THE BBC last night hailed new Doctor Who Matt Smith as one of the cheapest young actors of his generation.
The unknown Smith has signed a two year contract to play the Time Lord and will be paid mainly in sandwiches.
His previous roles include work experience on the Billie Piper drama The Ruby in the Smoke. He also appeared in the follow-up The Shadow in the North for which he received two tickets to Longleat Safari Park.
Smith said last night: "During all those years at drama school and then struggling to break into the business, not once did I think I would ever get the chance to visit Longleat.
"It's a really good day out. Great fun but very well organised. A monkey jumped on my car!"
It is understood Smith will receive lunch and dinner sandwiches based on a rota of three different cheeses.
He will also be given a 'mystery bag' of sandwiches to take home on Friday afternoons.
A Corporation spokesman said: "The BBC has to weather the economic storm like everyone else. Tough times mean cheap actors who will work for cheese and pickle."
He added: "And if Matt proves to be a hit with the viewers we could always look at giving him the leftovers from Jonathan Ross's dressing room."