By Jenny Priestley
★ Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard that Matt Smith is leaving the TV show Doctor Who. Obviously, it comes as no surprise. It’s been rumoured for months and he’s off shooting his first Hollywood movie right now, Ryan Gosling’s How To Catch A Monster. So stand by for what could be months of speculation about who will be the 12th Doctor. And the bookies are already offering odds on who could be the next Time Lord: Russell Tovey, who’s appeared in the show, is current co-favourite at 10/1 – he’d be a great choice, but would he want to commit to a TV series long-term? Rupert Grint is also co-favourite, a ginger Doctor? One of the first things Smith’s incarnation says is "still not ginger"... According to the bookies, Martin Freeman is third favourite. Never. Gonna. Happen. Ben Whishaw is next (a bit too fey for me) followed by Andrew Scott (Sherlock’s Moriarty) and Billie Piper (yeah, right). Other names in the frame include Patterson Joseph, Tilda Swinton, Nigel Harman, Chris O’Dowd and Tom Ellis. Let’s be honest, the last two Doctors have not been household names – David Tennant had been in Casanova, Smith in Party Animals – so do we really think an actor who’s already established in the public’s psyche will get the gig? I think not. Of that list from the bookies, I think the best shout could be Tom Ellis. I know he’s appeared in the show before, but he’s still relatively unknown to come to the role without any real baggage (other than Miranda). Whatever happens, I’m sure there’s going to be weeks of endless speculation before all is revealed.
★ So as Smith waves goodbye to the Tardis, his former co-star Karen Gillan is busy establishing her Hollywood career. She’s signed on to co-star in Marvel’s next big movie, The Guardians Of The Galaxy. Now we don’t know what role she’s playing but we do know she’ll be a baddie. Which should help her shed her Amy Pond image once and for all. The film’s attracting some very high profile names: Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana were already signed on, and Glenn Close also joined the cast this week. Shooting begins later this month at Shepperton Studios.
★ James Franco and Kate Hudson have begun shooting their new film in the UK. They’re joined by Tom Wilkinson and Omar Sy in the thriller Good People. It’s about a couple who are renovating his parents’ home when they fall into debt. Then their neighbour dies leaving £200,000, which they take. And then things start to go wrong. It’s being directed by Henrik Ganz.
Coming up this week
★ The Academy pays tribute to Jackie Chan on Monday with a special event to honour the Hong Kong action star. He’ll also be getting his hand and feet immortalised in cement outside Graumann’s Chinese Theater in LA on Thursday.
★ On Tuesday it’s the Glamour Women of the Year Awards (no, I haven’t been invited) but you can expect the usual mix of Hollywood stars and UK celebs.
★ Also on Tuesday, Judah Friedlander from 30 Rock takes to the stage in London with his new show, The World Champion Judah Friedlander. It’s on at the Soho Theatre until Wednesday.
★ On Thursday, writer/director/actor Mel Brooks is honoured with the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He’ll be getting it from Martin Scorsese.