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He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster

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1973-12-14 Leicester Chronicle.jpg


JON PERTWEE was looking every inch "Dr. Who" when we met. He I was wearing a frilly shirt. high boots, wine coloured velvet jacket and a "batman" type black cloak.

"Nice of you to put on the full gear for me; I said. and thereby dropped a king-size brick.

"These., said Mr. Pertwee loftily, his sin feet two inches bridling slightly, "are the clothes I always wear. I dressed like this long before anyone had even thought of 'Dr. Who'."

The cloak is his grandfather's Inverness cape, carefully retrieved from an attic. Jon Pertwee swished it imposingly around him. "It's a darn sight warmer and more comfortable than an overcoat."

Jon was visiting Leicester Co-op on publicity campaign. A youthful 54, excitement is the essence of life to him, and he craves constant adventure. Anything that holds an element of risk draws him like a magnet.

"My garage at home is full of motor bikes, motor boats, go karts and very fast cars."

He's also keen on underwater exploring and proudly showed the spoils of his diving exploits while staying at his holiday villa in Ibiza.

"See this ring." he said, looking at me to see how gullible I was. "it was made about 650 BC." Even allowing for the impossibility of that date, the ring certainly looked pretty old and battered. Regular viewers of "Dr. Who should look out for it on Jon's little finger and also for the piece of eight. bearing the date 1630, which he wears round his neck.

He is deterred from even more dangerous adventures by a slipped disc which has troubled him intermittently for the past 25 years.

His career shows the same rather restless. perpetually seeking slant of life.

"I've done the lot." says Jon, "except be an impressionist. In spite of all my 'voices - and 1 used to use 42 different ones in 'Waterlogged Spa - they aren't imitations. I adapt them from people I know. The 'er, er. um, um-er, um stutter is taken from the lady who used to serve in my school tuck shop. She used to try terribly hard to remember everybody's name as we all surged in for our daily bun and bottle of pop, and she'd mumble away to herself until she obviousl) couldn't go on saying, 'er, um' any longer, and she'd shout 'Next'.

"Commander High Price, my confidential spy, is based on my cousin. Cousin Hugh has a slight impediment to the roof of his mouth and he speaks quietly and confidentially to you as if every word were top secret, So I borrowed' him."

Jon loves every minute of being Dr Who'.

"It's just me being allowed to wallow in all the fantasies I want to," he says. "Most of the gadgets and gimmicks are my idea. I thought it would be splendid to have a two-man hovercraft that folded up and could be carried by a car and they've made one for me in the series. And I've had my own Dr. Who car built, with an ejector seat and every gadget I could dream up. It's jet-propelled and can take to the air when I press a button."

He thought he'd be the last person considered suitable for the part of Dr. Who, when Patrick Troughton left the cast.

"I had been to R.A.D.A. and done my stint in rep, but after that there's been ice shows, a routine as a stand-in comie in cabaret, situation comedy, "The Navy Lark" (which has been running for 15 years on radio) and circus. About the only thing I'd never touched was a "pot boiler' show on television aimed at children."

When my agent suggested I try for the part I laughed in his face. Then I started to think of what a game I could have slipping through time and play. ing with the Daleks and I became interested. When I was selected the producer told me that two years earlier he'd marked me as a possible Dr. Who I still can't think why."

Being the famous doctor is exhausting, not merely because Jon does all his own stunts (with the exception of violent falls which might damage that suspect back) but because he must satisfy a vast following of " children, who demand to see "Dr. Who' in the flesh.

"I understand their proprietory interest in me", says Jon. *because I'm a great believer in 'all things being possible myself. I shouldn't be in the J least disconcerted if I came fac: to face with a bug-eyed monster from outer-space- 1 hope I do - and I've met ghosts and poltergeists many times. I'm convinced there is life on other planets.

"I only hope I'm around when they come visiting."

Jon, who has two children, a 12 year old daughter, and a son of nine, is married to a German girl. He's very proud of the fact that after only 12 years in this country she had mastered the English language so well that she's just had her first novel accepted for publication.

"I corrected the grammar here and there, but what amazed memos was her ability to commit her thoughts to paper so cleverly. The book is called 'Together' - and it's about violence, death and dedication - and I suspect there is some of me in it, too. Ingrid would love it to be in film eventually, so I've done some advance casting for her "thought we'd have Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch to start…"

The name of Pertwee is known. Father Roland wrote plays and novels. Michael (brother) is a scriptwriter and playwright and television personality, while Bill is a fellow comic and author.

The Navy has played an important part in Jon's life. He served for six years during war partly on the ill-fated H.M.S. Hood and later as 4 to one of the more Naval Commanders.

Mediterranean Merry-Go-Round and 'Waterlogged Spa' Eric Barker, made his name a household word, while the association with 'The Navy Lark' is a continuing

"I'll never cease to be grateful for that programme," he says. "It made stars of practically everyone who's been in it."

In spite of his popularity Pertwee remains very man who follows his inclinations rather than the demands of his

Seven years ago in London West End with A Funny happened on the way to Forum' and 'There's a Girl my Soup' did nothing restrain to restrain his restless spirit.

"I like excitement to be round every corner now the tim: has come to for fresh adventure wild Who be succeeded by something even more demanding and challenging?

Jon isn't saying. Instead he that all-concealing cape and his shoulders, flicks the frills his wrists and looks and smoulding as 'Dr. Who' can.

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  • APA 6th ed.: 2, (1973-12-14). He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster. The Leicester Chronicle p. Val Marriott.
  • MLA 7th ed.: 2,. "He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster." The Leicester Chronicle [add city] 1973-12-14, Val Marriott. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: 2,. "He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster." The Leicester Chronicle, edition, sec., 1973-12-14
  • Turabian: 2,. "He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster." The Leicester Chronicle, 1973-12-14, section, Val Marriott edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster | url= | work=The Leicester Chronicle | pages=Val Marriott | date=1973-12-14 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 January 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=He'd love to meet a bug-eyed monster | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 January 2023}}</ref>