This is England star Stephen Graham to replace Thandie Newton as central character

I can reveal the actor, who has also starred in This Is England and Boardwalk Empire, is set to replace Thandie Newton, as the central figure in the megahit BBC drama’s fifth season.

A show insider said: “It’s a huge coup for Stephen, even as someone with his long CV.

“Not only is Line of Duty one of the hottest dramas on TV but he’s also following in the footsteps of a long line of high-profile signings, including Keeley Hawes and Daniel Mays.

“Producers are also thrilled to have him on board and have a very exciting story lined-up.

“Just as he did in Little Boy Blue recently, he’s sure to have viewers glued to their edge of their seats.”

Joining the cast means Stephen, will be reunited with Vicky McClure, who he starred alongside in landmark 2006 film This Is England.

And Stephen won’t need to worry about rehearsing much for his new role, as he already has plenty of experience playing a copper.

Just this year he was named Best Actor at the Royal Television Society Awards for his role in Little Boy Blue as Detective Superintendent Dave Kelly, who investigated the murder of youngster Rhys Jones in Liverpool in 2007.

It is not yet clear if Stephen, who also appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, will play a one-series character in Line Of Duty or if he will become a permanent fixture.

But his options remain open, with the Beeb already ordering a sixth season.

Stephen will start filming for the fifth run of the nail-biting show in September, and it is expected to air early next year.

Like most Line of Duty fans, I’m counting the days until it’s back.

Biz bit

The Crimes of Grindelwald actor appeared on stage just an hour and a half before his ex-wife.

Grigor Nics a kiss

DESPITE their past relationship woes, Nicole Scherzinger still looks a perfect match for Bulgarian tennis ace Grigor Dimitrov.

The ex-Pussycat Doll clung on to him as they enjoyed a smooch on a yacht in Saint-Tropez, France, yesterday.

The couple, who hosed each other down as temperatures soared, below, lounged on deck after a lunch in town.

Grigor has admitted his hectic tournament schedule made it hard for him to see Nicole, who he went public with in 2015.
They’re making up for lost time.

Biz meter charts

That’s the Essex-born producer’s fourth Top Ten hit in two years and it won’t be his last.

The Luke of love

THE Kooks opened for the Rolling Stones this year and are about to drop fifth album Let’s Go Sunshine – but frontman Luke Pritchard has another reason to smile.

I can reveal the singer is dating upcoming singer-songwriter Ellie Rose. He is even planning on moving in with his new girlfriend soon, as their relationship becomes more serious.

A source said: “Luke is the happiest he’s been in a long time since he got together with Ellie.

“They got introduced by mutual friends in the music world and haven’t looked back since.

“Luke has been really keen to get Ellie’s career off the ground and has been helping her work on her new single, which is out on August 1.

“She’s also been a real support while he’s been out at different gigs and they’re now planning on getting a place together.”

Ellie has posted a string of snaps with Luke – including one, where she calls him the “love of my life”.
After singing so many heartbreak tunes, it’s great Luke has finally found love.


AS our temperatures soar this week, Emily Ratajkowski does nothing to help the male population cool down . . .

Biz meter charts

His tunes Don’t Matter To Me and Nice For What sit at No3 and No8 respectively.

Tay city pretty

TAYLOR Swift has made sure she can’t forget where she is in the world.

The singer wore this bright pink hoodie featuring “New York” in bold lettering and a picture of the Big Apple’s skyline as she left her apartment in the city on Saturday.

And she kept it casual with denim shorts as she took a break from touring.

Taylor has signed to star in the film adaptation of musical Cats, alongside Jennifer Hudson and Sir Ian McKellen.

She is besotted with her kittens Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey.
Maybe they’ll get cam-miaows.

Biz meter charts

Expect to see more of her singles in the charts in the coming weeks.

His Mo-ment is over

IN its seven-year history The Voice has failed to generate a singer able to make their dreams of pop stardom a reality.

And despite ITV bosses hoping to turn things around when they took over the show from the Beeb last year, yet another champ is joining the long list of failed hopefuls.

I can reveal that 2017 winner Mo Jamil, has been dropped by his record company Polydor and his management company, Modest, after failing to conquer the charts.

It comes after Mo’s debut album, Evolve, released back in March, flopped in the charts, peaking at a disappointing No36.

A source said: “It’s been well over a year since Mo won The Voice and he’s really struggled to make an impact.

“He worked hard on his first album but it really didn’t impress fans or get much of a pick-up.

“Polydor’s only option was to cut ties with Mo. He’s now hoping he’ll be able to make it big on his own.”

Mo is the latest in a long line of Voice winners who have failed to find success — including Stevie McCrorie, Andrea Begley, Leanne Mitchell, and Jermain Jackman, whose names also don’t ring many bells with members of the public.
Let’s hope that The Voice producers can break the curse once and for all this year.

Biz bit

She said: “It would be beautiful to sing in a Bollywood movie. I have been following a few musicians in India and they are wonderful.”


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