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The odious slug with an eerie laugh

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1986-10-04 Today.jpg

  • Publication: Today
  • Date: 1986-10-04
  • Author: Anne Caborn
  • Page:
  • Language: English

SIL, the odious green slug with the gurgling laugh and a passion for marsh minnows, returns to Dr Who tonight (BBC1 5.45), appearing with new gal Bonnie Langford, who replaces Nicola Bryant

The squidgy monster, which first appeared in the programme at the beginning of last year, is played by 33-year-old Nabil Shahan, who has brittle bones, a condition which has left him with an underdeveloped body and confined to a wheelchair.

According to Dr Who producer John Nathan-Turner, Sil is the most popular monster since the Daleks.


Nabil's ability as an actor has won him roles in several major productions but, when be first applied to drama school, he was consistently turned down bemuse of his disability.

He eventually co-founded the Graeae Theatre Company for disabled people. which was the subject of a BBC Arena documentary in 1%1.

Nabil got the idea for Sirs laugh from a Mexican garter snake owned by a friend. The script said Sil had an eerie laugh

SLIMY 511_• the most popular and I knew it would make or break the character. I practised a number of laughs — I must have driven my neighbours potty —before remembering the snake." Neill]. who drives to work in a converted Mini is also in the new BBC production. Raspberry Ripple. which stars Faye Dunaway to the dual rules of a hospital matron and a 1930s Chicago gangster.

"I play an inmate who's the matron's spy in an institute for disabled people," says Nabil. "He believes he's in MI6."

He also stars with Peter Firth in a new Channel 4 MM, Born Of Fire, a supernatural thriller about destroying the devil monster since the Daleks Nabil was born in Jordan, but has lived in Britain since he was three. "I tried to get into Doctor Who as a child. I wrote to them and told them I wanted to play one of the monsters."

He also appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about sexuality and disability called The Skin Horse and the channels much acclaimed Walter.

Nabil finds it easier to get work now he has a track record. "But it wasn't so long ago that I had great difficulty in convincing people I could do something. Even amateur dramatic groups would just get me to paint the scenery or make props."

Caption: WHO? Langford and Baker

Caption: SLIMY SIL: the most popular monster since the Daleks

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  • APA 6th ed.: Caborn, Anne (1986-10-04). The odious slug with an eerie laugh. Today .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Caborn, Anne. "The odious slug with an eerie laugh." Today [add city] 1986-10-04. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Caborn, Anne. "The odious slug with an eerie laugh." Today, edition, sec., 1986-10-04
  • Turabian: Caborn, Anne. "The odious slug with an eerie laugh." Today, 1986-10-04, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The odious slug with an eerie laugh | url= | work=Today | pages= | date=1986-10-04 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 March 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The odious slug with an eerie laugh | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 March 2023}}</ref>