4 NOVEMBER 2008 With occupancy of the Tardis still up for grabs, a surprise name has been thrown into the ring for the Dr Who role. Outgoing Time Lord David Tennant seems to endorse his former sidekick Billie Piper.
The actress proved popular with fans of the cult sci-fi series when she played his assistant Rose, but left after two seasons and is currently on maternity leave with her first child Winston.
Asked if he could see Billie stepping into his shoes, the Scottish actor said: "Why not? It's one of those parts that any actor could bring something valid to, because... it's a sort of blank canvas every time".
"The fact is that the difference is a virtue with each Doctor. It's not like you're casting Tarzan where you've got to have somebody who looks good in a loin cloth. It can be anything."
Other contenders include Paterson Joseph - who has appeared in previous episodes of the show and is familiar to viewers as Mark Grace in Casualty - and Hustle star Adrian Lester, either of whom would be the first black Doctor.
"It would be good to mix things up and there's no reason why they couldn't have a black Doctor, or a woman," said Adrian. "In fact, why not a black woman? Though I want to play him first!"