Tate becomes 'Dr Who' companion

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LONDON -- British comedienne Catherine Tate, who's catchphrase "Am I bovvered" has become nationally recognized -- will become the next companion for the Tardis-traveling timelord "Doctor Who," the BBC said Wednesday.

Tate, who starred in a one-off "Doctor Who" Christmas special last year, will reprise her role as runaway bride Donna in the 13-episode series that will air next spring.

Freema Agyeman, who played the Doctor's sidekick in the recently ended series, is expected to return midway through the next series. Her character Martha Jones had opted to return to earth after a temporal paradox induced by the Doctor's arch nemesis left her family traumatized.

"Doctor Who" executive producer and writer Russell T Davies said Tate was one of the U.K.'s greatest talents.

"Catherine was an absolute star in 'The Runaway Bride' and we are delighted that one of Britain's greatest talents has agreed to join us for the fourth series.

"Viewers can expect more ambitious storylines and a whole host of guest stars in 2008."
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