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Wednesday, 31 August 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant has beaten Matt Smith in a recent poll by the SyFy Channel to find the sexiest sci-fi hunk. The tenth Doctor came in at second place (16.9%), beating spin-off show Torchwood lead John Barrowman who came in third (14.2%), with Smith in tenth place (8.7%). X-Men star Hugh Jackman topped the poll (20.3%). In the sci-fi babes poll Karen Gillan beat predecessor Billie Piper, taking fourth (10.6%) and fifth (7.7%) places respectively; the top spot was taken by Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (12.7%).

Matt Smith talks about playing the role of the Doctor: "I can never relax because I'm always pushing myself to the highest level but it's nice to enjoy the fact people have accepted me as the Doctor and enjoy the things I do. I think he's grown. I hope people see growth.
I think he should always be evolving. I don't think good actors get typecast. In 10 years' time I'll be playing very different parts than I am playing now. So there is plenty of time for me to evolve as an actor."
Also: "It's so funny, I read other scripts and I just go, 'Not as good as Doctor Who!' For me, it's a privilege to play this man. These parts don't come along that often. There was never any hesitation on my part to stay for another year. Why would I quit? I've got Steven Moffat writing scripts, but not only that - Toby Whithouse, Richard Curtis... all these great writers. And then of course, the part. I just love playing the Doctor. I've grown terribly fond of him. It's something I really enjoy." [Daily Record, 27 Aug 2011; Press Association, 28 Aug 2011]

David Tennant talks about the various roles he's taken recently in film, television and theatre: "I'm quite greedy for the variety, I think. I love the fact that I'm doing Shakespeare in the West End at the moment and then talking about vampires at the day. That's sort of what I'd always hoped I'd manage to do, to mix things up like that, to have a wide variety of work. I think it just helps you to keep being hopefully creative and it keeps challenging you. It's ideal really, if I can do a film and then a play and then a bit of telly and then a radio play and then an audio book, I love the fact that I'm in a job where I get to do all those different types of things." [Huffington Post, 18 Aug 2011]

Both David Tennant and Billie Piper are to appear in a new BBC1 drama, Love Life, a series of plays that will be based on improvisation by writer/director Dominic Savage. BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, Ben Stephenson said: "This is a complete first in TV drama on BBC One: a serial made through improvisation. It features some of our very best acting talent working in a way we've never seen on screen from them before, using improvisation to push the boundaries of each story, to get right to the heart of the truth." The two actors will feature in different episodes of the drama. [BBC Press, 26 Aug 2011]

Billie Piper is also to play the lead in a new BBC3 show written be Lee Hupfield, Tom and Jenny, described as "a high-octane comedy pilot about a feuding couple who, despite splitting up, refuse to leave the house they've bought together". [BBC Press, 26 Aug 2011]

Karen Gillan is supporting her hometown radio station, Monster FM, which will be returning to the Inverness airwaves for a limited period during September. Gillan and Inverness Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher will be presenting special programmes of their own favourite music on the station, which will be operated by trainee DJs from the European Social Fund-backed Radioskills project at The Moray Firth Media Trust. [Highland News, 30 Aug 2011]

John Barrowman commented on how his life style has changed over the years: "I can’t handle clubs and wild nights out like I did in my 20s. I’m lively when I perform and I always put everything into a show but when I get home I love lying down in front of the TV and relaxing. I’m not quite the party animal people imagine. I’m certainly not a big fan of nightclubs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a vodka and tonic after a tough day." [Wales on Sunday, 21 Aug 2011]

Sophie Aldred appears in the new comedy-drama film Thriller Theater! from the independent Untitled Creative Group based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The film is directed by Michael S. Olson, who for the past 11 years has been the technical director for the annual Chicago TARDIS convention. Aldred portrays television station manager Lynn Whitlam, who's not easily convinced to give up two hours of late night infomercial programming to take a chance on a new horror host show called 'Thriller Theater'. "The script was written with the Lynn Whitlam character never being seen - we only ever see the back of her head, or her hands; we only hear her voice. But when the opportunity arose to involve Sophie in the project, we jumped at it - who wouldn't - and we had the perfect role for her, all ready to go," says Olson. "We filmed her scenes in Madison, Wisconsin, during her appearance at the MadCon convention in September 2010. And of course, she was superb." Thriller Theater! (the movie) receives its premiere screening on 8 September 2011 at the Portage Theater in Chicago (funds for the screening are being raised via public contributions to The movie is also being submitted to various film festivals throughout the country. For more information on the film, visit [with thanks to Steven W. Hill]

Bernard Cribbins helped launch a new Wheelyboat that enables disabled visitors to access the waters of Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire for fishing. A patron of the Wheelyboat Trust, he said: "It is of huge importance to give disabled anglers the same opportunities as able-bodied anglers." [BBC News, 19 Aug 2011]

Matt Smith was nearly cast in series The Inbetweeners, according to its creators Iain Morris and Damon Beasley: Matt Smith, the best Doctor Who of all time, was up for the role of Will. He was really, really brilliant and so funny, just a brilliant actor. And clever. He had all the comic timing you wanted, all the dramatic sense you might need. We spent a long time in development; I think if we had to make a decision very quickly and we were going off to shoot, we would definitely have gone with Matt at that point. But it just became a very long, drawn-out thing, and he had other projects on the go. Quite big projects, as it turned out, but we loved him." [Heatworld, 24 Aug 2011]