News in Brief: Axed dogs, continuity cock-ups and dancing magic

Another ATV Sunday celebrating the world of showbiz and broadcasting with ATV Today’s Mike Watkins.

You’ll like her, not a lot, but you’ll like her

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Debbie McGee is now in from 20/1 to third favourite after the first ‘proper’ weekend of the ballroom star battle. Following last nights edition, which saw the celebs take on the first round of the competition, William Hill tell us that the big move has been for Debbie McGee, whose odds have come in from 20/1 to 6/1. Aston Merrygold remains favourite after his odds have come in slightly from 3/1 to 11/4.

“Craig said that Aston is the one to watch but Debbie McGee has gone from outsider to contender within the space of one week. We reckon she, not Aston is the one to keep our eyes on over the next few weeks.” – William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly

Earlier in the week radio broadcaster, and former magicians assistant, Debbie McGee, spoke of the reasons for doing the beeb celebrity series. She told ITV’s Lorraine programme – without Lorraine Kelly – that she signed up to SCD as late hubby Paul Daniels thought she should take part. The magician starred in the 2010 series, but unlike Debbie, who proved popular with viewers and the judges, Paul was sadly described as ‘diabolical’ on the dance floor.

“This is the first time since I lost Paul that I feel genuinely happy. I am always giggling and having a good time. Before, there was always this knot in my stomach but the last three weeks on Strictly have been amazing. Everyone is so lovely. They make you feel so good and wanted. They make you feel like they really want you on the programme.”

SCD 2017 winner odds: 11/4 Aston Merrygold; 4/1 Alexandra Burke; 6/1 Debbie McGee; 7/1 Mollie King; 8/1 Davood Ghadami; 8/1 Gemma Atkinson; 10/1 Joe McFadden; 10/1 Jonnie Peacock; 25/1 Charlotte Hawkins; 50/1 Chizzy Akudolu; 50/1 Simon Rimmer; 66/1 Richard Coles; 66/1 Ruth Langsford; 66/1 Susan Calman; 80/1 Brian Conley.

Paul Daniels with Debbie McGee on his BBC One magic show.

Russell T Davies says backlash over female Who lead is ‘outrageous’

Russell T Davies has called the apparent backlash over a female Doctor Who “outrageous” in a recent podcast Digital Spy reported. Following the announcement by the BBC that the new timelord would be portrayed by an actress for the first time many fans of the sci-fi show went into meltdown. The series began in 1963 and has, to date, always had a lead male. The fact 2017 will see this change left some 40-something men, surrounded by fake sonic screwdrivers, vintage annuals and plastic dolls of Jon Pertwee and David Tennant, distraught.

Jodie Whittaker will take over as The Doctor in Doctor Who from Peter Capaldi to become the 13th time travelling lead in the long running show in this years’ Christmas Special. Former show boss Russell T Davies referred to those who spat their time and space dummies out over the appointment of Jodie as “maybe 10 people online with different aliases”, pointing out that the praise he has seen for the casting is unlikely to be reported on as much as their views.

The new doctor no longer has a penis, and some ‘fans’ were not happy about that. Not that it ever featured in the storyline.

TV Highlight of the Week

This week I found nothing that could be considered a highlight unless you count BBC One’s Homes Under The Hammer this morning (24th Sept) discussing at great detail the horrors and problems of removing wood-chip wallpaper. I suppose it can’t get much better than that on a Sunday telly wise…

Trailer for Marvel’s The Punisher released

After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone.

Marvel’s The Punisher is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix. The cast also features Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Deborah Ann Woll, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, Michael Nathanson, Jaime Ray Newman, Jason R Moore, Daniel Webber and Paul Schulze. See the trailer below…


Fridges seem to be in the news a lot lately. Last week The Great British Bake Off, now on Channel 4 and not the BBC in case you missed that network switch over, was ticked off for one of its presenters popping out of a fridge – this apparently is a very bad example to set for children. How about parents just educate their brats not to go into a fridge in the first place, after all there is lots shown on TV that children shouldn’t do. Naked dating is another, for example. Not pretty in Nando’s you know… Anyway the second fridge issue came courtesy of Doctor Foster, which hasn’t changed channels as yet and can still be seen on BBC One. In the latest episode during a scene the fridge door was left open, but then was seen to somehow have closed on its own, in the next shot. That’s a continuity gaff, and not the only one this week….

