TV Weekly: ‘It’s now more about the actual talent rather than what people look like’

This week how Hollyoaks has gone from ‘image and no substance’ to a serious competitor in the soap opera arena, just one of the ten telly news highlights.

From ‘Dollyoaks’ to ‘Dramaoaks’

Actor Kieron Richarson this week spoke on Facebook Live as part of Hollyoaks’ 25th anniversary and noted how the show has transformed itself from the days – up until 2009 – when it was seen as a show that cast on looks rather than a talent for acting with the core characters.

“Obviously the show was renowned for having a body like that or what I thought back in the day, and that’s what people’s perception of it was. But then when you actually work there and watch it, it’s now more about the actual talent rather than what people look like.”

Kieron, who plays Ste Hay on the popular Channel 4 four-times-a-week offering, also disliked having to do the annual photoshoot for the soaps calendar. The series released ‘Hunks’ and ‘Babes’ calendars until 2012.

“It used to be horrendous for me. When I knew that time was coming up – I think we used to shoot it in April – and I’ve never been known for having a body… I’ve always been just skinny and hated being skinny. I tried to go to the gym but wasn’t getting successful. I tried to eat more but was just a naturally skinny person.

“So I think when we used to do the calendar I was like, ‘Please can I just do the headshot?'”

Oh Danny Boy, the Beeb, the Beeb is calling…

Filming has begun on BBC Two’s Danny Boy. A drama about a young man’s journey from medal-winning war hero to an alleged murderer, and his search for truth in the fog of war.

Memory, evidence and trauma collide, as Brian finds himself caught on the fine line between war and unlawful killing. After his service in Iraq and years of legal investigation, will he ever be able to look his family in the eye again and be the husband, father, and son, they need him to be?

“Here’s a man who won a medal for valour, but whose toughest test was the scrutiny that followed. External scrutiny, and soul searching too – Brian Wood’s story is a fascinating one for a writer to explore. It’s been a great privilege to work with producers of such distinction and I’m really delighted we’re going into production with Sam Miller at the helm and a terrific cast and crew.” – Writer Robert Jones

Covid awareness documentary for Garraway

Kate Garraway is to be one of the contributors in a poignant documentary about Coronavirus and its impact on those who catch it, as well as the loved ones left watching on helplessly.

The Good Morning Britain regular will speak following a personal experience with Covid-19 following her husband Derek Draper continuing to suffer from the effects of the virus.

Socially Aware

This week, with Defund the BBC ever watching the corporation with their ever-growing army of ‘defunders’ the Beeb has issued new guidance on social media usage, aimed to force their staff to maintain impartiality, especially in the BBC News department.

Those who work for Aunty will not be able to “express a personal opinion on matters of public policy, politics, or controversial subjects”.

Nostalgia Booked

Everything you need to know about Britain’s longest-running twice-weekly serial turned six-episodes-a-week soap can be discovered in a new Coronation Street book to mark sixty years of the Granada Television institution.

Covering six decades since the show’s creation, the publication is, ITV note, ‘an exhaustive, compelling and entertaining history packed full of features and long-forgotten imagery.’

The on-screen and off-screen story is shown via a journey through a timeline that highlights key plot lines and significant production events. The pages contain a host of features on characters, famous actors, royal visits, births, deaths, marriages and murders, together with interviews with key actors, producers and production staff.

A special section on the show’s creator Tony Warren shows how the programme evolved from page to screen and is illustrated with rare imagery and artefacts from his own archive. There are even special gatefold pages that open out showing how the set has developed over the years and family trees of the major characters so you can see the complex web of relations for the likes of the Barlows and the Platts.

60 Years of Coronation Street can be pre-ordered now from all good book retailers.

No Jones

Alex Jones is having to take time out from The One Show due to having to self-isolate. The news was made during Friday’s programme (30th Oct) when Jones appeared on a video screen to explain she’s staying away for two weeks.

The show was hosted by Alex Scott and Gethin Jones, with Alex noting she was ‘gutted’ she wasn’t able to be in the studio for the foreseeable.

Walford Wally

As noted in the mid-week showbiz there was a bit of Covid-confusion over at the BBC Elstree studios recently resulting in Joe Nugent, first assistant director, being sacked from the equally as ill-performing saga.

Nuget worked for two days on the soap while positive with coronavirus. The Daily Star reported ‘He felt unwell with coronavirus symptoms last weekend and took a test. But he failed to tell colleagues.’

He then went into work on Monday and Tuesday, only informing bosses of his postive covid-19 results once his test had come back to him late on Tuesday afternoon. Following the situation an unnamed cast member also tested positive. Nugent was dismissed from the programme due to his carelessness.

In other ‘Enders news Mica Paris has departed the show after a brief guest stint. Appearing as Ellie Nixon her last scenes aired on Monday (Oct 26th).

4 Local Business

Channel 4 has launched a unique partnership with Google starring Channel 4 presenters Mo Gilligan, Katie Piper and Jimmy Doherty.

The bespoke TV partnership comprises three 30-second promo spots in which Mo, Katie and Jimmy show off their favourite local businesses in support of their high-street communities, at a time that hasn’t been easy for them. Each spot demonstrates how viewers can all help local businesses by leaving a Google review because ‘the more reviews, the more people are encouraged to go.’


Kimberly Hart-Simpson won’t be seen on Coronation Street for the foreseeable it has been reported. Following a four-month stint as escort Nicky Wheatley, the actress has already been seen in her last sequences on the programme.

Nicky was seen departing Wetherfield last month following Daniel Osbourne paying off her debts, seeing her off to a new life with her daughter. Daniel had become ‘obsessed’ with Nicky due to her close resemblance to his late wife Sinead Osbourne nee Tinker (Katie McGlynn).

“It’s funny how Nicky looked more like Sinead than the new Todd looks like the old Todd. You have to love soap.” – TV critic Vivian Summers

Ready, Steady, Comeback Again

BBC One Daytime confirmed this week that Ready Steady Cook is heading back to the channel for a second series.

“I’m very excited to bring Ready Steady Cook back for series two on BBC One. We never realised when series one was on air the climate that we would be living in and how beneficial it was to so many at home watching, who were scrambling to make meals from random ingredients in the cupboard!” – host Rylan

Host Rylan Clark-Neal is back in the kitchen, along with chefs Mike Reid, Romy Gill MBE, Akis Petretzikis, Ellis Barrie and Anna Haugh, who will once again be putting their cookery prowess to the test against the clock.

In every episode two contestants are each paired up with a chef, going head to head in the Ready Steady Cook kitchen. The chefs face two different taste tests and the clock is always ticking! In the first challenge, each contestant comes armed with their bag of ingredients, all bought within a limited budget. They have just 20 minutes to create delicious, surprising and inspiring dishes. And with further format twists this time around, there are plenty of surprises in store to put the chefs under pressure.

The second challenge is even faster, as each pair has just 10 minutes to create yet more amazing dishes, this time based on ingredients chosen at random. With unlikely combinations always a possibility, the pressure is on to create yet more flavour sensations. And, in true Ready Steady tradition, the show’s winner will be decided by a vote with the iconic red tomato and green pepper voting cards.

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