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The Nick and Katy Show

Transcribed by David Bishop

What follows is an edited transcript of an interview session Nicholas Courtney and Katy Manning gave at Whovention in Sydney, Australia, January 13, 1990. Katy spent much of the session perched on Nick's knee!

Katy: We used to do this a lot.

Nick: In every possible place in every available rehearsal room.

Katy: Except when Nick went out for a Bovril. The only man I know who goes to the pub for a Bovril.

Nick: Katy always said "Going to the juicer again?" No, you see, I went to the juicer for a beer, for a Bovril I went to the machine at the canteen.

Katy: That was lunch.

Nick: Yes.

Katy: (Noticing Nick's bald patch) Your hair! It's very sexy.

Nick: I do wish she could stay.

Katy: I do like a man who's got silver hair. I think you look absolutely smashing.

Nick: My first day in Sydney yesterday. I didn't know about the Sydney sun. (He reveals a bad sunburn) It's very violent. I was only out for an hour.

Katy: Have you seen that commercial with the lobsters in it? (She begins singing) "Mad dogs and Englishmen. . . (Nick joins in) . . . go out in the midday sun."

Nick: That's exactly right. But I chose yesterday to go out between one and two.

Katy: Well, you're lucky. It's been raining here for six weeks. An English friend came out and said "Excuse me, what's this weather?" and I said "BBC special effects!"

Nick: Wasn't it always raining when we went on location, Katy?

Katy: That's where all the cuddles started.

Nick: They haven't stopped!

Katy: The chaps all used to wear these wonderful long things - what are they called?

Nick: Long things? Long johns!

Katy: Long Jon Pertwee!

Nick: Yes that's right.

Katy: They used to wear these things and if they went into the water, the little darlings used to wear wetsuits. Muggins here is walking around in three inches of skirt, a pair of tights, knickers - if BBC costumes were up to scratch with budget that year - and basically that was it. So I learnt to find the most cuddly people in the cast.

Nick: Even if they drank Bovril!

Katy: Yes, and Nick always got first prize as being the warmest, cuddliest person but you have got to be careful because he graunches.

Nick: Graunches?

Katy: You remember that?

Nick: I remember the word graunch very well.

Katy: It was scripted. We got a script and it said, well it said one thing I can't say here which was very funny, but you're all much too young. It was very funny but I'm not going to do that - that was with the Doctor! But it also said: "Brig enters and graunched Jo."

Nick: Which story was that?

Katy: Don't ask me, I can't remember. I remember the graunch, though.

Nick: Yes, I remember, but why would I graunch you?

Katy: Thanks a lot!

Nick: Not why would I, Nick, graunch Katy, but why would the Brig graunch Miss Grant?

Katy: Well, I think he must have quite liked Miss Grant.

Nick: Yes, graunch, yes, I remember that word. It's kind of close to a grope.

Katy: It's the nearest the Brig ever got!

Nick: I think it's an extension of a grope.

Katy: Yes, it's a long sort of grasping grope. (She is given a cup of Coke) Oh, how sweet!

Nick: Bovril!

Katy: You're lucky it wasn't.

Nick: I don't know what you've got against Bovril, it's very, very lovely.

Katy: Every time I smell Bovril I think Nick. We used to be given it as children when we went swimming. Believe you me, in England, you needed something to warm you up before going swimming. We always used to be given hot Bovril which is ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!

Nick: No, it's wonderful!

Katy: It's made out of ox's blood! Or something!

Katy: In the beginning Jon Pertwee didn't want Miss Grant because I was too small and I was a nuisance.

Nick: Shame!

Katy: Because I sprayed his room with fire-putter-outer and I knocked down all his machinery, which I wasn't supposed to do because it wasn't scripted. So he went to the Brig to make a complaint and he said "Sorry, old chap, you'll just have to deal with it."

Nick: She was very well recommended from an uncle of mine.

Katy: So the Brig and I were always jolly close.

Nick: Oh, yes. I demanded the right to stand near her. I wouldn't let Captain Yates or indeed Sergeant Benton get too near her.

Katy: Roger Delgado as the Master was probably the best thing that could have happened to Doctor Who. In all honesty I think he was just superb. Much as I admire Anthony Ainley as an actor, Roger Delgado had made a living out of playing baddies and yet a sweeter, nicer, gentler man you couldn't have met.

Nick: That's what I was saying before.

Katy: And a gorgeous wife.

Nick: Yes, Kismet.

Katy: And he was so happy and so lovely. I remember my first time on Doctor Who and I saw this actor walking towards me and I just went (shrieks in horror and fear). I was scared enough as it was, I didn't know how to talk to anybody. Do you remember how I learnt everybody's lines? I was so nervous I learnt everybody's lines!

Nick: Can you remember any of mine? I couldn't!

Katy: Oh yes, I must tell you this. Nick had this wonderful thing.

Nick: Do you have to use the past tense?

Katy: I hope you don't do this anymore. This is the workings of the Brig's mind. We used to look at his script and get the giggles because you never saw so many coloured lines in your life. And we said : "Nick? What's all that about?" This was when I knew him better and didn't call him sir. And he said : "Ahh, well, this is what I do. I underline everything in a different colour and I know exactly what it means." We all looked at each other. So when it came to doing the first rehearsal - rings a bell? - we kept saying : "Nick! Nick! It's you!" and he'd say "Yes - I'm just trying to work out the red!" He had this incredible code and he couldn't remember it!

Nick: I never underline my own lines, just everybody else's, so I know my cues.

Katy: Is that why you kept saying: "Look out, Doctor, there's a big one!"?

Nick: I remember vaguely something about this colouring in but I can't remember what made me do it.

Katy: The Bovril!

Nick: I used to have the Bovril in the afternoon, about 3:35.

Katy: When I had a cake with Jon.

Nick: Lunchtime, of course, it was down to the juicer.

Katy: That's right.

Nick: You once, in the two years, you once came down to the pub with me.

Katy: I went because I was sorry for you. Poor baby used to go all by himself.

Nick: I remember an earlier story The Invasion, there were some wonderful lines in that. My second-in-command in that story was called Jimmy, and I had to say: "Jimmy - I want you to get on my chopper and tell Benton to lay on a jeep!" Good line. I've got a very bad copy of The Invasion. One episode is missing and some others you can hardly hear the dialogue. It's a copy of a copy and it's very haphazard. I remember when Ian Marter was writing the adaptation he came up and had a look at it. How he ever got the story out of my copy I don't know. Also I got The Ambassadors of Death. The Daemons, of course. The Green Death. Mawdryn, Five Doctors, Battlefield. Never watch them, not unless I'm really desperate for something to watch on television

Katy: Nick has actually got better legs than Frazer Hines and I know both their legs.

Nick: I think it was Douglas Camfield who put the Brig into a kilt (in Terror of the Zygons), saying he was from the Black Watch, which is a very famous Scots regiment. Of course, I wore the kilt the incorrect way! (with underwear)

This item appeared in TSV 18 (May 1990).