TELLY fans will know Sue Holderness for her years spent playing Boycie’s long-suffering wife Marlene in Only Fools And Horses.
But in her next role, the veteran actress will be pursuing a very different love interest — EastEnders’ Billy Mitchell.
I’m told Sue has signed for the BBC1 soap to play the role of Estelle, who arrives in Walford to oversee a photoshoot with Billy’s daughter Janet.
Her attention soon turns to Billy, but it is clear from the outset that not everyone is quite as taken with Estelle as Billy seems to be.
Sue, who played Marlene Boyce in Only Fools from 1985 to 2003, then in the sitcom’s spin-off show The Green Green Grass from 2005 to 2009, has signed up for just a short stint in Albert Square and will be appearing on screen as soon as next month.
Talking about filming her new role, Sue said: “After more than 50 years in the business it was my first time working on a soap and I loved the whole experience.
“I was absolutely delighted to have been given the chance to visit Walford.
“It felt very surreal to be popping into the actual fish and chip shop, Ruby’s club, the Queen Vic, and wandering around Albert Square.
“I was just ridiculously excited about the whole thing.
Since her days married to Aubrey Boyce, played by fellow veteran John Challis, Sue has kept herself busy in the worlds of both TV and stage.
Nearly a decade ago, she enjoyed a turn on BBC1’s Casualty and last year appeared in another medical drama, Holby City.
Since 2018 she has played Mrs Rossi in sitcom Still Open All Hours, alongside Only Fools’ Del Boy legend Sir David Jason.
All adders up for Claire
SHE has taken over from Hollywood star Keira Knightley as the lead in The Essex Serpent – so it comes as no surprise that Claire Danes was smiling during filming.
The Homeland actress was spotted in Victorian finery for the new six-part period drama.
She wore a long grey dress with a matching coat and had her hair tied back with a purple ribbon for the shoot in Maldon, Essex.
Claire’s tresses certainly looked better than the dodgy wild hairdos and wigs her CIA agent character Carrie sported in Homeland.
The Essex Serpent follows Cora, played by Claire, who moves to a small village after leaving an abusive marriage.
Knightley dropped out in October, citing “family reasons”.
The programme will stream on Apple TV+.
Jed: 100 of us know who ‘H’ is
I’D have thought that TV’s best-kept secret was known only by a select few, but Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio says more than 100 people hold the key to the identity of “H”.
The writer says the crew on the BBC cop drama – now on its sixth series – have all agreed not to tell a soul.
Asked who knew the identity of the corrupt senior cop, Jed told the Radio Times: “I’d say at least 100. It’s obviously something that happens within the show, where we talk about it very openly.
“We’re all very good at keeping it under our hat.
“It’s great there is so much attention around it.
“We’re all incredibly flattered and thrilled by the response. We talk socially and professionally all the time.
“Everyone signs up that they’ve just got to keep it under their hat.”
Viewers learned in series five that H was actually four bent officials, including Matthew Cottan, Derek Hilton and senior lawyer Gill Biggeloe.
With that many crew knowing who the fourth H is, I’m surprised I don’t know too.
Host JJ on the money
JJ Chalmers is swapping the Strictly ballroom for a workshop in a new hosting role.
The former Royal Marine, who got to the quarter-finals of the BBC1 dance competition last year, will join daytime show Money For Nothing when it returns to BBC1 this spring.
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JJ has had a passion for making and mending from a young age and loves using his skills to give old or damaged items a second chance.
He taught craft, design and technology skills to high- school students before joining the Royal Marines.
He said: “I’m seldom happier than when I’m getting my hands dirty in my workshop, and so I’m delighted to be joining the Money For Nothing team.”
David’s the Inside Man
DAVID Tennant is among the star-studded cast of the BBC’s latest drama, Inside Man.
Joining him is The Hunger Games’ Stanley Tucci, Dracula star Dolly Wells and It’s A Sin actress Lydia West.
The four-part series follows a prisoner on death row in the US, a vicar in a quiet English town and a maths teacher trapped in a cellar, as their lives cross paths.
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