Celebrity interview: Matt Smith

Matt Smith.
Matt Smith.
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Bank Holidays. They tend to be dreary, grey days during when we’re almost guaranteed to have bad weather.

Thank goodness, then, that Doctor Who is back to add a splash of colour to the four-day Easter weekend.

This will be the continuation of series seven, which began last autumn with Amy and Rory still in the Tardis. It also introduced us to Clara, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, whose personality seems to pop up in characters across space and time; her first appearance was as a confused Dalek in season opener Asylum Of The Daleks, and then she featured in the Victorian-era Christmas special The Snowmen.

In both those episodes, the character died – so when he meets her again in present-day London, the Doctor is determined to keep her alive. Clara is now a nanny with an unhealthy interest in the internet and a fondness for, believe it or not, Jammie Dodgers.

“Clara reignites his curiosity in the universe and gives him his mojo back, for want of a better word,” says 30-year-old Matt Smith, who plays the doctor.

And has Jenna-Louise settled into the role well?

“You’ll see on screen she’s absolutely brilliant and it’s been a joy. I’m really proud of the work we’ve done and I think it’s exciting for the character, he’s got a new lease of life somehow.

“Jenna’s inventive, she works tirelessly hard. I like her, which is good because you’ve got to get on. And I’m really proud of what she’s achieved and I’m pleased that it’s gone so well for her because I think she’s brilliant in it.”

Like recent James Bond film Skyfall, the latest Doctor Who episode is a kind of love letter to London, with lots of action involving breathtaking stunts, including an amazing motorbike ride up the side of The Shard.

“We actually shot that,” grins Smith. “I actually did the stunt on the bike. I drove up the side of it... I didn’t really, it’s just a clever idea!

“It’s sort of Doctor Who meets Bourne with motorcycles. We’ve got Celia Imrie being saucy and sexy, we have got aliens in your wi-fi, and Westminster, with the Tardis in the middle of it, so it’s exciting.”

The thing about Smith is he’s always so very, very enthusiastic. Everything is “brilliant” or “exciting”, and it’s hard not to be swept along by him. He can’t wait to talk about the rest of the series either, which sounds just as enthralling as the first story.

* Doctor Who returns to BBC One on Saturday. (March 30)

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