"All Together Now ..."Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 1 December 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Where would the United Kingdom be without the traditional Christmas pantomime, and this year is no exception with a variety of Doctor Who names back on the stage to entertain during the festive season.

Sleeping Beauty, Bournemouth PavilionColin Baker (The Sixth Doctor)
Sleeping Beauty, Bournemouth Pavilion
8th December - 6th January

This year’s offering is once again brought to you by UK Productions following a record-breaking production of Jack and the Beanstalk last year.

Returning to once again write, direct and star is venue favourite and Bournemouth resident Chris Jarvis as Happy Harry, whose local gags, rapport with the audience and range of impressions always go down a storm with adults and children alike.

We’re also delighted to welcome back one of the best panto villains Bournemouth has seen in recent years, Su Pollard – last with us for the the 2009 Panto season – as Bad Fairy.

Also returning from the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk is Wave 105 presenter Kate Weston as Good Fairy.

However, our all-star cast doesn’t end there, as they’re joined by Asa Elliott from ITV’s Benidorm as the Prince and of course, no Panto would be complete without a dame, with Nurse Nelly to be played by Colin Baker of Doctor Who fame.
Jack and the Beanstalk, Glasgow SECCJohn Barrowman (Captain Jack)
Jack and the Beanstalk, Glasgow SECC
15th December - 6th January

Following two years of hugely-successful and record-breaking Christmas shows at the Clyde Auditorium, the producers of the SECC’s pantomime, Qdos Entertainment have announced that John Barrowman and The Krankies will return to the venue this Christmas!

John Barrowman and The Krankies have previously starred in Aladdin and Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates and this year will lead the cast in Jack and the Beanstalk which is a change to the advertised title of Robin Hood. John will play the leading role of Jack while The Krankies will play Farmer & Jimmy Trot!

The use of 3D special effects in the previous Qdos Entertainment pantomimes at the SECC have been so popular with audiences that Jack and the Beanstalk will feature brand-new and outstanding surprises including a fantastic 3D enchanted forest and journey through the giant’s castle!
Dick Whittington, Harpenden Public HallsPeter Purves (Steven)
Dick Whittington, Harpenden Public Halls
15th December - 22nd December

Join our hero Dick as he sets out on a quest to find fame and fortune in this classic rags-to-riches tale. Starring Cerrie Burnell as seen on CBeebies as The Fairy of The Bells and Dr Who companion and Blue Peter legend Peter Purves as Alderman Fitzwarren, with hilarious panto dame Richard Aucott and full supporting cast.

Will Dick find the streets paved with gold? Will he win the hand of the lovely Alice? Will he defeat the evil King Rat? Find out this Christmas!

Featuring fantastic songs, a live band, sumptuous sets, sensational costumes and bags of audience participation, Dick Whittington is the perfect way to kick start your festive season.

Other names associated with Doctor Who include: Nigel Havers (Peter Dalton, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Southampton Mayflower; Christopher Pizzey (Eddie Smith, The Sarah Jane Adventures) in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre; Paul Lavers (Farrah, The Androids of Tara) in Mother Goose at the Gorleston Pavilion; Royce Mills (Dalek operator) in Aladdin at the Guildford Yvonne Arnaud Theatre; Marshall Lancaster (Buzzer, The Rebel Flesh) in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Leeds Carriageworks; Lynda Bellingham (The Inquisitor, The Trial of a Time Lord) in Cinderella at the Bradford Alhambra Theatre; Warwick Davis (The Last Cyberman) in Snow White at the New Wimbledon Theatre; Floella Benjamin (Professor Rivers, The Sarah Jane Adventures) and Andrew Hayden-Smith (Jake Simmonds, Rise of the Cybermen) in Cinderella at the Broadway Theatre, Catford; Bruno Langley (Adam in Dalek) in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn; Eric Potts (Oliver Charles, Aliens of London) in Dick Whittington at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking; Nichola McAuliffe (Vivien Rook, The Sound of Drums) in Snow White at the Theatre Royal, Bath; Barney Harwood (Totally Doctor Who) in Peter Pan at Llandudno's Venue Cymru; Lily Savage aka Paul O'Grady (himself, The Stolen Earth) in Aladdin at the O2; Ann Widdecombe (herself, The Sound of Drums) in Snow White at the Wycombe Swan; and Christopher Biggins (The One Doctor, Big Finish) in Dick Whittington at the Plymouth Theatre Royal.

