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On This Day (USA) - 9 October



Mission to the Unknown premiered on BBC One in 1965 at 5:50pm, watched by 8.30 million viewers.

With allies from other galaxies the Daleks prepare their Master Plan.



The Hand Of Fear: Part Two premiered on BBC One in 1976 at 5:50pm, watched by 10.20 million viewers.

At the nuclear power station, the stone hand has come to life and is determined to gain access to the reactor core.



Front Row: David Tennant (RSC) premiered on Radio 4 in 2008 at 7:15pm

David Tennant follows up his RSC performance as Hamlet with the role of Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost, again directed by Gregory Doran. Jerry Brotton reviews the actor, also known as Doctor Who, in Shakespeare's comic exploration of love and reason.


 Birthdays
James Dreyfus will be 51 - 2 credits, including The Most Exalted High Persian in Tales From New Earth(BF)

James Dreyfus is an English actor.

Born in London, Dreyfus was educated at Harrow School and then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

In 1998, Dreyfus won the Best Supporting Performance in a Musical Olivier Award for his work inThe Lady In The Dark at the National Theatre. In the same year he was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award for his performance as Cassius in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar at theBirmingham Rep.

Dreyfus has created some memorable comedy characters, particularly on British television, including Constable Kevin Goody in Ben Elton's sitcom The Thin Blue Line and Tom Farrell, the gay flatmate of Linda (Kathy Burke) inGimme Gimme Gimme. Dreyfus played opposite Bette Midler in the short-lived American sitcom Bette.

In November 2004, Dreyfus played Carmen Ghia in the London premiere of Mel Brooks' musical The Producers, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. He played the role for 10 months until August 2005.

He played as Thermoman in the BBC One comedy My Hero, a role he took over in the sixth series from Ardal O'Hanlon. Although the same character, he used the name George Monday, as opposed to Ardal O'Hanlon's character's name, George Sunday. After disappointing ratings following his appointment, the show was axed from the BBC's schedule. Dreyfus also starred as Mr. Teasy-Weasy in the 2004 comedy film Churchill: The Hollywood Years.

In March 2006, he returned to the West End stage in a revival of Michael Frayn's comedy Donkeys' Years at the Comedy Theatre alongside Samantha BondDavid Haig and Mark Addy. He left in August of that year to prepare for his new lead role as the Emcee in a West End revival of Cabaret. In 2008 he appeared in revival of Simon Gray's The Common Pursuit at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

From September 2009 to January 2010 he appeared in Breakfast At Tiffany's at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London.

In January 2012 he appeared in the Midsomer Murders episode "A Rare Bird" as Ralph Ford.

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA  



Sharon Osbourne will be 67 - credited as Herself in The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords

Sharon Osbourne  is an English television host, author, music manager, businesswoman and promoter as well as the wife of heavy metal singer-songwriter Ozzy Osbourne.

She came into public prominence after appearing in The Osbournes, a reality television show that followed her family's daily routine. Osbourne later became a judge on the talent shows The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Her autobiography, Extreme, has sold in excess of two million copies.

After the success of The Osbournes and The X Factor, hosting her own chat shows and securing advertising contracts, Osbourne was ranked as the 25th richest woman in Britain on the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List. Sharon and husband, Ozzy Osbourne, are currently ranked as the 724th richest people in Britain with an estimated joint wealth of £110 million. Sharon Osbourne is credited with reviving her husband's heavy metal career by founding the summer Ozzfest tour. She currently lives in California and is one of five co-hosts of the daytime series,The Talk, where she discusses controversial topics and contemporary issues. The Talk premiered on 18 October 2010. BBC announced she is expected to host a syndicated daytime version



John Lennon (died 1980 aged 40) would be 79 - credited as Himself in The Chase

John Lennon was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Along with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.



Fiona Cumming (died 2015 aged 77) would be 82 - 9 credits, including Director for Castrovalva

Fiona Cumming began her career as an actress. 

She started out at the Royal Scottish Academy and went on to a variety of theatre and television work, including a spell at Border Television in the dual role of announcer and features interviewer.

Deciding that she would prefer production work, she moved to London and in 1964 gained a post as an assistant floor manager at the BBC. 

It was as such that she first worked on Doctor Who, on the season three story The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. Following her promotion to production assistant she gained two further credits on the series, on season four's The Highlanders and on season nine's The Mutants.

 Shortly after this she completed the BBC's internal director's course, and in 1974 she was taken on as a staff director. Amongst the productions on which she worked in this capacity were Z Cars, Angels and  The Omega Factor (1979). In 1979 she left the BBC and went freelance, early projects including God's Wonderful Railway Square Mile of Murder and Blake's 7, all in 1980.

She directed  four Doctor Who stories between 1981 and 1983. She has since remained active as a freelance director while also pursuing a number of other projects, including some with John Nathan-Turner in their Teynham Productions organisation.

