News Flash: Dance off between Sunetra & Brendan and Steve & Ola, Steve Backshall eliminated


Strictly 2

Dancing on Ice 2008

Strictly & DOI Stars set for Master Chef

Celebrity Masterchef is back on BBC Two next month, returning to an evening slot at 6.30pm and with garden designer Diarmuid Gavin and singer Gareth Gates among the contestants.

Also taking part in the John Torode and Gregg Wallace-hosted series will be former Holby City star Laila Rouass, former Neighbours star Anne Charleston and TV presenters Michael Underwood, Zoe Salmon and Richard McCourt,

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Strictly star join Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart is back this weekend, and as well as the much-loved familiar faces making a return, the new series brings with it two new stars as well.

Robert Bathurst, who viewers will know as Sir Anthony Strallan from Downton Abbey, and Strictly Come Dancing champion Jill Halfpenny, have both signed up to star in the seventh series of the hugely successful family drama.

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Jill Halfpenny joins Wild at Heart

Former Strictly Come Dancing champion Jill Halfpenny has signed up to head to South Africa for the ITV1 series Wild At Heart. She will play Fiona Lynch, who is intent on winning her husband, Ed, back after she left him for a younger man.

The ex-EastEnders actress, 36, who played Kate Mitchell in the BBC1 soap, joins Stephen Tompkinson, Dawn Steele, Hayley Mills and Deon Stewardson in the seventh series of the popular ITV1 drama, to be screened next year.

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Diarmuid given ambassadorial role by Prince

Following his Gold Medal success at the Chelsea Flower Show, it has been announced that Diarmuid Gavin has been appointed to a special ambassadorial role by Prince Charles.

The garden designer and presenter has become an Ambassador to the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, and will represent and join the Prince at events throughout Britain.

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Anton and Carol voted Rear of the Year

Brainy TV presenter Carol Vorderman has been singled out for her well-honed figure as she was named winner of the Rear of the Year award.

Organisers said the maths wizard and former Countdown host attracted a "deluge" of votes after appearing in a succession of newspaper pictures wearing hip-hugging couture dresses. The 50-year-old was named winner with Strictly Come Dancing star Anton du Beke scooping the male Rear of the Year award.

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Diarmuid Gavin returns to Chelsea

After a two-year break Diarmuid Gavin is chasing awards again at the Chelsea Flower Show, this time with an 'Avatar' inspired sky garden.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Gavin spoke about his new creation falling out of the sky: "If it falls with no people on it, there's an exclusion zone at the bottom.

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An email conversation with Roger Black

Strictly Come Dancing: what are your best and worst memories of taking part, and who do you think will win the current series?

I'm following the current series with interest, and Jules and I are going up to watch it next week. Obviously Colin [Jackson] can do well. He's a bit too bloody good, isn't he? He hasn't been really tested yet, but he must have a good chance. Zoe Ball is good too.

I was never going to be a great dancer - I was always in the middle. But the proper dancers took things so seriously. My best moment was week five, when I was dancing at Blackpool and I was sure I was going out because I had danced like crap, but we didn't even feature in the bottom two. I was completely gobsmacked.

My worst moment was the initial photo-shoot, when I was suckered into wearing a see-through sequinned top, which I have never lived down. They told me everyone was wearing the same kind of thing, but I was the only one.

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What Dennis and Gloria could teach the 'do anything for fame' celebs

The last time I saw Orlaith McAllister, the Big Brother contestant, her bottom was peering out from the pages of this very newspaper. Orlaith was leaving a club and had given the photographer a flash of her behind, clad in an enormous pair of granny knickers. I admit to two unkind thoughts - the first being that I had always imagined her to be a thong kind of girl and the second was that it looked like she had some cellulite on her legs. (Miaow, says you!)Celebrity is the newest drug for youth. Having your picture in the papers or, much better, appearing on television is, supposedly, the easiest way to earn a fortune. On some shows, the hopefuls are auditioned for careers as pop stars. Most could not carry a note if it came wrapped up in Christmas paper. Occasionally, very, very, occasionally, one succeeds - witness the Maiden City's own Nadine Coyle. For people with no talent whatsoever, Big Brother beckons. More often than not, it is a harmless enough way for a young person to spend his/her time; the televisual equivalent of having a holiday with badly-behaved people videotaped.

The fact that it may be undignified is forgiven because you have been undignified on television. Orlaith's star (such as it was) has waned badly since BB. The easy route of looking attractive but not actually being able to do anything has turned out not to be so easy after all. People are jaded by wannabes who they know are neverwillbes.

