Kirsty Wark: I could do 10m interviews with Putin and it wouldn’t get as much coverage as Doctor Who

The Newsnight presenter said at Cheltenham Literature Festival this evening that her Doctor Who cameo in 2008 was a "thrilling" experience

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While discussing her new book at Cheltenham Literature Festival this evening, Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark took a moment to marvel at the popularity of Doctor Who.

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Wark’s novel, The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, features no aliens or regeneration but when the broadcaster was asked about her Doctor Who cameo in 2008 episode The Poison Sky, she sang the show’s praises.

“It was David Tennant’s turn to be the Doctor and I was immensely flattered to be asked. I thought that was a fantastic thing to do and honestly the amount of people who watch Doctor Who is just phenomenal.

“I could be doing 10 million interviews with Vladimir Putin and it wouldn’t have got that kind of coverage.”

Asked whether she enjoyed her foray into the world of science fiction, Wark said, “I thought it was thrilling, you know, doing something different. That was just a tiny thing but…I’m nearly 60 and I believe we should all try and do different things. I’ve always had, for want of a better word, a portfolio career.”

Wark also appeared on BBC’s Absolutely Fabulous in 2012 and said on Friday that the cast were “wonderful, wonderful people”.

“I had a choice between university and drama school and I chose university but I did get into drama school and actually I really like acting so it was lovely to get a chance to do that and doing things like that.

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“Doing Doctor Who was something very special”