James Corden, Drew Barrymore, Adam Garcia, Keisha Buchanan and Doctor Who star Karen Gillan in this weeks column….
*In recent years he’s become known for his bordering arrogance, but it seems like the days of James Corden cashing in on his funny fat guy persona are no more.
For I can reveal the Gavin and Stacey star has made the incredible decision to turn down a six-figure golden handcuffs deal with ITV to host a number of shows in favour of getting back to basics with his art – acting!
For the past few weeks James, who will still host another series of his hilarious SKY1 panel sports show A League of Their Own, has been pondering the huge exclusive deal from ITV but according to my moles he’s turned them down. Instead James will be the main attraction in a new version, by Richard Bean, of Carlo Goldoni’s classic farce The Servant To Two Masters next May.
My impeccable source tells me: “For the last few weeks James has told his friends and close colleagues about his ‘career dilemma’. ITV bosses were so pleased with the success of his World Cup show that they have offered him the deal to stay with the channel for at least three years and continue to present shows for them.”
They add: “ITV think they’ve found a new presenting talent – and have been throwing everything at him to stay with them. James has been wrestling with the offer and his conscience. Despite the large sum of money – his first love is and always has been acting. So, after a lot of thinking, he’s turned the offer down in favour of going back to his acting roots. It’s what makes him happier. He’s really chuffed to have been offered the deal and wouldn’t rule out doing stuff for ITV in the future, but he wants to try new acting opportunities.”
And I can reveal one of the first things the Gavin and Stacey star is set to do is once again tread the boards at the National Theatre. My source continues: “James has his heart set on becoming a well respected actor. He wants credibility and for people to not just consider him some funny guy that’s the butt of the joke from time to time.
“There’s talk of another Alan Bennett play being put on and James would love that. He did History Boys at the National and on Broadway afterwards – and although he wasn’t received amazingly well, he was respected for going down that road especially after coming from being a virtual unknown.”
And it’s not just the stage that James is about to make a big impression on – he’s also going to set the silver screen alight with appearances in Gulliver’s Travels and the new Three Musketeers remake opposite Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom and Luke Evans.
Well done James – you made the right choice!
*Olly Murs is a lovely chap. He’s working hard and genuinely seems like a jolly nice guy. His new track Please Don’t Let Me Go is out this Monday and he’s hoping for a numero uno. But if things don’t go quite as well he’s willing to go back to being ‘normal’ again. He tells me: “I’m enjoying every day – I want to look back on this year whether things are a huge success or not and think I gave it my best shot and had an experience. I’d like to have a house and a new car and then I’ll be fine. I’m realistic about the industry. I worked in a call centre as a recruitment consultant and worked in a jam factory a couple of days a week. I’m grounded.”
The star spoke out about the auto-tuning controversy that X Factor have experienced this week and he said he’d never seen anything suspect. “I for one didn’t see any auto-tuning going on when I was on the show,” he added. “But I can’t speak for others. I mean, Jedward? Ha.” What could he possibly mean!
WHICH star is hiding her secret age. This blonde is actually an incredible 47 despite claiming to be a decade younger. She even has two passports to her lie. Must have a great surgeon….
*Joss Stone has oodles of cash stacked away for a rainy day – so she’s taking an entire year off! I’m told the star, who’s still only 23 years old, is intent on doing up her garden during her time away from the music industry. My source reveals: “Joss has the most incredible house down in Cornwall that she’s done up with beautiful hippy inspired art pieces and stain glass windows – as you would expect. But she’s ready to start work on the garden and has no qualms about taking time out.” Good for her.
*That Usher is a cad. I hear the father-of-two, who releases brill new single DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love this week, has a secret weapon to getting himself some lovely lady bumps – he has a back-up car to pull the ladies in. During the day he’s the image of a perfect father and drives a Mercedes with baby car seats and then at night he brings out a Porsche. A mole tells me: “His day car is covered in baby stuff – Cheerios on the seats, crackers and toys. But he takes the Porsche out in the evening to impress the ladies. He’s a clean freak really and doesn’t want potential lovers to see the mess.” Clever boy.
*Former Sugababe Keisha Buchanan was looking beyond amazing when I bumped into her last week. There’s a new weave, an amazing new figure and a new sense of confidence after being ousted from the band that made her famous. The teeny star tells me being happy following the departure from Sugababes has had a lot to do with it. Keisha revealed: “Yes I’ve been working out and I’m not going home every night and eating a Chinese takeaway. I wasn’t being healthy towards the end of being in the band. I was eating because I was so miserable. I’m happy now and I’m looking after myself.”
The star, who won’t release music until early next year, also set the record straight on whether she’ll be reuniting with her old chums Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donaghy (who famously walked from the band branding Keish and Mut bullies) from the original Sugababes line-up. “I’ve recorded over 30 tracks now so it’s time to whittle them down for the album – and I’m nearly there,” Keisha added. “Mut will probably feature in there somehow and I’ve been hanging out with Siobhan too. Whether we all work together I’m not sure. But we’re very much friends and looking at what we could do. I certainly never thought I’d be in this situation with reuniting with the original girls. But it feels very easy and very natural for me. We’ve grown up a lot since then.” Indeed you have – I’m loving the new fit and fabulous Keisha.
