Doctor Who’s Christel Dee was a guest on this morning’s edition of the BBC Radio 4 show Saturday Live.
Dee dropped in to chat to hosts Aasmah Mir and Rev. Richard Coles about a variety of topics surrounding Doctor Who ahead of the show’s return tomorrow with Jodie Whittaker’s debut episode, The Woman Who Fell To Earth.
The candid, in-depth interview with Dee saw her open up about her own background growing up in foster care and how that helped to ignited her interest in Doctor Who:
“I think the Doctor is the perfect role model and the perfect hero for people who feel like they are on the outside and don’t fit in. […] I really did feel like I didn’t fit in anywhere and I found Doctor Who, and I went to conventions and suddenly I was like, “I’ve found my people!” And it changed everything, it honestly did. Suddenly I felt part of something, I felt included, I had a tribe.”
The discussion also explored how Dee’s passion for Doctor Who coupled with her media background led to a career working on the show. She revealed that the BBC was looking for someone who ‘knows their stuff’ and explained why that was essential for her role:
“Me and a colleague [The Fan Show‘s Luke Spillane], we’ve reacted to the news that Peter Capaldi’s leaving, we’ve reacted to the news of Jodie Whittaker’s casting. And when we’re being filmed, those reactions are genuine. I cried when Peter Capaldi said he was leaving, and when Jodie Whittaker was announced as the Doctor, you can see how beside ourselves we are with that news. It’s so genuine and I think that’s so important.”
Dee also shared how Doctor Who helped her become more publicly open about her sexuality and her position as a Doctor Who role model, particularly after an inspirational encounter with one of her heroes, former showrunner Russell T Davies. On Doctor Who‘s appeal amongst its LGBT fanbase, she said:
“I think it is something to do with that feeling of being an outsider that attracts people from the LGBT community. I think that’s part of it for me as well. I also think that the Doctor as an arguably sexless and genderless character, there’s something attractive about that. It’s not a guy-meets-girl story every week, it’s a very neutral person whose drive is to just help people and make friends.”
The full edition of today’s Saturday Live is now available to listen to on BBC iPlayer Radio. Dee’s segment of the show – in which she also chats about her love for cosplay – begins at approximately 31:50.
The other guests featured on today’s show are former football player and manager Kevin Keegan, British Olympian archer Patrick Huston, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and comedian Romesh Ranganathan.
The Women Who Lived
Dee was appearing on Saturday Live to promote the release of The Women Who Lived – Tales for Future Time Lords. The new release from BBC Books has been written by Dee and Simon Guerrier, and includes artwork from a variety of female artists.
From Sarah Jane Smith to Bill Potts, from Susan Foreman to the Thirteenth Doctor, women are the beating heart of Doctor Who. Whether they’re facing down Daleks or thwarting a Nestene invasion, these women don’t hang around waiting to be rescued. They roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Scientists and soldiers, queens and canteen workers, they don’t let anything hold them back.
Featuring historical women such as Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria alongside fan favourites like Rose Tyler and Missy, The Women Who Lived tells the stories of women throughout space and time. Beautifully illustrated by a team of all-female artists, this collection of inspirational tales celebrates the power of women to change the universe.
About Christel Dee
Dee is the former presenter of Doctor Who: The Fan Show and in early 2018 became Digital Marketing Manager for Doctor Who at BBC Studios. She regularly contributes cosplay features to Doctor Who Magazine and is also a member of the newly-regenerated Time Team introduced in Issue 525. For BBC Books she has contributed cosplay tips to the 2017 book Doctor Who: Paper Dolls and has co-written the 2018 book Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived.