Catherine Tate has admitted her 'Doctor Who' return delayed her new sitcom 'Queen of Oz'.

Catherine Tate opens up on the various delays

Catherine Tate opens up on the various delays

The 53-year-old actress stars as Queen Georgiana - a member of a fictional royal family sent away to be Australia's Head of State after various tabloid scandals - in the upcoming BBC One show, but her decision to reprise her role as Donna Noble in the sci-fi favourite meant production was pushed back.

She's quoted by as saying at a press event: "It took a while to develop. Then it got green-lit and COVID happened. Then – I know I’m not supposed to talk about it – but 'Doctor Who' happened.

"So every time it just kept getting pushed back and back and back. And we ended up not shooting it until last autumn."

Development first began on the sitcom in 2017 with the show pitched for a Canadian audience, but the show was commissioned years later after the setting was switched to Down Under.

The programme faced another delay when Catherine joined David Tennant and 'Doctor Who' showrunner Russell T Davies for filming on the show's 60th anniversary episodes between May and July last year.

The delays mean the idea of a royal family surrounded with scandal feels rather timely, but the star insisted the story was devised a long time ago and the family featured in the series is entirely fictitious.

She said: "We were supposed to do this originally before COVID. And then of course, it got put back and then events took [place] that I obviously have no control over.

"And of course, it's landing now… but I hope it's just a springboard into a different kind of show to come on the BBC.

"I think it's great that the BBC will hold the reins of being in charge of something as incredible as the Coronation, but will also [produce 'Queen of Oz'].

"I guess this is a palate cleanser and it's a comedy... it very possibly will look considered or something, but it absolutely isn't."

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