Catherine Tate has revealed that her new BBC One sitcom Queen of Oz was delayed by her decision to return as Donna Noble for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials.


The new series stars Tate as a member of a fictional royal family who is sent away after numerous tabloid scandals to be Australia's Head of State, in a move the establishment hopes will finally give her a sense of responsibility.

Antics ensue as Queen Georgiana faces an uphill battle winning over a staunchly republican Prime Minister as well as a hostile national media organisation.

Development on the sitcom began in 2017, when it was pitched for a Canadian audience. The team finally secured a series order years later after shifting their focus Down Under.

Speaking at a press event, Tate explained: "It took a while to develop. Then it got green-lit and COVID happened. Then – I know I’m not supposed to talk about it – but Doctor Who happened.

"So every time it just kept getting pushed back and back and back. And we ended up not shooting it until last autumn."

Filming on Doctor Who's 60th anniversary extravaganza, which also sees the return of David Tennant and Russell T Davies, took place between May and July 2022, delaying Queen of Oz for the final time.

Tate went on to emphasise that the royal family featured in the show is entirely fictitious, with the story being devised long before recent controversies surrounding the UK's actual royals.

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She continued: "We were supposed to do this originally before COVID. And then of course, it got put back and then events took [place] that I obviously have no control over. And of course, it's landing now… but I hope it's just a springboard into a different kind of show to come on the BBC.

"I think it's great that the BBC will hold the reins of being in charge of something as incredible as the Coronation, but will also [produce Queen of Oz]. I guess this is a palate cleanser and it's a comedy... it very possibly will look considered or something, but it absolutely isn't."

Queen of Oz is coming to BBC One at 9:30pm on Friday 16th June 2023. Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.

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