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An Afternoon with Tom Baker

By Paul Scoones

On the afternoon of Saturday 25 January, an estimated 90 fans gathered in Mission Bay, Auckland to see Tom Baker. They came from as far away as Wellington and Christchurch, some flying up just for this occasion. The event started at midday and attendees had the opportunity to watch a recording of the TVNZ coverage of the filming of the commercials as well as other Tom Baker related video material whilst they waited for Tom's scheduled arrival at 1 PM. Once Tom arrived, Paul Scoones gave a brief introduction and then the man of the moment walked into the hall to tumultuous applause. After a brief talk, Tom invited questions from the audience, and proceeded to entertain, inform and frequently amuse his listeners for the next hour, in spite of suffering the heat of a crowded room on a very warm summer day. At the end of the questions, Paul presented Tom with a book of New Zealand scenic photographs and a bottle of New Zealand wine, both of which he clearly appreciated. Tom then moved out into the all foyer, where he spent nearly two hours signing autographs. The queue stretched out of the building and down the driveway at one point! Tom had another engagement later that afternoon, so once everyone had got an autograph, he posed for a few photographs and then departed, leaving behind a large crowd of very pleased fans.

(Photos: Paul Scoones, Jon Preddle)

[Autograph line]
The autograph queue - would it ever end?
[Tom Baker signing]
Tom signs yet another book
[Tom Baker in carpark]
Tom poses alongside Jon Preddle's car, with its distinctive personalised numberplate!
[Tom Baker and organizers/helpers]
Tom Baker and the event's organizers and helpers; left to right, Scott McPherson, Nicholas Withers, Matthew Dentith, Paul Scoones, Tom Baker, Nigel Windsor, Edwin Patterson, Rochelle Thickpenny and Darrell Patterson.