BRADLEY WALSH ON DOCTOR
THE SHOWBIZ WEEK IN FOCUS
Make-up. Five pounds of make-up. Also, the director really liked me and I think he took extra special care to light me. Cher, 72, explains how she managed to look so good in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I don’t have a passion for baking. I am more interested in savoury cooking than baking. Another gaffe from Bake Off judge Prue Leith. Isn’t this like Gareth Southgate saying he prefers cricket to football? AS the new Doctor Who hurtles through time and space she may be too busy to thank Ray Winstone.
But without the intervention of the hardman actor she might not have landed comedy star Bradley Walsh as her companion Graham.
The eagerly awaited new series with Jodie Whittaker as the Time Lord touches down three weeks today.
Bradley will be at her side thanks to his chat with Ray over a drink after they played a charity football match.
Ray told the host of ITV’S game show The Chase: “Enough of the quiz shows. Why don’t you do more acting?
“Get back into acting. Get back into acting. You are a good actor.”
Two days later Bradley, who starred in Coronation Street as Danny Baldwin and Law & Order UK, set the wheels in motion. And the Doctor’s Tardis has certainly swept him off his feet.
In an exclusive interview, Bradley said: “If there are any Doctor Who fans out there, Jodie is magnificent. It was unbelievable. It is really big stuff and they have gone for it.”
Initially Bradley, 58, had no idea he was about to be offered the role of a lifetime.
Last year he was having a lunch with the show’s boss Chris Chibnall who, at first, would tell him only that it was a “very secret” job and a ninemonth shoot in Cardiff.
When Chris finally revealed it was Doctor Who he would not say who was going to be the Time Lord. Chris told him: “We can’t tell you but we want you to do it. Trust us. Trust us. It will be an unbelievable journey.” Brad said: “I’m in. A leap of faith. Why not?”
This type of can-do attitude and Bradley’s versatility has made him one of the busiest men in showbusiness.
Yet despite hosting The Chase since 2009, he has always thought he can’t risk staying still for too long or he will get pigeon-holed.
Bradley said: “You have to spread yourself quite thinly. You can be a jack of all trades and that will help you as you will always get employment. It is a very, very fickle business.”
He has just been filming his new reality show, Breaking Dad, in New Orleans. He takes on challenges across America with his actor son Barney.
Clearly Bradley will take on anything that is thrown at him. He said: “While you remain constant in the industry, the bosses don’t. So you have to constantly evolve.” And life has certainly changed for the boy born and raised in Watford who started his career as a jet engineer for Rolls-royce.
He admitted he was not one of the sharpest at school and lived up to his nickname “Wingit” by passing three of his eight O-levels – English, maths and art with no revision.
He said: “That was enough to get me into Rolls-royce. I did an apprenticeship there. Ironically that closed down and became the Harry Potter film studios.” His short football career with Brentford was ended with separate ankle fractures. But on a lads’ holiday to Majorca he showed his funny side and won a talent competition with his Norman Wisdom impression. Back home, he successfully applied to be a Pontins bluecoat and after three months at Morecambe started doing stand-up in clubs. In one nightspot in Watford, he had an encounter with Gary Glitter, later exposed as a paedophile. Bradley said: “I did this joke on the stage where you flick ice cubes from your groin and ask: ‘What’s that?’ “Then say, ‘It is an Eskimo having a wee.’ Ten minutes later
Nervous Strictly newbie Katie Piper is clearly feeling smiles better as she practises her moves with pro partner Gorka Marquez ahead of next week’s first dance, telling fans he has “the patience of a saint”. Can model Iris Law seriously think she needs this much beauty sleep? Or is it that, like Linda Evangelista, the 17-yearold daughter of Jude and Sadie Frost won’t get out of bed unless the price is right? Stacey Solomon looks to be having blooming good fun with son Leighton, six, in this holiday snap she shared. The Loose Women star wrote of her lad: “That smile is life.” LOOK WHO: Brad and Jodie in new series BIG TIME: Brad shared bill with Bassey, Iglesias and Williams