So here we are the first weekend of April already, so time for another look over showbiz and telly events from March 2019 as our Monthly ‘Rewind’ editorial with Mike Watkins rounds-up the good, the bad and everything in-between.


Get outta my tent! Noel from Bake Off compared to ‘Enders character with new look bonce

He’s well known for his long flowing dark locks, but early last month Great British Bake Off host Noel Fielding unleashed onto Channel 4 viewers a whole new hairdo, including colour.

The result left viewers pondering whom he now looked like, and many suggesting he appeared to be more Shirley from EastEnders than anyone else. The 45-year-old presenter and comedian presented the Stand Up To Cancer special with short blonde hair which also drew comparisons to the late Diana, Princess of Wales and his co-host Sandi Toksvig.

Noel Fielding is sporting a new hairdo.

ITV breakfast regular Piers Morgan branded Emmerdale’s International Women’s Day episode ‘patronising, virtue signalling, PC crazed poppycock’. The Good Morning Britain presenter thought doing such stunt editions was actually a move against equality.

“‘Women need men as much as men need women. And the best Emmerdale is where you have, as we have now, great story lines involving men, women, great producers and directors who are male and female, camera crew.’ – Morgan speaking on GMB

He went on to note the move would not be so lauded if it was an ‘all male Corrie’.

“Can you imagine if Coronation Street announced that, to celebrate men, there was going to be a male-only Coronation Street with male-only actors and male-only directors and male-only producers and backroom team? Feminists would go utterly berserk… I’m very pro-women but I’m being facetious… This is not about equality, this is about annoying men by saying “Look at us! We can do all this without you.” – Morgan on GMB

The programme noted that for decades television had been dominated by male-only crews and production staff and the Emmerdale special was a showcase of the female talent within ITV.


Just when things couldn’t get any worse for Michael Jackson…

‘Fake-bashing victim’ Roxanne Pallett defended the deceased singer accused of enjoying bedtime fun with young boys in a recent Channel 4 documentary. Fans of Jackson also jumped to his defence with factual errors in the timescale of the abuse pointed out.

I think we probably will never know either way, but it didn’t stop TFL having a rethink on ‘Jackson is Innocent’ advertising across its London buses, Fox and Sky dropping the Michael Jackson edition of animated series The Simpsons or radio stations from ditching Jackson tracks such as Bad, Earth Song and Thriller from their playlists.

While its unknown whether Michael Jackson did partake in anything dubious its quite clear Roxanne Pallett did, when accusing a fellow participant of Celebrity Big Brother of punching her, when he came no where close to doing anything of the sort. I’m not sure Mr Jackson would want support from such z-list troublemaking ‘celebrities’.

Michael Jackson’s legacy lived on with a waxwork in Blackpool.

What’s In A Kiss?

As the Gilbert O’Sullivan song once asked, ‘What’s In A Kiss?’ well according to Strictly Come Dancing professional Neil Jones, not a lot. And not in a Paul Daniel’s fashion either.

Neil has spoken about last year’s smooch shocker which had the tabloids in a frenzy, well a bit excited, over Neil’s wife Katya and her celeb partner comedian Seann Walsh smooching while on a night out in London. Speaking to Hello Magazine the pro-dancer noted “I can accept people make mistakes.”

It was a mistake too far however for Seann’s girlfriend Rebecca Humphries, who instantly ditched him.


Beeb announce changes to maternity and paternity pay

Parents at the BBC are to receive additional maternity or paternity pay should their baby be born prematurely.

For any baby born before 37 weeks, full pay will be extended for mothers by the number of days the baby is born before the due date. For partners, this will be extended by up to two weeks full pay.

Currently the BBC’s exceptional leave policy of up to ten days can be used to recognise those who might need extra support. However, this change to the BBC’s parental leave policy provides reassurance that full support will be given throughout the period between the baby’s premature arrival and the original due date, and protects the full length of the parent’s maternity or paternity leave.