She made an uncredited cameo appearance as a tourist at Windsor Castle in the 1988 story Silver Nemesis.

She was married to Ian Fraser, and had a son Alastair.



Brian Blessed will be 83 - 2 credits, including King Yrcanos in The Trial Of A Time Lord (Mindwarp)

Brian Blessed is an English actor, known for his sonorous voice and "hearty, king-sized portrayals"

The son of William Blessed, a socialist miner, and Hilda Wall, Blessed was born at the Montague Hospital in the town of Mexborough, England. He attended Bolton on Dearne Secondary Modern School, but after his father suffered an industrial accident, he was forced to leave school early at 14 and spent several years working at a variety of jobs, ranging from undertaker to plasterer's assistant. At the age of eighteen, he suffered a nervous breakdown, from which he gradually recovered with the help of friends and family. He completed his National Service as a parachutist in the Royal Air Force. He began his acting training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, alongside Patrick Stewart. He has written about his early life in his autobiography, Dynamite Kid (1992).

An early role was that of PC 'Fancy' Smith in the BBC police drama Z-Cars from 1962 to 1965. In 1966, Blessed appeared in "Incident at Vichy" at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Blessed had small roles in such cult shows as The Avengers (1967, 1969) and the original Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969). He portrayed Caesar Augustus in the BBC series I, Claudius. He portrayed the father of Robin Hood, Lord Locksley, in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He has appeared in a number of Shakespearean roles on both stage and screen, including four of the five Shakespeare films directed by Kenneth Branagh: as The Duke of Exeter in Henry V (1989), Antonio in Much Ado About Nothing (1993), The Ghost of Hamlet's Father in Hamlet (1996) and the dual role of Duke Frederick and Duke Senior in As You Like It (2006). He also provided the voices of Bob in the animated series Kika & Bob (2008) and Grampy Rabbit in Peppa Pig.

Other roles have emphasised his comedic abilities: notably Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon (1980) - for which he is frequently remembered for the famous line "Gordon's alive!"; the mad, comic figure of Richard IV in the first series of The Black Adder (1983); and Spiro in the BBC adaptation of My Family and Other Animals (1987).

He provided the vocal links on the Sony-Award-winning Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio and introduced adverts for Orange mobile phones. At Christmas 2006, he presented a pantoCinderella for Virgin Radio starring actors such as David Tennant and Thandie Newton. In November 2006, Blessed made a surprise appearance on the midday talk show Loose Women. Also, he is featured reading the story "The White City Part 1" which is the final piece on the album Late Night Tales: Nightmares on Wax. Blessed was also the voice of Jean Valjean in Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's audio dramatic adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.

Blessed has also starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats as both Old Deuteronomy and Bustopher Jones during the original London production. In 2002, under the direction of Royal Shakespeare Companydirector, Adrian Noble, Blessed originated the role of Baron Bomburst for the stage musical version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

During December 2005 to January 2006, Blessed headlined the pantomime production of Peter Pan, alongside CBBC Television presenter Kirsten O'Brien at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich. In late 2007 and early 2008, Blessed starred in the panto version of Peter Pan as Captain Hook at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable. He played the same role again in "Peter Pan" in late 2007, early 2008 and again at Christmas 2008 at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon.

Since October 2008, Blessed presents the UK showings of the Japanese gameshow Unbeatable Banzuke on the Challenge channel under the name Banzuke Brian. He also guest hosted an episode of Have I Got News for You in May 2008.

In 2009 Blessed played the world's worst explorer, Sir Basil Champion - a character based upon Blessed's fictional inspiration, The Lost World's Professor Challenger - in the fourth story in The Scarifyersseries, The Curse of the Black Comet. The story was broadcast on BBC7 in 2010.

In November 2009, Blessed starred in a series of online videos on the BBC Comedy website in which he played Henry VIII. The concept of the video series is that the Tudor king is alive & well, and living in a suburban semi with his long-suffering sixth wife Catherine Parr. Henry has embraced modern technology and lives his life online - insulting the King of France on Facebook, surfing for desirable women friends, and blocking the Pope on Twitter.

In late 2009, Blessed starred as the Narrator in 'Peter and the Wolf' at the New Victory Theatre, New York.

After a successful campaign on social networking site Facebook, satnav manufacturer TomTom recorded Brian Blessed's voice as an option for those using its satnav devices; Blessed's voice has been available in devices since October 2010.

In September 2010 Blessed recorded the voiceover to Sheherazade, or The Princess, the Pirate and the Baboon!, an album of children's stories set to the classical music composition Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and also featuring the voices of Rory Bremner, Jess Murphy, Sam Morris and Nigel Garton. Brian voiced the role of the Great Sultan Shahryār; the album was released as the first in a series entitled Grandma Dingley's Ingeniously Musical Tales in March 2011.

