Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Entertainment and Media Show, Day 2 - Tim's Everywhere!

Once again I was up at 6am (I really need to cut down the amount of time it takes me to get ready in the morning!!!). A quick breakfast and we all met in the hotel reception for 8am.

Multiple Man (JonJon and Tim)
Tim had promised us a new outfit for today and it was going to be something special. Today he would be multiple-man......

To manage this, Tim introduced us to a new member of the group, Jonjon!! A cardboard cut-out of Tim, a brilliant idea!!

Jonjon had a very interesting day, being photographed with loads of different people and ending up in all sorts of places, he even ended up with his own thread on the Showmasters Forum, but that’s another story.........

Anyway, on with day two of Collectormania. Today was Doctor Who day with three Doctors (Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann) and Katy Manning in attendance.

As I am a bit of a Who fan (actually that’s not really a surprise is it?!?) the first thing we all did was went to see the Doctors and Katy. Jemma and Nat were very excited about seeing Paul McGann, I’d only seen him two weeks prior at Dimensions so had a quick chat but didn’t get an autograph for myself.

Upstaged by your own double!
Katy Manning was on great form as always, I’d already seen her the week before at Memorabilia and she spotted me in the queue. When I got to the front she gave me a hug and a kiss, she also wanted to know if she could adopt me!! I had to smile at one comment she made “I see you so often sweetie, people will begin to talk”.

Keeping with the Doctor Who theme it was now time for the Katy Manning photoshoot, as I’ve already mentioned Katy is always really huggy so the picture turned out really well.

Next up, I went over to see Michael Biehn (Hicks in Aliens), he didn’t seems overly awake, but was still fairly chatty, it my picture at the desk he looks half asleep. Luckily in the professional picture he looks far more with it.

The Doctor and Jo Grant (Me and Katy Manning)
Being Sunday today was quiet compared to the day before which in a way was quite good as the queues weren’t too long for any guest.

Before Lucy and I headed off to lunch we went and saw Chris Judge (Teal’c from Stargate). Chris was really nice, as dedication on his autographs he was putting ‘Indeed’ which I (and any Stargate fans reading this will also) found amusing.

After lunch it was time for the Chris Judge photoshoot, this unfortunately made me slightly late for the Doctor Who talk, this meant I ended up sitting towards the back of the seating area, which mean that taking any photo’s was a nightmare, but nevermind. The talk itself was really good; everyone was on good form and had some amusing stories to tell. It was also the first time I’d seen Paul, Colin and Sylv doing a talk together, they played off each other really well.

Catwoman and The Doc, now there is a crossover...
Once the talk had finished I went back to see Katy and get her to sign the picture of me and her. I forget what Katy, Lucy and I were chatting about but the result was an awesome dedication “With love to Matt a good lookin’ fellow indeed”.

By this point in the day, I think it was around 3pm we were all getting quite tired. For some reason the day seemed to be dragging a little, there just seemed something missing. I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was, may have been the larger venue or the fact the some big guests had pulled out, I’m hoping that the next event in March will have a better feel to it. I really enjoyed the event but it just was missing the wow factor (in my opinion).

So feeling tired and having met everyone we wanted to and looked at all the trade stands Lucy and I decided to call it a day at around 4pm. The less said about the train journey home the better..........

And with that it marked the end of my first year on the convention circuit, what a year it’s been!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Entertainment and Media Show, Day 1 - A year on the circuit...

Being the anniversary of my 1st event Collectormania London (or whatever it’s now called....) holds special meaning for me. Would it live up to my memory of my first event or would I be looking back through rose tinted spectacles. Weellllllll, let’s find out.........

With the late announcement that Philip Glenister and some others had cancelled I was feeling slightly down about the event before I’d even got there, but I wouldn’t let it get me down.

Lucy and I arrived at the Putney Bridge Premier Inn at around 4pm on the Friday, once we were checked in there was only one thing to do.... Bar!

Once there we met up with ‘Team Til’ (for those of you who don’t know, Team Til consists of Laura, Jemma, Nat and Joanna and of course Mr Tim Ingham, aka Sao Til, think back to series one of Tonight the Night and all will become clear), a night of amusement then ensued with many bad jokes, but there was a big disappointment – The Premier Inn had got rid of their Pool Table, Disaster!!

