Everybody knows now that Jenna-Louise Coleman is to play the next companion in Doctor Who but for six very hard weeks she was required to lie about it. Such was the secrecy that, if pressed, she had to say she was auditioning for a show called Men on Waves (an anagram of Woman Seven, in reference to the seventh series).
“I wasn’t allowed to say that it was Doctor Who at any point,” Coleman told Radio Times, in her first interview since landing the role. “Not talking to my agent, not when I arrived at the audition, and I certainly couldn’t tell anyone at all what I was up to next.
“When you keep a secret this big, the temptation to tell is all the more irresistible, especially as I live with three schoolfriends. With girl politics the way they are, I couldn’t tell just one friend. I had to phone one of them on the way to the press conference to tell her that I’d borrowed her shoes, in case she saw them in photos.”
Soon she will be keeping secrets again as she begins filming in May but for now we know almost as much as she does. “I have an idea of the story, of the character and of a few surprises, but I don’t know her name or where she’s from. I just told Steven [Moffat] and [producer] Caroline Skinner ‘Don’t tell me anything until I need to know it’.”
Read the full interview with Jenna-Louise Coleman – and see an exclusive shot of her character outside the Tardis – in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now.