This weekend I had the opportunity to meet Peter Capaldi at Project MotorMouth 3, a convention arranged to raise funds for Janet (Tegan) Fielding's favourite charity. In addition to posing with Peter for a photo, I also got his autograph, which led to me thinking - which of the other Doctors have I met/seen the most?
William Hartnell - Sadly, I never met him or saw him before he died.
Patrick Troughton - My one occasion to see Patrick was on 4 April 1983 at the legendary Longleat Doctor Who 20th Anniversary convention. Luckily we had tickets, so weren't turned away at the gates as so many fans were. After hours of queuing outside the Orangery, I met Pat (and Sarah Sutton) and he signed a publicity photograph from The Five Doctors.
Jon Pertwee - I also saw Jon Pertwee at the Longleat event on 4 April 1983. Jon was being interviewed by Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart on a safari boat, docked on the river. I ran down to the water, called his name and took a photo when he turned round.
Tom Baker - Tom was/is MY Doctor. I first met him in August 1997 at a Longleat Doctor Who event. I grabbed a couple of sound bites for a news piece I was writing for magazine TV Zone, but this was just a precursor for the main event - a full personal interview with him in September 1997 to promote the hardback release of his autobiography - Who on Earth is Tom Baker? My good friend Andy was there too, taking photos, and the piece was published in TV Zone. I've subsequently seen Tom at a Barking convention in 2009 where Andy and I posed with him for a photo/auto and again at at the Time Quest 2 convention in March 2010.
Sylvester McCoy - I first met Sylv at the RSC Stratford following his performance as a Fool in King Lear in September 2007. I then saw him as Mushnik in The Little Shop of Horrors musical in Brighton October 2009. He was at Time Quest 2 and PMM1 conventions, as well as Fleet Air Museum. I also him on stage at the Excel, November 2013.
Paul McGann - I met Paul at the bar in Shakespeare's Globe August 2009 following his performance in Helen. He was also at The Doctors and PMM1
John Hurt - As I type, John is still on my bucket list. Fingers crossed.
Christopher Ecclestone - I met Chris at the Donmar Warehouse stage door following his performance with Gillian Anderson in A Doll's House June 2009. I also watched him on stage at National Theatre in June 2012 for Antigone, but he didn't come out to sign that time.
David Tennant - First saw David on stage at the RSC Stratford after Hamlet in October 2008, where I grabbed an autograph among the throng of admiring fans at the stage door. The same month and at the same venue venue I saw him in Love's Labours Lost? I also also saw him on stage with Catherine Tate in Much Ado About Nothing. It was PMM1 in Jan 2013 when I finally got a decent autograph from him and a group photo with the other Doctors present. Finally, I saw him at Stratford RSC again as Richard II in October 2013.
Matt Smith - I first saw Matt in person at a BAFTA event for the premiere of The Pandorica Opens June 2010 though I didn't get his autograph until the official BBC convention in Cardiff May 2012. I got a photo with him at the 50th Celebration on 22 November 2013. Elsewhere I saw him on stage at the July 2011 and 2013 Doctor Who Proms and in the lead in American Psycho the Musical at the Almeida in December 2013.
So, I've been meeting Doctors and getting their autographs for over 30 years. 40 appearances/sightings later and I'm still loving it. Now, where's John Hurt?