Fifty Years Of Time Travel By The Companions: Catherine Tate

I was not a Doctor Who fan. As a kid, I thought it was scary and for boys. I started watching it when David Tennant became the Doctor. Then, in 2006, I was asked to be in the Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride. In 2008 I came back as the Doctor's full-time companion for a series. Donna was a lairy temp from Chiswick: the Doctor used to refer to her as his "best mate".
Leaving was really emotional, both within the series and in real life. Donna said, "I thought we were going to be for ever together, best friends travelling the universe." She loved the Doctor.
John Barrowman pulled his pants down at my leaving do. It was by no means the first time. So many of my highs and lows in Doctor Who are encapsulated by John pulling his pants down.
In the early days,Doctor Who was pretty sexist. But later on we were given more to say. I would be nice to see a woman Doctor, but only when it's the right one. They shouldn't make the Doctor a woman just for the sake of it, and I think Peter Capaldi will be amazing. 
Some would say there has been a female Doctor: me. I know it's a source of much debate among the cognoscenti, whether or not I am an official Doctor. I was Doctor Donna for a while - all of one episode. The sceptics will doubtless point out that I merely became an amalgamation of David and my characters, so wasn't in any real sense the Doctor.
The most important way that Doctor Who changed my life was that David became a good friend. We went on to work together in the theatre, and I recently saw him in Los Angeles. The Doctor Who love in the States is huge.
More than anything I've done it. it will live on - because the fans keep all things Doctor Who alive.

Taken from The Weekend Guardian Magazine. Available today.