Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

This little girl gets younger every play

From The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search

1983-06-03 Daily Post.jpg


THERE is one major pleasure in theatrical life for actresses—they do seem to get younger.

Take the case of Deborah Walling. Back in 1967 she was on television every week playing an 18-year-old. This week, however, she steps on stage at the Liverpool Empire as a 15-year-old. For Deborah has the title part of the original non-musical version of Gigi. And in it she is expected to portray a naive teenager in turn-of. the-century France.

Deborah comes front a large acting family. It includes father Jack and sister Dilys (who recently played a Christmas season at the Liverpool Playhouse). And she is able to pull off the youthful bit because of her stature.

She is rather... er ... small, I suggest. "Stunted is the word," she exclaims—but then opts for "petite". She's actually 5 feet.

It no doubt helped her capture the role of a Dr Who assistant back in 1967 at a time when Dr Who assistants tended towards the small and young. At that stage, the difference between her real age (20) and that of the character Victoria (18) was slight. Although she only spent a year screaming at monsters, the first of them being the Daleks, she did find the role dogged her career.

"The problem is that there is a Dr Who cult, and I was always being interviewed by fans for magazines. Once a chap came up to interview me and told me he thought I was marvellous. 'But of course, I wasn't even born when you were in the series,' he added. Thank you very much, I replied."

Now Deborah thinks she has finally escaped from the Dr Who fanzies. Certainly she has done her best by appearing in leading roles in TV series like Danger UXB and—heaven help her—a Les Dawson Special. There have also been stage roles varying from a singing Dorothy in the London production of The Wizard of Oz to A Bequest to the Nation opposite Arthur Lowe.

"I have also got into the pantomine thing," she says. "Last year I was Goldilocks, and this year I've been asked to play Aladdin—although I have no idea what size leading lady they're going to get me!"

Married to comedian Nick Field (son of the late lamented Sid), Deborah says she doesn't mind travelling around the country with a play. as hubby is doing a summer season in Jersey. "And I don't want to be on my own in our house at Twickenham." Besides, she says, with both of them working it does help pay the mortgage. For an empty house? "I suppose it does sound stupid," she agrees. "But I like travelling anyway."

Caption: Deborah Watling: "Stunted is the word!"

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Key, Philip (1983-06-03). This little girl gets younger every play. Daily Post p. 17.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Key, Philip. "This little girl gets younger every play." Daily Post [add city] 1983-06-03, 17. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Key, Philip. "This little girl gets younger every play." Daily Post, edition, sec., 1983-06-03
  • Turabian: Key, Philip. "This little girl gets younger every play." Daily Post, 1983-06-03, section, 17 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=This little girl gets younger every play | url= | work=Daily Post | pages=17 | date=1983-06-03 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 April 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=This little girl gets younger every play | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 April 2023}}</ref>