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Published on July 1st, 2010 | by Patrick Riley

Footballer Turned Actor? Unheard Of!

Oh dear.  Have you ever had that feeling when you’re reading a tabloid that you not only suspect one of its reports is inaccurate, you know for a fact that it is? 

Me neither. 

Can’t say I spend much time reading that rubbish.  Nonetheless, as of today I must admit that I’m no longer a virgin to the experience.

Machester United footballing legend Eric Cantona - set for Doctor Who?Today, the Daily Star committed two of the worst sins known to man, aside from canceling Doctor Who.  First, it reported an “exclusive” story, when, in fact, it wasn’t.  Second, the original story the tabloid stole from, appearing in the TV Times, provided mere speculation; the Daily Star reported as if it were set in stone.

What am I on about?

Last week, the TV Times reported that Matt Smith was interested in working with ex-footballer-turned-screen-actor Eric Cantona in a future episode of a particularly well-liked programme in this corner of the internet:

As mentioned by Digital Spy, Smith said,

“I’d like Eric to do one and I’ve mentioned it to Steven Moffat. Eric’s got to be bad!”

The Daily Star essentially took the exact same story, with no new information, and wrote this:

“FOOTBALL legend Eric Cantona is set to inject a bit of Ooh Ah into Doctor Who.

“The former Manchester United star is being lined up for a role as an evil alien alongside Time Lord Matt Smith.

“And producers are hoping the Frenchman might show off some of his famous Kung Fu moves in his baddie part.”

But wait, there’s more!  In reference to Smith’s quote to the TV Times, the Daily Star continued,

“A BBC insider said: ‘Matt has made a huge impression. The writers and producers all value his input and give his ideas careful consideration.’”

No doubt there’s some truth in the idea that Smith has the potential for significant sway in what the producers do with Who; he is playing the most important character on television after all, so if he weren’t happy, it wouldn’t be likely that anyone else would be either.

But if the producers really are interested in signing on Eric Cantona, what does Cantona himself have to say about it?  Has he even heard?  Probably only if he’s Googled himself today.

Besides, when a tabloid quotes a person who is only referred to as a “BBC Insider,” chances are high that they’re talking to the studio custodian.  Remember that salt that Meredith was telling you about this morning?  Keep pinching it.


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

One Response to Footballer Turned Actor? Unheard Of!

  1. avatar Leosw4 says:

    Ahhh King Eric.

    Is he going to be in the same episode as Sir Ian Mckellen then?

    The Gaurdians have a ‘kick about’. Using the Tardis?

    Ooh aah Daily Star-yuck.

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