Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Christopher Eccleston (born 16 February 1964) is an English stage, film and television actor. He is well-known for his roles in such high-profile films as Shallow Grave and 28 Days Later, and in 2005 became the ninth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who.
Eccleston was born in Little Hulton, near Salford, then Lancashire now Greater Manchester, and raised in a working class family. He was head boy at Joseph Eastham's High School, Hilton Lane, Little Hulton. with a love of Granada and BBC1 television and an ambition to play football for his beloved Manchester United. However, at the age of 19, he found himself to be a much better actor than footballer, and was inspired by television dramas such as Boys from the Blackstuff. Eccleston trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. As an actor, his early influences had been Ken Loach's Kes and Albert Finney's performance in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, but he soon found himself performing the classics, including the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov and Molière. At age 25, Eccleston made his professional stage debut in the Bristol Old Vic's production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Underemployed as an actor for some years after graduating school, Eccleston took a variety of odd jobs at a supermarket, on building sites, and as an artist's model.
Eccleston first came to public attention as Derek Bentley in the 1991 film Let Him Have It. However, it was a regular role in the television series Cracker (1993–94) that made him a recognizable figure in the UK. He was also able to land a role in Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot.
He appeared in the low-budget Danny Boyle 1994 film Shallow Grave, in which he co-starred with up-and-coming actor Ewan McGregor. The same year, he won the part of Nicky Hutchinson in the epic BBC drama serial Our Friends in the North, whose broadcast on BBC Two in 1996 helped make him a household name in the UK. Eccleston would share the screen in the show with Daniel Craig, the sixth and current actor to play James Bond.
His film career has since taken off with a variety of high-profile but not — except in one or two cases — major roles, including parts in Jude (1996) (where he shared a scene with David Tennant, his successor as the Doctor in Doctor Who), Elizabeth (1998), eXistenZ (1999), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000), The Others (2001), 24 Hour Party People (2002) and another Danny Boyle film, the horror movie 28 Days Later (2002). He played a major role as the protagonist of Alex Cox's 2002 Revengers Tragedy, adapted from Thomas Middleton's play of the same name. He has starred alongside two major Hollywood actresses in smaller independent films, appearing opposite Renée Zellweger in A Price Above Rubies (1998) and Cameron Diaz in The Invisible Circus (2001). Despite starring in the car-heist movie Gone in 60 Seconds, he did not actually take his driving test until January 2004 and is only licenced to drive automatic transmission cars.
He has appeared in a variety of television roles, racking up credits in British television dramas of recent years. These have included Hearts and Minds (1995) for Channel 4, Clocking Off (2000) and Flesh and Blood (2002) for the BBC and Hillsborough (1996), a modern version of Othello (2002), playing 'Ben Jago', (the Iago character) and the religious telefantasy epic The Second Coming (2003) for ITV, in which he played Steve Baxter, the son of God. He also finds time for the occasional light-hearted role, however, as his guest appearances in episodes of the comedy drama Linda Green (2001) and macabre sketch show The League of Gentlemen (2002) have shown. On stage, his highest-profile production has been his starring role in Hamlet at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in 2002. The West Yorkshire Playhouse is a favorite venue of his, and he most recently returned there in the new play Electricity, which ran in March and April 2004.
Eccleston has been twice nominated in the Best Actor category at the British Academy Television Awards, the UK's premier television awards ceremony. His first nomination came in 1997 for Our Friends in the North, when he lost out to Nigel Hawthorne (for The Fragile Heart), and he was nominated again in 2004 for The Second Coming, this time being beaten by Bill Nighy (for State of Play). He did, however, triumph in the Best Actor categories at the 1997 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the Royal Television Society Awards, winning for Our Friends in the North. He won the RTS Best Actor award for a second time in 2003, this time for his performance in Flesh and Blood. In 2005 he received the Most Popular Actor award in the National Television Awards for Doctor Who.
In July 2004 a poll of industry experts, conducted by Radio Times magazine, voted Eccleston the 19th Most Powerful Person in Television Drama.
Doctor Who (2005)
On 20 March 2004, it was announced that Eccleston was to play the ninth incarnation of the Doctor in the revival of the legendary BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, which began transmission on 26 March 2005.
On 30 March 2005, the BBC released a statement, ostensibly from Eccleston, saying that he had decided to leave the role after just one season, because he feared becoming typecast. On 4 April, the BBC revealed that Eccleston's "statement" was falsely attributed and released without his consent. The BBC admitted that they had broken an agreement made in January not to disclose publicly that he only intended to do one season. The statement had been made after journalists made queries to the press office.
