Welcome to this week’s TV Weekly newswrap from the world of broadcasting.

Sister in on the Act

Debbie Webster is set to return once more to Weatherfield with the character heading for a run-in with Abi Franklin. Inside Soap Magazine note that actress Sue Devaney will be slipping back into the role of Kevin’s sister in ITV Granada saga Coronation Street for a forthcoming storyline that sees Debbie disapproving of Kev’s relationship with Abi.

“She’s suddenly interested in Kevin’s life, having spent thirty years not caring whether he wears flip flops or trainers?” – TV critic Vivian Summers.

Debbie Webster was first seen in 1984 when the family, including dad Bill moved into number 11 Coronation Street However a year later Debbie and Bill departed Weatherfield. She made a brief return last year.

Direct BBC Scotland

BBC Scotland has appointed Steve Carson, as its new Director.

In his new position, he will be responsible for leading the 1100-strong BBC Scotland staff across 13 centres who produce content in both English and Gaelic across a range of services for tv, radio and digital platforms.

“I’m honoured and excited to have this opportunity to lead BBC Scotland, a vital public service at the heart of the country’s vibrant creative sector.” – Steve Carson

More concern for Kate

ITV Daytime viewers have had a lot of sympathy for mainstay breakfast presenter Kate Garraway over the past few months with her husband struggling to overcome Coronavirus in hospital, having been admitted in March. And with thoughts and well wishes for the pair to have a happier time ahead it appears the curse of 2020 isn’t going anywhere soon when the Good Morning Britain personality was “shaken” after a car tyre blow-out on a motorway.

“Thanks to our amazing saviours Liz & Mark from @kentpoliceuk who rescued me after a full tyre blow out on the motorway!!! Never had one before – utterly terrifying.” – Kate speaking on social media

The former Daybreak and GMTV host shared pictures of the incident on Instagram including her blown-out tyre. Kate told her followers how the motorway incident happened on the first family outing without her husband, Derek Draper. who has been in hospital since March with coronavirus.

With her focus on her family Kate has also been unable to launch her own ITV Daytime morning show which was due to fill the Saturday slot previously held by names such as Aled Jones and Zoe Ball. Here’s to a better 2021 for Kate, Derek and family.


This past week we’ve said farewell to veteran American broadcaster Regis Philbin who passed away aged 88. The host fronted a number of stateside programmes including their version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Television also said farewell to BAFTA winning comedy director and producer Sydney Lotterby, who died aged 93. Hit shows Sydney helped bring to screens included Porridge, Last of the Summer Wine, Open All Hours and As Time Goes By.

“Sydney Lotterby wasn’t just part of the golden age of British comedy – he made many of the shows that stand out as real icons of the period. His credits include Yes Prime Minister, May to December and The Liver Birds. He will be hugely missed by many. Sydney leaves behind a true legacy of laughter. – BBC Director-General, Tony Hall


Baby: Digital Spy brought the web the happy news that ‘Hollyoaks and Footballers’ Wives actress Susie Amy has confirmed the exciting news that she’s expecting her second baby.’

Bye Bye: A tabloid revealed that Beverley Callard has filmed her final scenes for Coronation Street. The actress quit the show in November last year but her departure plot was delayed due to the Coronavirus halt in production at the ITV studios in Salford Quays. Beverley first joined Corrie in 1989 as Liz, having played minor parts prior, however has had several years out of the programme in the past between stints.

Pure Evil: A former X Factor contestant has been described as ‘pure evil’ having been jailed for life for sexually assaulting nine women over a twenty year span. Phillip Blackwell admitted attacking nine women with a ‘rape kit’ at a trial at Warwick Crown Court.

No Tweets: Emmerdale regular Claire King quit social media following her account getting trolled by ‘middle aged women’. The actress – who stars as Kim Tate in the show decided to call it a day on the social media site following negative personal attacks and age-related digs.

Don’t Leave It Unsaid: Nicholas Pinnock, Yasmin Monet Prince, Joe Cole, Adelayo Adedayo, Paapa Essiedu, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Nicôle Lecky and Amanda Abbington are to star in ITV Drama shorts, entitled Unsaid Stories

Beeb get into Gear

Brain In Gear, from Gbemisola Ikumelo and made by BBC Studios, has been commissioned for BBC Two the channel this week announced.

The show debuted as one of the BBC’s Comedy Shorts in 2019 and received a BAFTA nomination for best short form programme. Written by and starring Ikumelo the format sees the action take place in a flat-share setting where the nightmare tenants…are the voices in your head.

The series follows Remi, a perfectly normal if somewhat anxious single woman in her late twenties, trying her best to navigate the contradictory advice from her inner thoughts.

The series will continue the story of Remi as she attempts to get on with her life… but otherwise normal tasks like going to work and hanging out are made near impossible by the constant interruptions of her two alter egos Boss Bitch Remi and Dark Remi.

Married at First Sight Australia returns

After airing in the UK throughout July, E4 has proposed the fifth series of Australia’s most dramatic social experiment air on the channel as it takes Married at First Sight Australia down the telly aisle.

Following the same format as the fourth series, the fifth outing is dubbed to have even more drama and surprises awaiting down under.

The singles will marry a stranger who they will meet for the first time at the wedding ceremony. Their relationships will be put to the test as we see them marry, go on honeymoon, live together, meet the in-laws and decide if they will stay married or go their separate ways.

The new series starts later this month on E4.

Dance Birmingham Dance

A new behind-the-scenes BBC documentary has revealed the pain, sweat and tears it takes to be a top Bhangra dancer. Teams competing in the Bhangra Showdown, held this year in Birmingham, were filmed for three months as they tried to perfect their gruelling routines. Ajaypal Flora, from the University of Birmingham, is seen pushing his team to its limits during training sessions.

Originating from the northern states of Punjab in India, Bhangra is a traditional dance celebrating harvest time. The UK competition is organised by the Punjabi Society at Imperial College, London, which claims it is the biggest of its kind in the world.

The observational documentary sees their team battle against their local rivals Aston University to try to regain the title on home soil in Birmingham, where British Bhangra music was born.

On This Day Highlights

This past week our look into the ATV Today television news archives brought us joys such as;

July 22nd 1976: John Swallow met the proprietor of The Swan pub at Compton in Wolverhampton, and her collection of matchboxes including an ATV addition.

July 23rd 1975: With so much misery around ATV Today’s Peter Plant went in search of some ‘good news’.

July 24th 1980: ATV Today’s Terry Lloyd visited the Butlins holiday camp in Skegness. This was the very first Butlins and is still the largest. Terry talked to some Midlanders on holiday there. Enjoy vintage 1980s views of Butlins at Skegness including shots from the monorail.

July 25th 1957: ATV cameras popped over to Coventry to see the latest in public house design with the opening of The Standard at Hockley Lane, Eastern Green.

July 30th 1965: John Swallow visited Newtown in Powys following reports of a ghost that was seemingly haunting the council house of Mr and Mrs John Owen and their six children.

See the videos via the On This Day section…

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