Bookmark and Share People Roundup

2/18/2012 08:03:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Matt Smith is to feature on Top Gear as the "star in the reasonably priced car" - recorded last Wednesday, his attempt will appear in the episode due to be broadcast at 8:00pm, 26th February on BBC2/BBCHD. Both of his predecessors have attempted this in the past, with Christopher Eccleston in 2005 (completed in 1:53:4) and David Tennant in 2007 (1:48:8, watch here).

Alex Kingston talks about the period setting on Upstairs, Downstairs (returning to BBC1 tomorrow evening at 9:30pm): "Oh yes, setting this series just before the Second World War is clever. In 2012, our world is changing radically and that is reflected in Upstairs Downstairs, too. These characters are on the verge of something, they don’t know what is going to happen and people will identify with their fears. This is the beginning of the modern world and here is a society just clinging onto what they know, but it is going to change irrevocably." [What's on TV, 16 Feb 2012]

Sylvester McCoy will be playing the lead role as Mr Peters in Plume by the Tron Theatre Company in Glasgow; it runs from 1st-17th March. The actor will also be a guest on Janice Forsyth's show on BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday. [JaniceForsyth, 16 Feb 2012]

The CBeebies animated series Tree Fu Tom, featuring the vocal talents of Sophie Aldred and David Tennant, starts on Monday 5th March. [BBC Media Centre]

Cosima Shaw (Steffi Ehrlich, The Waters of Mars) plays Emma, Colin McFarlane (Alien Voices, Voyage of the Damned) Terrence, and Miranda Raison (Tallulah, Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks) Kate in the new three-episode series of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, based on the books by Douglas Adams. The transmission date and time are yet to be confirmed, but it is currently due to start on BBC Four during the week beginning Saturday 3rd March. [BBC Media Centre]

The theatrical version of The King's Speech, featuring Ian McNeice as Winston Churchill and which premiered in Guildford earlier this month, is to transfer to Wyndham's Theatre on Thursday 22nd March for a four-month West End run, following its provincial tour. [BBC News, 17 Feb 2012]

John Simm is appearing on stage as Jerry in Betrayal by Harold Pinter at The Crucible in Sheffield from Thursday 17th May to Saturday 9th June. [@john_simm]

Just opened in the West End - appropriately enough at the Noel Coward Theatre - is Hay Fever, Coward's classic comedy of bad manners, with Lindsay Duncan (Adelaide Brooke in The Waters of Mars) leading a cast that also includes Kevin McNally (Hugo Lang in The Twin Dilemma), Olivia Colman (Mother, The Eleventh Hour),and Sam Callis (Security Guard, Bad Wolf). It is on until Saturday 2nd June. [Broadwayworld.com, 17 Feb 2012]

Brian Cox (Voice of Elder Ood, The End of Time: Part One) and Ron Donachie (Steward, Tooth and Claw) are to star in a new three-part TV comedy called Bob Servant Independent. Set in Dundee and airing on BBC Four later this year, the show's origins lie in the hit BBC Radio Scotland comedy The Bob Servant Emails and the best-selling Bob Servant books, and will see the title character, played by Cox, bid to become the MP for Broughty Ferry. [BBC Media Centre, 16 Feb 2012]

Ronnie Corbett has received his CBE from the Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. As reported previously, the comedian, who played Ambassador "Rani" Ranius in the 2009 Sarah Jane Adventures special for Comic Relief, was recognised in this year's New Year Honours list for services to entertainment and charity. [BBC News, 16 Feb 2012]

The latest Doctor Who crewmember that can be followed on Twitter is James Strong (@jimmystrong); the David Tennant-era director's work has most recently been seen on screen in Law and Order UK and Downton Abbey, and the film United (which also featured Tennant).

In Memoriam

Fight choreographer and fencing Olympian Bob Anderson has died aged 89. He had just one role in Doctor Who - that of Fighting Guard in episode 4 of The Enemy of the World - but achieved great acclaim in the film industry, working with - among others - Errol Flynn and coaching Charlie Sheen and Johnny Depp. Most notably, perhaps, he played Darth Vader in fight scenes in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, standing in for Dave Prowse. [The Stage, 14 Feb 2012]