BFI: Tenth Doctor panel videoBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 October 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The video of the guest panel at the BFI's celebratory screenings for the Tenth Doctor's era is now available to watch online.

Held on Sunday 29th September as part of its Doctor Who At 50 season, the event saw The Stolen Earth and Journey's End shown on the big screen, with David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Phil Collinson, and Graeme Harper taking to the stage afterwards for a discussion and question-and-answer session with season co-curator Justin Johnson.

A three-minute excerpt was uploaded to the BFI's YouTube channel today,
with the full Q&A - just shy of 30 minutes in length - available to watch in the BFI's video section.





Full Guest Line-Up Announced For BFI's Tenth Doctor EventBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 September 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Catherine Tate will be among the guests joining David Tennant later this month for the question-and-answer panel at the BFI's special event celebrating the Tenth Doctor's era.

The Stolen Earth and Journey's End, which formed the Series 4 finale, are being shown on Sunday 29th September at 2pm when, as reported last month, Tennant will be the headline guest. It has now been confirmed that he will be joined by Tate, with the other guests named as the episodes' director, Graeme Harper, plus producer Phil Collinson and casting director Andy Pryor.

The sell-out screenings are part of the BFI's Doctor Who At 50 season, curated by Dick Fiddy and Justin Johnson.

Check here for returns or try the BFI on the day for stand-bys.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 8 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Karen Gillan has been involved in a photo-shoot for fashion magazine Marie Claire in a project alongside This is Great Britain to place the UK's brightest stars in London's most historic locations. Karen appears in front of 10 Downing Street! Editor-in-chief Trish Halpin said: "To be the first fashion magazine granted access to these amazing London landmarks was a real honour." A video of the shoot is also available to watch. [Marie Claire, 5 Sep 2012]

The actress has also paid for her father to record an album. She said: "He's a singer, not professional, he just loves doing it. I got it as a Father's Day present. I'm thinking of doing a duet with him but he's far better than me." [Daily Record, 4 Sep 2012]

Matt Smith mentions one of his experiences in New York recently: In New York, Karen and I walked into this 'Doctor Who'-themed bar. It shows the appalling limits of our vanity that we wanted to go to a 'Doctor Who' bar. But our curiosity got the better of us. You could have heard a pin drop when we strolled in." [FemaleFirst, 3 Sep 2012]

Smith will be a guest on the Channel 4 chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man on Friday 21st September at 10pm, according to a tweet by the programme's official Twitter feed.

Arthur Darvill talks about his departure from Doctor Who, and onto new projects such as the West End show Our Boys: "We all met up on Monday to do a publicity photoshoot for that, all in army gear. Everyone else had these really sharp uniforms and I was in cold weather gear, so I had a shirt, a polo neck, a jumper, a massive jacket on the hottest day of the year!" [GT Magazine, Oct 2012]

A host of photos during rehearsals and further information on the play can be found via the play's official Facebook page.

The first episode of the two-part BBC Four adaptation of Room At The Top starring Jenna-Louise Coleman as Susan Brown is set to air during the week beginning Saturday 22nd September. The drama, which co-stars Kevin McNally, was made in 2010 and should have been broadcast in April 2011 but the BBC was prevented from showing it because of a copyright wrangle, which was finally resolved earlier this year. The day and time of transmission is yet to be confirmed. [BBC Programme Information]

Alex Kingston traces her family history in a forthcoming edition of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC One. It is likely to be shown on Wednesday 19th September at 9pm.

