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1/04/2006 04:22:00 pm - Reported by Shaun Lyon


January 4, 2006 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
According to BBC News, both John Barrowman (Captain Jack from last season) and Bonnie Langford (Mel Bush from seasons 23 and 24) will be featured as contestants on "Dancing On Ice" which debuts on ITV1 on Saturday 14 January. Among the other contestants are former ice skating pair Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Stefan Booth of "The Bill," television presenter and executive Andi Peters, Coronation Street's Sean Wilson and GMTV's Andrea McLean.

The TV biz section of yesterday's The Sun leads on ITV launching a sci-fi offensive against Doctor Who, reporting that Patrick Stewart will star in the drama "Eleventh Hour" as a trouble-shooting professor defending the country. The story also mentions that the channel is to show Primaeval, which, according to The Sun, will see a scientist sent through time. Outpost Gallifrey has previously reported on Primaeval as ITV's response to Doctor Who. The new BBC3 series Torchwood, starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness (incorrectly called "Harness" in the piece), is also mentioned. The Sun says it will start in the summer and states that Doctor Who returns in the spring.

Today's Manchester Online says that TV medium Derek Acorah has been cast in the new series. "Whether you believe in spiritualism or not, there is no doubting that Derek's programmes, including Most Haunted, The Antiques Ghost Show, The Three Mediums and, most recently, Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns, have brought great viewing success for satellite channel Living TV, attracting more than two million viewers a show. And, far from taking himself too seriously, Derek can laugh along with the best of them - he is scouse, after all. 'I've just filmed Dr Who,' he reveals. 'It's a bit of a mickey-take. The Doctor finds that spirits and ghosts have invaded the whole of the galaxy, so he gets me along to see what we can do about it. It's only a small part, but there's a bit of fun to it. I'm there saying, `I might as well go now, they're all out there and I can't do anything about them. I'm redundant!''"

icWales interviews artist Mike Collins, who "has been sharpening his pencils and starting from scratch to capture the face of the new doctor, David Tennant" in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine. "Fans of Doctor Who saw the first episode featuring the new Timelord on Christmas Day and this week the monthly Doctor Who Magazine features its first adventure using the face of Tennant. He replaces Christopher Eccleston, who lasted just one series, and who Mr Collins admits he was just getting used to capturing in cartoon form. 'I had just got to the stage when I could draw Christopher Eccleston quite comfortably,' said the Cardiff-based artist, who has three daughters. Mr Collins said he thought that Tennant made a great doctor, and thoroughly enjoyed his debut appearance on Christmas Day. 'It made for wonderful TV. I had got out of the habit of watching telly over Christmas but this time the whole family sat down. It was great, whether you were a sci-fi fan or not.' He promises more adventures for fans of Doctor Who in the new strip that features in the magazine. 'It is his first big adventure set on an alien world, and it follows on from the Christmas special.' But hinting at the adventures to come, Mr Collins added, 'There are no Daleks this time. We have managed to bring the new doctor to one of the older villains - from the Jon Pertwee era. That's all I am going to say. But drawing this villain for the first time has been an absolute joy for me. I am a big sci-fi fan so it is great to get paid for something I love doing. But David Tennant has a great face, and I had to get it right as he is a big fan and is going to read it.'"

According to the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, a 'one-off' performance of "A Dog's Life" in the studio Theatre of Epsom Playhouse will take place on March 25th at 7.45. Effectively 'an evening with' former Doctor Who actorJohn Leeson, who played the voice of K9 during the original series and in Big Finish and BBV's audio series, and has recently returned for the "School Reunion" episode of the forthcoming second season, the event will feature Leeson talking about his varied and often amusing career as an actor and, of course, his days behind the scenes on Doctor Who. More details on the Epsom Playhouse website.

Today's Daily Record featured some 'astrological predictions' for various celebrities, mentioning Billie Piper: "We all know she isn't going to be the Doctor's assistant for much longer, so what will this Virgo princess be up to in 2006? She may return to music or a project she shelved to take up the role of Rose in Doctor Who. But one thing is sure. She will have to give her choices some thought as illusion is all around her working life, especially early on in the year when promises made may not be promises kept. Love is best in February and could get serious very quickly - something she may be used to."

Today's Guardian notes that "Doctor Who" has come in first place in their poll of favourite television series of 2005. Other series on the list include "Lost" at #2, "Extras" at #3, "Spooks" at #5, "Battlestar Galactica" at #12 and David Tennant's "Casanova" at #18.

The BBC's official Doctor Who website has a few updates. The "Fear Forecasters" commentary for "The Christmas Invasion" has been updated; there's also a new 30-second snippet of Murray Gold's updated theme (for those who couldn't hear it over the announcer's voice during transmission!).

Yesterday's South Wales Evening Post mentioned the press screening of "The Christmas Invasion" back in December in a story about the holidays: "One major piece of pre-Christmas excitement for me, though, was going up to London to see the press screening of the Doctor Who Christmas special. Before this the highlight of my social calendar had been an afternoon at the Llandyfaelog agricultural show. So this was a pretty big deal for me. All the stars were there - David Tennant, Billie Piper and the legendary Russell T Davies. I sat and watched, amused as all those arty types hugged, kissed and called each other dahling - and that was just the fellas. When I got into the screening room I clocked the lovely, totally down-to-earth Edward Thomas from Swansea. He is the production designer for Doctor Who, and I had recently interviewed him for the paper. He invited me to go and sit with him which was a bit of a result as he was sitting one row back from the front. All the stars sat in the front row. I ended up sitting right behind Billie Piper - how exciting. Even more exciting, I had a quick chat with Russell T Davies after the screening. He was surrounded by people wanting to talk to him but said: 'I've always got time to speak to the Evening Post.' What a nice man and what a credit to Swansea."

The current issue (December 31 - "The Most Intriguing People of 2005") of Australia's WHO Magazine contains lists of the best and the worst TV, films, fashion etc for 2005. In the TV section the top ten best includes Doctor Who at number 8 and says "Having impressed in The Second Coming, Christopher Ecclestone [sic] gained more fans as the Doc-ster."

The Christmas edition of Time Out London (a weekly arts and entertainment magazine, although this one covered two weeks) featured artwork of David Tennant on the front cover and a spoof article inside by Russell T Davies. The 2 page article, titled "The Timelord [sic] is our shepherd" features the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discussing some of the programmes on British TV over the Christmas break. There are 2 further pages of digital images of the 3 lead characters courtesy of David Angel.

Other items: Mirror insists that Billie Piper "hid inside her favourite parka near her North London home (or was she just doing her impression of South Park's Kenny?)" in a story about actors who have been sighted wearing furs, contrary to movement against the fur industry; the Mirror and theIndependent note Christopher Eccleston's turn in "The School of Night" (see earlier stories); RTE mentions the new ITV bid to unseat Doctor Who courtesy Ant and Dec (aka "the guys who lost out big time to Doctor Who already last year"); DigitalSpy mentions John Barrowman's forthcoming civil partnership.

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, Peter Weaver, John Bowman, Peter Anghelides, Neil Matthews, Nick Seidler, Cameron Yarde Jr, Murray Harper)