Dean Gaffney went in search for a ‘bog role’

EastEnders stalwart Dean Gaffney – Robbie Jackson in the saga – has been hired by Virgin Trains to find a voice for their train toilets. Yes if you’ve travelled on a Virgin Train since 2013 you may quite literally have shit yourself after plonking your derrière on the loo seat, for their trains offer verbal words of advice via speakers in the cubical.

Metro newspaper report that Dean and Virgin Trains are now on the search for new voices of the lavs and require people to be able to speak the virtues of health and safety and what to appropriately do with nappies. The train company has suffered problems with blockages over the years with not just nappies getting stuck in their pipes wedding rings and bras have been discovered causing a loo block.

Dean’s looking for toilet voices.

Political Drama for Sky

Robert Carlyle and Victoria Hamilton are to lead the cast of Cobra, a political drama for Sky One. Set in the halls of Westminster, the series follows Prime Minister Robert Sutherland Carlyle) and his Chief of Staff Anna Marshall (Hamilton) as they try to deal with a national emergency.

The pair must bear attacks from their political opponents, face family pressures and lead the Cobra committee, a team of experts and politicians, to insure the nation’s safety. Written by Ben Richards the cast also includes Richard Dormer  of Game of Thrones fame, David Haig from Killing Eve and Broadchurch actress Lucy Cohu.

“I am really looking forward to stepping into the role of the Prime Minister in a story that feels almost too true to be fiction, Cobra is a palpably thrilling and witty take on a political drama but with a humanity at the heart of the series.” – Robert Carlyle

The six-part series will air on Sky One and Now TV this autumn.


Rewind Quickies

[] Alan Halsall revealed last month he plans to have more hair implants. The balding actor is proudly banging the drum that men don’t need to suffer being bald, when there are hairy alternatives. Alan, who plays Tyrone Dobbs in Coronation Street, noted on social media he was to undergo a second procedure. He says having more hair is a confidence boost.

[] Getting a thicker hairdo was also a topic discussed by Jimmy Carr. Speaking on ITV’s Jonathan Ross chat show he talked about having a bigger hairdo. However while he’s yet to have any treatment he did announce he’d had his teeth whitened. Please, no Michael Jackson jokes. It’s too soon after that documentary.

[] EastEnders‘ Hayley Slater won’t be returning to BBC One screens anytime soon as actress Katie Jarvis has left the programme, Digital Spy confirmed to fans of the saga. This doesn’t come as much as a surprise considering she was only really a plot device to split up Kat and Alfie, which worked wonderfully, the only tragedy of her plot was the fact Alfie wasn’t killed off at Christmas.

[] Question Time got itself into another controversy, its becoming like Loose Women just with politics instead of man-bashing, when it asked viewers if it is ‘morally right’ to teach children about LGBT+ issues. The issue was debated a day after MPs voted in favour of LGBT+ inclusive guidance for Relationship and Sex Education at school by a majority of 538 to 21. As someone rightly pointed out we can teach the young about wars, it doesn’t mean they will try to illegally invade Iraq, well unless you’re called Tony and have a mate called George.

[]In the February wrap we noted the demise of local radio in the Bauer owned stations, and last month it became tragically clear Global was taking a step backward once more by axing its local sections on stations such as Heart. This they did once before, only to re-introduce them later when surprisingly research discovered people rather like local content and chat between the latest Sam Smith song.

[] Channel 4 unleashed new sponsorship for Made in Chelsea 2019. The scripted reality series now has sponsorship from Sensodyne UK and a brand partnership with online fashion retailer, Never Fully Dressed. Good teeth and snappy fashions. Fits the programme style, but what about shows such as TOWIE? Who would their ideal sponsors be? I’m legally obliged not to say the ones I’ve thought of, but you can add your own. Here ___________ and here ___________. Please don’t print the page out and send it to ATV Today, we’re not that interested if we’re totally honest.