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant has been elected onto the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The board is made up of 15 non-salaried people, chosen for their skills and experience, who work closely with the senior management team in leading and steering the company. The actor, who did much to promote the RSC when he took on the role of Hamlet in 2008, will be in the post for three years. [Daily Record, 17 Sep 2012]

Christopher Eccleston is one of a number of new people making claims against the media company News International over allegations of phone-hacking. Other celebrity claimants include Davina McCall, Jessie Wallace, Peter Andre and Katie Price. [Guardian, 17 Sep 2012]

John Barrowman is to front a new reality show in the United States. Make My Musical from Vinnie Potestivo Entertainment is currently taking applications from Broadway performers who, if successful, will be have their troupe followed as they prepare to mount a musical theatre review in New York City Theatre. Barrowman is on board as part of a panel of experts to help the group along the way. [Broadway World, 11 Sep 2012]

The performer also made a surprise visit to Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae with his sister Carole last week; the town and island form the inspiration for the fictional location of Seaport on Auchinmurn in their novel Hollow Earth. [Largs and Millport Evening News, 17 Sep 2012]

Illustrator Ben Morris has announced: "I've just signed the contract to be the sole illustrator on a new Doctor Who book for BBC Books in 2013. Really looking forward to getting started on it next month!". He has previously contributed artwork for The Brilliant Book, and is regular for Doctor Who Magazine and Doctor Who Adventures. [Facebook, via Vitas Varnas, 18 Sep 2012]

Carey Mulligan talks about becoming an ambassador for The Alzheimer's Society, a role she's taken on after her own experiences with the disease that affects her grandmother: "I reach a different demographic than some of the other wonderful ambassadors because I'm a bit younger. Overall, the thing I'm most excited about working with the Alzheimer's Society is the idea of just making people aware in the communities. The more people who understand that dementia is not just people being old and forgetful and a product of old age, but is actually a disease and people can be more caring and aware in the community." The actress is also taking part in the Society's Memory Walk this weekend. [You and Yours via Kenny Davidson, 21 Sep 2012]

If anyone should bring closure to the long-lived Scottish detective series Taggart it should be Steven Moffat, say series star John Michie. The actor, who played DI Robbie Ross in the series before it was dropped last year, said: "I'm still extremely loyal to the character and I really hope I'll be back playing it one day, as part of a series or a one-off. One way to round it off could be to get a really top writer in, a big name, and who could be better than Steven Moffat? Everything he touches turns into gold, it would be a great way to sell it." [Daily Record, 10 Sep 2012]

Torchwood: Exodus Code coverageBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 September 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The writing partnership of John and Carole Barrowman have been out and about this week promoting their new, Torchwood-based novel Exodus Code.

John Barrowman in 'serious Jack' mode on This Morning, ITV1, 17 Sep 2012 John and Carole Barrowman on Steve Wright in the Afternoon, BBC Radio 2, 17 Sep 2012 John and Carole Barrowman on Loose Women, ITV1, 20 Sep 2012

Speaking on ITV1's This Morning on Monday, John said:
I had the idea, and also Carole's a huge sci-fi fan, she loves Torchwood. We went to BBC Books and BBC Worldwide and spoke with Russell (T Davies) and sent him the draft, and I said I'd love to do it. And to be honest with you, nobody knows Jack better than myself and Russell and the rest of the team who helped create us.

A little time has passed, but we do reference the last series, Miracle Day. This is what's going on afterwards. We've written Exodus Code specifically to either be lifted from the book - if it were, that could be the next series, it could be a movie - that's me talking, not anyone from the BBC, but that would be my dream.
On missing Torchwood in general, he said:
Of course I do, Jack changed my life, the fans have changed my life, and this book is dedicated to all the fans, and I've always said, if I'm asked to play Jack again of course I would - I would do it at the drop of a hat, it's an amazing character to play!
This Morning is available to watch in the UK until next Monday on the ITV Player (38:05).

Later, he and his sister featured on BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright in the Afternoon, where he spoke a little more on his motives behind the collaboration:
It's been over a year now since Miracle Day. Again, we haven't been told "no" it's not going to happen ever again, but we haven't been told "yes", and consequently that's why I spoke to Carole and we spoke to the BBC. I wanted to keep Jack alive, and that's why we wrote the book.
Carole spoke about feedback from the show's creator, Russell T Davies:
What was really nice was we had to go through all sorts of levels of approval as you can imagine with the BBC and so on, and Russell had to read it, and one of the nice things was when I got an email off my editor saying that Russell really liked the balance between the personal and the big save the world under the world sci-fi thing, he really liked the way we had captured that balance. That meant more to me than the fact that John liked it!
The interview segment can be listened to via the Steve Wright in the Afternoon site.

