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Thursday, 16 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Karen Gillan was voted the second favourite Valentine's TV Crush in a poll run by Freeview; top spot went to This Morning's Holly Willoughby. On the male side, NTA host (and honorary TARDIS traveller!) Dermot O'Leary just pipped Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch to the top. [Freeview, 14 Feb 2012]

The Radio Times also ran a Valentine's poll: for male TV stars Benedict Cumberbatch topped the list at 43.93% ahead of former Doctor David Tennant at 37.46%, with the top six also populated with Martin Freeman (6.23%), John Barrowman (3.12%), the current TARDIS incumbent Matt Smith (1.63%) and John Simm (1.40%); for female TV stars Doctor Who luminaries again did well though once more pipped at the post, with Louise Brealey taking 26.98% of the vote versus Billie Piper with 18.83%, the runners up being Lara Pulver (13.83%), Karen Gillan (13.45%), Alex Kingston (9.1%) and Freema Agyeman (3.24%). [Radio Times, 14/15 Feb 2012]

John Barrowman and sister Carole have continued their promotion of their new book, Hollow Earth; when asked about Torchwood's future on Live With Gabby (15th February), John mentioned that whilst the series itself was on hiatus, the show hasn't been forgotten: "I would love Torchwood to come back as I know thousands and millions of people would. We're writing a Torchwood novel, and can I just say to all the Torchwood fans out there the first chapter, what happens to Jack, is amazing - and I want that to go on screen!"

The pair were also presented with photos of the town of Millport on the Ilse of Cumbrae, the area of which features prominently in their book (transposed to the fantasy setting of Auchinmurn Island). [Largs and Millport News, 15 Feb 2012]

As part of the Charles Dickens bicentenary celebrations, Simon Callow, who has played the writer twice in Doctor Who, was among the star attendees at an event hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Also at the reception was Rowan Atkinson, who played the Doctor in Steven Moffat's 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death. In addition, Callow and Barbara Windsor were in the audience for the specially-created play Mr Dickens And The Actors, which featured Sir Derek Jacobi and Samantha Bond among the actors and was performed in front of the Queen at the Guildhall in London.[Mirror, 14 Feb 2012]

Callow continues his association with the writer by presenting a monologue in a production In Love With ... Dickens, to be broadcast on Sky Arts on 21st February. This series will also hear Karen Gillan performing the voiceover to Brief Encounter in In Love With ... Coward on the 12th March. Other Who names associated with the In Love With series include Sheila Hancock (Coward), Paterson Joseph (Wilde), and Russell Tovey (Wilde). [Stage, 15 Feb 2012]

In Memoriam

Whose Doctor Who documentary participant and former consultant physician Dr Eric Sherwood-Jones has died aged 90 from the blood disorder Wegener's granulomatosis. The pioneer of intensive-care units in the UK, who worked at Whiston Hospital on Merseyside, appeared in the 1977 BBC2 programme as an enthusiastic advocate of Doctor Who, remarking that it had far too wide an appeal to be categorised as either eccentric or immature. He added of the Doctor: "We're delighted and relieved that, like ourselves, he makes mistakes or errors and we envy his problem-solving capacity, because intensive care requires problems to be solved very quickly." Colleagues also commented how they had to keep up with the show to be on Dr Sherwood-Jones's wavelength! [St Helens Reporter, 16 Feb 2012]