So, onto the day of the event, the alarm went off at a truly ungodly hour (about 5.50am), we met for breakfast at 7am and, to be honest, the food wasn’t great. By 8am everyone was ready to leave, it was also time for the unveiling of Tim and Laura’s first outfits of the weekend, today they would be Gambit and Rogue – Epic, just epic!

A relatively short, cold and uneventful train journey later, we arrived at Olympia, due to the weather the entrance had been moved so queuing would be indoors (result!!). The doors opened at 9am and the event kicked off, time to work out where everything is, get our bearings and buy some autograph vouchers.

Me with Mercedes McNab
The next plan on the agenda was to check what times the various talks and photoshoots were so we could all make sure we were in the right place at the right time. With the day planned out the next order of business was a cup of tea.

The first guests we went to see were the cast of Ashes to Ashes, they were slightly surprised to learn they were doing a photoshoot and a talk; they were even more surprised when the time of their talk was moved from 5.30pm to 10.15am.......

For the Ashes talk we managed to get ourselves on the front row (well, the row behind the gold only chairs, which remained empty). The talk itself started slowly, for the first time ever I asked a question!! Someone had to be first, so it may as well have been me.

Overall the talk was good with all 6 of the Ashes guys being on good form with a few good stories, Micky B did a great job of running round as compare as well which was needed. It did also make me smile when a few Doctor Who comments were send it my direction.

Michael Barber
Now it was time for walk round, there was a reason for this, track down Sonila Vjeshta (one of the Vampire Girls from S5 of Doctor Who). Sonila was lovely and I had a picture with her at the desk as she wasn’t doing a photoshoot.

Next on my list of people to meet was Mercedes McNab (Harmony from Buffy), she was really nice but it was obvious she wasn’t feeling at all well, she was happy to do pictures at the desk but without flash.

Following on from Mercedes I wandered over to where Carl Weathers was based (“it’s Apollo Creeeeed!”, this became a meme for the weekend!!), it was a very formal meeting, but definitely worth it!!

While on the subject of Carl Weathers, after another tea stop it was time for his photoshoot, Tim joined me in the queue, we both weren’t sure what the shoot would be like, be is a big named guest, would it be seated, formal or what... When we got to the front of the queue we were pleasantly surprised to find he was really good fun and doing all sorts of various poses, the most popular to being the handshake from Predator and a boxing stance (it’s Apollo Creeeeed!), both Tim and I went for the Predator handshake, although neither of us are really bulky enough to pull it off properly!!

There next photoshoot I had was with Mercedes so to pass the time until then we went to see Alice Krige (Borg Queen from Star Trek), we had to fight the urge to ask if the Borg run on Vista or Windows 7. Alice was chatty and good to talk to, a really nice guest.

Rogue, The Doctor and Gambit
Onto the Mercedes McNab photoshoot, I’d managed to get to almost the front of the queue which was good, I was also hoping for a hugging picture, which standing in the queue chatting the Robert ‘King of Photoshoots’ Sterry I had a phone call from Jemma, she was stuck outside as there was a rumoured fire in the Pizza Express in Olympia. A slight moment of confusion then arose as no alarm sounded but a quiet tannoy announcement asking everyone to leave; everyone completely ignored this, at which point the event staff started moving people towards the exits. When we got to the exit we were then turned round and told to go back in.

The whole episode did make me wonder what would happen if it had been a proper fire as opposed to a burnt pizza.....

To top it off when we got back to the Mercedes queue we’d gone from the front to the back! From seeing Mercedes earlier it was clear she wasn’t feeling well, after as few minutes we were told that she was unable to continue with the shoot and it may take place later. I was now feeling very glad I’d got a picture at the desk!

Me with Mason Kayne (young Gene Hunt)
So, with no photoshoot to do we decided now would be a good time for some lunch. On the way over to the cafeteria we bumped in Michael Barber (Ashes to Ashes), Nat and Joanna ended up chatting to him, he then did something I hadn’t expected, he took out his camera and asked me for a photo!!