Red Carpet News TV caught up with the couple for the book launch at London's Forbidden Planet on the 19th September, and asked John about the potential for more Torchwood on the screen:

The couple appeared on ITV1's Loose Women on Thursday, where John explained the writing process between the two:
The collaboration works in the way that we sit down together and we work through the outline, we work through character-building, we work through the imagination of the whole story; we record it all, Carole spends a lot of time with me, but she does the hard work, I do not write it - she goes away, she does all the writing, she's got the gift of putting the word into form on the page, and I will not take credit for because I cannot do it.
Carole talked about writing for a character that was essentially her brother:
The one thing we did do in this book we really brought back the Jack with the sense of humour and the sexy Jack who's got the swagger and he's a little roguish. For me, the hardest part about writing that was when we were writing some of the sexy scenes and it would be like eurgh!
Loose Women is available to watch in the UK until next Thursday via the ITV Player (16:00).

You can keep track of further appearances etc. via John Barrowman's official website.

People Roundup: John BarrowmanBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 August 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
John Barrowman has popped up in the news a bit, recently, covering both his career and personal ambitions.

Talking about other shows he'd like to do in America, the actor said: "I would love to be on one of those wonderfully edgy cable TV series like True Blood or The Walking Dead.". And "I’d like to do a North American version of this British TV series of mine (Tonight's The Night), where people’s performance dreams come true." [Toronto Star, 10 Aug 2012]

Speaking of which, the actor will join the cast of a new comic book-based action drama series Arrow, which kicks off in the Autumn. His character is under wraps at present, described only as a "well-dressed man who is as mysterious as he is wealthy". [Entertainment Weekly, 15 Aug 2012]

One show he might well consider would be the revival of hit American soap Dallas: "My motto is that I only ever do programmes that interest me rather than doing them for money. It always comes across better if your heart and soul are in it. Since I was a kid, Dallas was part of my growing up and I even wrote about it in my first autobiography. On a Friday night, as a family, everything would stop at 9pm and we would sit and watch Dallas." The actor will be presenting a behind-the-scenes show, John Barrowman's Dallas Wednesday evening on Channel 5. [Express, 26 Aug 2012]

Another appearance next week for the actor, this time as a guest on G4's Attack of the Show!, whose host Candace Bailey he worked alongside during G4's Comic-Con earlier this year. [BroadwayWorld, 20 Aug 2012]
Barrowman has also recently talked about a potential family: "We haven't ruled out having children ourselves but it depends where my career takes us. We wouldn't want a baby. We'd look at adopting an older child or teenager who might have been in trouble. We would also look at adopting a gay child, thrown out of their home because of their sexuality. We have a lot to offer — chances and opportunities a young teen probably wouldn’t normally get." [The Sun, 13 Aug 2012]

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Monday, 23 July 2012 - Compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman
Compiled by Chuck Foster and John Bowman
Talking about sport and acting, Matt Smith said: "One of the things about playing a sportsman and learning about the psychology and mentality of sport is that there are so many parallels between that world and the world that I inhabit. There's practice for one thing and that sense of discipline and preparation. But it's also about sacrifice. If you want to give it a good go, you've got to make some sacrifices and be as dedicated as you can be. Particularly with Doctor Who; it's two or three hours of line-learning a night." He also ruefully commented: "I'd love to play football now. Everyone at work plays on Tuesdays, but they won't let me. I guess it's the insurance companies and, realistically, if I turn my ankle over and we can't shoot, then we're screwed, aren't we? You just can't. It's a small price to pay." [Radio Times, 21-27 Jul 2012]

Karen Gillan may have just finished working with Steven Moffat but her connection with the name continues as she heads to the Scottish town of Moffat to film the rom-com Not Another Happy Ending. Film crews will also be shooting in Glasgow. [Dumfries & Galloway Standard, 20 Jul 2012]

John and Carole Barrowman's novel The Hollow Earth is to be made into a television series. The rights have been taken up by Zodiak Kids UK and the show is being developed by its production company The Foundation. The writing duo said: "We are so thrilled to have our TV rights in such good hands, we can’t wait to see all of Matt and Em's wild adventures and all their art come to life for viewers." [WorldScreen, Licensing, 19 Jul 2012]

