An eye cast back over June 2019 a month that saw EastEnders drop its ratings lower than Kat Slater’s knickers and Boris Johnson joined the Piers Morgan ‘fake’ picture club.

Roxanne Pallett ‘more hated than a murderer’ after CBB shamed stint

Last year two women vyed for ‘the most hated woman in Britain’ title, with Roxanne Pallett and Loose Women regular Colleen Nolan both top of the list. However Pallett pipped the ‘agony aunt’ and ‘backing singer’ Nolan to the top position following her shameful antics on Celebrity Big Brother.

In June Roxanne Pallett sadly broke her silence following the punch-gate scandal last year, revealing that she was told she was “more hated than a murderer” following the controversy on the reality TV show which saw the dimwit ‘actress’ falsely accuse another housemate of punching her in front of several cameras. The viewers didn’t believe it – even if initally their fellow housemates did.

In an attempt to save her career Pallett said ‘sorry’ for making up the punch story and then retreated from the limelight. Where viewers and people with decency were hoping she’d stay. Her Ex-Emmerdale co-stars came out in force to support the accused – former Corrie actor Ryan Thomas – implying she had been far from the innocent flower for many years.


Ratings Woes and Soap Awards 2019

This month EastEnders managed in the same week to break its own record – twice. The soap on a dubious rope pulled its lowest ratings ever on Tuesday (June 25th) only to beat it on Friday (June 28th). Both nights the ratings fell below 3 million. The BBC put it down to the weather and schedule changes. However recent Corrie later arings failed to dent their figures and on the warm sunny nights Emmerdale pulled in nearly twice as many viewers.

The consoldted figures for the first week of June also reveal ‘Enders only managed one episode to break over the five million mark, the rest in the four million mark. At the same time, Emmerdale was high up in the five million figure, with a couple of episodes breaking six million. Coronation Street in the first week of June pulled in the top end of the six million figure with one episode almost breaking into the seven million mark.

It wasn’t much better for the 34-year-old BBC One Walford based saga last month at the British Soap Awards either.

The best single episode gong went to ITV Granada’s Coronation Street, while best soap was won by Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. Other gongs included best newcomer which went to Corrie’s Alexandra Mardell for her role as Emma Brooker, best male dramatic performance went to Adam Woodward of Hollyoaks for his part as Brody Hudson. Scene of the year went to Corrie for their episode featuring ‘Gail’s Monologue’ while BBC One’s daytime saga Doctors picked up the best comedy performance gong for Sarah Moyle’s role as Valerie Pitman.

Hollyoaks took the villian of the year with Nathan Sussex picking up the award for his character of Buster Smith. The Tony Warren Award was presented to Val Lawson of Emmerdale while the ITV Yorkshire produced serial also took the best actress gong with Chas Dingle performer Lucy Pargeter taking the gong. Best actor award was gifted to Gregory Finnegan for his role as James Nightingale in Hollyoaks.  The best storyline went to Coronation Street for the impact of Aidan’s suicide.

EastEnders did manage best female dramatic performance for Gillian Wright as Jean Slater, best young performance was bestowed on Kara-Leah Fernandes as Bailey Baker and best on-screen partnership for Roger Griffiths and Kara-Leah Fernandes as Mitch and Bailey.

However the most worthy award on the night was the Outstanding Achievement Award for Sue Nicholls as Audrey Roberts in Coronation Street. A role she’s played for four decades. It’s about time ITV followed in the footsteps of Doris Speed, Betty Driver, Liz Dawn and Anne Kirkbride and gave the actress a celebratory documentary. Sue’s TV career goes back to 1964 when she first burst onto screens as Marilyn Gates in ATV’s Crossroads. Other big roles followed in the 1970s in sitcoms such as Not on your Nellie, The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin and children’s shows such as Pipkins and Rentaghost.

Corrie legend, Sue Nicholls was given a much deserved gong at the Soap Awards 2019.

