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FLYING THE TARDIS.

Byline: CLAIRE REES

HE'S travelled in the Tardis with David Tennant, held a quivering Kylie Minogue in his arms, and now for his next quest Colum Regan is helping a Crazy Chick find her angry side.

Meet the departing Doctor Who body double - a singer/songwriter from the Vale of Glamorgan who has gone back to his roots since finding himself out of a job when the 10th Timelord quit the hit series.

Long-haired Colum, of St Athan, was a perfect match for the popular Scottish actor, but looks nothing like his replacement - 27-year-old unknown Matt Smith.

But luckily for Colum, quitting the day job was no bother as he's also successful recording artist - and he's writing songs for Charlotte Church's next album.

Two years ago, the Cork-born guitarist landed the job on the Doctor Who set by accident, when hard-working Tennant had to leave half way through filming the Christmas special.

"On my very first day I had to hold Kylie Minogue in my arms," said Colum, who is signed to Phoenix extras agency in Bristol.

"David's mother was taken ill and he had to go back to Scotland in the middle of this really important scene where he was saving Kylie.

"I'd never done anything like that before but they needed someone last minute so I was thrown into it.

"David's mother then sadly died and they kept me on - the director thought I matched his build perfectly so I ended up doing two weeks."

Colum, who has a two-year-old daughter, Mia, has since appeared in several episodes of the cult sci-fi classic, including two Christmas specials.

"David's a real gent," he said. "We had a lot of time together and he taught me how to fly the Tardis.

"A lot of the time that's me you'll see the back of, pulling all the levers and slamming things - I think my friends and family will one day get fed up hearing me point that out!" Colum, who worked 12-hour days on-set, also acted in the Doctor's guest appearances in spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures and recently filmed his last scenes for a special due to be screened next year.

"There were scenes with David where he had to be several places at once," he said.

"They'd be filming me on wasteland in Cardiff Bay, running from an explosion and being chased by an Army jeep, and David would be at the recording studios in Treforest.

"I'd get breaks though because David is always so up for doing lots of stuff himself. He works really hard, and he's a top bloke too - he'd take his place in the lunch queue and chat, he was really hands-on."

Now Tennant's replacement Matt Smith has taken over Colum has left to concentrate on his music career.

Colum and his wife Kerry Sanson supported Charlotte Church on her Tissues and Issues tour in 2006 and have remained friends ever since, with the classical-cum-pop singer requesting the pair write songs for her new album this summer.

"We co-wrote about 10, I wrote five," said Colum, who plays a residency at O'Neill's in Cardiff every Wednesday.

"She's older now than when Tissues and Issues came out," said Colum. "I think this is going to be really big.

"I'm not sure how many of mine she'll end up keeping but it's going to be a very angsty album!" Colum Regan plays The Globe in Cardiff on December 22.
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 22, 2009
Words:572
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