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'TV hippy' in Doctor Who stage show

Actor Nigel Planer - best known for his role as TV hippy Neil in The Young Ones - is to take centre stage in the new live-action Doctor Who tour.

The hit BBC One show is being adapted for the stage in a nine-city arena tour which will begin next month with Daleks and Cybermen among the evil creatures which will be brought to life.

Now Planer has been unveiled as the star who will act as the production's lynchpin, starring as a travelling showman Vorgensen.

The character journeys the galaxy spreading tales of the Doctor's exploits and using his "minimiser" gadget he can conjure up any of the Time Lord's foes for his audience.

Doctor Who's executive producer Steven Moffatt has created the character specially for the touring version.

Planer - whose previous stage successes include Chicago and We Will Rock You - said: "I'm incredibly excited to be joining Doctor Who Live and this role is something of a boyhood dream come true. My character Vorgenson, who has been developed specially for the show by Steven Moffat, is the Greatest Showman in the Galaxy and using his incredible invention, The Minimiser, he can make any Doctor Who character appear on stage as part of his travelling show dedicated to his hero."

Matt Smith will appear via filmed sequences which have been made just for the stage show.

Renowned illusionists The Twins have devised stunts which will enable a Dalek to be seen flying during the performances. Scarecrows, Oods and Silurian are also among show favourites to feature in the live production.

Actor Nick Briggs, who has voiced numerous monsters for the series including Daleks and Cybermen, will also be in the live cast, playing Winston Churchill in addition to some of the villains.

The tour begins at London's Wembley Arena on October 8 with further details at www.doctorwholive.com.

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