A BLACKPOOL actress will step on board the Tardis as the new companion of sci-fi favourite Dr Who.
Old Arnoldian Jenna-Louise Coleman beat a cast of hopefuls to star alongside the 11th Time Lord, Matt Smith in the show’s 50th anniversary year.
Best known for her roles in Emmerdale and Waterloo Road, Jenna-Louise will replace Karen Gillan when she bows out of the BBC One show later this year.
Jenna-Louise, 25, who was head girl at Arnold School, and whose family live near Stanley Park, will make her first appearance in a Christmas Day special.
She said she was in Marks & Spencer buying ingredients for a salad when she found out she had the job.
Jenna-Louise said: “I was holding an avocado, I put my basket down and left.
“But I couldn’t tell anyone so I went for a bit of a walk and tried to digest it. It was really quite surreal.
“A few of my family members knew but it has been a huge relief today to be able to phone up my flatmates and tell them.”
And she said she was ‘beyond excited’ to work alongside Matt Smith.
Jenna-Louise added: “I can’t wait to get cracking, working with someone like Matt I know is going to be enormous fun and a huge adventure.
“I’m focusing on getting on set, reading all the scripts and just start doing my job really.”
The Doctor will meet his new sidekick in a dramatic turn of events later this year.
Lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, said: “It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl.
“She’s funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the Tardis. It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen!”
Jenna-Louise will appear this weekend in Julian Fellowes’ Titanic on ITV1.