Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Did Count Arthur Strong Audition for the Original Doctor Who?*

Artistical Impressionism
Recent documentation uncovered in the files of the BBC has thrown light on the actors who were originally asked to audition for the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who back in 1963. Everyone knows that the part went to William Hartnell but what few people know is that several popular celebrities from the period were also approached.

Step forward the well-known raconteur and twice runner-up first class of the amusing turnip rosette at the Swathingthorpe Village Fete 1967 to 1968 - Count Arthur Strong.

Over the years, Count Arthur has enthralled many of the country's top dinner eaters at speaking engagements recounting his journey through the business that is show. He has, however, previously kept quiet about his brief encounter with television's most well-know Time Lord.

Until now...

Newly discovered paperwork show that he was approached to audition for the role in August 1963 at the BBC's Lime Grove studios. Although he turned up at the studio, the details reveal that the audition never took place. 

Police reports from the time throw further light on that sunny August day. It seems that they were called to BBC premises just after lunch where a "member of the acting profession" was causing an affray in the reception area.

The male individual was trouserless and had been discovered in this state in the ground floor ladies lavatories. It was here, the gentleman claimed, that he was just changing into his "lucky audition trousers" - It was "a show business tradition that any entertainment professional would know about, you idiot!" argued the man to the police officer on the scene. 

A quick check of the Ladies' lavatory failed to confirm the suspect's story and no "lucky audition trousers" were found. He later claimed at the police station that the garments had probably been stolen by "a vicious gang of street urchins as that part of London was infamous for them!" 

No charges were made against the man who we can now confirm was a young Count Arthur. 

Our researchers contacted him at his home and were told politely to stop bothering him as he already had double glazing. He told us firmly that it was still perfectly see-through and didn't need replacing yet. 

(Our talented artist has sifted through the many images from those early black and white television days and come up with these hastily knocked together efforts that attempt to create some of the lost magic that Count Arthur would've brought to the role had he not lost his lucky audition trousers.)

* No

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