Barking SigningI was drawn to go by the appearance of a Doctor Who celebrity I have always wanted to meet and never had the chance - and no, for once it wasn’t Colin Baker!
27th September 2014
She appeared in The Curse Of Fenric as the village busy body, and was known for the part of the housekeeper in As Time Goes By.
But for me it was the domineering school teacher she played in two of playwright Dennis Potter’s tv serials that stand out for me.
It was a role she first played in 1965 for Stand Up Nigel Barton (uttering the title line with ear splintering authority) and again in The Singing Detective in 1986. Remembering she was only 30 years old when she played it first time around, it is a remarkable performance.
She is a particularly welcome addition to my book and I had a wonderful private chat with her while the autograph queues were quiet.
Once over my star-struck moment (and I don’t have them often) I gathered the other signatures I needed then waited for the interview session to kick off.
Colin was on good form for the interview session, recounting stories of his work, mainly prior to and after Doctor Who, was was a refreshing change to hear.
Jemma was enormous fun to listen to and she floored everyone - Colin Baker included - when she revealed she is the daughter of Pauline Yates, an actress well known for her part as Reggie Perrin wife in The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin.
As you have already read, I am a little in awe of Janet.
She wasn’t being asked as many questions as the other guests, so I took the opportunity to ask her publicly about those two roles that as so emblazoned on my memory. It brought back happy times for her and she thanked me afterwards for putting the question, which was so sweet.
In the early 1990s she played the part of Stiffy Byng and Gertrude Winkworth, in Granada's series Jeeves and Wooster, based on the novels of P. G. Wodehouse.
Annett remains best known for taking over the role as Kristine Kochanski in the seventh and eighth series of Red Dwarf, a role which she reprised in the final part of the 2009 special, Red Dwarf: Back to Earth.
This was pretty much Matthew’s first convention appearance, so he was a bit like a rabbit in headlight. He was very genuine and had the audience slack jawed when he revealed he had just finished a small part on the new Star Wars film!
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