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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Billie Piper is Doctor Who helper
Billie Piper
Billie Piper made her acting debut last year
Former pop singer Billie Piper is to play Doctor Who's new sidekick when the cult BBC sci-fi show returns next year.

Piper will star alongside Christopher Eccleston as Rose Tyler in the drama.

She made her acting debut last year in the critically-acclaimed BBC One drama serial the Canterbury Tales.

Julie Gardner, Head of Drama for BBC Wales, said she needed to find a "unique, dynamic partner for Christopher Eccleston". She said the actress "fits the bill perfectly".

She added: "Billie is beautiful, funny and intelligent.

Christopher Eccleston
Christopher Eccleston will become the ninth Doctor Who
"She will make an extraordinary Rose Tyler. Doctor Who has his new assistant."

Piper, 21, received critical-acclaim for her role in Bella and the Boys, a one-off drama for BBC Two, and is currently starring opposite Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom The Calcium Kid, a film about a milkman turned boxer.

She said: "Doctor Who is an iconic show and I am absolutely thrilled to be playing the part of Rose Tyler.

"I am also looking forward to working with Christopher Eccleston and writer Russell T Davies."

Executive producer/writer, Russell T Davies, added: "The Doctor's companion is one of the most important and cherished roles in the history of TV drama.

"I'm delighted that someone of Billie's talent is coming on board the Tardis, to travel through time and space."

Filming for the new 13-part series is due to begin in Cardiff later this year.



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