An eye cast back over July 2019 a month that gave us the news Miranda Hart will celebrate a decade since her sitcom first aired, a former Big Breakfast face has gone down under and there will be further visits to Grantchester.

Fears for Home and Away future

The series could be heading the same way as Eldorado, Crossroads, Albion Market and Brookside following a reported ‘ratings slump’ in its native Australia. The saga airs on Channel Seven down under while UK fans can get their fix on Channel 5.

The soap has seen a number of changes over the past few years including the loss of its iconic opening titles and theme tune, while the content of the programme has become somewhat bleak. 

Set in the fictional Summer Bay it was originally a series that revolved around families set against a sunshine backdrop. A dull filmic effect, even duller sets and storylines more suited to a police saga have all put viewers off. However insiders at Channel Seven also believe reality television is enticing viewers away. 

Home and Away launched in Australia in 1988, airing originally in the UK on ITV from 1989. In 2000, Channel 5 won the contract to air the series for British audiences, with Neighbours also poached from BBC One. While the UK has seen its fair share of soap axings over the years Aussie bosses are equally at ease to end a much-loved saga with Prisoner Cell Block H, Sons and Daughters, The Young Doctors and A Country Practice all culled when ratings fell too low.


Cowell backs Holden in Schofield row

Simon Cowell became the latest famous name to, as HuffPost reported, ‘weigh in on reports about a rumoured feud between Amanda Holden and Phillip Schofield’. Over the past few months a very public spat has played out across the tabloids with Holden taking to her radio show in June to throw major shade at the former Children’s BBC continuity announcer citing him as something she wouldn’t like to find in her house.

The sorry affair started last year when it was reported Holden had been scheduled to co-host This Morning alongside Phillip for a few weeks, however the silver-haired presenter apparently stepped in and blocked the job offer.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday X Factor boss Cowell said  “I respect her for standing up for herself.” and when pressed on whose side he was on he noted “She’s back on the show [BGT]… I can’t make it clearer than that.”

Cowell wasn’t the only one in July discussing Phillip Schofield and his time with This Morning. Fern Britton’s agent, at the time she worked for ITV, Jon Roseman, spoke to the Daily Mail. They reported that ‘despite his squeaky image, [Phillip] has a reputation as an ‘arch manipulator’. Fern quit the show after discovering that he was being paid around three times as much as she was.’

‘From day one he began to interfere with the editorial content of the show. Fern always left it to the editor, a mistake she attempted to rectify, but too late. His stranglehold was too tight by the time she recognised what he was up to. Their ability to work together was up there with the Eamonn Holmes/Anthea Turner friction [at GMTV]. He befriended Simon Shaps, the then boss of the network centre. After this friendship, all bets were off; he just got what he wanted.’ – Jon Roseman

All went a bit tits-up; Phillip and Fern hosted This Morning and Mr and Mrs for ITV.

Eamonn Holmes – a television legend that has been gracing our screens since the 1970s on stations such as UTV, BBC One and ITV – found himself in a ridiculous and ‘snowflake overdrive’ racism row after he made comments on ITV’s This Morning concerning Meghan Markle.

The former Open Air, Sky News and GMTV host said during a debate on the royal ‘Is Meghan being unfairly criticised?’ he felt she was ‘up her own backside’. And let’s face it you can be that no matter whether you’re white, black, green or Gemma Collins.

Co-host and wife Ruth Langsford added that there is no harm in the royals sharing the “name of your dogs, or take a selfie, when we are basically paying for your lifestyle?” The comments were made following Harry and Meghan keeping a number of recent ‘life events’ private. When one social media user accused Eamonn of being ‘racist’ he responded with a clear warning he would sue anyone who suggested his views were based on Markle’s skin-colour rather than her diva behaviour.


BBC One to mark a decade since Miranda first transmitted

Miranda Hart may not have been the first woman to host The Royal Variety Performance, despite ITV saying she was, (it was Noele Gordon in 1974 as noted by the RVP brochure of the time) but no one can deny its been a decade since her self-titled sitcom first aired on the BBC. Now to mark this iconic moment in British television history the Beeb are to mark the anniversary with a special.

The comedian announced the news on social media, revealing to her Twitter users that the hour-long non-scripted special will be recorded this autumn and air in time to celebrate the November anniversary.

