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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 08:11 GMT
Torchwood star's Cardiff big day
John Barrowman in Torchwood
The ceremony will be a family celebration, says John Barrowman
Sci-fi series Torchwood's star John Barrowman has arranged an important date on earth - his own civil partnership ceremony in Cardiff.

Barrowman, topping ratings with the BBC series, and architect Scott Gill will hold the ceremony at Christmas.

Pantomime and other commitments meant there were only two possible dates between Christmas and New Year.

"Now it's all fixed. It's going to be at St David's Hotel & Spa on 27 December," Barrowman said.

"We've signed our intent at Kensington and Chelsea," he added

"It's going to be just a few people. We'll have our close family and friends and the cast of Torchwood.

"We'll have a brunch and buffet, although it can only be between 11 and two as I'm appearing in pantomime later.

"It'll be a real family celebration."

John Barrowman in Torchwood
The performer is spending most of his time in Cardiff and he loves it

The couple have been together 16 years, and as well as a home in Cardiff Bay, a stone's throw from the hotel where they will formally commit to each other, they share homes in London and the US.

Barrowman, who moved from Glasgow to Illinois as a child, said: "Our relationship was legitimate for us a long time ago.

"We have been spending most of our time together. The ceremony is because we have the right to be recognised as a couple.

"It forces people who don't want to recognise same-sex relationships as legitimate... it forces them to do so."

Barrowman is bringing his family from the US to Cardiff to be with him in the busy festive period in which he is also recording a concert for BBC radio.

Cocker spaniels

The cast of Torchwood are waiting to hear whether a second series has been commissioned and Barrowman said he should also be reading scripts for the next Doctor Who series, but they are not ready yet.

"We're hoping so - we even got higher ratings than Little Britain - a slap in Matt's (Lucas's) face," joked Barrowman. "It's something that we all want to do, we're just finding our feet."

"I am in Cardiff 90% of the time now and Scott spends the weeks in London where he has his own business and comes down to spend the weekend with me."

And he cannot speak highly enough of the adopted Welsh home they share with their well-travelled English cocker spaniels Penny and Lewis.

"I love Cardiff. During the day it's bustling like any major city but come six it all quietens down and it's like living in the country."

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