Billie Piper has pulled out of the forthcoming production of BBC Three comedy series Tom and Jenny in order to concentrate on her family. [Express, 16 Jul 2012]

Author Mark Morris visited a school in Selby to chat about writing, with the classes encouraged to design and create their own Doctor Who monsters! School receptionist Ellen Briggs said: "For every Doctor Who enthusiast among the children and staff it was a dream visit.", whilst pupil Caitlin added: "It was really interesting to find out about the Doctor Who books. [Selby Times, 14 Jul 2012]

Artist and illustrator Alister Pearson is urging people to contact him if anyone tries to sell paintings that are attributed to him. Pearson, who has done numerous covers for Doctor Who books, magazines, and videos, is seeking to verify their authenticity before they are bought. Anyone who sees any of his artwork for sale or is offered the chance to buy it should contact him first on alister@alisterpearson.co.uk.

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Friday, 13 July 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Paul McGann will be attending the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, where he will be narrating Frank Hurley's documentary South on 14th July - the actor will be reading Ernest Shackleton's letters over the footage of his expedition to Antartica, accompanied by a musical score by Stephen Horne. The festival takes place between 12-15th July. [SFGate, 4 Jul 2012]

Karen Gillan is to star in the horror film Oculus in which she will play a woman who believes a haunted antique mirror was responsible for the death of her parents ten years earlier. The film is to be made in Alabama this autumn. [Deadline, 12 Jul 2012]

Broadcast's Hot 100 list this year includes writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, director James Hawes, and also Doctor Who/Torchwood guest stars Ruth Jones, Olivia Colman and Reggie Yates. Editor Lisa Campbell said: "Broadcast's Hot 100 reveals the leading lights in the worlds of TV, radio and multiplatform." [Broadcast, 5 Jul 2012]

John Barrowman has helped launch a new campaign by the Kaleidoscope Trust, which aims to draw attention to the human rights of people regardless of sexual orientation in places where it can be a crime. The Blue Eyed Freak campaign video highlights the injustice demonstrating the ridiculousness of social prejudice. [Kaleidoscope Trust, 3 Jul 2012]

The actor is also supporting the National Lottery Awards, an annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery-funded projects: "So many lives are being changed by the unsung heroes working with National Lottery funding. The National Lottery Awards pay tribute to their selfless dedication. National Lottery players raise a massive £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. They should be proud that they are helping arts, sport, heritage and community groups near them. Now is the chance for everyone to vote for their local project so it gets national recognition." [Press Association, 10 Jul 2012]

PetNet have launched their publicly voted Celebrity Pet Owner Of The Year Awards, and its first Celebrity Dog Owner was well known canine lover Barrowman: "I'm delighted to receive this Award. My dogs play such an important role in my life and I am proud to promote responsible ownership. I will be donating my prize money to Dogs Trust. As their patron, I understand how incredibly hard they work to find new homes for stray and abandoned dogs." [PetNet, 9 Jul 2012]

Colin Baker reflected on recent comments he made about not wanting to be involved with a 50th Anniversary special: "I said it purely to irritate. ’Cos they’d all said: 'yeah yeah, I'd be interested' so to provoke a reaction I said: 'I wouldn't'. And nobody took me up on it! I thought they'd ask me why and I'd say: 'Well I might if they were nice to me', but I never got the opportunity. So it was a gag that fell like a lead lump and didn't go any further!". On an actual likelihood: "Do you know, it's not going to happen. They don't need us – the programme is doing extremely well without us. I suppose they could. And in theory, I'm neither for nor against it. There would be two big questions I would ask: The first is, is my Doctor going to get a fair crack of the whip in the story, and not be eclipsed by anybody else? Because you want parity. And the other one is, what vast fortune are you offering me? I'd be quite brutal about myself and say, if they offered me a million quid, I'd go on and say one line for them. If they offered me a tenner, I wouldn't." [Cambridge News, 6 Jul 2012]

Sue Perkins talks about childhood favourites: "Doctor Who. I'd scream and scream in terror at the brain of Morbius and Davros and all the other baddies, but I was compelled." [Radio Times, 14-20 Jul 2012]

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 3 July 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
John Barrowman has been named Rear of the Year in the annual Wizard Jeans poll, alongside Coronation Street's Shobna Gulati; Sally Allen of the company said: "John's rear is clearly admired on an international basis, judging by the number of fans who voted for him. No doubt his dancing prowess helps to keep him in tremendous shape." Barrowman expressed his own opinion on the announcement in a video via Twitter. [Metro, 27 Jun 2012]

