smith and Doreen Burns in the original Cell Block H, which ran from 1979 to 1986, although both actors had spells away from the show, and departed long before the final episode. The Radio Times revealed that Lehman had returned to the Nunawading studios which both productions were made at. Val is set to play an old associate of Sheila Canning, played by Mann, who is described as an ‘enemy’. The scenes will be broadcast in Australia in December.

It was happy news from the royals this week, following last weeks focus on the 20th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales’ death in Paris. It was announced by Kensington Palace on Monday (Sept 4th) that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child. The queen was said to be delighted with the news, although why anyone was asking Louis Spence we’ve no idea. The latest royal babba follows their boy George, who is four, and daughter, Charlotte, aged two.

Ryan Thomas spoke to ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday (5th Sept), talking about Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls. Probably getting in first before the horrendous episode aired later in the week which showed the former Corrie star assist in killing a baby crocodile. “It was an incredible experience that I will never forget, but Lorraine it was horrendous. I didn’t enjoy any of it… For the first week we didn’t eat for eight days so that was difficult. We eventually got water. The storms were so, relentless, you didn’t know when they’d start or finish… We lost something like two stone and on your body you have to adapt very quickly and you realise you can survive without food for a long time. Living without water was a struggle, finding that made a big difference to camp.”

Sticking with the Bear name, Liam Payne has explained why he and Cheryl called their son Bear, and it wasn’t a tribute to the telly survival expert. Speaking to James Cordon on stateside Late Late Show, he revealed the child is called bear because he growls a lot. Maybe in tribute to Cheryl’s singing, who knows.

Continuing with news concerning our Geordie fav Cheryl, the singer has apparently been picked to assist with the judging on The X Factor this year by Simon Cowell, leaving faded star Sinitta bemused as she expected to be helping cut the half crap from the really crap. Sinitta was hoping to return to ITV screens rather than just attend Pride events to sing her 30-year-old hits. The So Macho songstress is reported by The Sun as allegedly saying “I love you Chez but don’t even go there – not that I’m bothered.”

Sky News has assigned Tom Rayner as Political Correspondent. Tom was previously based in Bangkok working as South East Asia Correspondent while BBC Scotland has installed Steve Carson as Head of Multi-Platform Commissioning. Steve currently serves as Head of BBC Northern Ireland’s Content Production.

Consolidated viewing figures released by Channel 4, which take in account of time-shifted viewing on a television over a seven day period – show that the first episode of The Great British Bake Off debut on its new home was watched by an average of 9.5 million, 35.4% share of the audience. Additionally, the repeat showings on Channel 4, E4 and 4Seven were watched by a further 1.5 million viewers. The consolidated figure of 9.5 million viewers for the series debut is an increase of 3 million on the live overnight audience of 6.5 million – which was Channel 4’s biggest overnight performance in five years. Let’s bake an ‘Allo ‘Allo themed cake to celebrate, is Paul Hollywood around?

Yes baking expert Paul Hollywood has had some negative press following the success of TGBBO on its new channel. Hollywood has been pictured wearing Natzi gear. The snap was taken, so its reported, at a fancy dress party where the Channel 4 star had attended as one of the characters from wartime sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo. It’s a fine line between wearing the Natzi uniform as a real impersonation of a Natzi and as a character from a BBC sitcom. Either way Paul is said to be ‘very embarrassed’ by the image. Surely if he was also holding a massive sausage containing the fallen Madonna with the big boobies we’d definitely know it was sitcom related, not fascist.

Formerly of the Cheryl Cole brand, ‘Cheryl’ might be doing some X Factor appearances rather than ‘Sinitta’ formerly known as ‘Sinitta’.

Katie Price Weekly

A weekly watch of one of our favorite 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?

It goes from one extreme to the other with news reports this week concerning Katie Price, rather like her life I suppose. The Daily Star reported, well put some words together to accompany photographs, that Price has ‘Boobs as big as her head’ after noting ‘Katie Price spills from her dress in cleavage domination.’ The titillation came about at her gig at St David’s Hall in Cardiff where the tabloid dream dressed to impress in a risqué black gown, with bust sticking out like Les Dawson’s Ada.

In the second story of the day The Sun ran with the news that ‘Katie Price fears she is heading for a breakdown after dealing with the triple whammy of Kieran Hayler’s cheating, mother’s terminal illness diagnosis and her miscarriage.’ A trouble shared is a trouble halved as they say, so book those tickets for live intimate chats and give Katie some much-needed therapy.

‘Sad to say goodbye to Steven’

Actor Aaron Sidwell spoke last week about his ‘unexpected’ exit from EastEnders. It was only unexpected if you hadn’t read the actor was leaving the show, there was no twists in the plot, unlike the joyous River City. Anyway, the recently failing, faltering and floundering Beeb Walford set soap chucked everything at the viewers last week including the burning restaurant kitchen sink. Something soaps do when they’re having a ratings crisis. It was Brookside meets the Benny Hill Show all in all.

