Mel B lands secret cameo in Only Fools and Horses musical – playing a wedding dress shop assistant12/02/2021
IN what is the most unlikely casting of the year, I’m told that Scary Spice MEL B bagged a spot in the best show on the West End, the Only Fools And Horses musical.
The Spice Girls singer played a secret cameo as a wedding dress shop assistant helping Rodney’s partner Cassandra pick out an item.
Punters who went to see the show at the capital’s Theatre Royal Haymarket had no idea the Leeds-born singer was treading the boards.
She was even taught to speak Cockney by the legendary Paul Whitehouse, who plays Grandad in the stage show.
But those who weren’t fortunate enough to be there on the night are in luck — as they can still get a glimpse of Scary’s acting chops.
The cameo was filmed as part of a segment on Sky’s A League Of Their Own, which will air in the new year.
Panellists Jamie Redknapp, Tom Allen and Freddie Flintoff got in on the act too, stepping into character for one night only.
Jamie played an Italian waiter when Del has his first date with Raquel, while Freddie was a Nags Head regular who spots Boycie walking into fertility clinic.
A source said: “Punters will have had no idea that they were watching a glut of showbiz and sporting talent that night, beyond those already in the cast.
“But they all did a great job and fitted in seamlessly. Maybe there’s a future for them all in the West End yet.”
NINA: FAN HIT ME IN ANGER
PLAYING homophobe Zainab Masood in soap EastEnders once got Nina Wadia punched in a supermarket by a fan who was convinced the actress was anti-gay too.
Nina, most recently seen in Stephen Merchant's The Outlaws, said there was “good and bad” with soap opera fans.
She added: “You belong to them, to the point where there’s good and bad. I had scary incidents leaving the studio where I was driving out one day and this guy jumped in my car and said, ‘Oh, can you sign this photo?’.
And I went, ‘Get out of my car’.
“And they’ll tell you what they think of you as your character.
"Like when I was playing this homophobe, I had this woman in the supermarket who punched me on the arm.
“She said, ‘My son’s gay and you’re disgusting’, and walked off.”
The mind boggles.
MYR THE MERRIER
IT was slated by viewers but Leigh Francis has revealed his Channel 4 mockumentary The Holden Girls: Mandy & Myrtle is set for another run.
Leigh, best known as his comedy alter ego Keith Lemon, stars as the fictional nan of Amanda Holden.
He said: “Fingers crossed. I’ve just come from a meeting with Amanda. We’ll be doing more of The Holden Girls.
“Three hours of make-up every day. I can’t do an old lady unless I’ve got old lady face.”
The comedy showed Amanda coaxing her lonely, working-class gran from Doncaster to live with her in London.
Leigh called on celeb pals including Ben Shephard, Kriss Akabusi and Catherine Tyldesley to add star power to the show, which ran for eight episodes in the autumn.
VICKY’S IN HIGH DEMAND
VICKY PATTISON’s family refused to let her cook for them . . . until she went on Celebrity MasterChef.
The 2019 cooking contest finalist moaned: “I never used to get trusted with nowt.
Then I did MasterChef and all of a sudden everyone wanted us to cook everything.”
ED IN THE GAME
HERE’S the first look at Eddie Izzard in new Netflix drama Stay Close.
He plays Harry, a small-town lawyer, while James Nesbitt plays a detective.
Sarah Parish, Jo Joyner and Deadwater Fell’s Cush Jumbo also line up for the latest eight-part adaptation of best-selling author Harlan Coben’s crime novels.
The thriller follows three people living comfortable lives, who are all concealing dark secrets.
But when one of their old friend’s delivers some shocking news, all three of their lives will be impacted, as the moments from their past return to haunt them.
Watch the trailer today at 10am, and stream the show on Netflix from December 31.
CELEBS IN REBRAND
IF you’ve ever thought Jimmy Carr is too mean, Jamie Laing a love rat and Clare Balding boring, then Channel 4 has news for you.
A new comedy series called Celebrity Rebrand – on its YouTube channel later this month – takes the stars to “refresh” their image.
Romesh Ranganathan, Anna Richardson and Rosie Jones will also feature.
If this all sounds like Gen Z nonsense then you’re right.
But the show, hosted by Amelia Dimoldenberg, promises to be more like a chat show that probes the celebs’ murky histories.
I wonder if they’ve got hold of Jimmy’s tax report.
EMBARASSING BODIES BACK
IF you have a funny rash you don’t want to show to your family doctor but are happy for millions of strangers to see, rejoice: Embarrassing Bodies is back.
With a new home on E4, a team of GPs will be on hand to help.
The show was a big hit for Channel 4 betewen 2007 and 2015.
MATT SO ORWELL CHOSEN
HE travelled through time as Doctor Who so Matt Smith is just the man to bring George Orwell's classic novel 1984 into the 21st century.
Orwell’s 1949 masperpiece with dystopian predictions about the gaze of Big Brother has been reworked in audio-book form with dates changed from 1984 to 2021 and Matt voicing the book’s protagonist Winston Smith.
Matt said: “Nineteen Eighty-Four is a literary classic and Winston is a fascinating character, so to be able to bring the story into the modern day is an honour.
“Great literature maintains a universality over the course of time – particularly true in the case of this novel which still feels extremely pertinent.”
The audiobook, 2021, is part of a campaign to highlight online safety, and Matt adds: “I’ve got involved as I feel having digital freedom online is so important.
In a world where we may feel required to share more of ourselves than ever before, it’s something we should endeavour to be really diligent about.”
Find Matt’s 2021 via Spotify, Apple or Kindle.
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