Personally, while there is much to praise the BBC for, it is also a corporation that likes to waste money. It also has an arrogance that it can, just because its Aunty Beeb do as it wishes. After all it doesn’t have to work hard to earn its income – it falls into its lap courtesy of the telly tax. Now we live in a multi-channel age it’s surprising that ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky haven’t kicked up more of a fuss that people have to pay the dear BBC in order to watch their channels whether they want BBC or not. At least with Sky you have the choice of buying the channels you want to view.

Anyway in June the government introduced free for over 75s licence fee scheme was announced to be coming to an end. The Labour plan was introduced in 2000, and up until 2015 was indeed government funded, however Tory MPs announced that they would stop paying for it. Whether it was to continue was left in the hands of BBC management, incredibly well paid BBC management. They have twiddled their thumbs, probably over a licence fee paid for lunch, and announced that they ‘have had to make a really important and difficult decision.’

“After June 2020, the cost of continuing with free licences for all over 75s would be £745 million a year and rising – which is around 20% of the BBC’s budget. That is a huge amount of money. Were we to meet these costs, it would in practice mean the closures of BBC Two, BBC Four, the BBC News Channel, the BBC Scotland Channel and Radio 5live” – BBC

The BBC Scotland channel shouldn’t have been opened in the first place, and BBC Alba – that programming, what little new content there is, could easily have been put on BBC Two Scotland in the afternoons which are full of repeats anyway. The same for BBC Four, its key new output is exactly the kind of programmes BBC Two should be airing anyway.

“We know that audiences really value what we provide on TV, Radio and online – all of which are paid for by the licence fee. And these changes would profoundly damage the BBC’s ability to serve our audiences of all ages. On the other hand, we are fully aware that some older pensioners are in poverty and rely on their TV and the BBC for companionship.” – BBC

However the Beeb have come up with a compromise rather than ditching the low-rating pointless channels, they’re instead having a limited pension fund pot for the telly tax. From June 2020, anyone aged 75 or over who receives Pension Credit will also be entitled to a free TV licence funded by the BBC. This will help the poorest pensioners who will continue to enjoy a free TV licence.

“It’s important to stress that it is not the BBC who will make any judgements about poverty – that measure is set and controlled by Government. As well as being fairest for the poorest pensioners, this scheme is also the fairest for all licence fee payers as it means everyone will continue to receive the best programmes and services that the BBC can provide.” – BBC

This new scheme will cost the BBC around £250 million a year. From personal experience maybe axing a few layers of management would be advantagous. 


Shocker of a Plot for Corrie

Coronation Street is set for a harrowing storyline, Metro Paper revealed, ‘which will see 14-year-old Asha Alahan bleach her skin in an attempt to make it whiter.’

Tanisha Gorey’s character is to get hold of  an illegal bleaching cream via the internet in an attempt to hide her Indian heritage. The twist will see Asha unware of the dangers of the product which contains dangerous chemicals that may slowly poison her

‘In the coming months Asha will return from India and decide that she doesn’t want to be Indian any more. She begins bleaching her skin in secret with a cream she has brought home from India. She will then start buying it online. ‘We will see her dealing with the negative effects of her choice as time goes on, though fans will have to wait to see how high a price she pays.’ – a source quoted in the Metro Paper

Corrie bosses are hoping to raise awareness around this issue as its believed to be something a number of younger people have been experimenting with in the UK.

Asha will attempt to change her apperance in Coronation Street.

It’s the one that you want, ooh ooh ooh

Olivia Newton-John’s leather outfit that she wore as Sandy in 1950s-set movie Grease is going up for sale. Heart Radio reported that ‘Newton-John is putting her iconic leather trouser and jacket outfit up for auction.’

The actress and singer starred in the movie musical as Sandy, the good-girl turned randy opposite John Travolta as T-bird and babe magnet, Danny. The 1978 film gave us still-loved tracks such as You’re The One That I Want, Grease Lightnin’ and Summer Nights. Olivia who has fought a number of cancer battles over recent years has decided to part with the iconic outfit from the end of the movie to raise money for her cancer treatment centre in Australia.

