Doctor Who exhibit opens to fans in Cardiff

The attraction is close to the BBC studios where the programme is made

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A Doctor Who attraction which has specially built sets and interactive features has opened to fans in Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience based next the BBC's Roath Lock studios in Cardiff Bay is expected to attract up to 250,000 visitors a year.

Exclusive filming with Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith, is one of the features at the exhibition as well as a replica of the Tardis.

Thousands of tickets were bought by fans ahead of Friday's opening.

Previously, a temporary Doctor Who exhibit visited the city, but the latest development is in a new Cardiff council-built building, and the idea is to have an evolving visitor experience during its five year lease.

Philip Murphy, the managing director of BBC worldwide live events, said putting everything into place had been a "massive job", but everything is ready for Friday's opening - including a Tardis at the end of a jetty.

"It has created work too, because a lot of local people have been hired to create this, and through the additional tourism it'll bring in," Mr Murphy added.

When a Doctor Who convention was held in Cardiff in March people travelled from around the world to attend, and global visitors from places as far apart as Australia, Paris, Holland are expected to make the journey this time.

'New props'

It is hoped queuing should be kept to a minimum as visitors have been allocated timeslots.

The first fans at the new Doctor Who Experience were greeted by some familiar figures

"Hopefully it will become an important part of the tourism trail in Cardiff," said Mr Murphy.

"The exhibit will change over time too as new props and costumes featured in TV episodes will be put on show."

In 2013, it will be 50 years since the first Doctor Who episode and costumes and props from the 'archive' will also be on show.

A young Time Lord dressed in true Who style - complete with sonic screwdriver was one of the opening day visitors A young Time Lord dressed in true Who style - complete with sonic screwdriver was one of the opening day visitors

Business Minister, Edwina Hart said the exhibition was a "great coup for Cardiff and Wales' profile internationally".

"Doctor Who fans span the globe and the programme has been televised in 50 countries.

"This unique exhibition is expected to attract a quarter of a million visitors a year to its Cardiff Bay venue and boosting our tourism industry, which is already worth over £4bn a year to the Welsh economy," she added.

The Doctor Who Experience is based in a 3,000 sq m building is at Porth Teigr, next door to the BBC's Roath Lock studios, where Doctor Who, Casualty and Pobol y Cwm are produced.

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