Jenna-Louise Coleman confirmed as new Doctor Who companion

Former Emmerdale actress Jenna-Louise Coleman has been confirmed as the new Doctor Who companion.

It was announced yesterday that the BBC would reveal today who had been cast as the new companion in Doctor Who. It was revealed earlier this year that series regulars Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill will exit their respective roles during the forthcoming seventh series and that a new companion for the Doctor (Matt Smith) would be introduced.

The BBC has now confirmed that actress Jenna-Louise Coleman will play the new companion. The actress is probably best known for her role of Jasmine Thomas in Yorkshire soap Emmerdale – a role she played between 2005 and 2009. Following her exit from Emmerdale she appeared in BBC One drama Waterloo Road as Lindsey James and will next be seen in Julian Fellowes four-part Titanic drama on ITV1.

Doctor WhoJenna-Louise Coleman isn’t the first former soap actress to be cast as a companion in Doctor Who. Freema Agyeman, who played Martha Jones, got her first big break in television play naughty Lola Wise in hotel soap Crossroads in 2003. Going back to the original series of Doctor Who actress Wendy Padbury also had a role in Crossroads, as Stevie Harris, before joining Doctor Who in 1968 as Zoe Heriot opposite Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines who, of course, went on to play Joe Sugden in Emmerdale Farm.

It has also been revealed that six episodes of the seventh season will air this year followed by a Christmas Special – in which Coleman will make her first appearance. The remainder of the episodes will then air in 2013, the 50th anniversary year. The news confirms long held rumours that the seventh season would be spilt with some episodes airing in the 50th anniversary year.