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Dr Who event cancelled ... in the nick of time

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A CONVENTION expected to attract hundreds of Dr Who fans to Teesside has been cancelled - just a day before the event. Middlesbrough Town Hall was today due to host Teesside's biggest ever Dr Who convention - coinciding with the cult TV show returning to BBC1, starring Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor. But yesterday, convention organiser Graeme Parry pulled the plug due to "a range of issues" - including "contractual issues with some of the actors due to attend". About 35 people directly linked with the show, including actors, writers and script editors, were lined up to appear at the Shadow Proclamation convention and have meet-and-greet sessions with fans, who are often known as Whovians.

Tickets ranged from a £50 standard pass to a £200 gold ticket. But with about 200 tickets sold so far, and up to 900 people expected to attend the two-day convention, Mr Parry says he had to cancel - less than 24 hours before the doors were due to open. Born with an extremely rare genetic condition called Alström syndrome, avid Dr Who fan Mr Parry, who lives with his parents in Ormesby, is deaf, blind and diabetic. But he almost single-handedly set about organising the event, attracting such legends as Paul McGann, Colin Baker, William Russell, Peter Purves, Anneke Wills and Ian Cullen. Mr Parry, 35, stressed that anyone who had bought advance tickets would be refunded. He said: "I am extremely sorry we have had to do this at the last minute. Regrettably I felt this was the best and fairest action to take for all concerned. "I've been having some issues with getting payments to people.

I've been sending it to them and for whatever reasons I'm still looking into, they were telling me they were not receiving it." Mr Parry, who works full-time as an officer at HMRC, said people were coming from all over the UK and even a few coming from abroad. He said: "I was just trying to get everything to go ahead. Everybody will be getting a refund shortly, although it might take a little while. But I'm totally devastated. I've done all I've done all I could possiby do to make it happen. "Once a few people have a problem, I guess word gets around and the others don't want to risk it." Several actors who appeared in the series over the years and who were due to attend, including Louise Jameson, Tracey Childs and "The Doctor" from 1984-86, Colin Baker, have all tweeted in recent days, citing "contractual issues" for their non-attendance. A Middlesbrough Town Hall spokesman said: "We are disappointed to confirm that the Doctor Who convention this weekend has been cancelled by the organisers. "Those who purchased tickets through the Town Hall directly will be contacted to discuss refund arrangements. Those who have already purchased tickets from other sources are urged to contact their retailer to arrange for refunds. "We appreciate that this news will be deeply disappointing for people who were looking forward to the event." For refund information, visit

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2014-08-23). Dr Who event cancelled ... in the nick of time. Evening Gazette p. 3.
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