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Reality TV links: George Galloway's soul, American Idol in trouble, Canadian Marias

gallo.jpgThe Observer had a whole reality tv special in its magazine at the weekend. While we might not want to think about George Galloway's body and soul too much since that robot-dancing clip, the top ten reality telly earners and guide to surviving Big Brother make entertaining reading.

American Idol's in trouble for too much product placement... don't look up the product though - THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO DO!

- and just when you thought they'd solved a problem like her, they have the Marias show in Canada too, it turns out...

Connie Fisher to take stage with Alistair McGowan


Ah, she lurks like the phantom of the opera on the outskirts of our, um, theatre of consciousness. The spirit of Connie Fisher remains with us, and her musical career wafts on whether we notice it or not. This summer, Connie will be starring alongside Alistair McGowan in They're Playing Our Song.

The show will open officially at the Menier Chocolate Factory on the 4th of August running to 28th of September. Whether McGowan will be persuaded to 'do Madeley' as an encore has yet to be confirmed.

Panto Poll: Time to call time on music talent shows?

With viewing figures are down on previous years, we have to ask: have the Lloyd Webber shows started to lose their sparkle a bit? Rumour has it the BBC are desperate to keep Graham Norton and are looking for a way to make sure he doesn't get tempted away by the siren call of glamorous, sophisticated ITV. The question is... are these shows enough?

I'd Do Anything, Joseph and Marias stars to appear in Les Mis

LES MISÉRABLES, the world's longest running musical, (currently playing in its 23rd year at the Queen's Theatre) has some cast changes coming up. From the 23rd of June, the part of a grown-up 'Eponine' will be taken by Nancy Sullivan (not that one!, that one), who was knocked out before reaching the final 12 on I'd Do Anything. Leanne Dobinson will play 'Cosette'. Leanne's been in Les Mis already in a different part, and was famously one of 10 hopefuls in How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria.

The elusive Cameron Macintosh finally speaks:

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Junior PM - the new Gordon Brown reality show?!

gbr.JPGCouldn't resist the exclamation mark. This is the world we have created, folks. I hope we're proud of ourselves. The Prime Minister could be heading up a new reality show, part-apprentice, part-Strictly, part-craziest thing you ever heard. Plans for a TV show for young politicians are being championed by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and were leaked prematurely when someone, I swear, took a photo of the memo over her shoulder.

They're talking about calling it Junior PM, and Gordon Brown, who I guess has nothing better to do, would play the Alan Sugar/Andrew Lloyd Webber role. The email in this picture (man, aren't you embarrassed FOR her?) was sent by youth worker Miss McCabe to Miss Blears' special adviser Andy Bagnall.

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Shit Lookalikes: Paul Daniels and Graham Norton

Don't get me wrong, I'm the world's biggest Graham Norton fan. I think he's excellent and I loved it when, at the Baftas, he told DS that life would get its revenge on Piers Morgan, because "tomorrow he'll wake up and he'll still be Piers Morgan". But lately Graham has started to remind me slightly of someone. Just a bit, you know. Not a lot.


Reality news round-up: Francesca's gone, Brucie's disdain, Connie's teeth, Niamh's skin

fran1.jpgFrancesca, you looked and sang like you were permanently in the middle of an allergic reaction to something, and now you're gone. The surprise, I think, was that you were up against Ashley, the one Andrew described as having a voice he "just doesn't rate"... and he still got rid of you.

We're live-twittering I'd Do Anything every Saturday over on the Panto twitter. Why not follow us?

Bruce Forsyth doesn't like reality shows. Apparently someone "just walking across the screen" is boring. Presumably "dancing across the screen" is fine though.

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Reality TV news: Paul Potts interview, Barrowman's back (did he ever leave?), Cowell's rich, Jodie's kinky, Jordan's a mermaid

pim.jpgPiers Morgan's interviewed Paul Potts, and found him to be just the same nice guy that he met a year ago. But with better teeth.

While every straight girl's other secret crush, John Barrowman, has a new series of The Kids Are All Right - the show where superbright kids and adults go head-to-head (we're suckers for this kind of thing). The programme goes out tomorrow, 6.05pm, BBC1, just before his other show, I'd Do Anything. Interview here - did you know he was born in Glasgow?!

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John Barrowman uses Botox

bman.jpgTime-travelling star of musical theatre, John Barrowman has revealed that he uses Botox to stay fresh-faced.

Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack in Torchwood, has injections around his eyes from time to time, to get rid of ageing wrinkles. He told New! magazine, "I don't swear by it but I think it's quite good. The key is to not do the forehead. Men need forehead lines and doing the forehead makes you look like Nicole Kidman! If you're going to do anything, just do it round the eyes, that's all men need."

This next bit might be creeping over that line from "just enough" to "too much" information...

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Kevin Spacey criticises UK talent shows

kpax.jpgKevin Spacey has gone on record complaining about the Lloyd Webber talent shows and would like to see more programmes about theatre. He said: "I felt that was essentially a 13-week promotion for a musical - where's our 13-week programme?"

The Hollywood star is artistic director at the Old Vic theatre in London and clearly feels quite strongly about this. "I have spoken to your chairman but he has yet to get back to me," Spacey said. The BBC replied that its shows were not 'unduly promotional'.

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Connie on Loose Women!

Phew, I thought we'd lost her for a moment there. But here she is! On Loose Women just this week. It's great to see her, albeit being upstaged by a coughing Nolan sister. How I love you Connie! There's nothing about you I'd change! Get braces though.

Shit Lookalikes: Summer Strallen and Celine Dion

Hollyoaks star Summer has enjoyed her first few days as Maria, and although the critics have been a bit divided, Lloyd Webber's lovin' it, which is the main thing. He even said: "She's wonderful. It's a corny thing to say but we had the most fantastic spring with Connie and I think we're going to have a glorious Summer." Well he's dead right! It is a corny thing to say. Obviously she's got the ginger crop now, but back in her brunette days, didn't she look a little bit like Celine Dion? I'm not making this up, am I? Maybe it's just a bad photo.