STRICTLY 2019: ALEX SCOTT MBE JOINS LINE UP 0 51

Alex Scott MBE is a sports pundit, presenter and former professional footballer.

The 17th series of the NTA and Bafta award-winning entertainment show produced by BBC Studios will return in the autumn on BBC One putting the sparkle back into Saturday and Sunday nights.

Alex says: “I am absolutely buzzing to be signed up to Strictly. It’s the show I’ve always wanted to do and I can’t believe I’m finally going to be part of it. I’m super excited, but also terrified at the same time… The football pitch is a bit less glam than the ballroom, but I’m ready to try the sequins and dresses! Bring it on!”

The former Arsenal captain is a well-regarded pundit for BBC and Sky Sports and a regular on BBC’s Match Of The Day.

Alex signed with Arsenal aged eight and stayed with the team for most of her career. Alex helped the club achieve a domestic double of the FA Women’s Cup and the FA Women’s Premier League. She was also a key figure in the historic quadruple season for Arsenal in which they won all their trophy competitions. Alex then led the team as captain for the 2014/15 season. While playing for England, Alex travelled the world playing football, also representing Great Britain in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. When she retired in 2017, Alex was the second most capped England player with 140 appearances.

Since her retirement in 2018, Alex has begun a successful broadcasting career. Alex is a key member of BBC Sport’s football broadcasting team and has become a regular face for Sky Sports football coverage. Alex made history last August as the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports’ Super Sunday and made waves as a fresh addition to the BBC World Cup commentary line up.

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CATHY SHIPTON QUITS CASUALTY ROLE 0 16

Cathy Shipton, who plays Casualty’s Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin, has announced she will be leaving the BBC One continuing drama, 33 years after first appearing on screen in Casualty’s pilot episode in 1986.

Appearing in over 350 episodes, Cathy is one of show’s longest-serving cast members. Whilst audiences have seen Duffy come and go in the Emergency Department throughout the years, today it is announced that she will make her final departure on screen next year.

Throughout the show’s history, Duffy’s storylines have allowed the programme to explore important and significant topics such as sexual assault, HIV, suicide, grief, single parenthood, humanitarianism, mental health and most recently, dementia.

Cathy Shipton says: “Walking in Duffy’s shoes through the years has taught me so much for which I’ll be forever grateful. I’m honoured and humbled to have played this inspiring woman. With sadness, but a sense of completion, l say goodbye.”

Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Casualty and Holby City, says: “Cathy’s enormous contribution has not just been to Casualty but also to the national consciousness and the British television drama landscape. She has made Duffy into a comforting Saturday night icon, the caring, ideal NHS nurse millions grew up with – and whom you’d want to be looked after by in times of need.

“She’s given us some of our most unforgettable stories and moments, not least of late in her heart-rending dementia storyline, and I simply cannot thank her enough.”

Cathy will be appear on screen as Duffy until early 2020.

INSIDE SOAP AWARDS 2019: THE WINNERS REVEALED 0 18

You’ve been voting in your thousands all summer, and the moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here – it’s time to reveal the winners of the Inside Soap Awards 2019!

And the big news is that Hollyoaks has triumphed as Best Soap for the first time in the history of the awards. The cast will be presented with their trophy at a glitzy ceremony this evening at London venue Sway.

“It’s been an amazing soap year – in fact, the awards have never been more keenly fought,” says Inside Soap editor Steven Murphy. “We can’t wait to hand out the trophies to our winners tonight. Looking down the winners list, the UK should be extremely proud of our soaps and our soap stars, as the breadth of talent among the winners is astonishing. We’re proud to be celebrating all that is great about our wonderful soaps.”

Here’s the full list of your winners!

Best Actor: Adam Woodward (Brody Hudson, Hollyoaks)
Best Actress: Stephanie Davis (Sinead Shelby, Hollyoaks)
Best Young Actor: Kara-Leah Fernandes (Bailey Baker, EastEnders)
Best Newcomer: Maureen Lipman (Evelyn Plummer, Coronation Street)
Best Bad Girl: Louisa Clein (Maya Stepney, Emmerdale)
Best Bad Boy: Max Bowden (Ben Mitchell, EastEnders)
Best Partnership: Dominic Brunt & Lucy Pargeter (Paddy Kirk & Chas Dingle, Emmerdale)
Funniest Male: Danny Dyer (Mick Carter, EastEnders)
Funniest Female: Lorraine Stanley (Karen Taylor, EastEnders)
Best Shock Twist: Flashbacks to the big night out! (Emmerdale)
Best Exit: Jane Cox (Lisa Dingle, Emmerdale)
Best Show-stopper: Carla’s mental health episode (Coronation Street)
Soap Superstar: Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe, Coronation Street)
Best Drama Star: Rosie Marcel (Jac Naylor, Holby City)
Best Drama Storyline: Iain’s Depression (Casualty)
Best Daytime Star: Ryan Moloney (Jarrod ‘Toadie’ Rebecchi, Neighbours)
Best Daytime Soap: Neighbours
Best Soap: Hollyoaks