NEWS: Beth Maitland, Constance Towers, David Essex, Kym Marsh

Q&A with returning Y&R actress Beth Maitland (Traci)
"It got to the point where the show stopped calling altogether and I thought my soap ship had sailed. But, after Maria took over, I suddenly had 30 episodes when [Traci's daughter] Colleen died — the biggest storyline I'd had in over 10 years. It came at a time when I was off contract, off the radar, off the map! [Laughs]. Before that, when I'd show up for the occasional wedding, I was kind of treated like a second-class citizen. Now I no longer have to hide in my dressing room because people won't talk to me or because the new, young actors don't know who I am or because someone thinks they should have the makeup chair first. I don't have those problems any more. I feel like an honored member of the cast. The climate has changed."

Microsoft To Pay $8.5B For Skype
Microsoft will pay $8.5 billion for Skype, which will become a business unit of the software giant, the companies announced today. The acquisition, Microsoft's biggest ever, will connect Skype's web-calling service to Microsoft's Outlook email, Xbox game system and Windows mobile phones.

CORRIE's Kym Marsh accuses Prime Minister David Cameron of “living in the dark ages”
After the prime minister backed an independent review, which could ban same-sex kisses on TV before 9pm, the CORONATION STREET actress – who plays bolshie barmaid Michelle Connor in the ITV1 soap – thinks such plans are “absolutely ridiculous”.

FIRST LOOK: David Essex as EASTENDERS’ Eddie Moon
Eddie Moon, played by David Essex, arrives in Walford and following hot on his heels will be his two sons, Anthony and Tyler.

Constance Towers Returns to GENERAL HOSPITAL
A GH rep tells TV Guide Magazine that Helena will show up in Port Charles the week of June 27, "arriving at the Spencer family home — much to Lucky's surprise — with an agenda and Aiden in tow."

GAME OF THRONES rises in ratings again
The 9 p.m. Sunday airing was seen by 2.5 million viewers, up slightly from last week’s 2.4 million. This is yet another positive sign for the fantasy series, climbing in the numbers despite the show’s story pace lessening a bit the previous week.

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