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1/30/2006 01:51:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

January 30, 2006 • Posted By Shaun Lyon
South Bank Awards

Billie Piper was honoured Friday at "an awards ceremony for her successful breakthrough into an acting career. Piper, who faded from the limelight after her second album in 2000 amid lurid media stories of her rocky marriage to the ginger-haired DJ Chris Evans, was voted the most exciting new face of 2005 by Times readers because of her appearance in the BBC's revival of the classic science fiction series. She impressed audiences with her portrayal of Rose, the Doctor's sidekick, playing alongside Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor in the first and David Tennant in the second series written by Russell T. Davies. Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter movies, handed Piper her prize - The Times Breakthrough Award - at the South Bank Awards today. She said yesterday that she was dedicated to acting. 'I care so much more about acting than I do for music,' she said. 'I'm having the time of my life at the moment and this (prize) just makes it even better. Doctor Who has affected me personally. The stories are amazing, but it's bloody hard work.' The awards, which celebrate the arts from dance to television, have a reputation for highlighting work that has been overlooked for other prizes." The item was reported originally at the Times, and has also been mentioned at BBC News,What's On Stage,icWalesDaily MailITNFilm GuardianDigital Spy andTiscali UK. (Photo credit given for pic at right by Tiscali is MJ Kim/Getty Images)

Broadcast Awards

Doctor Who has won the award for Best Drama Series or Serial at the 2006Broadcast Awards sponsored byBroadcastNow. The BBC won seven awards including the prestigious award for the series.

Book Bestsellers

This week's edition of The Bookseller carries various charts of the bestselling books of 2005. BBC Books' Ninth Doctor novels take two positions in the Top 20 Fiction Heatseekers: The Clockwise Man by Justin Richards is at number 18 and The Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole is at number 19, with unit sales of 34,429 and 34,336 respectively. The Vesuvius Club, the science fiction novel by writer Mark Gatiss ("The Unquiet Dead") also makes the chart at number 12 (38,750).

Series Two

The Guardian on Friday featured comments from Maureen Lipman, who we recently reported would be in the second series this spring. "The other day," Lipman wrote, "I did six hours as an alien on Dr Who. This will probably earn me my entire year's worth of street cred. We filmed it at the old studio in Alexandra Palace, in north London. It was very cold and the wind blew up my evening dress and rattled my pearls. I was the only actor among a dozen or so technicians and I had to respond to commands such as: "OK Maureen, now could you give us 15 seconds of having every last drop of energy sucked out of you?" It was great. Inevitably, I overdid the screeching and cackling and, back at the theatre that night, found myself hoarse by the end of the play. Thank the Lord for Sunday, that blessed day of rest, bagels, scrambled eggs, friends, the newspapers and the finest four words in the history of literature: "AA Gill is away." "

More websites have been registered by the BBC for the forthcoming season of Doctor Who: it appears they've registered the sites cybusfinance.com and cybusfinance.co.uk as well as cybusproperty.com and cybusproperty.co.uk.

Friday's Daily Star asks, "Who's this smitten couple cuddling up together? Sexy Billie Piper and new Doctor Who David Tennant showed just how friendly they've become during a break from filming the hit sci-fi show in Cardiff. Gorgeous Billie, 23, gazed adoringly at David, 34, before they tenderly hugged each other. And he kept a close eye on the babe, who plays Timelord's assistant Rose Tyler, as she burst into a fit of the giggles. The fun-loving pair have forged a close bond since they started shooting the new series, which will be shown at the end of March. Meanwhile, their Who pal Captain Jack, alias Dancing on Ice star John Barrowman, 38, has bought G-strings for all the blokes on the show. The cheeky gay actor snapped up the skimpy undies so the guys could let their lunch boxes 'breathe more easily' as they skate around in tight leotards. His saucy secret was revealed by Bill actor and fellow skater Stefan Booth, 26, who let slip: 'John has bought all the lads G-strings to help make it easier for us to be flexible!'" Can you say free publicity...?


