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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 23:51 GMT
Eccleston launches new Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper in Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston co-stars with Billie Piper as his assistant Rose Tyler
Actor Christopher Eccleston said it was an "easy" decision to become the ninth Doctor Who, as he launched the new series of the BBC show in Cardiff.

"I just wanted to work with Russell T Davies," he said.

The star said he had become a Doctor Who fan since working with the Queer as Folk writer: "It's a fantastic series and I am proud to be a part of it."

The new series of the show, on BBC One from 26 March, is the first since it was cancelled in 1989.

Eccleston admitted his role of the doctor could have been "a poisoned chalice".

"You have to deliver a lot of pseudo-scientific jargon and give it some charisma and wit," he said.

"I watched Tom Baker do it and thought he was brilliant."

Billie Piper, who stars as the doctor's assistant, Rose Tyler, also attended the launch of the new series of the sci-fi favourite.

Daleks return

Since the original show was cancelled 16 years ago it has been resurrected for a one-off TV movie and in the form of animated online adventures.

In 2003, it was voted the show people would most like to see back on TV. The new 13-part series, filmed in Cardiff, will also see the return of the Doctor's arch enemies the Daleks, as well as the Tardis.

Christopher Eccleston is the perfect choice to play the new Doctor
Sebastian J Brook, London

It was also recently revealed that Eccleston, who is best known for his roles in hit film Shallow Grave and TV's Cracker and Our Friends In The North, e-mailed writer and executive producer Russell T Davies to ask for the lead role.

The show has already hit the headlines this week after an episode from the new series ended up on the internet, three weeks before transmission date.

The BBC has described the incident as "a significant breach of copyright" and is investigating how it happened.

First look at Doctor Who's latest incarnation



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