Perhaps Orlaith should look for a change of direction - and take inspiration from two local talents not given to taken their clothes off or flashing knickers.

I am talking of none other than Denis Taylor and Gloria Hunniford whose efforts to master ballroom dancing on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing have become must-watch television.

We have been infamous for bombs but we are now becoming famous (I think!) for the boogie; thanks in no small measure to Denis and Gloria.

Yes, there are better dancers on the show than the pair of them but no one, absolutely no one, has half the charm of the boy from Coalisland.

Of course, Denis is no Gene Kelly. He moves with all the balletic grace of a bag of spuds but he has a personality that would charm the devil himself and a natural wit that leaves Brucie's leaden attempts at humour in the h'penny place.

Gloria, meanwhile, would remind you of one those aunts you see at a wedding, happily dancing away the wee hours and making everyone watching her happy too.

Will Gloria strangle nasty judges Craig and Arlene?

Will Denis end up in a heap on the floor while his partner stabs him with her stiletto heels? Or will they wow the judges, score a perfect round and turn-up on Hearts and Minds to tell Noel Thompson that what we need here is to quickstep to devolution rather than waltzing around the issues?

Both Denis and Gloria are giving Orlaith a lesson in how to have a profile.

The show raises money for charity and a laugh for audiences. They are not afraid of seeming foolish because it is for a good cause and no one really takes it too seriously - and I bet it is a great way to beat the cellulite.

Go, Gloria, go! Dance, Denis, dance!

Another true story about the north's immigrants. A taxi-driver in a mid-Ulster town picks up a fare. The town has its fair share of people from eastern Europe working in local abattoirs. The fare is a Ukranian and he is leaving his house. He puts his belongings into the taxi and asks to be brought to his new accommodation in another street. The new house is not as nice as the one he is leaving.

The taxi-driver is concerned. He is from the town and his son is married to a Polish woman. "Your new house isn't as nice as your last one?" ventures the taxi-driver, fearful that the Ukranian has been the victim of racial abuse. "I had to leave the other street," says the Ukranian, "there were too many Poles living there."

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TV dancer to pass on tips

Strictly Come Dancing's Camilla Dallerup will host an evening of dance at Cambridgeshire's newest development.The BBC's dancer will give a three-dance display, with her professional dancing partner Ian Waite, followed by an hour's group dance class at Cambourne.

Local dance band 78rpm will then perform at the event, at The Hub Community Centre, in the High Street, on Saturday, September 24.

John Slater, spokesman for the Cambourne Consortium, which is hosting the event, said: "Camilla and Ian are both wonderful dancers and it's a privilege to have them come along to Cambourne to pass on some of their tips and techniques.

"It is the perfect way to bring to the attention of residents that the excellent community facility of The Hub is now fully up and running for their use and enjoyment."

People without a partner need not worry - singles will be paired off by Camilla and Ian on the night.

Places must be reserved in advance, either by phoning (01372) 370810 or by filling in an on-line form at www.cambourne-uk.com/strictlycomedancing

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It’s strictly Ian and Camilla

Aspiring dancers from North Herts got to see the professionals in action recently with a visit from stars of the TV series Strictly Come Dancing.Ian Waite and Camilla Dallerup paid a visit to a presentation evening for Rodney's School of Dancing held at the Plinston Hall, Letchworth GC.

Ian was runner-up in the second series of the hit BBC show, dancing with athlete Denise Lewis.

Danish-born Camilla also danced with an athlete, 800m runner Roger Black.

The pair, who recently became partners for competitions, were originally booked to give a 20-minute demonstration but were enjoying themselves so much they ended up dancing for nearly 40 minutes.

They also presented medals to students who had passed exams and were impressed by the number of successful students.

Valentina Antipov, whose partner Rodney Perrott runs the dance school, said: "The comments we got from Ian and Camilla were that they had a brilliant time. They said it was one of best evenings they'd had, presentation-wise."

Rodney's School of Dancing teaches ballroom, Latin, cha-cha, rumba, samba, passo doble, salsa, line dancing and street or disco dancing.

Lessons take place in Hitchin, Baldock and Letchworth. For more information ring 01462 686131 or 07773 688314.

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BBC lack of shows in top 20

The BBC had only six of the top 20 TV shows of 2004, figures have revealed.ITV had 13 top-rated programmes including I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, The X Factor and A Touch of Frost.

But the BBC did have the most watched broadcast of the year - 20.66 million saw England take on Portugal in soccer's Euro 2004.

For ITV, 16.3 million viewers saw Karen and Steve McDonald's wedding in Coronation Street's biggest show.