The actor will also be appearing with co-host Myleene Klass at the Cooper Barrington Antiques and Collector's Sale on Friday 6th July; the pair have been working on the new series of BBC2's Antiques Road Trip, and were also recently spotted in Chepstow filming for the show. [Cooper Barrington; Mirror, 1 Jul 2012]

Arthur Darvill will be joining David Tennant and Olivia Colman in the new drama Broadchurch; the current Doctor Who co-star will feature as a priest in the series. Writer Chris Chibnall said: "Broadchurch focuses on a small British community which finds itself at the eye of a storm. In the wake of one boy's death, the residents of Broadchurch come under scrutiny and suspicion. It's a story of scale and intimacy, as the lives of the characters are laid bare." [Press Association, 2 Jul 2012]

Christopher Eccleston is currently appearing in BBC1 drama Blackout; the actor reflected on acting on the small screen to films: "There's a snobbishness about TV; some film actors, thank God, won't do television. Which is great! I've done feature films, but the best scripts I've ever had have been in television. When you're writing for film, you've got a wider canvas and you can concentrate on the visuals. With television, you really can't get away with that much." [Guardian, 27 Jun 2012]

Paul McGann admits that he hasn't watched the new series: "I don't have a television. No. So, I don't watch anything. But I know Matt Smith and I saw him the other day. It's in safe hands, the kid's obviously brilliant, a really, really good choice to take it on." The actor is due to appear in a couple of dramas on television, alongside Martin Clunes in A Mother's Son for ITV, and in Ripper Street for the BBC. Independent, 30 Jun 2012]

Andrew Garfield, star of the latest incarnation of Spiderman, reflects on his own association with Doctor Who: "The history of Doctor Who and the heritage and legacy of Doctor Who is huge; it was an honour to be a part of that show, absolutely. And I'm so happy that everyone is now seeing Matt Smith for the incredible actor and Doctor that he is. He's a friend of mine and I am so proud and happy of him - he is a tremendous actor and he's been put to fantastic use and giving so many people so much joy, god bless him. So, yeah, I'm honoured to be a part of that legacy." [Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, 22 Jun 2012]

Former executive producers Beth Willis and Piers Wenger are to be re-united as the former assumes the role of Deputy Head of Drama in September at Channel 4. Wenger, who is now Head of Drama for the broadcasting company since leaving the BBC last year, said: "Beth is a hugely talented creative individual with a track record in shaping some of Britain’s most iconic drama series. I’m delighted that she’s joining the Channel4 drama to start work on a new generation of shows." [Channel 4 PR, 27 Jun 2012]

People RoundupBookmark and Share

Thursday, 21 June 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Karen Gillan won the award for Scottish Fashion Icon of the Year at this year's Scottish Fashion Awards. On the red carpet beforehand the actress had said: "It would be a huge honour to win an award like that and really unexpected. I honestly didn’t think I would be nominated for anything wearing the clothes I wear." Talking about her departure from Doctor Who she said: "It was so sad. It was this bittersweet thing 'cause I'm really excited to move onto other things, I'm actually going on to do a film in Glasgow which I'm really excited about, but yeah it was so sad 'cause I'm leaving my best friends in a weird way." [STV, 14 June 2012]

The actress also made an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in order to promote her forthcoming film, Not Another Happy Ending.

Arthur Darvill is to star in the West End production of Jonathan Lewis's award-winning play Our Boys alongside Laurence Fox (aka the husband of Billie Piper) and Cian Barry. The play's synopsis: A candid account of the tedium, terror and tribulations suffered by five young soldiers recovering from injuries incurred in the line of duty. But when their daily routine of TV, lonely hearts ads and banter is interrupted by the arrival of an unwelcome authority figure, their unlikely camaraderie gives way to betrayal, accusations and all-out war. The play opens at the Duchess Theatre on 3rd October, with previews from 26th September. [Whats On Stage, 15 June 2012]

Neil Gaiman, John Challis, Jon Culshaw, and Andrew Sachs are among the star names providing the Voice of the Book for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live! which is currently on tour in the UK. The show re-creates the masterwork by Douglas Adams. Celebrity Doctor Who fan Culshaw is renowned for his impressions of Tom Baker, while Sachs has appeared in Doctor Who audio dramas and was the voice of Skagra in the webcast of Adams's Shada. For more details on where and when the different voices are appearing, see the Hitchhiker's Live! website.

