On The Grapevine……

Posted by Dean Piper On November 20th, 2011

Barbara Windsor (above centre with me) sounds like she’s enjoying life after EastEnders. And she would be on our screens more if she had something she found a role she felt compelled to play. “The truth is Peggy Mitchell was a hard act to follow,” Babs told me at this week’s screening of Sky 1HD’s Little Crackers. “I know everybody knows I’ve done the Bingo adds. But I honestly haven’t found anything that floats my boat. If I had then I’d be busier but I haven’t yet.” It’s a travesty she’s not on our screens more. Check out Little Crackers on Sky1HD from December 18.

Kylie Minogue
WILL be touring again next year to celebrate her 25 years in the music industry and her new orchestral hits album. But this time around expect something extremely different to her feather clad camp-offs of yester-year. My sources tell me she will most likely have creative director William Baker on board still but it won’t be the feather-fest of her huge stadium tours. “It will be smaller venues,” says my source. “She wants to showcase her voice minus the fizz. It will still be Kylie but very chilled with an orchestra.” I like the sound of this.
Meanwhile, the brunnette hair won’t be here for much longer. I’m told Kylie’s taken another small role in an indie film and she’s gone dark purely for said role. Bring back blonde Kyles….

So Leona Lewis is in the studio once again working on tracks for the next album. And she has a new partner in crime this time around – hitmaker Fraser T. Smith. The pair have been holed up in the studio for the past few weeks after Simon Cowell called in Fraser for his expert songwriting and producing skills. And if you ask me this is a GREAT move. Fraser’s responsible for some of the best hits of the last few years – Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain, James Morrison’s Broken Strings and Taio Cruz’s Break Your Heart. Good luck Le!

Cher Lloyd is taking steps to becoming a major big shot in the music world. Her album Sticks and Stones is riding high in the charts this week and now she’s gone and got herself new management with former Bros star Craig Logan. Cher becomes one of Craig’s first signings for Logan Media Entertainment in a deal that should see Cher start to really push some buttons across the pond in the States. After all, Craig was the man that guided Pink and countless others to superstardom.
Keep a look out on Cher’s twitter feed tomorrow – a little birdie tells me she will be announcing details for her debut tour….

The Wanted’s Max George, who was crowned Celebrity Spectacle Wearer 2011 this week, revealed that, with the band trying to crack America next year with Def Jam records, he and fiancee Michelle Keegan are pushing their wedding back until 2013. “The wedding has been delayed until the year after next ,” he admitted “It’s going to take some time. But the long distance always makes us stronger.” We’ll see….

Taio Cruz (above with me) tells me his work with Cheryl Cole on her third solo album is coming along very nicely indeed. We caught up for drinks alongside model Cara Delevinge at Whisky Mist this week where he was launching his new range of luxury RXTR watches. The Ketel One vodka flowed and Taio told me: “The tracks we’ve worked on are mid-tempo. Not party anthems like people have said. There’s three or so at the minute and she’s fantastic to work with.” I bet.

Calling all the secret Santas out there! Join Text SANTA and Ashley Banjo in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record™ for the ‘Largest gathering of people dressed as Santa Claus’ at the Oval Cricket ground in London next Sunday. It’s also being filmed for ITV’s Text SANTA launch show so you could be famous! Visit www.itv.com/textsanta for all the info.

Martine McCutcheon is hoping to make a return to the charts with a new album next year. The singer and actress has joined forces with her fiance songwriter Jack McManus, who also penned The Wanted’s latest single Warzone. “It’s going to be different to anything I’ve done before,” she told me at the Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2011 awards. “Jack’s the cool and trendy one and I’m more classic, so he’s helping to keep me more current. Between the two of us we’re a good team.”

Beverley Knight was back on top form this week performing as part of her Soul UK tour at the Royal Albert Hall. Lemar and Wretch 32 popped by to see Bev kill it on stage singing some of her greatest hits and tunes from new album Soul UK. X Factor finalist Johnny Robinson naturally stole the show when he pitched up to watch. Love that guy!

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