Today has been wonderfully surreal. On Friday, I received an email from BBC publicity – would I be available to appear on BBC Breakfast to discuss the new Doctor, whoever he (or she) may be?
Now, let me just think about that for a minute…
Of course, now we know the 12th incarnation of the Doctor will be played by Peter Capaldi. I watched the live reveal sitting in a hotel at Media City in Manchester and literally whooped when Mr Capaldi was announced. And what about all that show-biz pizzazz? A live show with celebrity fans and ticker tape. Can you believe it? Even when Doctor Who returned in 2005 we could never have dreamt it would be this big.
Needless to say, I think Calpaldi is an inspired choice. One of Britain’s best actors in Britain’s best role. What’s not to love? The 12th Doctor may end up being edgier or darker than the current occupant of the TARDIS, or he could be comedy gold. Maybe he’ll be both. That’s why I love Doctor Who. As Peter Davison once said, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get.
Still, the one thing I never expected was to be discussing Mr Capaldi on the big, red sofa. Needless to say, I was full of nerves as I set off for Manchester yesterday afternoon. Live telly? Me? Surely they’d made a mistake. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard that I would be sharing the sofa with the lovely Sophie Aldred, who’d played companion Ace alongside Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor. Phew! One of the loveliest people I’ve had the privilege of working with at Big Finish. Result. Suddenly I wasn’t so nervous. Ish.
And so there we were sitting in the green room at 8 o’clock this morning, catching up and chatting about the new man in the blue box. Before I knew what was happening, I was rushed to make up and, in less time than it takes to tell, was sitting in front of Louise Minchin and Nicholas Owen. Wow! The interview itself went past in a blur and I don’t think I dropped any clangers – although I’m never going to try to say ‘regenerative cycle’ on live TV again.
Then, it was all over. I waved goodbye to Sophie and dashed off for the train. I’ve only just realised that I’m sitting here in full HD make-up. This could be the start of a new look for me!
It’s been quite a year for me and the Doctor. First Who-ology, then interviewing Russell T. Davies, Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner for DWM and now this. What’s next? Oh, Night of the Whisper of course. I officially love the 50th Anniversary year. I am a very lucky Doctor Who fan!
BBC Breakfast isn’t actually on iPlayer but you can watch a clip on BBC.co.uk and, as you’d expect, it’s already found its way into YouTube!