1 RACHEL IN LINE FOR DOCTOR WHO ROLE
The Mirror , November 2005
We’re talking S Club’s Rachel Stevens here, and the headline was also misleading – it incorrectly claims she'll be in Doctor Who , whereas the article was incorrectly claiming she'd be in Torchwood . “The singer has a final audition to win the part of Gwen opposite John Barrowman’s Captain Jack in the post-watershed sci-fi show.” Well, her old band mate Hannah nabbed a job on Primeval , that's about as close to reality as the story gets.
2 WHO'S YOUR DADDY?
The Daily Star , August 2006
The Daily Star scooped the normally Who -tastic Sun back in 2006 with the news that we were going to meet the Time Lord’s son. “Doctor Who’s big secret is out – he’s a dad. At the end of the next series the Time Lord will reveal he has a son. Doc junior is part of a cunning plan to make sure the sci-fi series goes on and on. Time Lords only have 13 lives and the current Doctor, played by David Tennant, 35, is on his tenth regeneration. So writer Russell T Davies has found a long-lost son floating round the cosmos. A source said: ‘Everyone knows that Time Lords have 13 lives and then that’s it, they finally die. Since there are only two regenerations left, the BBC need a plan to make sure the show can carry on.’” Instead, we got “The Doctor's Daughter”.
3 KYLIE TO BECOME CYBERWOMAN
The News Of The World , April 2007
Well, the tabloid was correct that Kylie was going to appear in a Doctor Who Christmas special, but they seem to have based their information about her being a Cyberwoman from her Doctor Who -tinged stage show. Or possibly the metal dress she wore in the “Can't Get You Out Of My Head” video. Or possibly the writer's dodgy dreams.
4 ZIGGY TARDIS FOR DOCTOR WHO!
The Sun , August 2007
"Ziggy TARDIS For Doctor Who !" reported The Sun , alongside a picture of David Bowie’s head superimposed over Davros’s bonce. “ROCK legend David Bowie is set to star in Doctor Who as an evil alien abductor... he will cross swords with the TARDIS’s Time Lord when he kidnaps crime author Agatha Christie." Bowie’s official website quickly calls the claims, “absolute tish and tosh.”
5 JOAN COLLINS SET TO BECOME WHO VILLAIN
The News Of The World , August 2007
Yep, the Dynasty diva was going to be the new Rani, the villainous Time Lady originally played by Kate O'Mara. “The Doctor Who team are delighted they've managed to sign Joan,” a marvellously ill-informed BBC insider told the Sunday rag. “It’s a real coup. She’s perfect for the role... like Alexis Colby with a sonic screwdriver.” No sign of the Rani in the new series so far, let alone Collins.
6 NESBITT TIPPED AS NEW DOCTOR WHO
The Sun , August 2007
The rumour that we would be having our first Northern Irish Doctor was rife at the time, and reported in various tabloids. “[Steven] Moffat has worked with James on Jekyll and the talk in BBC Drama is that he’s a shoo-in as the next Doctor,” gushed The Sun , completely groundlessly. Incoming showrunner Steven Moffat swiftly denied the claims on the Outpost Gallifrey web forum: “The James Nesbitt story is a total fabrication. A fantasy. Just a guy sitting at a desk and inventing stuff. I wasn’t going to say anything but I’m getting embarrassed for the wonderful Jimmy Nesbitt. So tell everyone please, it’s getting very silly.”
7 GANDHI IS THE NEW LEADER OF DALEKS
The Sun , August 2007
Next to a picture of Ben Kinglsey as Gandhi superimposed into Davros’s sci-fi wheelchair, The Sun announced, “ Doctor Who bosses are set to sign up Gandhi star Sir Ben Kingsley to play the Daleks’ creator Davros.” It then added rather randomly, “Sir Ben’s role will be a far cry from that of Mahatma Gandhi.” Blimey and we thought Davros was all about non-violent protest.
8 SINGER SET TO BE LILY ALIEN
The Sun, November 2007
“Lily Allen is in talks to be Doctor Who ’s next assistant,” reckoned The Sun . “Show bosses desperately want the singer to sex-up the sci-fi series.” Utter bobbins, as it turns out, but the story was almost worth it for the groansome headline. Curiously the same article also suggested that John Simm and Rhys Ifans were being considered to play the 11th Doctor, which just sounds like someone typing the first names that came into their head.
