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Strictly star Joe Sugg lands first professional acting job in BBC drama The Syndicate

HE managed to lure in millions of viewers online just by being himself.

Now Joe Sugg will be hoping to do the same by playing someone else, after landing his first major TV acting role.

The YouTuber and Strictly finalist has been cast in the new series of KAY MELLOR’s lottery drama The Syndicate, which is set to start filming this month.

Joe will play an aspiring musician named Sam, who is struggling to commit to on-off girlfriend Roxy, played by Stella actress Taj Atwal.

A TV insider said: “Joe has always been passionate about making the leap from YouTube sensation to TV personality.

“His Strictly success demonstrated that his popularity isn’t limited to online, and opened up a host of new opportunities for him, including the chance to act.

“He knows he has a lot to prove and is taking this latest career turn very seriously.

“Just like when he was written off as a mere YouTuber on Strictly, he is looking forward to showing everyone what he is capable of.”

Joe will join former Corrie stars Kym Marsh and Katie McGlynn in the upcoming fourth series of the BBC drama.

I can also reveal that Neil Morrissey will be part of the cast, playing a newsagent with aspirations of living the high life.

Emmerdale actress Gaynor Faye — who is writer Kay’s daughter — stars as his long-suffering partner.

Joe had a brief spell in West End stage musical Waitress last year, but The Syndicate will be his biggest acting job to date.

Lenny Henry, Timothy Spall and Gavin & Stacey’s Alison Steadman are among the big names who have starred in previous series.

So it looks like Joe has hit the jackpot with this gig.

Keep dancing? Strictly judge Shirley Ballas can barely keep walking.

The ballroom pro gave fans an update on her recovery after breaking her ankle back in July.

She said on Instagram: “I can’t put weight on this foot otherwise it’s not going to heal, so I have learnt to use crutches.”

But help was at hand. The dented diva hopped on the back of actor boyfriend Danny Taylor after coming down with “jelly legs”.

She added: “Take a look at his face, lol.”

Shirley may be a long way off hitting the dancefloor, but that hasn’t stopped her getting lifts from her partner.

Christopher Eccleston is reprising his role as Doctor Who after 15 years in a move sure to delight a whole new generation of fans.

The actor, who left the iconic show after just one series in 2005, will star in a new 12-part audio series.

His return as the ninth doctor will be released as four CD, download and vinyl boxsets starting in May 2021.

Christopher was the Doctor in the show’s comeback series in 2005 after it took a 16-year hiatus.

He later claimed working on the BBC hit “damaged” him and his career.

Announcing his return, he said: “It will be exciting to revisit the Ninth Doctor’s world, bringing back to life a character I love playing.”

US actor Lin-Manuel Miranda credits his friendship with Fleabag’s Andrew Scott – a co-star in His Dark Materials – for boosting his sex appeal.

Hamilton mastermind Lin, who plays aeronaut Lee Scoresby in the BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman’s books, said: “You have no idea what it’s like to be cooped up in a hot air balloon while Fleabag is peaking in the US.

“I had texts from women I haven’t talked to in years when the announcement went out, saying, ‘You’re in a balloon with the Hot Priest!’”

Andrew – John Parry in the drama – also revealed Marks & Spencer’s role in their friendship: “I introduced Lin to a very British snack called Percy Pigs, so our cultures connected in that balloon – the foundation of a strong friendship.”

Just wait until Lin discovers Colin the Caterpillar.

It’s not just Bafta judges who are fans of cult Channel 4 comedy Stath Lets Flats.

The show’s creator and star Jamie Demetriou, who landed the Scripted Comedy and Male Comedy Performance awards last week, has struck up an unlikely friendship with Taylor Swift.

A source said: “Jamie and Taylor were introduced to each other by her actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn back at the NME Awards in February.

“She’d spent the night mingling with A-list musicians, so it was jarring to see them hanging out, but they got along famously.

“Jamie also starred in Fleabag, which Taylor is a massive fan of, so perhaps the gushing wasn’t as one-sided as you’d expect.”

Still, I won’t hold out hope of a cameo in the next series.

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