Steven Moffat explains how he approaches writing: "I never make a note of anything, I never even write a plot down. I have a terrible superstition of writing things down. I have to write in sequence and only in sequence." [Entertainmentwise, The Sun, 28 May 2012]

John Barrowman will once again take on a role of Jack this coming Christmas - alongside his faithful 'companions' Ian and Janette Krankie in the pantomine Jack and the Beanstalk! The trio return to the Glasgow SECC for their third 'adventure' together, with managing director of QDos Michael Harrison saying: "We are thrilled that John, Ian and Janette are returning to Glasgow, where they have received huge audience acclaim. Over the past few years, together with our colleagues at the SECC, we have staged Glasgow’s biggest and most spectacular pantomime and I can promise that Jack and the Beanstalk will be another giant and unmissable show!" The show will run between 15th December and 6th January. Playbill, 11 Jun 2012]

Peter Purves will also be appearing in panto later this year, playing Alderman Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington at Harpenden Public Halls from 15th to 22nd December.

Noel Clarke has revealed his favourite Doctor: "Matt. He just brought something different to it that I like. No disrespect to the others. I'm not going to say them just because I worked with them. Also when Matt got on, the budgets were larger and the show was more ambitious.". Appearing on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch on 17th June, the actor added that his actual favourite was Peter Davison who was the Doctor as he grew up. [Radio Times, 15 June 2012]

Janet Fielding handed a petition to Thanet council as part of a No Night Flights campaign to stop plans to allow night flights to take place at Manston airport. The actress said: "Along with the health and environmental issues surrounding night flights, there are potentially disastrous consequences for Ramsgate's recovering tourism industry which needs to be protected. Who will want to stay in a hotel with planes flying over all night? This needs to be investigated in full." [Thanet Times, 22 May 2012]

Bill Nighy revealed how he could have become the Doctor: "I was offered the role once, I won't tell you when because the rule is that you're not allowed to say you turned that job down because it's disrespectful to whoever did it. I will say that I was approached. But I didn't want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything. I just think that it comes with too much baggage." [People, 3 June 2012]

Catherine Tate is to return in the next series of the US version of The Office, with her character Nellie Bertram from the previous series finale set to be a regular. [Contact Music, 4 Jun 2012]

Lara Pulver commented on recent gossip about her potentially becoming the first female Doctor: Steven and I have both said we thoroughly enjoyed working together, and then there was me being in Wales so the media put two and two together. (and would it have been amazing?) Yes and no. Not if it meant the end of the Doctor Who franchise because the fans aren’t keen on it. [Standard, 15 June 2012]

Veteran cameraman Jules Greenway has been awarded the The Guild of Television Cameramen's top award for his work over the last few decades. The recently retired 68-year-old worked on a number of shows in his career, including Doctor Who, Z-Cars, Top of the Pops and Blue Peter at the BBC, and Tales of the Unexpected at Anglia. His production team also won a BAFTA for their coverage of the 1998 Derby. He reflected: "I always favoured the dramas as they were the opportunity to shoot complicated shots. Sports events were exciting to do but very repetitive, the shots are very similar, while with drama you are constantly looking to do something different. Most cameramen’s pleasure is in executing a good shot, doing it well and being pleased with the end result.". [Eastern Daily Press, 19 May 2012]

Concern has been raised over Richard Gent, who disappeared a number of weeks ago leaving his phone and wallet at home after cancelling plans to meet friends. The actor has appeared in shows such as Casualty, Being Human and Torchwood. Police have asked anyone who has knowledge of his whereabouts to contact them on the missing persons helpline: freephone 116 000.

In Memoriam:

The actor George Murdock passed away on 30th April. He played a Preacher in the recent Torchwood series Miracle Day and has appeared in a number of sci-fi shows including Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The X Files - he is perhaps best known as playing "God" in the film Star Trek V - The Final Frontier.

Brian Hibbard passed away on 17th June after suffering from prostate cancer. The actor played the assassin Keillor in the Sylvester McCoy story Delta and the Bannermen, and appeared in a number of soaps including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, and last year EastEnders. For a different generation, however, he will be remembered as the former lead singer of The Flying Pickets! [BBC News, 18 Jun 2012]

Regional RoundupBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 9 May 2012 - By John Bowman and Chuck Foster
By John Bowman and Chuck Foster

United Kingdom:

Nick Briggs, Simon Guerrier, Peter Anghelides, and J T Colgan will be lending their authorial talents to Doctor Who creative writing workshops at this year's Winchester Festival. Aimed at youngsters, the workshops will be held at the city's Discovery Centre on Saturday 7th July from 9.30am to 4pm.

