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Friday, 30 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
David Tennant has been talking to STV's Moviejuice about his starring roles in the new seasonal film Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger! in which he plays twins Donald and Roderick Peterson. Not only was the film improvised in its entirety, it was also shot in sequence, and Tennant said of the improvisational nature of the film: "It was terrifying. But that's why you do certain things, isn't it? 'I've never done that before, that'll be utterly terrifying – so I'll have a go.'" The film also stars Jessica Hynes as Angel Matthews, Ian McNeice as Mr Peterson senior, and Jason Watkins as Mr Shakespeare. [STV Entertainment, 26 Nov 2012]

Katy Manning will be on tour in the Agatha Christie murder-mystery A Murder Is Announced early next year. Performances are as follows: Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th January: Capitol Theatre, Horsham; Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th January: Buxton Opera House; Tuesday 29th January to Saturday 2nd February: The Derby Theatre; Monday 4th to Saturday 9th February: Lincoln Theatre Royal; Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th February: The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage; Wednesday 27th February to Saturday 2nd March: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke; Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th March: Lyceum Theatre, Crewe.

Meanwhile, Colin Baker will be in the touring production of the Wilkie Collins thriller The Woman In White, starting at The Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th January. From Monday 28th to Thursday 31st January it will be at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool; Thursday 14th to Saturday 23rd February, Lincoln Theatre Royal; Tuesday 26th February to Saturday 2nd March, Garrick Theatre, Lichfield, finishing its run at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th March.

Baker was voted off I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! earlier this week. He was the fourth contestant to go. As previously reported, he joined the ITV1 reality show, based in a jungle in Australia, earlier this month.

Bernard Cribbins narrates the CBeebies panto Jack And The Beanstalk, which airs as a simulcast on the CBeebies channel and BBC One on Friday 21st December at 4.30pm. Featuring all the CBeebies presenters, it was performed at The Palace Theatre in Manchester. [BBC Media Centre, 27 Nov 2012]

Sheila Hancock will be among the new celebrity contestants on this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Day special on BBC One, with previous contestant Ann Widdecombe making a guest appearance. [BBC Media Centre, 28 Nov 2012]

David Morrissey has begun filming the second series of BBC Scotland's crime drama Field Of Blood in Glasgow. He plays editor Murray Devlin. Filming will continue until late December, with the thriller to be shown next year. [BBC Media Centre, 29 Nov 2012]

Director Farren Blackburn has his first feature film released in the UK and USA next spring. Hammer Of The Gods, which stars Charlie Bewley and James Cosmo, is set in Britain of 871AD and tells the story of a young Viking warrior sent by his father, the king, on a quest to find his estranged brother, who was banished from the kingdom years earlier. [Bleeding Cool, 27 Nov 2012]

A six-part spy thriller by Toby Whithouse has been commissioned by BBC Cymru Wales for BBC One. Set in the world of 1970s espionage, The Game will tell the story of the invisible war fought by MI5 to protect the nation from the threats of the Cold War. The drama is to be executive-produced by Whithouse, Brian Minchin, and Faith Penhale (head of drama at BBC Cymru Wales). [BBC Media Centre, 30 Nov 2012]

Adam Simmonds, the newly-elected police and crime commissioner for Northamptonshire, wants to see police boxes back on the county's streets. He said: "I would like to bring a focal point back into villages. It's all about putting the police back on to the streets and I would love to be able to put Tardises back in every community." He added that he hoped to work with Northampton-born Matt Smith to launch his Blue Box Initiative. [Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 25 Nov 2012]

In Memoriam:

The actor Roger Hammond has died at the age of 76. A contemporary of Waris Hussein, Derek Jacobi, and Clive Swift at Cambridge University, he trained at RADA and had a varied and accomplished career on the stage and TV as well as in film and on radio. Hammond appeared in three episodes of Doctor Who, firstly as the Elizabethan philosopher, statesman, scientist, author, and jurist Francis Bacon in The Executioners (episode 1 of The Chase) in 1965 and then as Doctor Runciman - the resident physician at Brendon School - in the first and final parts of Mawdryn Undead in 1983. [The Stage obituary by Martin Jarvis, 23 Nov 2012]

With Thanks To Paula Bentham

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Thursday, 18 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Paul McGann is to be interviewed as part of the Personal Development Planning Week at the Liverpool John Moores University on Tuesday 23rd October. The actor will be there to discuss how his own career has developed. The event is only open to university staff and students. [LJMU, 15 Oct 2012]

Russell T Davies is to be a guest on BBC Radio 2's Graham Norton show on 27th October, to tie in with the premiere of his new children's show Wizards vs Aliens on CBBC on 29th October. Questions can be submitted to the show address.

Arthur Darvill is adding theatrical composition to his ever-growing list of activities; the actor/musician said: "I write music as well, so I work a lot with Sean Walker. We've been working on a twisted version of The Bacchae called The Lightening Child (written by Che Walker) with carnival music, so I've co-written music for that. We made it really big and refused to scale it down. Finally, the Globe said they would love to do it, so we’ll be doing that next summer." [Independent, 17 Oct 2012]

Actress Chase Masterson talks about working with two Doctors on the forthcoming Big Finish audio dramas The Shadow Heart and Night of the Stormcrow: "They were all absolutely charming and very welcoming to me, and it was big fun to see them exude the same playfulness and brilliant quirks that they displayed on screen. Tom and Sylvester were particularly generous with stories of working with other British greats, including Olivier and Gielgud and McKellen, and I even got Sylvester to do a command performance on the spoons. Some of my now-favorite career moments include hearing Sylvester recount stories of the roots of his career in vaudeville, as well as tales of his upcoming, key role in The Hobbit trilogy. Also truly lovely and deserving of her reputation as a favorite Companion is the gorgeous Louise Jameson. What is even more stunning about Louise is the richly aware person she is, and her kindness and personal attention to everyone she comes into contact with." [Star Trek, 11 Oct 2012]

Nina Toussaint-White is currently playing one of four twentysomething white witches in the new contemporary ITV2 comedy-drama Switch. The six-episode show, which started on Monday 15th October, is set in Camden Town and Kensington, with Toussaint-White's character, Jude, as the fashionista of the group, and she said she couldn't believe how alike she was to her. "When I first read the script I thought, 'That's me!' I could see myself in the role because we are so similar. We're both quite bolshie, energetic people. Jude is a hedonist. I wouldn't say I'm a hedonist as such, but I sometimes speak before I think. I like to go out and have fun and party. She's confident and loud, fun and care-free, and I think that's what I'm like," she said. [ITV Press Centre]

