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Doctor Doddy?

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Time-Travelling Tickling Sticks D Will The Squire Of Knotty Ash Be Next To Face The Fearsome Daleks?

A GENERATION grew up hiding behind the sofa on a Saturday night as Daleks tried to exterminate the human race.

The adventures of Dr Who grew into a a cult when Liverpool-born actor Tom Baker took the role of the Tardis-dwelling time traveller in 1974.

And over the past two weeks, the huge network of devoted fans has been buzzing with rumours that a third Liverpudlian is to reprise the role - arise Time Lord Ken Dodd.

The eccentric Squire of Knotty Ash is said to be first on the list for a planned BBC film with glamorous TV presenter Cat Deeley as his sidekick.

Last night, Doddy declined to comment on possible negotiations for the role. But he admitted he would love to do it. "It's a great idea, " he said.

"I'm intergalactic about the thought of it. I would love to travel back in time, probably to when I was 21!

"I was in the show when Sylvester McCoy was Dr Who and had a wonderful time. I would be discomknockerated and excited to be the Doctor himself."

The 74-year-old previously appeared as the character Tollmaster in the episode Delta and the Bannermen, screened in 1987.

Tollmaster was an alien employee who greeted the Doctor and sidekick Mel, played by Bonnie Langford, as the 10 billionth customers on the space equivalent of public transport. He was later killed by the leader of the Bannermen.

The rumour mill has churned out stories at regular six-month intervals that the Doctor will soon be returning to our screens since his last appearance in an American TV movie in 1996, played by Liverpool-born Paul McGann.

But last night, a BBC spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm or deny the rumours. The Corporation has previously said audience expectations have risen since the programme was first aired.

Despite some cutting edge special effects, economies on the budget saw Daleks attempting to take over the world despite being thwarted by stairs, and saw a monster in the Mind of Evil made out of noodles covered in washing-up liquid.

The cult science fiction programme first hit television screens in 1963, played by William Hartnell. It followed the adventures of a time-travelling explorer, who with his granddaughter, Susan, fought against enemies trying to destroy earth.

One of the key components of the drama was the TARDIS - standing for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space - the Doctor's time machine in the guise of a 1960s blue police telephone box.

Tom Baker, the fourth and arguably the most popular Doctor, who was born on Liverpool's Scotland Road, captivated viewers with his woolly-haired, scarf -wearing portrayal of the Time Lord.

Last night, his agent Edward Hill said Tom was widely regarded as everyone's favourite Dr Who.

He added: "Tom is very reluctant to comment about a new actor reviving the role.

"He is always anxious to be asked to go back as the Doctor himself.

"He enjoyed playing Dr Who and was always extremely grateful for that wonderful opportunity."

Despite no firm commitment to reprising the phenomenally successful drama by the BBC, speculation itself serves to keep a future film in the spotlight.

The TARDIS has been kept among a pile of props backstage at BBC Television Centre in White City, London.

And Mike Hall, of Indelible, a Wallasey-based fan club, said he thought Dr Who was too valuable for the BBC to give up. But he added: "There's movement to bring Dr Who back to our screens but it's not at the stage where they would be casting, they don't even have a script yet.

"Personally, I would like to see Paul McGann given the opportunity to take on the role again.

"The American TV movie was shocking but he was excellent and I don't think he has been given a fair crack of the whip."

Ian Wheeler, of the oldest fan club, the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, said: "There have been so many projects that have been due to go ahead that until there's actually a formal announcement we tend not to get too excited - but it's quite fun to speculate.

"Ken Dodd is a great character and a national treasure. What people forget is that he has actually done Shakespeare and is a serious actor."

GRAPHIC: HOW TICKLED HE IS: The way comedian Ken Dodd might look if he does pick up one of television's top roles Who's Who William Hartnell 1963 -1966; Patrick Troughton 1966 - 1969 Jon Pertwee 1970 - 1974 Tom Baker 1974 - 1981; Peter Davison 1981 - 1984 Colin Baker 1984 - 1986 Sylvester McCoy 1987 -; 1989 Paul McGann 1996

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  • APA 6th ed.: Tolley, Claire (2002-02-27). Doctor Doddy?. Daily Post p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Tolley, Claire. "Doctor Doddy?." Daily Post [add city] 2002-02-27, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Tolley, Claire. "Doctor Doddy?." Daily Post, edition, sec., 2002-02-27
  • Turabian: Tolley, Claire. "Doctor Doddy?." Daily Post, 2002-02-27, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Doddy? | url= | work=Daily Post | pages=3 | date=2002-02-27 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Doddy? | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024}}</ref>