STRICTLY COME DANCING 2018: THE CELEBRITIES REVEALED 0 125

The Strictly Come Dancing line-up has been confirmed, with plenty of actors, presenters and TV stars revealed for 2018.

The full list of Strictly 2018 stars is below…

KATIE PIPER
Katie is a best-selling international author, inspirational speaker, TV presenter and charity campaigner. Katie made the decision to share her story in a remarkable film for the Cutting Edge strand on Channel 4 called Katie: My Beautiful Face, which was watched by over 3.5million viewers and nominated for Best Single Documentary at the Bafta Television Awards in 2010.

Katie says: “I feel so privileged and excited to be part of my favourite show on TV. I already know how much of an amazing experience it will be for me and I can’t wait to show my girls some of my new dance moves. I’m nervous to put on my dancing shoes but can’t wait to learn a new skill and have the Strictly tan and makeover!”

FAYE TOZER
Faye is best known for her part in the UK’s most successful mixed-sex pop group of all time, Steps. Formed in 1997 they went on to release over 17 singles and four studio albums selling over 20 million records in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia and the US in a five year period. Faye also enjoyed TV presenting during this time including the Pepsi Chart Show, SMTV, the Disney Channel’s kid’s awards, Entertainment Today and the BBC Kids Proms in the Park. After Steps disbanded in 2001 Faye teamed up with Russell Watson gaining a top 10 hit with Someone Like You.

Faye began her theatrical career in 2004 with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me On A Sunday and has gone on to gain many theatrical roles. In 2011 Steps successfully reunited with hit Sky Living TV shows Steps – The Reunion and On The Road Again and celebrated with a 22-date sell out arena tour and another number one album.

Faye says: “Being on Strictly is literally a dream come true! It’s everything my 9 year old self ever wanted from showbiz and I’m going to relish every moment!”

DANNY JOHN-JULES
Danny John-Jules is a British actor most famous for playing the character Cat in the sci-fi comedy series, Red Dwarf – one of the most well-known sci-fi franchises on the planet – and arguably the most popular science-fiction comedy ever created. Other recognisable roles include the policeman Dwayne Myers in the long running BBC hit crime drama, Death In Paradise and Barrington in the BBC comedy Maid Marian And Her Merry Men. Danny also starred in CBBC children’s spy drama M.I. High, in which he portrayed Lenny Bicknall, the caretaker.

Danny says: “Having spent the last few months on two wheels motorcycling around South America in pink leathers, I’m absolutely delighted to be getting back on two feet and into something more comfortable like glittery spandex.”

JOE SUGG
Joe Sugg is a British YouTuber, filmmaker, author and vlogger. As of 2018 he has over 25 million followers and is an international star. His videos consist of challenges, pranks, impressions and gaming, across his three YouTube channels. Joe is the author of the tremendously successful graphic novel series Username: Evie, which was the fastest selling graphic novel of all time. He also wrote, starred and executive produced the travelogue specials Joe and Caspar: Hit the Road and Hit the Road USA, with best friend – Caspar Lee, which set pre-order DVD sales records for Amazon, and both of which are available on Netflix. His pop-up merchandise store recently attracted so many fans that the traffic in Covent Garden was brought to a standstill. He has recently launched a new company to manage emerging digital talent.

Joe says: “I’m honestly so chuffed to be involved in the show this year! Not going to lie, I’m very nervous about it, it’s totally out of my comfort zone and I know it will be a huge challenge but that’s what life is all about I guess. Funnily enough I’m writing this statement whilst on the way to surprise my grandparents with the news. They are going to be so happy which will definitely make up for any embarrassment or cringe caused by my questionable rhythm.”

VICK HOPE
A Nigerian-Geordie with a degree from Cambridge University, Vick is a multilingual, multi-skilled and multifaceted young presenter making waves in the multi-platform world of broadcast. She is currently presenting the Capital Breakfast show every morning with Roman Kemp and also hosts 4Music Trending Live and Box Fresh. Vick is also a mainstay reporter for ITN where she produces, scripts, edits and presents news and entertainment bulletins. In 2018 Vick joined the Voice and The Voice Kids as the digital reporter, as well as fronting Sky One’s Carnage alongside Freddie Flintoff and Lethal Bizzle.

