Bookmark and Share People Roundup

1/25/2012 08:49:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

Russell T Davies and Phil Ford are bringing new action adventure drama Aliens Vs Wizards to children's TV this autumn. The series will comprise 12 episodes of 30 minutes each and centre on two 16-year-old schoolboys, Tom and Benny, and an alien race entitled the Nekross. Davies said: "Writing for children is the biggest challenge of all and I think CBBC stands right at the heart of broadcasting. So I'm delighted to launch this show, a true nationwide collaboration - a Salford commission from a BBC Wales team. We're joining genres too - the show's a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes scary collision of magic and science fiction." The show will be produced for CBBC by BBC Cymru Wales with FremantleMedia Enterprises. The executive producers are Davies, Bethan Jones and Gina Cronk for the BBC and Bob Higgins and Sander Schwartz for FME. The producer is Brian Minchin, while Ford will co-produce. [BBC Media Centre, 23 Jan 2012], [BBC News, 23 Jan 2012]

It was back to school for new series writer Tom MacRae when he received a request to help children develop their creativity. He visited his alma mater near Daventry, Northamptonshire, after an invitation by two pupils at Weedon Bec Primary. MacRae revealed how, during an assembly while there as a child, he came up with the idea of a magnifying glass that could see through time - a concept he went on to use in The Girl Who Waited. MacRae, who also took some Doctor Who props with him to show the pupils, said: "I have used quite a few playground games and school daydreams in shows, particularly programmes that have a magic element to them. The Girl Who Waited has probably done more to boost my career than anything else I've done. I owe the huge boost it gave me to the idea I had when I was six years old." [BBC News, 23 Jan 2012]

Sheridan Smith, who played Eighth Doctor companion Lucie Miller for Big Finish, has won the Critics' Circle Best Actress award for her portrayal of Doris Skriczevinsky in the wartime drama Flare Path, by Terence Rattigan, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London - a role for which she previously received the 2011 Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress. [BBC News, 24 Jan 2012]

Arabella Weir (Billis in The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, as well as an alternative Doctor in the Big Finish audio adventure Exile) is among the star names taking part in this year's Let's Dance For Sport Relief, which starts on BBC One on Saturday 18th February. [BBC Media Centre, 25 Jan 2012]