Daleks invaded Yeovil as part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations for Yeo Leisure Park. As well as full-size Daleks on show, the charity event also included remote-control Dalek racing. In addition, visitors could see a Cyberman, Scarecrow, Sontaran, K-9, and a TARDIS. [This Is Somerset and The Mary Sue, 19 Apr 2012]

A Dalek had to be manhandled by four people over a roof to get it into a house in Shrewsbury. It was bought by fan Andrew Morris from a children's hospice in Barry Island but when it arrived it proved too big to get through the front door so an alternative entrance had to be figured out – needing extra manpower and some levitation! [Shropshire Star, 25 Apr 2012]

A group of pupils in Guildford who entered the Script To Screen competition may not have won the contest but Steven Moffat was so impressed by their work that he decided to send them goodie bags of Doctor Who items anyway. The entry by the trio from Holy Trinity Pewley Down made it to the final ten. All scripts had to have an Olympic theme, and the one from Holy Trinity Pewley Down saw the Doctor, Amy, and Rory on an alien planet resembling ancient Greece but where the statues turned out to be Weeping Angels. The overall winning school is yet to be named. [Get Surrey, 26 Apr 2012]

The newly-opened Wales Coastal Path gives people the chance to see famous filming locations along its 870 miles, including Portmeirion, which was used for The Masque of Mandragora, and a number of south Wales settings for the revived series. The BBC has uploaded a slideshow of various locations along the route.

Clothes and personal belongings donated by John Barrowman to the Dogs Trust have raised more than £200. We reported in March on the gift to the charity following a spring-clean by the actor, and when the items went on sale at its Cowbridge branch they attracted huge interest, with one fan even travelling some 180 miles from Nottingham to spend £600. [Barry and District News, 18 Apr 2012]

Genuine police boxes have gone on sale in Edinburgh. A total of 22 of the two-tonne constructions are available and no price has been set on them, with offers being accepted until midday on Thursday 31st May. A sales fee of £100 will, however, apply to each box. Designed by Ebenezer MacRae in the 1930s, they differ in appearance to the TARDIS ones, which were designed by Gilbert MacKenzie Trench for the Metropolitan Police in 1929. Buyers will have to remove them or get planning permission and change their colour if they want them to stay in situ. [BBC News, 30 Apr 2012]

FergusonandTardisCBS TV host Craig Ferguson has taken his Late Late Show to his native country of Scotland. A week of programmes, which see Ferguson exploring Edinburgh, his birth city of Glasgow, and his home town of Cumbernauld, were recorded in March - pictured right - and will start airing on Monday 14th May. [Associated Press via Yahoo! News, 16 Apr 2012]

The Big Lit Day book festival in Gatehouse of Fleet on Saturday 26th May will see Annette Badland make a special guest appearance. She will be giving a reading from The World's Wife, a collection of poems by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy that imagine wives' perspectives of famous men. The event is part of the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival. [Dumfries & Galloway Standard, 27 Apr 2012]


A Dalek popped up on the roof of MIT's Stata Center, housing the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The appearance follows in the footsteps of the TARDIS a couple of years ago! [Lezgetreal, The Daily What, 28 Apr 2012]

In March we told of an appeal made by Tashi King for a TARDIS urn for the ashes of her terminally-ill husband, Kevin Pratt, when he dies. They have now received just such an urn and have uploaded a video thank-you message. (NB: The video contains Battlestar Galactica-style expletives and one other expletive.) [washandtashiblogspot, 24 Apr 2012]

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012 - By John Bowman
By John Bowman
Colin Baker appears on tomorrow's edition of the Channel 4 show Get Your House In Order. He attempts to help collector Barry Phillips, who is looking to de-clutter his Doctor Who memorabilia-filled house, by selling items at a convention. The hour-long programme starts at 8pm and will also be available afterwards on catch-up service 4oD.

