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Peter Capaldi Doctor Who.jpg

Bookies have suspended betting on the new Doctor Who because they are convinced Peter Capaldi has got the job.

The actor, famous for his role as foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, was down to 5/6 favourite with William Hill when they stopped taking bets.

Joe Crilly, a spokesman for the firm, said: "We have seen people today trying to back Peter Capaldi as much as possible at every price available and after a small gamble on Daniel Rigby overnight, it seems that Capaldi is once again in line to move into the Tardis."

The identity of the latest star to play the time lord will be unveiled live on television this weekend amid tight security in a bid to prevent the identity leaking out.

Sources close to the show said only 10 people know the name of the new doctor, who will replace Matt Smith, and they are using the codename Houdini to try and keep it a secret.

Capaldi is a life-long fan of the show and even wrote a letter to the Radio Times about the Daleks when he was a teenager.

Plans for this Sunday's half-hour show, which goes out at 7pm, were kept secret with a repeat of Celebrity Mastermind put in listings in its place.

The show will be presented by Zoe Ball and feature interviews with Smith and executive producer Steven Moffat as well as celebrity fans and some previous incarnations of the science-fiction hero.

Other names that were mentioned as possible contenders include Daniel Rigby, whose award-winning performance as Eric Morecambe in Eric and Ernie beat Smith to the best actor TV Bafta in 2011, and Cutting It star Ben Daniels.

Mr Moffat said: "The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who's taking over the Tardis. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking 12."

BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson said: "We can't wait to unveil the next Doctor with everyone live on BBC1 on Sunday night.

"Amongst all the speculation and betting, there has been lots of fun and intrigue at work as we've been using the codename Houdini as a decoy.

"It's the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12 incarnation."

DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary Matt Smith.jpg

Doctor Who and sexy sidekick Clara roar down the side of London's Shard - on a motorbike.

It's just one of the sensational scenes coming up as the telly Timelord celebrates the big five-oh.

In fact, actor Matt Smith says fans can look forward to it being the "biggest, best, most inventive and most exciting year for the show" as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The first episode of the new series hits television screens next month and sees the timelord defy gravity by roaring up and down the Shard building on a motorcycle.

A special 3D anniversary show will also be broadcast in November but Smith and co-star Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays Clara Oswald, are remaining tight-lipped about what viewers can expect.

Smith says he clapped when he read the script.

"It sort of does what it says on the tin," he grins. "You won't be disappointed!

"I think it's hilarious, I think it's epic and I think it's fast, and I'm telling you nothing more - but you will NOT be disappointed.

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"I think it's going to be the biggest, best, most inventive and most exciting year for the show and I think this script delivers on all those points that you want it to for where the show is at this time, it's brilliant."

Jenna-Louise adds: "It pays homage to the last 50 years of the show and kind of really celebrates that, but at the same time as looking forward."

The pair have been speaking at a special screening of the first episode of series eight in London.

The Bells of St John is described as a modern day urban thriller and sees the duo battling a new adversary, the Spoonheads, against a backdrop of London landmarks including Westminster Bridge and the Shard as they discover something sinister lurking in the Wi-Fi.

Matt says: "It's sort of Doctor Who meets the Bourne Identity with motorcycles. We've got Celia Imrie being saucy and sexy, we have got aliens in your Wi-Fi, Westminster, the Shard, London in the present day, with the Tardis in the middle of it."

He says he thought Coleman had made a "brilliant" start in her role as Clara.

"She's inventive, she works tirelessly hard. And I'm really proud of what she's achieved," he adds.

"After the Ponds I think the doctor was a little blue. I think she's re-ignited his curiosity in the universe and her impossibility has sort of awakened his mind and his soul and that's something that we'll see grow and evolve as the series continues."

Former Emmerdale star Jenna-Louise says she has already had a "wonderful" time on the show.

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"It's such a unique job," she smiles. "I can honestly say there really is no job like Doctor Who. You can be a big kid at work and run down the corridors being chased by monsters and the scripts are just absolutely fantastic."

Speaking of Matt, she adds: "He's just an absolute genuine joy, he's been absolutely so supportive and totally and utterly there for me and he's a really good friend."

Executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat says the new series will see Doctor Who's biggest secret revealed.

"We're not kidding, we are actually going to do it, we're going to reveal his biggest secret," he says.

Our money is on his real name, something River Song already knows ...

And will the big anniversary episode feature ALL the Time Lord's incarnations, as we've predicted in the past?

No-one's saying. We'll take that as a good sign...

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It's enough to have TV sci-fi and fantasy fans in seventh heaven.

New Doctor Who sidekick Jenna-Louise Coleman is teaming up with Merlin's Angel Coulby in a new period drama on BBC2.

They'll both appear in Stephen Poliakoff's Dancing On The Edge, which is set in the early 1930s and follows a black jazz band in London.