‘The outfit, which she had to be sewn into on set, marked Sandy’s transition from innocent schoolgirl to sex symbol – it’s expected to sell for around $200,000 (£158,818).’ the radio station noted, adding, ‘A number of other Grease memorabilia is up for grabs – including her original script, which is expected to fetch around $4,000 (£3,150), and a Grease 10-times platinum award, which is expected to be sold for around $2,000 (£1,575).’


Rewind Quickies

[] Channel 4 are to return to The Circle. The second series of the reality gameshow is to have a new location and a new host. Big Brother and The Voice presenter Emma Willis will oversee the latest run while the production will be based in Manchester. The first series was based in London with Radio1’s Maya Jama and Alice Levine as hosts. The show sees strangers living in the same apartment block, but can only interact via social apps. They never meet face-to-face. Some are ‘fake profiles’ with the other ‘residents’ having to root out the imposters.

[] ITV to give its islanders love. The company, following their axing of Jeremy Kyle’s gutter daytime show following the death of a recent participant, said of those who are involved with ITV2’s Love Island that they take “the emotional well-being of the islanders extremely seriously” and will offer all participants off-camera support. The series has been criticised by a domestic violence charity over the ‘controlling behaviour’ of one of the 2019 contestants. 

Lucie Donlan was left in tears after her partner Joe Garratt told her to stay away from other male contestants. This left viewers furious with many making complaints to TV regulator Ofcom, albeit a pretty useless regulator, and domestic violence charity Women’s Aid raising concerns. “Both myself and his sister are his best friends. He doesn’t emotionally control anyone,” his mother later told The Daily Mail.

[] X Factor and I’m a Celebrity… personality Fleur East married her long-term partner, Marcel Badiane-Robin, on 8th June in a ceremony overlooking the Atlas mountains in Morocco. Contragulations we’ll have a lambrisco here at ATV Towers in celebration – we’re a classy lot.

[] Angela Griffin is returning to Coronation Street after more than 20 years The Sun reported. The actress will reprise her role as hairdresser Fiona Middleton and is set to be ‘thrown straight into a lovechild riddle’ the paper noted. Steve McDonald, played by Simon Gregson, will be informed that he is the father of Fiona’s daughter Emma, actress Alexandra Mardell. Fiona ran the hair salon on the corner of Coronation Street prior to Audrey Roberts – the divine Sue Nicholls – taking it over in the 1990s. Griffin quit Corrie in 1998.

[] Crossroads and Emmerdale ‘sex siren’ as The Sun called her Lucy Pargeter ‘has had her breast implants removed – and revealed they stopped her breathing properly for 11 years.’ the tabloid said. The actress who played Helen Booth in the midland motel saga and currently stars as Chas Dingle in Emmerdale star had the operation following bad health which she linked to her DD boob job.

[] In other Emmerdale news June saw actor Christopher Chittell bestowed a British Empire Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The 71-year-old is the ITV Yorkshire produced soap’s longest serving actor having appeared as Eric Pollard since 1986. Chittell is not only being acknowledged for his services to entertainment and drama, but also for his charity work.

[] Danniella Westbrook says she is drug and alcohol-free for the first time in years. Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show the former EastEnders actress, who played Sam Mitchell, said she is looking to help others by opening a treatment centre once she’s trained as a therapist.


Strictly not on

Strictly Come Dancing regular Pasha Kovalev was, The Sun reported,  ‘left trembling in terror after moped thieves robbed him outside a theatre.’ The tabloid revealed how the 39-year-old had his mobile phone snatched in North London. The paper added that he was worried he may have lost personal photographs in the terrifying robbery.

“Two people drove at him aggressively. They mounted the pavement and his phone was gone in a flash. He was shaking and very upset. The phone  had lots of images on it. Pasha is doing everything he can to get to the bottom of this.” – a source speaking to The Sun

Pasha is dating Countdown co-host Rachel Riley, 33, and the couple are expecting their first child.


Britain’s Got Talent Sympathy

Dogs have won it over really talented performers and this year the show once again went for a heart-string win over various much more talented acts. Having said that Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery, who won the show, did put on a rousing performance – just not a worthy winning one. 