The extra stunts were entirely un-needed and only dropped in to get as much press coverage, and a ratings boost as possible. The story should have focused on Steven Beale and his final flame-grilled curtain call. It was a big enough story on its own. For anyone that hasn’t been following the plots, Steven had got himself into a right mess, and everything was spiralling out of control.

“What felt particularly fitting about it was the tragedy of it all – it was a very Shakespearian tragedy in that Steven finds out the girl he’s fallen in love with and who loves him too, is carrying his child and all his crimes are forgiven. It’s everything that he’s ever wanted in life but he doesn’t get to have it. It was very apt for that to be Steven’s end.” – Arron Sidwell speaking to the Radio Times

It was also revealed today that Lorna Fitzgerald and Jacqueline Jossa are to also depart the show. Abi (Fitzgerald) has in recent weeks been romantically involved with Steven Beale (Sidwell) even though he was set to marry her sister Lauren (Jossa). The devious pair – nicknamed ‘Stabi’ by fans – were concealing the fact that the brain tumour Steven was purporting to have was fake. Stephen died, possibly from internal injuries, following him setting fire to the family restaurant business in order to kill his step-mum Jane Beale (Laurie Brett), convinced of her malicious intent towards him by scheming Max Branning (Jake Wood).

We wish Arron all the best for the future, we’re sure his acting talents will be in much demand, one of the highlights for us in recent ‘Enders.

Dead lucky escape, Arron Sidwell has departed the mire which is current EastEnders.

Can only do a number two in the nude?

Just when you think you’ve heard it all from the world of celebrity Rylan Clark-Neal confessed on This Morning that he can only have a shit if he is entirely naked. The 28-year-old who hosts the showbiz news section of the long-running ITV magazine show confessed his poop hang up after Eamonn Holmes brought up the subject on Friday’s show, noting “Rylan has a toilet phobia.”

The confession came following the recent story of the lady on a date who found her potential love interests bog wouldn’t flush her plop away so she decided to chuck it out the window, only to discover it wasn’t a garden behind the window, but another window (baffling in itself). Anyway, if anyone cares, she tried to retrieve her crap from between the two bits of glass and got stuck, thus the convo on This Morning.

The Sun reports on Rylan’s predicament, ‘To do a number two the Big Brother’s Bit on the Side host needs to take all of his clothes off and his peculiar plop practice means he can only empty his bowel when he’s at home and totally at ease.’ Where does television find them…. *does a Frankie Howard pose*.

You won’t find Rylan taking a dump in a public loo, and if he has to you’ll find him bare bollock naked – hide your eyes!

Good Morning Britain Viewers Scammed

Good Morning Britain viewers have been scammed, and unlike the days of GMTV, it wasn’t the TV station doing the conning. Self-made money saving expert Martin Lewis told viewers to avoid an online marketing campaign that had been using his name and image to ‘endorse’ a fake investment scheme.

Speaking on GMB during his regular advice slot he told viewers scammers had been duping online fans into parting with thousands of pounds in cash and had featured him in the con to make it look legit.

“They are leeching off the trust I have spent 19 years building… There have been a series of adverts on Facebook using my face and my name, including pictures from this show… They are being used on Facebook to advertise a range of things that I have nothing to do with.”

One victim, who was fooled into thinking the scheme was supported by Lewis, lost just under £20,000 it was reported. GMTV, now ITV Breakfast, which produces Good Morning Britain, was fined two million pounds in 2007 by the TV regulator Ofcom following what was described as ‘the biggest fraud in UK television history’. It is believed around 62 million competition entries to GMTV phone-in on-air promotions were made with no chance of winning. While these TV competitions aired, urging viewers to call in, the data was not being logged for inclusion onto the prize draw, and the calls only making a profit for the telephone operating service and the TV station. This practice ran over a four year period from 2003.

Martin Lewis has urged GMB viewers not to fall for scams using his name and image.


Mike Neville MBE. The popular North East Broadcaster who hosted regional news shows Look North and North East Tonight as well as national programming such as Nationwide and Come Dancing died on September 6th aged 80. Peter Luck was one of Australian broadcasting’s pioneers with his early work for ABC’s This Day Tonight.  The presenter and author died aged 73 after suffering from Parkinson’s disease

Actor Larrington Walker died aged 70. Walker had numerous television roles including parts in Taboo, The Bill, Inspector Morse, Holby City and Peak Practice to name only a few. Stateside country music star Troy Gentry was killed on September 8th in a helicopter crash while on the way to a gig in Medford, New Jersey. The chopper pilot also passed away in the incident.

Also stateside 35-year-old actor Blake Heron was found dead at his home in Los Angeles last week. (Sept 8th). Paramedics spent 40 minutes attempting to revive the performer, with no cause of death currently revealed. It was also farewell to music legend Don Williams who passed away aged 78…

Don Williams Performs

In tribute to the late Don Williams, we’ll leave you this week with Don performing You’re My Best Friend. Written by Wayland Holyfield the track was released in April 1975 as the first single from the same-titled album. The song was Williams’ second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in June of the same year, also reaching the UK Top 40, and has since become one of Williams’ signature songs.


Views expressed here are those of the author and not of ATV News, ATV Today, ATV Network Limited or Associated Television Network Limited.
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