Coulby, who played Genevieve to Bradley James' Arthur is the singer with the band, who find themselves in favour with the aristocracy of the day.

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Coleman, who plays our favourite Time Lord's companion Clara (and also Oswin, but let's not get into spoilers to explain all that) appears in the new drama as Rosie Williams.

Other familiar faces will include Anthony Head (who was ill-fated Uther in Camelot after his vampire slaying days with Buffy).

The leads are Chiwetel (Children Of Man) Ejiofor and Matthew (Watchmen) Goode.

The big names to watch out for otherwise include Jacqueline Bisset, John Goodman, Mel Smith, Caroline Quentin, Anthony Head and Jane Asher.

Dancing On The Edge begins on BBC2 on February 4 at 9pm, with episode two the following night.


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Former Doctor Who star David Tennant is making a return to the RSC stage in Stratford-on-Avon, it was announced today.

Tennant, who won over audiences at the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2009 when performing Hamlet and in Love's Labour's Lost, will star in Richard II.

The production forms part of new RSC artistic director Gregory Doran's 2013 winter season, who will also direct the history play.

Richard II is the first production in a new cycle of Shakespeare History plays that Gregory Doran will direct over the coming seasons.

The relationship between Tennant and Doran follows on from the hugely successful production of Hamlet in 2009, which was also filmed for BBC television by Illuminations.

Oliver Ford Davies, who also appeared in Hamlet alongside Tennant will be joining him in Richard II.

Tennant, who is now an RSC board member, officially announced he was leaving Doctor Who whilst he was appearing in Stratford.

But he is widely expected to make a guest appearance in the 50th anniversary Dr Who adventure to be broadcast by the Beeb in November, alongside other past Doctors.

The new RSC season announced today also includes the world premiere of Wendy & Peter Pan and the world premiere adaptations of Hilary Mantel's award-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies by Mike Poulton.

Richard II will run from October 10 to November 16.

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Doctor Who is set to celebrate the sci-fi show's 50th anniversary with a one-off adventure featuring all ELEVEN actors to have played the Time Lord since his arrival in 1963.

Show boss Steven Moffat is close to completing a script which will see the current Doctor, Matt Smith, needing the assistance of ALL his police box predecessors - even if three of them have died.

The half-century special, to be broadcast in November, will use studio trickery to resurrect the first three Doctors - William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee - in brief flashback scenes.

Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann have all signed up to record an anniversary audio adventure, and are keen to appear in the historic TV show, too.

Christopher Eccleston is said to be reconsidering an earlier decision not to take part, and David Tennant - a friend of Moffat - has hinted that he has been invited to reprise his role.

The final key to the special was Eccleston, who had previously said that he had no plans to return to the role but recently conceded he believed he "still had more to do with the character". But companions such as Birmingham's Arthur Darvill (Rory), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) and Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) have all indicated that they are not involved.

There may, however, be a role for Alex Kingston, who plays the Doctor's wife and who may be responsible for bringing all the previous incarnations together - against the Time Lord's wishes.

Both Matt Smith and David Tennant are tight-lipped about the adventure.

"We're as much in the dark as the majority of other people," says Smith. "I haven't seen the script so I have no idea what is happening. One thing's for sure, we'll make it the biggest in the show's history."

Tennant, interviewed on a radio show, claimed that he had yet to be invited - but gave the presenter a knowing wink.

It will not be the first time that previous Doctors have been gathered together. The 10th anniversary in 1973 was celebrated by The Three Doctors, starring Pertwee and Troughton, with film of Hartnell on a computer screen.

The 20th anniversary was marked by The Five Doctors, with Davison, Troughton and Pertwee joined by Hartnell lookalike Richard Hurndall, with film footage of Tom Baker, who had declined to take part.

The 30th anniversary - after the series had been axed - was celebrated with a bizarre charity crossover, which found McCoy, Pertwee, Tom Baker, Davison and Colin Baker in an episode of EastEnders.

The show was not on air when the 40th anniversary rolled round but an audiotape adventure starred McGann, Colin Baker, McCoy and Davison with additional archive recordings of Pertwee.

Fiftieth anniversary writer Moffatt says: "You can't please everybody but you don't want anybody to feel let down by a big anniversary episode."

The 50th birthday will also be marked by a drama documentary about the character and the early years of the show."

Here's the scene which was supposed to have ended the last series of Doctor Who, tying up all the loose ends as regards the Ponds.

Apparently the plan was to film the scene, but shooting was scuppered because Brummie actor Mark Williams - currently starring in Father Brown - wasn't available.

So here it is in storyboard form, voiced by Birmingham actor Arthur Darvill, who played Rory in the show. Be warned, you may need the Kleenex...

Okay, don't get your Gallifreyan knickers in a twist.

They're still deciding just who will be in the big 50th anniversary TV storyline to celebrate Doctor Who's half century.

