Forget  ‘Inside Soap’, forget ‘Bizzare’ – The Friday Soap File is the only place where you’ll see in an article what people are really thinking. Yes, it might not go down well with producers and TV companies – but Ian Westhead doesn’t care about that,  he says “let those other publications lick the behinds of the telly execs for  some pointless exclusives, and we’ll say it like it really  is.”

Surprise Surprise Cilla Here

Welcome to another edition of our weekly news wrap of soap news, and stories that ain’t so newsworthy. This week one of Corrie’s slapstick characters makes a return, its a goodbye to an old ‘Enders favourite and the story we didn’t originally cover as we knew it was bo**ocks. By the way, its nice to see Digital Spy adding more information to their stories.. can’t imagine where they copied that idea from? Bless, almost as bad as ITV for copying formats.

No Biggins In Soap

No we’re not talking about Roxanne Pallett’s tits, we’re talking about loveable camper Christopher Biggins. He told Star magazine this week: “You know, I don’t think I could do it. They work so hard. I’m lazy now. They’re all wonderful. I’ve got friends on EastEnders and on Coronation Street, too.”

Biggins recently starred alongside ex-Crossroads actor Tony Adams in the hugely successful musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. ATV News’ Justin Mason met both Adams and Biggins backstage, he said at the time that the former Rentaghost actor was “A perfect gentleman, a pleasure, treated everyone like a friend, a true star.”

Biggins despite his lack of desire to star in soap told how he was delighted about, long time friend, Barbara Windsor making a television comeback on EastEnders. “She had a failed marriage, things weren’t that great, and then suddenly everything changed with EastEnders. It was fantastic for her. And it’s a great comeback.”

Biggins hosts the Top 50 TV Comebacks tomorrow on Sky One.

Coronation Street or Acorn Antiques

It seems Corrie’s progression from serial to soap to slapstick sitcom are going great guns. Following on from the recent find of a rare painting in the attic of former cleaner Hilda Ogden, apparently squeaky voice and dreary wife – otherwise known as ‘The Peacocks’ – are to find more lost gems up there.

Funny, isn’t it, how Hilda didn’t find these herself? Especially as viewers saw the one-time street gossip up in the attic back in 1978. As the ‘Acorn Antiques’ producer might have said “those silly viewers won’t remember such trivial things.” Ah, but they do.

EastEnders’ Wellard Quits Soap

EastEnders dog Wellard is to leave Walford after 14 years in Albert Square.

The character has been a popular sight since the stray wandered into Albert Square in 1994. Taken in by Robbie Jackson – played by ex-Grange Hill actor Dean Gaffney – he was named Wellard because Robbie thought he was a tough, “well hard” dog. The Grant Mitchell of the doggie world. In recent years the ownership of the dog has changed numerous times.

An EastEnders insider told The Sun: “Wellard has been played by three different dogs from the family – Kyte, her mum and grandma. But now it’s time for the character to bow out gracefully.”

Wellard’s finest moment was biting Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), no doubt the nation cheered when the misery was given a good chomping. Its believed Wellard will be killed off in the future storylines.

Of course many fans of ‘Enders still hold a soft spot for the original dogs, Rolly – the real landlord of the Queen Vic and Ethel’s Little Willy. Named after her late husband, read into that what you will.

Feature: The Antony Cotton Acting Watch

Reports of acting sightings over the past seven days – ‘small attempt’ – in the second Friday edition Sean Tully tries a stab at humour with Jerry Morton, thankfully it was a short scene. However, no acting was used.

Remember Hugging a cushion does not count.

In Brief:

  • No Jack Off – sometimes you look at stories and just know they’re a load of tabloid created trash. And when such stories are reported the one thing we at ATV News don’t do is run them, which is why there is no article here about Bill Tarmey leaving Corrie. This week the Rumour was squashed by a friend of the actor. They also said Bill would be looking forward to celebrating 30 years on Coronation Street next year – with no plans to quit.

  • Emmerdale actress, and tabloid regular, Roxanne Pallett is leaving the soap after three years. Pallett – more famous for her off-screen antics and stories than her on-screen acting ability – will depart in December. A Yorkshire TV source told The Sun: “Roxanne wanted to leave last year but the producers put her at the centre of this big storyline, which is only going to get more harrowing.” Yes, and totally unbelievable as the weeks go on too. Would Andy really, really, ever become a wife-beater? No. There was more chance of Annie Sugden turning lesbian, although if she was still in the soap no doubt she would have become one by now and survived 20 fires and explosions.

  • EastEnders actor John Bardon made his first public appearance since his stroke at Thursday’s Life After Stroke Awards. John earlier this month recorded some scenes for the BBC one soap, his one-off re-appearance wil be shown later this year. Producers hope however he will be able to become a more regular character again in the near future.

  • Killed Off – We’re told that Coronation Street’s Liam Connor is to be killed off at the end of the year in a ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery. If anyone still cares by then.

  • Good God – Yes I was amazed, its such a rare thing these days, but I just had to say that Coronation Street on Friday was ruddy good. The acting from Jane Danson outstanding – then again, she was acting opposite Kim Marsh, so wasn’t hard to look good was it? Its not often soaps get me worked up in the plot, but I was so hoping Leanne (Danson) would slap the miserable cow that is Michelle (Marsh) right across her (wig-donned or Adam’s Family hair dyed) face.

  • Ex-Crossroads actor Luke Roberts apparently found some lovin’ while filming for Holby City in South Africa. Luke, who plays Joseph Byrne in the medical soap told “I did actually manage to find romance out there. It was absolutely wonderful.”

Slapstick Panto Character Returns

Actress Wendi Peters has agreed to make a return to “Coronation Street” in a one-off special which will only be seen on DVD.

A clearly deluded source at ITV told The Sun: “Fiz and Chesney are much-loved characters but without Cilla being the evil witch to their Hansel and Gretel, they’ve fallen a bit flat. The storylines are being kept top secret but Cilla has moved away from Las Vegas and is now working at a casino in Sun City.”

Ugly Fizz, much loved? Much laughed at for p*ss poor acting yes, loved, I doubt it. And Chesney was loveable, but sadly he’s grown up and is no longer the cute little boy. Anyway, the family will be reunited in South Africa. Shame they all can’t just stay there – off-screen.

Quote Box

“One Sunday night I was watching Time Team with the kids – it’s compulsory viewing in our house – and it occurred to me that maybe there was a way of taking a team of archaeologists and making them exciting.”

Matthew Graham quoted from Yahoo News, who is behind new drama Bonekickers. He has written the series with Ashley Pharoah, both former EastEnders’ scriptwriters.

And Finally..

The Sun confirmed this week that “Emmerdale babe Roxanne Pallett and former EastEnders hunk Joe Swash are to star in the next series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice.”

Someone at The Sun seriously needs to go to Specsavers. What’s the betting Pallett comes out with some story about f**king on ice in the near future?

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