“We are 10! And we have decided to have a party (not a new episode),” Hart said. “The Miranda cast on and off screen are all about play, being free to be ourselves and silliness, so we are amazed and delighted that BBC1 have agreed that our celebrations will be recorded as a one hour special later in the year.” – Miranda Hart

Miranda will have a decade celebration on BBC One.

Carry On legend Barbara Windsor celebrated her 82nd birthday with David Walliams

‘The Carry On star – who is battling Alzheimer’s disease – looked in good spirits at the intimate bash alongside her husband Scott Mitchell, 56, the BGT judge and his mum Kathleen.’ The Mirror reported.

Windsor, who is best-known in recent years for her role as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, has been struggling to remember the inside of her own home and friends and family due to the degenerative brain disease.

‘Despite her ongoing struggle, Barbara is still the life and soul of the party. Just last month Christopher Biggins revealed she had been “tap dancing, singing and entertaining” guests at the wake of husband Scott’s dad.’ The Mirror added.


Rewind Quickies

[] Channel 4 has axed One Born Every Minute. The series brought the highs and lows of births across the UK. The show has run for eleven series with the first episode airing in 2010. The BAFTA-award winning show is being scrapped due to falling ratings according to The Mirror newspaper. At its peak over five million tuned into the show.

[] The BBC iPlayer will offer programmes for longer than thirty days after television regulator Ofcom approved plans for the extension of time productions can remain streamed after broadcast. Ofcom noted ‘the BBC’s proposed changes to BBC iPlayer could deliver significant public value over time’ Some shows will remain on the service for a year, with some remaining for even longer the Beeb stated.

[] Former Blue Peter and This Morning host John Leslie was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a nightclub. It’s just another in a long line of accusations the presenter has had to face since 2002 when Matthew Wright suggested he had acted inappropriately against a female television personality. Leslie protested his innocence, noting its his elderly parents who suffer the most from the accusations.

[] Nadia Sawalha was forced to take to social media to stop suggestions she’d called Coleen Nolan fat during an episode of Loose Women, a programme which one Twitter user described as being like a blunt instrument hitting their intelligence. Nadia said of her fat incident, “So I’m actually quite fed up, a bit upset actually, that there are headlines going around that I called Coleen fat… I did not, I was going to say family, and I got interrupted, and that was it. Coleen and I joked about it, and I just find it so depressing.” Coleen, just so you’re not in any doubt, is not thin.

[] RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will be serving BBC Three viewers Ginger Spice and Power this coming autumn, with the announcement of Geri Horner and Jade Thirlwall are to appear as special guest judges. Other guest judges include Andrew Garfield and Michaela Coel, Dame Twiggy, Cheryl Tweedy while AJ Pritchard his brother Curtis and MNEK will feature as coaches.

[] BBC One will have your Best Interests at heart. The drama from writer Jack Thorne is a story of a family driven apart by having to make choices no parent would ever want to make. When the parents of a seriously ill child are told by doctors it would be best to just let her die the couple have to take her fight to survive to court. The production will air across four episodes.

[] This Morning viewers were left in hysterics when ITV bosses thought it would be a good idea to let Mark Wright and Rochelle Humes present the series. It really wasn’t a good idea.

[] Channel 4 also announced in July that comedian Joe Lycett is to replace Richard Ayoade as the presenter of Travel Man: 48 hours in…

Ru Paul’s Drag Race has been a huge hit over in the states, the series has been screened on satellite in the UK.

Celebrity MasterChef to return

Last month the BBC also revealed who is to appear in the 2019 Celebrity Masterchef kitchen.

EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt will feature alongside Strictly Come Dancing’s Oti Mabuse and Love Island regular Dr Alex George. There will also be Reality TV stars Vicky Pattinson and Joey Essex battling it out for the CMC Gong while fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, Olympic medal winner Greg Rutherford, Motown star Martha Reeves, retired footballer Neil Ruddock and The Chase quizzer Jenny Ryan will all try to stay cool in the cook-off.

As usual judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace will oversee proceedings.


Toxic relationships need flushing out says Walsh’s ex

Strictly Come Dancing gained its biggest ‘controversy’ last year when comedian Seann Walsh and pro-dance partner Katya Jones were spotted kissing – despite both being in relationships.

