Sunday, December 28, 2008

News Round-up

Holi-'DAYS,' soap style
DAYS OF OUR LIVES star - and Brockton homegal - Kristian Alfonso for the first time in many, many years is celebrating the hols in Hollywood instead of the City of Champions.

"We’ve decorated the tree, the house and we’ve got lights up everywhere and we’re trying to make it as festive as possible," reports the soap queen, who missed all the last-minute action at the South Shore Plaza, the snow and plenty of good Italian food this year.

But there’s one holiday tradition in Tinseltown that Kristian never misses. And that’s the filming of the DAYS Christmas show that brings all the stars and some of their real-life children together.

"It’s a holiday for us," said Alfonso. "We love all getting together."

This year, Kristian’s son, Jack Daggenhurst, 6, took part in the annual scene in which Santa Claus, played by Doug Williams, reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to pediatric patients at Salem University Hospital. Young Jack, following in the footsteps of his big brothers, Gino and Spartan, put on his jammies and played a young patient enthralled by Santa’s reading of the Clement Clarke Moore classic.

"Jack was very excited . . . he was thrilled," she gushed. "He had a great time. And it was fun to be able to spend the day with him."

What would you be doing ... if acting hadn't panned out
Mary Beth Evans, DAYS OF OUR LIVES: "I don't know -- maybe a decorator or something; maybe a landscape architect. I love crafty things. I'm always painting my house or working in my garden, and I sort of love having a beautiful home of stuff that I do."

Justin Bruening, KNIGHT RIDER/ALL MY CHILDREN: "I was a video store clerk for a while. That was a good job. ... I could just go surfing all the time and not have to actually do much."

Jersey guy has made Rutgers cool
Greg Schiano has made Rutgers football cool again.

Just check out the sideline of Rutgers Stadium for a Scarlet Knights home game. Check out New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, a one-time Auburn Tiger. A few feet away? It's got to be New York Mets third baseman David Wright. Watch soaps or LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY? The good-looking guy, who looks like a former jock, is Mark Consuelos, husband of Kelly Ripa and a former regular on ALL MY CHILDREN.

And the big fellow? Fuhgeddaboudit. It's James Gandolfini - aka Tony Soprano - a regular visitor at Rutgers games and one of the program's biggest salesmen.

Mystery soap stars set for MI High
A former EASTENDERS regular is among the stars of the third series of MI High. There's also an appearance from a HOLLYOAKS veteran, a DOCTOR WHO stalwart and even a Hollywood veteran - but no specific names have been revealed.

"MI High is ambitious, adventurous and great fun, and that's what makes it hugely successful," says Anne Gilchrist, Controller CBBC.

"The new faces give this top quality drama a dynamic fresh look as it goes into a new, action-packed series."

HOLLYOAKS star wants smaller plots
HOLLYOAKS star Gemma Merna has admitted that she wants to have smaller storylines in 2009. The actress claimed that her character Carmel McQueen deserves a break after being at the center of high drama on the Channel 4 soap for months.

Carmel has tied the knot with Calvin Valentine (Ricky Whittle) this year but later faced heartbreak after being caught up in a church explosion which killed her sister Tina (Leah Hackett).

"This last year has been mental for me," Merna told the Daily Star. "The McQueens have had a huge year and I have been in the middle of it. It's been great, don't get me wrong, but it has been absolutely exhausting. I would like to see Carmel and Calvin settle down in the New Year and start to enjoy being married. I don't think they are ready at all to have children, but you never know what the future holds for them. They are a popular couple and if you ask me they are the best in the show - but I guess I would say that."

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