By Oliver Farrimond
FRIENDS, family and former teachers of stunning Doctor Who starlet Karen Gillan have backed the 21-year-old former model for greatness.
Father John Gillan said he was delighted for the flame-haired starlet to follow in the footsteps of Billie Piper and comedienne Catherine Tate.
He said: “She has worked very hard for this – she has always been enthusiastic for her career and we’re so happy for her.
“It came as a great shock for all of us when we heard she had been chosen for a role in such an iconic programme.
“But the BBC has asked us not to talk about it. I don’t even know when she’s starting work, it’s all a big secret.”
Having dreamt of being an actress since childhood, Gillan will take her place in the intergalactic sci-fi show when a new series kicks off next year.
Gillan studied acting at Edinburgh’s Telford College after leaving school at 16, and has since had a string of high-profile catwalk appearances with big-name designers.
After graduating from the prestigious Italia Conti stage school in 2005, she has been the face of a number of prestigious fashion houses.
Tutors at Telford College said that the Inverness-born actress’ star quality was obvious from the very beginning.
Teacher Scott Johnson, head of acting and performance at the college, said: “We knew she was a star as soon as we saw her perform.”