Christmas with the Doctor (Predict the Ratings)Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 December 2016 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The Doctor (Credit: BBC)Christmas Day: a time of festive presents, festive food, and festive telly!

For us, of course, the placement of the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special in the schedules is always eagerly anticipated, with this year's episode slotted into the late afternoon/early evening slot of 5:45pm. Previous years have seen it as early as 5:15pm last year to 7:30pm in 2013, but this year it is (hopefully!) bolstered by two of the BBC's other highest rated programmes, The Great British Bake-Off beforehand and Strictly Come Dancing afterwards.

In terms of direct competition, ITV is serving up its traditional slice of country life in Emmerdale, and Sky One is premiering its heavily trailed The Last Dragonslayer; on other channels BBC2 has the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show (5:40pm), Channel 4 has We're Going On A Bear Hunt and the film Home Alone (from 6pm), Channel 5 has Singin' in the Rain and then a repeat of Britain's Favourite Christmas Songs (from 6:15pm).

As of today, the odds of Doctor Who making the top spot sits at 22/1; unsurprisingly, Mrs Brown's Boys leads the way, being it has been the most popular show three out of the last four years (only beaten into second place last year by the finale of Downton Abbey!).

               BBC1                                       ITV     
3:00pm 16/1 The Queen 40/1 The Queen
3:10pm 9/1 Frozen 46/1 The Lion King
4:45pm 5/1 The Great Christmas Bake Off
4:55pm ITV News
5:15pm 66/1 You've Been Framed
5:45pm 22/1 Doctor Who 60/1 Emmerdale
6:45pm 2/1 Strictly Come Dancing 50/1 For the Love of Dogs
7:45pm ITV News
8:00pm 6/1 Call the Midwife 25/1 Coronation Street
9:00pm 25/1 Maigret's Dead Man
9:30pm 8/1 Eastenders
10:30pm 2/1 Mrs Brown's Boys
11:00pm 100/1 The Best of Tracey Ullman's Show 100/1 Love Actually

Predict the Ratings Competition

It's also time for our 'legendary' Predict the Ratings competition, which this year will give readers the chance to win The Return of Doctor Mysterio on DVD/Bluray upon its release, plus a copy of the BBC Book The Whoniverse by Justin Richards and George Mann.

As always, the aim is to predict the final consolidated viewing figure for The Return of Doctor Mysterio as reported by BARB, to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). In addition, we'd like you to predict Doctor Who's position in the weekly chart (which will be used in the case of a tie-break).

The ratings and positions for 2014 and 2015 are presented here for comparison - recent years have seen a decline in television viewing over Christmas Day, with none of the programmes achieving the heady heights of several years ago.

To enter our competition, please send the following details to
  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final viewing figure to the nearest 10,000 (eg.9.99m)
  • Your guess at the final position in the chart (eg. 1st) - this will only be used in the event of a tie-break
Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 08:30 GMT, 26th December 2016.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB final figures are expected in early 2016; we will contact the winner once they have been published.

Superheroes around the World unite...

Of course it isn't just the United Kingdom that will enjoy the Doctor's latest adventure this festive period, as the episode will be broadcast in a number of countries within a couple of days of the British premiere:

The Return of Doctor Mysterio: known first broadcast details
United KingdomBBC OneSun 25 Dec 20165:45pm GMT
Middle EastBBC FirstSun 25 Dec 20168:45pm AST(5:45pm GMT) simulcast!
Australia (online)ABC iViewMon 26 Dec 20165:45am AEDT(6:45pm GMT)
BrazilSyfySun 25 Dec 201610:30pm BRST(12:30am GMT)
United States of AmericaBBC AmericaSun 25 Dec 20169:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
CanadaSPACESun 25 Dec 20169:00pm EST(2:00am GMT)
Latin AmericaSyfySun 25 Dec 201610:00pm CST(04:00am GMT)
New ZealandPrimeMon 26 Dec 20167:30pm NZDT(6:30am GMT)
AustraliaABCMon 26 Dec 20167:30pm AEDT(8:30am GMT) also on ABC ME
FinlandYLE TV2Mon 26 Dec 20167:00pm EET(5:00pm GMT)
South AfricaBBC FirstWed 27 Dec 20168:00pm SAST(6:00pm GMT)
United KingdomBBC TwoFri 30 Dec 20162:30am GMT(British Sign Language)

As well as television, The Return of Doctor Mysterio will also get big screen outings in Australia (26th December), New Zealand (26th December), Denmark (26th and 28th December), Canada (26th and 28th December), and the United States (27th and 29th December).

