One absentee this year was 'Mrs Williams', as Robbie and his wife Ayda Field welcomed into the world their sought-after baby daughter. Choosing a suitably celeb moniker for their 7lbs 4oz tot, Robbie took to Twitter this week to announce the arrival of Theodora Rose, who is to be affectionately nicknamed 'Teddy'. Having personally just welcomed a new baby nephew and a new cat into my own family bearing the same name, I have to say one is feeling very 'up there' and smug with the 'Teddy' love too. Wonderful news, and the recent first glimpse of 'daddy and daughter snuggling' posted by Robbie himself is just cute personified.
Alas, a not so happy star this week - everyone's new favourite royal The Duchess of Cambridge has been at the centre of a legal battle, following topless pictures of her being circulated globally whilst enjoying a private holiday with hubby Prince William. Now I have to say, and agree with the masses, I think the long-lens shots are a complete invasion of privacy, and regardless of her new public role, she should be entitled to some degree of a private life. Essentially, it comes down to common decency and respect. There is indeed nothing wrong whatsoever in choosing to sunbathe 'sans vêtements'.
However, invading our future queen's privacy on the eve of the 15th anniversary of her late mother-in-law's death, allegedly at the hands of hounding paparazzi, was not only ironic, but stinking timing. Still, it could be worse, she's not exactly unfortunate aesthetically. If I looked even half as good as her with my kit off, I'd be inviting the damn paps IN to show off!
And speaking of half-naked celebs showing off, the Strictly class of 2012 are busy practising their demi-pliés and pas de deux in preparation for the first live dance-off on October 5. Launch night kicked off with the BBC reception being utilised (nice to see some budget-saving going on) as a flash mob of the Strictly pros sashayed their way around Television Centre, stopping en route for a token twirl from hosts Bruce Forsyth and a half-dressed Tess Daly.
I have to say, it was a terrific opening; fast-paced, glitzy, camp, sexy... finally we have everyone's favourite guilty viewing pleasure back, and early signs are it's better then ever. With Olympic athletes, popstars, controversial presenters and, in Johnny Ball, the oldest contestant to date, the bosses really have succeeded in bringing us potentially the most engaging series yet. And with just under ten million of us tuning in to witness the launch, it's clear this ten-year-old format is still going strong.
As, indeed, is octogenarian host Brucie. Same old foot shuffle entrance, same old embarrassing (mistimed) 'leg grab' of Tess, and same old scripted gags... like a favourite pair of worn slippers, I look past the slightly frayed edges and in resigned comfort just give in and accept that the old ones are the best. For those calling for him to pack his telly career up and move over for a younger model, I say shame on you. Okay, I'm a sucker for the oldies (having two 92-year-old grandmas, I'm a bit gooey over our pre-war elders), but I genuinely think that a man with his longevity in the tough, cut-throat world of entertainment has pretty much earned the right to dictate his own career plan.
Over to ITV and off the back of the recent 'Jesus' talent search Superstar, this weekend saw the world premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar, starring winner Ben Forster in the title role. The arena tour kicked off at London's O2, and I was fortunate to bag a front row seat.
With a who's who of theatreland and ITV entertainment out in force to support the star-studded show, including judges Jason Donovan and Dawn French and host Amanda Holden, the pre-show party alone made for a pretty showbiz event. Andrew Lloyd Webber was in fine spirits, and, holding court with the rest of his unsuccessful Jesuses, was overheard scoffing at a colleague 'I never want to hear from that Tim Rice again' - quite what the lyricist famous for his Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat Lord Webber collaboration had done to provoke such a comment remains to be seen...
Kicking off at 8pm sharp, the highly-anticipated rock musical delighted its 20,000 strong audience in a deafening fashion. Arguably at times too loud, this show was everything fans of the 42-year-old musical could hope for. Ben Forster, leaving us in no doubt that the role of Jesus was awarded deservedly, played his socks off! A gifted singer and actor whose finely-honed body also didn't go amiss - the flogging scene proving a particular favourite.
Mel C and Tim Minchin, however, stole the show for me. It's taken 16 years, but I can finally say, truthfully, that I loved Mel C's voice. Looking and sounding better than ever, Mel C has firmly established herself as a gifted actress and performer. Her portrayal of Mary Magdalene was emotive and powerful and everything you wanted to see from the character. And Tim Minchin - I must confess to a small crush (along with the rest of the swooning audience) at seeing this musical genius do his thing on stage. Catching up with him at the after-show party - okay, I actually elbowed four other women out of the way for a chat - a humble Tim merely smiled and whispered thanks to all of the kind comments being bestowed upon him. Refusing to speak as soon as the curtain came down in a bid to rest his voice, the show's 'Judas' (I'm not being rude or blasphemous, that's his character), stayed for a mere half-hour in order to be fresh for his next show the following day. What a pro.
The surprise star of the whole show, though, was former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles. His much-publicised role as King Herod was eagerly anticipated by all, and as the newly slim jock-turned-actor emerged onto the stage for his big number, the audience showed their support. Dressed from head to toe in a striking red suit, 'Moyles-y' committed to his performance as if he'd been doing it years, revealing a voice that equally held its own against the rest of the cast. Clearly enjoying himself and not missing a step, beat or camera shot, which was beamed across the arena, it's fair to predict an alternative career in theatre beckons.
And lastly this week, I dipped my own toe into the world of theatre as I joined forces with my panto comrades Louis Spence, Deniece Pearson and comic Kev Orkian to launch Cinderella in Milton Keynes. Yours truly is taking on the title role of Cinders (although I had to wrestle Louis for the part) and we'll be playing at the Milton Keynes Theatre this Christmas. I've just found out we'll have real ponies (!), so I cannot wait for the chaos backstage. They say never work with animals or children - well, I disagree, I can tick both off my list and I'd have it no other way.
- X Factor guest judge Mel B tucking into a sumptuous tray of fish and chips - not sure that's in the Jenny Craig diet plan contract...
- Handbags are already out over at Strictly Come Dancing, with the less experienced dancers (i.e. Lisa Riley and Sid Owen) complaining about more gifted dancers (Kimberley Walsh and Denise Van Outen) having an advantage. Quit your moaning, never did Anne Widdecombe any harm.
- And Bruce's joke at Craig Revel Horwood's expense re 'having had work done since the last series' was probably the most accurate and amusing 'gag' in all ten series - finally, Brucie!