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Dalek designer 'wasted away'

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1994-09-29 Stage and Television Today.jpg


DALEK designer Dennis Ryan who achieved worldwide fame for his work on the BBC in Dr Who collapsed dead after months of starving himself, an inquest heard this week.

Oxford educated and a former Royal Navy Officer, Ryan gradually cut himself off from the outside world after he was made redundant from the BBC in 1982.

Southwark Coroners Court was told he allowed himself to waste away, refusing to eat properly, wash, or get out of bed in the months leading to his death.

He was admitted to Greenwich Hospital against his wishes because of his serious physical condition, but died from a heart attack the following day earlier this year.

A post mottem revealed that he had suffered from severe heart disease which had been exacerbated by malnutrition. Coroner Sir Montague Levine recorded a verdict of natural causes after hearing that Ryan could have had a heart attack 'at any time.'

He said: "He was particularly proud that he had designed the Dalek which was a very popular creation with children. But when his job came to an end, his life dramatically changed.

"From being a resourceful and imaginative engineer with the BBC with lots of life, he became a recluse and started to shut himself off from the world."

The coroner commended doctors for admitting Ryan into hospital, despite the patient's strong protests against receiving medical treatment.

Social worker Colin Harrison said divorced Ryan began to withdraw from the world after losing his job and splitting up with a girlfriend.

During the last five years, he rarely ventured from his flat in Francis Street, Lee, SE London, which he shared with his frail 89-year-old mother Anne.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1994-09-29). Dalek designer 'wasted away'. The Stage and Television Today p. 6.
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  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Dalek designer 'wasted away'." The Stage and Television Today, edition, sec., 1994-09-29
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dalek designer 'wasted away' | url= | work=The Stage and Television Today | pages=6 | date=1994-09-29 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 June 2024 }}</ref>
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