Various channels will celebrate the series during the next couple of weeks. BBC America kick off a mammoth repeat run dominating the channel from Tuesday 20th December, showing the majority of episodes since David Tennant took over the role in the lead up to the Christmas Special (and also including the premiere broadcast of The Power of the Daleks in colour on Christmas Day!). On Christmas Eve/Christmas Day, BBC Prime in Latin America will show the two series starring Peter Capaldi, whilst Prime in New Zealand repeat the most recent series. On Christmas Day, SPACE in Canada will show preceeding Christmas adventures. BBC HD in Poland doesn't have Mysterio scheduled for the immediate future, but will be running through the Doctor's regular adventures from Rose on the 23rd December through to the New Year.

Readers can always keep up with the ongoing adventures of the Doctor (and pals!) via This Week in Doctor Who.

Predict the Ratings for The Husbands of River SongBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 December 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
It's time for our traditional "Predict the Ratings" competition, and this year you will be in with a chance to win The Husbands of River Song on Blu-ray or DVD ... alongside the latest adventures of the twelfth Doctor when The Complete Ninth Series is released next year!

The aim is to guess the final consolidated viewing figure of The Husbands of River Song, as reported by BARB, to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). This figure includes all those watching the episode within a week of broadcast via television, but does not include independent streaming devices.

Last year ratings on television were down across the board, with none of the Christmas Day shows managing to break the 10 million mark - Last Christmas ended up in sixth place with 8.28m viewers. In previous years, you can view the final ratings for The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned, The Next Doctor, The End of Time part one, A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor via This Week in Doctor Who.

The show's best position occured in 2009 when The End Of Time (part one) arguably achieved the top spot with 12.05m viewers (11.57m on BBC One and 0.47m on BBC HD). However, it was the 2007 special, Voyage of the Damned that achieved the best rating in the decade of specials, reaching 13.31m viewers (but pipped at the post by Eastenders at 14.38m!).

To enter the competition, please send the following details to

  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final rating to the nearest 10,000 (eg.9.99m)
  • Tie breaker: also send your guess as to what the final rating for the BBC3 repeat on Boxing Day might be - this figure will only be used in the event of a tie!

Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 08:30 GMT, 26th December 2015.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB final figures are expected in early 2016; we will contact the winner once they have been published.
  • The winner will be able to confirm the region and format of the boxed set they'd like nearer release date.

Odds on Who

At the time of writing, the (average) betting odds for the main channels are as follows:

Time       BBC One                                Odds    ITV                                Odds 
3:00pm The Queen 34/1
3:10pm Brave 69/1 Cameraman to the Queen -
4:10pm Countrywise Winter Wonderland 100/1
4:35pm BBC News and Weather -
4:45pm Stick Man 100/1
5:00pm For The Love Of Dogs 130/1
5:15pm Doctor Who 28/1
6:00pm ITV Evening News -
6:15pm Strictly Come Dancing 9/1 You've Been Framed With Bells On 100/1
6:45pm Emmerdale 109/1
7:30pm Call The Midwife 14/1
7:45pm Coronation Street 77/2
8:45pm Eastenders 9/2 Downton Abbey 9/2
9:45pm Mrs Browns Boys 7/10
10:45pm Michael McIntyre's Big Christmas Show 62/1 Our Cilla 91/1

Having been in the top spot three years running, Mrs Brown's Boys remains the favourite for this year. Eastenders, which topped the charts in 2010 and 2011, and the final episode of Downton Abbey are currently joint second, followed by Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who.

Predict the Ratings for Last ChristmasBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 December 2014 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As we enter the last few days before Christmas Day, the battle over which show will top the overnight ratings continue apace. Out of ten bookmakers currently offering odds on the winning programme, Doctor Who is currently fifth-placed at 11/1; Mrs Browns Boys is the favourite at the time of writing at 6/5, followed by Eastenders at 5/2, Miranda at 4/1 and The Queen's Speech at 6/1.

The full evening line-up for BBC1 and ITV show the following odds:

BBC1  5:00pm Strictly Come Dancing   35/1    ITV  5:20pm You've Been Framed                 100/1
BBC1 6:15pm Doctor Who 11/1 ITV 5:50pm Paul O'Grady For The Love Of Dogs 100/1
BBC1 7:15pm Miranda 4/1 ITV 7:00pm Emmerdale 96/1
BBC1 7:50pm Call The Midwife 19/1 ITV 8:00pm Coronation Street 26/1
BBC1 9:00pm Eastenders 5/2 ITV 9:00pm Downton Abbey 47/1
BBC1 10:05pm Mrs Browns Boys 6/5

The winning programme will be the one that achieves the highest BARB overnight rating.

Doctor Who News: Predict The Ratings Competition

The prizes for this competition have been updated.