[] We learned in March that Lorraine Kelly actually is a character played by, funnily enough Lorraine Kelly. For some reasons unknown to common sense apparently if you play yourself on TV it means you avoid paying a whole load of tax. Rejoice indeed that dear Lorraine has saved herself a huge tax bill. Luckily her show deals with middle-class frocks and make-up, so unlikely she’ll end up with a difficult moment of a guest discussing problems with operation delays due to NHS funding or so on not particularly helped by clever celebrities and their get-out-of-tax scams. Legally its allowed, morally that’s for Kelly to ponder.

[] Neighbours is to introduce the first transgender character in the Australian soap’s 34-year-history, with transgender rights advocate Georgie Stone joining the show for a guest stint. RTÉ report the move breaks new ground in Australian serial broadcasting. Georgie’s parents Greg Stone and Rebekah Robertson have both previously appeared in the long running serial which airs on the ridiculously named Ten-Peach. Neighbours was launched by Grundy TV in 1985 originally on the Seven Network, before switching to Channel 10. In the UK the saga aired on BBC One and is currently seen on Channel 5.

Lorraine, fronting a charity campaign for STV, whether this was the real Lorraine or the character we’re not sure.

Royal Television Society Gongs for 2019 revealed

Jodie Comer’s iconic performance in Killing Eve won her the Actor – Female award, with Lucian Msamati winning the Actor – Male award for his harrowing and extraordinary portrayal of Tobi in Kiri.

Mum won two awards during the evening with Stefan Golaszewski winning the Writer – Comedy award, and Lesley Manville winning the Comedy Performance – Female. The winner of the Comedy Performance – Male went to Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith for their performances for Inside No. 9.

Derry Girls took home the award for Scripted Comedy while The Last Leg won the Entertainment Programme category, with Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan winning the Entertainment Performance award. Romesh Ranganathan took home the award for Presenter for The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganthan, with Osi Umenyiora winning the award for Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit for his work on NFL This Week and The NFL Show. Sky Atlantic’s Save Me was recognised in two separate categories: Drama Series and Writer – Drama for Lennie James. 

The past year has seen some truly captivating documentaries created, giving audiences much-needed insight into issues affecting both people and the planet: Channel 5’s Raped: My Story won the Programme Award for Single Documentary, alongside Channel 4’s Prison which took home the award for Documentary Series. Drowning In Plastic won the award for Science and Natural History with A Dangerous Dynasty: The House Of Assad winning the award in the History category. The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night won the Formatted Popular Factual category.

The Live Event award went to the BBC’s The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Match of The Day 2018 World Cup: Quarter Final – England VS Sweden won Sports Programme Of the Year. Continuing their winning streak, the BBC’s A Very English Scandal won the award for Mini-Series while the award for Single Drama went to Killed By My Debt for its expertly told tale.

The RTS proudly presented its prestigious Judges’ Award to Ben Frow, the transformative Director of Programmes at Channel 5. The panel praised Frow’s “passionate and transformative” approach to the channel since taking it over in 2013, increasing the audience by a full five percent over his tenure.   

The winner of the Programme Award for Soap and Continuing Drama went to Hollyoaks, which blew the judges away this year for its performances and content. CBeebies took home the award for Channel Of The Year while presenter Lorraine Kelly received the Outstanding Contribution to British Television award if not much contribution to tax for being a TV presenter was evident.


Enough of all this televisual tat suggests Pamela Anderson

Following appearances on productions such as Big Brother and Dancing On Ice actress and PETA ambassador Pamela Anderson has called for an end to cruelty to viewers by bringing the curtain down on all of reality television tat and the Z-list talentless names series such as TOWIE create.

Speaking on social media, the Baywatch personality, reflected upon the reality genre noting it left her with ‘no feeling of accomplishment’.

