New Dr Who set to receive full civic honours

New Doctor Who Matt Smith is expected to receive full civic honours at the next meeting of Northampton Borough Council.

Following the announcement earlier this month that the Great Billing actor had landed the coveted and high profile role of The Doctor, he is due to be officially congratulated at the Guildhall later this month.

A motion applauding the actor for securing the biggest part in British television has been put together by the leader of the opposition on the council, Councillor Tim Hadland (Con, Weston).

He said: "The Doctor is the highest profile role in television and Northampton is proud of Matt Smith.

"We'll all be following his progress through the centuries, forwards and backwards, in the coming years I'm sure.

"And this is just the sort of good news that we all need."

Thanks to the large number of Doctor Who fans at the Guildhall, the motion is expected to receive widespread support.

One of the well-known Doctor Who fans, Councillor Paul Varnsverry (Lib Dem, West Hunsbury) – whose favourite Doctor is John Pertwee – said he would throw his weight behind the campaign to get Mr Smith official recognition.

The councillor, who has watched Doctor Who since he was a child, added: "It's great news for the town.

"And I would like to add my personal congratulations to Matt on his selection as the new Doctor.

"It's welcome to see one of our local talents achieving international recognition.

"So if it's the will of the council to offer civic congratulations, I'll support it."

As Mr Smith is currently out of the country, it is not expected that he will be at the Guildhall when the council motion is put forward.

The former Northampton School for Boys pupil will be the 11th actor to play The Doctor since the series began in 1963.

He will start filming this summer and take over from the current Doctor, David Tennant, on television screens in 2010.