Katy Manning will be on tour in the Agatha Christie murder-mystery A Murder Is Announced early next year. Performances are as follows: Thursday 17th to Saturday 19th January: Capitol Theatre, Horsham; Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th January: Buxton Opera House; Tuesday 29th January to Saturday 2nd February: The Derby Theatre; Monday 4th to Saturday 9th February: Lincoln Theatre Royal; Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th February: The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage; Wednesday 27th February to Saturday 2nd March: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke; Tuesday 5th to Saturday 9th March: Lyceum Theatre, Crewe.
Meanwhile, Colin Baker will be in the touring production of the Wilkie Collins thriller The Woman In White, starting at The Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th January. From Monday 28th to Thursday 31st January it will be at The Grand Theatre, Blackpool; Thursday 14th to Saturday 23rd February, Lincoln Theatre Royal; Tuesday 26th February to Saturday 2nd March, Garrick Theatre, Lichfield, finishing its run at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th March.
Baker was voted off I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here! earlier this week. He was the fourth contestant to go. As previously reported, he joined the ITV1 reality show, based in a jungle in Australia, earlier this month.
Bernard Cribbins narrates the CBeebies panto Jack And The Beanstalk, which airs as a simulcast on the CBeebies channel and BBC One on Friday 21st December at 4.30pm. Featuring all the CBeebies presenters, it was performed at The Palace Theatre in Manchester. [BBC Media Centre, 27 Nov 2012]
Sheila Hancock will be among the new celebrity contestants on this year's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Day special on BBC One, with previous contestant Ann Widdecombe making a guest appearance. [BBC Media Centre, 28 Nov 2012]
David Morrissey has begun filming the second series of BBC Scotland's crime drama Field Of Blood in Glasgow. He plays editor Murray Devlin. Filming will continue until late December, with the thriller to be shown next year. [BBC Media Centre, 29 Nov 2012]
Director Farren Blackburn has his first feature film released in the UK and USA next spring. Hammer Of The Gods, which stars Charlie Bewley and James Cosmo, is set in Britain of 871AD and tells the story of a young Viking warrior sent by his father, the king, on a quest to find his estranged brother, who was banished from the kingdom years earlier. [Bleeding Cool, 27 Nov 2012]
A six-part spy thriller by Toby Whithouse has been commissioned by BBC Cymru Wales for BBC One. Set in the world of 1970s espionage, The Game will tell the story of the invisible war fought by MI5 to protect the nation from the threats of the Cold War. The drama is to be executive-produced by Whithouse, Brian Minchin, and Faith Penhale (head of drama at BBC Cymru Wales). [BBC Media Centre, 30 Nov 2012]
Adam Simmonds, the newly-elected police and crime commissioner for Northamptonshire, wants to see police boxes back on the county's streets. He said: "I would like to bring a focal point back into villages. It's all about putting the police back on to the streets and I would love to be able to put Tardises back in every community." He added that he hoped to work with Northampton-born Matt Smith to launch his Blue Box Initiative. [Northampton Chronicle & Echo, 25 Nov 2012]
In MemoriamThe actor Roger Hammond has died at the age of 76. A contemporary of Waris Hussein, Derek Jacobi, and Clive Swift at Cambridge University, he trained at RADA and had a varied and accomplished career on the stage and TV as well as in film and on radio. Hammond appeared in three episodes of Doctor Who, firstly as the Elizabethan philosopher, statesman, scientist, author, and jurist Francis Bacon in The Executioners (episode 1 of The Chase) in 1965 and then as Doctor Runciman - the resident physician at Brendon School - in the first and final parts of Mawdryn Undead in 1983. [The Stage obituary by Martin Jarvis, 23 Nov 2012]
With Thanks To Paula Bentham