When they upended the Doctor Who universe with the casting of the first female “incarnation” of the iconic TV time traveller, it was a given the rulebook had been tossed out the window.
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Now, the role of The Doctor’s dutiful female companion – the one who historically screamed a lot, particularly when the Daleks were approaching – is to be filled by a 57-year-old man.

The new Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker, will have a male companion called Graham. Photo: Karwai Tang

Comedian-turned-actor Bradley Walsh is to become the companion to Jodie Whittaker’s female Doctor Who … and his character’s name is Graham.

The 57-year-old actor’s credits include Coronation Street and Law & Order: UK; he has also hosted game shows such as The Chase and Cash Trapped.

Graham is one of three companions joining the series: the other two are former Hollyoaks stars Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, who play Yasmin and Ryan.

The announcement of Whittaker’s casting as The Doctor earlier this year triggered a media furore, though to be fair it was met with almost overwhelming positivity by Doctor Who fans.

The “furore”, though, became a self-fulfilling prophecy: the media focused largely on a handful of disgruntled comments on social media to frame the announcement as controversial, when in truth it was barely that.

Whittaker is replacing actor Peter Capaldi, who has been in the role since 2013.

Walsh would replace Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie, who served as “companion” to Capaldi’s Doctor.

The change of actor within the Doctor Who narrative was a plot conceit established in the 1960s when the actor who originated the character, William Hartnell, became ill and was unable to continue working on the series.

But the notion of the Doctor’s “companion” has existed for the entire life of the series.

Initially, Hartnell’s Doctor was accompanied on his travels by his granddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford) and two of her schoolteachers Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill), who forced their way into the Tardis after following Susan home.

But later Doctors were accompanied by a variety of companions, including journalist Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), the warrior Leela (Louise Jameson), would-be “spy” Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and soldier Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney).

And while the notion of a female Doctor was surprising at least, the Doctor’s Tardis has been filled with companions of all genders, as well as a couple of robots: K-9 the dog and Kamelion.

Walsh said he remembered watching Hartnell’s Doctor as a child.

“Black and white made it very scary for a youngster,” he said. “I was petrified but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan.”

Walsh said he then queued as a boy to watch Peter Cushing’s Doctor in the standalone colour Doctor Who features produced in the 1960s. (Those films have no narrative connection to the TV series.)

he change of Doctor and companion comes as executive producer and showrunner Steven Moffat is bowing out, to be replaced by Chris Chibnall.

Capaldi announced his plan to step down in January, 2017; the upcoming Christmas episode, The Doctors, will be his last.

He made his debut in the series, briefly, in the program’s 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, which was broadcast in 2013; he later made his formal debut in the Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor.

Except for two breaks, between 1989 and 1996 and 1996 and 2005, Doctor Who has been in production since 1963.

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MORE OR LESS: Want to be a better leader? Refine you aim. Want to know the single, most important responsibility of a leader?
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It’s easy to become overwhelmed just thinking about everything we, as leaders, should be doing. Becoming a better leader is easier said than done.

Some people have given up trying because there is just too much to think about.

But what if we distilled being a great leader into just one thing?

I recently consulted my mate, Professor Google, about a couple of burning questions. I typed in ‘definition of leadership’ – 280 million search results. I also searched ‘what do leaders do’ – 515 million results.

I have a bookcase in my office that is chock full of big, thick leadership and management texts.

How did leadership become so complex?

There is one thing leaders can focus on to make a massive difference: make people better.

This thinking was inspired by the 6th US President, John Quincy Adams, who said “If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more, learn more and become more, you are a leader.”

Think about this really important question. As a result of your leadership, are your people becoming more, are they remaining the same, or have they become less?

It’s sort of tragic if they are less than when they met you. Almost as sad if they have not changed as a result of your influence.

“You manage things, you lead people” US Navy Rear AdmiralGrace Hopper said. It can’t be any simpler.

Focus on helping your people grow and develop as your number one leadership priority.

Do this, and everything else will fall into place, as it will be your people who will step up and, together with you, make your organisation successful.

You have one job. MAKE. PEOPLE. BETTER.

Greg Mowbray is a leadership speaker, author, mentor and consultant. Email him at [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘Read More →

DETERMINED: Striking Rail, Tram and Bus union members outside Pacific National’s Port Waratah depot listen as union organiser Steve Wright updates them on their industrial campaign. Pctures: Max Mason-Hubers.WITH a regular backdrop of supportive motorists’ horns, more than 100 striking Pacific National freight train drivers vowed on Monday to keep up industrial action in pursuit of a new enterprise agreement.
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Greg Cameron

Gathered outside Pacific National’s Port Waratah terminal on Industrial Drive, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union mass meeting came at the end of a 48-hour stoppage from noon on Saturday.

The coal and bulk cargoes train drivers –women as well as men –were especially angry at a public statement issued on Friday by Pacific National that they said was inaccurate.

The statement said the striking drivers were on 12 per cent superannuation, but union organiser Steve Wright said this applied only in Victoria.