Vick says: “I’m so excited about being a contestant on this year’s Strictly. I’ve always been such a massive fan of the show so it’s a huge honour to be part of this series. Dances like Ballroom and Latin are totally outside my comfort zone but I love dancing, it makes people happy – myself included. To be able to perform every Saturday is such an incredible opportunity – I couldn’t be looking forward to it any more and I will be throwing myself into it, working hard and learning from the judges every week.”

GRAEME SWANN
Graeme is a world-renowned cricketer who began his England career in a one-day international at Bloemfontein but he wasn’t to make his Test debut for eight years, after spending time honing his skills at his home county club of Northampton and subsequently

Nottinghamshire. His 2008 Test debut as part of the England team against India at Chennai was a turning point in his career and he went on to become one of our greatest ever spin bowlers. Graeme was part of the victorious England team who claimed the Ashes back from Australia, where he delivered the winning wicket to secure the victory. He is a popular commentator on Test Match Special for the BBC.

Graeme says: “It’s true – I’ve signed up for Strictly! I’m hoping to follow in the footsteps of the cricketers who’ve come before me who’ve either won the whole thing or had an absolute ball on the show. Keeping it under wraps from my kids has been nearly impossible; they are huge fans of the show and I can’t wait to see their faces when I tell them. I don’t have any background in dancing but can do the floss so let’s hope this comes in useful!”

DR RANJ SINGH
Inspiring, fun and engaging – not words often associated with science and medical experts, yet Dr Ranj combines all three with infectious enthusiasm. Dr Ranj is one of the resident doctors on ITV’s This Morning, specialising in the wellbeing of young people, and still works shifts in A&E and the intensive care unit at his local NHS hospital. He is also the co-creating host of Bafta award-winning CBeebies series, Get Well Soon and co-presenter of ITV’s brand new prime-time series Save Money: Good Health. As well as these shows, Dr Ranj can regularly be seen on other programmes as wide-ranging as: BBC’s Pointless Celebrities, Inside Out, Celebrity Eggheads and Watchdog; ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Tonight; Channel 5’s Big Brother’s Bit On The Side and 5 News.

Dr Ranj said: “I’m so overwhelmed and excited to be part of this wonderful show. It’s an absolute dream come true for me! I’ve been a massive fan for so long, and I can’t quite believe this is happening, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Anyone that knows me knows that I love a bit of sparkle… so bring on the glitter! I can’t wait!”

STACEY DOOLEY
Stacey Dooley is one of Britain’s most celebrated documentary presenters who earlier this year was awarded an MBE for her services to broadcasting. Stacey has been making television programmes for nine years after life took an unexpected turn when, whilst working as a shop assistant, she took part in a BBC Three series travelling to India to explore the fashion industry making clothes for the UK high street. Since then she has embarked on presenting a series of hard-hitting shows with Stacey Dooley Investigates. In 2016 she travelled to Syria and presented the critically acclaimed BBC Three documentary, Stacey Dooley on The Frontline: Gun Girls and ISIS. She won the One World Media Award for her face-to-face interview with an ISIS solider, and last year she released her debut book On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back, which made it on to The Sunday Times Bestsellers List.

Stacey says: “It’s happening! I’m taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this year and my mother is going to explode. 2018 has already been such an incredible year for me, I’ve done some amazing things and I’m excited to add ‘becoming a dancing GENIUS’ to the list! Typically, work for me is very serious and can be quite hard core so I’m going to soak up the escapism and bathe in the sequins. See you on the dancefloor!”

ASHLEY ROBERTS
Ashley Roberts is a skilled presenter, musician and actress best known for being a member of one of the biggest girl groups in the world – The Pussycat Dolls. During her seven years in The Pussycat Dolls the group sold over 54 million records worldwide and won multiple music awards. Since leaving the group in 2010, Ashley has had a successful broadcast career, with credits that include regular appearances on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV), judging on Dancing On Ice (ITV) and Let It Shine (BBC One), starring roles in Keith Lemon’s comedy series Coming In America (ITV2) and The Sketch Show (ITV2) and appearances on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! (ITV) and The Jump (Channel 4).

Ashley said: “I am beyond excited and grateful to be part of the Strictly family! I’m going to put my heart and soul into this new adventure and can’t wait to have fun with the team! Bring on the sequins, glitz and glamour!”

KATE SILVERTON
Kate Silverton is one of the most popular and accomplished broadcasters in the country. She is a main anchor for BBC News across the One, Six and Ten o’clock programmes. An extremely experienced journalist she has reported from the frontline in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Her experience of motherhood has encouraged a return to her academic roots in child psychology and she now combines her journalism with her passion for raising awareness about mental health issues relevant to both children and adults.

