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8/17/2005 12:51:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

August 17, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
David Tennant appeared today on Blue Peter to promote Doctor Who, and here's what transpired:
The "design a monster" competition received 43,920 entries, apparently the best response to a Blue Peter competition since 1993. The top five hundred were shown on boards in the studio, with the presenters pointing out some of them to a visiting Dalek which cast its opinion on them, and footage was also shown of the team with Russell T Davies at his home judging the entries. Following this some close-ups of runner-up entries were shown accompanied by the series theme tune. Then following a clip from "The Parting of the Ways," David Tennant was introduced in the studio, interviewed by the three presenters. He said that he didn't want to give too much away, but promised some 'Christmassy elements' in the Christmas episode.
Questions from viewers were given to him from viewers. The first question was, did he watch as a youngster? Tennant replied that he did, and one of the presenters asked if he watched from behind the sofa. Tennant questioned whether anybody could do this as sofa are surely against walls. The next question was, did he watch the last series, and if so did he have a favourite part? He said that he had watched, and would have done so even had he not been taking on the part รป although he did say his favourite moment was the regeneration when he took over! The third question was where would he go in time and space if he could choose... he said he'd like to go back and see the first performance of Hamlet and meet Shakespeare. He was then asked how his Doctor would be different from Christopher Eccleston's, to which Tennant replied that the clothes would obviously be different, but that they would have to watch and judge for themselves otherwise. He did use the phrase 'A bit down with the kids', however.
The live webchat after the show was then advertised. The Dalek then introduced the winners, clips from Davies' house shown again, and then the winning entries were announced for third, second and first places in the three different age groups. Tennant introduced first prize winners. Overall winner spoke on the phone about how he was inspired, asked Tennant who his favourite Doctor was. Tennant said Tom Baker, as he was the one he grew up with. Neill Gorton was then interviewed about how he was going to realise the design. The female presenter mentioned that it had been hinted there would be "evil teachers" in an upcoming episode, in reference to an evil school dinnerlady drawing! Some other monsters mentioned included a big green egg with a slurpy tongue protruding; the Indian god Shiva, except with more arms; a "broccoli" monster (which seemed to amuse Davies in the film clips); and Sad Tony, a pink and tearful version of the Ogron Monster from "Frontier in Space".
The winning monster from the competition, which will be used in the series, was called an Abzorbaloff and is described as a "hairy Sumo"... green, snarly, wild-eyed, with the faces of previous victims showing through its skin. William Grantham from Colchester was the winner of the competition.
Executive producer Russell T Davies was not present, despite pre-airing reports that he would join Tennant on stage; instead, he was shown judging the competition from his home, looking delighted with the entries.
Tennant then went to the CBBC Studios for a web chat which lasted approximately 15 minutes; many of the questions were in much the same vein as the ones asked of him on Blue Peter, with no additional information learned.
UPDATE: The Blue Peter BBC website now has a page of all winning entries; click here to see all of the finalists in all three age categories.
UPDATE: The BBC Press Office has issued a press release with full details about the contest, noting that the judges included Blue Peter editor Richard Marson, Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones, Russell T Davies and David Tennant. There were also also a few brief answers from an interview conducted with David Tennant "during rehearsals" this afternoon posted here, and a transcript of this evening's webchat should be up soon at this site.
(Thanks to Paul Hayes, Andrew Duncan, Jon Melville, Steve Tribe, and to "WilX" for the image)