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor (Credit: BBC/David Venni)Another tradition at Christmas is our "Predict the Ratings" competition, and we are once again proud to be running the competition in association with Big Finish Productions, who this year offer a year's free subscription to their main range of Doctor Who audio adventures, now approaching its 200th story! Also this year we have a prize for the runner up of a copy of Jago and Litefoot 5 signed by its stars, Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, plus three additional signed scripts from recent productions. In addition we will also include a copy of Last Christmas when released on DVD or Blu-ray for the winners.

The aim is to guess the final consolidated viewing figure, as reported by BARB to the nearest 10,000 viewers (i.e. two decimal places). This figure includes all those watching the episode within a week of broadcast, but does not include those watching on iPlayer.

For comparison with previous years, you can view the final ratings for The Christmas Invasion, The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned, The Next Doctor, The End of Time part one, A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, The Snowmen and The Time of the Doctor via This Week in Doctor Who.

To enter the competition, please send the following details to
  • Your name and preferred email address
  • Your country of entry (full details will be requested only if you are the winner)
  • Your guess at the final rating to the nearest 10,000 (eg. 15.31m)
Terms and Conditions:
  • The competition closes at 6:15pm GMT, 25th December 2014.
  • Only one entry will be accepted per person.
  • The competition is open worldwide.
  • BARB figures are expected around 10 days after transmission; we will contact the winner once they have been published.

Odds on a Who ChristmasBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
It's Christmas Day, and for most bookies bets are now closed on which show will make the top of the (overnight) charts today. Unlike previous years, the positions have hardly changed over the last fortnight or so, with Doctor Who remaining their fourth favourite to win overall at 21/1; Eastenders remains the firm favourite throughout with odds reaching 1/10, though Mrs Browns's Boys and Coronation Street have traded places, with the BBC comedy now second at 8/1 and the long-running ITV soap at 17/1.

The winning programme will be the one that achieves the highest BARB overnight rating.

                              Ladbrokes  Coral  William Hill  Betfair  BetVictor  StanJames  Bet365

BBC1 5:00 Strictly Come Dancing 33/1 50/1 25/1 123/1 22/1 20/1 25/1
ITV 5:15 Paul O'Grady 100/1 100/1 100/1 - 100/1 - -
BBC1 6:15 Call The Midwife 33/1 100/1 50/1 199/1 40/1 50/1 50/1
ITV 6:15 Emmerdale 100/1 100/1 100/1 - 66/1 - 125/1
BBC1 7:30 Doctor Who 20/1 16/1 16/1 51/1 16/1 14/1 16/1
ITV 7:30 Coronation Street 20/1 16/1 14/1 31/1 10/1 14/1 14/1
BBC1 8:30 EastEnders 1/8 1/9 1/12 2/15 1/10 1/8 1/12
ITV 8:30 Downton Abbey 50/1 33/1 25/1 31/1 10/1 20/1 33/1
BBC1 9:30 Mrs Brown's Boys 7/1 8/1 8/1 57/5 7/1 8/1 8/1

Don't forget our Christmas "Guess the Consolidated BARB Rating" competition, which is open worldwide and continues until 7:30pm tonight in the United Kingdom.

Odds on a Who ChristmasBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 December 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
With less than a fortnight to go until Christmas Day, bets over which show will top the overnight ratings for the day are well under way, with Doctor Who currently placed as fourth most likely to be most popular at 11/1. EastEnders is the bookies' runaway favourite at present at 1/2, with Coronation Street at 5 3/4, closely followed by Mrs Brown's Boys at 5 4/5.

                                   Ladbrokes  Coral   William Hill   Betfair

BBC1 5:00 Strictly Come Dancing 14/1 25/1 16/1 69/5
ITV 5:15 Paul O'Grady 100/1 100/1 100/1 -
BBC1 6:15 Call The Midwife 33/1 20/1 20/1 35/1
ITV 6:15 Emmerdale 100/1 66/1 33/1 -
BBC1 7:30 Doctor Who 16/1 8/1 10/1 10/1
ITV 7:30 Coronation Street 6/1 5/1 6/1 73/12
BBC1 8:30 EastEnders 2/5 4/6 4/7 10/21
ITV 8:30 Downton Abbey 25/1 6/1 12/1 19/1
BBC1 9:30 Mrs Brown's Boys 6/1 6/1 5/1 69/11

The winning programme will be the one that achieves the highest BARB overnight rating.

The Next Doctor: an hour to goBookmark and Share

Sunday, 4 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
We're now into the final hour before the live programme that will introduce the World to the new Doctor, following on from a day of intense speculation over who it might be. Peter Capaldi has remained the bookies' favourite, with odds at the time of writing hovering between 2/5 and 1/2 (at one point reaching 1/4) - however, the "runners up" have bounced about between the known suspects throughout the afternoon, with Daniel Rigby, Andrew Scott, Aneurin Barnard and Damien Molony sharing the top spots between them - plus 'newcomer' to the party today being Sam Troughton, a grandson of former Doctor Patrick Troughton.

