Strictly judge Shirley Ballas signs up for Comic Relief’s Mount Kilimanjaro climb

Not only has the head judge bagged a new man, but she’s signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief.

The dancing queen, who is dating panto actor Daniel Taylor, is the first celebrity to be confirmed for the trip, a decade on from when Gary Barlow embarked on the original charity hike.

I can reveal that Shirley, who is already very active, will throw herself into a training for the expedition as soon as the Strictly tour wraps next month.

A source said: “Shirley’s really excited, but nervous. She has a busy fitness regime lined up to help with walking in the altitude.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge but she knows it’s for a great cause and she’s thrilled to be part of it.”

Other celebs who have been approached include Little Mix.

On the original walk in March 2009, Cheryl Tweedy and Fearne Cotton collapsed trying to reach Tanzania’s 19,300ft peak.

I’m sure Shirley will smash it.


MIDSOMER Murders star Neil Dudgeon says the ITV drama just features posh folk to keep it funny: “There is something more sordid about working-class people drinking, getting violent and killing each other.”

Lily's sexy Victoria role

LILY Travers has every right to flash a beaming smile – she’s landed a prized role in hit ITV drama Victoria.

The name may not be familiar, but she certainly resembles her famous granny – Virginia McKenna who starred in Sixties movie Born Free.

And ITV bosses are banking on her to sex-up Victoria which returns for a third series with Jenna Coleman with on-screen husband Albert (Tom Hughes), in the title role.

Lily plays Duchess Sophie Monmouth, far right, and catches the eye of hunky footman, David Burnett.

While US viewers saw the first episode on Sunday, fans will have to wait until later in the year.

ITV are hopeful Lily can help claw back some viewers.


DERMOT O'Leary says he was won over by ITV’s Love Island. The X Factor host told the Radio Times: “I expected it to be all about sex but it wasn’t. It was about pride, relationships, friendship.” I agree, Dermot.

Ricky's tricky life

HERE’S a first look at Ricky Gervais in his new Netflix series, After Life.

The Extras funnyman plays Tony who has the perfect life until the death of his wife, Lisa. After toying with suicide, he decides to take his anger out on the world.

The show also sees him reunited with Kerry Godliman who starred with him in his Channel 4 sitcom, Derek, as well as Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton.

The show starts on March 8.


IN Emmerdale, Lydia makes a confession, Graham is surprised by an unexpected visitor and Priya finds her suspicions are aroused.

Over on EastEnders, Mick agrees to help Mitch coach the football team. But when Linda says she needs his help, she is taken aback by his response.

Meanwhile, Dr Legg plucks up the courage to tell Dot that it was Stuart who stole the photo of his wife.

In Neighbours, the siege with Raymond escalates as some of the hostages manage to alert the police and officers surround the building.

Breaking Brad set for more

BRADLEY Walsh is going to have to get used to jumping out of planes and facing up to his fears.

I can reveal the Doctor Who star, currently appearing in documentary series Bradley Walsh & Son: Breaking Dad (Wednesdays, 8pm) is in talks with ITV bosses about a second series of the show which sees him take on challenges with son Barney.

The series, which launched with 4.9million viewers earlier this month, has impressed bigwigs and they’re now planning to send him away again with promises of “tougher” challenges.

An insider said: “The show has been a huge success and bosses would love to do a second series.

“It’s got a great feel about it and they would love to see him take on even tougher and more extreme challenges in a new series.”

A sonic screwdriver could definitely come in handy . . .

must watch

  • WHAT? Catastrophe, 10pm, C4.
  • WHY? Rob’s newly religious sister Sidney visits from the US, while an accident with one of Sharon’s pupils reveals a surprising student teacher rapport.


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