But in the meantime, there's exciting news nonetheless.

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The actors who played Doctors Four thorough Eight - Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann - will all be participating in Big Finish's audio drama Doctor Who: The Light at the End.

And although William Hartnell,. Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee are sadly no longer with us, the first three Doctors will be involved in the story as well.

The Doctors will be up against the Master, voiced by Geoffrey Beevers, who played the Master to Tom Baker's Doctor No 4.

Nicholas Briggs is writing the drama, which will surface in November to coincide with the anniversary celebrations.

"We wanted to do a proper, fully-fledged multi-Doctor story for this very special occasion," he says.

"It's wonderful that all the surviving classic Doctors threw themselves behind the project so enthusiastically.

"That's not to say the first three Doctors don't appear, too - we wanted to pay homage to the whole history of the classic series."

The Light at the End will have its fair share of Classic companions, too.

Step forward Louise Jameson (Leela), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown), Sophie Aldred (Ace) and India Fisher (Charley Pollard) among the cast.

"There will be a number of appearances from some much-cherished old friends from the TV series," adds producer David Richardson.


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A Doctor Who fan has turned her house into her very own Tardis.
Erica Quinn has recreated the famous time machine from her front door in Glasgow.
She even matched the paint from an original 1960s police box that still sits a stone's throw away at the corner of the city's Botanic Gardens.
Life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the Tenth and Eleventh incarnations of the Doctor, as played by Matt Smith and David Tennant, companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and time agent Captain Jack (John Barrowman), and a Dalek peer out from behind the curtains of the flat-turned-Tardis on Clouston Street.
Mrs Quinn dresses them up on special occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Easter - giving each a costume.
The Captain Jack figure even spent last year wearing a black armband in mourning for the regeneration of the tenth doctor, played by Scottish actor David Tennant.
The 39-year-old rearranges them throughout the year - currently the enemies and companions are grouped together, with the two Doctors occupying her bedroom, and a solitary Ood in the hall vestibule.
Mrs Quinn, who shares the house with her husband Quinn, two daughters, Joan and Alice and cat, Lucy, said: "They switch around and sometimes they come out of the windows," she said.
"They are an excellent deterrent against having your house broken into because it looks like someone is watching".
The house has become a local landmark, with passers by stopping to take pictures of her tribute to the show.
She said: "I call it my double take door. People walk by and just stop and stare. People have started calling me the Doctor Who House Lady.
"Once I was getting a taxi on the other side of Glasgow - and I went up to the taxi rank and asked to go to the West End.
"One of the drivers said: 'I'll take you, because I want to go past the Doctor Who House. I was like, "That's my house".
"There have been so many people that I have run into in different places and discovered that they knew about my house. People use it as a point of reference to tell people where they are.
"I think it's great that people love to talk to me about it. You often here people stopping and talking about it outside the house. Everyone under the age of five loves Amy the most."
She said her tribute to the cult show began as a joke, but rapidly expanded.
"I'm no more of a Doctor Who fan that most people in Britain - I watch it and I enjoy it, but I'm not obsessed," she said.
The couple, who originally hail from California and Australia, bought the main door flat in 2003 and have been painstakingly restoring it.
It is next door to where the Scottish Colourist JD Ferguson once lived - but no planning permission was needed for the work.
Mrs Quinn said: "It's just when we came to redo the front door, I thought it should probably have a theme. Doctor Who seemed as good a theme as any - it became a bit of a running gag.
"The front door was really terrible. It was brown UPV. My husband hated it more than life itself."
Mrs Quinn is now making plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show next year.
She hopes to build a replica console room in the hall vestibule to complete the effect.
And she's hoping John Barrowman might admire her handiwork this year.
The Glasgow-born actor is in the city to star in pantomime Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates with the Krankies.
Last year, she contacted the actor's agents inviting him to come and have a look - but he was struck down by a chest infection.
Later she was sent a goodie bag addressed to "The Doctor Who Fan".

Amy Pond, from Doctor Who

Image via Wikipedia

Karen Gillan has admitted she was worried what Jean Shrimpton would think of her portrayal of the Sixties star in a new TV film.

The Doctor Who star plays the actress and model in We'll Take Manhattan, a TV movie about Jean's relationship with the photographer David Bailey.

Karen said: "I guess there is more pressure because part of me thinks I should stay true to what this person actually was. And they're still alive which is quite a significant thing as well, because they're going to see how you portray them.

"But she has seen it and she's really happy, which is really nice."

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The Winter Memorabilia Show at the NEC this month is offering a star-studded line from film, TV and sport.

Doctor Who/Torchwwod's Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams) and Sir Derek Jacobi (the Master) will be among the sci-fi special guests meeting fans and signing autographs.

mcm expo kai owen torchwood.jpgKai Owen (Rhys Williams) shows how it's done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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