Now Walsh’s ex-girlfriend Rebecca Humphries has opened up about their ‘toxic’ relationship.

She noted ‘I had spent a really, really long time putting up with behaviour.’ she added ‘I spoke to [my best friend] about the treatment I had put up with and enabled as well, and he said, ‘That’s what gaslighting is’. I knew on some level, I think, that my relationship was toxic, but because I didn’t discuss it with anyone, it never felt real. And when Sam said that, I just felt so vindicated by that word, and that there was terminology for my exact situation.’ Rebecca speaking to The Metro Paper.

“Words like coercive control, gaslighting and emotional manipulation should be commonplace because the more people know about it, the more they know how to recognise it and hopefully, the less it will happen. “

Walsh apologised on two television chat shows over his snog.


Rewind Quickies

[] Windrush Scandal to be dramatized by the BBC. Set in 2016, Sitting in Limbo chronicles Anthony Bryan’s struggle to be recognised as a British Citizen, after he discovers there is no paperwork to support this, despite having lived in the UK since he was eight years old. RTS reported. The production will air on BBC One.

[] Denise Van Outen spoke about joining Channel 5’s Aussie soap Neighbours. RTÉ reported the former Big Breakfast host will play character Prue Wallace. Denise said Prue will stir up plenty of drama in the long-running cul-de-sac saga.

[] Congratulations are in order for former EastEnders actress Melissa Suffield, Digital Spy noted. The performer announced that she’s engaged to director boyfriend Robert Brendan. Melissa played Lucy Beale in the BBC One saga.

[] Alison Steadman is to lead the cast of Life which will air on BBC One. The story has been written by Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett. The series follows the lives of people who live in a old house, converted into separate flats in Manchester. Very old viewers will remember similar series including High Living from STV, Together from Southern TV and Castle Haven from Yorkshire Television.

[] Baby news: Former Emmerdale star Verity Rushworth gave birth to a baby boy. She played Donna Windsor in the long-running ITV Yorkshire saga. EastEnders actress Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Slater in the BBC One series, gave birth to a baby girl. Charley Webb who plays Debbie Dingle in Emmerdale gave birth to her third child and co-star Gemma Atkinson who plays Carly Hope gave birth to her first child.

[] Mohit Bakaya has been named as the next Controller of Radio 4, Lorna Clarke will be the first Controller of Pop Music and Jonathan Wall has been appointed as the first Controller of BBC Sounds. Now you know, if you care.


Returns and Departs

EastEnders’Tameka Empson announced that she was leaving the BBC Elstree produced saga as she felt the time was right to take a break from the character of Kim Fox. After a decade in Albert Square the actress is taking time out, but promised viewers she would be back in the future.

While over at ITV Yorkshire in Leeds Lisa Riley is to return once more as lively Mandy Dingle having made a brief reappearance earlier this year. ITV bosses note that Mandy won’t be alone upon her latest return with son Vinny also rocking up to the village with a number of ‘scams’ to play out.

The unexpected announcement of a soap return was that of Sue Devaney who is making a come-back to ITV Granada’s Coronation Street after nearly 35 years away. The actress is to reprise her role of Kevin Webster’s sister Debbie. It’s believed the storyline involves the death of their on-screen father Bill Webster who was last seen on-screen in 2011. The actor behind Bill, Peter Armitage, died in November last year.

While over at Channel 4 and Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas is set to make another return to the saga as the Lime Pictures production prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Villain Warren Fox made a brief cameo appearance in July in the soap with bosses confirming a longer stint for the character next year. James Sutton is also returning as John Paul McQueen; more on that here.


Celebrity Coach Trip returns to E4

Pack your budgie smugglers as E4’s Coach Trip is hitting the road again. Legendary international tour guide Brendan Sheerin will be welcoming a new set of celebrity sun-seekers for an action-packed tour around the Mediterranean.

The ten-day tour will see the pairs enjoy exhilarating excursions and cultural outings. But as ever, at the end of each day, the pairs will vote face to face to decide who they no longer wish to travel with. The pair who receives the most votes will receive a yellow card; two yellow cards will see them take home a red card and wave goodbye to the trip to be replaced by a new celebrity pair waiting to fill their seats. And for the first time, the new series will see double the action as each episode will be a full hour of sun, sea and scandal on E4 five nights a week.

