IT has featured huge names and wonder goals — Mark Wright in 2016, anyone? — but this year’s Soccer Aid match is postponed.
After raising more than £38million for Unicef over 14 years, the game, which was due to be held at Man Utd’s Old Trafford on June 6, has been put on ice because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Insiders told me organisers were desperate for the event to go ahead, and even spoke about hosting it behind closed doors.
A source said: “Soccer Aid is a huge deal and this game was billed as the biggest and best ever. Organisers have tried to fight any talk of cancelling and had even thought of playing behind closed doors. They have a couple of dates pencilled in already for when the crisis is over.
"They’ll be playing the match in 2020 once the football season is up and running again. No one wants to wait a year for this to take place.”
Pop star Olly Murs has been named as captain of the England team, and Olympian Usain Bolt is heading up World XI FC. While Piers Morgan was one of the managers last year, this time it is former top-flight bosses Sam Allardyce and Harry Redknapp in the dugouts.
Stars including McFly's Danny Jones and comedians Joel Dommett and Russell Howard had also be named on the team sheet. It’s such a shame, but quite right, this has had to be postponed.
I am so desperate for sport, I watched Reading’s Tom McIntyre take on Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend in a FIFA 20 virtual match on Monday night. Roll on next season.
STEPHEN Mulhern's favourite game on the new series of In For A Penny, which returns to ITV on Saturday, sees couples quickly change into their partner’s clothes. He said: “The things you see will make your eyes water.”
Cooking up celeb taster
EVERY other food show on telly seems to have done it – so it was only a matter of time before Best Home Cook joined in the fun. I am told the BBC1 primetime programme, which has Mary Berry as a judge, is to film a celebrity special.
The series was launched by the BBC after Mary, as well as Sue Perkins and Mell Giedroyc, quit The Great British Bake Off when it was poached by Channel 4. Producers have just started work on the show, which would be presented by Claudia Winkleman.
They are planning a one-off to start with, before hopefully extending it to a full series if it proves a success. It follows in the footsteps of the likes of MasterChef, Ready Steady Cook – and Mary’s old stomping ground, Bake Off – by opening up to famous faces instead of just the general public.
A telly source said: “They have shot two series of Best Home Cook, so thought they’d take the opportunity to explore a celebrity version, like many others have.
"It’s a tried and tested format, and always goes down well with viewers. The producers have plenty of time to start having a think about potential cooks to tap up for the episode, and hopefully a full series.”
REPEATS of Gavin & Stacey and Outnumbered will be screened in the BBC’s season of shows during the coronavirus lockdown.
But it will still show new episodes of The Graham Norton Show and Have I Got News For You.
STRICTLY pro Karen Hauer says she wasn’t ready to marry ex Kevin Clifton. She revealed: “We were still growing as performers, as people, as lovers, and sometimes you just can’t find the right way to fix things.
“For a long while, I was hurt and not in a great place. I felt like I was in so much turmoil and I couldn’t see the way ahead. I wasn’t sleeping, eating or taking care of myself.”
Speaking to Closer mag about the split two years ago, she added: “It was a shock for us both but I think it was something that was a long time coming and we ignored the signs.”
Jorgie's Hollyday is over
SHE tried to crack Hollywood but Jorgie Porter has now swapped it for Hollyoaks – the show that made her famous.
The actress is reprising her role as cheeky Theresa McQueen to celebrate the Channel 4 soap’s 25th anniversary. It comes four years after Jorgie left the soap to audition for roles in Los Angeles.
Hollyoaks’ showrunner Bryan Kirkwood hinted last year that popular characters were to return for the landmark in October.
A telly source said: “Jorgie is excited about the comeback and can’t wait to get her teeth back into her favourite role. Bosses were keen to resurrect one of its most popular char-acters to draw in original viewers.”
WHAT? Growing Up Gifted, BBC2, 9pm.
WHY? Return of the documentary series that charts the lives of three teenagers who are about to start careers, including being a doctor and a theoretical physicist.
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