Saturday's Mirror interviewed Bonnie Langford about her role on TV's "Dancing on Ice". "Tonight, as she takes to the ice in a revealing orange catsuit in front of 10million viewers, former child star Bonnie Langford will be interested in the verdict of one audience member most of all. 'It's my daughter Biana who has given me the confidence to do this,' Bonnie says, during a break from rehearsals of ITV's hit celebrity skating show, Dancing On Ice. 'As a mother, how can you say to your daughter 'Have a go, try new things' if you're too scared to try new things yourself? Biana has changed me from someone who liked to be in a comfort zone. She came skating with me the first time I went on the ice three months ago. She gives me the courage to do it.' Dancing On Ice - a surprise ratings hit which Bonnie has won two weeks in a row - is in its third week now. But this will be the first time Biana has come to see her mother perform. ... It's all a long way from Bonnie's childhood, when normal five-year-old stuff was packed with auditions and rehearsals. ... Still, you sense that Bonnie wants her daughter to be a child rather than a small adult. 'Her childhood is very important and I want to spend as much of it with her as possible doing normal things.' ... She has worked non-stop since but aside from a spell on TV as Dr Who's sidekick, mainly in musical theatre - and you wonder if the appeal of Dancing On Ice is the opportunity to let the public see the real, unlisping, unannoying Bonnie Langford. 'It is a way for the public to see who we are, I suppose,' Bonnie says. 'You know, from our dressing rooms at Elstree we can see the Big Brother house and we spent ages wanting to break in.' Careers have been made and broken in that house since Dancing On Ice began. 'What stopped me is the thought I might get stuck in there,' Bonnie says. 'I couldn't take being in the spotlight all the time.' It seems a curious admission for someone who has grown up in the public eye but Bonnie says she is actually a private person. 'The pushy, showbiz kid thing was always the performance not the person. I'm very solitary. I don't like socialising.' ... Dancing On Ice is a way of revisiting a childhood neither Lena nor Bonnie really had. 'I'd never gone as a kid to an ice rink,' Bonnie says. 'There was always that fear that I'd break my leg and it would affect my career.' Now she just keeps falling on her head. 'I've had a couple of nasty knocks and it has affected my confidence. I've been wearing a crash helmet in rehearsals. There's that danger element all the time. Even Christopher Dean has fallen over.'"

Thursday's Guardian had a piece on Penelope Wilton, "an actor with a long stage career, [who] has won new fame as the prime minister in Dr Who. (Previous television roles include a wonderful Homily in a 1992 BBC dramatisation of Mary Norton's The Borrowers.) Last year she was with the National Theatre in The House of Bernarda Alba and now she is off to tread the boards with the other lot: next month she will be at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, playing Livia in Women Beware Women, one of those early 17th century plays lots of English undergraduates read but rarely see."

John Levene (Sergeant Benton in the original series) recently filmed cameo appearances for two upcoming feature films, including the retro-styled independent science fiction film "Automatons" and a sequence for the upcoming "Satan Hates You". Both films are written and directed by James Felix McKenney, who first cast Levene in the 2002 feature, "Cannibalistic!" "Automatons" is expected to begin screening at festivals this summer. More details can be found on the production company's website.

The Sun reported Friday that "Kidulthood," the new movie written by and starring Noel Clarke which it called a "violent new movie about happy slapping" was "facing calls to be banned last night. Campaigners fear Kidulthood, which features scenes where yobs film attacks, glamorises teenage violence. The movie came under fire days after teenager Chelsea O'Mahoney was jailed for filming pals kicking to death a man when she was 14. Her gang killed barman David Morley, 37, and O'Mahoney also filmed attacks on seven other victims on the same night in London. Lucy Cope, who founded Mothers Against Guns after her son was shot dead in 2002, last night led calls for Kidulthood to be banned. She said: 'I felt sick to the pit of my stomach when I heard about that man being killed by happy slappers. This film should be stopped — it glamorises violence. Youngsters will want to be like them.' The low-budget movie features suicide, teenage pregnancy, bullying and drug use. It stars Noel Clarke, who played Billie Piper's boyfriend in Dr Who, and is due for release on March 3."

Wednesday's The Sun said that David Tennant was "joining a starry line-up for a cartoon flick by Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg. David, 34, will voice Hamish in Free Jimmy, which also features Cheers's Woody Harrelson, Quadrophenia's Phil Daniels and actress Sam Morton. The film sells itself as 'Four stoners, five vegans, three mobsters, four hunters and a million reasons to free one junkie elephant.' What, no Daleks?" Meanwhile, Wednesday's Daily Star said that Tennant "claims he has his eye on some desirable props from the hit show. Joker Tennant, 34, said: 'Bits of Tardis just come away in your hands sometimes - I mean there's a pension in there, isn't there?' A spokesman for the BBC said: 'We'll look into it but I'm sure we would notice if bits of the Tardis went missing.'" He was also mentioned briefly in the New Statesman: "Peter Ackroyd's scintillating new three-part documentary series The Romantics (Saturdays, 8pm)... The first programme's theme was 'Liberty'. ... this series has more special effects than Star Trek. The poets, dressed in half-modern, half-period clothes, were beamed into fields and restaurants. Appropriately, the actor who played Rousseau was none other than the new Dr Who, David Tennant. ...Besides the rescue of a stranded whale beneath Albert Bridge, anything pales, but The Romantics was compel-ling television, too.'"

Special Events

Qdos Entertainment has a feature about The Chuckle Brothers in 'Doctor Who'. It says that "children's favourites, Paul and Barry Chuckle, will be embarking on a national tour of their new show – Doctor What and the Return of The Garlics! The boys set off on a galactic trip thinking it is nothing more than an unusual holiday and end up on another amazing adventure fighting for good against evil but stopping along the way for egg and chips and a cup of tea. 'Doctor What' follows the hugely successful tour of 'Pirates of the River Rotha' which broke all previous box office records last year."

