X FACTOR CELEBRITY: MEET THE CONTESTANTS 0 33

This year, The X Factor is back but not as we know it… Well-known faces with dreams of becoming superstar singers will be fighting for the chance to be crowned The X Factor 2019 Champion in The X Factor: Celebrity.

This brand-new take on the nation’s most talked about music talent show will make its debut on TV screens this October and will feature some of the biggest names from the world of music, film, sport, television and social media.

The celebrity hopefuls will be leaving their comfort zones at the door as they battle it out in LA to make it through the first stage and all the way to the live shows in London to ultimately win a life changing record deal.

Music mogul Simon Cowell, ‘Shermazing’ Nicole Scherzinger and fan favourite Louis Walsh are returning as judges and reuniting with Mr Saturday Night himself, Dermot O’Leary for this unmissable series.

The celebrity singing sensations lined up to sing for Simon and co in LA are:

OVERS
• Journalist, Martin Bashir
• Talk Show host, Ricki Lake
• Quiz show champion, Jenny Ryan
• Actress, Victoria Ekanoye

UNDERS
• Reality star, Megan McKenna
• Model and Actress, Hayley Hasselhoff
• Soap star, Jonny Labey
• Film star, Olivia Olson
• Actor, Kevin McHale

GROUPS
• Reality stars Samira Mighty, Zara McDermott, Wes Nelson and Eyal Booker who form The Islanders
• Sports stars Ben Foden, Thom Evans and Levi Davis who form Try Star
• Professional dancer, Brendan Cole and actor, Jeremy Edwards who form Cole and Edwards
• Social Media Stars and CBBC Presenters Max and Harvey
• Influencers Sofia, Alondra, Laura, Wendii and Natalie who make up V5

THE ISLANDERS

Eyal, Samira, Wes and Zara all shot to fame in 2018 when they appeared on the fourth series of ITV2’s Love Island.  They’ve all since followed their own journey whilst remaining the best of friends. Wes reached the Dancing on Ice final in 2019, whilst Eyal has been snapped up by numerous modelling agencies as well as appearing on E4’s Celebs Go Dating. Samira has performed on the West End, featuring in Disney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, whilst Zara has worked on a number of projects that help engage young people into politics, a real passion of hers before Love Island.

MAX & HARVEY

Young duo Max and Harvey are 16-year-old Berkshire based twin brothers who rose to fame when a clip of them singing Justin Bieber went viral on app Tik Tok, earning them the number one UK act on the platform and helping them to build up a diehard fanbase which has since risen to a combined social following of over eight million. The pair began their singing career by performing at school talent shows and busking in their local town. Since their rise to fame, they have released numerous original songs, toured, have their own show on CBBC ‘Max and Harvey: FOMO’ and documentary ‘My Life: Max and Harvey,’ which gave fans an insight into their lives. They’ve also published a book ‘Max & Harvey: In a Book’ which chronicles their career and lives. 

TRY STAR

Thom Evans, Ben Foden and Levi Davis are all professional rugby players. Thom is a former Scottish international rugby union player and model, although his rugby career was cut short due to a serious neck injury. Levi Davis has represented England internationally at under 18 and under 19s level, and now plays for Bath United. Ben Foden currently plays for Rugby United New York but has also played for England internationally. Together they can’t wait to take singing more seriously and would love to make it through to the live shows.

COLE AND EDWARDS

Brendan Cole and Jeremy Edwards have been good friends for over 10 years having met at a Capital Radio event. Brendan is a professional ballroom dancer who appeared on Strictly Come Dancing for 15 years and has since appeared as a judge on New Zealand’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and as a guest judge on Britain’s Next Top Model. Jeremy is best known for playing heartthrob Kurt Benson in Hollyoaks. After leaving in 1999, Jeremy joined BBC’s medical drama Holby City. More recently, Jeremy returned to screens in CBBC’s Millie Inbetween

V5

V5 are international social media influencers, made up of Sofia, Alondra, Laura, Wendii and Natalie. They have a combined social media following of 11 million followers, with over 250 million channel views on YouTube.

JENNY RYAN

Jenny Ryan is one of the Chasers from ITV’s The Chase. Her knowledge has seen her compete on The Weakest Link, University Challenge and Mastermind. She initially was hired to write the questions for The Chase, then later became one of the Chasers in 2015, after fellow Chaser, Anne Hagerty recommended her.

VICTORIA EKANOYE

Victoria Ekanoye is best known for playing Angie Appleton in Coronation Street. She has also appeared in The Lion King in the West End as well as touring the US, South America and Europe in The Blues Brothers production. Victoria is currently filming for a new CBBC and Netflix show ‘The Worst Witch’.

MARTIN BASHIR

Martin Bashir began working as a journalist in 1986 but is most well-known from his BBC interview with Princess Diana for Panorama in 2003. He has won several awards for his work, including three BAFTA nominations and the RTS Journalist of the Year award in 1996.

RICKI LAKE

Emmy award winner, Ricki Lake is an American actress and talk show host, best known for The Ricki Lake Show which lasted 11 years. Her on-screen breakthrough began when she played the lead role of Tracey Turnblad in the 1988 film Hairspray, since then she has seen a lot of TV and film success, as well as being the Executive Producer of a documentary and the co-author of two books.

JONNY LABEY

Jonny Labey is a British actor best known for his role as Paul Coker in EastEnders. Following his character’s death on the show, he went on to win ITV’s Dance Dance Dance in 2017 with his girlfriend at the time, he then went on to tour with Strictly Ballroom as the lead role. Jonny wants to show people he is more than just a character from EastEnders and is in it to win it! 

MEGAN MCKENNA

Megan McKenna rose to fame after appearing on Ex on The Beach in 2015, she went on to feature on TOWIE for five series, as well as Celebrity Big Brother and Celebs Go Dating. Since her reality TV fame, she has released her own clothing range, make up range and released her autobiography ‘Mouthy’. Megan’s dream has always been music, and left TOWIE to be able to put 100% into her music career. She has released her own music for the past two years and had two sell-out shows in the UK.

OLIVIA OLSON

Olivia Olson is best known for playing the role of Joanna in Love Actually in 2003, where she sung ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Olivia took a step back from TV and Film for a while to focus on her school work but has since done animated voice acting for kids’ TV including Phineas and Ferb on Disney. Olivia has been writing original music and singing since a young age and released an album in 2018.

KEVIN MCHALE

Kevin McHale is an American actor, best known for the role of Artie in Glee. As well as acting, he has also co-hosted the Teen Choice Awards with Demi Lovato, and currently hosts a podcast called Showmance whilst focusing on perusing a solo music career. Kevin’s first foray into music was in pop boy band, NTL, who opened for The Pussycat Dolls on their tour. Since then he has released solo EP’s and wants to continue performing on a bigger scale and eventually have a music label of his own. 

HAYLEY HASSELHOFF

Hayley Hasselhoff is an American actress and model, and daughter of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach. In 2010 she landed the leading role in TV series Huge, as well as featuring in her family’s reality TV series The Hasselhoff’s. In addition to acting she has modelled since the age of 14 and is now recognised for her efforts in promoting body positivity as a plus size model. She has modelled in New York Fashion Week and she recently released a plus sized clothing collection in the UK and features as ITV’s This Morning’s fashion expert around body positivity.

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CATHY SHIPTON QUITS CASUALTY ROLE 0 15

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