Blessed climbed Mont Blanc at the age of seventeen, and he has remained an active mountaineer throughout his life. He attempted to climb Mount Everest on three separate occasions, but never reached the summit. During his attempt in 1991, the then 55-year-old climbed higher without oxygen than any other man of his age before having to turn back to save another climber's life at 29,000 ft; the height record was broken by Sir Ranulph Fiennes in 2009. Blessed has successfully climbed Aconcagua in Argentina as well as Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He also holds the record for being the oldest man to trek on foot to the magnetic North Pole, and has undertaken an expedition deep into the jungles of Venezuela.

He has an honorary position as official Shoutsperson of the University of York's Douglas Adams Society, and in 2011 the University's student body voted to name a new study space as the 'Brian Blessed Centre for Quiet Study'.

In 2004, Blessed sang on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, impersonating Luciano Pavarotti. He is known for his football knowledge and appeared as an expert on the British satellite station UKTV G2 during the 2006 World Cup. He also appeared on A Question of Sport in 2006 and again in 2011 and was a guest host of Have I Got News for You in May 2008, alongside guests Alan Duncan and Marcus Brigstocke (also making a surprise appearance in the Christmas special later in the year). His madcap manner quickly made the show deviate from its usual format, with Paul Merton remarking "Does anyone remember how this show used to be like?" In the same month he appeared as a guest on The Paul O'Grady Show.

Blessed was President of the Television and Radio Industries Club (TRIC) in 2007-2008 and presented the 2008 TRIC Awards at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane. TRIC is an organisation which honours achievers in the film and radio industries. He has honorary degrees from the University of Bradford, awarded in July 2003, and Sheffield Hallam University, awarded in 2004.

He also stars in the Living Legend show in Jersey, Channel Islands. It features many celebrity faces, such as Roger Lloyd Pack, Samantha Janus, Kevin Whately and Tony Robinson. The story is of the history of the island.

In 2009, he featured on the song "Army of the Damned", part of the debut album Beneath the Veiled Embrace by UK power-metal band Pythia, reading the poem "Suicide in the Trenches" by Siegfried Sassoon.

In June 2011, a campaign by Cambridge graduates resulted in Blessed's being nominated for the post of Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

In March 2012 he appeared alongside his daughter Rosalind in a celebrity edition of the BBC One quiz show Pointless reaching the final but failing to win the jackpot.

On Saturday 11th June 2016 it was announced that he would be awarded an OBE for services to Arts and Charity.

 

Biography adapted from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA



Seymour Green (died 1998 aged 85) would be 107 - 2 credits, including Hargreaves in The Seeds of Doom

Actor who appeared in the 1975 story The Seeds of Doom. He returned to the series in 1984 in The Twin Dilemma


 Deaths
Barry Letts (died 2009 aged 84) - 39 credits, including Producer for Doctor Who And The Silurians

Barry Letts, was producer of Doctor Who through one of its most fondly-remembered periods with Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor from 1970 to 1974.

Previously an actor, Letts moved behind the camera in the 1960s, finding work as a director on several programmes for BBC television. He first worked on Doctor Who as director of the 1968 Patrick Troughton serial Enemy of the World, before accepting the job of producer during production Jon Pertwee's first season, in 1969. Working closely in association with script editor Terrance Dicks, Letts oversaw the creative direction and production of the programme for the following five seasons.In addition to his producing role, Letts also directed several serials during his time in charge of the programme - Terror of the AutonsCarnival of Monsters and Planet of the Spiders

He also handled much of the direction for Inferno after Douglas Camfield was taken ill, and after leaving the series as producer he directed The Android Invasion for his successor, Philip Hinchcliffe. He also co-wrote The Daemonswith Robert Sloman (under the pseudonym 'Guy Leopold') and worked closely with Sloman on the writer's other scripts for the programme.

Letts' legacy to the programme included the creation of the character Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen on the BBC to this day, and the decision to cast Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. The latter was a decision for which Tom Baker was always ready to express immense gratitude, as when Letts appeared on his episode of "This is Your Life" in the year 2000.Letts remained fond of and connected with the series right up until his death. 

When producer Graham Williams broke his leg during production of season 16 in 1978 Letts helped to keep an eye on the series, and more officially he served as Executive Producer in 1980, overseeing the inexperienced John Nathan-Turner's first season in charge of the programme. For many years thereafter Letts also penned novels, novelisations and radio serials connected to the programme. He also appeared on DVD commentaries and in various documentaries.

He also gained extensive credits outside of Doctor Who, most notably as producer of the BBC's "Classic Serial" strand during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In this role he produced many acclaimed and award-winning adaptations of classic novels, including "Great Expectations", "Alice in Wonderland" and "Jane Eyre". Later, he directed episodes for the soap opera "EastEnders".



Martin Johnson (died 2003 aged 64) - 12 credits, including Designer for The Tomb of the Cybermen