I wonder how different the New Faces winners would have been in the 1970s and 80s if the audience had been subjected to video reports telling the viewers of the personal tragedies and woe before the acts performed? Would Victoria Wood have got through? Or Les Dennis? Lenny Henry? Marti Caine? Did they all have hardship and major tragedies to rely on for extra votes? …no just talent funnily enough.

89-year-old Colin said he was “astonished” to have won the show. Several of the other acts probably were too.


Rewind Quickies

[] BBC Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills celebrated a big weight loss, having shed three stone in 25 weeks after committing to a strict diet and fitness regime. The 45-year-old DJ has had weight problems for most of his life he noted however decided to take positive action after spotting photographs of himself on the beach at Christmas looking like Gemma Collins.

[] Amanda Holden reignited her celebrity feud with Phillip Schofield by making a savage dig at him on Heart Radio. She was speaking to co-host Jamie Theakston when he asked her three things she’d hate to find in her home. She responded with ‘Spiders, files and Phillip Schofield!” It was previously reported Pip had blocked Amanda from returning as co-host on This Morning when Holly Willyboobie was covering for drunk driver Ant McPartlin on another show. Come back John Leslie and Fern Britton – we miss those days! 

[] BBC Scotland has commissioned a new Arts series to celebrate literature. The six viewers to the channel will be cockahoop.

[] Jessie Wallace really isn’t a fan of people taking the piss, or even having one. Metro paper reported the EastEnders regular unleashed a tirade of abuse at two men who were using one of London’s nifty portable night urinals. ‘Just because you are a man, it does not give you the right to whip your cock out in public.’ Something Gillian Taylforth will no doubt agree with unless its a motorway layby and then…

[] A Southampton theatre was forced, in the LGBT month, to cancel a performance of a play following a ‘gay hate crime’ directed towards the two lead performers. Nuffield Southampton Theatres canned the play entitled Rotterdam after the crime. ‘We are devastated that this kind of behaviour is still so prevalent, a fact which reinforces the importance of this play’s message.’ The theatre said in a statement.

[] The snowflake fannies in fits had a meltdown over comments made by Jo Brand over battery acid. The outraged of Muswell Hill chimed up that Brand had ‘incited violence’ via her comments. Speaking on a BBC Radio 4 comedy show she had said “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?” The BBC said the jokes made on the show entitled Heresy are “deliberately provocative as the title implies” adding “they are not intended to be taken seriously.” Rather like the Tory party as a whole at the moment.

[] Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019, broadcast live and exclusively on ITV, UTV and STV in June raised a record-breaking £6,774,764 on the day of transmission. That, ITV say, was over £1m more than last year’s on the night total for Unicef’s vital work keeping children around the world happy, healthy and safe to play. This amount was raised thanks to the generous support of the UK public, ITV, UTV and STV viewers, and the UK government who have matched all donations so far, doubling the difference made to children’s lives.


Coronation Street star Chris Quinten breaks silence on his engagement to fiancée 40 years his junior

He was a heart-throb in the 1970s appearing as a dancer on LWT’s big Saturday night entertainment series Hi Summer alongside Leslie Crowther and Carl Wayne in 1977 before switching to Granada’s Coronation Street at the end of the decade. With big ambitions he cast aside his role as Brian Tilsley in the late 80s and headed for Hollywood. A big star role however is still to be offered.

His personal life has recently hit the headlines when he broke his silence on his engagement to new fiancée Robyn Delabarre, who is 40 years his junior. Speaking to This Morning the actor made light of the press reports on the union.

“I could be your granddad! I’ve spoken to the mum and they all love me thankfully. I haven’t spoken to dad yet.” – Chris Quinten


Go On, Go On, Go On, Go On…

RTÉ News reported that it was ‘Good news Father Ted fans’ as ‘the writing team behind the hit comedy have settled their differences and are back working on a musical version of the show.’

It had been announced that a Father Ted musical was in the works – but then it was abandoned – following a disagreement with the vicarage sitcom’s creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews. The writers of the show had reunited to bring the titular father and his house of fools back for a stage version of the hit Channel 4 comedy.