“Everyone here is on the same 9.5 per cent that is standard,” Mr Wright said.

The statement also said that 20 per cent of Pacific Nationaldrivers were on $150,000 a year, but Mr Wright said anyone on that sort of money “arethe ones working away from home interstate and at depots elsewhere in the statebecause of redundancies given out in areas that arenow booming in grain haulage”.

When the mass meeting was asked how many drivers earned $150,000, no-one put their hand up.

The strike by hundreds of drivers stopped Pacific National coal trains to Newcstle and Port Kembla, and affected grain and other bulk cargo trains across much of the state.

The meeting heard that the union and Pacific National had held more than 30 bargaining meetings without any real result or progress.

“Everything we put to them they just say they have problems with,” Mr Wright said.

Union project officer Greg Cameron said the plan wasto merge separate coal and bulk cargoes enterprise agreements into a single document covering both types of trains.

But in a “stunt” on Friday, the company bypassed the union by writing directly to employees saying it now wanted to negotiate on separate agreements.

Mr Wright said the union had called for a hearing before Fair Work , which was scheduled for Wednesday in Sydney.

At the close of the meeting, members voted for overtime bans to be introduced whenever the union executive “sees fit”. Another 48-hour stoppage is scheduled for next weekend.

Pacific National insists the offer it has put to workers is “attractive” and “aligned” to industry standards.

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TAKE-OFF: Newcastle Jets star Emily Van Egmond, third from right, at the W-League season launch on Monday in Sydney. Picture: AAP.(left to right) Michelle Heyman (Canberra), Hayley Raso (Brisbane), Steph Catley (City), Rosie Sutton (Wanderers), Sam Kerr (Perth), Lisa De Vanna (Sydney), Emily Van Egmond (Jets), Laura Alleway (Victory), Emma Checker (Adelaide). Emily Van Egmond believed fans would be excited to see what the Jets can producethis W-League season, ahead of the announcement that goalkeeper Britt Eckerstromand midfielders Tori Huster and Arin Gilliland will join striker Katie Stengel as American imports at Newcastle
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Stengel, who played last season with Western Sydney, was announced as a Jets signing last week. The other three Americans are set to be unveiled on Tuesday.

Huster played with Newcastle in 2012-13 and again in 2014. She also hada season with Western Sydney Wanderers in 2013-14.

Newcastle Jets set to unveil rest of American quartet for W-League season Britt Eckerstrom. Picture: Timbers苏州夜总会招聘

Tori Huster playing for the Jets in 2014. Picture: Dean Osland

Tori Huster, second from right, with Newcastle in 2012. Picture: Simone De Peak

Arin Gilliland last season for Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Britt Eckerstrom. Picture: Timbers苏州夜总会招聘

Arin Gilliland last season for Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil

Tori Huster with Newcastle in 2012. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebook The Jets’ new American signingsThe 28-year-old midfielder comes to the Jets this time from Washington Spirit in the US National Women’s Soccer League, where she has also played for Western New York Flash.

Gilliland, a 24-year-old Chicago Red Stars defender, had an impressive W-League debut season with Newcastle last year in midfield and returns in a major boost for the club.

Eckerstrom, 24, was second-string keeper this year with NWSL champions Portland Thorns, who beat North Carolina in the decider 1-0 on October 14.She takes over from Katelyn Rowland, who playedfor NWSL minor premiers North Carolina and came in as an injury replacement for countrywoman Kelsey Wys at the Jets early last W-League season.

The Americans will join returning Matildas Van Egmond, Tara Andrews, Hannah Brewer and Gema Simon in the Jets squad.

Simon, a captain and foundation Jets player, is yet to be announced but is expected to return following her off-season stint in Norway.

The Jets start the W-League season against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium as part of a double-header with the A-League side.

Van Egmond was the Jets representative at the W-League season launch in Sydney on Monday.

The Matildas No.10’s return to Newcastle was confirmed last Friday and she said then that Jets supporters would be “quite excited to see what we can produce this year” and “I think we’re going to be quite competitive”.

Van Egmond last played with Newcastle in 2014, when she finished with theJulie Dolan Medal as the W-League’s best and fairest.She was also part of the club’s inaugural squad of 2008-09, which made the Jets’only appearance in the play-offs.

“We haven’t reached the finals for quite a number of years and I think that’s a goal of everyone in the team,” she said.“We’ll take it one game ata time, and all the other teams are bolstering their squads as well, so I think it’s going to be a great season.”

Coach Craig Deans said “the American girls that come in will definitely add to the group” and the squad was potentially better than last year’s, which finished fifth.

“I think our team last year wasn’t too bad,” Deans said. “We got to a game with Melbourne City to make the finals and we weren’t good enough.

“Those players who went through that last year are mostlyyounger players and I would hope they would have learned from that.”

“Those younger players need to step up and show the mentality that’s needed. We have the potential to be a better team than last year but until they actually get on the field and start to show it, it doesn’t mean anything.”

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