With lunch out of the way it was then time to see if Mercedes had recovered enough to do her photoshoot, luckily she had but you could tell she wasn’t feeling great, but all credit to her she got through all the pictures and was chatty and did poses for people. She really impressed me as she was on good form despite feeling ill, a great guest who I’d like to see again (she was meant to be back on the Sunday but wasn’t well enough to attend).

After seeing Mercedes it was time to go and see the Ashes to Ashes cast. First up was Mason Kayne (young Gene Hunt), he was there is the costume from the show which I thought was really cool. While chatting to him, I had a flashback from earlier as he also asked me for a picture!! Mason was easy to chat to and really nice, almost forgot to get him to actually do an autograph for me (that’ll teach me for getting carried away chatting).

Having finished chatting to Mason and also getting Micky B’s autograph it was time to go and support Jay and Richard in the Cosplay Skit Competition. I’ve never watched a skit comp before so it was a new experience....

Jay did a short comedy intro and then sang the Ghostbusters theme (he was dressed as a ghostbuster so it made sense), Rich then went next and did a short piece as Capt. Jack which worked quite well and culminated with him running off with a member of the audiences video camera which I found highly amusing.

One of the other skits worth a mention was done by Charlie (dressed as Alex Drake), it was a Alex monologue which summed up the entire plot of Ashes which was really good.

Charlie was awarded second place and Jay was the winner, the cash prize he then donated to charity which I thought was a great gesture.

The day was now beginning to come to a close so we headed back to the Ashes guys and I finished getting all their autographs and pictures with each of them. The Ashes guys (Mason Kayne, Michael Barber, Steve Mason, Steve Munroe, Jack Walters and Rikki Gann) were all really friendly and good to chat to, absolutely brilliant guests.

With that, feeling quite tired we all headed back to the hotel for an evening sitting in the bar and reminiscing about the day we’d just had. A truly epic day!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Famous Faces and Various Places...

To link in with my first year convention going anniversary, I thought it would be good to have a look back at the last year and compile everywhere I’ve been and who I’ve managed to meet.

Where I’ve Been....

Collectormania London, Timequest 2, Corsham Family Fun Day, Salute, Stars of Time, Fab Cafe 3, Collectormania Milton Keynes, Bad Wolf, Event One, London Film and Comic Con, Whooverville 2, Collectormania Glasgow, Regenerations, MCM Expo, Stars of Time 2, Norwich Sci-fi Festival, Dimensions, Winter Memorabilia.

And Who I’ve Met......

John Barrowman, Rene Auberjonois, Tom Baker x2, Peter Davison, Colin Baker x7, Sylvester McCoy x4, Paul McGann x2, Janet Fielding, Sian Pattenden, Lucy Benjamin, Tim Ingham x2, Baxter Sullivan, Michael Jayston, Frazer Hines x2, Deborah Watling x3, Paul Blake x3, Jeremy Bulloch x3, Richard LeParmenter x2, Jason Salkey, Katy Manning x3, Shirley Eaton, Britt Ekland, Caroline Munro, Kenny Baker, Nisha Nayar x2, Nicola Bryant x4, Alan Ruscoe, Charlie Ross x3, Graeme Harper x2, Alan Ruscoe, Colin Spaull, Rob Shearman x2, Sarah Sutton x4, Georgia Moffet, Tommy Knight x2, Joe Flanigan, JG Hertzer, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jennie Linden x2, Robert O’Reilly, Kate Mulgrey, Lance LeGault, Michelle Forbes, Patrick Stewart, Peter Mayhew, Robert Duncan McNeil, Tim Russ, Arthur Darvill, John Leeson, Sophie Aldred x2, Andrew Hayden-Smith, Nick Briggs, Ruari Mears, Bruno Langley, Ian McNiece, Christopher Benjamin, Trevor Baxter, Caroline John, Carole Ann Ford, Lisa Bowerman x2, Nicholas Courtney x2, Nicholas Parsons, Philip Madoc, Florence Hoath, Margaret John x2, Donald Tosh, Andrew Cartmel, Bernard Cribbins, Elisabeth Sladen, Elizabeth Croft, Gabriela Montaraz x2, Hannah Steele x2, Kristanna Loken, Nia Roberts, Paul Kasey, William Shatner, Michael Cochrane, Paul Darrow, Danny John Jules, Hamish Wilson, Terry Molloy x2, Anneke Wills, Helen Griffin, Matthew Chambers, Lawry Lewin, John DeLancie, Honor Blackman, David Prowse x2, Wendy Padbury, Chris Barrie, Warwick Davies, Daphne Ashbrook, Matthew Waterhouse, Yee Jee Tso, Beth Chalmers, Andrew Smith, Ciara Janson, Charlotte Lewis, Finn Jones, Anjli Mohindra.