David Tennant discussed how important the works of Shakespeare are: "I am on the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a huge part of what they do is education and outreach -- partly just to educate an audience for themselves but also just to teach that sort of language so kids can appreciate it. I think Shakespeare is one of those things that you get very excited about when you do it and when you love it and when you feel like you own that language. Often it's a difficult thing to teach to kids because it can feel like a slow and a difficult thing, but it can be really inspiring!" [TheaterMania, 29 Aug 2012]

The actor has also donated a signed copy of the Complete Second Series of Doctor Who an auction on behalf of The Alzheimer's Society - potential bidders can find the item on Ebay here over the next eight days. [Alzeimer's Society, 7 Sep 2012]

Digital Theatre and Routledge Publishing have made theatre performanances from the Routledge Performance Archive online; amongst the shows available for download/rental is David Tennant's Much Ado About Nothing, which co-starred Catherine Tate. [Standard, 6 Sep 2012]

John Barrowman commented on gay representation on American television: "America has the most gay men represented on television than any country in the world. The only thing I wish they would do more often is not stereotype those gay men and women. It's always the same type they choose. Rather than seeing camp, flouncy, girly men and butch heavy women, it would be nice to see other types. There are 'lipstick lesbians,' pretty girls. There are butch guys, guys who are into sports." [Desert Outlook, 4 Sep 2012]

Eve Myles has won the title role in the new six-part BBC One series Frankie, which will see her reunited with Torchwood director Mark Everest. The drama is described as "a modern and redemptive take on the life and work of a dedicated district nurse [Frankie Maddox] whose patients matter more to her than her personal life." Also appearing in it are Dean Lennox Kelly and Derek Riddell. Filming will take place in Bristol, where the series is set, with the drama due to air next spring. [BBC Media Centre, 6 Sep 2012]

Former executive producer and current Head of Drama at Channel 4 Piers Wenger has announced a new initiative to seek out original drama ideas for development on E4: "This is an exciting first step in the development of a slate of new drama series for E4. There is a wealth of British drama talent out there and I am thrilled to be able to green-light a drama pilot season and invite new and established writers to come to us with their big ideas. In the last few years, E4 has established an unrivalled reputation for launching young, ground-breaking drama series and we are looking for a range of original drama ideas which will allow audiences to connect with the channel now. We don't want to be prescriptive on genre, format or length of episode - the aim is to see a variety of home-grown and innovative drama on E4 in 2013 and beyond." [Televisual, 6 Sep 2012]

(compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman




Matt Smith Is Made National Youth Theatre PatronBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Matt Smith has been made patron of the National Youth Theatre, it was announced today.

He joined the NYT in 2002 and during his time there was lauded for his portrayal of Archbishop Thomas Becket in T S Eliot's Murder In The Cathedral, as well as that of Fagotto (Bassoon) in an adaptation by David Rudkin of The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Visiting the NYT while a 140-strong cast rehearsed their Olympics and Paralympics team welcome ceremonies, pictured (click on image to expand), Smith told how being part of the NYT had transformed his life:
I think from my experience the thing about the NYT is that you learn through practice. You're out there on a stage, you're doing a play, you're being directed, you're turning up for rehearsals every day and working as you would work in a professional rehearsal room. It completely transformed my life. No understatement. I'm proud to be part of it still and proud to be the organisation's newest patron, as I care very deeply about it.
He also spoke of his own Olympics involvement, having carried the flame in Cardiff in May:
It was an honour to be a torchbearer and carry the Olympic flame in Cardiff, and it's a wonderful thing that the National Youth Theatre will be representing Great Britain and welcoming the world to London with the team welcome ceremonies. I've just met the NYT cast and the levels of enthusiasm and commitment was nothing short of inspiring. I think it's a great day for the National Youth Theatre and I know that they'll deliver something of the highest and most professional quality, because that's what they do.
Paul Roseby, the NYT's artistic director and chief executive, who knew Smith when he was at the NYT, said:
We're all thrilled at the National Youth Theatre to announce that Matt Smith is the latest recruit to our illustrious list of patrons, as we get ready for our Olympic and Paralympic performances. Matt is a perfect role model for the latest generation of brave new talent. Raw, fearless, and a passion for theatre is something that doesn't just sum up our company but also the wonderful Matt Smith. As we continue to operate in challenging economic times, like everyone in the arts, it's always good to have a Doctor in the house.
Smith is no stranger to patronages. Earlier this year, he was made patron of the Young Writers' Festival at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Previous NYT members have also included Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston, Sir Derek Jacobi, Timothy Dalton, Hugh Bonneville, and David Walliams.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 June 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Karen Gillan won the award for Scottish Fashion Icon of the Year at this year's Scottish Fashion Awards. On the red carpet beforehand the actress had said: "It would be a huge honour to win an award like that and really unexpected. I honestly didn’t think I would be nominated for anything wearing the clothes I wear." Talking about her departure from Doctor Who she said: "It was so sad. It was this bittersweet thing 'cause I'm really excited to move onto other things, I'm actually going on to do a film in Glasgow which I'm really excited about, but yeah it was so sad 'cause I'm leaving my best friends in a weird way." [STV, 14 June 2012]

