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Ann Montini

Ann Montini

Ann Montini's Soap Gossip 8/3

Keep up to date with all the latest gossip from your favourite soaps.

Find out how good Patsy Kensit is for Emmerdale, which Coronation Street star wants to be the next Catherine Zeta-Jones, and which mega-bitch will NOT be returning to EastEnders.

Plus the latest on those soap stars singing their hearts out on Celebrity Fame Academy.

Ann Montini delivers it all...

Coronation Street

Coronation Street


  • Don't expect to see many of the Coronation Street cast cheering on Frankie Baldwin aka Debra Stephenson in Celebrity Fame Academy... It would appear that due to "busy filming", they are not allowed time off to come down and cheer her on. Or could it be that it's a prime-time BBC show that they might have been banned from?   
  • Look out soon for Coronation Street enjoying an Easter break at the seaside resort of Southport. My spies on the show told me: "We got special permission to open up some of the attractions like the boating lake and rides in Pleasure Land, as when we filmed in February, to be honest, it was all out of season and not that much going on." However, as with all trips away, a disaster is waiting for one unlucky Weatherfield dweller - but just who is it?   
  • She may play a bad mother in Coronation Street to young Chesney, but actress Wendi Peters - who plays Cilla - is keen to land a stint on a cookery show. She told me: "I would love to hook up on Hell's Kitchen to be honest, as I never have the time and on the show all we do is eat chips from the chippy or all that fried food that Les makes... yeah, I would be great on that show."   
  • Tina O'Brien, who plays schoolgirl mum Sarah Platt in Coronation Street, has no qualms about trying her luck in Hollywood later in her career. She reveals: "I know that people laugh at the idea but really I am sure that they laughed at Catherine Zeta-Jones when she claimed that she wanted to have a go at Hollywood too... and just look where she is now."   
  • Pete Waterman has some advice for wannabe popstar Corrie actress Nikki Sanderson. The Pop Idol judge simply says: "Don't." He reveals: "When we started with Kylie she was in Neighbours and getting sixteen million viewers per week but even she could not land a record deal, hence I set up my own label for her to record on PWL records and if Nikki thinks it's changed think again.
Charlie Brooks

Charlie Brooks


  • Natalie Cassidy, who plays frump Sonia Fowler, has defended her recent appearance as a judge on the Eurovision Show, Making Your Mind Up. She reveals: "I knew I would get bashed up for that, but the truth is I was invited and I am a big fan of the show so I thought, why not? I know I am not a singer but who cares about that?" The contestants?   
  • Former EastEnders star Charlie Brooks, who played evil Janine, has ruled out a return to the show despite press hype to the contrary. She told me: "Being a mum would make it impossible to return full-time and I can't really see how Janine would fit into the show now all her family members, bar Pat, have moved on."   
  • Kim Medcalf, who plays evil Sam Mitchell, has no plans to release a record after her stint in Fame Academy comes to an end this week. She told me: "I think it's too cliche... a soap star who sings and all that." She reveals she would love a stint in a West End musical, but not really Chicago - "Everyone has done that don't you think?"   
  • Dirty Den may have got his 14 million viewers for his latest death on the square, but did you know that the actor was not allowed to do interviews about his second departure from the show. My mole reveals: "We felt that given all that had gone on, it was best to let the storyline tell itself in the end."   
  • Michelle Ryan has upset bosses with the news that, like so many, she and her family never watch the soap in which she appears. The Zoe Slater actress says: "I know that I got a right blasting for it but I tell the truth and no, I never watch the show. Who wants to watch their own work place at home?"   
  • Bosses at EastEnders may have been celebrating the show's 20th year but no party was planned for the media or many supporters of the show. My mole reveals: "We decided that rather than throw a party we're all working hard on how to improve the show and get it back on track. I am sure fans will appreciate that more in the long run.   
  • Rudolph Walker, who plays Patrick Truman, also starred in the hit 70s comedy show Love Thy Neighbour - which got millions of viewers. While the show can never be shown on TV in today's climate, he told me that he is glad it's finally being released on DVD: "I can't understand what all the fuss was about really but we all can get a bit wrapped up in this PC world at times."   
  • Tracy-Ann Oberman, who plays murderess Chrissie, reveals she has the perfect disguise for when she wants to keep fans at bay. The curly-haired star told me: "All I do is blow dry my hair straight now and in fact no one clicks that it's me at all - which is far better than wearing hats and glasses."
Patsy Kensit

Patsy Kensit


  • Expect to see more and more of the ever lovely Patsy Kensit who celebrated her 37th birthday last week. Bosses are sure she is the real reason why the serial is now overtaking EastEnders in the ratings, and plan a massive marketing push on her charms to keep fans happy.   
  • Johnny Vegas is keen to land a role in the Yorkshire soap. I can reveal the comedian, whose TV ventures so far have all flopped, told my spies: "I think I could fit into the Dingle clan very well, and that way I would not have to smarten myself up."   
  • I hear that there as been such a backlash against the Bishop refusing to allow the vicar and his partner Laurel to wed, that in fact a change of heart is now on the cards. Actor John Middleton, who plays the vicar, let slip to my mole: "People want to see them happy and we intend to give them the wedding later in the year." Grab your hats around late summer.


  • Gary Webster, who now stars in Family Affairs but shot to fame in the TV drama Minder in the 80s and 90s, would like the show to make a one-off special comeback. He told me: "Fans would love to catch up again with the likes of George Cole and co but TV bosses seem to think that the show has had its day.

Last Updated: 13:46 UK, Tuesday March 08, 2005

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