Great Britain

Ex-EastEnders star Samantha Womack finds love with ex-Coronation Street actor Oliver Farnworth

FORMER EastEnders star Samantha Womack has found love with ex-Coronation Street actor and theatre colleague Oliver Farnworth. 

The actress, who played Albert Square legend Ronnie Mitchell, grew close to Oliver while acting opposite him in the 2019 stage adaptation of thriller The Girl On The Train. 

It comes after she announced her split from hubby Mark last summer, revealing their marriage had broken down in 2018 but they were still sharing their Bedfordshire farmhouse with their two kids.

A source said: “Samantha’s chemistry with Oliver was clear to see on stage and they remained close after the production. 

“They couldn’t be happier and have loved dating away from the public eye. 

“They’ve met each other’s families and it all feels very natural. They’re totally smitten with each other. 

“Plus her ex Mark is happy for her too. It’s all very grown-up and modern.”

Speaking about the breakdown of her nine-year marriage last year, Samantha said: “Our family home is big enough and we’re co-existing happily. There’s no rush to change things. 

“But now feels like the right time to be honest and admit that we are no longer together.

“We’ve been happily living together ever since. It’s bizarre but these have probably been the best years we’ve had as a family.”

Oliver played Andy Carver in Corrie until he was killed off in 2017. 

Like Samantha, Oliver is an animal lover and helps to care for her dogs. The source added: “The couple have been taking Samantha’s pooches on walks in the countryside.”


The couple also recently took a trip to Yorkshire, where Oliver’s family is from. 

Samantha and Oliver’s love story is similar to that of her BFF and former on-screen sister Rita Simons, who played Roxy in the BBC1 soap. 

Last year Rita announced she had split from her husband of 14 years, Theo Silverston, before stepping out with new beau, Legally Blonde The Musical co-star Ben Harlow.

After both actresses were left gutted when their soap characters Ronnie and Roxy died together in a swimming pool on New Year’s Day 2017, we’re glad to see they each got their happy ending . . . 


Lily’s reaching a new stage in life

SHE comes from a family of actors, and now we hear that Lily Allen is considering treading the boards herself. 

The Smile singer, who has been in New York this week, could make her West End debut later this year, just as the theatre world is opening up to audiences again.

Her acting turn would see her follow in the footsteps of her dad Keith, brother Alfie and her husband, Stranger Things actor David Harbour.

Lily, who has scored two No1 albums in the UK, has been enjoying a healthier lifestyle lately after quitting booze and partying. 

A source said: “Lily is known for being a pop star, but she has plenty more to offer. It will be a challenge, but she is eager to sink her teeth into a new project. 

“Rehearsals are believed to be set to start later this summer.”

At least Lily, whose reps didn’t comment, has lots of stage presence . . . 

See more Amanda

BBC1 talent show I Can See Your Voice hasn’t even finished its first run on telly and it has already been recommissioned for a second series, we can reveal.

It means that judge Amanda Holden will be the undisputed queen of Saturday night, as she’s also the star of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. A TV source said: “I Can See Your Voice has proven to be a ratings winner. The team have plenty more gems up their sleeves for season two. It’s likely to air early next year ahead of BGT.”

With her Heart FM breakfast show Amanda must be the hardest-working woman in showbiz . . . 

Star Fitz the big roles

HIS role in Line of Duty has put Perry Fitzpatrick in the frame for more big roles.

After his impressive turn as DS Chris Lomax in the hit Beeb drama, Perry vowed: “This will stick with me.”

In a chat to mark series six DVD and Blu-Ray and series one to six DVD box set coming out on May 31, he said: “The scripts I’m getting sent and the parts I’m reading are really exciting.” 

Perry, who was also in Downton Abbey The Movie, added: “They like to see you can handle big roles in big shows, so that’ll definitely have made a shift for me.”

Bebe’s blazer glory 

POP superstar Bebe Rexha gives a classic blazer, denim and high heels combo a sexy twist with a flash of cleavage. 

The cover star for issue 16 of Basic mag has been busy promoting her long-awaited second album Better Mistakes. She was recently spotted with pal Paris Hilton hanging out in an LA break room smashing objects. 

Rock ‘n’ roll . . .  