The actress also made an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in order to promote her forthcoming film, Not Another Happy Ending.

Arthur Darvill is to star in the West End production of Jonathan Lewis's award-winning play Our Boys alongside Laurence Fox (aka the husband of Billie Piper) and Cian Barry. The play's synopsis: A candid account of the tedium, terror and tribulations suffered by five young soldiers recovering from injuries incurred in the line of duty. But when their daily routine of TV, lonely hearts ads and banter is interrupted by the arrival of an unwelcome authority figure, their unlikely camaraderie gives way to betrayal, accusations and all-out war. The play opens at the Duchess Theatre on 3rd October, with previews from 26th September. [Whats On Stage, 15 June 2012]

Neil Gaiman, John Challis, Jon Culshaw, and Andrew Sachs are among the star names providing the Voice of the Book for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live! which is currently on tour in the UK. The show re-creates the masterwork by Douglas Adams. Celebrity Doctor Who fan Culshaw is renowned for his impressions of Tom Baker, while Sachs has appeared in Doctor Who audio dramas and was the voice of Skagra in the webcast of Adams's Shada. For more details on where and when the different voices are appearing, see the Hitchhiker's Live! website.

Steven Moffat explains how he approaches writing: "I never make a note of anything, I never even write a plot down. I have a terrible superstition of writing things down. I have to write in sequence and only in sequence." [Entertainmentwise, The Sun, 28 May 2012]

John Barrowman will once again take on a role of Jack this coming Christmas - alongside his faithful 'companions' Ian and Janette Krankie in the pantomine Jack and the Beanstalk! The trio return to the Glasgow SECC for their third 'adventure' together, with managing director of QDos Michael Harrison saying: "We are thrilled that John, Ian and Janette are returning to Glasgow, where they have received huge audience acclaim. Over the past few years, together with our colleagues at the SECC, we have staged Glasgow’s biggest and most spectacular pantomime and I can promise that Jack and the Beanstalk will be another giant and unmissable show!" The show will run between 15th December and 6th January. Playbill, 11 Jun 2012]

Peter Purves will also be appearing in panto later this year, playing Alderman Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington at Harpenden Public Halls from 15th to 22nd December.

Noel Clarke has revealed his favourite Doctor: "Matt. He just brought something different to it that I like. No disrespect to the others. I'm not going to say them just because I worked with them. Also when Matt got on, the budgets were larger and the show was more ambitious.". Appearing on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch on 17th June, the actor added that his actual favourite was Peter Davison who was the Doctor as he grew up. [Radio Times, 15 June 2012]

Janet Fielding handed a petition to Thanet council as part of a No Night Flights campaign to stop plans to allow night flights to take place at Manston airport. The actress said: "Along with the health and environmental issues surrounding night flights, there are potentially disastrous consequences for Ramsgate's recovering tourism industry which needs to be protected. Who will want to stay in a hotel with planes flying over all night? This needs to be investigated in full." [Thanet Times, 22 May 2012]