Kate says: “I’m excited to confirm that I will be swapping the newsroom for the ballroom and joining this year’s wonderful Strictly family. It’s something of a departure for a news journalist, shifting focus from the headlines to my hemlines and I suspect the only serious element of my life over the coming months will be in training hard and figuring out the foxtrot… but I am so looking forward to the fun, laughter and all the challenges ahead.”

SEANN WALSH
Seann Walsh is one of the best live comedians working in the UK today, he has recently returned from performing in America, where he made his USA television debut appearance on late night chat show, Conan. He is well-known for his role in Jack Dee’s ITV sitcom Bad Move, the second series of which will be aired this autumn. Seann is a regular face on TV with appearances as team captain on Virtually Famous and as a regular on Play To The Whistle. Other appearances include Live At The Apollo (BBC Two), The Jonathan Ross Show (ITV), Tonight at The London Palladium (ITV), Celebrity Juice (ITV2), 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Channel 4), Alan Carr’s Chatty Man (Channel 4) and Russell Howards Stand Up Central (Comedy Central).

Seann says: “Having seen videos of me dancing on friends’ phones from the night before, it’s safe to say I’m petrified but also so excited. I’m really looking forward to the lifts, the Lycra and the laughs, although as Craig would probably say ‘dancing is no laughing matter dahhhhling…’”

LEE RYAN
Lee Ryan is most well-known for being a part of super successful boy band Blue and more recently playing EastEnders bad-boy Woody Woodward. Lee rose to fame in the early 2000s as part of Blue along with Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Duncan James. The band had three UK number one albums and sold 16 million records worldwide. After a six-year hiatus they reunited in 2011 to represent the UK in the Eurovision song contest with their track I Can, coming 11th in the competition. Since taking part in the 2013 show The Big Reunion (ITV) they have released a further two albums, Roulette and Colours. During his time away from the band, Lee embarked on a solo singing career, his self-titled album charting at number six in the UK charts in 2005. In 2017 fans were sent into a frenzy when Lee made his EastEnders debut playing bad-boy “Woody” Woodward. He played the role for just over a year and went on to receive the 2017 Inside Soap Award nomination for Best Newcomer.

Lee says: “I’m so excited to be joining this year’s Strictly line-up. It is a real honour for me and I can’t wait to get out on the dance floor.”

LAUREN STEADMAN
Lauren Steadman is a double World Champion Paratriathlete, Paralympic Silver medallist and six times European Champion. She was born missing her lower right arm, but this has only spurred her on to be the best she can be, and she relishes the challenge of overcoming these barriers. Lauren started her sporting career in swimming at the age of 11, with her first international competition at age 13 in Denmark. At 14, she went to Beijing Paralympics Games at which point her career really took off. Such was her talent, Lauren switched sports from swimming to triathlon after London 2012’s Paralympic Games where she then went on to win silver at Rio 2016 in the sport’s inaugural inclusion at the Games. This September Lauren will be competing in the Elite Paratriathlon Grand Final in the Gold Coast Australia, she heads there as the European Champion and will be hoping to regain her World Champion Title.

Lauren says: “I still don’t think it has properly sunk in that I’m actually going to be part of this year’s Strictly! I have loved the show since I was young, and it’s a huge thing to tick off my bucket list. I’m more nervous about being on stage, performing live and in front of the judges than I am about the Elite Paratriathlon Grand Final next month! But I’m up for the challenge and excited to swap my triathlon kit for dancing shoes and sequins.”

CHARLES VENN
Charles Venn is an actor best known for his roles in Casualty (BBC One) as nurse Jacob Masters, in EastEnders (BBC One) as Ray Dixon, in Dream Team (Sky One) as Curtis Alexander and Footballers’ Wives (ITV) as Tremaine Gidigbi.

Charles says: “It truly is a pleasure to be a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, to be associated with a show that has such a huge following excites and scares me in equal measure! Dancing on Strictly is going to be quite a challenge but life’s all about testing yourself so there’s lots to look forward to, let the games begin..!”