*Adam Garcia is a class act. Not only is he a great judge on Sky1′s dance show Got To Dance he’s also going down a storm in the West End dance show Tap Dogs.
I took the hunky Aussie for a bite to eat last week and he told all about working on the West End and moving on from the cult classic film Coyote Ugly. “It’s been 10 years since the film came out now and people are still coming to see me off the back of that film – which is pretty amazing,” he told me. “This show is an 85 minute sprint and keep me fit. That’s why I’m able to eat what I want and not bother going to the gym.” “The show’s been going for 15 years and I’m in the latest reprisal. Being on the West End is a real thrill.”
But not everything has gone to plan with his fanbase in the UK. “I was outside the other night and this woman came up behind me and full-on goosed me,” he said. “It wasn’t even a laughing matter. I lost my sense of humour and told this woman off. It was beyond rude.”
That it was Adam – but on the plus side at least people still want to goose you!
Catch Adam in Tap Dogs before it finishes next Sunday at the Novello Theatre. Call the box office on 0844-4825170 or log onto www.tapdogs.co.uk.
*Scott Mills is presenting his big ones. No you smutty lot, his new compilation album is called B1G ONES. Featuring every summer hit possible this is the one CD you need following a summer of raving it up in the sun. It features Plan B, Flo Rida, Jason Derulo and Cheryl Cole. Go get it!
*Fancy dressing as Freddie Mercury for a day to help raise money for people living with HIV and AIDS? Well now is your chance. Next Friday (September 3) thousands up and down the UK will be sponsored to dress as Freddie as part of the Mercury Phoenix Trust’s Freddie For A Day campaign. Get involved yourself and log onto www.mercuryphoenixtrust.com.
*When your hair starts to grow back after alopecia it can have a couple of undesired effects. Just ask Gail Porter. The star told me over coffee at the GMTV studios this week: “My hair grew back and then my eyelashes but I’d completely forgotten about the rest of my body until I took my daughter Honey swimming and realised I had Julia Roberts armpits and God knows what else going on downstairs.” The stars currently planning her 40th birthday celebrations for early next year. “It’s going to be huge,” Gail said. I don’t doubt her.
*Drew Barrymore told me about her best buddy Cameron Diaz last week when she was in town to promote her flick Going The Distance. And it would seem the pair have rather bizarre nicknames for each other. Drew laughed: “Ah, my poo poo! That’s our nicknames for each other poo and poo poo!! We just spent the last few months together hanging out rooming, we are roomies! We have so much fun together we both have the same outlook on life – I guess we basically don’t take it too seriously!”
She also told me she’s gagging to do another Charlie’s Angels film with Cam and Lucy Liu. “I would do another Charlie’s Angels in a shot,” she said. “I would do it until we had to do it in wheelchairs – Charlie’s Angels, the senior years. But the stars will have to be aligned in the right place! The thing is although the movies are really fun, they take a lot of work so I don’t know when we’ll work it out but anytime soon I am up for it!”
*Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding says she has hung up her party shoes once again. The star told me last week: “This has been my only day off this week. I’ve been working 6-day weeks for so long. I can’t tell you what I’m doing cause if I talk about it too soon then it won’t be interesting anymore.” Sarah, who these days is forging a career as an actress, insists that days of clubbing all night are behind her. “I was in bed by 9pm on a Saturday night,” she admitted. “My party girl days are far behind me. I’m glad I did it, but I’ve taken all of that stuff and locked it away in a chest. I’m 28! I need to start behaving. When you’re in your early 20s its all about having lots of fun, but I’ve got too much to do now.” Is this the same Sarah Harding you caned it non stop for two weeks in Ibiza just a matter of days ago? Oh yes, it is.
*Denise Van Outen’s little girl Betsy was beyond cute at last week’s V Festival. Suri who?! Anyway, it sounds like Denise is coping just fine with getting back to normal as a new mum. She told me: “It was so much harder than I expected at the beginning but it’s much better now. She’s just the best thing.”
And Den reveals she’s eased back into her size 10 clothes with ease. “I didn’t really do anything but run around after her,” she revealed. “It’s been non stop and I think the adrenaline has worked wonders. I’ve started training for the Inca trail that I’m doing for charity now so that’s getting me very fit. I’m running or hiking pretty much every day. So that will fine tune me.” Indeed!
*Doctor Who star Karen Gillan sounds like she has some rather large ambitions as an actress if you ask me. She revealed: “I’m signed up for the next series of Doctor Who so I have no plans for anything else right now, but I would to get into theatre after this series. I think Lady Macbeth is a character I could really get into – and she’s from Inverness like me.”
Fortunately it sounds as if the quirky star’s new found fame and paparazzi attention is just washing over her like water off a duck’s back. “It doesn’t bother me or change how I dress,” she said. “I’ve always been into fashion so I’m going to wear what I like. And I don’t exercise or diet or anything. I slouch in front of the TV.”
*Rupert Grint is after a role as far away from his Harry Potter role of Ron Weasley as possible after the film franchise finally shuts up shop for good. He said: “I want to play someone psycho and be really mad. I’m trying to line stuff up but for now I want to hang out with my friends.”