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article imageDoctor Who, Lady GaGa and how a rumour swept the world

By Mathew Wace Peck     Jun 12, 2010 in Entertainment
Is Lady Gaga in line for a guest role in Doctor Who, the BBC’s long-running science-fiction drama series? Apparently not. How a throwaway quip turned into fact halfway across the world.
Earlier this month, Doctor Who Magazine, interviewed Gareth Roberts about his involvement with the current series of the long-running BBC science-fiction series, during which he confirmed that he’d supplied two different scripts to Steven Moffat, the show’s executive producer.
One, The Lodger, became this year’s episode 11, and sees Gavin & Stacey’s James Corden joining the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). The other, unnamed, has been held over for possible inclusion in the 2011 series, which begins filming in Wales, UK, in July.
During the interview, Roberts had joked that his first script for Moffat “might end up on screen one day, or as an audio play in 2030, guest starring Lady GaGa, who will have fallen on hard times”.
That is, until stories started to appear online and in British newspapers and magazines, claiming that Lady GaGa had been signed to appear in the show.
OK! claimed that Roberts had actually written a script that included the singer, suggesting that it was all down to the her trademark costumes. The celebrity magazine then quoted the writer as saying: “She is no stranger to dressing up and would be more than a match for the Doctor. It would be a great coup to get her.”
Meanwhile, one UK tabloid claimed that the BBC wanted to sign Lady Gaga to play a villain in the series.
The Daily Star pointed out that the singer had already sported costumes that resemble Doctor Who aliens such as Cybermen, Yeti, Ood and Tree People, and claimed that “a source” had told them: “She is no stranger to dressing up and would be more than a match for the Doctor. It would be a great coup to get her.”
Now, Roberts has joked that Digital Spy sent the rumour around the world, telling them: “I know what Digital Spy is like! You managed to send that Lady GaGa thing round the world. The Daily Star misquoted me as it was a slow day in their office, and now it's in the New York Post! Never mind."
Queen Gaga
Lady Gaga is an American recording artist who has had a number of hits in the US and Europe since her debut album, The Fame, was released in 2008. The singer is said to have been influenced by glam-rock artists such as David Bowie and Queen.
Indeed, it was the Queen song “Radio Ga Ga” that inspired her stage name. In 2009, she revealed in an interview to John Dingwall in the Daily Record that she adored the late Queen lead singer, Freddie Mercury: “Freddie Mercury and Queen had a hit called ‘Radio Gaga’. That’s why I love the name [...] Freddie was unique – one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music.”
Unicorn, wasps and William Shakespeare
Since the show’s return in 2005, Gareth Roberts has written a number of stories for Doctor Who, including The Shakespeare Code (2007) – which starred David Tennant as the tenth Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones – The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008) – again starring Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble – and 2009’s Planet of the Dead, which he co-wrote with Russell T Davies. That episode starred Tennant, in one of his last stories as the Doctor, alongside Michelle Ryan as his companion, Lady Christina de Souza.
In 2005, Roberts wrote the show’s first-ever interactive episode, Attack of the Graske, which starred Jimmy Vee as the eponymous Graske, and Tennant. In the current series of Doctor Who, which is executive-produced by Steven Moffat, Roberts has written the upcoming story, The Lodger. The episode will see the eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) house-sharing with a character played by James Corden, who is most famous for playing Smithy in Gavin & Stacy, the hit BBC sitcom that is co-written by Corden and Ruth Jones.
Roberts is also a regular contributor to one of the Doctor Who spin-offs, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which stars four of the Time Lord’s former companions, Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), K9 (John Leeson), Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney).
Comic Relief
Doctor Who is currently enjoying record viewing figures in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, where the thirty-first season of the show that began in 1963 is currently being aired. It is the first series to star Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams.
Last week’s UK episode, Vincent and the Doctor, was written by the well-known British screenwriter, Richard Curtis. Curtis is responsible for a whole raft of films, including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Notting Hill, as well as television shows such as Blackadder and The Vicar of Dibley. He is also the person responsible for Comic Relief, the British charity, which he founded in 1985 and, every two years, celebrates Red Nose Day.
The Lodger, meanwhile, can be seen in the UK tonight at 6.45 p.m.
More about Doctor Who, Gareth roberts, Steven moffat, Matt smith, Karen gillan
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