BBC Four is to show Mark Gatiss's documentary Horror Europa on Tuesday 30th October at 9pm, it has been confirmed. The 90-minute journey through European horror cinema is a follow-up to his 2010 series A History of Horror for the same channel. [BBC Media Centre, 18 Oct 2012]

Phil Collinson is leaving his post as Coronation Street producer but will be staying at ITV to take up a new role of drama development. He has produced the soap opera since July 2010 and will hand over the reins to current Emmerdale producer Stuart Blackburn in January 2013. He said: "It's been an honour to produce Coronation Street and I'll be sad to leave. But the drama can only stay at the top of its game if the producer is re-energised every two to three years." [ITV Press Centre, 17 Oct 2012]

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Wednesday, 10 October 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Matt Smith has revealed his keenness to appear in a play by the Bard. "I definitely want to do Shakespeare. I don't know what role, though, and it wouldn't be just yet. I'm too busy at the moment, there's just not enough time," he said. [Telegraph, 7 Oct 2012]

John Barrowman with The Krankies.Superhero series Arrow is due to premiere tonight on The CW in the United States, and on Sky 1 in the UK from Monday 22nd October. As previously reported, John Barrowman is to feature as a recurring character in the series, described only as "the well-dressed man". Lead actor Stephen Amell says: "He's a very well-spoken, well-respected businessman in Starling City. I know I tweeted a couple of weeks ago that I was reading a script that was episode 7 and I read a scene and I audibly gasped and I went "[gasp] that's really cool!" It's from the beginning of episode 7, and it's a scene with John. He's a really fun guy to work with. He obviously is very comfortable and he made the crew and even me, when it was my coverage, crack up during a rehearsal and it took a while to get it back for the actual takes." Actor Colin Salmon will also feature in another recurring role. [KSiteTV, 4 Oct 2012]

Barrowman talks about his third Christmas pantomime in Glasgow alongside The Krankies - Jack and the Beanstalk at the Clyde Auditorium: "There's a sense of humour up here that is unlike any other in the country and it's the same kind of sense of humour that the three of us have so it goes over very well. We can play right to the kids because they see Jack, Jimmy and their dad doing all this stuff but the adults know it's John, Ian and Janette who are having a bit of fun, so those jokes go to them and just go right over the kids' heads. I love coming up and doing panto in Glasgow at Christmas." [Daily Record, 8 Oct 2012]

Tommy Knight as Kevin Skelton in Waterloo Road.Tommy Knight makes his debut in Waterloo Road tomorrow evening on BBC One. Talking about recognition, the Sarah Jane Adventures star said: "Well, the attention side of acting isn't really my favourite thing, I'll be honest! I was out in Glasgow high street a few weeks ago and I was with Kaya Moore who plays Phoenix, and with the amount of attention he was getting, it must have taken us a couple of hours to get down the high street! I was standing there thinking, 'Oh my word', and I was a little bit worried about it. It's a bit intimidating as being on Waterloo Road will probably mean the most attention I've ever had. I think I'll be alright, I suppose I'll just have to see how I feel about it when it happens. When Sarah Jane was first out, I was recognised an awful lot. I used to pick up my little brother from his primary school every day and I remember when the show first aired, it got really hectic around the primary school. I was trying to find my little brother among all these kids going, 'Sign my contacts book!' and 'Sign my face!'" [Digital Spy, 10 Oct 2012]

Caitlin Blackwood - aka the young Amelia Pond - will be taking part in a question-and-answer session at The Churchill pub in New York on Friday 12th October. Book via event organiser Who York.

Referring to his "music obsession", Arthur Darvill has a particular era he would have liked his character Rory to have visited: "I'd have liked to travel back to the Sixties and do something with the Doctor there. Or go back to when I was an annoying child and reassure myself it's all going to be all right." He also thinks that after Amy and Rory's departure from the series "they have a very quiet life – which is quite sad after having such an adventurous time – but they're just happy to be together. Obviously it doesn't run smoothly as they're stuck back in quite a horrible place but they've got each other and that's all they really need." [Radio Times, 8 Oct 20120]

Mark Gatiss, Daniel Mays, Tom Goodman-Hill, and Brigit Forsyth will appear in the BBC Radio 4 series Living With Mother when it returns for a second series later this month. The individual comedies focus on mothers and adult sons living together. Gatiss will be in the first episode, when the series starts on Wednesday 31st October at 11.15pm, with Mays in the second one, Goodman-Hill in the third, and Forsyth in the fourth. [Radio Times, 9 Oct 2012]

Katy Manning will be appearing in You're Only Young Twice at The Crewe Lyceum Theatre from Tuesday 30th October to Saturday 3rd November. Also starring in the show are John D Collins and Melvyn Hayes (pictured right with Manning), the former husband of Wendy Padbury.

Paterson Joseph has been talking of the thrill of being in the Series 1 episodes Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways. He said of the show: "I did watch it when I was a kid. I can't actually say I was obsessed with it as some other people are, but I was very happy to be shown around the Tardis. It was then I suddenly thought, 'Wow this is really exciting'. I also got the chance to get killed by a Dalek and not many people can say that in their lives. I had a 6ft Dalek rolling towards me screaming, 'Exterminate'. It was truly frightening." Joseph plays Brutus in Julius Caesar at the New Theatre in Cardiff from Tuesday 23rd October to Saturday 27th October. [Wales Online, 7 Oct 2012]

Dark Horizons author and Doctor Who fan Jenny Colgan has spoken of her excitement at writing the book. "The thrill of typing 'The Doctor opened the door of the TARDIS' was huge," she said, adding that she approached the BBC to write a novel. "A friend of mine called Naomi Alderman had written one for them [Borrowed Time] and that gave me the idea. I asked them nicely and they said, 'Oh well you can't put any kissing in it' and I promised faithfully that I wouldn't, and then I offered them three different ideas for stories and they chose one. It was enormous fun to do." She also tells of the background work she did. "I did a lot of research into Vikings because I wanted to write about the Lewis chess set, the set of figures that was found there that are about a thousand years old. Nobody knows how they ended up there, so I thought it would be an interesting mystery for the Doctor to solve. There are a couple of bits I really hope readers will enjoy: a scene set on a beach in the current day, and the Norse God that the Viking princess thinks the Doctor is." [TV Book Club, 7 Oct 2012]

Frazer Hines is taking his one-man show The Time-Travelling Scot to Tasmania. He will be in conversation at the Wrest Point Entertainment Centre in Sandy Bay, Hobart, on Sunday 9th December, telling behind-the-scenes stories about his time on Doctor Who.