I think that’s everyone, not bad for 12 months......

In addition to the stars mentioned above, I’m proud to say I’ve also met loads on new and interesting people and made many good friends.

All told, there is only one word that could be used to sum up this year:


Roll on 2011!!

My favourite picture. Me and Nicola Bryant 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

How This All Began....

I've recently been asked how I got into the whole Doctor Who look-a-like thing, well here goes.

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away..... (insert Star Wars intro music)

Clearing the fog from my memory, we need to go back to April 2007, I think it was my birthday but the exact date is a little hazy......

It was a Saturday night and I was in London visiting some of my friends, towards the end of the evening we ended up sat in The Walnut Tree, a Weatherspoons pub located in Leytonstone High Street. Sat at a table in the middle of the pub chatting I was surprised to have a random, slightly drunk (and from memory not unattractive girl) stumble over to me and proclaim “Did you know you look like David Tennant?!?”

I think my reply was ‘That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me’. After that I didn’t give it another thought as she’d had a few.........

One of the first pictures of me as the Doctor back in 2008
Skip forward a few months to August and it happened again, this time it was at home, my house mate of the time had friends round, I’d come home wearing a (pin stripe) suit and the same comment was made.... Ok I thought to myself, perhaps there is something to this.

So based on this my hair style began to change and I developed Tennant style sideburns. From this point the comments started to come more regularly, the best ones being when people walk past and then whisper to their friends “was it me, or.....”

Around March 2008 I decided that I needed to make more of the DT resemblance and got myself a 10th Doc suit and coat (back then it cost me just over £30 off of eBay, the suit wasn’t great but the coat looked fine).

By this point I’d also got a new housemate (Michelle) who, as it happens, worked for BBC Radio Suffolk. For the 2008 Suffolk Show they were going to broadcast live from the show and have a Doctor Who display in tent. Michelle said that I should go along in my Tennant gear as it would be good fun.

On Radio Suffolk with Terry Molloy
The result, I hadn't expected. It was manic, I’d never before been photographed so many times! As part of the event Terry Molloy (Davros, Classic Who) was there signing, he was also due to be interviewed about his career as well as the return of Davros to Doctor Who.

What I wasn’t expecting was that I’d end up on the radio too, chatting with Terry!!

After the radio interview (which at that point was one of the most nerve racking things I’d done), Terry gave me some valuable advice.

“Get an agent and make the most of it while you can, there’s probably only about 18 months of Tennant left (this was prior to David’s leaving announcement)”

So that’s exactly what I did, the rest as they say is history............

Me now, the look has improved!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Winter Memorabilia - Tank Girl, A New Companion?

Note to self, if you have to be up a 6am, do not go to bed at 2am!

Anyway, on to Memorabilia. As you may, or may not know, Memorabilia is run by the same company that do Expo, as such I assumed it’d be similar both in size and how busy it would be.

Possible new companion? Tank Girl
To put it simply, I was wrong.

The event seemed really quiet compared to others that I’d been to, there were lots of dealers but what appeared to be a lack of customers.

I got to the NEC at around 10.15, would have been there a 10 if my Sat-Nav didn’t have it in for me, in all the excitement of getting there I also failed to make a note of which of the NEC car parks I was in, not a problem when arriving, but a real pain at the end of the day.....

Today would be a bit different as I wasn’t with my usual convention going colleagues, I’d instead be spending the day with Will (aka Tiny Time Lord) and his dad which I was quite looking forward to. Prior to their arrival I first had a catch up with Matt Booker, grabbed a cup of tea and got my bearings.