“Did I enjoy being on a reality show? Please no more reality shows or reality stars… Even France is polluted with them – it’s an epidemic of ugliness, superficial competitions, desperate and exploitive – for the artist… you are usually bullied into doing TV like this by agents fighting over commissions – you’re left without any great amount of joy or money- you feel used, dirty, and with no feeling of accomplishment,”

Anderson said she found redemption for her taking part in the reality format by donating her fees received to charity later.


Rewind Quickies

[] Former EastEnders actress Katie Jarvis, who played Hayley Slater in the Beeb misery-fest revealed she had been attacked on the 8th of March while on a night out. “Big thank you to the Met police tonight and ambulance service for looking after me after I was glassed by a drunken Irish man for f*** all” the performer noted on social media.

[] Grammy Award winner Christina Aguilera has announced her first UK tour in thirteen years. Feeling lucky despite the ‘cursed figure’, we’re talking 13 not Gemma Collins, the singer will take to the road in a tour that takes in major cities in England and Scotland, including Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham during November.

[] The son of Coronation Street legend Bill Tarmey passed away on March 26th after a ten-year battle with a brain tumour. Carl Piddington was given originally only 12-months to live, however has been hailed an inspiration by his friends for fighting it for so long. Bill who played Rovers Return cellarman Jack Duckworth passed away in November 2012. He had been due to reprise his role of Jack for a Text Santa Special later that year, instead a vocal recording from an old Corrie episode was used instead.

[] Actress and lead host of The View (the stateside original, more classy, version of Loose Women) Whoopi Goldberg revealed that she “came close to leaving the Earth” after a recent health scare. Speaking in a special video message aired on The View the Oscar winning performer noted she was recovering from pneumonia.

[] The BBC is set to pilot a new late night topical comedy chat show, featuring celebrities. So soon after ITV’s flop The Nightly Show makes it a brave move. Although it appears to be more than just a chitty-chat format. The Beeb note the series will ‘use technology to pair the guests with depictions of famous world leaders’. Kim Woodburn meets Kim Jong Un… well I might be tempted to watch that luvvie.

[] British musician Stormzy has joined the cast of BBC One drama Noughts + Crosses, an adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s award-winning young adult book series currently being filmed in South Africa. Stormzy will play newspaper editor Kolawale, a character created for the TV series the Beeb revealed.

[] Former Brookside actress Tina Malone was given a suspended prison sentence after she admitted breaching an injunction protecting the identity of James Bulger’s killer Jon Venables. While the courts issued the one-time Shameless regular an an eight-month suspended sentence many on social media claimed she was a ‘people’s hero’ for revealing what the vile child murderer looks like in 2018. However their pockets didn’t run as deep to cover the £10,000 fine she was ordered to pay.

[] Jade Goody’s mum Jackiey Budden popped up on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to mark the 10th anniversary of her daughter’s death. She told the viewers of the breakfast show they need to get their “willies and fannies checked”. Controversial reality star Jade passed away in 2009 from cervical cancer.

[] EastEnders actress June Brown, I’m A Celebrity 2018 winner Harry Redknapp, Jack Whitehall’s agent father Michael Whitehall, Hi-De-Hi sitcom star Ruth Madoc, former BBC News political correspondent John Sergeant, Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson, Saturday Variety performer Lionel Blair and former Cororonation Street actress Amanda Barrie have all been signed up by ITV to appear in Hard to Please OAPs. The charmingly entitled series will see the celebrity OAPs grappling with cutting edge gadgets and gizmos.


Carry On Camping goes Vegas

Benidorm actor and comedian Jonny Vegas is to go camping with Channel 4, and they don’t mean he’ll be doing impressions of Larry Grayson and Kenneth Williams, oh no matron, certainly not.

Instead the documentary series will follow the Shooting Stars personality as he – and his assistant Beverly Dixon – attempt to create the ‘ultimate holiday camping site’.  With no previous business experience, Vegas and Dixon will be pushed to their limits to get the glamping site ready for the summer season, especially as neither have conducted renovations of this scale before.