Jean Marsh reflects on her appearances in Doctor Who: "I was in the very first series, I think (Season 2's The Crusade), which has probably been wiped. I can’t remember what it was called, but I remember I played a Princess of France in the 10th century. That was just one episode. Then I came back as Sara Kingdom (The Daleks' Master Plan), sort of a space spy, fabulously ridiculous, wearing a catsuit of very tight, elastic brown tweed. Why one has to wear those sort of things… It was a bit like Joanna Lumley. It was just to show your body, I suppose. So I did eight episodes of that and turned from being a baddie into being a goodie. Then I was killed in a brilliant way. I was running — in my catsuit — away from someone who was trying to kill me, and he had an aging gun. And he hit me, and I started aging very quickly, and they had to keep switching my makeup, and then the last shot of me was of a very, very, very old woman. So that was terrific. Then the third one was Morgan le Fay with King Arthur (Battlefield). I loved doing that because they were beginning to take Doctor Who more seriously, and that was a bit more fun." [A.V. Club, 5 Oct 2012]

BBC Two has commissioned the comedy-thriller The Wrong Mans from James Corden and Mathew Baynton. The six-parter centres on two lowly office workers - Phil (Corden) and Sam (Baynton) - who become caught up in a deadly criminal conspiracy after Sam discovers a ringing phone at the scene of a horrific car crash. Filming starts in January 2013. [BBC Media Centre, 9 Oct 2012]
(Compiled by John Bowman and Chuck Foster)
(with thanks to Paula Bentham)

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Friday, 5 October 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor? Sadly no, it's roadie Neil Aspinall with the Beatles Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first sole credited single release by The Beatles - who would feature in Doctor Who in stock footage in The Executioners (episode 1 of The Chase) - and if he had a time machine Matt Smith would love to see the Fab Four: "I'd go see music - the Beatles at their height, or Woodstock, or Kurt Cobain live. I'd love to see Arcade Fire in a room somewhere. And Sinatra when he was with Dean Martin." [Bust Magazine via Yahoo, 2 Oct 2012] (DWN note: Perhaps Matt got his time trip after all, if this photo that was circulated earlier in the year is to be believed!)

Alex Kingston is to appear in the 10th season of NCIS as a "woman of questionable morals". The actress is to play a character named Miranda Pennebaker, and is described by series boss Gary Glasberg as someone who "deals in everything from high-end weapons sales to priceless gems. Her connections go all the way up the ladder of D.C. politics, and [Major Case Response Team leader Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro] Gibbs needs her for this very disturbing, emotional case." [TVLine, 3 Oct 2012]

Author and long-term fan A. L. Kennedy has expressed an interest to write for Doctor Who: "To go back to things that you are completely open to as a child, and which you allow to be very deeply part of who you are, as an artist, is to get back to that bit of yourself. And Doctor Who is very deeply there in my own work. Every crazy person, lots of the sense of humour, my viewpoint on what human beings are, absolutely. If I wasn’t going to be a writer I was going to be an anthropologist, because that was my thing: what are human beings?" The author will also be talking about Doctor Who when she appears at the Wigtown Book Festival on Sunday 7th October. [Scotsman, 1 Oct 2012]

A rare opportunity to see Sarah Sutton in one of her earliest TV roles is coming up. The BFI is screening the BBC's 1973 adaptation of Alice Through The Looking Glass, which stars Sutton as the eponymous heroine, at its Southbank venue in London on Saturday 17th November as part of its Beyond the Fourth Wall – Experiments in TV Drama season. Directed by James MacTaggart, who was keen to exploit the possibilities offered by the then-new technique of colour separation overlay, the 65-minute play was the BBC's official entry to the Prix Italia competition. Also appearing in it are Geoffrey Bayldon (White Knight), Bruce Purchase (Walrus), and Stephen Moore (Haigha). Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday 9th October.

Mark Gatiss
will be at the BFI Southbank on Sunday 28th October for a question-and-answer session following a preview of his feature-length BBC Four documentary Horror Europa With Mark Gatiss, which explores European horror cinema and is a follow-up to his BBC Four series A History of Horror. Again, tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday 9th October. The 90-minute documentary will air on BBC Four towards the end of October.

Billie Piper is moving to Los Angeles with husband Laurence Fox after they both finish their current theatre stints, according to a newspaper interview with Fox, who is appearing with Arthur Darvill in Our Boys at The Duchess Theatre in London until Saturday 15th December. Piper is in The Effect at The Cottesloe, which opens on Tuesday 6th November and runs until Wednesday 23rd January 2013, meaning that for a few weeks their performances will overlap. However, Fox said the two of them didn't compete over their careers. "It's not competitive but I feel like I've got to raise my game a bit. She's really good so it would be nice if I was really good too," he said. [i, 3 Oct 2012]

Meanwhile, Matt Smith and David Tennant bumped into each other at the press night for Our Boys. Also there was Billie Piper to give her support to her husband. [Mail Online, 4 Oct 2012]

Comedian and TV presenter Frank Skinner has told of his failed bid to secure a role in the current series of Doctor Who. In an interview with Absolute Radio, he said: "I got my manager to phone up the Doctor Who people when I heard this series was being filmed. He never mentioned it again so I take it that he couldn't break it to me." [i, 3 Oct 2012]

Comic book writer and playwright Grant Morrison, who penned stories for Doctor Who Magazine in the 1980s, told the MorrisonCon audience in Las Vegas that despite his desire to write for the show and apparent initial interest by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss in him doing so, nothing more had been forthcoming. "Moffat had been getting a lot of tweets from people who were saying, 'You should have Grant write Doctor Who', and I'd really love to write Doctor Who," he said. He added that a friend who had worked with Moffat and Gatiss suggested it to the pair and told him the duo wanted to hear from him. "We tried it four or five times, and he never wrote back," said Morrison. [Comic Book Resources, 1 Oct 2012 - NB: Article contains strong language elsewhere.]

