Karan Gillan from Doctor Who on a shoot for Instyle

Karan Gillan

Matthew Eades

Karan Gillan from Doctor Who on a shoot for Instyle

Karan Gillan

Matthew Eades

Dr Who is the stuff of TV legend so playing his leading lady is a big deal for any young actress. And it's one that Karen Gillan, the red-headed Scot is taking very seriously.

'It's a pretty terrifying role, but a huge privilege to be part of an iconic show. I'm following in a long line of great actresses who have played the companion, so it's quite daunting. I'd love to sit down with them and have a good chat about it.'

That long line of actresses includes Billie Piper, Catherine Tate and Kylie Minogue whose involvement in the show InStyle.co.uk broke back in 2007.

And luckily for Karen, she's good at keeping a secret as she had to keep schtum about her part in the programme… Deciding not even to tell her mum;

'My boyfriend knew but I didn't tell anyone else, including my mum – she's a huge Doctor Who fan and I didn't want to lumber her with the secret. I only told her an hour before the public found out.'

Onto fashion and it turns out her biggest no no was dying her hair bright pink in the manner of Beyonce Knowles saying she was 'inspired by the Bootylicious video. My parents went mental!'

And being a true fashion girl, she rewarded herself for getting the Dr Who role with a trip to Chanel: 'I'd wanted a 2.55 handbag for ages as it's a true classic. To congratulate myself for winning the role, I went to Old Bond Street and bought it in teal. It was a real moment for me.'

Find out more about Karen Gillan and see her gorgeous photo shoot in full in the April issue of InStyle, on newsstands now.

Interview by Abigail Radnor