Misha Collins "is the Doctor" ...  (Credit: Misha Collins)As one might expect, a number of Internet sources have claimed to already know who it might be, with some taking advantage of the default landing page of the BBC's Doctor Who site to 'reveal' "Peter-Capaldi-is-the-Twelfth-Doctor" and the like - suffice it to say these are not legitimate links! Meanwhile, comic actor Chris O'Dowd continued to play to the rumours of his casting, tweeting: "Anyone know a good breakfast place in Cardiff? ... gonna be spending quite a bit of time here.". Supernatural's Misha Collins also continued his own 'campaign' when he followed up last night's comment with "Yesterday I said I had an announcement regarding the UK & phone booths. Well, the announcement is... (see photo)".

The person to play the Doctor is apparently ready and waiting (and well hidden) at Elstree, with photographer Rankin reporting that he'd taken the official photo for publicity tonight. Cloudbass Graphics reported on the studio itself: "Quiet in BBC Elstree Studio D gallery. Live graphics on Dr Who Live: The Next Doctor at 7 pm tonight on BBC1".

Meanwhile, outside the studios, the huge queue for tonight's programme has continued to grow, with fan Jacqui Connell tweeting "This is the scene outside as we wait to be let in!! Excitement mounting", with Kier Husband observing "a queue for Who at BBC Elstree" as it weaves around the street corner! Entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba was on hand to report on the event and some of the more colourful characters in the queue!

Queuing at Elstree (Credit: Jaqui Connell/Twitter) Queuing at Elstree (Credit: Kier Husband/Twitter) Lizo Mzimba reports from Elstree (Credit: BBC News)
Studio Preparation at Elstree (Credit: Cloudbase Graphics)

With the doors opening imminently, it won't be long until the next Doctor is unveiled ...

Inside the studio (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine) Inside the studio (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine) Inside the studio (Credit: Doctor Who Magazine)
Update 6:30pm: photos from the studio, with thanks to Doctor Who Magazine on Twitter

Odds on Who: has the moment been prepared for?Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 4 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Peter Capaldi, Aneurin Barnard, Daniel Rigby, Idris Elba, Andrew Scott, favourites as the new DoctorWith less than twelve hours to go, the odds on who will portray the next Doctor have entered 'temporal grace', with nigh on all betting shops having closed their books on the actors over the last couple of days after it became clear that Peter Capaldi was clearly the favourite for the role. William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly reported:
There is no point putting the market back out because as far as we and our punters are concerned, Peter Capaldi has almost certainly bagged himself the Doctor Who gig, and we will already be paying out more than enough should that be the case.
As betting proceeded, a flurry of activity saw some new names gain popularity. The IT Crowd actor Chris O'Dowd became a focus of Internet discussion, causing the actor himself to tweet: "has anyone seen my scarf? #WinkWink". Billie Piper's cousin-in-law Freddie Fox became popular on Friday afternoon, with his odds dropping to 12/1 before bets were suspended. Eddie Redmayne was another new contender at 25/1. Betting odds on Freddie Fox were suspended (Credit: William Hill)However, when asked about the possibility of him becoming the next Doctor tonight on this morning's Sunday Brunch, John Hannah seemed surprised, saying "Well, it will come as a surprise to me if I get named tonight!" Finally, Supernatural actor Misha Collins caused more heated debate on Saturday after he tweeted: "also, in totally unrelated news, i'll have a very exciting announcement tomorrow. Hint: it has something to do with the UK and phone booths." Whether such claims have any substance is debatable at present, but they certainly indicate the widespread interest and impact the casting of the Doctor has across the world!

A summary of odds was given on this morning's BBC Breakfast, with Capaldi at 6/4, followed by Daniel Rigby (9/2), Ben Daniels (4/1), Andrew Scott (10/1), Russell Tovey (10/1), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12/1), Idris Elba (12/1), Rory Kinnear (15/1), and Olivia Colman (20/1). Entertainment correspondent Liza Mzimba reported on how the interest in a new Doctor has changed over the years, with his main contenders being Capaldi, Harewood, Rigby and Ejiofor. Doctor Who Magazine editor Tom Spilsbury was also in the studio to chat about the atmosphere surrounding the impending announcement and the enduring popularity of the show.

Newsround explored younger viewers' expectations in Friday's edition of the children's news programme, with names suggested including Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, James Bond actor Daniel Craig, footballer David Beckham, Blackadder Rowan Atkinson, and actrss Helena Bonham-Carter. CBBC presenter Chris Johnson said that his favourite for the role would be Idris Elba, though he felt it would more likely be an unknown actor. As for the favourite, he noted that though Capaldi had been in the show before, that hadn't stopped actors coming back again!

