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4/28/2005 05:40:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon

April 28, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who has won the ratings war every week against ITV after all: according to the BARB final numbers on the ratings for Aliens of London, Doctor Who had 7.63 million viewers, compared to 7.37 million for the season finale of "Ant and Dec". Originally, Doctor Who had fewer reported viewers in the overnights, but the BARB figures - the final total ratings for each broadcast - add in timeshifted viewing. This means that Doctor Who has won its timeslot in every broadcast since the debut on March 26.

In Canada, yesterday's ratings for episode four, "Aliens of London," scored 849,000 viewers on the overnight reports, a small slip from the previous week's 878,000 but nothing major. "Doctor Who" is still #2 for the timeslot across Canada and #4 in all of primetime for Tuesday nights.

According to Yahoo News (and also mentioned in the Independent),Christopher Eccleston is becoming an ambassador for the learning disability charity Mencap. "Learning disability used to be known as 'mental handicap' but times change and people with a learning disability now find the old term offensive," says Eccleston. "I am very proud and excited to become an ambassador for Mencap and will do my best to justify such an honour." Eccleston first became aware of the issue when he researched his role in the 1991 film, Let Him Have It.

Issue 14 of British Cinematographer, the April 2005 edition, features a two page piece: "On the job - behind the scenes of the new Dr Who series with Ernest Vincze BSC".

The Brighton Evening Argus yesterday noted that "Daleks will invade pier in summer" discussing a Doctor Who exhibition taking place at Brighton's Pleasure Dome from May until October. We hope to bring you further details on this exhibition shortly. The Daleks will also appear at an exhibition at the Churnet Valley Railway this bank holiday weekend; a full-size Dalek will be looking for humans to exterminate in the waiting rooms of the railway's Cheddleton, Kingsley and Froghall stations on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, and details on that are available at the railway website.

Newsquest Media Group today has a story about an extra in next week's "Dalek" episode. "Aspiring actor Oliver Hopkins gets exterminated on his first-ever television appearance - and he couldn't be more delighted. For 19-year-old Oliver's assassins are none other than the deadly Dr Who villains, the Daleks! Meeting his fate at close proximity to some of the small screen's most famous baddies has been a thrilling experience for the former Greenhill School and Pembrokeshire College student. 'I'm on the book of Phoenix Agency in Swansea and had a day's work as an extra for the filming of Dr Who, in Newport,' explained Oliver, of Cambrian Cottages, Stepaside. 'It was really good fun.' As well as meeting the show's stars, Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston, Oliver was able to see the workings of a Dalek and stood inside the famous Tardis. Now he is keeping his fingers crossed that his TV debut gets screened. 'I'm pretty realistic about the fact it could be edited out, or you might only get to see my arm,' he admitted. 'But even so, I've had a brilliant experience and it won't look bad on my CV.'"

David Tennant was interviewed briefly by phone on the XFM radio station this morning. Amongst other things, he suggested that Casanova was his audition for Doctor Who and he didn't actually need to audition for the Doctor. He's excited but daunted by being the Doctor, thinks Eccleston and the new series are fantastic, and managed to plug Big Finish in the same breath as knocking the 'rubbish' that's appeared in the press in the last few weeks. You can hear the full interview at the XFM website.

Other press mentions: a vicar is ready to swap the pulpit for the TARDIS according to the Northwest Evening Mail; more reports of Peter Davison's comments about Christopher Eccleston, which we reported yesterday, atDigitalSpyand WaveGuide; the Sun comments further on the ratings win over Celebrity Wrestling and the upcoming "Dalek" episode; "Let Doctor Who give us a fright" says the Bristol Evening Post; and more news about ABC's pickup of the new series in Australia at the Courier Mail.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Rod Mammitzsch, David Guest, Steve Tribe, Chuck Foster, John Bowman and Mike Noon)