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I met Sylvester McCoy when I attended the 10th Planet Doctor Who event at Cheshunt in March 2010.
Sylvester kept us all entertained with a very funny talk, as he propelled himself round the hall in a 'buggy' ("I'm learning how to be a Dalek!") because he had just had a hip operation.
He signed two photos for me.
Sylvester McCoy, was born as Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith, at Dunoon, Scotland, in 1943. His father was a submarine officer in the Royal Navy but was killed during the second World War, just a month before Sylvester was born. He was brought up by his Irish mother in Dunoon, where he attended the local St Mun's School.
In his youth, he trained for the priesthood, but gave this up and moved to London to work in the Insurance industry. Aged twenty seven, and wanting a change, he found work in the London Roundhouse Theatre's box office, where he was discovered by the comedy actor Ken Campbell.
Along with Bob Hoskins, Kent-Smith joined The Ken Campbell Roadshow as a comedy act. He became best known as a stuntman character called Sylveste McCoy in a play called An Even
Evening with Sylveste McCoy the Human Bomb, produced at The Royal Court Theatre in 1971. Percy Kent-Smith then adopted this as his stage name
name, but realising that there were thirteen letters in 'Sylveste McCoy', and feeling that this might be unlucky, added an 'r' to the end of 'Sylveste'.
and Buster Keaton in one-man shows on stage. A recent stage role was as The Fool in Trevor Nunn's 2007 RSC production of King Lear by
Theatre then took over McCoy's life and he subsequently went on to appear in numerous plays and musicals ranging from Moliere to pantomime. He has also portrayed two famous film comedians, Stan Laurel an
by William Shakespeare, at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, with Sir Ian McKellan in the title role. The play went on tour to Australia & New Zealand, before a West End run at the New London Theatre.
McCoy as Crud in Ghoul Lashed
In 2008, McCoy played the title role in Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta The Mikado at the Sheffield Lyceum, and in 2009 he was Mr Mushnik in the Chocolate Factory's production of Little Shop of Horrors.
Sylvester McCoy in The Mikado
Sylvester McCoy as Mr Mushnik
in Little Shop of Horrors
Pat Keysell, Tony Hart &
Sylvester McCoy in Vision On
Sylvester McCoy in Vision On
Sylvester McCoy as Lt 'Bertie' Bowers
in The Last Place on Earth
Sylvester McCoy's early TV appearances included Vision On (1965), Tiswas (197
(1974), Jigsaw (1979), and as Lt 'Birdie' Bowers in The Last Place on Earth (1985), a TV serial about Robert Falcon Scott's
Scott's last Antarctic expedition. McCoy also played the butler, Crud, in Sky's UK production for children Ghoul Lashed (1995).
Sylvester McCoy in Tiswas
Sylvester McCoy as Michael Sams
in Beyond Fear
Beyond Fear (1997) was the true story of a British estate agent, Stephanie Slater (Gina McKee), who was kidnapped, raped, and held for ransom by Michael Sams (Sylvester McCoy), who imprisoned her in a coffin-like box for eight days. Sams was later caught, tried and imprisoned for life
life. The film was shown on the opening night of the Channel 5 TV network in the UK.
Sylvester McCoy in See It Saw It as The Lord Chamberlain and Aunt Grizelda
His more recent TV work has included the popular series The Bill (2002 & 2006), Hollyoaks (2002), Casualty (2001 & 2008) and
and Doctors (2008) in which he played an actor who was once the time-travelling hero of a children's TV series!
Sylvester McCoy's two appearances in The Bill
McCoy as Kev the Rev in Casualty
McCoy's big-screen appearances have been minor ones. He had a very brief appearance alongside Sir Laurence Olivier as
Walter the butler in Dracula (1979); Anthony Stanwick in the low-budget thriller The Airzo
McCoy as Walter in Dracula
As Mr Tallman in The Mumbo Jumbo
It was when he was starring at the National Theatre in The Pied Piper, that McCoy heard that the BBC was look
Sylvester McCoy as Flynn in
Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns
looking for a new lead actor to replace Colin Baker in Doctor Who. He won the part ahead of the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Alexei Sayle, Tony Robinson and his mentor, Ken Campbell, who were all considered for the role.
Airzone Solution (1993); Flynn in Leapin' Leprechauns (1995) and its sequel Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns (1996) and Mr Tallman in the comedy The Mumbo Jumbo (2000).
McCoy played the seventh incarnation of The Doctor from 1987 until 1989 when the series was shelved. He reprised the role in the 1996 TV movie.
Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Doctor Who
Sylvester McCoy in Doctor Who
McCoy as Doctor Who in the TV movie
McCoy relaxes with his Dalek enemies!
The Seventh Doctor
McCoy is the the only Doctor to have played the role during two
two regenerations. When Colin Baker left the role he refused to do the regeneration scene so Sylvester wore Colin Baker's costume and a curly wig, and stood in as Baker.
McCoy's run as The Doctor (which spanned twelve different stories over 42 episodes) began with him as a very clown-like character, probably written this way because of his past experience on childrens TV. There were complaints however about the lightweight st
Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, confronts
storylines he was being given, like in The Happiness Patrol where the villain 'The Kandy Man', looks more like Bertie Basset
The Kandy Man
Sylvester McCoy with Bonnie Langford
McCoy had two companions during his time as The Doctor - Melanie Bush (played by Bonnie Langford) and Ace (played
Basset from the Liquorice Allsorts sweets. This led the writers to make his character mu
much darker and less humorous for the later stories.
Sylvester McCoy with Sophi Aldred
(played by Sophie Aldred). Sylvester became the first non-English actor to play the th
Photo: Malcolm (Showmasters)
McCoy on Doctor Who @ 40 (UK Gold)
He tries to do it somewhere in each of his roles. "I play the spoons in everything I can," he says, "and Iíve got them into King Lear! Itís in my contract, ŗ la W. C. Fields. He used to insist on juggling in every film he made - even Great Expectations, but with me itís the spoons."
One of McCoy's many talents is playing the spoons.
McCoy on GMTV in July 2008
Sylvester McCoy has signed this Doctor Who photo to me
Ian McKellan & Sylvester McCoy in King Lear
Sylvester McCoy is married with two sons, and lives in North London.
the character. A 1990 survey by Doctor Who Magazine, voted McCoy the best Doctor, ahead of Tom Baker!B
I took this photo of Sylvester McCoy during his entertaining
talk at the 10th Planet Doctor Who event at Cheshunt
in March 2010