At the time of writing, Betfair have indicated all change on the popularity front. Though they continue to report Peter Capaldi as favourite at 10/12, Karen Gillan's We'll Take Manhattan co-star Aneurin Barnard has now jumped to second at 94/11, and they are followed by Rigby (119/10), Elba (161/10), Kinnear (31/1), Martin Freeman (47/1), Daniels (51/1), and Scott, Damian Moloney and John Hurt at 56/1.

Someone in the know is director James Hawes, who tweeted yesterday: "I have just found out who the new Doctor is... Didn't guess that!!" BBC News has reported that only ten people know the true identity of who it will be - for the rest of us all will be revealed tonight on Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor!

Odds On Who: Peter Capaldi emerges as favouriteBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As this year's Christmas Special moves into production, speculation continues as to who will replace Matt Smith as the Doctor by the end of the festive adventure. This week saw a surge of interest in Peter Capaldi, with odds on the actor rapidly dropping to now make him the favourite to continue in the TARDIS.

Joe Crilly, a spokesman for betting company William Hill, said:
Peter Capaldi was not even in our list a few days ago but he has been the subject of a lot of betting interest recently and this gamble would suggest that if he does not have the part already, he is almost certainly on the shortlist.

Capaldi is best known as the acerbic Malcolm Tucker from The Thick Of It, though he has appeared in Doctor Who before as Roman merchant Lucius Caecilius in The Fires of Pompeii, and more prominently as the Home Office Permanent Secretary John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth.

The actor revealed he was a fan of the show back in 2008 when he spoke to SFX about his forthcoming appearance in Pompeii:
When I was a kid, being a huge fan, I wrote numerous letters to the Doctor Who office largely inquiring about how the show was made. I was thrilled to have delivered to me a large package from the BBC containing two full studio scripts for the Jon Pertwee serial The Mutants, which they were making at the time. The package also contained set designs and studio floor plans for these episodes and a delightful letter from Barry Letts giving me an idea what all this stuff was. It was a fantastic exciting insight into both Doctor Who and television production generally. I had never seen a script in any form whatsoever before then and was immediately fascinated by the documents. And of course Barry’s kindness was a trigger to my ambition to work somehow (I didn’t know how) in TV. The scripts are still sitting on my bookshelf downstairs.
In light of his sudden association with the role, the Radio Times has also found an archive letter from a 15-year old Peter Capaldi congratulating them on the 10th Anniversary Special!

Odds had been temporarily suspended on 9th June, with betting company Coral informing Doctor Who News that "We've suspended betting on the next Doctor Who, following a rush of bets on Rory Kinnear in the last 24 hours.". This came about after Sunday newspapers such as the Telegraph had reported that the actor had been offered the role. Kinnear strongly denied this, saying:
I don’t know where it came from and how these things evolve - I haven’t been, and I am totally certain that I will not, be asked to be the next Doctor Who. If I was an actor who was really longing to play Doctor Who, then this would be torturous, but it’s a programme I’ve never watched, so I don’t even really know what it is.
Any likelihood of his casting seems to have been quashed this morning after the announcement of his lead role in ITV's Lucan, which films next month.

Chris Addison as the Doctor, Mock The Week, June 2013 (Credit: BBC)June also saw another favourite emerge with Capaldi's co-star in The Thick of It, Chris Addison, causing William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams to observe:
We have seen a good old fashioned gamble on Chris Addison today, with a number of three figure bets placed. Gambles such as these normally have some substance and I would think he is on the shortlist.
It is believed that the flurry of interest in the actor came about after singer Paloma Faith tweeted "A friend who works on Doctor Who says that Chris Addison is replacing Matt Smith - WOW". Acknowledging the interest in his potential as the Doctor, the comic actor appeared during the recording of the comedy news panel show Mock The Week in suitable attire (however this was not shown on its transmission on 13th June).
Another suggestion via the media has been Green Wing actor Julian Rhind-Tutt, which The Sun reported was on the shortlist after missing out on the role last time around to Matt Smith. The same article also suggests that Torchwood actor Burn Gorman (Owen Harper) is another contender for the role.

Luther star Idris Elba ruled himself out of the running, with the Radio Times reporting that when asked at the preview (20 June) he joked: "I’d look silly in a bow tie!". Meanwhile, on television David Harewood told Loose Women (ITV, 18 June): "It would be really difficult to turn down, it would be very exciting if the phone rang - but I doubt it!"

