TV

Lord Sugar wants to film The Apprentice in Australia next year as life there is 'back to normal'

LORD SUGAR has headed Down Under during the winter and now his TV boardroom could soon follow him.

The Apprentice boss was filming Australia’s version of the BBC1 show, but wants to take UK contestants to the country for the 2021 series as business there is booming.

A TV insider said: “Lord Sugar has loved filming in Oz and has told BBC bosses that for next year’s UK series he’d like to take it out there.

“While London is like a ghost town, there’s a real buzz in Australia and New Zealand, where life is almost back to normal amid the pandemic.

“There would be plenty that the teams of hopeful entrepreneurs could do, whereas filming in London is likely to still be tricky next year, especially as the restrictions change all the time.”

The billionaire has also taken a shine to the Australian wildlife, having posted snaps of kangaroos, crocs and koala bears on his Twitter page in recent days.


Filming for what was due to be this year’s series of The Apprentice was halted in March when the UK went into lockdown. Lord Sugar said in October that he was unsure whether that series would air in the spring, or whether everything would be postponed until next autumn.

With that in mind, taking the contestants to the other side of the world could be a great way to make sure viewers get a series to enjoy next year.

I’ll miss seeing the losing team in a greasy spoon cafe in London, though. I’m not convinced showing them sipping cocktails on the beach will have the same effect. 

NIC’S BLAZER SHARP IN U.S.

NICOLE Scherzinger is putting her judging talents to use on the US version of The Masked Singer.

The former X Factor panellist went braless on Saturday night’s show in the States, where she wore this plunging white blazer.

The episode saw singers Tori Kelly and Taylor Dayne unmasked, plus Olympic gold-medal winning snowboarder Chloe Kim.

Others who took part in the US this year included Paul Anka, Busta Rhymes and Mickey Rourke.

The UK show starts on ITV on Boxing Day, with Mo Gilligan replacing Ken Jeong on the panel, alongside Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross.

I have high hopes for big-name stars under the masks.

NO FACTOR

PRESENTER Dermot O'Leary believes The X Factor will not return until the year after next, because of the amount of planning that is needed to make the ITV competition happen.

The singing show’s host said: “It definitely won’t be next year, so it will probably be back in 2022.”

PIERS QUIZZED

WE are about to find out if the know-it-all Piers Morgan really is all talk or not.

The Good Morning Britain presenter has signed up for the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire celebrity special, which will be screened on Boxing Day.

The Sun revealed last month he had ended his feud with host Jeremy Clarkson and would be in the famous hot seat.

He has now shared pictures of his appearance and said on Instagram: “BREAKING: Yes, it happened. I’ve appeared on Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, hosted by a man who once repeatedly punched me in the head.

“It went . . .  well . . .  let’s just say I don’t think the public will be disappointed.”

Prue Leith, Ronni Ancona and Kym Marsh will also be giving it a go. Piers and Jeremy had a longstanding feud after a punch-up at an awards ceremony in 2004.

Adam cops a cameo by real-life son

EASTENDERS actor Adam Woodyatt roped in his son to play a police officer in the BBC soap.

Viewers saw his character Ian Beale bludgeoned over the head in Friday night’s cliffhanger episode, which kicks off a whodunnit mystery.

And earlier in the episode, when Ian was led away by a policeman, it was actually Adam’s boy Sam.

The cameo meant the scene was able to include physical contact, as they are in the same bubble and could get around the need for social distancing on set.

Ian has plenty of nightmare children in the show, so I imagine Adam was pleased to see Sam.

Helen has a dirty laugh

THEY say never work with children or animals – but Helen Skelton has done live telly with both and insists things going wrong makes her job a laugh.

The former Blue Peter presenter, who now hosts BBC’s Countryfile and Channel 5’s The Farm, said: “Anybody who has ever worked on kids’ telly or with animals, you want things to go wrong, because it’s funny.

“When I was working on the Olympics, people would ask, ‘Oh, do you not get nervous when it’s live?’ And I’d say ‘no’.

“When you’ve worked on live kids’ telly and live farming programmes you know anything can go wrong.”

Helen, who is promoting the new book Jonny And Jelly Go Round And Round to help kids learn where food comes from, said she often gets “heckled” by a mooing cow called Emma on The Farm.

She added: “When I’m filming on farms and for Countryfile, you’re sitting in with the animals. You’ll stand up and colleagues will say, ‘You’ve got goat poo on your jeans.’ There’s no time for glamour.”

Dawn tears over Dibley star tribute

DAWN French pays tribute to her late co-star in the Vicar Of Dibley Christmas specials, which had her in tears.

The first of the three ten-minute episodes is on BBC1 tonight at 8.50pm.
Dawn returns as Geraldine Granger.

But there will be no verger Alice, played by Emma Chambers, who died of a heart attack in 2018.

Speaking on Radio 2, Dawn said: “Along with all the silly funny stuff, there is a moment where we pay tribute to Alice and that was not easy to film.

“I had to do it seven times.

"I didn’t get through it once without tears but it’s very important to remember this is where real life and Dibley come together.

“Dibley’s always had this all-encompassing skill of making stuff funny and light but also being truthful and honest.”

Dawn added: “It’s lots of fun and jokes, with all the characters there.”

THE BIG MOVE

SCARLETT Moffatt is selling her £395,000 home to move somewhere even nicer.

The former I’m A Celebrity winner shared a link to view her five-bed house in Co Durham on Instagram, and said she is planning to move to a new place “ten miles away” with boyfriend Scott Dobinson.

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