Let’s get this out of the way – that wig really doesn’t look great on Velile (pronounced Veh-lee-lah, apparently), lending her the look of a 1970s disco diva crossed with Nancy out of Oliver!, but in 1851.
Still it can’t get in the way of what is evidently a very attractive lady, and Velile has spoken to The Telegraph recently about turning up as a companion in The Next Doctor…
"Her character’s probably cleverer than the two of them put together." Tshabalala adds that Rosita came quite naturally to her: "She’s quite close to home, a feisty cockney girl."
Interestingly, Velile is from Whitechapel in East London and part of a family of doctors and teachers – it seems that her choice of career wasn’t what they had in mind for the 24 year old.
However she seems to handle herself well, and despite calling her mother to report that David Tennant gave her a hug appears to have no star-fear.
The interview gives a couple of insights into life behind the scenes, such as David Tennant’s star jumps and possibly a hint of David Morrissey’s vanity…
On set, she noted Tennant’s tireless energy before each take, although his current back troubles may have put paid to such capers for the time being. "He’d be standing there jogging on the spot, doing star jumps, and I’d be thinking, you’re making me feel like a lazy so-and-so. Even at four in the morning, he’s still got that energy." Did David Morrissey do star jumps
to get into character, too? "God, no," she says. "He’d ruin his suit."
One last thing – is David Morrissey the next Doctor? Will we see Velile again?
"He’s so dashing and charming," she says. Tantalisingly, though, there’s still no confirmation of whether Morrissey will assume the Doctor’s mantle. And like him, Tshabalala doesn’t know whether she’ll be returning for more Doctor Who adventures. "I wanted this part so much," she says. "Whatever happens after is a bonus."