David Tennant
has launched the BBC's Shakespeare Season, which forms part of the Cultural Olympiad. He said of the Olympiad: "I'm a bit hazy as to what it actually means, what it all adds up to. But if it means more Shakespeare, it's fine my me." He will be starring in Romeo and Juliet on Radio 3 on Sunday 29th April at 8.30pm and was in Twelfth Night on Radio 3 last Sunday (available on the iPlayer until 13th May). [Radio Times, 22 April 2012]

Staying in the world of the Bard, the Royal Shakespeare Company has revealed that it was contacted three times by a man who wanted to buy a pair of David Tennant's unwashed socks - even offering £50 for them. The bizarre request came as the RSC announced that its costumes and props were for hire by the general public, and made particular mention of the crown worn by Tennant as Hamlet in the 2008 production being available for £20 a week. (The RSC refused to sell the socks, by the way!) [Daily Record, 24 April 2012]

Gareth David-Lloyd plays the male lead of Dr Robert Cameron in the independent short film Casimir Effect. Billed as a sci-fi romance, it is currently in post-production, having been filmed two years ago, and is looking for support to complete it.

The companion, not the Doctor, is the main character in Doctor Who, according to Steven Moffat. With Amy and Rory about to leave the show and a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, arriving in this year's Christmas special, Moffat told BBC America: "The story begins again, not so much with the new Doctor, but with the new companion. It is their story. The Doctor's the hero, but they're the main character." He added: "I thought about the Doctor travelling on his own and it always faintly depresses me." [Radio Times, 19 April 2012]

Talking of companions, Katy Manning has given an in-depth interview to Radio Times, revealing her thoughts about life, the universe, Jo Grant, and everything. A gallery of photos ranging from her debut in Doctor Who to the present day has also been put online by Radio Times. In addition, she can be followed on Twitter at @ManningOfficial.

Karen Gillan
is among the 12 nominees for the title of Fashion Icon in this year's Scottish Fashion Awards, which take place at Clyde Auditorium on Monday 11th June. [Daily Record, 22 April 2012]

John Barrowman is urging fans to campaign for his character of Captain Jack Harkness to appear in the 50th-anniversary episode of Doctor Who. "I think it would be a shame if Captain Jack wasn't involved in the 50th anniversary, because he was such a big figure and a big presence within the show itself and also within Torchwood," he told MTV Geek at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. But, Barrowman said: "It's not up to me, it's up to the executives and it's also kind of up to the fans, because if they want it all they have to do is get on those keyboards and start writing." Addressing fans directly, he said: "You have been known to change things!" He added: " I've spoken to Russell [T Davies] about it, he thinks it would be a great idea for Jack to meet Matt's Doctor, I think it would be a great idea, Matt and I actually had a conversation at the BBC once, sitting round a table, thought it would be a great idea, Steven [Moffat] thought it would be a great idea, so again it's one of those things. Great ideas sometimes never happen, they sometimes do, but you know I guess you just have to watch this space." [MTV Geek, 18 April 2012]

Matt Smith, Jessica Hynes, Richard Briers, and David Walliams will be providing narration for a second series of the Disney Junior UK show A Poem Is . . . There will be 12 five-minute instalments featuring animation from the Disney vaults. [C21Media, 25 April 2012]

Former BBC1 Controller Michael Grade - arguably the nemesis of Doctor Who in the 1980s - meets Steven Moffat in the next instalment of Grade's Radio 2 series On The Box, in which he gives the inside story of the British TV industry from his unique viewpoint. Also taking part (although not necessarily because of their involvement with Doctor Who) are Maureen Lipman, Pauline Collins, Mal Young, June Brown, and Jane Tranter who, as Controller of Drama Commissioning at the BBC, oversaw the revival of Doctor Who. Dishing The Dirt will be broadcast on Monday 30th April at 10pm and will be available afterwards on the iPlayer.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jane Espenson has been talking about her role on the fairy-tale drama series Once Upon A Time, which airs in the UK on Channel 5, as well as her other projects. She also talks about her involvement with Torchwood, saying: "I was very proud of what we did. I thought it turned out amazingly well. I don't think you can ever beat Children of Earth, the previous season, which was an absolute masterwork. But, I thought we did very well. I thought we did things with that show that are not normally seen on American television." [The Hollywood Reporter, 22 April 2012]

Anna Maxwell-Martin and Julie Graham have been signed up to star in ITV1's newly-commissioned period thriller The Bletchley Circle. They will play code-breakers Susan and Jean in the three-part murder-mystery drama, which starts filming on location in London at the end of April. [ITV Press Centre, 23 April 2012]

Richard Wilson is to narrate his "untrue celebrity autobiography" on Radio 4 next month. The four-part "radiography" will feature dramatised scenes with star names including David Tennant and Arabella Weir. Believe It! starts on Wednesday 9th May at 11.30am. [The Independent, 24 April 2012]