Dr Who Christmas Special: meet Jenna-Louise Coleman

The Doctor’s latest feisty sidekick finds him 'amazing and ridiculous in equal measures'

LAST UPDATED AT 14:18 ON Mon 10 Dec 2012

DR WHO's latest companion, Clara, is so clever she's possibly even smarter than the Doctor himself, says the latest actress to take on the role, Jenna- Louise Coleman. "She's a challenge. I really liked that about the role."

Coleman, 26, is the latest in a long line of actresses to take on the role of the Doctor's feisty companion – Louise Jameson, Elisabeth Slade, Billie Piper and Catherine Tate, no less, to name but a few. The last was Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, who bowed out in September.

Coleman will make her debut in the BBC's upcoming Christmas special, Doctor Who, The Snowmen. As Lucy Cavendish writes in the Sunday Telegraph, Dr Who fans already know Coleman: she appeared in the most recent series as Oswin Oswald, "a genius trapped on the planet of the Daleks and who, unknown to herself, has actually been turned into one of them".

But on Christmas Day she will, appear in the new role of Clara, a character from the Victorian era. "There are some similar traits to Oswin," Coleman told the Daily Mirror. "She is curious and up for adventure and is very witty."

"She is not intimidated by the doctor at all. She likes him and finds him amazing and ridiculous in equal measures."

Coleman is known to British TV audiences for earlier roles in Emmerdale and Waterloo Road.

In the first, she played bad girl Jasmine Tomas. "I was a lesbian and had an affair with my best friend, Debbie," says Coleman. "Then I got pregnant by her dad and I had an abortion and killed him with a chair leg."

From there she progressed to Waterloo Road and the role of Lindsay James. "It was surreal being a schoolgirl again! I was worried I was getting typecast. I kept on imagining people were flinching when I went near them!"

She went off to Los Angeles and might have stayed had it not been for the role of the beautiful stewardess Annie Desmond in the recent TV series Titanic, written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

Having survived the critics' lukewarm notices and the complaints of countless 'Titanoraks' - nitpicking historians who know the cruise liner tragedy inside out – she was more than ready for the Doctor.

  • Doctor Who, The Snowmen, BBC1, 5.15pm, Christmas Day

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