The first weekend of January 2020 sees ATV Today take a look back over entertainment news from December 2019, with the last edition with Mike Watkins, before TV Critic Vivian Summers takes over for a look back at January next month.


Former Girls Aloud singer and current judge on The Greatest Dancer, Cheryl (formerly of the Tweedy and Cole and a few others I can’t recall) admitted she has no idea how to clean her home. In the ‘bad good old days’ we were taught at school home economics on how to cook, clean and sew – but sadly those days have long gone. A shining example is wor Chezza. The Geordie lass made her admission during an interview with Weekend magazine.

The 36-year-old noted, “I was in a band at 19 so I never learned [how to clean],” adding “I can wipe the surfaces down but – and I know this is ridiculous – I’m not good at cleaning. My cleaner is a godsend.”

While she may be no Kim Woodburn when it comes to scrubbing, Cheryl did note she thinks she’s quite a good cook. ‘I love to cook, with my Jamie Oliver or Nigella books.’ I’ll stick to a Nandos thanks pet…

No scrubber, Cheryl only knows how to wipe a surface.


Gary Barlow reflected on his original Take That days back in the 1990s and admitted that ‘he wasn’t very nice’. Speaking to The Rake he said ‘I thought that I just needed to open my month and a hit record would come out.’ He said he was ‘young and arrogant’ and felt ‘the world owed him something’. Luckily since then Gary has become a good fella, and not only is nice he pays his taxes and owes the world nothing but love.

Former EastEnders actor Sam Attwater told Good Morning Britain how his Dancing on Ice win later lead to a painful point. While many a star has injured themselves training for the ice skating dance show Sam injured his backside sometime after winning the 2011 series. He told the ITV morning show that the trophy ‘is in a box in the garage… I fell off a ladder and punctured my butt cheek.’

‘Phillip Schofield is at the centre of a civil war at ITV’s This Morning, with a series of presenters unhappy about the host’s attitude behind the scenes.’ Dan Wootton at tabloid The Sun gleefully reported. Wootton recently left his role at ITV Daytime as a showbiz gossip for the Lorraine Kelly show so has since his departure been running stories about unrest on the long running This Morning. The focus centres on Schofield who according to the tabloid darling has had run-ins with colleague Ruth Langsford and former guest host Amanda Holden. There is also speculation that he’s had a tiff with co-host Holly Willoughby. ITV have denied the reports, obvs.

The Sun carrying on the Phil bashing theme reported ‘Schofield is desperate for a New Year Honours gong – and still bitter over This Morning co-host Eamonn Holmes bagging an OBE last year.’ Again ITV denied the report, obvs. Eamonn of course has been presenting serious news programmes and magazine shows since the early 1980s, starting at local station UTV. Phillip became famous sitting next to a glove puppet that squeaked on CBBC.

The Daily Mail informed us that ‘Caroline Flack ‘cut her hand on glass during fight with 6ft 4in boyfriend Lewis Burton’ and he shouted ‘I was normal till I met her’ at police after they arrived at her home’. while RTÉ News noted ‘Flack has pleaded not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend’. Either way she has pulled out of hosting the winter series of Love Island for ITV2. ‘She was charged with assaulting former professional tennis player and model Burton by beating at her flat in Islington, north London, on December 12th.’ RTÉ added.

The performance of the reformed Pussycat Dolls on ITV’s The X Factor caused a stir with viewers as over 400 of them complained to Ofcom about the ‘filthy’ dance routine. ‘their sexy costumes and rude dance moves left viewers aghast’ said The Mirror. The tabloid noted some called the sequence nothing more than a ‘trashy strip show’. Now maybe that would boost X Factors ratings, turn it into the XXX Strip-Off Factor. Just no ‘celeb’ versions thanks, the world isn’t ready for a nude Gemma Collins showing her Essex privet.

Spice Girl Melanie C revealed how she was nearly kicked out of the group for telling Posh Spice to f*ck off. “I got a bit lairy and I told Victoria to f**k off,” Mel recalled in The Guardian. “I upset her, and I was told that if that behaviour ever happened again, then [I’d be for the chop].” Thankfully for music lovers Posh Spice – Victoria Beckham – decided not to take part in the recent Spice Girls reunion tour.

Coleen Nolan came under fire from a few Loose Women viewers over drooling over a young soap star. The Manchester Evening News reported that former Hollyoaks actor ‘Danny Mac was on the ITV gossip shop to talk about his role in the West End production of White Christmas but Coleen couldn’t help but swoon over the good looking lad. “#LooseWomen If it was a panel of blokes and the other way round a lady there would be hell to pay; Reign it in Nolan,” said one viewer on social media.

All smiles at This Morning, honest guv.


Harry Potter author JK Rowling faced a backlash after she defended a controversial statement on social media. The writer tweeted her support for researcher Maya Forstater, who had been sacked following a social media statement noting ‘a person cannot change their biological sex’.

“Dress however you please… Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?” – Rowling on Twitter

Various organisations condemned the comment, with the Human Rights Campaign Twitter stating; “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary.”

