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Digital Spy: Anna Williamson's Showbiz Peek at the Week

By
Anna Williamson

© PA Images

Ahhh. After seven weeks of treading the boards and being party to Dame Edna's banter, superbly amusing vocal warm-up sessions and Nando's addiction, my panto stint has come to an end for this year. A terrific show with a second-to-none cast and fantastic packed houses. Thank you to everyone who travelled to SW19 to see us, we all appreciated it hugely. As for my beloved Dame Edna, I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot more of her this year.

So, with my dance shoes and sequins packed away for another season, it's back to the world of TV and showbiz – hurrah! Ooh, it's good to be back.

As a One Born Every Minute fan, I watched How to be a Mother with Sharon Horgan with similar fluffy enthusiasm and expectation; Oh how wrong was I?! Oh. My. Goodness. If I needed any more help in reinforcing my New Year diet, this delivered (s'cuse the pun) in the form of Shazza's mate's afterbirth.

Steak sandwich hovering by my mouth, I watched with horror as 'Miss Placenta Entrepreneur' picked up her friend's bloody (I use the word literally) MASSIVE placenta, gave it a sniff and practically salivated over it; uttering the words, 'Hmm divine' - err no 'di-gusting' - before cooking it and slicing it up like a meatloaf.

Now before I get accused of being ignorant and rude, I'm not, I totally get the theory and thoughts behind 'placenta' eating, and I'm very much 'each to their own'. I just don't want to see it on my telly whilst I'm about to tuck into a juicy M&S fillet steak, that's all. Oh well, the cat was thrilled with its unexpected dinner.

Birth and baby programmes really do seem to be flavour of the month (sorry, boyfriend), and Sunday night has found something to fill its Downton Abbey-shaped hole in the TV adaptation of Call The Midwife.

'Call The Midwife' cast

© BBC



Having read author Jennifer Worth's book recently, I was most looking forward to seeing how her memoirs would be brought to life on the small screen. From the grimy streets of the East End, to the squalid conditions of the long-suffering heroines of 1950s Poplar, it was a brilliant adaptation of the Midwife's book.

OK, it was a bit 'glossy' to be totally believable, but it didn't matter to me - it's a drama after all. With the much-hyped appearance of Miranda Hart in upcoming episodes, Pam Ferris and err... Minty from EastEnders, the drama is well cast, conveyed accurate story-telling and proper 'cross your legs' moments. Yep, Call the Midwife is my new Sunday guilty pleasure.

Segueing rather conveniently in to EastEnders, it's all go once again on Albert Square. We seem to have been miraculously transported back to 1995 with the return of David Wicks, Carol, Mandy... even the much-anticipated (and worst-kept telly secret) return (well, for all of 10 seconds) of Simon Wicks, as we said our final farewells to 'Paaaaat'.

Eastenders: Simon Wicks returns to the square

© BBC

Pat's family say their final farewells

© BBC



Yep, Pam St Clement must have been the most popular cast member last week, with high fives all round, as her departure ensured all the extras and cast members a day trip out of Elstree to a random church in rural Hertfordshire to film Pat's final scenes.

And in true EastEnders style, we got it all: fights in the churchyard, Lauren overdoing the Blue Nun and puking over a nearby grave, even a new Lucy Beale! Time will tell if this new actress can bring some life and personality to the character. Let's hope she doesn't suffer the same fate as her predecessor.

Oh, and a quick nod to Tracy 'The Extra'; I predicted this was your year, love, and YES, last week you got your first line for 2012. I was whooping with pride for you - come on producers, give the woman a break!

My unashamed favourite reality show, Dancing on Ice, proved it's definitely turned things up a notch this series. Two words - Matthew Wolfenden. Wow, thank you ITV! We have proper eye candy, dressed in revealing leather, prancing and skating around like a young Christopher Dean.

Matthew Wolfenden and Nina Ulanova

© Matt Frost/Rex Features



I will of course watch the rest of the series for all of the celebs but it's safe to say that a majority of the population will now be watching for one reason only. However, not taking away anything from the rest of the contestants - Chico, that bloke from the Bond film, Big Mo, Corey 'stupid hair' Feldman, the fit one from Hollyoaks... all are proving to be most entertaining viewing and there are some pretty good skaters amongst them. My money is firmly going on Matty boy, though. With the majority of older ladies voting, Matthew my friend, I think you're safe as houses.

TV Titters

Golden Globes coverage on E! - OMG, how can a broadcaster get it so terribly wrong?! Wouldn't have wanted to be the boss on Monday morning after that shambles!

Madonna on Graham Norton's show - oh how I feel for her 'staff' after she revealed she had to open her own front door... hmm, something tells me they're not her staff anymore. P45, anyone?

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