SUSANNAH CONSTANTINE
Susannah Constantine is a television presenter, fashion journalist, style advisor, author and designer. Susannah began her career working in fashion for Giorgio Armani and John Galliano before she met Trinny Woodall in 1994, with whom she proceeded to write a weekly fashion column for the Daily Telegraph which ran for seven years. The pair went on to co-host the hugely successful BBC One show ‘What Not to Wear’ from 2001 to 2005 and then moved to ITV to make Trinny & Susannah Undress, and Undress the Nation, they also frequently appeared as makeover stylists on The Oprah Winfrey show. It is estimated that Trinny & Susannah’s various style advice books have sold in excess of 2.5 million copies in Britain and the United States. Susannah’s debut novel, After the Snow, was published to great acclaim last year and the paperback is out this autumn, she is currently writing the sequel which is due out in 2019.

Susannah says: “I hope to prove pigs can fly (dance). Sick with nerves and jangling with excitement.”

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

JOE MINOSO TALKS THE ‘CHICAGO FIRE’ MID-SEASON FINALE & WHAT 2019 HAS IN STORE 0 95

Having been acting since he was a teenager, Joe Minoso is no stranger to entertaining audiences, but it’s his role as firefighter Joe Cruz on the hugely successful series Chicago Fire that’s brought him to trans-Atlantic attention and earned him a growing army of fans and supporters. With the show airing its mid-season finale tonight, ThisIsTheLatest spoke to Joe about what fans can expect from the exciting episode, the many shows he’d love – and would have loved – to appear in and his advice for aspiring actors.

TITL: What is it about acting and performing that you enjoy so much? Do you still get that thrill and rush that you used to when you first started out?

Joe Minoso: Especially in television, I appreciate that there’s new stuff thrown at you all the time. As an actor, I think you get joy in figuring out the puzzle of being a character that is always evolving… Some days it can feel like you’re dealing with the drudge of any 9 to 5 job. But there are always days, even seven years later, where you can’t help but feel the electricity in the room.

TITL: Have you ever thought about taking up another career, or has it always just been about acting for you? 

JM: I have been acting since I was 15 years old and it’s always been my first love. I’ve recently started looking into directing. But if I weren’t an actor, I would probably be an editor. I think it’s probably the most fascinating part of what we do. It’s amazing how many things get dictated in the editing room.

TITL: What do you think it is about Chicago Fire that keeps fans so interested in the show? What’s its selling point?

JM: I think that family is the one thing that sets Chicago Fire a part, even from the other Chicago shows, and also our blend of action and comedy. First responders, firefighters and paramedics specifically, see some of the most horrific things you could ever see as a human. Because of that, they find themselves goofing off and finding excuses to laugh as often as possible. We strive to translate that on screen with every episode. I think that’s a quintessential part of the show, always being there to make each other laugh in the face of gruesome circumstances.

TITL: What first interested you in the role of Joe Cruz and how have you enjoyed his character arc and development as the show has gone on? 

JM: I was interested in any role that I can get when I got the role of Joe Cruz. I was just lucky enough to be hired. His name was originally Timothy Haze when I auditioned. Once I got the role, they changed the name to Joe Cruz. I would say if the character has evolved in anyway it would be more lighthearted than they originally planned. And maybe less of a ladies man.

TITL: The mid-season finale of the show is today, Wednesday 5th. Without obviously giving anything away, is there anything you can tease fans about what to expect from the episode in general and your character’s part in it?

JM: It’s actually a pretty big episode for Cruz. A girl he’s been seeing pretty seriously is involved in a major car crash. So the episode becomes about the emotional journey for Cruz as he has to navigate whether or not she will survive and also meeting her parents for the first time.

TITL: Any fun stories you can share from set this season? 

JM: I can say that Yuriy, along with my wife, planned a surprise party for my 40th birthday this year. Pretty much everyone from Fire and many people from the other Chicago shows were there. It was an incredible day filled with a treasure hunt, that led me to places from my past in the city. It ended with an incredible party at the Flamingo Rum Club with a Cuban band and dancers and drinks named after me. It really was insanely special.

TITL: You’ve also appeared in Shameless, Prison Break and Man of Steel, among several other big projects. Do you have any favourite memories or moments from your time on those sets?

JM: I just think it’s pretty funny when people ask me about Man of Steel and how impressed they are that I worked on that movie. I worked for one day, I am literally a blur on screen in that film. But it was incredible to be on such a big budget set. It was slightly overwhelming to see just how many people it took to take on an endeavor of that size. We were filming a major scene where a building basically falls on a bunch of citizens. I got to work with Laurence Fishburne. Tremendous experience.

TITL: Of the many projects you’ve been a part of, which might you say you’re most proud of? 