On 11 June 2005, during a BBC radio interview, when asked if he had enjoyed working on Doctor Who, Eccleston responded by saying, "Mixed, but that's a long story." Eccleston's reasons for leaving the role continue to be debated in Britain's newspapers: on 4 October 2005 Alan Davies told The Daily Telegraph that Eccleston had been "overworked" by the BBC, and had left the role because he was "exhausted".Ten days later, Eccleston told The Daily Mirror this was not true, and expressed some irritation at Davies for his comments.
Eccleston was voted "Most Popular Actor" at the 2005 National Television Awards for his portrayal of The Doctor.
Eccleston was very touched by the response he received from children for his role as the Ninth Doctor. He said "In all the 20 years I've been acting, I've never enjoyed a response so much as the one I've had from children and I'm carrying that in my heart forever..."
 Career since 2005
On October 30, 2005, Eccleston appeared on stage at the Old Vic theatre in London in the one-night play Night Sky alongside Navin Chowdhry, Bruno Langley, David Warner, Saffron Burrows and David Baddiel. Eccleston sat on the 2nd Amazonas International Film Festival Film Jury in November 2005. The director Norman Jewison was chairman of the Jury.
In December 2005, Eccleston traveled to Indonesia's Aceh province for the BBC Breakfast news programme, examining how survivors of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami were rebuilding their lives.
In May 2006, Eccleston appeared as the narrator in a production of Romeo and Juliet at The Lowry theatre in his home city of Salford. The theatre company with which he performed, Celebrity Pig (of which he is patron), is made up of learning disabled actors.
In August 2006, Eccleston filmed New Orleans, Mon Amour with Elisabeth Moss. The film was directed by Michael Almereyda, and shot in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, it is currently in post-production and scheduled for a 2008 release. Late in 2006 he starred in Perfect Parents, an ITV drama written and directed by Joe Ahearne, who had directed him in Doctor Who.
Eccleston joined the cast of the NBC TV series Heroes in the episode Godsend, which was broadcast on January 22, 2007. Eccleston played a character named Claude who has the power of invisibility, and helps Peter Petrelli with his powers.
Eccleston appeared as The Rider in a film adaptation of Susan Cooper's novel The Dark Is Rising, which opened in the U.S. on October 5, 2007.
Eccleston appeared on the BBC Four World Cinema Award show in February 2008, arguing the merits of five international hits such as The Lives of Others and Pan's Labyrinth with Jonathan Ross and Archie Panjabi. He is set to appear as the villanous Destro in the upcoming live action G.I. Joe film.
Eccleston is a life long supporter of Manchester United F.C. Eccleston does a lot of charity work and became a Mencap charity ambassador on April 28, 2005. His height is 187 cm, or 6'2". He is unmarried but recently ended a relationship with the actress Siwan Morris. Eccleston has older brothers, one of whom, Alan Eccleston, appears in the party scene in Heart. (other brother & twin of Alan is Keith). Eccleston is an atheist, though was raised by a devoutly church-going mother.
Eccleston is an avid marathon runner and usually enters a number of competitions each year. He appeared on BBC's Top Gear on which it was revealed that he only has a licence to drive automatic cars. In September 2007, Pendleton College in Salford named their new 270-seat theatre after him naming it 'The Eccleston Theatre' as part of their new £9.5m new build scheme.
The son of a Presbyterian minister, David Tennant ( real surname MacDonald) was brought up in Bathgate, the post-industrial town between Edinburgh and Glasgow immortalised in a song by his favorite band, The Proclaimers. He decided to be an actor at a very young age (3 or 4) and was appearing on screen before he was even out of school. He was first talent-spotted by Scottish TV at a Saturday youth theatre club, an offshoot of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he later trained.
After graduating, Tennant auditioned for the groundbreaking political Scottish Theatre Group 7:84 and landed the role of Giri the Hitman in their touring production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Uiith — his first professional part. His second job, as King Arthur in an Edinburgh production, got such a bad review it made him cry. However, things began to look up when he landed a part in the award-winning BBC TV production of Takin' Over the Asylum. Tennant played manic-depressive Campbell Bain, a role that he claims changed his life. "They needed someone who could believably act 19 and bonkers." He could, and did, to much acclaim, and followed it up with a much-praised performance as the page boy in What the Butler Saw at the Lyttelton.
Then in 1996, when he was just 25, Tennant joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. His turn as Touchstone in As You Like It was praised as the most memorable in years. He was also applauded for his Jack Lane in The Herbal Bed, his leading role in Romeo and Juliet, and his portrayals of Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (for which he received a a 2000 Ian Charleson Award nomination for Best classical actor under 30) and Captain Jack Absolute in The Rivals. Tennant is now a respected classical stage actor and has added to his awards with the 2005 Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland Best Male Performance, as Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger; a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor for Lobby Hero; and a Theatre Management Association Best Actor Award for The Glass Menagerie.
