TV Weekly: ‘our only wish is that we can offer a smile at a time when we can all use it the most’

Ten stories from the world of telly from ATV Today. This week Lorraine celebrates, Strictly empties the ballroom and Ollie gets a new head.

Heading to ‘Oaks

This week Digital Spy reported that actor Gabriel Clark will take over the role of Ollie Morgan in Channel 4 serial Hollyoaks.

The casting change was rather unexpected with Aedan Duckworth swiftly departing the show mid-big storyline earlier this year. Channel 4 and Lime Pictures have given no details on the reason for Aedan’s unexpected departure.

The character had to remain part of the storylines up to, at least, New Years’ Eve 2020 as last new year the soap ‘flashed forward’ a whole year showing the character this coming December 31st.

Gabriel Clark will play the son of Luke Morgan (Gary Lucy) in scenes from this coming week. It is unclear whether Aedan will still feature in the scenes shot for New Year 2020 in 2019 or whether Gabriel will re-record those parts.

“I’m so excited to join the cast of Hollyoaks, two years ago, I was part of the Buster storyline, so to finally be here, playing a lead role in Hollyoaks, it is very surreal. When I was younger, I did a few CBBC shows, but mainly theatre.”


Lifes a drag UK

Following the first outing of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, BBC Three and World of Wonder will be offering the nation glitz and glamour with series two of Drag Race UK set to air on British screens in early 2021.

“Looking forward to better days! I’m happy to announce the triumphant return of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Early in 2021, season two will arrive with all the hope, joy, laughter and glitter you’ve come to expect from our brilliant queens.” – RuPaul

RuPaul Charles, Michelle Visage, Graham Norton and Alan Carr will all be returning to our screen for series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK due to air on BBC Three early next year, bringing some much needed joy to the UK.

“We’re also currently casting season three with the best and the brightest Great Britain has to offer. We feel honored that you’ve embraced our little show, and our only wish is that we can offer a smile at a time when we can all use it the most.” – RuPaul


Lockdown changes

The current second lockdown across England has seen production changes to some of our favourite programmes.

Over on BBC One Strictly Come Dancing will not have a studio audience during the month that the stay at home practice is in place. The ballroom contest returned last month with a much-reduced audience.

‘This weekend will mark the first time in its history that the competition will be without a live audience, meaning there will be no crowd to cheer and clap along as contestants perform complex routines.’ noted the Radio Times.

Also over on ITV the broadcaster confirmed that both Emmerdale and Coronation Street, produced in their own studios in Leeds and Salford, will continue unaffected. ‘We are adhering to the government’s production guidelines and as we have health and safety protocols and measures in place.’

ITV also confirmed the Dancing On Ice will carry on with its preparations for the forthcoming series while BBC medical sagas, split over two productions sites at BBC Elstree and BBC Wales, Holby City and Casualty are also set to continue filming with Covid-19 prevention spreading restrictions in place.


Lorraine boost

With the absence of BBC Breakfast earlier this week, instead the Beeb offering an Election Special for the stateside presidential race, over on ITV Lorraine Kelly saw her ratings rise.

The figures for the magazine show were the highest ever recorded for the long running morning show.

“Don’t usually do this but HUGE thanks to my amazing @lorraine team and crew – best ever ratings yesterday – peaking at 1.7 million with over 30 per cent share. Thanks to everyone who watched. I never take it for granted,” Lorraine on Twitter.


Back on the quid

Channel 4 is to venture inside the world of Poundland.

Following on from ITV’s Trouble in Poundland and the BBC’s Pound Shop Wars, the forth channel is getting in on the quid-shop battle with a two part series, Inside Poundland: Secrets From The Shop Floor.

The documentary will look at how the discounter is transforming from top-to-bottom, re-fitting its stores and investing millions on new ranges, at a time when many stores are going into administration and the UK’s town centres are full of boarded-up premises.

The company wants to be known for more than just low prices and attract new customers to their revamped stores. Their aim is to open 45 new and relocated stores in the next 12 months as recession grips the High Street.


More drama

Shelley Conn, Natalie Gumede, Sharon Rooney and John Thomson, have joined the cast for the second film of ITV’s McDonald & Dodds, alongside leading actors Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia.

Filming is underway on the second series of the contemporary detective drama following the success of the feature-length films which aired earlier this year on ITV.

Set in picturesque Bath, the series pairs feisty DCI McDonald, who has recently transferred from London’s Met Police, with the unassuming DS Dodds, who has been happy in the background for most of his working life. To McDonald’s surprise they form an unexpectedly effective crime solving partnership.


Fanny fit

‘A young chap called Brian who is a virgin, a lovely guy, wine connoisseur and proficient musician, felt really faint when he was faced with six naked girls.’ – Anna Richardson

The Naked Attraction host, speaking to the Daily Mail recalled how Brian, all flustered by the amount of fanny on show had to be ‘consoled by producers’, however once composed returned to the set to complete the programme. ‘He was a good lad, he came back on and faced the rest of the show.’

The series returns to Channel 4 screens on November 10th, with a socially distanced production seeing the couples going on covid-19 safe dates. No fanny close ups afterwards this series.


Maggie’s tweetin’

BBC News viewers were left giggling when presenter Matthew Amroliwala accidentally announced that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, deceased since 2013, had tweeted about the electoral battle between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

Maggie did rise again recently however in Spitting Image form when current PM Boris Johnson turned into the former Iron Lady as voiced by Steve Nallon.


Up the wall

Danny Dyer will host a special EastEnders edition of The Wall for BBC Children in Need as two of Walford’s regulars take on The Wall.

Fellow cast members Tony Clay and Roger Griffiths – who play Callum Highway and Mitch Baker – face tricky questions all about the beloved soap in the freefall round of The Wall as they attempt to win money for disadvantaged children around the UK.

The Wall Versus EastEnders will air as part of an exciting line-up on special programming during the annual appeal show on BBC One this Friday 13 November.

The Wall recently returned for BBC One for its second series and will be returning to BBC One on 14 November. EastEnders airs on BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.


Remembering Geoffrey Palmer

Geoffrey Palmer, best known for his leading roles in Butterflies and As Time Goes By, passed away on Thursday (November 5th) his family announced in a statement. The actor who had a long and distinguished theatre career, reached his biggest audiences through television in programmes such as Fawlty Towers, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and Doctor Who.

Geoffrey died aged 93 with his family stating ‘We regret to sadly announce that the actor Geoffrey Palmer died peacefully at home yesterday’. (Nov 5th).

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