Entitled Llas Vegas the four-part series will broadcast later this year on Channel 4. Get your tents ready.

From Benidorm to holiday camping, Jonny Vegas.

Sky Q to introduce stronger ‘safe mode’ for young viewers

There’s nothing worse than looking after your sister’s children when you leave them alone for five minutes to watch CBBC and you return to find they’re enjoying a woman poking her ‘foof’ (as they call it on The Valleys) with a cucumber on some X-rated porno station. Yes, it’s one of life’s tragedies that happens all too often in our world of everyday struggles. Well thankfully Sky is making TV even safer for kids with the launch of a brand-new Kids Safe Mode on Sky Q.

Kids Safe Mode will allow parents to lock their Sky Q box in the Kids section, by simply selecting the setting and entering their TV PIN. Once activated, all non-kids’ content including live TV channels, recordings, on-demand shows and apps will be blocked, meaning that the little ones will only be able to see and explore content – up to the age 12 – that is just for them. No more titillating titties from Television X for you young Marc and James.

Kids Safe Mode will roll out to Sky Q customers from this spring.


Faye Brookes it’s ‘gong to her head’

Coronation Street’s Faye Brookes is apparently, according to The Sun and ITV Granada insiders ‘carrying on like she’d won an Oscar’ following her gripping performance in the Corrie Factory Disaster (yes another one) recently in the ITV saga. The tabloid note that the insider at the MediaCity Studios said ‘A few eyebrows have been raised among the more level-headed members of the cast, that’s for sure.’

The criticism from the ITV insider continued, ‘She needs to tone it down a bit and remember she’s in Corrie. She’s no Meryl Streep.’ While she needs to tone her self-loving down, I’m slightly more concerned her boyfriend Gareth Gates needs to turn down his sunbed. He looked more like Sir Trevor McDonald in the recent snaps of his night out with Faye.

Gareth Gates, supports his actress fiancé Faye wots-her-name from Corrie.

Quote of the Month

“I want a proper Elvis quiff. I want to go big. Go big or go home. It’s showbusiness baby, let’s enjoy ourselves.” – Jimmy Carr speaking on ITV

You may be surprised to learn he wasn’t talking about Gemma Collins, he was talking about having big hair.

Jimmy fancies himself with an ‘Elvis Quiff’.

Rewind RIP

In March we lowered our caps in a mark of respect to Irish stuntman Anthony ‘Bronco’ McLoughlin who passed aged 80, Felicite Tomlinson the sister of One Direction singer  Louis who died aged tragically young at 18, Airwolf star Jan-Michael Vincent died aged 74, Irish actor Pat Laffan best known for his role in Father Ted passed aged 79, Mike Thalassitis star of Love Island took his own life aged just 26, legendary singer and songwriter Scott Walker departed aged 76, Stephen Fitzpatrick, 24, and Audun Laading, 25, and tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson of the band Her’s were sadly killed in a motor accident while on tour in America.

We also said farewell to Roger Charlery, known as Ranking Roger, who passed aged 56 and Thunderbirds voice artist and Coronation Street actor Shane Rimmer who departed aged 89.


Kym’s in good ‘Elf

Soon to be former Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh hasn’t been left on the performing shelf as the popular performer joins the cast of stage show Elf.

The Mirror reported Kym will play Buddy the Elf’s girlfriend, Jovie, in the hit theatre production, which is based on the big-screen movie of the same name.

The former Hear’Say singer will appear alongside actor Tam Ryan as Buddy, and ex-EastEnders actor Shaun Williamson as Buddy’s dad Walter Hobbs. Pictured below Kym with her waxwork version of Michelle Connor, her Corrie character, at Madame Tussauds, Blackpool in May 2017. Her wax figure was one of the first to actually speak to punters in the Blackpool version of the Rovers Return Inn.

While Michelle may no longer reside behind the Rovers Return bar on-screen, she can still be seen at Madame Tussauds, Blackpool.

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