CELEBRITIES have recorded special messages ahead of a screening of the first ever Doctor Who episode in Herne Bay.
BBC bosses are staging the free event at the Kings Hall on Friday, November 22, and all tickets were snapped up within half an hour of being released.
A panel of celebrity guests will discuss the episode as part of the celebrations for the show’s 50th anniversary, and others have prepared video messages that will be played on the night.
Among them are several actors who have played the Doctor, and others who played his companion.
Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor, says he would love to be in Herne Bay to watch the first episode, and sixth Doctor Colin Baker describes the town as “wonderful”.
He adds: “I have spent many a happy hour in Herne Bay but today alas I am summoned by the other doctors to appear at some other minor event organised by the BBC in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the programme we all know and love.
“You are in Herne Bay. Doctor Who started in Herne Bay. What better place to watch An Unearthly Child?”
Producers chose the town in honour of BBC writer and producer Anthony Coburn, who penned the first episodes – including An Unearthly Child – at his home in Beltinge Road. He also came up with the idea of the time-travelling Tardis.
Stuart Maisner, producer for BBC South East Today, said: “The first episode was written in Herne Bay so the absolute logic is there – where else could we show it?
“We have not had a big event in the town for some time and now we can come and celebrate the origins of one such an iconic programme.
“I have been a fan since I was tiny and I have spent the last three or four months interviewing all my childhood heroes for this project and getting these wonderful messages.
“I was thrilled to speak to Tom Baker and I’m really looking forward to the event.”
South East Today presenter Rob Smith will front an outside broadcast from the Kings Hall that day, and BBC Radio Kent will also be there. They will be joined by Daleks, Cybermen and Tardis, made by Herne Bay prop maker Jason Onion.