JM: Chicago Fire. I’ve had the opportunity to do the most varied work of my career on this show. I think Cruz is a really good guy with a big heart and that’s a lot of fun to play.

TITL: If you could appear in any other TV series, past or present, and not including the ‘Chicago’ group of shows, which would it be and why? 

JM: So many! The Wire, The Office, Breaking Bad, Westworld, Stranger Things, One Day At A Time, and Game of Thrones. I think the main reason for any of them is because they do amazing work in whatever regardless of genres. Whether comedy or drama or action, I consider them the pinnacle of what they do and it would be tremendously exciting to be a part of something like that.

TITL: Away from the screen, you’re involved with many charities and organizations notably Shriners Hospital For Children, the Salvation Army and WWF. How important is it to you that you’re able to give back and help the communities and people around you less fortunate than yourself, and speak out about issues that are important to you? Would you like to see more people in the public eye do the same? 

JM: I recognize that this job has given me something of a small platform where I can highlight causes that are important to me. I think it’s important for anyone who has a means to communicate with a large portion of the world, to be responsible and try to make that world a better place. Anything that I can be involved with that is helping children, or first responders is at the top of my priorities right now. I also recently lost my mother to a battle with cancer. So I have been trying to focus on cancer organizations that are working on raising money and awareness. The way I see it, if you have a pretty good lot in life, you have to reach out and help those who don’t.

TITL: Being on such a demanding show such as Chicago Fire must take a toll, so how do you unwind after a long shoot or hectic filming schedule comes to an end?

JM: My wife and I are big-time homebodies. We love to sit on the couch and either watch TV or listen to music or play board games. I would say during hiatus though, we try and take advantage of traveling when we can. My wife loves the outdoors and has turned me into something of a nature lover myself. we do our best to find waterfalls wherever we can.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone just starting out in the entertainment business? Is there anything you wish you’d been told, or comment/piece of advice you always come back to and reflect on? 

JM: Be true to yourself. Be confident in your art.  Arrive prepared but ready to play. Be a professional but also a friend.

TITL: Are there any other projects in the pipeline you can tell me about? 

JM: Fire takes up a lot of the year but I’ve been meeting with writers about directing something, and I’m currently working on a pilot script with Christian Stolti and Yuri Sardarov. Just laying foundations for a future project.

TITL: Finally then, the holidays are just around the corner, as is 2019. What are your plans for the festive period and what does the new year have in store for you personally and professionally? 

JM: Spending time with the family. And resting as much as possible. I’m excited to have this year over with!  It was a rough year for me personally and I am happy to have the opportunity for a reset. Things feel like they are in an upswing though.  I’m very excited to have recently signed on with Abrams Artist and the opportunities that will bring. I look forward to cultivating a path forward with them and hope to see big things happen in 2019!

The mid-season finale of Chicago Fire airs tonight at 9/8c on NBC in the US and you can follow Joe on Twitter. Header photo credit: Brant Brogan.

ITV ANNOUNCES FESTIVE SEASON HIGHLIGHTS 0 64

ITV has a stocking full of Christmas and New Year treats for viewers this year, including new drama, Christmas specials of viewer favourites, new documentaries, entertainment events and free to air film premieres.

Brand new one-off drama, Torvill & Dean (Christmas Day, 9.15pm), premieres this Christmas on ITV. Starring Will Tudor (Game Of Thrones, Humans) and Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge, In The Club) as the iconic leads, the feature-length film explores Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s early years and the creative impetus that finally drove them to become ice dancing royalty. Written by acclaimed film, television and theatre writer, William Ivory (Made in Dagenham,Burton and Taylor), the one-off drama will follow the pair’s humble beginnings and family life in Nottingham and how they came together to become Olympic champions.

Also this Christmas, ITV brings viewers the free-to-air premiere of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (December 30th 8pm), plus festive favourite Elf (December 16th, 6pm) will back on television for its premiere on ITV.

Viewers will also have the chance to watch the classic 1984 Gremlins (Christmas Eve, 9.30pm) which will follow The Keith and Paddy Picture Show: Gremlins (Christmas Eve, 9pm), in which which Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness recreate the iconic movie with the help of an all-star cast. For this festive one-off they recreate the 80’s classic with guest stars including Zach Galligan, Kara Tointon, John Thomson, Su Pollard, Les Dennis and Arthur Bostrom. Further comedy comes in the form of a Bad Move – Festive Cheer Christmas special starring Jack Dee and Kerry Godliman (Christmas Eve 8.30pm).

