RYLAN Clark has somehow managed to turn being on holiday into a full-time job – and I’m filled with admiration.
The host continues to pack his diary after quitting Strictly: It Takes Two and has signed up to present a new BBC travelogue alongside Rob Rinder.
He’ll head straight from filming his current project — reality show The Bar, on Zante, Greece — to Italy for the new show.
Rob And Rylan’s Grand Tour will see the pals set off on an adventure to tread the path of hedonistic 19th Century poet Lord Byron, guided by his letters and diaries.
Together, they’ll also retrace the steps of countless English aristocrats who took what became known as the Grand Tour — the original gap year.
A source said: “Rylan and Rob make the perfect duo for this.
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"They both love travel and have a taste for the finer things in life.
"But both come at the pursuit of pleasure from different directions.
"It’ll make for a unique take on a well-trodden path and it’s hoped there’s scope for a further series if viewers take to the theme.”
The BBC Two series was inspired by the upcoming 200th anniversary of Byron’s death.
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But Rylan has somewhat more modern intentions.
He told me: “When I found out that Rob and I get to go travelling around Italy for the Grand Tour, I couldn’t have packed my suitcase quicker.
“Rob will be teaching me all about Italian history and art as we follow in the footsteps of the cultural greats, while I show Rob how to dance on bars.
“This series is going to be eye-opening and I bet we’ll have a laugh or two along the way.”
Rob added: “We’ll be following in the footsteps of some of history’s biggest cultural contributors.
“While Rylan and I have different intentions for our trip, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather do this journey with.”
The Beeb promises the series will deliver a “totally new perspective” on Italy.
Knowing what Rylan’s like on a big night out, I couldn’t agree more.
ESPITE weekend reports it had been axed, Channel 4 insist controversial late-night show Naked Attraction is going nowhere . . . for now.
Bosses promise a new series fronted by Anna Richardson will return next year.
It will be the 12th series of the dating show, which launched in 2016.
NO LOST LOVE FOR LUTHER
TROUBLED cop Luther might well end up being Idris Elba’s defining role.
But things could have been very different, as he almost signed up for hit US series Lost instead.
Idris’s career skyrocketed thanks to playing DCI John Luther in the BBC One series, but he’d already built a following in America from his work in The Wire.
He said: “My career was fine, I’d done Stringer Bell [in The Wire] and I remember reading this six-part TV show on the BBC and everyone was like, ‘You sure you want to go back home to do that?’
“I was like, ‘This is gonna be a life-changer for me.’ And it did.
“At the same time as Luther, I was offered a role in Lost.
"I was gonna be a character for a season and, at the time, Lost was the biggest show in the world.
“But I remember thinking, ‘Nah, I’m alright.”
EASTENDER Shona McGarty was left baffled after a fan sent her a Black & Decker drill.
The actress, who has played Whitney since 2008, said: “I was once sent a Black & Decker drill.
"I phoned my dad and said, ‘Dad, I think this might be a death threat’ and he went, ‘Oh, is it [the drill] any good?’”
SHARON’S TOT FEAR
SHARON HORGAN has revealed she accepted the role of Nicci in new BBC drama Best Interests after a near-death experience with her daughter as a baby.
The programme follows married couple Nicci and Andrew, played by Sharon and Michael Sheen, whose daughter Marnie has a life-threatening condition.
It was a terrifying flashback to Sharon’s own daughter Sadhbh and her fight with meningitis as a toddler.
She said: “Ever since my daughter came along I’ve been an emotional wreck.
“My 19-year-old was very ill when she was about 16 months old. For a short amount of time, we didn’t know if she would die.”
Best Interests starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
CORRIE ’N’ CHIPZ
RUPAUL’S Drag Race and The Celebrity Circle star Baga Chipz is eyeing up a stint in Weatherfield.
The drag queen is keen on landing a soap cameo and would love to be seen pulling pints in The Rovers.
Baga said: “If I could do any show in the world it would be Coronation Street. I would love to do it.
“They’ve got a drag queen in EastEnders.
“I’d be really northern and just come out of the car with my heels and take a drag of a cigarette.
“I’d be like the proper rough guy who does drag at night and works behind the bar with my wig on sometimes. I’d love to do that.”
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Londoner Baga says she feels far more at home with her northern counterparts than with movie A-listers.
She added: “I’d rather be on Corrie than in Hollywood.”
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