Now I don’t mind men switching to being women and women switching to being men. But I can’t be doing with this nonsense that you’re a fella on Mondays and a lass on Thursdays with every second weekend identifying as a microwave. Let’s get a sodding grip.


It’s nice to have a positive story about Antony Cotton. Yes, really. And what a lovely positive story it was. The Mirror reported how ‘Coronation Street’s Antony Cotton… responded to a ­desperate call about a suicidal soldier.’

Cotton rushed to a motorway bridge to bring comfort to the troubled man, and stop him from taking his life. The late-night act of kindness saw Antony take the soldier home and sought help.

Five years later and Cotton revealed in the newspaper ‘I saw him in a supermarket, walking towards me with a pram with his wife and two babies. There was Christmas music playing and I stepped round my trolley and hugged him… We were both close to tears and he just said: ‘thank you’. It made my Christmas and that’s why I do what I do.’

The tabloid noted how Antony is a firm supporter of armed forces good causes.

Antony Cotton has been seen in a kind light.


Broadcaster and former musician Rev Richard Coles revealed that he has had to get the police involved following abuse received since the death of his civil partner Rev David Coles. In disgraceful behaviour the Rev Richard had been receiving hate mail since Rev David’s passing.

David Coles, who was also a priest, died after a long illness. RTÉ News report that the ‘cleric said that since [David’s death] he has received messages from a minority of people, including one that said his partner is “in hell” and that he “will follow”.’

Coles, who was previously a member of 1980s’ pop group The Communards, noted on social media that despite the minority, some of which were ‘Christians‘ spouting bile such as ‘David is in hell and I [Richard] will follow’, he had been given ‘99.99999% loveliness from people’ and plenty of support from fellow social media followers.


Ben Stokes was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2019 by public vote in front of an arena of 10,000 and millions more tuning in from home. Lewis Hamilton came in second with Dina Asher-Smith in third place for the coveted award.

Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan presented the live show on BBC One from the P&J Live arena in Aberdeen and votes were cast via phone and online on the BBC Sport website to determine the 2019 champion on December 15th.

The BBC event also saw music acts and Scottish natives Lewis Capaldi and Emeli Sandé perform at the prestigious event. Performing Hold Me While You Wait and Somebody You Loved, Lewis entertained the 10,000 strong crowd before Emeli performed her hit Shine.

Ben Stokes, centre, is BBC SPOTY.


Births announced in December; former Strictly Come Dancing regular Natalie Lowe and her husband, James Knibbs, welcomed their first baby Jack James Knibbs, Coronation Street’s Julia Goulding gave birth to baby son Franklin Wolf Silver with hubby Ben Silver while Countdown hostess Rachel Riley gave birth to baby girl Maven Aria with her professional dancer husband Pasha Kovalev.

Two years after the birth of Grayson Jax singer Aston Merrygold and Sarah Lou Richards confirmed they’re expecting their second baby. Also singer and TV presenter Michelle McManus announced she is pregnant with her first child with her husband Jeff Nimmo.

Deaths announced in December; Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson died aged 61, Former Aston Villa manager Ron Saunders passed away aged 87, Lolita star Sue Lyon died aged 73, Leading German tenor Peter Schreier died at 84, composer Allee Willis passed aged 72, Star Trek actor René Auberjonois died aged 79, Will and Grace performer Shelley Morrison died aged 83.

We also said goodbye to Korean actor Cha In-ha who passed aged 27, former England cricket captain and Ashes hero Bob Willis died aged 70, Sesame Street’s Big Bird puppeteer Caroll Spinney died aged 85, Friends actor Ron Leibman aged aged 82, nature presenter David Bellamy passed away aged 86, composer Jerry Herman died aged 88, Emmerdale actress Sheila Mercier passed at 100, actor Danny Aiello died aged 86, singer and entertainer Kenny Lynch passed aged 81, James Bond actress Claudine Auger died at 78, model Mama Cax passed aged 30, actor Tony Britton died aged 95, actor Nicky Henson passed away at 74, songwriter Neil Innes died aged 75, Scottish artist and writer Alasdair Gray passed at 85 and singer Kelly Fraser died aged 26.

And farewell Lil Bub, a cat that became a friend to millions of online fans passed aged 8.


Louise Redknapp was sued for £91,0000 by talent agency InterTalent. The agency noted it hadn’t had any payments completed for securing her role in Dolly Parton musical 9-To-5, and did not receive the fees from Redknapp’s ambassador role with Specsavers and an advertising deal with furniture store Harveys.

Wendy Craig, Olivia Newton-John, Rudolph Walker and Nadiya Hussain were all recognised in the New Year’s Honours. I think we should put it out there that Jane Rossington is surely worthy of a gong by now? Decades of entertaining in theatre and television roles as well as a patron and supporter of the Caring for Carers charity – certainly has done more than some who have been given honours this year!

And that’s it from me, Mike Watkins, on REWIND. Thanks for reading. I’ll be with you every weekend with TV Weekly, a look back at broadcasting news from the previous seven days. Join Vivian Summers for REWIND from next month.

Isn’t it about time Jane Rossington was given a gong?

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