Bill Nighy revealed how he could have become the Doctor: "I was offered the role once, I won't tell you when because the rule is that you're not allowed to say you turned that job down because it's disrespectful to whoever did it. I will say that I was approached. But I didn't want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything. I just think that it comes with too much baggage." [People, 3 June 2012]

Catherine Tate is to return in the next series of the US version of The Office, with her character Nellie Bertram from the previous series finale set to be a regular. [Contact Music, 4 Jun 2012]

Lara Pulver commented on recent gossip about her potentially becoming the first female Doctor: Steven and I have both said we thoroughly enjoyed working together, and then there was me being in Wales so the media put two and two together. (and would it have been amazing?) Yes and no. Not if it meant the end of the Doctor Who franchise because the fans aren’t keen on it. [Standard, 15 June 2012]

Veteran cameraman Jules Greenway has been awarded the The Guild of Television Cameramen's top award for his work over the last few decades. The recently retired 68-year-old worked on a number of shows in his career, including Doctor Who, Z-Cars, Top of the Pops and Blue Peter at the BBC, and Tales of the Unexpected at Anglia. His production team also won a BAFTA for their coverage of the 1998 Derby. He reflected: "I always favoured the dramas as they were the opportunity to shoot complicated shots. Sports events were exciting to do but very repetitive, the shots are very similar, while with drama you are constantly looking to do something different. Most cameramen’s pleasure is in executing a good shot, doing it well and being pleased with the end result.". [Eastern Daily Press, 19 May 2012]

Concern has been raised over Richard Gent, who disappeared a number of weeks ago leaving his phone and wallet at home after cancelling plans to meet friends. The actor has appeared in shows such as Casualty, Being Human and Torchwood. Police have asked anyone who has knowledge of his whereabouts to contact them on the missing persons helpline: freephone 116 000.

In Memoriam:

The actor George Murdock passed away on 30th April. He played a Preacher in the recent Torchwood series Miracle Day and has appeared in a number of sci-fi shows including Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The X Files - he is perhaps best known as playing "God" in the film Star Trek V - The Final Frontier.

Brian Hibbard passed away on 17th June after suffering from prostate cancer. The actor played the assassin Keillor in the Sylvester McCoy story Delta and the Bannermen, and appeared in a number of soaps including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and last year EastEnders. For a different generation, however, he will be remembered as the former lead singer of The Flying Pickets! [BBC News, 18 Jun 2012]




People RoundupBookmark and Share

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]





People RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 March 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
David Tennant can be seen voicing Charles Darwin for the forthcoming Aardman Animations film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! The film also features the vocal talents of Hugh Grant (who played the Doctor in the 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death, written by Steven Moffat), Russell Tovey, Imelda Staunton, and Brian Blessed.


[Radio Times, 9 Mar 2012]

Lalla Ward will be a guest on Graham Norton's Radio 2 show on Saturday 17th March. She is scheduled to appear on the programme between 12.30pm and 1pm. Executive producer Malcolm Prince told Doctor Who News that questions and comments can be submitted in advance to graham.norton@bbc.co.uk. Imelda Staunton will also be a guest on the show that day, appearing with Michael Ball at 11.30am.

Frazer Hines has been drafted in to spearhead a government campaign to raise awareness about cancer. The actor, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 1999 and finally given the all-clear two years ago following surgery and chemotherapy, met and talked to shoppers in Lincoln, giving them advice as part of the Department of Health's Be Clear On Cancer campaign. He said: "The thing about bowel cancer is that no-one wants to talk about it. The bowel is only a part of your engine . . . and if your engine goes wrong, you have got to have something to do with it. I made up this saying last year, when I was interviewed on The Michael Ball Show: 'Would you rather a doctor took your trousers off once or an undertaker take them off forever?'" [This Is Lincolnshire, 10 Mar 2012]

The character of Donna Noble, as portrayed by Catherine Tate, came in eighth in a Radio Times top ten of strong TV women, compiled for International Women's Day. [Radio Times, 8 Mar 2012]

Lucian Msamati
is to play British MP Kayode in the new satire Belong, by Bola Agbaje, at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre in London. The play runs from 26th April to 26th May and is a co-production with African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi, of which Msamati is artistic director. [The Stage, 12 Mar 2012]




People RoundupBookmark and Share

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 Whatsonstage.com 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]




Theatre RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 December 2011 - Reported by Marcus
David Tennant The much acclaimed London production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate is now available to stream or download from Digital Theatre.

