IT will be a battle over stuffing and sprouts for Gary Barlow and Leona Lewis this Christmas.
I can reveal that the Take That singer will be releasing a Christmas album which will go up against the X Factor prodigy in the run-up to the big day.
The record is the first time Gary has recorded a full festive album, despite testing out the water last year with single Incredible Christmas.
He will also be joined by Leona on his Music Played By Humans tour, starting in November.
A source said: “Gary has seen the likes of Michael Buble and Robbie Williams enjoy success at Christmas and wants a piece of the action.
“After such a rough couple of years for us all, he’s keen to pull it out the bag for his fans and end 2021 on a high. As well as his tour with Leona, Gary is releasing his own wine range and this album — it really will be like Christmas has come early.”
Gary will no doubt be keeping a close eye on sales to avoid a mocking from ex-bandmate Robbie Williams who topped the charts in 2019 with his festive offering The Christmas Present.
I told in September how Leona had been working hard in the studio to create a follow-up album to her 2013 record Christmas With Love.
The album spawned new Christmas classic One More Sleep.
Meanwhile, Gary has confirmed that a possible Take That residency in Las Vegas is still being debated among members.
He said: “It’s still on the cards, that. Covid-19 has got in our way a bit because we were going to do a little try-out period, just like six shows across a week.
“But we’ve got possibilities of two hotels there and I think we can go twice a year.
“It’s a possibility, but I think it’s going to go back a few years because to ask people to travel that far is just not cool at the moment.”
SHERIDAN Smith may have finally found the one.
The Cleaning Up actress has set the rumour mill turning after sharing a snap with a mystery rock on her ring finger.
Cosying up to her new man, actor Alex Lawler, Sheridan told fans that ‘life begins at 40” as she posed for a selfie.
Caressing the actor’s face, the mum-of-one put her ring centre stage before uploading the pic to her official Instagram page.
Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Sheridan had split with her fiancé Jamie Horn after three years of dating.
After a tough few years, I really hope Sheridan has found her happy ending with Alex.
POSH GETS CHEEKY
VICTORIA Beckham turned back time with this cheeky snap.
The star channelled her inner Posh Spice as she teased her perky backside in a green gown to promote her beauty range.
In a nod to her chart-topping roots, David Beckham's missus captioned the shot: “Cheeky Posh!” and “Posh is back”.
I’d prefer to see VB back on stage with her bandmates than flogging make-up.
STEPPING UP FOR MUSICAL
AS if Steps weren’t camp enough already, they are working on a musical.
The group, whose hits include 5, 6, 7, 8, Deeper Shade Of Blue and Tragedy, say they think their songs will make for the ultimate stage show.
Asked about unfulfilled ambitions, Ian “H” Watkins said: “We’ve been talking about it for years – the Steps musical.
“It’s just the perfect pop progression of telling a story through our songs. There are cogs turning.”
Claire Richards added: “We’ve talked about it among ourselves very seriously.”
The group famously modelled them-selves on ABBA and as they are getting older, they can see themselves becoming digital performers like the Swedish group are doing with their upcoming avatar show.
Claire told Attitude mag: “I feel this is a glimpse into our future.”
ED WOULD JUMP AT SHARK ROLE
ED Sheeran has headlined Glastonbury, spent 14 consecutive weeks at No1 and completed the highest-grossing tour of all time.
But there is one goal he is yet to achieve – bagging a role in budget horror franchise Sharknado.
The superstar says he loves the movies, based on giant sharks that get swept up in a tornado, and would leap at the chance to star in one of the films.
Quizzed on TV in Germany, he said of the series: “Yeah. I’d love to do Sharknado. I’d have done Sharknado 3. I would love that.”
Ed played himself in the 2019 film Yesterday and 2016 rom-com Bridget Jones’s Baby.
And while his next role will see him play a musician, his character doesn’t sound as well-mannered as Ed.
Teasing an upcoming film, he said: “I’m a musician first and opportunities come my way that are quite fun.
“I just did a movie where it’s a cameo, and I get dragged off stage screaming, ‘Eat s**t, pig!’ ”
We have very different ideas of “quite nice”.
Duo’s big star pal is o-Kay
Peter Kay made a rare appearance last night for the opening in Manchester of Whispering Bob Harris and Danny Baker’s UK tour.
The comedian beamed away as he posed with the pair backstage at The Lowry ahead of the show kicking off.
Posting the picture online, Bob simply wrote: “Lads. Pre-show.”
KIM'S ON THE KASE
KIM Kardashian has said she split from rapper Kanye West due to his personality.
The superstar let rip at her family in a savage opening monologue while hosting US comedy show Saturday Night Live in which she mocked her own sex tape and branded her mum Kris Jenner's boyfriend Corey Gamble a gold digger.
Making light of her split from Kanye, she said: “I married the best rapper of all time.
He is the richest black man in America, a talented, legit genius who gave me four incredible kids.
So when I divorced him you have to know it came down to one thing. His personality.”
Turning the guns on her sisters, Kim continued: “I am excited to be here tonight to show that I am so much more than a pretty face . . . and good hair, and great make-up and amazing boobs and a perfect butt.
“Basically, I am just so much more than that reference photo my sisters showed their plastic surgeon.”
Poking fun at herself too, she reference her sex tape while talking about being asked to host: “When they asked, I said, you want me to host? Why? I haven’t had a movie premiere in a really long time.
Actually, I only had that one movie come out and no one told me it was even premiering. It must have slipped my mum’s mind.”
Dua’s duo set to topple Sheeran
Elton John and Dua Lipa look set to finally end Ed’s reign at the top of the charts.
The Official First Look charts puts their collaboration Cold Heart in the lead, with Ed slipping to No 2.
RIRI'S CAT SHOOT
RIHANNA has once again left me hot under the collar, posing in a see-through lace catsuit to promote her latest Savage X Fenty range.
The star, who was recently declared a billionaire, shared the image with the caption: “Can’t block the view if you are the view.”
She’s certainly at the top of her game, but I’m still hoping for new music before 2021 is out.
CALVIN'S A SUPPORT ACT
SUPERSTAR DJ Calvin Harris has been keeping a close eye on Tom Grennan's career since they teamed up on hit By Your Side.
The singer explained how it was Calvin who reached out to him to record the track via Instagram DM.
He told me: “I never thought Calvin would be messaging me. I always wanted to do a song with him but it was a distant dream. We still text now.
He checks up on me. He supports people like myself who are still trying to break through. He is a humble guy and so supportive.”
Now Tom has wrapped up his tour, he’s hoping to meet Calvin in the US.
He added: “We recorded the song during Covid so I didn’t get to go to his in LA but we spoke on FaceTime.
“I am going out there soon. I bet his house is amazing.”
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