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Billie is first £100m TV babe (2006)

2006-04-15 Daily Star.jpg


Beeb's top girl set for 'handcuffs' deal

DOCTOR Who beauty Billie Piper will become Britain's first £100million telly babe. New figures reveal she will help the the BBC earn the incredible sum from sales of the sci-fi smash around the globe.

It means Billie, 23 — who plays the Doctor's assistant Rose Tyler — is now the corporation's prize asset.

And they are ready to offer her an out-of-this-world pay deal to keep her on board. A source said: "Billie has the upper hand in this. If the BBC want her to stay then they will have to come up with a tempting offer. "They certainly don't want to lose her. If she doesn't stay on Doctor Who then they will try to keep her with a golden handcuffs deal so she doesn't stray to ITV."


Billie has already proved a big hit in countries including the USA, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and even South Korea.

Last year the show raked in £70m for the BBC in worldwide sales. But orders from abroad are set to double this year following the launch tonight of the second series with David Tennant, 34, as the Time Lord.

By the end of the year, the BBC will have bagged more than £100m by flogging the latest show — featuring cyber men, clockwork droids and a werewolf — overseas.

Doctor Who could even beat the station's current most lucrative series the Teletubbies.

Beeb bosses recently revealed the kiddies' fave — featuring Po, Laa-Laa, Dipsy and Tinky Winky — had raked in £120m for them worldwide.

But now the Doc and Rose look set to top that figure, with around 20 countries wanting to buy up the show.

The series has also been sold to some of the world's biggest airlines, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Executive producer Julie Gardner said last night: "Obviously we are thrilled with the success of the show.

"It is brilliant that Doctor Who is reaching a worldwide audience."

And writer Russell T. Davies, 42, added: "The Doctor has travelled far and wide and knows no boundaries.


"Now the programme is doing much the same." Billie recently disclosed that she originally signed up to appear in three series of the sci-fi classic, which means she could exit next year.

She teased: "I signed for three series. Maybe I'll go on for years and years. Who knows?"

But behind the scenes bosses are preparing to break the bank to persuade her to stay on as long as possible. Christopher Eccleston, 42, quit after just one series in the role when it was revived last year after a 16-year absence. Doctor Who, the Beeb's longest-running drama series, started in 1963.

The new run of Doctor Who begins 411I tonight on BBC1 at 7.15pm. The first episode is called New Earth.

Caption: A BIG KNIGHT IN: Doctor Who and Rose meet Queen Victoria, above and left, in the new series. Below, Rose comes up against a clockwork droid


1 FANS will see the Doctor and Rose kiss tonight. And it's rumoured he'll snog Madame Du Pompadour — played by David Tennant's real life girlfriend Sophia Myles, 26.

2 DAVID Tennant has been quick to allay fans' fears he'll quit. "My contract's wriften in blood," he says.

3 WHEN he finally hangs up his plimsolls, David jokes he might launch a lingerie line.

4 IF HE can find time, writer Russell T. Davies says he would love to pen a spin-off series featuring the Doc's old assistant Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) and dog K-9.

5 FANS who want the Doc's deadliest enemy The Master to come back will have a very long wait. Russell says: "I am afraid he was never a favourite of mine — he strikes me as a bit of a stereotype villain."

6 DESPITE the huge success of Series One, the BBC kept the show to the same £10million budget for the second.

7 NOEL Clarke, 30, who plays Rose's boyfriend Mickey Smith, is the first black Tardis companion.

8 THE Daleks will return, but Davies won't say when. He teased: "They will always come back!' Maybe for the finale?

9 TWO TV shows get a look-in on the new series. The Doc is seen watching EastEnders and chat show queen Trisha Goddard, 48, does I Married A Ghost.

10 MANY A-listers were turned away for demanding astronomical fees. But Davies would love to sign Johnny Depp, 42.

11 VETERAN actress Pauline Collins, 65, pops up as Queen Victoria in Episode Two — her first appearance was in 1967.

12 WRITER Mark Gatiss pays homage to Corrie in one episode. He names a road Florizel Street — original name for the soap.

13 TENNANT'S parents came down from Scotland to visit him on set and ended up playing two characters during script rehearsals.

14 AS Christopher Eccleston played the Doc with a northern accent, David has ditched his own Scottish tones.

15 A CHRISTMAS episode will be filmed for December 25 on BBC1. And Russell has promised: "It will be festive. I can't bear Christmas shows set on hot Spanish beaches!"

16 ALTHOUGH the show has been sold to the States, neither Billie nor David have any plans to go to Hollywood.

17 EAGER fans can download clips of episodes called Tardisodes to their mobile phones for the first time.

18 RUSSELL'S two fave episodes from Series Two are Tooth and Claw with the werewolf and the finale, Doomsday.

19 SERIES Two took 178 days to film and plans are already under way for next year's show.

20 TV CREWS will have to break up the huge set of the Tardis soon and build a new one in their new, bigger studios in Wales.

Caption: FAVOURITE: Johnny Depp

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  • APA 6th ed.: Dyke, Peter (2006-04-15). Billie is first £100m TV babe. Daily Star p. 9.
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Billie is first £100m TV babe | url= | work=Daily Star | pages=9 | date=2006-04-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=25 April 2019 }}</ref>
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