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Festive favourite

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David Tennant was a little apprehensive about Kylie Minogue starring in this year's Christmas special set on the Titanic. Here he tells us how much fun it was to have a pop princess on board

There was a palpable ripple of excitement when it was announced that Kylie Minogue would be joining the cast of the Doctor Who Christmas special. She had been persuaded by her stylist and 'gay husband' William Baker to take the role of Astrid (an anagram of Tardis), a waitress on the doomed liner Titanic.

'Everyone got very twittery when it was revealed that Kylie was coming,' says David Tennant, who plays the Doctor.

'Of course, she arrives and she's incredibly normal - none of those things a pop diva would be. I think she enjoyed being one of the team - it must get quite exhausting being your own brand.'

The special picks up where the last series left off, when the Titanic crashed through the walls of the Tardis. In this episode, Voyage Of The Damned, the liner comes under attack from an evil alien force, but David is sworn to secrecy about how the plot unfolds. And when he talks about the details of this homage to James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic, it's hard to know what to believe.

'About half way through, we break into Celine Dion. Kylie turns to camera and goes, "And now,

Mr David Tennant" and I perform My Heart Will Go On.

It's a bit like those Two Ronnies Christmas specials, where they'd do a sketch and then say, "And now Manhattan Transfer!" he says. But David becomes more serious when talking about the look of the show, saying that visually it's one of the best - a sort of 'Doctor Who does disaster movie'.

And, as well as Kylie, there's a host of other distinguished guests, including Geoffrey Palmer, Clive Swift and Bernard Cribbins - which also got David very excited.

'Bernard was the voice of my childhood,' enthuses the actor, who will take a break from the series to play Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon next year.

'I'd be chatting to him and thinking I was in The Wombles. And he's such a ball of energy. He seems younger than he is.'

As usual, there's Doctor Who merchandise by the bucketload on sale for the festive period, with the Tardis Electronic Playset ranking as one of this year's must-have presents.

'It's great,' says 36-year-old David, who has played the Time Lord for two years. 'The Tardis makes noises and you can spin it on your finger.

'Oh, and when you open the doors, it lights up - it's actually more convincing than when we do it on the show!'

FACT FILE Kylie appeared in Australian soap The Sullivans in 1976 - long before she became popular as Charlene in Neighbours Caption: Wheel of ill-fortune: Geoffrey Palmer as the captain of the Titanic

Caption: What's the story? Bernard Cribbins plays Wilf


This is what we could be seeing in the new series, which starts in March...

Is it all just Stardust?

David Bowie is set to appear as 'an evil alien abductor'. The Thin White Duke has dismissed this as 'tish and tosh.' Mind you, that's what they said about Kyllel

He won't be exterminated

Davros, the creator of the Daleks, will finally reappear. Rumours that he will be played by Sir Ben Kingsley remain unconfirmed.

It's a mystery...

The Doctor and Donna (played by new regular Catherine Tate) get involved in a whodunnit surrounding Agatha Christie's disappearance.

An Italian job

Phil Davis and Peter Capaldi guest star in a story set in Pompeii on the eve of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Gunning for the Doctor

Seventies favourites the Sontarans return In a story which sees them invading a Tudor mansion. Dan Starkey plays Commander Skorr, below with Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman (yes, she's coming back for a few episodes) and David Tennant.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2007-12-22). Festive favourite. Total TV Guide p. 6.
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