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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 17:34 UK
Filming under way with new Doctor
Karen Gillan and Matt Smith
New companions, Amy (Karen Gillan) and the Doctor (Matt Smith)

Matt Smith, a graduate from the University of East Anglia, has started filming his debut series of Doctor Who.

"I'm excited about the future and all the brilliant adventures I get to go on as the Doctor," he said, speaking from the programme's base in Cardiff.

Smith, who studied drama and creative writing at the UEA, was confirmed as the 11th actor to play the lead role in the sci-fi drama in January 2009.

He takes over from David Tennant, whose final episodes will be shown this year.

Filming for the new series, which started on Monday, 20 July, 2009, is scheduled to continue over the next few months, before the finished programmes are broadcast in Spring next year.

Matt, who studied at the UEA between 2002 and 2005 is excited about the forthcoming series.

"I feel very privileged and proud to be part of this iconic show. The scripts are brilliant and working alongside Karen [Gillan, who plays the Doctor's new companion Amy Pond], Steven and the rest of the crew is an inspiration," he said.

Stephen Moffat, who takes over from Russell T Davies as lead writer, also spoke of his excitement about the new series.

"Here it is, the big moment - the new Doctor, and his new best friend," said Stephen.

Paparazzi tried to catch a glimpse of the new Doctor on the first day of filming

"Matt and Karen are going to be incredible.

"Doctor Who is going to come alive on Saturday nights in a whole new way," he added.

When Matt was revealed as the new time-lord, his former tutor UEA Jon Hyde said he thought that Matt would make a great Doctor, as he had shown great acting ability while at the University of East Anglia.

"I directed him here in his second year for a play," said Jon.

"He was very inventive, very lively and he'd always come to rehearsals with new ideas. The play I worked with him on was a comedy, so I know he has a comic gift as well. I think his character will therefore be quite amusing."

Since graduating from the UEA in 2005, Matt has undertaken a number of West End stage roles, including a production of The History Boys which toured to the Norwich Theatre Royal.

He was cast opposite Billie Piper in the BBC's 2006 production of Philip Pullman's Ruby and the Smoke and in 2008 he was nominated for an Olivier Best Newcomer Award for his performance in the play That Face.

The UEA graduate's debut as the 11th Doctor is scheduled for broadcast in March 2010.




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