Me with Luke and Rani (Tommy Knight and Anjili Mohindra)
Despite what I considered to be a lack of people there were a good number of guests, Luke and Rani (Tommy Knight and Anjli Mohindra) from The Sarah Jane Adventures were there signing (they were only meant to be there on the Saturday so seeing them was a bonus), they were also doing free autographs which was an added treat. Keeping with the Doctor Who theme, Katy Manning was there with Finn Jones (Santiago from SJA Death of the Doctor). Katy was on good form as always and I go her to sign ‘that’ Dalek picture.

There weren’t too many costumers there that I saw (compared to what I’ve become used to). In addition to the ever popular Star Wars characters, there were a few worth mention. The always lovely Kate was there as Harley Quinn, there was also a great ‘Tank Girl’ as well as Xena.

Doctor Who and Star Wars crossover
For a change I spent a good amount of time having a look at all the various trade stands, one that I came across was an artist my the name of Matt Dixon, he’d done a number of alternatde versions of well known characters, including Tinkerbell (who was dubbed ‘Drinkerbell’) and a ‘not so little’ Red Riding Hood. I had to pick up a copy of each.

Overall it was a good day, but I can’t help thinking that it was missing something (although I can’t quite put my finger on it). The certain missing something is also probably why this review is a little shorter than the others have been. Writers block?

Oh well, Collectormania London next weekend, bring it on!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Dimensions - Drinks with Nicola Bryant

Before I get into talking about Dimensions, I first need to go back to March and Timequest 2. For me this was my first proper event and the bar by which all other would be judged: 5 Doctors in one weekend as well as a rare companion. As you can see, Dimensions had a tough act to follow...........

Back to the present and back to Dimensions. After a minor row with Kate (I’m sure it says ATMOS under the TomTom sticker!!) Lucy and I arrived at the Holiday Inn just outside Newcastle at about 6.10pm. On walking in it was like being at a reunion with a score of familiar faces greeting me.

Lucy and I got registered, grabbed a quick drink and made our way into the main hall in readiness for the event opening. So, with a good selection of guests and a host of other activities to look forward to, Dimensions 2010 got underway. The only disappointment was that Mary Tamm had needed to cancel due to family reasons, which was a shame as I was looking forward to seeing her.

At 7pm the Gold pass drinks reception began. Initially there were only a few guests present, but as the time went on more appeared, which was good. I started off the drinks reception by chatting to Charlie Ross, who introduced me to Keith Temple (it’s always a bit surreal when one guest introduces you to another!!)

Next up Lucy and I had a chat with Yee Jee Tso. He was keen to know everyone’s name, and had set himself the goal of remembering as many as possible. Not a bad objective to have if you ask me!

As the drinks reception continued I got chatting to Rob Sherman and Nev Fountain, but I then found myself distracted as who should walk in but Nicola Bryant.......

A short while later Angie brought Nicola over. She grinned at me and said hello again and gave me a hug and a kiss. We proceeded to have a good chat and she was telling me that she’d just got back from doing an interview on Tees Radio about the event. Unfortunately our time ran short and Nicola had to move on to the other guests. Shortly after the drinks reception came to an end, and next on the agenda for the evening was a Doctor Who quiz. However, I wouldn’t be attending as Lucy and I had to get to where we would be staying that evening, so with that Friday evening came to an end.

So, onto Saturday morning. In the rush to get ready I’d forgotten my camera (epic fail!!) but luckily Lucy had remembered hers. The best thing (and ironically also the worst, but not in a bad way, if you follow?) thing about events like Dimensions is that there is loads to do!

First up was the photo shoot with Keith Temple and Andrew Smith. This unfortunately meant that we missed out on the reading that Nicola Bryant was doing, but I wasn’t too worried though as she was doing another one later on. I’d make sure I got to that one (or so I thought....)

Next we were off to the autograph room to see Paul McGann where we were confronted with a fairly long queue. While standing in the aforementioned queue Lucy realised she had forgotten what she had brought to get signed by him, and to make matters worse Paul was only signing until 11am! Disaster.

Having now reached the front of the McGann queue Lucy and I both got his autograph. Lucy also had a little fangirl moment when she saw exactly how attractive he is in person. While chatting, Paul was showing us a sonic screwdriver he’d been given at an event in New Zealand. The conversation then went a little something like this....