The second continuity cock-up comes courtesy of Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, the soap that’s been on air so long it can’t really be classed as a teenage serial anymore, it’s now a mature adult and is entertaining audiences five nights a week. However even the best of soaps can sometimes have little blips – and we’re not talking about Kate Garraway appearing. This week viewers were quick to note how Sienna Blake – played by Anna Passey – was seen to unplug a hoover – which at the time was in full flow of supposedly sucking up dust from the carpet – only the power switch, which the hoover was plugged into, was turned off at the wall. Hilarious, Dennis Norden will be loving it.

Now a soap that is neither entertaining nor mature. EastEnders. And a dog has been left tamping, fuming, woofing after being sacked from the Beeb saga. Staffie Cross Cyrus, who played Bronson in the show is owned by Caroline King who was told he’d been axed and replaced by his understudy while he was on sick leave for a knee op. The BBC Elstree soap bosses decided to keep his stand-in due to the replacement being better behaved and performing more promptly to commands. Which probably is even better than some of the actors can manage. Speaking of going to the dogs…

This week saw the return of James Willmott-Brown (William Boyde) to the UK’s version of Sunset Beach. It was according to some papers a shock twist, such a shock twist, the regulars on the Digital Spy forums sussed it out a long, long, long time ago. Predicable bollocks is worse than unexpected bollocks. Still, who knows who EastEnders will pull out from their past glories to try and bring something to their current dire output next. The only good thing to come out of this is the fact Kathy – Gillian Taylforth – now has something to do other than being a glorified extra.

Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls almost killed me The Sun reported this week. Comedian Mark Watson told the tabloid that he lost two-and-a-half stone in two weeks. He said ‘I lost a huge amount of weight – about two and a half stone… I had terrible skin – I’d been bitten to pieces by insects. And I was just weary… I was walking around like an 80-year-old. You do come back in a pretty poor state.” I’m not really sure what the point of these shows are, I mean very few people are going to get stuck on an island so we don’t need to be taught such things, so its not education and its definitely not entertainment.

Annie Wardle was lying on a surgical bed with her legs in the air having a designer vagina done during This Morning, The Sun reported on Wednesday. The feature left viewers ‘stunned’ with some even noting ‘the procedure was not suitable for daytime telly’. After the fanny-face-lift, Annie declares her lady love now felt “firm and tight” the tabloid added.

Rochelle Humes has apparently horrified some of her followers after revealing on social media she had sucked out snot from her daughter’s blocked nose. This could end up as another feature on This Morning…

And sad news this week concerning singer George Shelley’s sister. It was concluded this week the 21-year-old died after being struck by a car after stepping out from behind a tour bus. Harriet Shelley received severe head injuries when she was hit by a VW Beetle as she made her way to cross a road outside the O2 performance venue in Bristol in April. The coroner concluded that Harriet died of “severe traumatic brain injury”.

While happier news for BBC Breakfast Producer Sarah Poole who has departed the Salford based news show temporarily to go on maternity leave. The other regular producers at BBC Breakfast will cover Sarah’s usual slots during her absence, as usual, focusing on breaking news and current affairs in the UK every weekday on BBC One and the BBC News Channel. Also moving jobs is Arif Ansari who joins the BBC Asian Network as Head of News. Arif was previously the Political Editor at BBC North West Tonight and presented Sunday Politics NW.

More media job news as BBC London News has announced it has hired George Greenwood as an Online Reporter. He was previously a BBC News Freedom of Information Researcher while over at ITV Good Morning Britain has brought in Joe Michalczuk as the Entertainment Editor to be responsible for the content of Richard Arnold’s segments. Joe joined the early morning show earlier this month. He’d previously worked as a Freelance Journalist.

James Willmott-Brown ran the Dagmar pub in the 80s in EastEnders, he raped Kathy but was seen off from the square by Dirty Den.

Katie Price Weekly

Time once more to see what one of our favourite telly personalities has been up to this week. 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 over the past seven days?

Earlier today The Mirror reported the shocking, and indeed breaking newsworthy, story that “Katie Price whips her blonde wig off on stage revealing rarely-seen natural brunette hair.” That’ll be the brunette hair she’s pictured below with on ITV’s Loose Women, which is seen by millions of viewers every week.