There will be Christmas specials of shows including Through The Christmas Keyhole (December 14th, 9pm), The Jonathan Ross Christmas Show (December 22nd, 9pm), What Would Your Kid Do? (December 23rd, 7pm), The Chase: Bloopers (December 23rd, 8pm), Judge Rinder’s Christmas Kids Court (Christmas Eve 5.30pm), Tipping Point: Lucky Stars Christmas Special (29th December 7pm) and Paul O’Grady for The Love of Dogs Christmas (Christmas Day, 5.55pm).

It will be an eventful Christmas in ITV’s soaps this year, for Coronation Street and Emmerdale. In Emmerdale Jessie’s planning a surprise festive wedding with Marlon Dingle, but will she manage to dupe the unsuspecting groom and get him down the aisle? With such secretive plans for the nuptials and Marlon believing he’s doing the catering, Sam thinks he might be the lucky groom. With one misunderstanding after another will Jessie and Marlon exchange their vows and seal their partnership with a kiss under the mistletoe?

Meanwhile Bob is facing a bleak Christmas alone in his room at the B&B, following his break up from Laurel. Beyond the point of crying, Bob is a shadow of his former self and it’s clear Christmas has well and truly broken him. It is the season of goodwill to all men, but Bob isn’t feeling festive. Will 2019 bring him health, happiness and prosperity?

In Coronation Street affairs of the heart will set pulses racing in Weatherfield as the residents get into the festive spirit. But as families gather and glasses are raised will there be peace on the cobbles or will anyone find themselves on the naughty list?

Johnny’s infidelity with Liz is still playing on Jenny’s mind and, having overdone the Christmas spirit, the Rovers’ landlady does something she will live to regret. With Sally behind bars for the festive season Gina is enjoying her time with Tim, perhaps a little too much. Meanwhile, Daniel is determined to make this a Christmas to remember for him and his pregnant wife Sinead.

At the Platts’ Audrey has a surprise for her dysfunctional family and at Bessie Street Primary School, Bran hosts a nativity with a difference that leaves the pupils and parents open mouthed, just not necessarily for the right reasons.

Entertainment treats this Christmas include The Royal Variety Performance (December 11th, 7.30pm) this year hosted by Greg Davies, an unforgettable evening of the best UK and international musical performers, extraordinary theatre and brilliant comedy as well as a number of surprises along the away. Stars lined up to appear include one of the UK’s biggest bands, the multi-award-winning Take That, the West End cast of the phenomenal hit musical Hamilton, chart topper George Ezra, award winners Clean Bandit, West End cast of Tina – The Tina Turner Musical and the legendary Andrea Bocelli & his son Matteo.Also taking to the stage are, Britain’s Got Talent winner, comedian The Lost Voice Guy, a special performance from Rick Astley, comedian Rhod Gilbert, the mesmerising Cirque Du Soleil, plus music from Sigrid and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Circus 1903 will be unveiling their unique and beautifully crafted performances with their extraordinary elephant puppetry, and there will be more comedy from stand up comedians Gad Elmaleh and Rod Woodward.

In the run up to Christmas ITV will celebrate 20 Years of The Black Eyed Peas (December 22nd, 10pm), with Joanna Lumley presenting a one-hour special featuring exclusive performances of some of the global super group’s greatest hits. A whole host of international celebrities and faces from the music industry, as well as the friends and family that have shaped their lives, will share their insights into the group and what makes them such a unique and special act. Away from the bright lights on stage, the show will take a look back at how The Black Eyed Peas came to be.

Best Christmas Ever with Alexander Armstrong (December 16th, 9pm) is a one-off festive special, hosted by TV favourite Alexander Armstrong where he’ll be joined by some very special celebrity guests, all on a mission to find out what really makes the best Christmas ever. Much like the big day itself, there will be games, sing-along and polite but firm disagreement as our celebrity guests battle it out to crown the best Christmas food, song, movie and much, much more.