The production, which ran to full houses at Wyndham's Theatre in the West End, breaking all previous Box Office records for the theatre, was directed by Josie Rourke and saw David Tennant play Benedict with Catherine Tate as Beatrice.

48 hour rental costs £5.99, or you can download the play for £8.99 (£10.99 HD)



Simon Callow, who played Charles Dickens in The Unquiet Dead and The Wedding of River Song, will be performing excerpts from his new book Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World in Portsmouth on Tuesday 7th February 2012 - exactly 200 years after the birth of the author in the self-same city.

The performance takes place at the New Theatre Royal, which has previously staged semi-professional productions of Fury From The Deep, The Evil of the Daleks, and The Dalek Masterplan (based on The Daleks' Master Plan).




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 2 December 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Arthur Darvill has contributed to Amnesty International's Write for Rights campaign, asking people to write on behalf of a group of activists called WOZA (Women of Zimbabwe Arise) who protest on various issues in the country and are regularly met with violence and police brutality.

For full details see the Amnesty International website.

The Write for Rights campaign is a letter writing campaign that Amnesty International launches at the end of every year all over the world. The campaign is very simple. We ask people to write letters. We ask people to write letters not only to people who's rights are being violated sending them a message of hope, but also to the people responsible asking them to stop.


(with thanks to Hannah Chalmers/Amnesty International)



What's On Stage have announced the nominations for their 2012 Awards, in which a number of related names from Doctor Who appear. David Tennant is up for the Best Actor in a Play award for Much Ado About Nothing, and his pairing with Catherine Tate has also made the Theatre Event of the Year list; Tate has also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress alongside Mark Gatiss for Best Supporting Actor reflecting their roles in Season’s Greetings. Arthur Darvill is also nominated for the latter award for his role in Dr Faustus. Others include Simon Callow (Jo Hutchison Best Solo Performance for Being Shakespeare), Sheridan Smith (Best Supporting Actress in a Play for Flare Path), Sarah Lancashire (Baby Grand Best Actress in a Musical for Betty Blue Eyes), Tamsin Greig (Best Actress in a Play for Jumpy) and James Corden (Best Actor in a Play for One Man, Two Guvnors). [What's On Stage, 1 Dec 2011]

Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith) has been awarded an doctorate by the University of East London; the actor/writer/director received a Doctor of Arts at a ceremony at the O2. Clarke said: "This is an amazing feeling, it’s such a great honour to receive this award. I love doing what I do and to get an honour for that seems strange, but I'm also very thankful. My advice to students, young people and anyone else who has a dream is to follow your instincts and to always give 100 per cent." You can watch him receive his award via the university's YouTube channel. [Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle, 30 Nov 2011]

Karen Gillan spoke about where she'd like to settle down: "I want to live in splendid isolation when I’m 40 and then come back to acting when I want. I will live in Drumnadrochit (by Loch Ness), which is the weirdest name ever but is the most beautiful place." [Deadline News, 1 Dec 2011]

Tracy-Ann Oberman (Yvonne Hartman, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday) is to host a new soap opera themed quiz show for BBC Radio 2. Suds Law will see a mixture of soap stars and comedians battle it out over games and rounds based upon the characters, storylines and cliches that make the soaps popular. The first episode will be recorded on the 11th December, with tickets available from the BBC Tickets Website. [BBC Audience, 1 Dec 2011]

Children's presenter Ed Petrie talks about what he'd like to do in the future: "I have always wanted to be in 'Doctor Who', I know quite a few CBBC presenters who have appeared on the programme and I’m hoping that one day my chance might come. I’m such a fan – I’ve seen every single episode. If anyone should be on it, it should be me. I would make a brilliant Doctor Who." [BH Beat, 29 Nov 2011]






Wrap Party VideosBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 1 November 2011 - Reported by Marcus
Two videos have recently surfaced on YouTube marking the end of Tenth Doctor's era on Doctor Who.

