The waiting is over! The BBC today revealed that the companion for the next series of Doctor Who will be Karen Gillan. 21 year old Gillan will star alongside new Doctor Matt Smith when the TARDIS returns to BBC One in spring 2010.
Head writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat declared, 'We saw some amazing actresses for this part, but when Karen came through the door the game was up. Funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it. A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too.'
Executive Producer and Head of Drama BBC Wales Piers Wenger said, 'We knew Karen was perfect for the role the moment we saw her. She brought an energy and excitement to the part that was just fantastic. And when she auditioned alongside Matt we knew we had something special.'
Karen Gillan follows in the footsteps of former companions including Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate who all won millions of fans and showed that the role remains one of the biggest in television. But Piers Wenger is raring to go with Matt Smith and the Doctor's fantastic new companion, declaring, 'It is a partnership that is ready to take on the Universe!'
The new companion, starring opposite Matt Smith when Doctor Who returns for a full series in Spring, 2010, has been revealed! She has appeared previously in Doctor Who, playing the Soothsayer in the Tenth Doctor adventure, The Fires of Pompeii. In that episode the Doctor admits, 'I sometimes need someone' and from 2010 that someone will be Karen Gillan!
After winning the coveted role, Karen, 21, announced, 'I am absolutely over the moon at being chosen to play the Doctor's new companion. The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can't quite believe I am going to be a part of it.'
Karen grew up in Inverness, Scotland and developed a love for acting very early on, attending several youth theatre groups and taking part in a wide range of productions at her school, Charleston Academy.
Aged 16, Karen decided she wanted to pursue her acting career further and further and left school to study acting at Edinburgh's Telford College. A year later secured a place at the prestigious Italia Conti academy in London. During her first year she landed a role in Rebus and soon appeared in a variety of programmes including Channel 4's Stacked and The Kevin Bishop Show. Karen also stars in the forthcoming film Outcast starring James Nesbitt.
When she's not acting Karen likes to play the piano and loves rummaging through vintage clothes shops. But it looks unlikely she'll be able to do much rummaging in the near future as she gears up for a life in the TARDIS, and in the limelight!
But she's ready for the challenges and adventures that will follow, declaring, 'Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him - I just can't wait to get started!'
Lizo Mzimba view:
Lizo Mzimba, Entertainment correspondent
The 2010 series is a crucial one for the programme. David Tennant has been such a big part of the show's success, that expectations for his successor are huge.
So the choice of a relative unknown to accompany the new Doctor in The Tardis is an unsurprising one.
If a well-known actress had been chosen, there would always be the danger that they would overshadow Matt Smith in his first series.
And The Doctor needs to be the main focus of the show, even though the companion role is much more significant now than it was in the classic series between 1963 and 1989.
21-year-old Karen Gillan has been named as the new companion for series five of Doctor Who. The Scottish actress will star alongside Matt Smith, who takes over next year.
Gillan previously appeared in Doctor Who in The Fires of Pompeii as a soothsayer. Her other credits include The Kevin Bishop Show, Stacked, and Rebus.
Filming on the new series will begin in July for transmission around Easter 2010! There is rumour to be a Doctor Who Confidential announcing Gillian, to be transmitted just before the Robin Hood finale, as I said, its just a rumour!
The BBC has announced that Scottish actress Karen Gillan is to play the new companion, alongside Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, in the next series of Doctor Who, due to be broadcast in the spring of next year.
Twenty-one year-old Gillan previously appeared in last year's episode "The Fires of Pompeii", as the Soothsayer. BBC News reports that she studied acting at Telford College in Edinburgh, and has also appeared in The Kevin Bishop Show and the forthcoming film Outcast, starring James Nesbitt.
In the press release, executive producer and chief writer Steven Moffat is quoted as saying: "We saw some amazing actresses for this part, but when Karen came through the door the game was up. Funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it. A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too."
Gillan herself says: "I am absolutely over the moon at being chosen to play the Doctor's new companion. The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can't quite believe I am going to be a part of it. Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him – I just can't wait to get started!"
The news is also being reported by, among many others: Children's BBC, InTheNews.co.uk, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, Broadcast Now and The Guardian.