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Friday, 28 October 2011 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Director Steven Spielberg paid tribute to Tin-Tin co-writer Steven Moffat and his other British contributors: "Steven wrote one of my favourite TV shows, which is Dr Who. Peter (Jackson) and I felt whoever did Dr Who would have a good sensibility for Tintin. And it so happens Steven had read Tintin since he was eight. Even when he had to leave the Tintin project to get on with making Dr Who, I got two other Brits — Shaun of the Dead's Edgar Wright and Attack The Block's Joe Cornish — to finish the job. They're two great British writers." [The Sun, 24 Oct 2011]

Matt Smith commented on his view of last year's protagonists the Silence: "What is wonderful is that they toy with your psyche. They mess with what you know and don't know and what you can and can't remember - they can influence your mind. They look horrendous and are really mean. So if you're under the age of ten, a good sofa to hide behind is essential. That's what Doctor Who should be about: 'I don't want to watch this, but also I do!'" [Press Association, 27 Oct 2011]

A pair of trainers especially signed by David Tennant are to be auctioned on behalf of the Accord Hospice in Paisley, a charity which his parents are closely associated with and where his mother was taken care of when she was ill. [Paisley Daily Express, 27 Oct 2011]

The actor is also involved in filming for a sequel to the film Nativity, playing twin teachers from rival schools (one under-achieving, one "posh") in competion with each other for a national competition. The film once again prominently features the city of Coventry, and Tennant visited local Blue Coat School alongside director Debbie Isitt to meet children potentially appearing in the film. [Coventry Telegraph, 19 Oct 2011; Variety, 28 Oct 2011]

Arthur Darvill (Rory) will be playing Pierre in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Softcops, taking place at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on 30th October (11:30am). The play by Caryl Churchill was inspired by Michel Foucault’s theoretical book, Discipline and Punish, and explores the ways governments seek to depoliticise subversive acts. [Entertainment Focus, 25 Oct 2011]

John Barrowman commented on the continued success of his character, Captain Jack Harkness: "I can't believe it. I was only meant to be a five-episode character in Doctor Who and it's turned out to be a huge success in its own right with Torchwood and Captain Jack. The American audiences have taken to him. It's quite overwhelming and quite amazing to be a part of something like that to spread what I call the best of British television worldwide." [Coventry Telegraph, 25 Oct 2011]

Billie Piper (Rose) is to appear in Neil LaBute's play Reasons to be Pretty, due to open at the Almeida Theatre on 10th November. It has also been revealed by artistic director Michael Attenborough that the actress is expecting her second child: "She was upset and told me she was pregnant. She very generously offered to withdraw from the show; however, she was Neil LaBute’s and my first choice for the part — and fortunately the character is pregnant — so with a bit of judicious re-writing we’re all delighted she’ll be with us." [Daily Mail, 28 Oct 2011]

Michael Sheen (House, The Doctor's Wife) is to take on the role of Hamlet, played famously a couple of years ago by former Doctor David Tennant: "It’s the most dangerous play that exists, yet our culture has made it safe - what I want is to make it difficult and jagged again, unsettling and uncomfortable and disorienting for the audience." Speaking about the language of Shakespeare, he said: "We’ve debased our language in lots of ways now. We speak in not particularly expressive ways. The way people express themselves in Shakespeare’s plays is so rich and so tense. It takes more energy and uses more of yourself. It’s an investment and once you adjust to it, it becomes an incredible kinetic experience, really extraordinary. It works on your imagination and emotions just like music – you can be incredibly moved just because of the rhythms and notes." [Wales Online, 28 Oct 2011]

With speculation over Matt Smith's continuation as the Doctor after next series increasing since his comments to VH1, it is perhaps inevitable that potential contenders for the role would be discussed once more, including media favourites such as Paterson Joseph. [Indie Wire, 27 Oct 2011]

FILTER: - Steven Moffat - People - Arthur Darvill - Matt Smith - Billie Piper - David Tennant -