The videos were made by members of the production team and played at the wrap party as production of The End of Time came to an end. The first features David Tennant and members of the cast and crew performing to the Proclaimers hit I'm Gonna Be. Tennant is known to be a big fan of the group.

The second is a tribute to executive producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, both of who left with Tennant at the end of production on The End of Time. It features David Tennant, Catherine Tate and John Barrowman performing a homage to their bosses based on the Victoria Wood song Let's Do it.


Cast and Crew Special, via YouTube



The Ballad of Russell and Julie, via YouTube




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Sunday, 23 October 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Peter Davison discussed the possibility of a 50th Anniversary appearance in Doctor Who: "I feel no need to turn my back on it, but I don't feel like it's the kind of thing they'd do. I'd be very surprised if they tried to do anything involving the old Doctors because it always takes a slight stretch of the imagination anyway to figure out why the previous Doctors look older - but I'm sure that can be done. But at the same time I'm not sort of longing on it. I'm perfectly happy to have played my part to go back to 'Time Crash'. I don't feel like I'm hanging on a phone call from the 'Doctor Who' offices saying let's do something special." [Contact Music, 21 Oct 2011]

John Barrowman also commented on his interest in the golden year of the series: "If I'm asked to go back I would love to go back - I think it would be great to be involved with the 50th Anniversary, since Jack was such a big part of the Who world. But, having said that, nothing's been said, so I don't sit and wait and I don't want fans to think that I don't want to do it because I would love to, but if I'm not asked I'm not going to push and bang down the door - I'll just move onto something else." The actor also suggested that should Torchwood return it was unlikely to commence filming before next September. [Scottish Daily Record via YouTube, 18 Oct 2011]

Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) will be returning to NBC's version of The Office, reprising her role of Nellie Bertram who appeared in the previous series finale back in May. The character is expected to appear in a multi-episode arc. [Theater Mania, 21 Oct 2011]

Kai Owen (Rhys, Torchwood) is encouraging local 'daredevils' to take part in a charity abseil down the West Orchards Shopping Centre's glass dome in Coventry, aiming to raise money for CLIC Sargent. The event takes place in the evenings of 29th and 30th October and is open to anyone aged 16 or over. [Coventry Telegraph, 19 Oct 2011]

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss was the guest on this week's edition of the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs; during the show he spoke about his life, growing up opposite a psychiatric hospital, his interest in the supernatural, and his successful career with The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock and of course Doctor Who. [Desert Island Discs, 23 Oct 2011]

Ray Brooks has recorded an audio version of his autobiography, Learning My Lines; the actor traces his career through rep, comedies, his various television appearances including famously the voice of Mr Benn, Big Deal, and Eastenders, and of course his role as David in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD. Revealing the vulnerability of an actor's life, the candid account is full of down-to-earth humour and captivating honesty. [available from Fantom Films]


Inadmissable Evidence has opened at the Donmar Warehouse, featuring Karen Gillan in her first theatre role; reviews of the play can be found at the Independent, Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Standard, The Stage; it was also reviewed in the BBC Radio 4's Front Row.