Me: So how was Armageddon?
PM: Yeah, not bad
Me: While you were there you saw a friend of mine, Cat?
PM: What, Cat Cranston? NO!
Me: Yeah!
PM: Wow! I still keep in touch with her!
Me: It’s a small world
PM: Try flying economy to New Zealand!

Moving ever onward, we had time for a quick tea break before heading into the Matthew Waterhouse photo shoot. We’d also managed to sort out Lucy’s Paul McGann autograph that she didn’t think she’d be able to get. (It would however mean nipping back to where we were staying during lunch.)

It was then back to the signing room to see Yee Jee Tso and Daphne Ashbrook. To mine and Lucy’s surprise, Yee greeted us both by name, as he’d remembered from the night before!

Daphne was lovely. I’d been asked to get a drawing of her signed, and she loved it and insisted she take a picture for use on her facebook page! She also agreed to have a picture with her holding the drawing (although she wasn’t really meant to) which was really nice.

Next on the agenda was the Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso photoshoot. This also clashed with the second Nicola Bryant reading, so to make sure we could do both, Lucy and I got to the photo area early, first in the queue. However, the best laid plans never come to pass......

Unfortunately, in what I have to class as an organisational fail, each guest would be photographed individually: Paul first, then Daphne and finally Yee. Then at the end anyone who wanted a group shot would be done. What this meant is that we ended up queuing 3 times, so being first there still meant we’d miss the Nicola reading!! The reason for doing the queue like this was to stop the guests from having to hang around longer than needed. The only problem was that as the group shots were being done at the end, Paul has to sit and wait around until the end. Personally I would have had all three guests in and then given each attendee the option of if they wanted a group of individual shots when they got to the front of the queue...... anyway, that’s enough of that, a slight blip in an otherwise great morning.

Onto the afternoon, the group photo shoot were the first thing to be done. This was all done and sorted by 2.30pm and luckily due to a delayed start it meant that we were able to make Nicola Bryant’s stage talk and reading (yippeeeee!!)

Nicola’s talk and the reading from Nev Fountains' new Mervyn Stone mysteries was highly enjoyable (like I was going to say anything else!!). Having heard a few short snippets from the Mervyn Stone series of books I think I’m going to have to get myself a copy as they were really quite funny, especially one that is set in a sci-fi convention!!

By this point Lucy and I were both feeling quite knackered so decided to give the last talk of the day a miss and go and grab some food and make sure we’d be back in time for the party later!

So, skip forward a few hours to 10pm, we were both changed and ready for an evening of dancing. However when we got back to the Holiday Inn we found the bar full of people. It turns out the band wasn’t great (from what I was told). The problem is, once you have a large number of convention goers settled in a bar, moving them somewhere else isn’t an easy task (bit like holding back the tide really!). We decided to give it an hour but the party never really got started so we decided to call it a night.

Sunday. Getting up was a challenge! Once I’d finally managed to get going and had a cup of tea I felt much more with it!

We were a little late getting to the Holiday Inn so we went straight into the Jennie Linden photo shoot. She remembered me from Collectormania: Milton Keynes which was good.

Keeping up the busy pace from yesterday, the next thing on the agenda was going to see Sylvester McCoy in the signing room. Sylv was on good form and was fairly chatty. Having missed Matthew Waterhouse’s signing yesterday, today was also the last chance to get his autograph, so we made sure we didn’t miss out.

Sunday was also the day that Nicola was signing so we went over and saw her. I have a little confession: I’m actually quite shy (I really am, stop laughing!!) I also don’t really like queues, so found myself unconsciously rushing my chat with her.

Next, while Lucy joined the queue for Colin Baker, I had my picture done with the Hyde Fundraisers, epic costumes and a great bunch raising money for a number of worthy causes!

So, back to the Colin Baker queue. After a short while and having to listen to one fan tell Colin his life story and recount every time they had ever met (the slightly pained Colin’s face said it all), we made it to the front. Colin also remembered me (then again this was the 7th time we’d met).

Having got Colin’s autograph Lucy and I headed back to the photo area. As this was Remembrance Sunday there was a 2 minute Silence at 11am that was respected by all those who were in attendance.

