A new optical-fibre radiation dosimeter system, based on radioluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence from carbon-doped aluminium oxide, was developed and tested in clinical photon beams. This prototype offers several features, such as a small detector (1 x 1 x 2 mm), high sensitivity, real-time read-out and the ability to measure both dose rate and absorbed dose. The measurements describing reproducibility and output dependence on dose rate, field size and energy all had standard deviations smaller than 1%. The signal variation with the angle of incidence was smaller than 2% (1 SD). Measurements performed in clinical situations suggest the potential of using this real-time system for in vivo dosimetry in radiotherapy.