Whilst forging his name in the theatre, Tennant also dipped his toe into the world of television, guest-starring in episodes of The Deputy, Foyle's War, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Rab C. Nesbitt, Holding the Baby and the multiple-award-winning People Like Us. He also appeared in a number of British films and co-starred in BBC4's acclaimed live telefilm of The Quatermass Experiment in April 2005.
But three TV roles in particular won Tennant widespead recognition, both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
In He Knew He Was Right, Andrew Davies' acclaimed BBC adaptation of Trollope's novel, Tennant provided the comic sub-plot as the Reverend Gibson, a flirtatious clergyman who is fought over by a pair of squabbling sisters.
In Blackpool, his Detective Inspector Peter Carlisle won critical acclaim ("David Tennant … crackles with raw energy" said the New York Daily News).
And his Casanova was a triumph, described by the Observer as "a perfect fusion of Brad Pitt and Michael Palin."
Landing the titular role on Doctor Who has made Tennant a household name around the world, but many fans also associate him with another role: Barty Crouch Junior in the big-screen blockbuster Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Billie Piper was born on 22nd September 1982 in Swindon. Her parents, Mandy and Paul changed her given name from Leianne three weeks after registering her birth after they returned from the USA and decided they liked the name Billie better! Billie has one younger brother, Charlie, and two younger sisters, Harley and Ellie.
Billie grew up in Nine Elms, Swindon where she attended Brookfield Primary School and Bradon Forest Secondary School.
She later went on to study at the prestigious Sylvia Young Theare School where her classmates included pop star Matt Willis formely of Busted.
It was whilst at The Sylvia Young that Billie got her first big break Piper's first break appearing in an advert promoting the pop magazine Smash Hits. Her role was to run up to the camera, blow a bubblegum bubble and shout "Pop!" Her fresh faced good looks and bubly personality caught the eye of the record producers and soon after she was offered a record deal at the age of fifteen.
In 1998 Billie became the youngest artist ever to debut at number one in the UK singles chart with "Because We Want To", released under the artist name "Billie". Her follow-up single "Girlfriend" also debuted at Number One, and her first album, Honey to the B (released immediately afterwards) debuted at Number 14 in the UK album charts. She released two further singles off the album, "She Wants You" and "Honey to the Bee"; both songs debuted at Number 3.
Billie's phenomenol pop success was recognised at the 1999 BRIT Awards were she was nominated for two awards and were she took to the stage to perform an ABBA medley with some of the other hottest pop acts of the time. 1999 also saw her walk away with The Best Female gong at The Smash Hits Awards!
Billie returned to the Singles Chart in May 2000 with a new and sexier sound no doubt inspired by her American peers. She hit the Number 1 spot with "Day & Night". In September 2000 she released "Something Deep Inside" which reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. In October 2000, Piper released her second album, Walk of Life, which reached Number 14 in the UK Album Chart. The song "Walk of Life", the final single off this album, was released in December 2000 and reached Number 25 in the UK Singles Chart. This proved to be Piper's last musical release, a low-key exit from the world of pop.
Billie married businessman, television presenter, and DJ Chris Evans in May 2001 in Las Vegas. Their marriage attracted much comment due to the sixteen-year age gap between the two.
Billie and Chris moved to LA, where Billie decided to take up acting classes to improve her skills. On returning to the UK in 2003, Billie decided to end her pop career and return to her original ambition, acting. She quickly earned roles in the BBC series The Canterbury Tales and the one-off drama Bella and the Boys.
In early 2004, she appeared in the films The Calcium Kid, as the romantic interest of Orlando Bloom's character, The Spirit Trap and Things to do Before You're Thirty.
In May 2004, it was announced that Billie was to play the character Rose Tyler, companion to the Doctor in the revived series of Doctor Who, beginning in 2005. She moved to Cardiff and began filming for the first series with her co star Christopher Eccleston.
In October 2004, Billie and her husband Chris began a trial separation.
In spring of 2005, just as Dotor Who hit our screens, it was confirmed that they would be divorcing. The two remain friends.
Doctor Who went on to become the success story of the year and Billie won new fans from even the harshest critics!
In July 2005 Billie started filming for her second series of Doctor Who alongside the new Doctor, David Tennant.
In October 2005, she won the Most Popular Actress category at the National Television Awards for her work on Doctor Who. BBC News named her as one of its "Faces of the Year" for 2005, primarily due to her success in Doctor Who.
At The South Bank Show Awards in January 2006 Billie Piper was awarded The Times Breakthrough Award for her successful transition from singing to acting.
In March 2006, the Television and Radio Industries Club named Billie as best new TV talent in their annual Tric awards.
The second series of Doctor Who hit UK TV in April 2006 and continued to be a huge success, making the covers of almost every magazine and newspaper in the UK!
