Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi revealed as the new Doctor

The name revealed on a special BBC1 announcement programme.

After a frankly bizarre "announcement" programme hosted by Zoe Ball on BBC1, the identity of the actor who will replace Matt Smith as the Doctor has been revealed as Peter Capaldi. (For a glimpse of how ridiculous the show was - at one point they randomly interviewed Bruno Tonioli off Strictly - check out Stuart Heritage's Guardian live blog.)

Capaldi revealed to Ball that he is a lifelong fan of the show - he even wrote to the Radio Times to request more coverage of the show when he was 15 years old. Perhaps most famous for his performance as the steely, sweary spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, Capaldi has actually already appeared on Doctor Who during David Tennant's stint as the Doctor playing a Roman marble merchant called Caecilius in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" (incidentally also Karen Gillan's first appearance on the show as a soothsayer - she was later cast as companion Amy). He was also in the Torchwood: Children of Earth series as government minister John Frobisher.

In an interview during the annoucement show, outgoing Doctor Matt Smith explained that Capaldi came up to him on the street after his first episode had aired, and gave him some much-need reassurance that his performance was good.

Now read Alwyn W Turner's essay "Sergeant Pepper Pots" about the cultural significance of the Daleks.

Peter Capaldi has been unveiled as the new Doctor. Photo: Rankin

Caroline Crampton is web editor of the New Statesman.

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Listening to recordings from the Antarctic, I felt I could hear the earth groan

The Science Hour on the BBC World Service.

A weekend of listening to the radio news ­revealed nothing but sounds of the sucker-punched going through their pockets in a panic and repeating, “I thought you had the keys.” So, never was talk of “a perfectly flat area of just whiteness” more alluring. The oldest Antarctic ice yet recorded was recently found. “For millions of years,” the presenter Roland Pease assured listeners  (25 June, 9am), “snow has been falling, snow on snow, all the while trapping bubbles of air and other chemical traces of climate . . . insights into the ice ages and warm periods of the past.” How was this ice located? “The finding part is pretty easy – you just go there and start shovelling, and ice comes up,” the lead geologist, Jaakko Putkonen, said.

There it was, buried under a layer of dirt “in barren wastelands” high in the middle of Antarctica. An “incredibly mountainous and remote and . . . quite hideous region, really”, Pease said, though it was sounding pretty good to me. The world dissolved into a single, depthless tone. Then Pease mentioned the surprising fizzing of this ancient ice – trapped air bubbles whooshing as they melt. Which is perhaps the thing you least expect about ice regions and ice caps and glaciers: the cacophony. Thuds and moans. Air that folds and refolds like the waving of gigantic flags. Iced water sleeping-dragonishly slurping and turning.

On Friday Greenpeace posted a video of the pianist Ludovico Einaudi giving a haunting performance on a floating platform to mark an imminent meeting of the OSPAR Commission, as it decided on a proposal to safeguard 10 per cent of the Arctic Ocean. Einaudi looked occasionally stunned by the groaning around him. A passing glacier popped and boomed like the armies of Mordor, ice calving from its side, causing mini-tsunamis. When last year I spent some time at the remote Eqi Glacier in Greenland, close to the ice cap, local people certainly spoke of the ice as if it were living: “It’s quiet today,” delivered as though gazing at the fractious contents of a Moses basket.

“This huge cake of ice, basically flat”, Putkonen said, perhaps longing for a moment of deep-space silence, for peaceful detachment. He wasn’t the only one being forced to reappraise a landscape very differently.

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 30 June 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit lies