In a two-page feature in the new Radio Times, Steven Moffat describes how he struggled to find the proper ending for Amy and Rory. "How and why would they leave? And would they live or die? I wrote and rewrote. I had a completely different ending and threw it away. So many times over those mad few days, the fate of the Ponds changed. Alive, dead, alive, dead . . . Nothing felt right. Nothing felt inevitable." [Radio Times, 3 Oct 2012]

Sheridan Smith
- companion Lucie Miller to the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audio dramas - is the latest signing to BBC In-House Comedy's production of Mr Stink. As previously reported, the children's novel by David Walliams stars Hugh Bonneville as the eponymous tramp and has been adapted by Walliams and Simon Nye. Smith, who will play the overbearing mother of lonely 12-year-old Chloe who befriends Mr Stink, said: "David is such a brilliant writer, and the character just jumped off the page when I read it." [BBC Media Centre, 4 Oct 2012]
(Compiled by John Bowman and Chuck Foster)

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Saturday, 4 August 2012 - Compiled by Chuck Foster, John Bowman and Harry Ward
Billie Piper is to make her National Theatre debut this autumn, starring in The Effect, by Lucy Prebble, at The Cottesloe. The play, described as "a clinical romance", deals with sanity, neurology, and medicine's limits. Tom Goodman-Hill will be among the co-stars. It runs from 6th November to 2nd March, and tickets go on sale to the public on 24th September. [BBC News, 3 Aug 2012]

Christopher Eccleston recently undertook a Q&A session at the National Theatre, where he is appearing as Creon in Antigone, during which he was asked about playing the Doctor: In response to a question about whether he felt he'd taken the character as far as he could he (very tellingly) said he felt that one series isn't enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he'd had two or three series he'd have developed the role considerably. He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it's such a complex and challenging role. He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character... [BadGirlSeeksGoodMan@GallifreyBase, 19 Jul 2012]

Matt Smith commented on having Eccleston make a guest appearance: "Chris will be alright. Well, I mean, who knows? I'd love it. I'd love him to come back. I love his Doctor. I really do. He was from Manchester. Proper hard. Leather jacket. He'd give my Doctor a bit of a whopping, wouldn't he?" [Esquire via FemaleFirst, 3 Aug 2012]

Eccleston's name has also been associated with the film sequel Thor: The Dark World. If cast he would be playing the principal villain Malekith The Accursed. [Cinema Blend, 1 Aug 2012]

Bernard Cribbins is to return to television next year in his own series, Old Jack's Boat, playing a retired fisherman named Jack who tells stories to children. The actor said: "I am delighted to be back on CBeebies telling stories as I am storyteller. There are some marvellous writers, such as Russell T Davies, who I have been in touch with for a long time and who, of course, I worked with on Doctor Who. I am looking forward to sitting back and being able to tell some wonderful stories." As well as Doctor Who's former lead writer Davies, another familiar name in the show will be Freema Agyeman, who will play Shelley. [Mirror, 4 Aug 2012]

Karen Gillan met the actress to play her double in Not Another Happy Ending, the movie she is currently filming. Rebecca Davidson will double for Gillan in shots where her character Jane Lockhart meets her perfect double in a pub. [Huffington Post, 1 Aug 2012]

Neve McIntosh talks about meeting the new co-star, Jenna-Louise Coleman: "She's absolutely gorgeous as well, she's lovely. I've not had much work with her. I think she's got a lovely quality to her so I think is going to be really exciting. And obviously I don't know the rest of whatever's been going on, so it'll be interesting to start watching the new series and see how she's introduced." [Cultbox, 2 Aug 2012]

Alex Kingston is to feature in the next series of Who Do You Think You Are?, the BBC genealogy series that looks into the ancestry of celebrities. Now into its ninth series, it will also include celebrities like singer Annie Lennox and actor Patrick Stewart. Former Doctor David Tennant explored his family history in Series Four (2006).

Tennant came top in a poll of favourite Doctors recently undertaken by Entertainment Weekly.

Former costumer designer Leslie Rowland-Warne has been talking about his experience of working on Death To The Daleks, following his appearance in the extra features on the DVD, which was released in June. He said: "On the disc is a documentary asking all the stars and crew about their experiences working on it and I'm on it. I was the costume designer and mostly I talk about how I came up with the idea for the costume of the character Bellal. The script said he lived underground so I thought he should be small, and I told the director to hire a small actor to fit into it. Then I added some reflective strips to liven the suit up." [Leatherhead Advertiser, 4 Aug 2012]

Moths Sequel To Take To The StageBookmark and Share

Friday, 15 June 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
HadokesonicActor, writer, and comedian Toby Hadoke has penned a sequel to his acclaimed show Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf.

My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver is to tour on preview before being taken to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Teasing the new show, Hadoke, who also acts as a moderator on classic Doctor Who DVD releases and is a contributor to the Doctor Who Magazine column A Battle of Wits, said: "It mentions Vernon Dobtcheff, Meglos, genocide, and Fear Her - and it is nice about two of them."
Inspired by an obsession with Doctor Who and picking up where Moths Stole My Doctor Who Scarf left off, Chortle Award nominee Toby Hadoke's highly anticipated second show is compelling, incisive, and universal in appeal. Join him as he takes you on a heart-warming journey that begins with losing a partner, ends with gaining a stepson, and pays homage to the restorative powers of the Time Lord in between. Intimate knowledge of the TARDIS is not required to enjoy this bitter-sweet comedy of parenting through sci-fi evangelism.
Directed by Mark Attwood, it will be previewing as follows:
  • Sunday 1st July: The Beacon, Tunbridge Wells (NB: Free entry to ticket-holders of Friday 29th June performance of Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf)
  • Friday 20th July: Bedford Fringe, The Howard Room, Bedford Corn Exchange
  • (to be confirmed) Sunday 22nd July: New Diorama Theatre, Triton Street, Regent's Place, London
  • (to be confirmed) Monday 23rd July: XS Malarkey, Fallowfield, Manchester
The 60-minute production will then transfer to the Edinburgh Fringe, where Hadoke will be performing it at The Gilded Balloon Teviot every afternoon from Wednesday 1st August to Sunday 26th August, except for Wednesday 15th.