Hyde Fundraisers says that "Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Cybermen and Daleks will be descending upon Buxton on February 4th at the launch of the Surestart centre. Also making an appearance are the infamous 'Billarettes' that will be leading a lunchtime aparade. Other activities at this community event include Penalty Shootout, Art activities and of course - meeting some of your favourite Sci-Fi characters courtesy of Hyde Fundraisers. The event will raise awareness of services available to the local community and will also benefit our nominated charities. The event takes place at the Surestart Building off Victoria Park Road, Fairfield, Buxton between 11am - 2pm." Although the article doesn't mention Buxtonian Bruno Langley ('Adam'), he is mentioned (and pictured with virtual Daleks in June 2005) in the Tameside Reporter/Glossop Chronicle in their article (5 January 2006) on Hyde Fundraisers' 20th anniversary flyer.


The official Doctor Who website has some downloadable content for mobile phones and portable media players, including items featuring David Tennant, Camille Coduri and Noel Clarke.

Sunday's Times says that the paparazzi are everwhere. "Celebrities beware: thanks to a website, any member of the public armed with a camera can now put you on the front pages. ... But some of the successes appear to have taken even MacRae by surprise: 'The highest single-value picture we've sold so far was of the new Dr Who monster, Sycorax. A Dr Who fan was watching the filming in June in the Forest of Dean, and this monster came out of the dressing-room trailer, so he took a photograph of it. Then the security men came out and said, 'no pictures' and closed the set down. 'We got the picture and sat on it. To be honest I didn't really know what to do with it. But the photographer was very persistent and kept insisting that it was being talked about on all the Dr Who blogs. Eventually we sold it as an exclusive for 2,000 pounds. I was flabbergasted. 'That's a good example because it was just an opportunistic moment. Nobody was hurt. Nobody killed. No damage done. The photographer made a thousand quid just before Christmas. He was delighted.'"

Thursday's Daily Express asks, "Is the bloke making a comeback? ... The future looks tough and manly, in an old-fashioned kind of way. In everything from sport to politics to Bond, we have passed through the designer-label age of smooth. It is time to return to the Age Of The Bloke – the full-grown man who feels quite at home in a sheepskin coat, or propping up a bar with a pint of bitter – what some would call a man's man. ... Who brought Dr Who into the 21st century? Christopher Eccleston, rough and rough-spoken, a world away from the cut-glass William Hartnells and Patrick Troughtons, time travellers when time travel was more genteel."

Newsquest Media Group says that "a Wordsey family is calling time on a TV-inspired home improvement with a difference. Dr Who fan James Callaghan added a TARDIS to the top of his porch as an unusual Christmas decoration but the family have now decided it is time for the blue police box to dematerialise. Teacher James, aged 32, built the replica of the famous time machine for a play at Pens Meadow school, where he works. The performance, by 57 pupils with learning difficulties at the school, told the story of a grandmother who travelled through time with the Doctor, played by James. Construction of the TARDIS only took five hours but James spent several weeks writing the play and preparing his costume, based on his favourite doctor, Peter Davidson [sic]. After interest from national press and TV, James has now decided to transport the TARDIS off the porch to his recording studio in Dudley. The addition to the house was a hit with their four-year-old son, JP who is also a fan of the time-travelling Doctor. James's wife Sarah said: 'Over Christmas all his school friends said `we have got lights' and he said `we have got a TARDIS on our roof'.'"

CBBC News says that "Doctor Who has transported back into Your Charts this week - being the newcomer in two categories. The Internet has dropped off your list of fave things and the time-travelling Doctor has crept back in. And in the celebrity chart, Narnia star Anna Popplewell is off the list to be replaced by the new Time Lord, David Tennant. And Doctor Who is still in the TV programme chart, which is headed up by The ever-popular Simpsons. Dancing On Ice falls off the list with Coronation Street joining the voting."

Tory MP, former Spectator editor and "Have I Got News For You" guest presenter, Boris Johnson was being interviewed by Simon Mayo on Five Live Friday afternoon regarding his new documentary series about ancient Rome. In the subsequent phone-in, one caller wanted to know if it was true that Johnson had been offered the part of Doctor Who. Boris said that he would have been 'honoured' but there was no truth whatever in the story!'

Other items: the Independent and Telegraph report on David Tennant's role of Richard Hoggart, the star witness in the Lady Chatterley trial, in a new screenplay by Andrew Davies;

(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, Steve Tribe, John Bowman, Peter Weaver, Wayne Barry, Scott Matthewman, Cliff Chapman, Karen Davison, Joe McGill, Jim Sangster, Andrew Barrett, Mark Gardiner, Bob Schaefer)