JOHN Barrowman has been sensationally axed from TV’s Dancing On Ice following claims of inappropriate behaviour while filming, we can reveal.
The actor, who joined the skating show as a judge in 2020, faced allegations this month that he repeatedly exposed himself on the sets of BBC’s Doctor Who and spin-off Torchwood.
And amid calls for him to be sacked, the under-fire star apologised for his behaviour, claiming it was “high-spirited behaviour and tomfoolery”.
But insiders say the scandal has sounded the death knell for his career on Dancing On Ice, as bosses are determined to protect their family-friendly image.
And they insisted last night he will not be invited back on to the panel.
One source told us: “Ever since allegations against John came to light, discussions have been ongoing over his future on the panel of Dancing On Ice.
“But the feeling now is there is no way we can invite him back. ITV has shown they are prepared to act decisively when stars are accused of inappropriate behaviour. And it seems this situation will not be the exception to the rule.”
FORCED TO SCRAP AD
News of Barrowman’s departure comes as we can also reveal bosses were recently forced to scrap an expensive ad featuring Noel Clarke.
Chiefs had cast the disgraced actor in a commercial opposite I’m A Celeb star Ferne McCann, as part of the channel’s ongoing Drama vs Reality promotional campaign.
The first of three glossy adverts — which sees actress Katherine Kelly making a gin and tonic with reality star Pete Wicks tied up in a cupboard — is now airing. And another has been filmed with actor Jason Watkins and Love Island’s Kem Centinay.
But sources said Noel’s advert — which cost tens of thousands to film — had been scrapped after he was accused of sexual misconduct towards 20 women.
The Bulletproof star denies all of the allegations bar one — accepting he made inappropriate remarks to a woman, that he later apologised for.
But in response, ITV immediately axed the finale of his primetime drama Viewpoint.
Our source said: “This ad campaign was intended to showcase the very best of ITV’s talent. How could we have put Noel in that bracket, in the face of these allegations?
“Scrapping the ad cost us tens of thousands of pounds, but was the right choice. It was necessary to show how seriously we take such claims.”
An ITV spokesman said: “Any discussions regarding the 2022 series of Dancing On Ice are very premature.”
READ ON FOR MORE OF THE BIZ ON SUNDAY COLUMN
We can reveal bosses behind the Netflix series are looking for a young actor “with natural red hair and blue/light eyes” to play a seven-year-old Harry in the show’s fifth series.
And the casting ad states that the “charming, spirited” young boy must also be a strong swimmer. It reads: “It is ESSENTIAL that he is a good, strong swimmer for his age. He must be very comfortable in the water, on beaches and swimming in the sea.”
We didn’t know Harry was such a fan of water – hot water aside.
The latest instalment of The Crown is set to focus on the Queen’s Annus Horriblis – covering the breakdown of Charles and Diana’s marriage, including that interview with shamed Martin Bashir.
We imagine the royals are hoping the latest run sinks without a trace.
A top pose for Madge
WHILE gravity is pulling most 62-year-olds back down to earth, the only way is up for Madonna, whose ability to look ageless never ceases to impress.
Showing off her tiny waist in tight leather trousers, the pop legend posed in a see-through shirt with delicately placed diamantés for a series of Instagram snaps.
And proving that superstars love a freebie, she sang the praises of designer pal Jean Paul Gaultier for gifting her the outfit, writing: “Thanks JPG for the fierce shirt. You always make a girl want to Strike A Pose.”
Once a Material Girl, always a Material Girl.
Billie’s film aim
BILLIE Piper reckons it will take at least a decade before the Oscars fully embrace women.
But the actress, who wrote, directed and stars in new flick Rare Beasts, praised the awards for moving in the right direction. Speaking about Oscars equality at the Everyman cinema launch of her movie, Billie said: “In five years’ time? That’s optimistic. Probably in ten years’ time.”
She added: “I think there are some positive changes coming to light.
“As long as there are stories being told about women, we can continue to work in every aspect, so there are more women directors and DPs (photography directors).
“We are on a good journey – we are kicking and screaming.”
Covid KO for Suki
SUKI Waterhouse threw Netflix period drama Persuasion into chaos after testing positive for Covid just one day before she was due to start filming.
The model, whose boyfriend Robert Pattinson previously came down with the virus while filming The Batman, had to be replaced at the last minute. Yolanda Kettle, who played Camilla Fry in The Crown, has stepped into the role.
The big-budget Jane Austen production, which sees Fifty Shades Of Grey star Dakota Johnson as heroine Anne Elliot, also stars Henry Golding and Richard E Grant.
A source told us: “Suki is really gutted. She felt that Persuasion could have been her big Hollywood moment and was so excited to be involved in the project.
“It has been a nightmare to recast at the 11th hour.”
Here’s hoping she gets another chance to dust off her bonnet soon.
WHISPER it, but provocative rap star Cardi B is rather sweet behind the scenes. Rising US star Chloe Flower, who performed with her at the Grammys, told us: “Cardi was shy, sweet and very serious about her work. She even helped pick my outfit.”
Paolo’s Nu tunes
PAOLO Nutini is making a shock comeback – seven years after he last graced the pop charts.
We can reveal the Scottish hitmaker, who was last year declared “missing” by pal Lewis Capaldi, spent ten days holed up in a Liverpool studio last month recording new music.
And chatting to fans at the city’s Trunk Lounge restaurant, the Iron Sky singer told them they could expect to hear what he’s been working on “sooner than you might think”. One told us: “Paolo seemed really excited to be recording again and is obviously very happy with what he’s come up with in the studio.
“He wasn’t at all secretive about his plans and told us we wouldn’t have too long to wait before he’s back.”
Last night a source close to the star declined to comment on a comeback, but added that Paolo had not been recording recently “due to the pandemic”. Paolo’s last album was the critically acclaimed Caustic Love in 2014.
He was arrested and charged with drink-driving in February 2017, then dramatically cleared four months later. He has barely been seen in public since.
And his absence was highlighted by fellow Scot Lewis, who launched a Twitter campaign to find the star when he wrote: “Right, enough’s enough – where the f*** is Paolo Nutini?”
Lewis’s fans took up the challenge and managed to hunt him down at a low-key book festival in his hometown of Paisley. Maybe a duet is in order, lads?