People RoundupBookmark and Share

Saturday, 15 October 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Tom Baker will be visiting St Michael’s Hospice in Hastings on the 30th October; a keen supporter, the actor will be signing for £5 donations to the hospice. Community Fundraiser Amanda Hildreth said: "We’re extremely excited to be welcoming Tom to the hospice and providing an opportunity for his many fans to meet him. Tom is a great supporter of the hospice and this kind offer shows his commitment to both his fans and the work of St Michael's. Tom has a huge cult following and we’re expecting the signing to prove very popular not only with local fans, but also fans from all over the UK." [Hastings Observer, 9 Oct 2011]

David Tennant will be playing Robert Louis Stevenson in a two-part adaptation for BBC Radio Four; Stevenson in Love focusses on two of the writer's trips, to France and in America, and on the influence upon him of his future wife. It is broadcast on 26th and 27th October. [The Stage, 11 Oct 2011]

Paul McGann will be appearing on 17-18th November at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Studio in Grotesque Chaos, a play about former politician Derek Hatton by local writer Michael McLean. Suzanne Bell, Everyman and Playhouse literary manager, said: "We are thrilled Paul will be involved with this challenging and interesting play. He was excited to take on the role of Derek Hatton having read Michael McLean’s script and is also bringing a great deal of knowledge to the project." [Liverpool Echo, 12 Oct 2011]

Colin Baker arrives at the Malvern Theatres for performances of the Wilkie Collins play The Woman in White; it runs between 18th and 22nd October. [Worcester Standard, 13 Oct 2011]

Karen Gillan's role as Shirley in John Osborne’s Inadmissible Evidence is attributed as the reason for its sell-out at the Donmar Warehouse. On the play, the actress said: "I think the writing’s really amazing, it’s so full of hate. It sounds like John Osborne ranting. It goes to a place that I haven’t encountered before. It’s all jagged, sometimes it doesn’t even fit together logically. You really have to investigate it to understand it.". And on taking on the role and the encouragment of her Doctor Who co-stars: "I’m completely terrified. But that’s what makes it exciting. When Matt and Arthur heard I had a part at the Donmar they were so pleased. They were, like, you’ve got to grab this with both hands. So that’s what I’m going to do." [Telegraph, 15 Oct 2011]

Speaking of the Donmar Warehouse, Sir Derek Jacobi (Professor Yana/The Master) has been nominated for their touring production of King Lear; the actor is up for Best Performance in the 2011 Theatre Awards. [BBC News, 30 Sep 2011]

Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper) talks about how Torchwood has done wonders for Wales: "Yeah, it's really put it on the map, massively. The Welsh tourist board can't be more grateful because Torchwood uses the shots of the coastline, the mountains - and all the aliens we have and all the deadly goings on. It's also shown who the Welsh are, making the Welsh as real as possible on telly. We are not this stupid comedy nation. We are a bunch of smart, proud, passionate people who love showing off their country." [New Zealand Herald, 13 Oct 2011]

Back in September, we reported that Arthur Darvill would feature in the Bush Theatre production Sixty Six Books; now, it has been revealed that Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) will kick off the theatrical event by playing God - a high tech, high heeled, pale suited Almighty accompanied by an angel with a laptop who dispatches her tweets to the Internet in author Jeanette Winterson's interpretation of Genesis. Artistic director Josie Rourke said: "It's a very funny piece, it's very bold. Catherine came naturally to mind for that. She just walks out onto a stage and recruits everybody into what she's doing - and that's absolutely what it needs." [BBC News, 14 Oct 2011]

Christmas kicks off early in Skegness, with Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) appearing as Muddles in a special preview of Snow White at the town's Embassy Theatre - the show was attended by its writers, pupils from Skegness Infants School. The pantomine will open on 14th December. [Skegness Standard, 14 Oct 2011]





Much Ado Soundtrack ReleasedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 23 July 2011 - Reported by Marcus

Music from the London production of William Shakespeare'a Much Ado About Nothing, starring David Tennant as Benedick and Catherine Tate as Beatrice has been released and is available to download from iTunes or Amazon.

The soundtrack features nine tracks featured in the stage production plus two bonus tracks with vocals from Tennant and Tate. The highly acclaimed show continues at Wyndhams Theatre in London until 1st September.