THESE days outrageous actress MIRIAM MARGOLYES is more famous for making documentaries and turning the air blue wherever she goes.
But she will return to what she does best with a substantial guest appearance in one of the upcoming Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials.
A TV insider said: “With an acting career almost as old as Doctor Who itself, it’s a surprise to think she hasn’t already featured in an episode over the past six decades.
“The show’s creators felt that she was such a great character in real life that she was a natural choice to play the character she will have on the sci-fi show, which the BBC are keeping a closely guarded secret.
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“And at the grand age of 81, her career is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment.”
As well as being a regular cast member on BBC1’s Call The Midwife, Miriam is also appearing with actor Alan Cumming in road trip show Lost In Scotland And Beyond, which continues tomorrow night on Channel 4 at 9.15pm.
Last month she gained almost as much attention for swearing live on Radio 4’s Today programme when she discussed new Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
But those indiscretions would do little to tarnish a career that has seen her star in Baz Luhrmann movie Romeo + Juliet, Martin Scorsese’s period drama Age Of Innocence as well as the Harry Potter films.
But, to me, Miriam will always be the saucy bunny in those Cadbury’s Caramel adverts.
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BAKE OFF’S FINAL SAY
THE three Great British Bake Off finalists fire up their ovens in tonight’s climax on Channel 4.
Abdul Rehman Sharif is still in mild shock. He said: “I was high on imposter syndrome once I reached the semi-finals.
“I was the only baker who hadn’t received any accolade – star baker or a handshake.
I am a baker who never finished on time. There was always something that could be improved or done better.
“In most cases I had to scrap ideas to make it in time.”
Sandro Farmhouse, who became as famous for his looks as his baking, said: “My favourite outfit has to be my leather and blue look.
“I loved it, and just felt sexy in it. I am not sure if leather has been worn in the tent before.”
He added: “Approaching the finals, I didn’t feel that nervous.
“I’ve dreamed of being in the finals more than I have being in the tent. It was always a goal for me so I felt super-proud.”
Their fellow finalist Syabira Yusoff said: “Being in the final is a bonus for me.
“My partner Brad always tells me, ‘Never underestimate your guts and go for it.
“‘Never give up no matter how hard it is to come up with baking ideas for the final’.”
But she had one bad idea, adding: “On Dessert Week, people said my steamed pudding looked like an alien vagina.”
FEARNE’S MAG PICS RETHINK
FEARNE Cotton is not sure whether she feels ashamed of her sexy lads’ mag pictures in the Noughties after all.
“It’s basically a sexy shoot, you’re wearing a PVC outfit and men read the magazine.
“And now I’m in my 40s I’ve looked back and I’ve sort of spoken openly and said, ‘You know, I’ve got regret about that and I’ve felt shame’.
“And after reading your book I’ve thought, ‘But do I?’. Or do I just think I should say that?
“Do I actually feel that bothered about having done that? And I don’t think I do.”
MICHAEL IN TRAVEL K.O. FEAR
MICHAEL Palin considered retiring from his globetrotting adventures after a health scare on the way to Iraq.
The comedy and travel veteran, who is 80 next year, visited the war-torn country in March while filming a documentary series for Channel 5.
But he nearly scrapped the trip after suffering from a bout of dizziness while attempting to make a connecting flight at Istanbul airport in Turkey and feared his heart was failing, having undergone surgery in 2019.
He said: “I was giddy and I had to grab on to the back of a seat.
“I just didn’t know quite what was happening.
“I thought, ‘I haven’t even started filming. I’ve had a heart operation, I’m nearly 79 years old, I shouldn’t have done this’.”
Michael admitted his bad turn could have been caused by dehydration.
BOOKER Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain is being adapted for BBC1 by the 2020 book’s author Douglas Stuart.
Set in Eighties Glasgow, it tells the story of the close relationship between a working class mother, who struggles with alcohol, and her effeminate son, who struggles to fit in.
JEN SHOW HITS THE BUFFERS
JENNY Eclair says she is “devastated” her nude drawing series has been axed.
Channel 4’s Drawers Off won’t be coming back after its second series earlier this year.
She admits unspectacular ratings for the teatime show are to blame.
Host Jenny said: “Channel 4 have decided there will be no more. I am devastated, absolutely gutted.
“You can only do so much. It is really hard to get a foothold in that time slot. If you don’t tick the number of viewers, you don’t get another series, simple as that.”
The weekday series had amateur artists taking it in turns to sketch themselves naked, to win a cash prize and place in the winners’ gallery.