Bookmark and Share People Roundup

2/11/2013 11:57:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Matt Smith is to star in a new film, How To Catch A Monster, written and directed by Ryan Gosling. The film has been described as "set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city and centred on a single mother of two being swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld, while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town." Smith is to play the, as yet unnamed lead, alongside Eva Mendes, Christina Hendricks and Saoirse Ronan. Filming begins in May. [Variety, 6 Feb 2013]

David Tennant is currently filming a new three-part thriller for BBC One, The Escape Artist, in which he plays Will Burton, a barrister who specialises in spiriting people out of tight legal corners. The show is written by Spooks creator David Wolstencroft, who said of the casting: "David Tennant is one of the most accomplished and iconic actors of his generation. I cannot wait to see him in Will's shoes.". The show also features Sophie Okonedo, Toby Kebbell and Ashley Jensen (with whom the actor appeared in his very first professional role, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui). [BBC Media Centre, 31 Jan 2013]

The actor has also been reunited with Emilia Fox for the drama Every Seventh Wave, a sequel to last year's Love, Virtually. It can be heard this Thursday on BBC Radio 4.

Christopher Eccleston took on the role of Winston Smith in the first BBC Radio 4 adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 broadcast at the weekend; on the enduring appeal of the book and his character, the actor said: "it's the human story that means that we keep coming back to it and keeps it relevant.". The adaptation forms part of a season of programmes entitled The Real George Orwell celebrating the writer, who used to work at Broadcasting House. (Eccleston isn't the only Doctor to have played the role - Patrick Troughton starred as Smith in a 1965 broadcast by the BBC Home Service.)

We reported back in September that Eccleston was amongst a number of celebrities who were making claims against News International over phone-hacking allegations - a settlement was reached last Friday, with the lawyer representing claimants reported that the actor has been "shocked and distressed" over the sixteen occasions his messages had been compromised, and that "owing to the deliberate destruction of documents by the News of the World, he will never find out the true extent to which his privacy and that of those close to him, was invaded". [BBC News/Express, 8 Feb 2013]

Peter Davison was recently subject to an internet death hoax, as a joke blog post escalated out of control across social media - the actor is of course very much alive! A number of celebrities have suffered similar reports in recent months as unfounded rumours spread through social media. However, this is not a new phenomenon as obituaries have been published in the past in print for people still very much alive! [Travelers Today, 2 Feb 2013]

Joy Whitby, former children's TV producer at the BBC, has revealed how producer Verity Lambert contacted her about a job on the recently launched Play School after she finished on Doctor Who. Surprised, she turned her down, considering her to be an over-qualified and high-powered producer! [BBC News, 31 Jan 2013]

Talking about how she became an actress, Freema Agyeman said: "No one in my family or my friend circle anywhere was in the acting business or anything to do with the industry whatsoever. I went to a very strict academic convent girls' school, and I was very into science and things like that when I was younger. And then I suddenly just went off on this tangent when I was 17 and I suddenly decided that I liked acting. But I also liked fine arts and English literature, so I would have gone and done any of them at a higher education level. I remember asking a career advisor, "What should I do?" and her advice was to apply to universities and see what happens. So I applied to either of the three at university, and I decided that fate would guide me. And it so happens that the theatre studies or the acting degree application was responded to first, so I thought it was a sign. And I learned everything as I went. I got into it quite late. I'm enjoying it, but I'm very much learning as I go - and enjoying that, actually!" [Hollywood, 5 Feb 2013]

The actress has also joined Twitter, and can be followed via @FreemaOfficial.

Toby Jones was named Best Actor at the London Evening Standard 2012 British Film Awards for his role as Gilderoy in the psychological thriller Berberian Sound Studio. [BBC News, 4 Feb 2013]

Daniel Blythe gave a reading of his Doctor Who book Autonomy to pupils at the Hepworth J&I School in Huddersfield. He visited the school to give a presentation on how he became an author and his Doctor Who connections. [Huddersfield Examiner, 1 Feb 2013]

(compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman)

In Memoriam

The actor Peter Gilmore, who guest-starred as Brazen in the 1984 story Frontios, died aged 81 on 3rd February - 29 years to the day since the adventure's fourth and concluding episode was transmitted. He was best-known to TV viewers as shipping magnate James Onedin in the BBC period drama The Onedin Line and also made 11 appearances in Carry On films. [The Guardian, 6 Feb 2013]

Robin Sachs, who played a professor in Torchwood: Miracle Day, has died at the age of 61. He was the son of Leonard Sachs and was also known to sci-fi/fantasy fans for his roles in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, and Galaxy Quest. [BBC News, 5 Feb 2013]

Two people from the Hartnell era have been reported as passing away in January: Reg Pritchard, who played Ben Daheer in The Crusade, and Keith Marsh, who played Conway in the Peter Cushing movie Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150AD. [The Stage, 7 Feb 2013]