Belfast Telegraph

Who was hoping that Daniel Radcliffe would be new Dr Who?

By Jane Graham

Good thing the new Doctor turned out to be the magnificent Peter Capaldi. Because the first 24 minutes of the BBC's live Doctor Who show were as ill-conceived and disheartening as anything the corporation has done since Bill Oddie was invited to bring cheer to a panel show.

It's one thing for a leaked news story to ruin a TV surprise. But for programme makers themselves, on the promise of a big audience and a load of column inches, to collude in a massive spoiler for their own show, and the one most beloved by kids, is unforgivable.

They'll say the identity of the next Doctor always gets out anyway, but that's not the point. Officially confirming rumours on a live, low-quality chat show with Zoe Ball, ex-Doctor Colin Baker ('the one no one liked') and some minor celebs who didn't care enough about the series to get simple facts right was a betrayal of everything that makes Doctor Who special.

The face of the new Doctor should be revealed within the drama itself, in that magical moment of regeneration. Not via a very mortal bloke on a sofa reminding kids the Doctor is merely an actor on a good gig. An actor who, by the way, means sod all to under-12s. The anti-climax among that core audience was guaranteed, unless Daniel Radcliffe had landed the job.

But what did the BBC care? They'd pulled a PR coup that would have made Malcolm Tucker proud. And shown as much moral fibre as that great doctor of spin in the process.

Belfast Telegraph

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