Say cheese! London Film & Comic Con ’08

Cyberman outside the TARDIS at the London Film & Comic Con 2008Rising at 6am on Saturday wasn’t an ideal way to start the weekend, but at least it had purpose. This year’s London Film & Comic Con, held at Earls Court Two, had a 9am kick-off, and I didn’t want to be trailing behind the throng when the doors opened. After catching the 7.52am train to West Brompton, I arrived at about 8.10am and joined the queue, which was already snaking around the corner of the venue. It was a grey morning but, thankfully, the rain held off for just long enough.

After last year’s event, which was held in a cramped and gloomy hall in Earls Court One (currently home to the Doctor Who Exhibition), it was a relief to find myself entering a spacious and reasonably well-lit venue Never having arrived so early at one of these events, I wasn’t quite sure what to do first: head to the back of the hall and grab some ‘virtual queue’ tickets for the guest signings, pick up some talk tickets or queue at the organisers’ booth to sort out a wee problem?

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Collectormania 12: The encore

Meeting Elisabeth Sladen at Collectormania 12I popped back to Milton Keynes yesterday for the final day of Collectormania 12, as it was the only day on which Elisabeth Sladen was appearing.

I ummed about it the night before, as Sunday transport meant a four-hour round trip. But using the old ‘I’m more likely to regret something I didn’t do than something I did do’ logic, I woke up on Sunday, jumped on a train and got to MK around 11.45am. And I’m glad I did.

Lis was all-round lovely. She dug my Dalek shirt and asked me about my nine-year-old niece, who I was also getting a signed pic for. There were loads of little ‘uns in the queue. It must be nice, as an actor, to know that you have that generation-spanning appeal.

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By George, it’s Collectormania 12!

Meeting George Romero at Collectormania 12What better place to meet George A Romero, writer/director of the original Dawn Of The Dead, than in a shopping mall?

Yup, it’s Collectormania time again. This morning, I made the trip to Milton Keynes’ trendily named thecentre:mk – lower-case, of course – in the hope that I’d beat the weekend rush (the ‘mania’ of the event’s title).

And, hey, what d’ya know? Everything seemed to be proceeding at a leisurely pace. All the guests had open queues – there were no virtual tickets – so I met everyone I wanted to within 45 minutes of arriving, securing four signed and dedicated 8x10s and some snaps for the ‘family’ album.

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The Doctor will see you now…

Meeting Tom Baker at the London Fim & Comic Con 2007Terry Anderson, leader of the Olympic Ass-Kickin’ Team, has a great song on his 2001 album I’ll Drink To That called Stay Away From Your Heroes – a warning that they’ll let you down. He’s obviously never crossed the path of Mr Tom Baker.

As a child of the ’70s, I was in thrall to Tom during his years playing the lead in Doctor Who. In recent years, I’ve been enjoying his performances in the show all over again via the medium of DVD. When I learnt that he was to be a guest at this year’s London Film & Comic Con, I thought ‘yeah, why not?’.

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Escape to the Planet Of The Apes: Memorabilia 2007

Meeting Linda Harrison at Memorabilia, March 2007I’m not one to lie in bed all day, but I reckon risin’ and shinin’ at 6.30am on Saturday is pretty courageous.

Yesterday’s heroic streak was inspired by a mini Planet Of The Apes fest-type convention thing at Memorabilia, the twice-yearly movie/TV/sport collectors’ fair held at the NEC in Birmingham. I had a 7.52am train to catch, to arrive at the venue around 11am.

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