9 NOW IT’S DOCTOR CRUISE
The Daily Star , November 2007
“The BBC is lining up a clutch of massive Hollywood names to join Doctor Who in the TARDIS. The show is such a cult hit Stateside that bosses are convinced they can add some Tinseltown glamour to the cast. Targets include Tom Cruise, 45, Brad Pitt, 43, Angelina Jolie, 32, and Natalie Portman, 26. Even adopted Brit Madonna, 49, who now lives in London with her family, is in the frame.” Was The Star (29) reporting from La La Land or Cloud Cuckoo Land at the time?
10 JENNIFER COULD BE DOCTOR WHO
The Sun , December 2007
A disappointingly bland title from the usually puntatstic Sun , but then again the “female Doctor Who” story is pretty predictable itself. Every time a Doctor actor resigns, the stpry rears its head. Although there was a twist this time: “ Ab Fab star Jennifer Saunders is set to be the first female Time Lord – for just one episode. The comic actress is in talks to become Doctor Who as David Tennant, 36, will leave after filming three specials in 2009. TV bosses are keen to get a woman on board the TARDIS for one of those shows.” We must have missed that one at Christmas.
11 ROBERT CARLYLE TIPPED TO REPLACE DAVID TENNANT
The Daily Telegraph , March 2008
“Bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 2-1 that the Trainspotting star will become the 11th Time Lord when Tennant steps down,” reckoned The Torygraph . It continued, “Other actors tipped to fight the Daleks include Jason Statham (4-1), Alan Davies (9-2) and the Cold Feet star James Nesbitt* (6-1).” No news on what the odds were on Matt Smith at the time.
* Clearly they hadn’t been reading Outpost Gallifrey .
12 PM IS DOCTOR WHO DALEK
The Sun , March 2008
No, not an excuse for The Sun to superimpose Gordon Brown’s head onto Davros but the exciting news that Harriet Jones would be returning to Doctor Who as a Dalek. “PM Harriet Jones becomes a Dalek in the new series of Doctor Who , TV Biz can reveal. Penelope Wilton, 61, returns as the somewhat gormless Harriet two years after we last saw her, being brought down by a fuming Time Lord for being too cocky in ‘The Christmas Invasion’... Now Harriet is set to become a real threat to the good Doctor – as the daddy of all Daleks.” Oh dear...
13 STAR TREK HERO TO PLAY TIME LORD
The Sun , October 2008
“Acting legend* Patrick Stewart is to make a giant leap across space – from Star Trek to Doctor Who ,” blurted The Sun . “He has agreed to a major role in the Time Lord’s next series after teaming up with the Doctor (David Tennant) on stage.” No-one decided to make it so.
* Was he standing in for the regular legend?
14 ALL SURVIVING DOCTOR WHO ACTORS TO APPEAR IN ONE-OFF TV SPECIAL
The Mirror , October 2008
“The seven surviving Doctor Whos are to appear together in a one-off TV special. The surviving Doctors – including current one David Tennant – are getting together for the first time for Children In Need on November 14.” Seems like research at The Mirror involves checking out the rumours section on Gallifery Base .
15 EVIL MUGABE HAORDS LOST DOCTOR WHO TAPES
The Sun , February 2009
At least this made a change from all the usual dubious casting announcements. “Long-lost Doctor Who episodes thought to be hidden away in Zimbabwe may never be recovered because despot Robert Mugabe hates the UK,” reported The Sun (next to a picture of Mugabe’s head superimposed onto Davros – do we sense a theme here?). Turns out that Mugabe probably isn’t a fan, secretly going on-line to boast that he's got “The Tenth Planet” Part 4 and watching it in bed. Instead, it’s just a story about the fact that the BBC used to sell Doctor Who to Rhodesia (as it was then) and now the Mugabe regime won’t let the BBC into the country to check the vaults of Zimbabwe TV.
16 I KNOW WHO
The News Of The World , March 2009
The News Of The World didn’t know Who, not at all. “I’ve been told who’s about to become Doctor Who’s new sidekick,” said the paper's celeb writer. “Yep, Matt Smith can look forward to the fine and beautiful Hannah Murray – you know, Cassie from Skins .” Dunno who told you mate, but they were talking pish.
17 X FACTOR STAR CHERYL COLE WANTED FOR DOCTOR WHO ROLE
The Mirror , November 2009
“BBC bosses want to get X Factor star Cheryl Cole on board the TARDIS – in Doctor Who . No deal has been signed, but show executives think Cheryl, 26, could play a big part in their new series. An insider said: ‘If she can find the time, a part will be written for her.’” Well, of course, there is the chance this could still come true, but somehow, we doubt it. Unless it’s one of those McFly/Derek Acorah-style cameos.