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Monday, 21 February 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Billie Piper returned in The Secret Diary of a Call Girl amidst a huge blaze of press coverage; speaking about her career plans and a possible Hollywood calling: "I keep thinking about it, but then I like England; to be out there with a baby and to do seven, eight auditions a day is just not massively appealing at the moment." On future Call-Girl: "I think we've pretty much been everywhere with the stories and as that's at the heart of every episode, you wouldn't want to exhaust it to the point of just complete ridiculousness and seediness. I really like this job but you always want the story to have legs and not be that you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. I think if we go any further then we might be guilty of that." And on the future: "I just want to do something radically different and I don't know what that is yet. I think I've just chosen things that have interested me and then kept trying new and different things. It has worked out well and I can thank Doctor Who for all of that really. It was wholly responsible for giving me a great opportunity." [various]

Torchwood star John Barrowman has recently been embroiled in media discussions over who might replace Bruce Forsyth when he eventually retires from presenting the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, with reports that both he, gameshow presenter Vernon Kay, and The One Show house Alex Jones are vying for the position. However, the stories have been refuted by new BBC1 Controller Danny Cohen, who said that Bruce would carry on for as long as he wanted to. [Sun, Western Mail, Mirror]

Karen Gillan has been voted the 77th in men’s heath and fitness guru site Ask Men's Top 99 Women for 2011.

Fifth Doctor Peter Davison reminisces about a visit with his family to New Zealand, which tied in with the islands' Armageddon convention last Autumn. During their trip, they visited Wellington, the Weta workshops, Napier, Lake Taupo, Tepau and the Coromandel peninsula; speaking on Lake Taupo: "You can take a fishing boat out on the placid waters, see hot steam coming out of the ground at The Craters of the Moon – reminiscent of an early Doctor Who landscape – and watch the majestic Huka Falls." [Daily Mail]

Catherine Tate has expressed an interest in taking up directing; speaking at a platform event at the National Theatre in London, the actress said: "I directed for the first time at Christmas, a short film for TV. I would like to do more. I have got a project but I don’t know what’s happening with that." [Express]

Alex Kingston discussed her feelings towards her Doctor Who character River Song in the Readers Digest: "I'm not allowed to breathe a word about the new storylines... otherwise, they take away my sonic screwdriver. When I was first offered the part, I had no idea how successful the new Doctor Who was because I was in the US. But as soon as I read the script, I fell in love with River. She provides a very complex link to the Doctor's life and ever since I saw Alien, a little bit of me has wanted to run around a spaceship shooting intergalactic monsters." [Press Association]

Mark Strickson has been based in Qatar for the last couple of years, and recently talked about his filming projects at the Qatar Natural History Group, during which he regaled its members with tales of his adventures over the years, including his time in Doctor Who. [Gulf Times]

Welsh Opera singer and recent Doctor Who guest star Katherine Jenkins announced that she and long time partner Gethin Jones would be getting married. (Jones has also featured in Doctor Who under monster costumes during his tenure as a Blue Peter presenter). [BBC News]

Third Doctor Jon Pertwee's son Sean explains why he never expected to follow in his father's footsteps when David Tennant was announced as leaving: "No, I never said I wanted the part, but there is a financial tale behind how the rumour started. For a laugh I tried putting a £50 bet on me to play the next Doctor because I thought I was in with a chance, but all the boys I knew in Islington decided I must have some inside info so they piled in behind me. When the betting shop staff asked who I was, the boys told them my father had played Doctor Who so they called head office about it and then declared all bets off. The next thing I knew I was in the news as running for the part, but I think it stemmed from trying to put £50 on myself. I'd love to have a guest part, but when it comes to the main role my father was too big an act to follow." [Telegraph]

Former First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, pays tribute to outgoing BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards, during which he also reflected on how he almost ended up in Doctor Who back when the series first started filming in 2004: "I’m still kicking myself though. If you knew how my grandchildren rate having a First Minister in the family tree compared to playing a tree on Doctor Who in relative street cred in the playground, you’d understand why, too!" [Western Mail]

BAFTA winner and Oscar nominee Colin Firth was interviewed on Twitter by Vue Cinemas, during which he was asked about Doctor Who: "I’d never rule out a part in Doctor Who or Torchwood – especially Doctor Who. I’d also love to play a villain like Moriaty in Sherlock Holmes."

Finally, speaking of the Oscars, Tariq Anwar is also nominated for an Editing award for The King's Speech; the film editor worked back on Fourth Doctor stories The Face of Evil, The Sun Makers and Shada during the 1970s.