EMILY Blunt lived up to her surname when asked about turning down the role of Marvel’s Black Widow – played by Scarlett Johansson. 

The actress, who starred in 2010 flop Gulliver’s Travels instead of the billion dollar franchise, called the situation a “heartbreaker”. 

Emily said: “I actually do want to clean up the story. I was contracted to do Gulliver’s Travels. I didn’t want to do it. I take such pride in the decisions I make.”

But the star isn’t kicking herself too much, despite the fact Scarlett has earned an estimated £50million as the superhero.

Emily added: “I don’t know if superhero movies are for me. They’re not up my alley. I don’t like them – I really don’t.

“It’s not that it’s beneath me. I love Iron Man and when I got offered Black Widow I was obsessed with Iron Man.”

She hasn’t ruled out donning a cape in the future, saying: “That is not to say I’d never want to play one . . . but it would have to be something so cool. I don’t race to see superhero movies. Maybe because they leave me feeling a bit cold. I cannot explain it. I cannot get in there.”

After dealing with Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, surely no villain would be too scary.

We’re back in the Euros 

AFTER being cancelled for the first time in its 65-year history last April due to Covid, Eurovision fans can celebrate the zany competition’s return next week. 

Live from Rotterdam’s Ahoy arena in the Netherlands, 16 countries battle it out on Tuesday and Thursday (BBC4) for the first ten places in Saturday’s final (BBC1), which will be hosted by Graham Norton.

Highlights include the UK’s super talented James Newman, Finns Blind Channel, who promise a violent sound, and Moldovan beauty Natalia Gordienko with her catchy pop song Sugar. The singer is enjoying a Eurovision comeback 15 years after last competing at the Grand Final as a teen. 

We can’t wait.

Max’s bloody shame over Dame Kelly

MAX George has confessed he accidentally knifed Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes in the arm in a bloody off-screen accident on 2015 ITV reality show Bear Grylls: Mission Survive. 

The former Wanted star told the Dangerous Dinners podcast: “I messed up. Technically, I stabbed her with a knife. 

“She was trying to make a fire and I said, ‘Give it here.’ I slashed the knife on the metal and I missed it and it slashed her.

“There was blood everywhere. I stabbed a dame!

“Bear sent me home. And I was a massive fan, I had all his videos. I was gutted I messed that up. I was gutted I hurt Dame Kelly, first of all. But then my experience was cut short. I was in Costa Rica and that kind of thing is my dream.”

But we can reveal that Dame Kelly has forgiven him for the gaffe. 

She told us: “It was a complete accident and I was sad when he went as he was so cute and lit up the camp with his smile.”

Never mind a Dame, Kelly has the patience of a saint . . . 

Mabel’s mega in mono

MABEL strutted up to Radio 1’s London HQ on Friday looking ready to perform on stage, wearing this skintight monochrome catsuit and strappy sandals to rehearsals for the BBC station’s Big Weekend.

But the Don’t Call Me Up singer didn’t factor a handbag into her look . . . so she had to be careful not to drop her phone and smash it.

Joan’s Piers part 2

AS well as grilling Labour leader Keir Starmer in his upcoming batch of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, we can reveal that the former GMB host will entertain some glamorous guests too. 

Dame Joan Collins is set to return later this month and, after Vinnie Jones, will be only the second star to appear on Piers’ show twice. 

A telly source said: “He’s planning some surprises and video messages from fellow celebs, and hopefully some royals. He has a great rapport with Joan and plans to coax out some fresh anecdotes.”

FORMER boxing champion Tony Bellew has recalled the time he was introduced to Floyd Mayweather – and was unimpressed to see three women draped over the ring king.

On the Don’t Tell Me The Score podcast with Simon Mundie, out tomorrow, he said: “He’s the greatest boxer of our era. But I was amazed to think, ‘This man has lost touch with reality’.

“When I was talking to this guy, he had one woman massaging his feet, another massaging his head and another massaging his shoulders, while he was explaining to me how he had made 900 million dollars.

“I understand why he’s lost touch with reality because every single person around him just says ‘yes’ to him.” Fighting talk . . .  

Vinnie Jones takes a swipe at Piers Morgan as he tells GMB replacement Alastair Campbell 'you look 10 years younger'

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