As both Nicola and Colin were doing the pictures at the same time we were once again faced with the same queuing system from the day before.......

Colin was up first and then once I’d re-queued it was time for Nicola. I got two pictures with her (it’s becoming a standard thing with me): one normal and a huggy one.

Having finished one set of photos we grabbed a quick drink and a sandwich before queuing for the shoot with Sylvester McCoy. After my picture with Sylv I decided that my fringe was officially too long! Namely due to Sylv asking if my hair was based on DT or Matt Smith!!

With the morning session coming to an end there was just time to go and see Colin again as I’d forgotten to get him to sign my copy of The Two Doctors. I also got to go and see Nicola again.

One thing I had noticed on the weekend schedule was that after the group photo on the Sunday afternoon Nicola’s commitments for the weekend would be complete, at which point I had a crazy thought “ I wonder if she’d like to have a cup of tea with me?”, well, there was only one way to find out!! To my surprise, she said yes!!

So onto Sunday lunchtime, managed to have an albeit brief catch up with Ryan Hendrick star of the Doctor Who fan film Beseiged (have a look at their FB page). There was also some unexpected entertainment in the form of a race: Daleks vs Wheelchair! This had all stemmed from a challenge issued to Davros in jest and before anyone really realised what was going on a race had been planned (to the slight annoyance of the organisers, the joy of Health and Safety!!) Only at a Doctor Who convention!!

The winner? Marianne in her wheelchair. The Dalek (after congratulating the winner) then proceeded to spray the onlookers with its water cannon.

With what’s been dubbed the most politically incorrect race ever now finished (and yes, there is a video), it was time for the Sunday group photo. With the photo done, it was time to head to the bar and wait for my drink with Nicola.

Having a drink with Nicola did mean I missed the Sunday afternoon activities, but it was a price I was willing to pay, as for what we talked about, that’s between me and her.

And with that the weekend and as such this review comes to an end, overall really good event, thank you 10th Planet, can’t wait to next year!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Norcon - A Local Show At Last!

Having driven back from Weston Super Mare the night before I was understandably a little tired, it was also raining heavily on the morning, not a good way to start a day........

Me with Warwick Davies
Got to UEA where the event was being held at around 10.15, finally got out of my car at about 10.30 (I really hate rain, my hair hates rain even more!!)

So having spent 15 mins hiding from the rain Lucy and I finally went into the event, really didn’t know what to expect so it would be an experience, my reason for going (apart from it being local) was to have a catch up with Terry Molloy (as you may or may not know, he’s the reason I got into all this).

A convention in a uni common room/student union, this was a new one for me, not a bad venue all told, it was a shame there wasn’t a bit more signage within the uni to tell people where to go, but that’s probably me just being picky.

For me doing Stars of Time the day before took something away from Norwich Sci-fi Day, a number of the guests were the same, but I can’t hold it against the event, let’s face it, Stars of Time was the other side of the country!!

Autograph signing...
There was only one real downside to Norwich Sci-fi was the layout of the room, it was set in a sort of S shape, it was the best layout due to the sunken stage area but it did mean walking round was slightly difficult a you ended up walking from one end to the other then had to turn round and walk back to the entrance door, personally I’m a fan of circles, but that’s just me :)

The major plus side of having an event in a student union was the cost of food and drinks, i.e. really cheap!

When I arrived my first port of call was to grab a cuppa, have a sit down and generally take in the surroundings. While sitting drinking the aforementioned cup of tea I was approached by two girls from the University Live-wire service to have a chat on camera about events.

It appears that this was a weekend for autographs, I must have signed about a dozen 10th Doctor Battles in Time cards, it’s a very strange feeling signing pics of DT!!

I had my catch up with Terry Molloy, was good to see him again, last time I saw him was back at Regenerations in September, it’s always good when guests remember your name.

10 and 5. It's Timecrash all over again!
As well as Terry Molloy I also got to meet Chris Barrie (Rimmer – Red Dwarf), this was the first time I’d met him, I’d been to events he’d been at before but had never got round to meeting him. Seeing Chris Barrie made Lucy very happy as she is a big fan of his! In addition to Chris I was also able to meet Warwick Davies (Willow!!) which was very cool.

