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11/22/2005 09:28:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon


November 22, 2005 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
The Children in Need telethon, of which the seven-minute special (or, rather, 6'54" from start to finish, not the 3.5 minutes we were led to believe according to the official BBC roster) was part, raised over £17 million for charity, according to a BBC News article. "The BBC telethon Children in Need raised more than 17.2m during the fund-raising campaign on BBC One. The total is slightly higher than last year and is expected to grow to more than 30m when all donations are in. Presenter Terry Wogan said: 'Thank you for all your donations and everything you have done for Children in Need.' The telethon featured performances by Madonna, Rod Stewart, Girls Aloud and Liberty X and an appearance by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The organisers estimate that more than a quarter of a million people made donations." Additionally reported at CBBC News. Also, on the local East Midlands broadcast, "Derek the Dalek" (a fan-created Dalek) appeared; there are photographs here.

An update on last week's Cardiff Christmas lighting that David Tennant and Billie Piper took part in: you can now see the video of the two switching on the Christmas lights in Cardiff on the BBC South East Wales website, along with some still photos... click here. According to Andy Roberts of BBC Wales New Media, "This is a permanent, official web posting of the live insert featured in the regional news programme Wales Today. We'll keep it online indefinitely." Another report on the lighting was featured at Hello Magazine.

An article in Saturday's Birmingham Post asked, "Are you looking for a piece of film or television history? Props and scripts from classic films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorcese and Stanley Kubrick can sell for huge amounts of money at auction, but more contemporary film, music and television history is also very popular among collectors. ... As well as being famous for his love of jelly babies, Tom Baker's Dr Who was a great fan of scarves and one collector managed to get their hands on the actual scarf worn by Tom when he played the Doctor in the 1970s and early 1980s. It sold for £7,800. ... The rare 1970's BBC Television prop known as "The Dalek Supreme" sold for a staggering £36,000, over three times its pre-sale estimate, to benefit The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. The Dalek was greeted with a round of applause in the saleroom and was bought by the communications agency Indeprod. The Dalek had previously sold for £4,600 when bought as a charity lot in 1986 to benefit the BBC Red Cross Sponsored Appeal. A spokesperson at Indeprod said: 'We are delighted to have acquired a Dalek. We shall place it in our reception area for all to see and enjoy. We have been after a Dalek for years and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity especially as the proceeds will go to The Great Ormond Street Hospital. We are also very pleased that the Dalek will stay in this country.'"

A new and licensed Dalek top is now available from Marks and Spencer in the UK. It comes in sizes from 3 to 14 years and costs £8 or £11, according to size. It hit the high street this week and is also available online at Marks and Spencer.

The weekend's Sunday Mail noted that "the new Doctor Who has stunned fans by transforming into a cockney. Scots actor David Tennant sounds like mockney Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins in sneak previews of the new series. And the BBC were last night forced to admit that David, 34, had dumped his native accent to star as the timelord. The actor, from Bathgate, West Lothian, is proud of his roots and sported the kilt when he arrived at a recent awards bash with Cutting It star Sarah Parrish. ... Last night, a BBC spokeswoman said: 'Playing a character with an English accent is not alien to David. David is an incredibly versatile actor whose work on screen is not defined by his accent but by his talent. We have every confidence that David's Doctor, like the man himself, will be hugely popular.' But producer Russell T Davies has suggested there could be a twist in the tale. He said: 'Every planet has a Scotland - you'll have to wait and see. There are revelations on the way.' The new series sees Doctor Who and his sidekick Billie Piper transported to Balmoral in the time of Queen Victoria, played by Pauline Collins. Doctor Who has had a Scottish accent in the past, when Sylvester McCoy played him from 1987."

Also in the Sunday Mail, a note about "Tennant's cheeky chat-up line." While most of it is fairly innocuous, it does feature quotes by former Casualty star Claire Goose, who says "He's going to be a fantastic Doctor Who. I can't wait to see it. He is so thrilled and excited to be doing it in the first place. He is one of those people who loves his job. He's really enthusiastic." Goose stars with Tennant in the upcoming ITV drama, Secret Smile, in which he plays her psycho boyfriend.

Playbill notes that Broadway and West End singer/actress Elaine Paige's upcoming concert at the Birmingham Symphony Hall will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2; Paige will be joined by John Barrowman, her former co-star in "Sunset Boulevard". Also covered at BroadwayWorld.

Manchester Online notes that David Tennant lost out on an award in Manchester: "New Dr Who David Tennant was getting the female hearts-a-fluttering at the awards, looking stylish in pinstripe suit and laughing and joking with fans. David was nominated in the best performance in a comedy or drama category for his role as Casanova in the BBC production, which was part-filmed in Manchester, but lost out to David Threlfall for Shameless. Scottish heartthrob David has taken over from Salfordian Christopher Eccleston as the popular time-traveller, and admits he is a little in awe of his predecessor and his success as Dr Who. 'They are incredibly big boots to fill, but I'm going to do my best,' he told me. 'It's great to be back in Manchester tonight and, of course, it didn't really matter that I didn't win. It's just been a fantastic night.'"

Series two writer Stephen Fry received a degree from Anglia Ruskin University and spoke of the "ridiculous sense of elitism" at Cambridge in a BBC Newsarticle;

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Peter Weaver, Matt Dale, Andy Roberts, Rich Kirkpatrick)