Channel 4 had one entry - 10 million watched the last episode of Friends - the figures published by Broadcast magazine show.

1 Portugal v Eng (BBC1).

2 France v Eng (ITV1).
3 Coronation Street (ITV1).
4 I'm A Celebrity (ITV1).
5 EastEnders (BBC1).
6 A Touch Of Frost (ITV1).
7 Vicar of Dibley (BBC1).
8 Emmerdale (ITV1).
9 Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1).
10 Heartbeat (ITV1).
11 Christmas Lights (ITV1).
12 Life Begins (ITV1).
13 Midsomer Murders (ITV1).
14 Casualty (BBC1).
15 The X Factor (ITV1).
16 Doc Martin (ITV1).
17 Friends (Channel 4).
18 BBC News (BBC1).
19 ITV Evening News (ITV1).
20 The Bill (ITV1).

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Carol's counter attack

You'd think that after all the furore over her hasty exit from Strictly Come Dancing, Carol Vorderman would never want to step on a dance floor again. But no, the Countdown queen's New Year's resolution is to learn to jive properly. She's hoping that her Strictly Come Dancing partner Paul Killick will teach her."I love it when you go to weddings and older people get up and they can still jive. It's a dance you can do together, rather than shuffling from foot to foot. But not competitive jiving," she adds.

This urge to dance has been prompted by her involvement in the show, she admits.

"I loved the dancing. I know I'm crap at it. I demonstrated I was crap at it and the entire nation agreed - but it's not going to stop me getting on the dance floor."

Cynics accused her of sour grapes when she was the only contestant who failed to turn up at the final gala event and that she was upset when she was booted out by the public on the second show.

She insists her failure to attend the final was due to a pre-arranged family commitment.

And she groans when questioned about her outburst at one of the show's judges, Arlene Phillips, who Carol described as a "Sharon Osbourne wannabe" but without the "looks, brains, humour or humility".

Arlene hit back, calling Carol a "petty and insecure"' woman who could not face public rejection.

Carol says now: "I think I was a little bit hard on Arlene Phillips, but I was suffering with a fractured rib at the time."

She says she has since seen Arlene and everything is fine again. Indeed, Carol has put herself through the mill of celebrity shows, including Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes (as Cher) and Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

"I'm up for ritual humiliation," she laughs. "I've managed to get myself into trouble on most occasions. There are many things I'm not capable of - one is acting, one is dancing and one is singing. Thank God I can count.

"I think I should leave reality shows alone now," she adds. "I've done virtually every kind of show that a presenter could possibly do. In 2005 I want to do more on health, beauty and fashion."

In the meantime, she's promoting her new book, Carol Vorderman's 30-Day Cellulite Plan, which features pictures of a lot of before and after bottoms, but not hers. Her behind may not have the orange peel effect now, but the 44-year-old TV presenter did have cellulite on her backside and legs when she was in her 20s, she points out.

In fact, a man pointed it out to her - which provided the humiliation she needed to do something about it.

"I was sitting in a bar in Leeds with some preposterous 80s mini skirt on, legs crossed and having a good laugh with my girlfriends when a bloke at the bar shouted, 'Ooh Carol, you've got lumps on your legs. Is that cellulite?'"

After years of fluctuating weight - at her heaviest she was three dress sizes larger than her current size 10 - she embarked on a detox programme, which she later made into a book, and has now followed it up with a diet and exercise regime to conquer cellulite.

Carol doesn't believe in weighing herself. She has a pair of satin "trying on" trousers with absolutely no give which are a small size 10 and which she puts on every now and again to see how she's doing. At the moment, they are much too tight for comfort, she admits.

"We are of an age when how you look is important, not just to the outside world, but to yourself - particularly as women now in their 40s and 50s don't feel they should just cover up and hide behind the kitchen sink. They want to live life to the full.

"I never really thought about middle age. I was too busy in my 30s and had my girl when I was 31 and couldn't lose the weight. It was during a period of time when I was working and working. I'm more selective now.

"I was constantly tired. I'd go out to work, long hours, six days a week and I'd come back and I wanted time with Katie. You just eat anything that's there and my weight ballooned.

"I'd come home, have a glass of wine and a big bag of Kettle Chips and then I'd eat later. I was two stones heavier than I am now. Then I got sacked from Tomorrow's World so I had a little bit of spare time on my hands. I managed to get to a gym and get a trainer."

After her second pregnancy with her son, Cameron, she managed to lose the weight again.

"My 30s was really about work and kids and being too busy to think about anything. But I absolutely love my 40s. You're more comfortable in your skin, somehow. You think, this is me with all my faults.

She shudders when asked if she feels sexier now than she did 10 years ago.

