Dr Who star to appear at a Dorset science fiction convention

SPECIAL GUEST: Dr Who actress Sophie Aldred

SPECIAL GUEST: Dr Who actress Sophie Aldred

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A DOCTOR Who assistant with fond memories of shooting the show in Dorset will be a guest at a big science fiction convention.

Sophie Aldred – who played Ace to Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor from 1987-89 – will be among the stars at the SF Ball in Dorset from February 7 to 9.

Several stories from her time in Doctor Who were shot locally. “It was always a delight. I love Dorset and it was great to be filming there,” said Sophie.

The last shots of the show’s original 26-year run were filmed in Dorset. “It was due to be in Perivale but we ran out of time and so we had to find some bushes in Warmwell and went there instead,” she remembered.

She has many happy memories of the county, including the Doctor Who team playing skittles in a pub near Warmwell against the cast and crew of Rockliffe's Babies “I remember having a barbecue on the sand at Lulworth Cove. Somebody had managed to wire up lights on an extension cable. We had a disco.”

“Then we would go for walks off along Durdle Door. I remember watching shooting stars one night. It was wonderful.”

Sophie said her character, a leather-jacketed 16-year-old, had turned out to be inspirational for some young women.

“Even now, I'm getting a lot of young women at conventions dressing up as Ace. The gear is all available on the internet,” she said.

She said she loved meeting Doctor Who’s “eclectic mix” of fans. “They are incredibly bright people. Doctor Who attracts really brilliant, brainy people.

“You meet people in America who work for Nasa,” she said.

Now 51, she has two children who love the new Doctor Who and think it’s “pretty cool” to travel to conventions around the world.

She admits she never realised how the role would stay with her.

“I never thought ‘In 25 years’ time I’ll be coming to the SF Ball in Bournemouth’,” she said.

The SF Ball takes place at the Carrington House Hotel, Bournemouth from February 7-9.

Other guests signing autographs will include the eighth Doctor, Paul McGann (Friday and Saturday only) and Marina Sirtis of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

For details of the remaining tickets, visit sfbevents.com

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