Plus Olly Murs will be heading back to his Essex roots as he takes over an entire pub to put on a jam-packed night of games, chat and performances of all his biggest hits. As he celebrates a decade at the top with his sixth album, You Know I Know, Happy Hour with Olly Murs (December 15th, 9pm) will be the ultimate homecoming party with a specially invited audience of friends, family and famous faces. With the bar packed to the rafters, there will be laughs aplenty as Bradley Walsh – who Olly affectionately calls his ‘showbiz dad’ – is pub landlord for the night. Emma Willis will be the resident Karaoke Queen as she hosts special singalongs for any game guests that choose to step up to the mic and entertain the crowd. Fellow Voice coach Sir Tom Jones will be dropping in to join in the fun and there will be a very special exclusive duet from Jennifer Hudson and Olly.

In The Big Soap Quiz: Coronation Street v Emmerdale (December 21st, 9pm) hosted by Stephen Mulhern, the casts of the two soaps will battle it out to find out who knows their soap best. Headed by team captains Jack P Shepherd and Mark Charnock, which soap will lift the trophy this year?

In Bradley Walsh: When Dummies Took Over The World (December 29th, 9pm) Bradley Walsh tells the fascinating story of Britain’s most famous puppet stars including Orville, Emu, Sooty, Lord Charles, Dicky Mint, Spit the Dog, and Nookie Bear. They were once the stars of Saturday night TV, but what happened when the limelight faded? Bradley Walsh discovers where they are now and brings together some of them for a very special reunion.

And Re-Play 2018 with Richard Osman will see Richard Osman and Scarlett Moffatt join forces for a brand-new quiz testing the nation’s best-loved celebrities on the most-talked about events of the year where the winner doesn’t have to be clever, they just need to have been paying attention.

Singing superstar Alfie Boe returns to present this year’s Christmas Carols on ITV (Christmas Eve). An array of stars including Ruby Turner, Claire Richards and Rebecca Ferguson will sing in Christmas day during this very special evening of celebration and commemoration which will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Brand new documentaries this Christmas include a chance to relive an unforgettable World Cup for England in World Cup: Summer of Love (December 19th, 9pm). Gareth Southgate and his team helped unite and delight the nation as they made it through to the semi-finals in Russia. The memorable story is retold by the manager and players inside the camp and complemented by the insights of those who followed their journey back home, including Piers Morgan, Susanna Reid and Sir Clive Woodward.

Over the last eight years Long Lost Family has reunited over 200 relatives desperate to find that one person missing from their lives, to make their family complete. Now for the first time many of these families are brought together under one roof, to celebrate Christmas and the joy of finally being together, after the agony of years apart. Long Lost Family Christmas Reunion (December 17th, 9pm) will find out what it means to spend your first Christmas with your loved ones and reflect on how lives have changed for people since finding their relatives, with some guests meeting new family members for the very first time during the programme.

Plus, Global Adventurer Bear Grylls will take on the wild with England football manager Gareth Southgate for an ITV special, Bear’s Mission with Gareth Southgate (December 20th, 9pm). The leader of the Three Lions squad and former Premier League player will swap the football field for some of the UK’s toughest terrain, to tackle the ultimate challenge, as he joins Bear on a mission across some of the country’s most rugged, unspoilt moorlands. Bear’s mission will test Gareth’s composure and poise under pressure, as they battle the wilderness together.

Film highlights on ITV this Christmas also include Monsters Inc (Christmas Day 4.10pm), Casino Royale (December 23rd, 9pm), Quantum of Solace (December 26th, 8pm), Skyfall (December 27th, 8pm) and Spectre (December 31st, 8pm).

Plus on ITV2 Keith Lemon takes a look back at all the best, most-juiciest bits of Celebrity Juice’s illustrious 10-year history in Celebrity Juice: 10 Years of Best Bits (December 20th, 10pm). So expect to see all the best games, gags and mayhem from 10 years of Celebrity Juice. And in Love Island: The Christmas Reunion (December 17th, 9pm) ITV2 is bringing the cast back together one last time for a festive reunion. Hosted by Caroline Flack and with voiceover from Iain Stirling, this is the perfect Christmas present for Love Island fans.

The new year starts on ITV with a brand new series Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? (January 1st, 9pm) which see’s Jeremy Clarkson return as host following the success of the anniversary specials, and also the launch of Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad (January 2nd 8pm), which sees actor Bradley Walsh and his 20-year-old son Barney hitting the road together for a brand-new four-part series, travelling over 2000 miles from Los Angeles to New Orleans. They might be father and son but when it comes to travelling they are worlds apart, with Bradley keen to relax while Barney wants to live life a little more on the edge. Worried his old man is too stuck in his ways, Barney has decided to take matters into his own hands with an adventurous trip that his dad will never forget.