Celebs signed up to initially appear include Vicky Pattison and Scott Thomas, Kate Lawler and Arron Crascall, Georgia Steel and Alexandra Cane, Francis Boulle and Sarah Keyworth, sisters Cleopatra and Yonah Higgins and Brendan pairs up solo travellers, former EastEnders bad boy Harry Reid and ex-The Apprentice candidate James Hill.


New Home, Same Channel for McIntyre’s Big Show

The London Palladium has been home to many a television series over the years from the long-running Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV), The Royal Variety Performance (ITV/BBC) and several specials including talent shows New Faces (ATV) and Opportunity Knocks (BBC).

Now Michael McIntyre is moving into the world-famous theatre as he returns to BBC One with a fifth series of his Big Show. The six-part series will be filmed in front of a live audience from the home of British entertainment.

Michael will host the Saturday night entertainment extravaganza which will be packed with superstar celebrity guests, amazing musical performances and a few extra surprises along the way. The show will also see the return of series favourites such as the hilarious Send To All which will see nervous celebrities handing over their mobile phone to Michael.

More unsuspecting members of the public will be woken up in the middle of the night to play the Midnight Gameshow and more amazing surprises for the Unexpected Star as they will get the opportunity to perform live in front of 2000 people on stage at the Palladium.

The production has had to relocate from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane due to the venue being closed for refurbishment.


Buckle up and enjoy the high-speed ride with  ITV4

ITV announced a car show, Speed Freaks, which will air over six episodes in hour-long slots. Entrepreneur and daredevil Zef Eisenberg takes on his toughest challenge yet – to break the British land speed record in a car he plans to engineer himself.

With over 40 land speed records currently to his name, he’s already done it on a bike at the iconic Pendine Sands in Wales. Now Zef wants to finish what Sir Malcolm Campbell started in 1927 and break the 200mph barrier in a car and, in doing so, become the only person to hold the British land speed records on both two and four wheels.

In order to prepare for this dangerous feat, Zef is scouring the nation to meet fellow motoring mavericks and glean essential engineering know-how from their incredible “franken-machines”. Whether they’ve fitted a 24,000cc W12 aero-engine into a car, or built from scratch a full Dakar off-road racer, Zef’s going to get behind the wheel and under the bonnet of Britain’s fastest cars, bikes and boats.

Inspired by these extraordinary machines, Zef will challenge his own team of mechanics to take a different vehicle each week and make it as fast as humanly possible. Currently in production, each 60 minute episode will feature fantastic vehicles, adrenaline-filled action from behind the wheel, and incredible engineering.


RIP July

In July we said goodbye to, and fondly remember…

Tyler Skaggs, Sports Personality John McCririck, Racing Expert
Tanya Jones, wife of Vinnie Karl Shiels, Actor
Denise Nickerson, Actress Emily Hartridge, Television Presenter
Freddie Jones, Actor Rip Torn, Actor
Michael Sleggs, Actor Pernell Whitaker, Boxer
Brendan Grace, Comedian Rutger Hauer, Actor
Maxim Dadashev, Boxer Jimmy Patton, Entertainer
Russi Taylor, Voice Artist Jeremy Kemp, Actor
Harold Prince, Director Sharon Bloom, Producer
Albert Shepherd, Actor Cameron Boyce, Actor
Florijana Ismaili, Footballer  

 


Grantchester will return to ITV for a fifth series

Series five picks up a year later, in Cambridge in 1957, the year Prime Minister Harold Macmillan told the British people that they had ‘never had it so good’. For many of the residents of Grantchester, it really will feel like they’re in a delightful new Eden, but for all the talk of paradise on earth and faith-in-action, Geordie Keating knows that trouble is never far away.

In series four, which aired on ITV earlier this year, young, new parish priest Will Davenport (Tom Brittney) became DI Geordie Keating’s (Robson Green) new crime-fighting partner.

Grantchester will start shooting this summer in Cambridgeshire.

“We are very excited that Grantchester is returning for a fifth series. The audience has taken the pairing of Robson Green and Tom Brittney to their hearts and we are delighted to be able to continue the story of Geordie and Will with Masterpiece and ITV. ” – Kudos Executive Producer Emma Kingsman-Lloyd
There is to be further adventures in Grantchester.


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