"I hate that phrase. I'm much more comfortable with myself and all that goes with that."

Carol says she's picking and choosing work more than ever before and is glad she is still doing Countdown with her old pal Richard Whiteley. She is also seeing more of her children, Katie, 12, and Cameron, seven, from her marriage to ex-husband management consultant Paddy King.

The children live with Carol and her partner, newspaper executive Des Kelly, in London - and Carol hasn't ruled out having another baby. "I'm not against the idea, although I can't say any more than that," she says coyly.

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ITV celebrates X-Factor interactive success

Bosses behind last year’s X-Factor reality pop contest are claiming the series was the most successful interactive show of the year.The grand finale of the series, which saw Steve Brookstein walk away with a record contract and the temporary attention of the tabloid newspapers, was watched by fewer viewers than BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing.

But the success of the programme’s interactive functions has seen bosses overjoyed as a massive 22 million votes were cast by text message and the on-screen red-button, including 8.5 million during the final episode.

The show’s microsite on itv.com clinched a massive 500,000 unique users during the series, while a competition hosted by ITV to accompany the series garnered 600,000 entries and became the most successful of the year for the broadcaster.

Jane Marshall, interactive controller of ITV said: “The X Factor gave viewers the power to choose their favourite artists and the chance to demonstrate that loyalty through voting each week.

“The viewer participation and interactive elements are integral to the show’s success both as a format and as a means of heightening viewers’ enjoyment and involvement.”

ITV has already commissioned another series of the show and the existing lead sponsor Nokia has agreed to stay on board for a UK tour by the finalists.

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Champion Quotes

These are quotes taken from the Strictly Come Dancing special, Champion of Champions...

"Martin on fire" said Len [about Martin and Erin's Jive]
"Great rhythm, good posture" continued Len
"Welcome to the clash of the titans" said Bruno
"You were very hot!" continued Bruno
"It's the best I've seen you dance" complemented Craig

"I thought you were terrific" said Craig [about Aled and Lilia's Samba]
"I was really sad to see you weren't in the final" continued Craig to which Lilia answered, "It's because you gave us a 6!"
"I saw your hips move tonight" said an impressed Arlene

"Poetry!" exclaimed Arlene about [Lesley and Anton's Waltz]
"It was like opening the curtains Christmas morning and seeing snow - deep and crisp and even" gushed Len

"I am disappointed you did lifts" said Arlene disappointedly [about Denise and Ian's Quickstep]
"You were like a volcano" disagreed Bruno
"You were amazing, you were an Amazon!" agreed Craig

"I'm shocked" simply said Craig disagreeing with Len's good comment [about Natasha and Brendan's Foxtrot]
"Your magic is untouchable" Arlene admired

"You rock" said Bruno [about Jill and Darren's Jive]
"Outstanding" continued Craig
"Dynamic, powerful and energetic" gushed Arlene
"They're so great I have to look for the faults, but there's not many in there" finished Len

You know what they say about revenge: Best taken in a frilly frock!" exclaimed Anton

"I'd forgotten what a hard teacher you are" Natasha said
"But damnit woman, I get results!" replied Brendan

"I've had to haul myself up to Halifax as Brendan's apparently being charming, which I've yet to see!" said Natasha

"You've got too much foundation on!" Julian told Craig

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Jungle Joe crowned showbiz winner of 2004

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here star Joe Pasquale has been named as the year's showbiz winner, Sky News reports.The comic, who won the recent series of the popular reality TV show, topped a public poll to find Britain's most popular celebrity of 2004.

Since leaving the show finished, the squeaky-voiced star has reportedly been inundated with offers of work.

The king of the jungle beat Eastenders actress and Strictly Come Dancing winner, Jill Halfpenny to come top of the poll, which was conducted by the website MyOffers.co.uk.

Band Aid founder Sir Bob Geldof came third in the survey which asked almost 1,700 people to name 2004's greatest showbiz winners.

Participants were also asked to vote for Britain's biggest showbiz losers, which saw former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham voted in at the top spot.

The singer's husband, footballer David Beckham was also judged to have faired badly in 2004, coming in as the country's fourth biggest showbiz loser of the year.

Pasquale's jungle mate Natalie Appleton also made it onto the list of losers following her display of petulance on I'm A Celebrity.

Full list of showbiz winners:

1. Joe Pasquale
2. Jill Halfpenny
3. Bob Geldof
4. Sharon Osbourne
5. Robbie Williams

Losers: 1. Victoria Beckham
2. Jordan
3. Natalie Appleton
4. David Beckham
5. Michael Jackson

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