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Anna Williamson's Showbiz Peek at the Week: X Factor, The Apprentice

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It's been a week of announcements: X Factor's annual dragging out of its judging lineup has finally been revealed, celeb skating show Dancing on Ice is to hang up its skimpy Lycra once and for all, and two more showbiz babies have been brought into the world for us to coo over.

It's a case of 'the old ones are the best' (and I don't mean that in a rude way), as it's been announced that the naughty but nice Sharon Osbourne is to dust off her 2007 X Factor judge's seat when the show returns later this summer. It's been the most drawn out, worst-kept secret in the biz, but finally we know who's going to be part of our Saturday night front room family. Sharon replaces Tulisa Contostavlos, who's also tweeted confirmation she's been given the elbow - well OK, she actually said she 'won't be a part of the X Factor panel' - but is joined by the rest of last year's panel, comprising Gary Barlow, Nicole 'shamazeballs' Sherzinger, and Sharon's BFF and longest standing judge, Louis Walsh.

Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, X Factor 2005, Sharon Osbourne throws a glass of water over Louis Walsh after he threatened to quit the ITV show over alleged "bullying" by fellow judges including Osbourne and Simon Cowell back in series 2, 2005

© Rex Features / Ken McKay/Rex Features

Sharon Osbourne is to return to 'X Factor'



With a couple of new audition 'twists' expected, along with a rumoured Mr Cowell appearance or two, the 2013 series is already shaping up to be a vast improvement on last year's rather damned effort. With the unpredictable matriarch that is Mrs O back in the hot seat, I for one am looking forward to the spark finally being put back into The X Factor.

Shame the same can't be said for telly spandex fest Dancing on Ice. To coincide with Torvill and Dean's 30th anniversary, ITV has announced that after a final ninth series this winter, the show is to bid us all adieu. With ratings at an all-time low last series, the announcement is not only expected, but perhaps wise, and I really hope the show can give itself one final push to go out with a bang. Having myself trained, and broken my ankle for my troubles (yup, really!) a few years ago, I remain a big fan of the most terrifyingly dangerous reality show on telly and look forward to the final ever series recreating some of the magic and stardust it once possessed.

My celebrity 'baby watch' obsession has this week been rewarded with not one, but two new famous bundles of joy. Congratulations have been flooding in for Marvin and Rochelle Humes on the birth of their little girl Alaia-Mai, and also for Wayne and Coleen Rooney as they've welcomed a second baby into their family fold - a little brother, interestingly named Klay, for their 3-year-old son Kai. Both couples are clearly overjoyed, with homegrown pics of their new families being plastered across social media for the world to get mushy over. Ahh, well done, you guys.

Marvin Humes posts a photo with his daughter

© Instagram / Marvin Humes

Marvin Humes with baby Alaia-Mai

Wayne and Coleen Rooney with their son Kai and newborn Klay.

© Twitter / Wayne Rooney

Wayne and Colleen Rooney with sons Kai and Klay



Shame I can't say the same for the hapless bunch of candidates on the latest series of The Apprentice. Judging by the vats of fake tan, enormous hair donuts (lads, ask the missus) and lashings of eyeliner, it's like a casting call gone wrong for TOWIE/The Valleys/My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding all rolled into one, except you could probably get the aforementioned bunch to actually do something without making the volume levels on my telly peak!

Honestly, this new intake of Lord Shugs's latest recruits is like a Police Academy sequel. The prattling, self-inflated ego 'power talking' has reached new dizzy heights with this bunch, as the women bicker and give me a constant headache, and the lads ponce about in their sixth form uniform clobber brandishing Bic biros and clipboards trying to 'out accent' each other. This week we watched and winced as the two teams attempted the 'farm shop' task. With one team flogging that popular lunchtime classic, buffalo meat(!) and the other foisting flavoured milk in plastic beakers on the general public for £3.50 a pop, the arguments, bitching and Nick Hewer's bemused 'mole having a poo' face reached epic proportions - and we're only three weeks in! My verdict on this series... for all the wrong they're so right reasons... telly gold.


It's been a busy week for me out and about too, all in the name of work, of course. I popped along to the ITV Lorraine High Street Fashion Awards this week in Canary Wharf. Hosted by the lovely Lorraine herself, the popular televised annual event was attended by a whole host of popstars, actors and celebs. Sitting among Stooshe, Corrie's Michelle Collins, a very voluptuous and jaw droppingly beautiful Kelly Brook, and of course a whole host of high street fashionistas, the bash was a true celebration of all things high street and fashion - the perfect end of week guilty pleasure. Favourites including boohoo.com, New Look and Debenhams all walked - sorry, strutted - away with an award, fighting off fierce competition from the rest of high street honeys all baying for a style trophy and a bit of primetime airtime. A terrific day all round and high five to my mentor and the loveliest lady in telly, Ms Lorraine Kelly.

Anna Williamson arriving at Lorraine's High Street Fashion Awards.

Me at the Lorraine High Street Fashion Awards

Finally, I've been working this week with newcomer to the telly scene, presenter and all-round funny guy Alex Brooker. The recent BAFTA winner (honestly, I've been doing this for 14 years and I've won diddly squat!) is taking on the ultimate in ob-docs for Channel 4 and putting himself through a gruelling experiment. All will be revealed, but I can conclude that the Paralympics presenter is a total natural, endearing and a breath of fresh air. I really look forward to watching his star rise, and in some way perhaps, being a part of it.

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