The tabloid noted anyway, ‘Katie Price gave fans a shock when she whipped her blonde wig off live on stage… The 39-year-old was addressing an audience at The Regent Theatre in Staffordshire when she grasped her fake hair by the scalp and pulled it off.’

Katie Price, on Loose Women, with her apparently rarely seen dark locks.

Coronation Street repeats for ITV3

ITV3 is heading back to 1980s Weatherfield as archive editions of Coronation Street, beginning with episodes in 1986, start to be re-screened on the network from early next month.

The Granada Television production will see two episodes of the soap screened back to back, this at the time was all ITV aired per week, so viewers will wizz through the months before we know it. Corrie went thrice weekly in 1989 and last week began airing six editions.

The Radio Times note: “Beginning on Monday 2nd October, the broadcaster will be screening two episodes per day of vintage Corrie dating from 1986, starting with the first appearance of infamous Street villain Alan Bradley (Mark Eden). Alan does, of course, still have links with characters who remain on the cobbles in 2017, notably daughter Jenny (Sally Ann Matthews) and former partner Rita (Barbara Knox), both of whom currently have high-profile storylines. Devotees will also get the chance to reacquaint themselves with the likes of such quintessential Coronation Street characters as Jack Duckworth (William Tarmey), Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) and Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride).”

Without wanting to spoil the storyline, its safe to state that it really is not possible for Alan Bradley to return to the famous Corrie cobbles. He, like Rita, also had an incident with a tram; only his was in Blackpool and the outcome wasn’t as lucky for him. Coronation Street hasn’t regularly been repeated since the days of defunct satellite channel Granada Plus. Other ITV sagas have also had re-runs, most recently episodes of Crossroads from the sixties and seventies were aired on Midland broadcaster Made In Birmingham (under its former name of Big Centre TV).

Coronation Street will be seen as it was in 1986 on ITV3 from next month, starting with the arrival of Alan Bradley (right) who wooed Rita (left).

Corrie star praises NHS

Coronation Street actor Simon Gregson has heaped praise on our National Health Service following his wife Emma Gleave being only hours from death, Metro paper reported. The couple, following the incident have urged the Tory government to desist with priviatising parts of the service, and to end cutting back budgets and care. Simon, who plays Steve McDonald in the ITV Granada production and his spouse have spoken out, the paper reports, following Emma undergoing live saving surgery.

“Our NHS is amazing!!!!! Everyone here does the work of 10 people on their own! Stop the cuts…. the NHS are the backbone of our country.” – Simon Gregson on social media

In other Corrie news actor Michael Le Vell has been offered a £250,000 per year contract with the Salford produced saga after ‘impressing bosses with his hard work’ The Sun noted.

Praise for the NHS, Corrie actor, Simon Gregson

Designated Survivor: The Complete First Series comes to DVD

Starring Kiefer Sutherland the DVD Box Set is released tomorrow (25th September.) Sutherland stars alongside Natasha McElhone, Adan Canto, Maggie Q and Kal Penn in the gripping, critically acclaimed Designated Survivor, the hit TV drama that arrives for its UK DVD debut courtesy of eOne.

When a devastating attack on the US Capitol during the State of the Union wipes out most of the government, lower-level cabinet minister Tom Kirkman (Sutherland – 24) is suddenly appointed President of the United States. As the ‘Designated Survivor’ he must step up to lead a severely troubled nation, whilst steering the search to find those responsible for the catastrophic atrocity. This thrill-ride unfolds over 21-riveting episodes, which will be available as a bumper six-disc DVD Box Set complete with a host of fascinating behind-the-scenes special features.


It was goodbye this week to former ATV, Thames TV and Central Television producer William G Stewart, who became best known as the original host of Channel 4’s tough game show 15 to 1. William passed away aged 82, he produced shows such as Family Fortunes and The Price Is Right over his long broadcasting career. And stateside it was farewell to Jake LaMotta, the legendary Raging Bull boxer died aged 95.

Weekend Hunk

The revival of our old Showbiz Hunk feature last weekend went down well with Anthony Joshua lathered up as our first Weekend Hunk. So this week, courtesy of social media we present Austin Armacost…

Austin is best known to UK audiences as American reality television personality, including two stints on Big Brother. Earlier this week he tweeted a photo, there are many on his profile – a lot showing his bare bum if you care to pop over and look, noting he doesn’t have a six pack, nor any bulging biceps but he loves his body. And well I’m sure there are plenty of others who do too…

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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