While I was there I did meet some new people including members of the Norwich Time Travellers, a Doctor Who fan group. It's always good to meet new people who have similar interests.

All in all a good day, doing two events in the same weekend definitely took something away from this one though, I’ll be waiting to see what they have planned for next year.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Stars of Time II - My First Audience with the Daleks...

It’s 8.30pm on Friday November 5th, it’s raining heavily and we finally arrive at the Commodore Hotel, just outside Weston Super Mare. The journey had taken just under five and a half hours but Lucy and I had made it to our accommodation for the night. It’d been a long day of travelling, but it’s far easier going the day before rather than on the day.

The Doctor
So onto the day of the event, we got their around 9.30 an hour before it opened so that we could have a walk round and see what the plan was for the day.

This was my second appearance at Stars of Time, it’s a relatively small family orientated event. Due to its size it means that there is plenty of times to chat to the guests and queues aren’t too long.

David from Toymachine (the event organisers) had managed to get a good selection and number of guests. The main ones for me being Wendy Padbury (Zoe – Doctor Who) and Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore – Goldfinger).

In addition to the guests there was a Doctor Who photo area where people could have their picture in the Tardis or with a Dalek, there was also a Star Wars photo area courtesy of the guys from Garrison. I’d been asked to do a couple of pictures by the Tardis so the photographer had some to display, this would not be the last time I was photographed with the Tardis.

Audience with the Daleks
Part of the event is the ever popular, audience with the Daleks. On this occasion I’d been asked to be compare, the Doctor and three Daleks, what could possibly go wrong................

The audience with the Daleks was highly amusing, many jokes and the mandatory soaking of most of the audience by the Dalek water guns. The video has made it to You-tube, there is also a link on my page.

With the first Dalek audience completed it was time to wander (or should that be swagger?!?) around the event. At one point I was stopped by two children who wanted my autograph, this has happened to me before, but is something that I’ll never get used too!

Autograph Signing
For those of you who have never been to Stars of Time, it’s held in the Winter Gardens in Weston Super Mare. The Winter Gardens are also next to a shopping centre, so you can imagine what was bound to happen........ Dalek invasion!!

Nothing can really describe the shocked look on the customers of Burger King when a Dalek bursts in demanding Ice Cream and then proceeds to join the queue.

Early afternoon arrived and the two children who’d asked for my autograph earlier came and found me again, this time clutching a printed copy of a picture they’d had with me, they both asked me to sign them. As you may (or may not know) a biro won’t work on a photo, so a Sharpie was required, so off I ran to see Dave Prowse to borrow his!

Me with Wendy Padbury
Audience with the Daleks part two then started, the Daleks had been caught somewhere in the Time Vortex (or were suffering from technical difficulties). To pass the time and to stop me needing to do a one man show I was joined you a young assistant for a short bit of banter.

Two of the three Daleks materialised and the show went on. This time I was far more settled and feel I gave a better performance, far more jokes from the Daleks with a bit more adult content, Nicola Bryant somehow made it into conversation and I had to avoid laughing when the Dalek plunger shot upright and extended to its full length.

Anyway, back to the guests. Wendy Padbury was lovely, I’ve never met her before, I had her sign a picture for me, I’d also been sent a drawing of her to get signed which I did.

The Doctor
Honor Blackman was fab, i must admit I did get a little start struck (not normally like me) but she was really nice and I had a picture with her.

Nisha Nayar (Doctor Who and Tracey Beaker) I met her at the last Stars of Time event and she remembered me which was cool, she’s cool and was great to talk to, I look forward to seeing her again.

Dave Prowse (Darth Vader, but I’m sure you all knew that!!), again really easy to talk too, we ended up chatting about the best way to get to Norwich of all things!!

All in all, it was a really good event, not as busy at the last one (but there was another Doctor Who event that day so that probably explains it).

A really good family day out, I’d only make one minor amendment and that would be to have a set area for the paid for pictures which wasn’t in the main dealer hall. May also be an idea to have the possibility of an area with guest talks, but that’s just a thought.

If you’re ever in Weston Super Mare when a Stars of Time event is on its well worth a visit