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8/19/2005 12:50:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

August 19, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Independent has run an article entitled "Billie Piper: The kid stays in the picture" interviewing her and discussing her first few weeks on the job filming series two. "It's shortly after 11am when Billie Piper arrives at her local north London pub, arms laden with cigarettes, a mobile phone and a restorative orange juice. She yawns, apologises and, arms still full, offers the first two fingers of her right hand as a greeting in lieu of a proper handshake. Minutes later, now free of clutter and seated at a garden table, another yawn occurs, revealing a gaping maw of perfectly chiselled teeth ... For the past couple of weeks, Piper has been going to work when most other people are going to bed. She is resuming her role as Rose Tyler, the effervescent sidekick of Doctor Who, a character now being played by David Tennant following Christopher Eccleston's rather abrupt departure at the end of the first series. Despite much tabloid speculation that Piper herself was also quitting the show - for movies, for Hollywood, for wraparound superstardom - the truth is that she is staying precisely where she is. For now, at least. 'Well, I've not heard any rumours of me being killed off,' she says. 'So as far as I'm aware, I'm around for the entire second series.' ... The night-shoots, she admits, are taking their toll, not just on her body but, it seems, her public profile as well. Eighteen months ago, Piper filmed a British horror flick called Spirit Trap. It has been collecting dust on the shelves ever since - and, many suggest, rightly so - but in the light of its leading actress's blossoming profile, it has suddenly secured a release date. What's more, the producers wanted to arrange a red carpet premiere, with Piper's presence sure to secure significant media interest. But rumours abounded that Piper had seen the finished product and was appalled at its awfulness, so appalled that she wanted nothing more to do with it. All such accusations were summarily denied, with Piper's lack of support blamed on pressure from the Doctor Who schedule. There were apologies all round." The article goes on to discuss her role in the film and why she did it, as well as why she didn't support the film's release ("because, genuinely, she was too busy"). Read more at the website. Also reported at the Belfast TelegraphMegaStar and in The Mirror.

Russell T Davies will attend the Cardiff Mardi Gras Fringe Benefit evening on September 6 according to an article onuk.gay.com. "The man behind Dr Who and Queer as Folk will be revealing secrets of the new series of the cult sci-fi show at a special Pride event next month. Russell T Davies, will be attending the Cardiff Mardi Gras Fringe Benefit evening on September 6 to meet fans and answer questions on Dr Who, as well as his other critical and commercial successes. The event is part of CardiffÆs Mardi Gras celebrations, which take place throughout early September and culminate in a concert on the 10th September. The musical event will take place in the Millennium Stadium and is expected to see the massive football and rugby ground turned pink for the evening. Opera turned pop star Charlotte Church is also set to appear at the musical events held in the Welsh capital. DaviesÆ appearance will coincide with other appearances at the cityÆs Sherman theatre in an evening intended to appeal to fans of comedy, theatre and music alike. He will be joined by top comedienne Clare Summerskill, West End actor Dave Benson, who received plaudits for his one may Kenneth Williams show, Think No Evil, and live music from Swansea-based singer Scotty." More details at the website. Meanwhile, details about his appearance at the Sherman Theatre can be found here.

Broadway World and Playbill both discuss John Barrowman appearing with Rob Lowe in "A Few Good Men" which opened to previews today (the main opening is September 6).

press release from the BBC Press Office says that BBC Worldwide will be announcing a new licensing deal at this year's Brand Licensing Show on October 25; there is currently no word on what this will entail. Also noted in the press release is the following detail about new licensed material: "The master toy licensee for Doctor Who, Character Group, have just launched their eagerly anticipated first toy range which includes a radio-controlled Dalek, walkie talkies of the new Slitheen Monster and the Doctor and battling daleks. Character Groups range will be joined by further products including board games from Toybrokers, jigsaws from Ravensburger and stationery and tableware from DNC."

The Mirror and BBC News have carried stories about the Abzorbaloff creature and its creator, nine year old William Grantham, announced this past Wednesday on "Blue Peter" (see separate story).

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Paul Hayes, Peter Weaver, Tonia Cook)