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Steven Moffat received the Writer prize for the Sherlock episode A Scandal In Belgravia at this year's BAFTA Television Craft Awards, and said he was "genuinely, utterly thrilled" to be presented with it. His wife, Sue Vertue, tweeted: "The Moff wins! Hurrah for my husband @steven_moffat who's just won a #Bafta for #Sherlock. Love him!" The Mill had been nominated for its visual effects work on Doctor Who but it lost out to BlueBolt and Great Expectations. [BBC News, 14 May 2012]

Ahead of being presented with a Special BAFTA next Sunday, Moffat has given an interview to the film and television arts organisation about his career so far. In it, he takes a swipe at people who have problems with the complexity of his dramas Doctor Who and Sherlock. "There's been a weird backlash among, I presume, fairly stupid people about the fact the shows are complicated and clever, but they're both huge international hits. We make no apology. Don't expect to do the ironing; sit down, pay attention and think about it. Audiences like complexity. They follow intricately plotted soap operas all the time. It depresses me when people say, 'It's all far too clever,'" he states. [BAFTA Guru]

Catherine Tate has been signed up by Sky Arts to star in a new comedy called Psychobitches. Part of the channel's comedy and drama strand entitled Playhouse Presents, the 30-minute production will see her portraying Eva Braun and Edith Piaf. Also appearing in it will be Sheila Reid as Mother Teresa, while Sam Spiro will play Mary Whitehouse - a real-life enemy of Doctor Who during the classic era! It will be shown on Thursday 21st June at 9pm. [Sky Arts]

Production designer Michael Pickwoad gave a talk to the Friends of the Bodleian in Oxford in which he touched on his involvement with the show. A great admirer of historical architecture and construction methods, he mentioned that Nostell Priory in Yorkshire influenced a twin-column design that he used in Doctor Who. Pickwoad's early work included the film Withnail and I, which starred Paul McGann and Richard E Grant, who not only provided the voice of the Doctor in the animated webcast Scream of the Shalka but also played a version of the Doctor in the 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death, which was written by Steven Moffat. Another notable film Pickwoad worked on was Let Him Have It, which starred Christopher Eccleston in one of his earliest acting roles. [The St James's Evening Post, 16 May 2012]

And speaking of the actor . . . During an interview ahead of his appearance as Creon in Antigone at the National's Olivier Theatre in London, Christopher Eccleston touched on his time as the Time Lord and why it was so brief. "I know what went on and the people who were involved know what went on – that's good enough for me. My conscience is completely clear," he said. Eccleston also praised the young fans of the show, saying: "I'm hugely grateful to the children who to this day come up and talk to me about the show." Antigone opens tomorrow and runs until Saturday 21st July. [The Telegraph, 16 May 2012]

Eccleston will be talking about his career and answering questions at the Olivier Theatre on Thursday 19th July. The one-hour interview - part of the In Conversation series - will be conducted by Al Senter.

Georgia Moffett
has been speaking about stripping to her underwear as Geraldine Barclay in the farce What The Butler Saw. "I thought it was going to be a lot scarier than it is. Once the play starts I have to take my clothes off or the story doesn't work. But I am quite insecure about my figure, so it's amazing how liberating it feels after you have done it a couple of times. Obviously, I would prefer to wear clothes, but once I take them off at the beginning, I think, 'Oh, well, they've seen it now’, and I just carry on." The production, which also stars Samantha Bond and Tim McInnerny, is at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End until Saturday 25th August. [The Telegraph, 18 May 2012]

In Memoriam:

Legendary hairdresser Vidal Sassoon, who in 1963 created the distinctive geometric cut for the character of Susan, played by Carole Ann Ford, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 84. [BBC News, 10 May 2012]

Pigs In The WingsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 March 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
PigsTom Baker's novel The Boy Who Kicked Pigs is being adapted for the stage.

The book, first published in 1999 and subtitled "A grotesque masterpiece", will be presented by theatre company Kill The Beast, receiving its world premiere at The Lowry arts and entertainment complex at Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, this June.

Directed by Clem Garritty, the cast will comprise Natasha Hodgson, Oliver Jones, and Zoe Bob Roberts. It is being adapted by the four of them as a development project with The Lowry and in conjunction with Arts Collective.

The black farce centres on 13-year-old Robert Caligari and features - among other things - talking piggybanks, shark mutilation, and weedkiller-cornflakes.

Porl Cooper, theatres programmer at The Lowry, said:
The company delivering the work are a very young, dynamic and vibrant company yet still have an impressive pedigree of work behind them, so I'm looking forward to working closely with them as they create the piece.
He added that the production also had Baker's full backing.

Suitable for people aged 12 upwards, it will be at the Lowry Studio from Thursday 21st June to Saturday 23rd June. It is hoped that the production will also go on tour this year and in 2013.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
In recognition of his contribution to drama business for BBC Wales, Doctor Who's former lead writer Russell T Davies has had the main walkway connecting all of the new Media Village facilities in Cardiff Bay named after him, with a plaque put up denoting Russell T Davies Alley. [Standard, 16 Feb 2012]

Talking about 'walkways', film cameraman Peter Eveson has filmed and directed the debut video for the north Suffolk band Walkway. As well as Doctor Who, the cameraman also filmed and directed Zoo Days, and worked on James May's Toy Stories. [Diss Express, 19 Feb 2012]

David Tennant will be the narrator for the audio version of Silver: Return to Treasure Island, a sequel book to Robert Louis Stevenson's original novel written by Sir Andrew Motion; the author said: "I'm completely delighted David Tennant's reading Silver. I honestly can't think of anyone I'd rather hear do it.". Dominic White of audiobook publisher W F Howes Ltd added: "David Tennant really conveys the thrills of an ocean odyssey. This is the making of a modern classic in spoken word form." [Booktrade, 22 Feb 2012]

The pairing of Tennant and Catherine Tate in last year's West End production of Much Ado About Nothing was named theatre event of the year in the awards, voted for by the public. It also scooped the best Shakespearean production award at the event, co-hosted by Sheridan Smith (Eighth Doctor companion Lucie Miller in the Big Finish audio plays). Tate also won the award for best supporting actress in a play for Season's Greetings, and James Corden was named best actor in a play for One Man, Two Guvnors. [BBC News, 20 Feb 2012]

And speaking of Sheridan Smith, she has won the title role in Mrs Biggs, an ITV Studios drama that will chronicle the life of the former wife of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs from when she first met him. The five-parter will also feature Daniel Mays (Alex in Night Terrors) as the notorious criminal. [ITV Press Centre, 20 Feb 2012]

Actress Katy Wix (who played Ianto's sister Rhiannon in Torchwood: Children of Earth) can be seen in the new series of Not Going Out. Talking about her blossoming career as a comedienne, she said: "At times I've felt people in the industry didn't trust me with the joke, me being a woman and all – but they're just people I don't want to work with." [Observer, 19 Feb 2012]

Tom Price will be appearing in a new comedy show for BBC3, World Series of Dating, playing the character of James Chetwynd-Talbot, described as a nervous sports journalist, unlucky with the ladies and in his first commentary role. The 8-part series, which stars American actor/comedian Rob Riggle, commences on the channel in March. [BBC Media Centre, 22 Feb 2012]

