TV Weekly: From Ronnie Corbett to Tony Hart via Charlene White

Ten Telly stories news-wrapped by ATV Today from the past week or so.

ITN newsreader Charlene White has replaced Andrea McLean as one of the lead hosts on ITV’s Loose Women. The ITV News regular had already guest anchored the daily debate show last October.

Harry Visinoni, who plays Seb Franklin in Coronation Street, was left “dreaming of snakes” BBC News reported following the actor discovering a 4ft (1.2m) royal python sitting on his toilet seat.

The snake, now with the RSPCA, was named Lulu following her discovery in the smallest room.

Former ITV Emmerdale actor Ben Freeman is to join the cast of BBC One’s EastEnders as a ‘mystery man connected to devious Chelsea Fox’.

Ben was the second actor to play Scott Windsor over at the Yorkshire based serial, with his run in the dales lasting nine years before leaving in 2007.

According to EastEnders’ press outlet – the Metro – he’ll be playing a character called Caleb.

Charlene White has joined Loose Women as a regular.

This week we said farewell to actor John Reilly of stateside General Hospital fame, early US reality regular Pat Loud and UK actress Charlotte Cornwell who had featured in shows such as Lovejoy, A Touch of Frost and Where the Heart Is.

Channel 4 are to mark a decade of Friday Night Dinner with an evening of programming.

Six series and 37 episodes will be celebrated with ‘You Look Nice: The True Story of Friday Night Dinner’ (w/t) a behind the scenes look at every aspect of the show – from its humble beginnings as a 5 minute pilot, shot in creator Robert Popper’s parent’s house (where his actual dad walked into the middle of a scene to announce, ‘I’m going out now to buy some bin liners’)- to its glorious, tear-inducing series six finale, some 925 screen minutes later.

The former East Midlands Television Centre, once home to Central Television and Carlton Studios, has become one of the major Coronavirus vaccination centres. The studios, designed originally for ATV Midlands, were opened for Central Television by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 2 March 1984.

The Nottingham site, on Lenton Lane, was host to many of ITV’s top shows including The Price Is Right (pictured at the top of the TV Weekly), Family Fortunes, The Upper Hand, CITV, Blockbusters, Barbara, Boon and the revival of Crossroads.

ITV vacated the facilities in the mid-00s, with the centre becoming part of the University of Nottingham. Now the still operational Studio 7 has gone from entertaining to saving lives.

NHS partners, the University and local authorities across the healthcare system have been working together to operate the local vaccination service at the former Central Studios now known as the King’s Meadow Campus.

ITV is to broadcast never before seen footage of the late Ronnie Corbett.

MailOnline reported this week that recent Strictly Come Dancing contestant and EastEnders actress Maisie Smith is ‘set to quit’ the soap and leave her character of Tiffany Butcher in Albert Square as new opportunities have opened up following her ballroom stint.

ITV is to broadcast a documentary looking at the life and career of Ronnie Corbett. The performer began his television career at ITV, before becoming a regular on the BBC alongside comedy-co-star Ronnie Barker.

Ronnie Corbett’s Unseen Tapes will showcase previously unbroadcast footage from home movies, photos from the family albums and also include interviews with his wife and daughters, plus contributions from celebrity friends and fans.

Someone unlikely to get a BBC or ITV celebratory documentary is the late news and sports anchor Frank Bough who passed away last year. The former Breakfast Time and Grandstand host had been exposed by a tabloid in the 1980s for having a kinky streak, however many felt his private life was just that – it didn’t stray into his work at the BBC or later LWT.

However earlier this month his Breakfast Time co-host Selina Scott spoke about working with Bough and it was uncomfortable reading. And it wasn’t just Frank who was a problem, it seems the bigwigs at the Beeb were just as bad.

“No, I couldn’t do anything about it. Frank was protected.” Senior management simply wasn’t interested, she told The Guardian, “They seemed to have no emotional intelligence, and they let men like Frank Bough roam the BBC without any check on them.”

Let’s end this TV Weekly with a happier story, the work of the late artist Tony Hart is to go under the hammer later this month allowing fans to get their hands on some of his work.

Tony became a much-loved part of BBC Television’s output for younger viewers over decades and his work for the corporation included designing the Blue Peter ship logo.

Copies of original 1950s designs for the Blue Peter ship emblem are just some of the items up for grabs at Ewbank’s Auction House in Surrey on January 29.

The items were kept in perfect condition by Tony’s late agent Roc Renals, who passed away in 2014. Items go back to 1952 with his first television commission for a series entitled Saturday Special. There are also creations from Take Hart, Hartbeat and Vision On.

“He was exactly the same off-camera as on camera, a truly genuine character, friendly, interested in other people, creative and entertaining. He and my father were best friends from the 1970s onwards and most of what is included in the collection were presents from Tony over the years, some from TV shows,” – Nic Renals, son of Tony’s agent Roc

The personal nature of the consignment means that it also includes letters and items with notes and dedications by Hart, shedding further light on his character.

“I’ve had a lot of soul searching on whether to sell or not over the past few months, but while I’m reluctant to sell it in many ways, I have also been thinking about what might eventually happen to it if I don’t. 

“They are such wonderful pieces of art and they really show what an amazing talent he was. Having known him for so long, I think that making these things public once more is the right tribute to him and my father’s friendship.”  – Nic Renals

The Tony Hart Auction. The Collection of Roc Renals, will take place at Ewbank’s Auctions on January 29, starting at midday.

Viewing is available online, with bidding taking place live online or using advanced bids via the Ewbank’s website at

Beeb legend, Tony Hart on SmArt Hart.

An ATV Network® production for ATV Today™

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