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Richard E Grant To Play Doctor Who Villain

Withnail & I star revealed as Doctor's foe for Christmas special...

Richard E Grant is set to play a villain in this year's Doctor Who Christmas special, it has been revealed.

The Withnail & I actor has previously played the Timelord himself in a one-off animated webcast in 2003 and in a Comic Relief sketch in 1999, but will become current Doctor Matt Smith's enemy in the festive feature.

"I played Doctor Who in the digital animated Scream Of The Shalka and I'm honoured to be in the Christmas special," he said in a statement issued by the BBC.

The episode begins filming this week in Cardiff - and will reportedly also feature the first appearance of the Doctor's new sidekick Jenna-Louise Coleman and another guest spot from Silent Witness star Tom Ward.

A trailer and artwork for the new series were released recently. Five episodes are set to be screened before the Xmas special, with another eight to follow next year.