With the announcement of Matt Smith's casting as the Eleventh Doctor having been made over the weekend, The Daily Telegraph - never slow to run a Doctor Who-related story with the least excuse! - report today that the BBC and the production team have now stepped up the search for an actress to play the companion figure in the 2010 series.
The paper quotes executive producer Piers Wenger, saying that "Someone terribly exciting like Billie Piper, who was at the beginning of her acting career but who had a profile for other reasons, would be great. We are looking for someone whose light can burn brightly." The Telegraph suggests that this could mean performers such as singers Lily Allen (right) and Rachel Stevens or television presenter and actress Kelly Brook could be under consideration. The paper claims that Allen is "a favourite with bosses at the BBC," while Wenger says that "We would never cast anyone on the basis of their celebrity, but if Lily wanted to audition we would be delighted. It would be a lot of fun."
Wenger is also quoted on the subject of the much-touted casting of a black actor as the Doctor not having happened. "We saw a dozen or so people, some of them black. There was never any resistance to the idea of a black Doctor and it would have got us all sorts of headlines and brownie points, but we set out to cast the best actor for the role irrespective of ethnicity or age, and that was Matt."
The idea of Lily Allen as the companion is also featured in a story at Gigwise.com