It’s been announced British comedian Frank Skinner will appear in Series 8. At first, there’s the chance one might think of stunt casting, but it’s important to remember Frank Skinner is also an actor, as a member of Equity.
Stunt casting is different. Stunt casting is the hiring of a celebrity, often not an actor, to make a small appearance. Kylie Minogue was not stunt casting, as she started as an actor.
I say, if he’s good, that’s fine. He is trained as an actor, and has been cast by the BBC. Who are professionals. If he were just a comedian, that would be different. If he were appearing through a doorway to a studio audience cheering, that would be different. And although his acting career isn’t his most famous aspect, it’s still there. Just as Billie Piper and Catherine Tate were all known for different things, singing and comedy. But both of them gained successful acting careers because of Doctor Who.
What’s different is how he got the role. Steven Moffat said he’s volunteered himself numerous times, and now a role has come-up. If this is true, he’s been cast because only now has there been an appropriate role. Which is a good thing, because actors serve scripts. The reverse is rarely true.
This piece of news, on the other hand…