A good few years ago now, I had the great pleasure of meeting Richard Franklin and becoming good friends with him.
I had heard of Polarity Day but wasn’t aware that I would be able to get tickets. In case you don’t know what the event was, it was a Doctor Who Appreciation Society event to celebrate the unveiling of a plaque for Jon Pertwee. It was attended by many people who contributed to Jon Pertwee’s era of Doctor Who, such as Terrance Dicks, Bob Baker, Katy Manning, John Levine and Richard himself.
During the day they would show The Claws of Axos on a big projector after a talk from Colin Baker and others.
I was able to meet all of the attending guests in person later in the day, and even had the opportunity to interview Terrance Dicks. I’m sure I have hardly ever been so nervous.
Unfortunately it was at this event that the idea of never meeting your heroes began to make sense to me. My fiancée and I had to chance to meet John Levine very early on, just after passing June Whitfield on the stairs (,name dropping)! We approached him and mentioned that Richard Franklin’s birthday was coming up, and would he like to take part in anything. He was very rude and told me to get on with what I wanted to say, and making me hurry up. It could be that he had been having a bad day, or getting emotional about the cause; but I got the feeling that it was normal behaviour for him.
Everybody else was very welcoming and seemed happy to be there. After getting a photo with all the guests, including Levine, who decided to push me into the person nearby – mature.
At the end of the event, Richard took us out to dinner near his residence which was lovely. Katy Manning was as lovably scatty and endearing as ever, throwing hugs to whoever looked as though they might recognise her.
All in all it was a brilliant day out, getting to meet many of my all time heroes such as Terrance and Bob Baker – and apparently that K-9 movie is still happening. Omega lives!