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Hardly 48 hours have passed since Matt Smith was announced as the eleventh Doctor, and, already, people have moved on to discussing who will be his companion. Let me remind you, this is The Sun, but the red top is reporting that pop star/mixed martial artist Lily Allen is “a frontrunner” to play Smith’s assistant. There would be an odd genius about the fashionably posh/punk pairing. A kind of symmetry of asymmetrical hairdos.

Furthermore, if you recall, Billie Piper was a pop star – and not a particularly highly-regarded one – before she was Rose Tyler, and she was a smashing success in the role. Could Allen shock us all, continuing her family’s acting dynasty by joining Doctor Who?

Who exec producer Piers Wenger says Lily will have to grab a headshot and wait in line with the other starlets: “We are looking for someone whose light can burn brightly.We would never cast anyone on the basis of their celebrity, but if Lily wanted to audition we would be delighted. It would be a lot of fun.”

Fun, yes, but could they rein in Ms. Allen’s mouth, which emits ever-increasingly silly things with each passing week? That’s the last thing anyone needs. Michelle Ryan would be a far better choice, and she previously worked with Steven Moffat on Jekyll. She’s a major hottie, and I think she’d work for it after the disaster that was Bionic Woman. Or maybe Moffat should mix it up a bit and hire a guy for extra frisson: I propose Patrick Wolf.

Mark Wright of The Stage weighs in on Matt Smith’s casting as the Doctor: “While Smith has a varied CV (including partnering Billie Piper in The Ruby in the Smoke), it is limited by his relative youth, but his TV and theatre work has been well received. We know, at the very least, that he’ll be able to learn the lines and not bump into the furniture. But the fact we don’t know a great deal about the actor is all to the good. There’s a blank canvas to work with here – the Eleventh Doctor could be absolutely anything, and from an audience point of view, that’s tremendously exciting.”

BBC NEWS profiles Matt Smith.

In other news:

  • David Tennant is back onstage as Hamlet after back surgery.(Daily Mail)

  • Watch Sharon Osbourne pummel a girl on the Rock of Love: Charm School reunion. Sharon, always setting a good example for the youth.(The Sun)
  • Not safe for work due to some bare boobage: Amy Winehouse looks happy on her Caribbean holiday. For the first time in a while, Amy doesn’t look like she’s in need of a good meal. Perhaps she’s getting enough sustenance from the hunky “mystery man” with whom she’s been snapped canoodling on the beach. The Sun‘s Gordon Smart says, “He’s not her usual type – he’s well groomed and even has bit of muscle on him.”
  • Sir Paul McCartney and his new lady lap it up in Mexico.(The Sun)
  • Paul Weller has fallen and he can’t get up. And I don’t think he really wants to. (Daily Mail)
  • The BBC has begun its Sound of 2009 list with ’80s-retro duo La Roux.
  • 2009 will be the year of James Corden, says The Sun. Apparently, our Smithy has landed that role in Gulliver’s Travels opposite Jack Black. Congrats, James!
  • Cheryl Cole opens up about her cheatin’ footballer husband Ashley. “Look, Ashley’s young, and he’s got a young mentality for his age anyway. He’s learning. He has a beautiful soul, he’s a really nice guy, and I’m not stupid, you know – I’m really not. I know what I’m doing.” (The Sun)
  • Gavin & Stacey‘s Joanna Page says she’d play Stacey for 20 more years.(The Sun)
  • Spandau Ballet are jumping on the comeback bandwagon. Well, if we can’t get The Smiths back together, this is the next best thing, right?(The Sun)
  • Daniel Craig talks about going from James Bond to playing a Jewish warrior during the Holocaust in Defiance. And he speaks of why James Bond had to be updated for a new generation: “I work from the premise that there are millions and millions of people out there who never saw one of the earlier Bond movies. So they don’t understand the martini gag. Or the Moneypenny gag, which is a gag – it had ceased to be a character. So, let’s find out who she is. We can have fun doing that. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m up for a submarine base, as long as the gag works. The problem is that Austin Powers screwed everything up. He exploded the genre. Did I just say that? I did.”(The Times)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.