That Kylie kiss

The pop princess has a Ti­tanic role on Dr Who, but seems to sink with­out trace

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - Dr Who ABC1, Sun­day, 7.30pm Ad­ven­tures of a Time Lord Du­ra­tion: 1 hour

R WHO fans aren’t the only ones en­vi­ous of David Ten­nant lock­ing lips with Kylie Minogue on the set of the cult se­ries.

Ten­nant’s for­mer co-star, Bil­lie Piper, her­self a pop star/ac­tor and the ob­ject of lust for sci-fi fans, ad­mits she was jeal­ous of the friend­ship Ten­nant formed with Minogue on the set in Wales.

Minogue plays Astrid Peth, a wait­ress on a space-trav­el­ling Ti­tanic, and shares a kiss with Ten­nant’s char­ac­ter, Dr Who.

Soon af­ter Minogue’s much­hyped episode was filmed — air­ing here on ABC-TV on June 29 — Piper lamented to the Bri­tish press she was ‘‘gut­ted’’ to have left be­fore Minogue filmed her guest role.

Piper, who played the Doc­tor’s com­pan­ion Rose for two years, left in 2006 but has since made the oc­ca­sional cameo ap­pear­ance.

She is now steam­ing up the screen in The Se­cret Diary of a Call Girl, to be seen on Chan­nel 9 late this year.

Piper says Ten­nant has teased her about miss­ing out.

‘‘I speak to David and he’s like, ‘I’ve got Kylie’s num­ber on my phone’. I want to be Kylie’s friend,’’ Piper says.

Minogue re­port­edly grew close to Ten­nant af­ter she pro­vided a shoul­der to cry on when his mother died of can­cer as they filmed the episode.

They forged such a strong bond they set tongues wag­ging that they may be more than just friends when they ar­rived to­gether at Lon­don’s Old Vic theatre to see Cin­derella.

But Ten­nant is now re­port­edly ro­manc­ing an­other Dr Who co-star, Ge­or­gia Mof­fett, the 23-year-old who played his daugh­ter and the real-life daugh­ter of the fifth Dr Who, ac­tor Peter David­son.

Minogue re­mains sin­gle af­ter split­ting with her long-term part­ner Oliver Martinez in Fe­bru­ary.

He was dubbed a love-rat by the press for sup­pos­edly cheat­ing on Minogue with for­mer Lost star Michelle Ro­driguez.

Minogue, who rose to fame in the 1980s as the over­alls-clad Char­lene Mitchell on Neigh­bours, was lured back to the small screen by her stylist friend Will Baker, who is good friends with Dr Who scriptwriter Rus­sell T. Davis.

Davis ini­tially de­nied Minogue was go­ing to be a guest star to try to gen­er­ate more in­trigue in the spe­cial episode.

He later said he was ‘‘de­lighted and ex­cited’’ at se­cur­ing Minogue’s

Dser­vices for what promised to be ‘‘the most am­bi­tious and best Christ­mas episode yet’’.

‘‘She missed act­ing and fan­cied the dis­ci­pline,’’ Davis says of Minogue. ‘‘She did this be­cause I think that’s the way her thoughts are head­ing.’’

Un­like Aus­tralian pro­gram­ming, where most prime-time se­ries are rested over the low-rat­ing hol­i­day pe­riod, the Brits have a tra­di­tion of cre­at­ing Christ­mas Day episodes of pop­u­lar se­ries such as EastEn­ders, Coro­na­tion Street and Dr Who.

They gen­er­ally prove to be the high­est-rat­ing of the year.

Minogue has not acted since her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role as a green fairy in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge in 2005, and a one-off ap­pear­ance in Kath & Kim as a grown-up Ep­pon­nee Rae. But she has been ea­ger to re­turn to act­ing and saw the Dr Who 2007 Christ­mas spe­cial as the means to do it.

‘‘Peo­ple see me as Kylie the singer,’’ Minogue says. ‘‘It would be a dream for me to be taken se­ri­ously as an ac­tress.’’

Un­for­tu­nately, most of her screen out­ings have been a dis­mal fail­ure. One film critic de­scribed her as the ‘‘worst ac­tress in the English­s­peak­ing world’’ af­ter see­ing her in Street­fighter.

Her work on Dr Who didn’t fare much bet­ter; she was widely panned for look­ing too old and lack­ing con­vic­tion.

But not ev­ery­one found the per­for­mance un­con­vinc­ing.

Film­ing the episode last July in Cardiff, an el­derly wo­man asked Minogue to fetch her a cup of tea, be­liev­ing the star to be a real-life wait­ress.

The episode was a huge rat­ings suc­cess in the UK, at­tract­ing a whop­ping 13.3 mil­lion view­ers — a se­ries high. The pre­vi­ous Christ­mas episode, which starred co­me­dian Catherine Tate, drew 9.4 mil­lion.

It also marked the pop princess’s re­turn to pub­lic life af­ter her bat­tle with breast can­cer.

Since film­ing Dr Who,

she has been a bun­dle of en­ergy, em­bark­ing on a Euro­pean tour of her show KYLIEX2008.

She told Seven’s Sun­rise early this year she would bring the show to Aus­tralia ‘‘as soon as I can’’.

‘‘I want to have in my head more solidly what the tour will be and if I can man­age what I’ve planned so far,’’ Minogue said.

‘‘I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to tour­ing the new album to see what hap­pens with the songs com­ing to life and in­ter­act­ing.

‘‘Of course I would love to come back here. We are plot­ting and plan­ning right now.’’

Jeal­ousy’s a curse:

Kylie Minogue plays a wait­ress in a Dr Who spe­cial with heart-throb David Ten­nant.

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