Rumours began to circulate that Billie would be leaving at the end of the second series and on 15th May 2006 the BBC released a statement to say that Billie would be leaving Doctor Who at the end of Series Two in the final episode Doomsday.
The door has been left open for the return of her popular character Rose Tyler although plans for a spin off series Rose Tyler: Earth Defence were scrapped.
Since leaving Doctor Who Billie has been extremely busy she worked on a new drama for the BBC, an adaptation of the Phillip Pullman novel, The Ruby In The Smoke. This should was shown on the network at Christmas in 2006. Further installments are due to follow and filming of The Shadow In The North should begin soon.
Billie also signed a six-figure contract with publishers Hodder and Stoughton to write her autobiography, which was released in autumn 2006. A book signing tour of the UK coincided with it's release and it proved to be a popular seller.
January 2007 saw Billie make her stage debut in the play Treats. She plays Ann a woman who has to chosoe between her ex boyfriend and her current love interest. The play opened in Windsor and will open in the West End at the end of February 2007.
She will be starring as Fanny Price in an ITV production of Mansfield Park screened in 2007.
Piper also appears in an ITV2 adaptation of Belle de Jour's The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, a book detailing the life of a high-class prostitute entitled Secret Diary of a Call Girl and aired from 27 September 2007. The series saw Piper in several semi-nude scenes including a lesbian romp and one scene featuring her saddling a client and riding him like a horse. The first episode attracted strong viewing figures of 1.8 million and became one of ITV2’s biggest ever audiences since the channel's debut in 1998, and the biggest audience since August 2006. It became the top multichannel show during its time slot and also the highest rated non-terrestrial commission of the year to date. A second series, with Piper in the starring role, has started filming in May 2008. A body double has been hired for scenes in which Piper's pregnancy would be apparent.
Camille Coduri (born 8 October 1966 in Wandsworth, London) is a British actress. She is best known for her role in Doctor Who as Jackie Tyler from 2005 to 2006.She was educated at Holy Trinity Primary School, Tooting, and the Upper Tooting High School where she made her stage debut at the age of fourteen playing Cecily in the school's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Upon leaving school she studied drama at Kingsway Princeton College, King's Cross, where she fell in love with the theatre. She successfully auditioned for a place in the new Lyric Youth Theatre, based at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End, in 1981. They were a somewhat controversial and ground breaking company as, unlike traditional youth theatre, the scripts were improvised and based on the casts own lives and experiences. At the age of sixteen she appeared in their first production, Get Out of That Then, directed by Lucy Parker.
She was spotted by major casting director Mary Selway (Aliens, Lost in Space etc) who helped her to obtain her Equity card and her first professional appearance was in A Prayer for the Dying (directed by Mike Hodges of Get Carter fame) at the age of 21. Her first TV appearance was as Shandy Tremblett in Boon in 1987.
Camille is married to actor Christopher Fulford and they have two children. Her hobbies include swimming, "movies, movies, movies" and reading.
The two biggest influences on her career have been Lucy Parker and Mary Selway, "two amazing women."
It has been confirmed she will reprise her role as Jackie Tyler for the Doctor Who Series 4 finale, along with Billie Piper as Rose Tyler.
John Barrowman (born 11 March 1967 in Mount Vernon, Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish actor, musical performer, dancer, singer and TV presenter, who has lived and worked both in the United Kingdom and the United States. He currently lives in the UK with his civil partner Scott Gill.
Barrowman is best known on British television for his acting and his presenting work on theatre. His most prominent television role has been as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who and its spin-off series Torchwood. He has featured in such light entertainment shows as Going Live, Live & Kicking, Any Dream Will Do, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, and I'd Do Anything as well as appearing on the celebrity ice skating show Dancing on Ice. As a result of his family's move to Illinois when he was 9 years old, Barrowman speaks in an American accent on screen but reverts to a Scottish accent when with family or in Scotland.
Barrowman is openly gay, and he was voted the 2006 Stonewall "Entertainer of the Year" and was third in Broadcast magazine's "Hottest Commodity" poll in November 2006.
Noel Anthony Clarke (born 6 December 1975) is an English actor and writer from London. In 2003, he won the Laurence Olivier Award for "Most Promising Newcomer" for his performance in the play Where Do We Live at the Royal Court Theatre.
He has appeared in several television programmes including Casualty and Metrosexuality. He has had recurring roles as Wyman Norris in the revival series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (2002–2004) and as Mickey Smith in the revival of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (2005-2006 and 2008).
Clarke wrote the screenplay for the film Kidulthood, released on 3 March 2006. Its sequel, Adulthood, is scheduled for release in 2008. His other writing credits include "Combat" (an episode of the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood) and West 10 LDN, a pilot for BBC Three about kids on a rough housing estate, broadcast in March 2008.
Clarke also starred in the audio series Dalek Empire: The Fearless, which was released from September to December 2007.