“Exterminate!”

On 21st December 1963, the Daleks first appeared on UK TV.

Such was their popularity (anyone who owned a sink plunger wanted to be one when they grew up), the Radio Times ran a competition asking kids to draw and name their own Dalek.  I can’t remember the prize – probably a promised trip in the TARDIS – the thing which influenced Honey, I shrunk the kids!

Dalek drawn, my dad (who worked in advertising so, by default, creative) suggested “Ironside” (I spent years thinking Raymond Burr was inside the chief, black Dalek).

I didn’t win first prize, but did receive a cardboard kit, so you could create your own model Dalek.  As I wasn’t allowed scissors until my early ‘20s, the Dalek remained unconstructed.

I did continue interacting with various TV programmes and collected a copious amount of silver foil for Blue Peter – much to my relatives’ chagrin.  I’d nick the foil protecting their cigarettes inside the packets, whip the tops off milk bottles and steal sixpences and florins to melt down with my Amateur Alchemist kit.   My dad smoked so much, he could have created a life-sized guide dog from the insides of one week’s fag packets!

My last creative submission was for my school magazine in 1968: I drew a spider.  So terrifying, it has subsequently been removed from all back copies due to protests from the Tooting Tarantula Protection League – the people who believe arachnophobia is a fear of medieval torture.

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