Actor Zach Braff learnt about how famous his All New People co-star Eve Myles was by meeting her fans at the stage door! "I didn't (know) until I got here. Eve does not play a very - how do I put this? - her character is not like a sex pot, hottie, and I'm seeing these pictures from Torchwood of her firing guns and these tight outfits, and I'm like 'Eve?!!' But it's become quite popular in the States, too, I have a friend who I didn't know even watched it, he was like 'you're acting with Eve Myles!' - he was freaking out. She's a wonderful, wonderful actress, and doing comedy for the first time, which people haven't seen - wait until they see how good she is at comedy. [STV, 21 Feb 2012]

Mark Ayres was recently asked about how the incidental music was handled in the classic series. When asked if music was always mixed in on the board while filming, he said: Almost always prior to 1970, yes (the show was made, as far as possible, 'as live'). After 1970, music added in post-dub.«" On whether composers saw the visuals on post-dub: "Yes, composers saw playback at BBC and made notes. From 1980-onwards (perhaps slightly earlier) they were given a time-coded VHS.« From mid-70s, Doctor Who office and Radiophonic Workshop were using Shibaden black-and-white reel-to-reel video dubs for reference.«"

The composer also added: "It's taken 15 years, but I have finally digitised all of the classic Doctor Who sound effects.«" However, "There remains a massive amount of cataloguing and documentation to complete, but the 246 tapes are done.«" A collection of Doctor Who sound effects from the 1970s has recently been re-released on CD.

The Series 6 episode The Doctor's Wife has been nominated for a 2011 Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Richard Clark, it has been put forward for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. The winner will be announced during the SFWA's 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, which takes place from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th May in Arlington, Virgina. The Series 5 episode Vincent and the Doctor was similarly nominated last year in the 2010 awards but failed to win. [Richard Clark, via Twitter, 20 Feb 2012]

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Saturday, 18 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Matt Smith is to feature on Top Gear as the "star in the reasonably priced car" - recorded last Wednesday, his attempt will appear in the episode due to be broadcast at 8:00pm, 26th February on BBC2/BBCHD. Both of his predecessors have attempted this in the past, with Christopher Eccleston in 2005 (completed in 1:53:4) and David Tennant in 2007 (1:48:8, watch here).

Alex Kingston talks about the period setting on Upstairs, Downstairs (returning to BBC1 tomorrow evening at 9:30pm): "Oh yes, setting this series just before the Second World War is clever. In 2012, our world is changing radically and that is reflected in Upstairs Downstairs, too. These characters are on the verge of something, they don’t know what is going to happen and people will identify with their fears. This is the beginning of the modern world and here is a society just clinging onto what they know, but it is going to change irrevocably." [What's on TV, 16 Feb 2012]

Sylvester McCoy will be playing the lead role as Mr Peters in Plume by the Tron Theatre Company in Glasgow; it runs from 1st-17th March. The actor will also be a guest on Janice Forsyth's show on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday. [JaniceForsyth, 16 Feb 2012]

The CBeebies animated series Tree Fu Tom, featuring the vocal talents of Sophie Aldred and David Tennant, starts on Monday 5th March. [BBC Media Centre]

Cosima Shaw (Steffi Ehrlich, The Waters of Mars) plays Emma, Colin McFarlane (Alien Voices, Voyage of the Damned) Terrence, and Miranda Raison (Tallulah, Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks) Kate in the new three-episode series of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, based on the books by Douglas Adams. The transmission date and time are yet to be confirmed, but it is currently due to start on BBC Four during the week beginning Saturday 3rd March. [BBC Media Centre]

The theatrical version of The King's Speech, featuring Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill and which premiered in Guildford earlier this month, is to transfer to Wyndham's Theatre on Thursday 22nd March for a four-month West End run, following its provincial tour. [BBC News, 17 Feb 2012]

John Simm is appearing on stage as Jerry in Betrayal by Harold Pinter at The Crucible in Sheffield from Thursday 17th May to Saturday 9th June. [@john_simm]

Just opened in the West End - appropriately enough at the Noel Coward Theatre - is Hay Fever, Coward's classic comedy of bad manners, with Lindsay Duncan (Adelaide Brooke in The Waters of Mars) leading a cast that also includes Kevin McNally (Hugo Lang in The Twin Dilemma), Olivia Colman (Mother, The Eleventh Hour),and Sam Callis (Security Guard, Bad Wolf). It is on until Saturday 2nd June. [, 17 Feb 2012]

Brian Cox (Voice of Elder Ood, The End of Time: Part One) and Ron Donachie (Steward, Tooth and Claw) are to star in a new three-part TV comedy called Bob Servant Independent. Set in Dundee and airing on BBC Four later this year, the show's origins lie in the hit BBC Radio Scotland comedy The Bob Servant Emails and the best-selling Bob Servant books, and will see the title character, played by Cox, bid to become the MP for Broughty Ferry. [BBC Media Centre, 16 Feb 2012]

Ronnie Corbett has received his CBE from the Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. As reported previously, the comedian, who played Ambassador "Rani" Ranius in the 2009 Sarah Jane Adventures special for Comic Relief, was recognised in this year's New Year Honours list for services to entertainment and charity. [BBC News, 16 Feb 2012]

The latest Doctor Who crewmember that can be followed on Twitter is James Strong (@jimmystrong); the David Tennant-era director's work has most recently been seen on screen in Law and Order UK and Downton Abbey, and the film United (which also featured Tennant).

In Memoriam

Fight choreographer and fencing Olympian Bob Anderson has died aged 89. He had just one role in Doctor Who - that of Fighting Guard in episode 4 of The Enemy of the World - but achieved great acclaim in the film industry, working with - among others - Errol Flynn and coaching Charlie Sheen and Johnny Depp. Most notably, perhaps, he played Darth Vader in fight scenes in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, standing in for Dave Prowse. [The Stage, 14 Feb 2012]

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Sunday, 12 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London, has made Matt Smith a patron of its Young Writers' Festival. The event, running from 23rd February to 14th April, showcases promising talent from young British playwrights. Smith's first professional acting job was at the Royal Court in Fresh Kills by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, as part of its 2004 young playwrights' season. Catherine Tate, Ruth Jones and Kathy Burke (who had an uncredited role in Terminus early on in her career) are previous festival patrons. [The Stage, 10 Feb 2012]

Christopher Eccleston will play Creon in the National Theatre's production of Antigone. The tragedy by Sophocles opens at the Olivier Theatre on 30th May (previews from 23rd May) and runs until 20th June. Tickets go on sale to the general public on 15th February, with some seats costing as little as £12. [The Stage, 10 Feb 2012]