Former companion Bonnie Langford was asked on The Wright Stuff (C5, 28 June), if she thought the show would work with a female lead:
The thing about Doctor Who, the reason it's been successful is that it has no limits, and basically it's a story about good overcoming evil - and to be honest you could probably do anything with it. As long as it's written well - they've proved in this new series it is the writing and the production and the casting that makes it good - so to be honest as long as you write it with a certain sense of integrity and fun, I think it could survive anything.
John Barrowman commented at the recent San Diego Comic Con:
I think it's about time that we have a female Doctor, because the majority of the fans are girls, let's have a girl and see what happens - because if it doesn't work, the beauty of Doctor Who is that (they can use) regeneration and out you go!
However, Helen Mirren flatly denied that she would be the first female Doctor when asked on Daybreak (ITV, 3 July):
I'm not going to be the first female Doctor, absolutely not. I wouldn't contemplate that. But, I do think it's time to have a female Doctor - I think a gay, black, female Doctor Who would be the best of all!

Current Odds

The Independent give odds on Capaldi as the Doctor at 2/1, followed by Ben Daniels (4/1), Rory Kinnear (6/1), Ben Whishaw (10/1), and David Harewood (10/1). Meanwhile, at the time of writing online betting site Unibet give odds for Capaldi at 3/1, Daniels (also 3/1), Kinnear (7/2), Harewood and Chiwetel Ejiofor (both 9/1), and Wishaw and Colin Salmon (both 11/1); Betfair offer Capaldi at 19/10, Colin Morgan (47/11), Daniels and Julian Rhind-Tutt (both 19/4), Kinnear (57/10), Chris Addison (113/17), and Wishaw, Russell Tovey, Tom Ellis, Bill Bailey, Anthony Head and Idris Elba (all at 94/11).

Odds On Who: Weekend UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 8 June 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Favourites: Ben Daniels and Chris AddisonOver the course of this week everybody has had an opinion over who should be the next Doctor, it seems! Debates about whether the next owner of the TARDIS should be played by a woman popped up in several newspapers on Monday, picked up by shows like Lorraine (ITV) and The Wright Stuff (Channel 5). The Daily Star ran a front page item on Paris Jackson (daughter of the late singer Michael) being in the running on Wednesday, and Thursday saw more comment on Russell Howard's Good News (BBC3) and 10 O'Clock Live (Channel 4) - with the latter offering up David Mitchell himself. The ongoing speculation even led to politics show This Week running a Doctor Who-themed introduction. As reported yesterday, star Jenna-Louise Coleman has been inundated by questions as to who it might be, but she replied that "it's going to be a long, long search."

Meanwhile, bookmakers have consistently presented the favourite for the role to be Ben Daniels all week, with the actor's odds hovering around the 2-1 mark (though dropped to evens mid-week). However, a surprise newcomer appeared from Wednesday in the form of Skins and The Thick of It actor Chris Addison (which may have been due to this tweet from Paloma Faith), who has since then remained second favourite at 3-1. The other favourites tend to differ between bookmakers, with David Harwood 7-2 from Ladbrokes, Richard Armitage 37-13 from Betfair, and Chiwetel Ejiofor 10-1 from Coral, 13-1 from Paddy Power, and 16-1 from SkyBet. Of the other favourites reported at the beginning of the week, both Russell Tovey and Rory Kinnear had slipped to a 16-1 average.

For a feminine incarnation, Billie Piper and Jennifer Saunders averaged 25-1, with Sue Perkins (subject of a publicised campaign over the last couple of months) at 33-1, Olivia Coleman between 20-1 (Paddy Power) and 50-1 (Ladbrokes), Helen Mirren between 25-1 (Ladbrokes) and 80-1 (Coral), and Miranda Hart between 33-1 (Paddy Power) and 80-1 (Coral). Odds on a female twelfth Doctor hovers at 7-1 with Paddy Power and Coral), and 5-1 from William Hill (the male odds given by the first two are 1-20 and 1-16 respectively!).

Other names with favourable odds include: Damien Moloney (Being Human) at 14-1, Alexander Vlahos (Merlin) at 16-1, Andrew Scott (Sherlock) at 16-1, Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) at 16-1/20-1, Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie) at 20-1, and James Frain (True Blood) also at 20-1.

Odds on Who: Day OneBookmark and Share

Monday, 3 June 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
As expected, bookmakers have begun the process of offering odds on who will take on the role of the Doctor after Matt Smith hangs up his bow-tie at Christmas.

