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Nabil Shaban Gives Jeremy Corbyn Sil Blu-ray (No, Really)

General election campaigns always throw up some pretty outrageous and unlikely fare as the competing parties try to grab voters’ attention in a bid to win their votes come polling day.

But the lead-up to the December poll in the UK generated a good candidate for Most Unlikely Moment of the Whole Election last week (even with a month to go before voting) when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was pictured holding a copy of the newly released Doctor Who spin-off Sil and the Devils of Ardor.

Many Doctor Who fans will have scratched their heads before understandably dismissing the image as fake news – an attempt to raise a smile by a Labour-supporting Photoshopper to illustrate Corbyn’s disdain for rampant capitalism of the kind embodied by Sil, perhaps.

It transpired, however, that the photo is entirely genuine and that there’s a long standing connection between Sil actor, Nabil Shaban and Corbyn. Shaban explained in a Facebook post:

I wanted to give Jeremy Corbyn a thank you present of my latest film for standing by me in 1988 when I had a dispute with Granada TV for discriminating against me when considering the proposal by the producers of a children’s Sci-Fi drama seriel “Microman” that I would play the role. They vetoed the producer’s choice because they imagined my wheelchair would scare away the kid audience. The positive side was Granada’s prejudice prompted JC and a few other Labour MPs to propose and have passed the Disability Discrimination Act.

The image of Corbyn clutching the new release was featured, mostly without comment, on a number of British websites but on that of the left-leaning heavyweight magazine New Statesman, columnist, Jonn Elledge did his best to explain to readers unfamiliar with the world of Doctor Who’s extended universe just how weird the moment was.

Whether Corbyn himself is a fan is a question that will have to wait for another day (I’d always imagined a Ken Loach box set would be more his choice of viewing). British politics, eh? Just when you think it couldn’t get any more strange…

(Thanks to Jason.)

Jonathan Appleton

A regular Doctor Who viewer since Pertwee fought maggots and spiders, Jonathan isn't about to stop now. He considers himself lucky to have grown up in an era when Doctor Who, Star Trek and Blakes 7 could all be seen on primetime BBC1. As well as writing regularly for The Doctor Who Companion he's had chapters included in a couple of Blakes 7 books.

Nabil Shaban Gives Jeremy Corbyn Sil Blu-ray (No, Really)

by Jonathan Appleton time to read: 1 min
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