The New Doctor Who, Actually; Bill Nighy to Play the Time Lord as the Tardis Materialises Once More

Article excerpt

Byline: TARA CONLAN;TANIA SHAKINOVSKY

BILL NIGHY is to be the new Doctor Who when the BBC brings back the cult sci-fi show.

The revelation of the casting of the Love Actually star ends months of speculation over who would land the role.

After weeks of negotiations, BBC executives whittled down the contenders to three, with Nighy finally beating off competition from Richard E Grant and Jonathan Creek star Alan Davies.

Nighy, 53, who will be the ninth incarnation of the TV Time Lord, has been a respected actor for more than 20 years. He first found fame in 1991 playing a womanising lecturer in steamy BBC2 drama The Men's Room.

Recently he was acclaimed for his performance in BBC1 thriller State Of Play and last month won a best supporting actor Bafta for his role as a washed-up rock star in Love Actually.

In the new series - expected to be broadcast in Doctor Who's traditional Saturday evening slot from next year - the Time Lord will be joined by a feisty young assistant called Rose Tyler, who is still to be cast.

It has not yet been decided whether his old enemies the Daleks will return.

In one episode Nighy will be joined by actor Alfred Molina when the Doctor goes back in time for a plot involving Joan of Arc, with scenes to be filmed in Normandy. …