When asked if she'd return to the Doctor Who world as Ace, Sophie Aldred said: "It would be very nice to go back. Doctor Who is one of those things that stays with you throughout your career and I'm very happy with that. So, I'd love to do it again on TV but she'd have to be played by this strange middle-aged married woman with two children." [Independent, 8 Feb 2012]

John Barrowman and his sister Carole have been on the promotion circuit for their new book, Hollow Earth. Talking about writing, John said: "I'm not the writer, Carole is. The way we work is that we brainstorm the ideas, come up with plot lines and talk about characters, while she takes notes. Once we have done that, she goes and writes them down and hands me a chunk of pages, which I will either say are perfect or we will work on changes. It's a true collaboration." [Daily Record, 7 Feb 2012]

Catrin Stewart (Jenny, A Good Man Goes To War) is appearing as Juliet in Richard Icke's imagining of the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, until 18th February: "It was quite difficult at first because I have not done Shakespeare before. But the longer you do it you start feel it. The language feels part of me now rather than being a distraction. While I do feel nervous about performing it, I am now in love with it. After a while you can make the language sound natural for the audience." [Basingstoke Observer, 8 Feb 2012]

Tom Ellis (Thomas Milligan, Last of the Time Lords), Pooky Quesnel (Captain, A Christmas Carol) and Christine Bottomley (Margaret Hopley, Torchwood: A Day In The Death) are among the cast members announced for the pre-recorded dramas that will form part of BBC One's contemporary retelling of the Passion story The Preston Passion, which will air on Good Friday (6th April). [BBC Media Centre, 8 Feb 2012]

When asked if he'd be interested in playing the Doctor in a David Yates-helmed film version, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe said: "I don't know if I could play him. Matt Smith plays Doctor Who and does a wonderful job. They don't need me! I would never presume to jump into somebody else's franchise, not at all." [Digital Spy, 7 Feb 2012]

Jenny Tomasin's funeral took place at Islington and Camden Cemetery on 9th February. The actress's body was discovered at her London flat in January. According to the local coroner, she died of hypertensive heart disease on 3rd January but confirmation of her death was delayed as there were no immediate survivors. [The Stage, 6 Feb 2012]

And finally, the latest Doctor Who name to make her Twitter debut is Louise Jameson, who can be followed via @Lou_Jameson [Steven Moffat, 12 Feb 2012]

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Sunday, 5 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant was amongst the stars gathered together for the annual Ultimate Pub Quiz, a charity event organised by Centrepoint for homeless young people in London. John Raynham, head of fundraising, said: "We can't thank the teams, celebrities and everyone who makes this event possible, enough for all they do. With youth unemployment at over 1 million, things have probably never been tougher for the young people we support. But thanks to our supporters' generosity, we can carry on working with them to achieve the two most important things they need to leave homelessness behind: a job, and a home of their own." [Press Association, 2 Feb 2012]

Eve Myles talks about the highs and lows of being in a cult show: "The high is the response from the fans – there’s no bigger high. I used to be scared of doing signings and going to conventions. Then, when I started to do them, I enjoyed it. Meeting people who are so loyal to the show gives you a massive boost. The lows all stemmed from the fact I was worried people might just see me as the Welsh action girl who plays Gwen Cooper but things like this play [All New People] can change that perception. Torchwood has taken me from Cardiff to London and LA, and I’m eternally grateful to it." [Metro, 2 Feb 2012]

Eve's Torchwood co-star Kai Owen is to appear in As You Like It by Terry Hands at the Mold Clwyd Theatr Cymru. The actor will play court wrestler Charles, and has had to train for scenes with fellow actor Alex Felton (Orlando): "We've been wrestling hard for the last few weeks. Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, the fight director, has been training both myself and Alex, so the moves are getting nice and sleek. I've never wrestled before, other than doing stage combat at drama school. I'm not a fan, though I do follow boxing. Rugby is the closest I get to contact sports. Alex is taller than me and leaner – he's a very good-looking boy! I think there may be some topless scenes. You will have to wait and see what we decide to do!" [Daily Post, 3 Feb 2012]

Arthur Darvill has been announced as the voice of Sam the Penguin in a new animated short film. The project is being funded through donation, with regular updates via Facebook and Twitter. About the film: "Penguin" is the comedic tale of Sam, a young male penguin in the human world. He's just like us, he has a job, friends, and what makes him so similar to the humans is his love troubles. After being rejected by a potential girlfriend for reminding her too much of a "pet", this drives Sam on a journey of self-discovery where he tries to determine whether the dating world really is for him. [Facebook, Bleeding Cool, 2 Feb 2012]

You can also catch Arthur on BBC Radio 4 this afternoon (Sunday 5th) starring as Lemuel Gulliver in a new three-part adaptation of Gulliver's Travels. [BBC Media Centre]

Tom MacRae described the environment created for his interactive event, The Crash of the Elysium, which features as part of the London 2012 Festival in Ipswich: "Once you enter a Punchdrunk show, the laws of physics are switched off until you leave again. There is no stage, no comfy seating, no division between the world of the audience and the world of the show. You are at the heart of the action, you drive the story forward. “No two shows will ever be the same, no individual adventure will ever be repeated. The madness and brilliance of Doctor Who could not find a better theatrical partnership than Punchdrunk." [East Anglian Daily Press, 2 Feb 2012]

Janet Fielding (Tegan) is campaigning on behalf of a project to save Ramsgate's Motorhouse Museum from being auctioned off and potentially demolished. Project Motorhouse aims to redevelop the rundown building as an arthouse cinema and flexible modern theatre space. [Isle of Thanet Gazette, 3 Feb 2012]

Ian McNeice, who has played Winston Churchill in four episodes of Doctor Who, is reprising the role on stage in The King's Speech, which received its theatrical world premiere in Guildford, Surrey. It is there until 11th February and then goes on tour to Nottingham, Bath, Brighton, Richmond and Newcastle. [BBC News, 3 Feb 2012]

As previously reported, a longer interview with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred conducted by Shadowlocked has now been made available on the Minister of Chance website.

