Alesha Dixon signs six-figure deal to join Australia’s Got Talent as judge after Amanda Holden turned it down
ALESHA Dixon has bagged a bumper payday to fly Down Under to be a judge on Australia’s Got Talent, all thanks to Amanda Holden.
But it’s not because the blonde star put in a good word for her — I can reveal Amanda turned down the job before Alesha was offered it.
Negotiations with Amanda started earlier this year, with bosses eager to sign her after hearing she was the star of Britain’s Got Talent.
But she turned it down to focus on projects here including her Heart breakfast radio show and an upcoming Channel 4 series, meaning TV execs turned to Alesha instead.
And with BGT off screen this year due to Covid, I’m sure she will be glad of the gig.
A TV insider said: “Amanda was the first choice for Australia’s Got Talent and she had a series of meetings but logistically she just could not make it work.
“Her daughters are in school here so even if she didn’t have work commitments, it would have been difficult to be away from them.
“Although Alesha wasn’t who they wanted originally, she has secured a lucrative contract and it’s a good deal which will really heighten her career Down Under.
“Her kids are still young so it feels a bit more doable for her.
“It’s difficult at the moment because of quarantining but she has had the green light and will start filming later this month.”
Given Amanda is always making headlines with her risque outfits and hilarious reactions, I can see why the Aussies would have wanted her. But as a seasoned TV judge herself, Alesha will bring plenty to the role when filming commences in a fortnight.
She will join How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris on the panel, alongside Aussie celebrities Kate Ritchie and Shane Jacobson.
Alesha had a handful of hits in Australia with her girl band Mis-Teeq two decades ago, although 2008’s The Boy Does Nothing was her only solo single to crack the charts there.
Given she has spent the past two years working on a new record, this could be the perfect way to win over new Aussie fans.
READ ON FOR MORE OF SIMON BOYLE'S BIZARRE COLUMN
Michelle a sight on the town
MICHELLE Keegan was the cream of the crop in this top and skirt.
The former Corrie actress hit the town with pals on Saturday night to celebrate her 34th birthday.
Michelle looked chic in an off-the-shoulder shirt and matching midi-skirt during the party at restaurant Peter Street Kitchen in Manchester.
It was girls-only at her bash and while she hit the town with female friends, her husband Mark Wright enjoyed a night in London.
He was photographed soaking up the sunshine with pals at Tower Suites rooftop bar in the capital.
The couple, who married in 2015, are building their dream mega mansion in Essex – which will feature an enormous swimming pool complete with Ibiza-style chairs and sunloungers.
Mark and Michelle’s project is still a fair way off completion, which is a shame.
With the heatwave extending into this week, I’d love a dip and a sunbathe at their pad.
Maybe next year, guys?
It’s Miley’s £2m Magnum opus
MILEY Cyrus is more than £2million better off after signing a cool promotional deal with Magnum ice creams.
Insiders tell me the Wrecking Ball star has been paid the seven-figure sum to do a major ad campaign for them.
A source said: “Miley’s huge influence stretches far beyond music and her mega-deal with Magnum proves just that.
“She has been paid over £2million to be a part of their new campaign, which includes digital adverts and a YouTube live-stream show.
“Miley is massively popular and has a fan base of millions – so as far as the execs are concerned she is worth every penny.”
And this isn’t the only huge deal that Miley has agreed to this year, after she signed up for three TV specials for NBC in the US.
Her first is an hour-long Pride concert, called Stand By You, which was filmed in Nashville last week.
Seeing that Miley is yet to name dates for her next tour following the release of her seventh album Plastic Heart last November, I’m not surprised she is trying to keep herself busy with projects such as the Magnum deal.
And if she is lining her coffers while she’s at it, she’s got it licked.
Isle do EP and tour, says Wes
HIS debut single hit No 3 in the charts and Wes Nelson will soon have a load more music to soundtrack the summer.
The former Love Island star is preparing his first ever EP following the success of his breakout tune See Nobody last autumn.
He’s also planning to tour as soon as live gigs are allowed.
In an exclusive interview, Wes, inset, said: “I am not rushing an album, I would like to put out an EP first – a nice little body of work.
“I’ve got so many songs. I can’t release them all as singles so it would be nice to get them out there on an EP.
“I have some house, more techno stuff, EDM – there are loads of different avenues I’ve explored to find my sound. My next goal is to see people singing my songs back to me. It could be this year.
“I’ve been in talks with a couple of festivals and we’ve been working out my first tour dates with my live agent.”
Speaking as part of his link-up with Dott e-scooters, Wes also revealed he has started penning songs for other people. He added: “I have started writing for quite a lot of artists, too. I can’t say who because I am ghost-writing but the artists are in the charts at the moment.
“I didn’t realise how good I was until I started. I mean, I’m not Elton John but I am definitely learning my craft.”
Raye hit’s a show thing
RAYE has already had three top 40 tunes this year but her latest single sounds like the biggest hit yet.
She released Call On Me on Friday along with a video in which she plays a scantily clad showgirl.
It’s an anthemic dance tune that is sure to get people up and moving when it’s played in a club.
Let’s just hope they actually open soon so people can do just that.
YEARS & Years have recorded an exclusive EP for Apple Music to celebrate Pride month.
It includes a new version of current single Starstruck as well as a cover of Lil Nas X’s No1 Montero (Call Me By Your Name).
A first-class move, Madge
PLANS for a Madonna biopic are back on track now the pop legend has hired Girl On The Train screenwriter Erin Wilson to replace Diablo Cody.
I told in April how Diablo, whose credits include Oscar-winner Juno, quit after finding the Material Girl too difficult to work with as they attempted to capture the early years of her glittering music career in script form.
Reports in the US tried to rubbish my exclusive by stating the final script had been handed in, but given Madonna is now working on it with someone else, that was clearly not the case.
Confirming she is now working with Erin on the project, Madonna posted this photo on Instagram of the pair of them together and wrote: “Sitting with my favourite bitch . . . I mean writer.”
With such an eventful life to bring to the big screen, there’s plenty to work with.
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