Early Sunday morning forecasts from William Hill placed the former Midshipman Frame Russell Tovey and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint as initial favourites at 10-1, with Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman next at 12-1. As one might expect the usual suspects were also present, with stars such as David Morrissey at 16-1, Paterson Joseph at 20-1, plus Alan Davies and James Nesbitt at 25-1. The favourite female contender was Billie Piper at 16-1, followed by Tilda Swinton at 20-1, and both 2013 BAFTA multi-award winner Olivia Colman and Jonathan Creek co-star (and audio 8th Doctor companion) Sheridan Smith at 25-1. More eccentric choices included footballer David Beckham, reality talent producer Simon Cowell and actor Tom Cruise at 250-1, plus footballer John Terry at 500-1.

Meanwhile Sky-Bet offered up a similar selection. Their top names included Damien Molony at 8-1, David Harewood, James Frain and Russell Tovey at 10-1, and others such as Rupert Grint, Olivia Coleman and Merlin star Colin Morgan at 20-1, Miranda Hart at 40-1, Patterson Joseph at 50-1, plus the return of David Tennant at 33-1! Also to be found on their list was Sherlock aka Benedict Cumberbatch at 40-1.

By Sunday evening, however, there was a clear leader in the form of Law & Order UK star Ben Daniels, appearing as favourite for Sky-Bet, Paddy Power, and Coral at 6-1, and with Betfair at 37-19. Other popular names included Chiwetel Ejiofor (Sky-Bet/Coral/Paddy-Power at 8-1), Russell Tovey (Coral at 8-1, Paddy-Power at 9-1, Sky-Bet/Betfair/William Hill's favourite at 10-1), and Skyfall's Rory Kinnear (Betfair at 41/9, Sky-Bet at 9-1, Paddy-Power at 11-1, Coral/William Hill at 12-1).

For a female acquisition of the TARDIS, William Hill offered 8-1 on this likelihood, with individual favourites being Billie Piper (William Hill, 16-1), Olivia Colman (Coral, 14-1, Paddy-Power, 20-1), Helen Mirren (Betfair, 27-1), and Miranda Hart (Sky-Bet, 50-1).

Whether additional contenders will challenge the current favourites remains to be seen as the week progresses.

Doctor Who - favourite show for Christmas?Bookmark and Share

Friday, 16 December 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This week has seen Doctor Who become the favourite with bookies for being the Top Show on Christmas Day, as speculation continues over the impact of Downton Abbey and Eastenders going head-to-head later in the evening...

                                           William Hill   Betfair   Oddsbet    SkyBet    Bet365
comb 3:00 The Queens Speech 100/1 100/1 80/1 100/1
ITV1 6:00 Emmerdale 80/1 100/1 66/1 100/1
BBC1 6:30 The Gruffalo's Child 14/1 16/1 16/1 12/1 16/1
BBC1 7:00 Doctor Who 5/4 5/4 7/4 6/4 5/4
ITV1 7:00 All Stars Family Fortunes 100/1 150/1 100/1 150/1
BBC1 8:00 Strictly Come Dancing 20/1 16/1 25/1 16/1
ITV1 8:00 Coronation Street 16/1 55/1 20/1 16/1 20/1
BBC1 9:00 Eastenders 5/4 13/5 5/4 7/4 5/4
ITV1 9:00 Downton Abbey 5/1 27/5 5/1 4/1 5/1
BBC1 10:00 Absolutely Fabulous 25/1 25/1 33/1 25/1

The winning programme will be the one that achieves the highest BARB overnight rating.

Odds on a Who Christmas (2011)Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 December 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Christmas has always been a traditional time for betting companies, with the odds of snow on Christmas Day a perennial favourite, the Christmas Number One (the X-Factor winner again? never!), and of course which programme will be most popular on television for the turkey-fuelled captive audience!

Doctor Who has been a feature of the Christmas line-up for the last six years and has always performed well: The Christmas Invasion (2005, 9.84m, 2nd); The Runaway Bride (2006, 9.35m, 5th); Voyage of the Damned (2007, 13.31m, 2nd); The Next Doctor (2008, 13.1m, 2nd); The End of Time (pt 1) (2009, 11.57m, 3rd) [arguably, it actually won the ratings battle with a combined BBC1/BBCHD audience of 12.04m, but this doesn't count for the bookies!]; and A Christmas Carol (2010, 12.11m, 3rd).

But what are the odds for this year ...

The Top Television Show for Christmas Day

With all the recent debate over what constitutes real ratings with current television viewing patterns, the bookies are stating that their payouts are based on the BARB overnight viewing figures and not the consolidated ones that come out in the new year.

As can be seen below, at this stage the top five shows are pretty much the same throughout, with just the likelihood of which will win out of Doctor Who, Eastenders, Downton Abbey, Coronation Street and The Gruffalo's Child.

