DoctorDoctor Who Guide

John Leeson

Last updated 19 April 2015

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Self: Tales from the TARDIS[Factual]; The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot[Misc] | as Contributor: The Doctors Revisited: The Fourth Doctor[Factual] | as Participant: The Weakest Link(as K-9)[Related]; Celebrity Eggheads[Related]
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John Leeson - Image Credit: L.B. Photography
Image Credit: L.B. Photography (this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

John Francis Christian Ducker

Born: 1943 (age: 73)

Simon & How (agent)

John Leeson is best known for providing the voice of K-9 in Doctor Who as well as in spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures and K-9 plus the one-off episode of K-9 and Company.

He was born in Leicester and his stage and TV career spans more than 40 years, including work in both repertory and West End productions such as Neil Simon's Plaza Suite (1969); Flint (1970) and Don't Start Without Me (1971), and character work across a wide range of 1970s television sitcoms such as Dad's Army.

Leeson was brought on as the voice of K-9 for 1977's The Invisible Enemy and producer Graham Williams liked the concept so much that the decision was made to retain him as a regular character. Leeson left the programme after the conclusion of the 16th season in 1978 and David Brierly took over for four stories the following year. When John Nathan-Turner took over as producer of the series for season 18 in 1980 he tempted Leeson back with the promise that the character would be 'killed off' that year. 

Leeson also agreed to return to voice K-9 in K-9 and Company (1981). He also voiced K-9 for the 20th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, The Five Doctors, though it was little more than a cameo appearance. He has also reprised K-9's voice in two BBV and several Big Finish audio dramas including Zagreus and the Gallifrey series. Leeson voiced K-9 for its return in the 2006 Doctor Who episode School Reunion, then its cameo in the pilot episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures plus further episodes of the show. Leeson's voice was also heard as K-9 in the Doctor Who episode Journey's End. The most recent occasion of Leeson voicing K-9 was in the British/Australian comedy/adventure spin-off television series K-9. Leeson also voiced K-9 in a Doctor Who-themed edition of The Weakest Link.

Leeson's vocal contributions to Doctor Who can also be heard as other characters in the serials The Invisible Enemy and Remembrance of the Daleks. Leeson played the role of Prosecutor 2 in the 2005 stage production of The Trial of Davros and has compiled a one-man show, A Dog's Life, directed by Richard Fawkes.

Other TV credits include appearances in Blake's 7 (in the season 1 episode Mission to Destiny and the season 2 episode Gambit), Jigsaw in which he voiced Jigg, the show's "mascot", and played the giant Biggum, Sorry!, 'Allo 'Allo! and Bungle in the children's television series Rainbow.

Leeson has also read extensively for the audio book charity Calibre Audio Library and is the narrator/character voices behind The Space Gypsy Adventures on children's UK hospital radio. In addition, Leeson was regularly heard as a continuity announcer on Channel 4

He has also forged a secondary career as a wine educator. As such, he is an accredited tutor for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.