Pope Ted – The Father Ted Musical was launched as a project in June 2018 and was said to be the ‘real final episode’ in the story of the Catholic Priest put out to graze on Craggy Island. Pop star Neil Hannon, who wrote the theme tune to the show ‘Songs of Love’, revealed the creatives behind the musical have ‘settled their creative differences’ and are now back working on the theatrical script and songs. Hannon is writing the music for the forthcoming musical

The TV series followed the adventures of Ted and his fellow priests Dougal, a nice but incredibly stupid young man, Jack a raving alcholic whose only other interest is women and their housekeeper Mrs Doyle who was far too keen on dishing out sarnies and cups of tea. 

The Channel 4 version of Father Ted.

Nick Knowles jokes following driving ban

BBC face Nick Knowles was fined nearly £1,500 in June and banned from driving for six months after speeding and using a mobile phone at the wheel. Now most sensible people know full well people have been killed by such selfish drivers in the past so it really isn’t anything to joke about. Well unless you’re a hugely well-paid Beeb star. The DIY SOS host, who is 56 and should know better, admitted the two driving offences and was sentenced at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.

‘He was caught driving at 85mph in a 70mph zone in a Range Rover and using his phone on January 28th’ BBC News reported. The presenter told the court, the BBC noted, ‘he had a hands-free kit in his car but was holding his mobile due to a dodgy power lead.’ Making a joke of the incident Knowles said to the presiding judge ‘I can drive home, right?’, then noting, ‘I’m joking’.


BEN Shephard reaches ‘tipping point’ over workload

Ben Shephard has decided that his telly work is taking up too much of his time and has given the push to some of his commitments. The regular on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and gameshow Tipping Point is to drop his presenting role with Sky Sports.

The 44-year-old who has been a fixture on ITV daytime screens since their GMTV days also hosts Ninja Warrior UK for the channel and up until the end of this month Goals on Sunday for Sky.

However, The Sun reported, that ‘he has announced that he is stepping down as a host on Goals On Sunday after nine years so that he can be at home to see his sons Jack, 12, and Sam, 14, play their sports games.


RIP June

Blake’s 7 star Paul Darrow died at the age of 78 following a short illness, Leyton Orient manager Justin Edinburgh passed away aged 49 five days after suffering a cardiac arrest, actress Sylvia Miles died aged 94, wrestler Lionheart – real name Adrian McCallum – died aged 36 and Gloria Vanderbilt US fashion icon and heiress died aged 95.

Nelson J. Chu, better known as DJ Official passed aged 26, Julia Johnson the sister of This Morning host Ruth Langsford passed away aged 62, William Simons -best known as PC Alf Ventress in ITV’s Heartbeat died aged 79, Popular YouTube regular Desmond Amofah – also known as Etika – passed aged 29, EastEnders and Z Cars actor Douglas Fielding died aged 73 and actor Billy Drago passed away aged 73.

Famed Italian director Franco Zeffirelli died aged 96, his television work included the ATV-ITC series Jesus of Nazareth starring Robert Powell.

And it was also farewell to Britain’s oldest person Grace Jones who passed away at the age of 112.


Lee Mack will remain inside

The British Comedy Guide website revealed that Not Going Out, the Lee Mack headed sitcom, will be back on BBC One for more staying in. The titter-based information site notes that the corporation are so confident in the show they’ve commissioned a further three series in advance. Amazingly ‘This significant recommission will see the show become one of British television’s longest-running sitcoms.’ the site note.

The Beeb’s main channel recently aired the tenth series of the show which first hit the air back in 2006. A Christmas special has been recorded for transmission later in 2019 and the eleventh run will be produced next year.

“So, now we’ve got to mine more from our real lives. The problem with mining things from your own life is that you then watch it with your wife. So, the guy I write with [Daniel Peak] and I have a rule now that we just blame the other person and say things like, ‘You won’t to believe this, but they also do that thing in bed!'” – Lee Mack speaking of the commission on The Graham Norton Show

Not Going Out has become a success for BBC Comedy, having initially been dropped from the schedules in 2009. However BBC One bosses later changed their minds and further episodes were commissioned. The latest deal with Mack will see the show on-screen until 2022 at least.

Not Going Out is stayin in and staying on BBC One.


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