This Saturday, BBC Radio 4 Extra will broadcast The Jon Pertwee Files, a centenary tribute to the birth of the man who breathed flamboyant life into the Third Doctor. The programme is presented by Jon’s son, the actor Sean Pertwee.
In the programme, Sean traces his father’s career in broadcasting, which flourished even after he was expelled from several schools and, later, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). The show boasts a selection of previously unbroadcast material, including an interview in which Jon talks about his life and career, behind-the-scenes studio recordings, and his appearance at the first ever Doctor Who Appreciation Society (DWAS) Convention in 1977.
Of course, Sean’s dad was famous for more than Doctor Who. He lent an array of voices to the massively successful radio comedy series, The Navy Lark (1959-77), and later starred in the first adaptation of Barbara Euphan Todd’s Worzel Gummidge novels (a role shortly to be revived by MacKenzie Crook). The documentary also features the last time Pertwee performed as Worzel Gummidge alongside Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally, recordings of the complicated make-up process, and Pertwee visiting a local radio station to take phone calls from enthusiastic children wanting to speak to Worzel.
And we’d be remiss not to mention that Sean Pertwee’s connection with Doctor Who may be about to become even stronger still. According to Sean:
“I should be careful what I say, but there were noises made about me being involved in some capacity.
“I would very much like to do that, as an ode to my father, if I was lucky enough to be asked.”
Radio 4 Extra will broadcast The Jon Pertwee Files this Saturday at 08.00 and it will be repeated later in the day. The show will also be available on BBC Sounds for 30 days after transmission.