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Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally

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1976-12-29 Bristol Evening News.jpg


DR. WHO'S new travelling companion through time this week-end — a beautiful savage in a skintight leather leotard — was once a pimply faced schoolgirl with a nervous twitch, often too scared to watch the popular TV hero.

Louise Jameson, a 25-year-old auburn-haired actress, sipped a pineapple juice as she recovered from her TV rehearsed fight with a robot, and recalled: "It was my nerves, you see.

"I was dreadfully shy and nervous as a kid. I always wanted to watch 'Dr Who' on television, but sometimes I just used to go and hide behind the settee. I think it was the Cybermen who frightened me the most.

"Even now, I don't like to see violence on the screen. It really worries and upsets me."


Nevertheless, Louise has been flexing her muscles and learning the art of akido.

"It's marvellous for women," she said. "It only requires grace and poise — and you can throw people all over the place."

But isn't her part as Leela, who lives — and kills — by the law Of the jungle, too violent for a children's TV series?

Well, first of all, says Louise= the BBC wants to get the Dads more interested. She explains: "They were amazed to find out how much of an adult audience they had.

"It boils down to 60 per cent kids, and 40 per cent adults — I suppose, because it's tea-time, straight after the football results, and just before Dad goes out on a Saturday night."

And that is partly why Leela will have a sexy image, squeezed into a too-small leather costume to emphasise her shape.

"And secondly, we believe that it will enhance anti-violent and pacifist feelings among the viewers, because Dr Who gets terribly cross every time Leela reacts savagely.

"As the kids all worship Dr Who, it gets the message across very nicely.


"For instance, in one episode Leela has a poison thorn which she sticks into people to paralyse them. Dr Who really loses his temper over that — and slowly he reeducates Leela into a different way of life. I think it will be a very good lesson."

Louise; daughter of an Essex insurance broker, wanted to be a Tiller girl when she was only four years old.

After some medical advice, she gradually grew out of her pimples and nervous twitch, and went to RADA when she was 17.


"All the parts I've had have been sweet, innocent ones, so I was thrilled to get this part. I was on the short-list for the girl's part in the 'New Avengers', but I was too old, they said, for 'Angels' and 'Bouquet of Barbed Wire'.

"I was getting a little desperate. After all, I had bank managers down my neck, a mortgage to pay, and I had been out of work for a couple of months."

Louise, who lives with actor Robert Ashby, believes little girls are going to be her fans, but little boys may dislike her.

I am prepared for an adverse reaction," she said. "Because I am not gentle like Sarah Jane Smith, who was the Doctor's assistant for two-and-a-half years.

"I heard the other day that a little boy told his mother he didn't like me, but a little girl said she likes me a lot.

[I] play rough which some boys may not accept coming from a woman. But it's also a very honest part. Leela is someone who doesn't mind showing tears or despair-a hit like me,, in a way."

The "Dr Who" producer, Philip Hinchcliffe, said: "We considered about 60 girls for the part of Leela, but as soon as Louise walked into the room, we knew she was the right girl."

Leela will be the ninth "Who" girl, but the first from an alien planet.

Philip Hinchcliffe says: "The others have very often been whizz-kids, bright and educated. This one is a barbarian. It's a big departure."

Above: Looking cool and modern — Louise Jameson.

Right: As she is in the new Dr Who series.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Davenport, Shirley (1976-12-29). Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally. Bristol Post .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Davenport, Shirley. "Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally." Bristol Post [add city] 1976-12-29. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Davenport, Shirley. "Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally." Bristol Post, edition, sec., 1976-12-29
  • Turabian: Davenport, Shirley. "Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally." Bristol Post, 1976-12-29, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally | url= | work=Bristol Post | pages= | date=1976-12-29 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=31 March 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Tough and sexy-that's Dr Who's new ally | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=31 March 2023}}</ref>