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TV; Insider: In search of a high-fryer; Angela Hagan goes behind the scenes.

Byline: Angela Hagan


"I really laughed when my sister told me that. Not because it's funny, I just thought she was joking. He's such a softie, my dog!" Mel B on hearing that her dog had killed her neighbour's guinea pigs.

"We don't get involved in writing the storylines. We might come up with ideas about what we think should happen next, but then they write something different." Brookside's Bernie Nolan

Most C-list stars will do anything to revive their careers, as Vanessa Feltz, Richard Whiteley, Jeremy Beadle and others prove in BBC1's upcoming Celebrity Sleepover. But the chance to bed down for the night in a stranger's home proved too much for some. Executive producer Vicki Barrass admits, "Boy George's agent was enthusiastic about the project - before discovering that the sleepover was for real."

The Cold Feet stars are on the march, taking over the big and small screens this autumn. James Nesbitt (Adam) stars in Lucky Break, Bloody Sunday and Murphy's Law. John Thomson (Pete) is in the series House Of Horrible, Green-Eyed Monster and the film 24-Hour Party People. Fay Ripley (Jenny) appears in the series I Saw You and co-stars with John in Green- Eyed Monster. Robert Bathurst (David) pops up in The Safe House and Dead. Hermione Norris in Lucky Jim. And Helen Baxendale (Rachel) in the film Dead By Monday.

The chips may be down most of the time for poor Laura in EastEnders, but the actress who plays her, Hannah Waterman (right), is part of a project to help those who long to be real acting high-fryers.

"Acting is one of the hardest professions of all, but I love what I do," says Hannah, who despite growing up in a showbiz environment struggled to make it on her own without any help from her dad, Minder star Denis Waterman, or her stepmum, actress Rula Lenska.

Hannah, along with co-star Michael Greco, is part of the BBC Talent judging panel which aims to find the nation's best undiscovered actors. They were recently in Belfast to see hopefuls perform a short script in the hope of stepping out on the road to stardom. The ten winners, picked from among 12,000 wannabes taking part in auditions across the country, stand to win speaking parts in BBC dramas such as Casualty, Silent Witness and EastEnders itself.

Talks are afoot to show a raunchy, late-night version of ITV's new daytime soap, Night And Day, which hits the screens later this year. The star-studded drama about six London families, which stars Joe McGann, Cathy Tyson, Lysette Anthony and Gareth Hunt, will feature a repeat episode each week with added sex scenes for the post-pub crowd. Whoopee!


Anneka Rice

OK, so Anneka's bottom, often seen leaping out of helicopters, was more famous than her face. But following the breakdown of her marriage to Nick Allott, and the collapse of her next relationship with Tom Gutteridge, she simply vanished. Apart from guesting on So Graham Norton this year and presenting the Masterchef 2000 awards, the mum-of-three has kept out of the spotlight.

"After 15 years of jetting all over the place, it's nice to be able to take a break," she says.


John Hannah returns as the Edinburgh-based, booze-swilling detective Rebus for ITV...

l The post-war drama Back Home for ITV, starring Sarah Lancashire as a young housewife who discovers independence...

l John Nettles, Samantha Bond and Rosemary Leach in ITV's quirky sleuth drama Midsomer Murders...

l Nicola Methven is on holiday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 14, 2001
Previous Article:The sporting week.
Next Article:Away Day To London; To celebrate Home And Away's return to our TV screens, we took three of the soap's stars on a big city tour.

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