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2/07/2012 09:22:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Cast

Karen Gillan has revealed what led to her leaving the show. "It was a mutual decision between me and Steven Moffat over a lovely dinner actually. We both opened up about where we were at with it and then came to the conclusion that this was the best time to go." She added that she would miss working on the programme but was looking forward to other projects (as previously reported, Gillan will be appearing in the film Not Another Happy Ending). "I've had the most fun, so that makes me sad to leave, and I've made my best friends on the show as well. But it's time to go on to other things and all stories come to their natural end so I'm excited." [BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, 31 Jan 2012]

Meanwhile, until such time as when the production team reveal the next TARDIS traveller, speculation over who it might be continues. News Corporation's IGN Entertainment ran a poll to see who their readers consider as the best candidate, with Harry Potter star Emma Watson named the favourite with 28.2% of the vote; runners up included Zooey Deschanel (New Girl, 22.01%), Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, 9.90%), Pixie Lott (singer, 5.53%) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, 5.06%). The male potential wasn't completely forgotten, with sixth place going to John Boyega (Attack of the Block, 4.68%). [IGN, 2/6 Feb 2012]

Matt Smith has described how he sees his future in the show and how the companions gap in the TARDIS could be filled. Speaking at the NTA Awards - where he won the gong for Outstanding Drama Performance (Male) - he said: "I'm really pleased with the award. We always try to do the best every day and try to improve the show as best we can. I wouldn't mind a male companion now that Karen has left. I've always believed me and Karen would have different journeys in Doctor Who. I'm sad she's left, but the show is bigger than all the actors who have been in it. I have no plans to leave, though. I've definitely got a year left in the show and I'll take it from there." [BANG Showbiz, 26 Jan 2012]

He added: "I just sort of take each year as it comes really. We've got all the rest of this year to get through and then we'll just sit down and review it from there and see where it goes. But I love playing the part and I love working with Steven Moffat." Referring to Tom Baker, the longest-running Doctor from 1974 to 1981, he added: "I think there will need to be a younger, cooler person than me - or maybe an older, cooler person, who knows? But I don't think I'll be doing it as long as Mr Baker." [Press Association, 30 Jan 2012]

Alex Kingston - shortly to be seen in Upstairs, Downstairs - has dropped a hint that she might be returning to Doctor Who as River Song. During the recording that featured her appearance on The Graham Norton Show, which aired on BBC One on 3rd February, she told the chat-show host: "You may see her again. Who knows? Let's just say Upstairs, Downstairs and Doctor Who don't film at the same time." That part of the recording didn't make the final edit, though. [Radio Times, 2 Feb 2012]

Production

Matt Smith reported on when filming would be kicking off for the new series: "we start shooting on the 20th February, and I start rehearsing on the 13th, we've got some corkers coming your way". [BBC News, 24 Jan 2012]

The actor also commented on how he stays healthy to cope with the hectic filming schedule: "Fruit, vegetables, good sleep if you can and preparation is the key," [Press Association, 30 Jan 2012]

In the programme for the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular held in Melbourne on 4th February, show runner Steven Moffat wrote: "Doctor Who's 50th anniversary is coming. In Cardiff, we're gearing up for the biggest, the best and the most ambitious season we've ever made. There will be shocks, surprises and heartbreak - the Doctor is about to say goodbye to his very best friends, Amy and Rory. And then he's about to say hello to someone very different - the Doctor is going to meet someone very new in the very last place he could ever have expected..." [Radio Times, 6 Feb 2012]