Rose Tyler has triumphed in RadioTimes.com’s Companion Champion, a grand tournament of every companion in the history of Doctor Who. The character played by Billie Piper narrowly beat John Barrowman’s pan-sexual Time Agent in the final, after five rounds, and more than 2.3 million votes.

Following a qualifying round, 32 companions, friends and fellow travellers from over 50 years of the show competed in head to head popularity contests. En route to being crowned winner, Rose saw off favourites including Strax the Sontaran, River Song and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Her final bout with Captain Jack attracted more than half a million responses alone, with a late push snatching victory for Tyler by a mere 2,000 votes.

Fans mobilised on social media, with the stars themselves getting involved. John Barrowman’s official Twitter account encouraged his admirers to vote “If you love Captain Jack Harkness as much as I do,” while Piper thanked everyone who voted, saying Rose was “still a very precious character to me.”

Both Rose and Captain Jack accompanied Christopher Eccleston’s version of the Doctor in the relaunched series, before moving on to David Tennant’s era. Captain Jack’s adventures continued in spin-off show Torchwood and a version of Rose reunited with Tennant in last year’s fiftieth anniversary special The Day of the Doctor.

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We’ve uploaded a bunch of photos fans have taken from the stage door at Great Britain. If you’ve met her during her run at the National Theatre, please send us your photos!


At first, it’s as if Bean – a former stand-up who loves gags clever, coarse or corny – might have been watching too many episodes of TV sketch show Little Britain. Taking us into the offices of a nasty, formerly lefty tabloid called The Free Press, he introduces us to a gallery of vipers, weasels and leeches, caricatures all.

None is more odious than Billie Piper’s convincingly shallow and ruthless news editor, Paige Britain, a sultry, stiletto-stamping schemer who might as well sprout devil’s horns. Britain takes to phone-hacking like a duck to water. She gets into bed – literally – with the cops (the Assistant Commissioner of the Met, played by Oliver Chris, whose superior is an idiotic running joke) and seduces the political top-brass (Rupert Vansittart’s eminently amenable Tory toff PM-to-be Jonathan Whey).

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The main point is that his play, a kaleidoscope of short scenes, is blessedly funny. Far and away the most absurd character, played with admirable po-faced sincerity by Aaron Neil, is a dunderhead police commissioner who, faced with an intractable murder inquiry, goes on television and announces “a clue is the one thing I’ve not got” and who allows himself to be publicly Tazered in the interests of good PR.

Accused of an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, he is also wittily told of the golden rule: “Thou shalt not comfort thy rod with a staff.”

It becomes a little harder to laugh at the conscience-free journalists but Billie Piper does an excellent job in conveying the ruthless ambition and unstoppable drive of Paige Britian, whose dream is to be invited to the party she sees at the heart of the governance of the land.

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