Just over eight years ago I managed to pull an April Fool’s joke that, for a few moments, almost had everybody fooled.
Christopher Eccleston had just announced that he would be leaving the role of The Doctor and myself and Danny, the chap who hosted the afternoon show on Connect FM at the time, smelled blood.
Danny took the day off and we revealed on-air that he would be taking over as the hero in the next series of Doctor Who.
We mocked a statement from the BBC explaining that they specifically wanted an unknown from the Midlands and we even photoshopped Danny in front of the TARDIS.
The funny thing was, ridiculous as the idea sounds, we had dozens of texts wishing him the best of luck! An unknown from Northamptonshire, eh?
Far-fetched? Well life imitated art four years later when Matt Smith was revealed as Doctor number 11, and since New Year’s Day 2010 he has done the county proud with his portrayal of the character.
I interviewed Matt at Northampton School for Boys just before his first episode aired and he was a real enigmatic character – you can still watch the interview at www.greggnunney.com – and now he has decided to hang up his sonic screwdriver (which incidentally I got to play with) at Christmas.
So who will play the new Doctor? Well if you discount any former Connnect FM presenters (although I’m happy to take on the role if BBC Wales happen to get the Telegraph this week) the favourites seem to be a host of people I’ve never heard of – and the ever-present Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s so cloak-and-dagger we may even know by the time this column is published!
We all remember the Doctor we grew up with fondly – mine was Sylvester McCoy – and a whole new generation are about to experience “their Doctor” for the first time!