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, Shadowlocked, via YouTube

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As the bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth on 7th February approaches, Simon Callow is touring to promote his new book about the author - Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World. In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, Callow, who has played Dickens on stage and in Doctor Who, said: "I've been working very closely with the life of Dickens in one way or another for the past 15 years and I felt I had something different to say. I wanted to explore the notion of Charles Dickens as a performer and the conscious degree to which he was supremely confident as a performer. He could talk to the public and speak about his books in a way that would captivate audiences." Barnsley, Bromsgrove, Canterbury, Coventry, London, Loughborough, Maidenhead, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Street, Taunton, Portsmouth, and Winchester are places where Callow is appearing, with a number of venues sold out. [Yorkshire Post, 31 Jan 2012]

Noel Clarke spoke to London 360 about his casting in the next installment of the Star Trek juggernaut: "It was just an audition like all the others, really. You kind of just do your lines and see what happens, and then luckily this time I got the job. They didn't test me on my (Star Trek) knowledge, it was just a standard audition! I think it’s just one of those things where it’s another sort of level of accomplishment where you’ve done another job that is bigger than the ones you’ve done before - all of that stuff helps in your career so hopefully it will just help me in mine." [London 360 on YouTube, 27 Jan 2012]

Jean Marsh has spoken of the serious health scares she suffered late last year and how she resolved to overcome them. In a Guardian feature highlighting the forthcoming new series of Upstairs, Downstairs on BBC One, the actress and co-creator of the show, in which she plays Rose Buck, said: "I was absolutely determined [to get back]. Three weeks after the first episode I had a stroke and a heart attack, and in three weeks I'd thrown myself out of the hospital. I said I will be all right and the main doctor said, 'All right, you can work again. But you can only work four hours a day.' And I said: 'Terrific!'" The six-part series, also starring Alex Kingston, Anne Reid and Sarah Lancashire, is currently scheduled to start on Sunday 19th February. [The Guardian, 31 Jan 2012]

Some more details have been released on Marsh's co-star in the new series, Alex Kingston; the Doctor Who star is playing Dr Blanche Mottershead, who arrives at the house alongside novelist and lover Lady Portia Alresford (played by Emilia Fox). Writer Heidi Thomas said: "I really don't want to give the game away because it lets you know things about the characters in the show ahead of time and I think it will spoil it for the audience. The pair certainly bring a whiff of scandal. They've been living abroad and now arrive in London. They try to be covert about their life. The series is set in 1938, where life was far less sexualised. When it gets exposed, though, they find a surprising ally." [Radio Times, 31 Jan 2012]

Felicity Jones, who played the titular Unicorn (aka Robina Redmond) in The Unicorn and the Wasp, has been tipped for film stardom in the United States by Vanity Fair. She is among the 11 leading ladies featured by the magazine in its Hollywood edition out this month. Carey Mulligan was among those included in its 2010 Hollywood issue. [BBC News, 1 Feb 2012]

Laura Pulver, recently seen as Irene Adler in Sherlock, spoke about her chances of appearing in Steven Moffatt's other interest: "We haven’t spoken about Doctor Who at all. I think they are very separate entities for Steven, and I think he puts on very different hats, but I love working with him, and if we found another project to work together on whether it is Doctor Who or another season of Sherlock, then I’m sure we’d want to work together again." [Assignment X, 30 Jan 2012]

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Sunday, 29 January 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Arthur Darvill stars in a new three-part radio dramatisation of Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. The Radio 4 series, which will feature all four of Gulliver's voyages, starts on Sunday 5th February at 3pm. Also appearing in the adaptation are Matthew Gravelle, Richard Nichols, Claire Cage, and Ewan Bailey.

Eve Myles is returning to the stage in the play All New People, by and co-starring Zach Braff. It will be at the Manchester Opera House from 8th to 11th February, the King's Theatre, Glasgow, from 14th to 18th February, and the Duke of York's Theatre, London, from 22nd February to 28th April. Meanwhile, in an interview with Cultbox, she told of her hopes that Torchwood will be back in some form or another. "Nothing's going to happen in 2012, I know that much for sure. But who knows what will happen in 2013? Maybe a movie, to kinda draw a line under it. We've got such an outstanding loyal fan base. They deserve Torchwood to go ahead with something else to draw a line under it, for the fans to have a bit of closure," she said. Myles's previous stage appearance was some six and a half years ago at the National in Henry IV with Michael Gambon.

John Barrowman is a guest on the final edition of the current series of Channel 4's topical entertainment show Chris Moyles' Quiz Night on Friday 3rd February. It airs at 10.30pm - half an hour after the end of the episode of the BBC One series Hustle in which he also appears, as previously reported by this site.

Sylvester McCoy lends his vocal talents to a new release from The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing; the actor has provided a spoken introduction to the album This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed by Conventional Weapons, setting the tone for "the parallel Victorian past imagined on the eleven tracks". [Alison Bateman/Work Hard PR]

Nicolas Winding Refn, director of the movie Drive, commented: I would have loved to direct Doctor Who but they didn’t want me — they turned me down last year. Maybe if they revive Blake’s 7 I could do that. I love it. It’s great. That could be fun to update. [Shortlist, 27 Jan 2012]

Russell T Davies (writing the new children's series Aliens vs Wizards) comments on television output for children: "I am passionate about children's television, but it is, as ever, an endangered species, under threat. The most shocking thing I have seen is that, apparently unnoticed, five years ago ITV dropped children's programmes. There is now the complete absence of children's programmes made by ITV on CITV. It is amazing to me, when I contrast it with all those people who were furious about cuts to BBC local radio, and they were immediately reversed. I am also amazed that people don't recognise the talent, genius, of children's writers, for example, Andrew Davenport. The creator behind Teletubbies and In the Night Garden is up there, in my opinion, with Tom Stoppard, Samuel Beckett, but no one puts him there. It's the same with Jacqueline Wilson, whose books have led to the wonderful Tracy Beaker dramas." [Guardian, 28 Jan 2012]

Writer Rob Shearman will be interviewed at the Writers and Readers Week in Wellington, New Zealand on 12th March, which forms part of the International Arts Festival. Organiser Anne Chamberlain said: "He wrote the Dr Who episode that re-introduced the Daleks. So, we're screening that episode and then we're going to have Robert talk. That will draw a completely different audience, I suspect, to the usual Writers and Readers audience." [Stuff, 26 Jan 2012]

Mark Sheppard (Canton, The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon) is due to present the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Melbourne, Australia next weekend; speaking on the music, the actor said: "I've been connected with several shows that have had fabulous incidental music as well as score, and it's such an important part of the package as a whole. You watch a show like Doctor Who without music and there's a big difference. And what's amazing is when you isolate the music and hear it performed, it's even grander. It adds another dimension." [Herald Sun, 30 Jan 2012]

A trailer for the new David Tennant film The Decoy Bride has now been released; the film goes on release from 9th March. [IFC Films]