Katherine Jenkins, the Welsh classical singer who is making her acting début in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, has been speaking about her excitement on being part of the ever-popular show.
Earlier this week, Jenkins joined Sir Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill on the first day of shooting for the seventh Christmas special of the BBC-produced science-fiction drama since its triumphant return to television screens in 2005.
This year’s Christmas episode will be the first to be written by the show’s current head writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat (Sherlock). All the previous ones were written by his successor, Russell T Davies (Torchwood).
Jenkins spoke to the BBC about her excitement at winning the part, saying:
"I’m over the moon to be involved in the Doctor Who Christmas special. I can’t quite believe it as it’s a part of the family tradition at the Jenkins household.
"I heard the news that I got the role on my 30th birthday and it was the best birthday present ever."
Jenkins, 30, isn’t the first singer to star in Doctor Who. Since 2005, three of the Doctor’s companions have been played by singers. From 2005 to 2006, and again in 2008 and 2010, Billy Piper (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) played Rose Tyler, opposite the ninth and tenth Doctors, Christopher Eccleston (Lennon Naked) and David Tennant (The Decoy Bride). John Barrowman (Desperate Housewives) joined Eccleston aboard the TARDIS, as Captain Jack Harkness, in 2005, and later, Tennant in 2008 and 2010. Most famously, as Astrid Peth, the pop superstar Kylie Minogue (Neighbours) joined Tennant in the 2007 Christmas special, The Voyage of the Damned.
This year’s special is said to be based around Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and Moffat told BBC News:
We’re going for broke with this one. It’s all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters. And the Doctor. And a honeymoon.
I’ve honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April.
The special, which is expected to be an hour in length, picks up where the fifth series left off. In the final episode, The Big Bang, the Doctor’s current companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams got married, and at Christmas viewers will see them taking their honeymoon.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said in a press release, that the collaboration between the Who team, Jenkins and Gambon would be an “unforgettable present”.
Operastar to Moviestar
Katherine Jenkins is a Welsh mezzo-soprano who is well known for songs that combine popular and classical music. To date, she has produced ten albums. Earlier this year, she appeared as a judge on ITV’s Popstar to Operastar. Doctor Who represents her professional acting début, although she did appear as herself in a 2007 episode of the British soap opera, Emmerdale.
Sir Michael is one of Britain’s most senior actors, who made his professional début at the age of 19, in 1962. He is probably best known to modern cinema audiences for his role as in the Harry Potter movies as Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.