                                           William Hill   Betfair   Oddsbet
comb 3:00 The Queens Speech 100/1 100/1
ITV1 6:00 Emmerdale 66/1 100/1
BBC1 6:30 The Gruffalo's Child 16/1 12/1 20/1
BBC1 7:00 Doctor Who 11/8 2/1 7/4
ITV1 7:00 All Stars Family Fortunes 80/1 150/1
BBC1 8:00 Strictly Come Dancing 25/1 28/1
ITV1 8:00 Coronation Street 25/1 12/1 20/1
BBC1 9:00 Eastenders evens 11/5 11/10
ITV1 9:00 Downton Abbey 9/2 11/2 11/4
BBC1 10:00 Absolutely Fabulous 25/1 25/1

OLBG have also provided a Top Christmas Day TV page which indicates the best odds given for a particular programme, and also what their tipsters think is most likely.

The Top DVD at Christmas

Paddy Power have provided odds on which DVD is likely to be the best seller for Christmas week, which sees Doctor Who: The Complete Series Six at joint second favourite alongside Cars 2 at 7/2. The current favourite for Christmas is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part two).

Competition Time!

Doctor Who News is pleased to once again invite our readers to guess the final consolidated rating for Doctor Who this Christmas - visit our Competitions Page for full details!

A Gamble with Time (Lord)Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 22 November 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Since the announcement by director David Yates on the development of a movie version of Doctor Who, the casting of an actor for the role has attracted speculation through the media.

The Radio Times suggests a variety of potential Doctors, ranging from young popstar Justin Bieber through to another sci-fi stalwart William Shatner! Other names include Hugh Laurie, Colin Firth, Ricky Gervais, Lady Gaga and Morgan Freeman.

IGN ran a poll in which some 7000 readers voted Hugh Laurie as their favourite choice, with the runners up being Gary Oldman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Ewan McGregor. Entertainment Editor Chris Tilly said: "As one of the UK's most celebrated TV characters of all-time, fans are thrilled about the prospect of a 'Doctor Who' movie, with talk immediately turning to who should play the lead role. And with his combination of wit, intelligence, charm and eccentricity, Hugh Laurie was the runaway winner of our poll, with fans believing the Brit to be the perfect man to play the Time Lord on the big screen."

Betting firm William Hill have placed David Morrissey as their favourite - in the lead-up to 2008's The Next Doctor the actor was the firm favourite to take over from David Tennant as the eleventh Doctor; another contender for the role as the announcement of who would replace Tennant in early 2009 was Chiwetel Ejiofor who is currently William Hill's second favourite.

IndieWire also offers up Chiwetel Ejiofor as a potential big-screen Doctor, with other suggestions including Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Kebbell, Tom Hardy and Andrew Garfield.

Movie odds aren't a new thing, of course; back in 2010 Paddy Power were offering 2/1 on Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp as becoming a movie Doctor!

Odds on a Who Christmas (2010) UpdateBookmark and Share

Saturday, 18 December 2010 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Last month we listed odds on shows broadcasting over Christmas Day from betting company Paddy Power; with one week to go before the festive programmes go head-to-head once more for the largest audience of the day, here's a sample of the odds you can find online as of tonight:
Paddy Power Ladbrokes William Hill Odds Bet
On the Day For the Week For the Week On the Day
BBC1 2:00 Top of the Pops 100/1 100/1 66/1 -
comb 3:00 The Queen 33/1 - 20/1 33/1
BBC1 4:30 The Gruffalo - - - 100/1
BBC1 5:00 The One Ronnie 50/1 50/1 50/1 125/1
BBC1 6:00 Doctor Who 9/2 9/4 4/1 5/1
ITV1 6:00 Emmerdale 16/1 33/1 25/1 125/1
BBC1 7:00 Strictly Come Dancing 50/1 - - 125/1
BBC2 7:00 Top Gear 33/1 33/1 25/1 -
ITV1 7:00 Coronation Street 7/1 7/1 3/1 25/1
BBC1 8:00 Eastenders 4/9 2/5 1/2 1/2
ITV1 8:00 All Star Family Fortunes - - 100/1 150/1
BBC1 9:00 The Royle Family 4/1 4/1 7/2 7/2
ITV1 9:00 Poirot - - - 150/1
BBC1 10:00 Come Fly With Me 10/1 20/1 16/1 28/1
BBC1 10:30 BBC News 33/1 - - -

Other programmes are also under consideration for the Christmas week, which include Upstairs, Downstairs, The Nativity, Harry Hill's Christmas TV Burp, and Rock and Chips.

It is quite clear from the charts that the top four programmes for Christmas Day are consistently Doctor Who, Coronation Street, The Royle Family and Eastenders, with the latter ranked highest by all companies! All four performed well last year; though the Doctor Who top spot was 'muddied' by BBC1/BBCHD rating considerations, this year the results should be clear ...

... tell everyone you know to watch A Christmas Carol!