Doctor Who dealt new blow as Billie Piper quits as time-travelling assistant
LONDON - Billie Piper is set to quit her role in 'Doctor Who' as the Doctor's assistant half-way through the second series, after being inundated with job offers to further her acting career.
Piper, who plays the Doctor's sidekick Rose, wants to get involved in other projects, including film work in Hollywood.
An unnamed source at the BBC told The Sun that the series had acted as the proving ground for the actress, who had appeared in little prior to her stint in 'Doctor Who'.
"Billie's really proved herself as an actress in 'Doctor Who' and she's been bombarded with offers of work both in England and in America," the source said.
"Billie will feature in some of the second series. But her character Rose won't be the Doctor Who companion at the end of it."
Reports suggest that Piper could appear in just three episodes of the new series, which begins filming in July, before being killed off, but programme makers hope she'll stick around for at least seven.
The BBC would neither confirm nor deny that Piper is set to leave the show.
'Casanova' actor David Tennant is taking over from Christopher Eccleston for the new series, after Eccleston made the decision to quit the show at the end of March.
Eccleston's Doctor will be killed off in a Christmas special.
Separately, the BBC announced that Ross Kemp will return to 'EastEnders' and reprise his role as Grant Mitchell.
He will be returning for a fixed period with details of his storyline remaining a closely guarded secret, the BBC said.
Kemp's signing means that the whole Mitchell family will now be back together on screen for the first time since his departure in October 1999.
"I have been away from 'EastEnders' for almost six years now and have enjoyed myself enormously working on other dramas but I have kept great memories of my time on the square.
"I think it will be enormous fun to return to a show that I love and respect for a while to do some more work with some fantastic acting and writing talent," Kemp said.
Kate Harwood, executive producer for 'EastEnders', added: "His character Grant Mitchell is one of the most iconic and popular in the history of soap. The impact of his return for the inhabitants of Walford should not be underestimated. It is going to be fireworks from the start."
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