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Tom Baker

Tom Baker is regarded as a National Treasure these days. Of course, for most people reading this he achieved that status over 30 years ago. Tom's Dr. Who credentials are well known, but his Scouse ones probably not so: his rich, actorly and gin-marinaded voice masking his origins. He can however swear like a Scouser, as witnessed by this author at Theatr Clwyd in 1987. This was an MLG trip to see Tom in An Inspector Calls, and not only did he banter with us after the show, he also got a round in, for which I am eternally grateful.

Tom Stewart Baker was born in 1934 in Liverpool into a working-class Catholic family: the religion shaped his early years and at 15 he left school for a monastic life, albeit one lasting just six years. After this Tom did National Service, taking up acting during this time. What started out as a hobby led to a distinguished career with the National Theatre, and appearances in films such as Vault of Horror, Nicholas & Alexandra, and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. It was the latter which brought Baker to the attention of Dr Who producer Barry Letts, who was looking to replace the outgoing Jon Pertwee; but it was on a building site where Letts found Tom to offer him the part: working as a labourer “between jobs”.

The period between “Robot” and “Logopolis” is now legendary: Tom Baker's 4th Doctor in trademark floppy hat, long coat and longer scarf, defeating sundry aliens and bad guys with wit and extreme cleverness. At 5 years Tom is still the longest serving Doctor, and this period coincided with the first stirrings of organised fandom and the arrival of Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly.

Since leaving Doctor Who in 1980, Tom Baker has continued to be a familiar face both in the theatre and on television, with unforgettable appearances in Blackadder II, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), and The Life And Loves of a She-Devil amongst many others. Tom is also King of the Voiceovers with his incredible voice gracing advertisements for products as diverse as butter, British Gas, and Tubular Bells. And forget Lucas and Walliams: It's Tom's narration that makes Little Britain so popular both here and around the world.

The above only scratches the surface of Tom Baker's life and career: his autobiography Who On Earth Is Tom Baker is highly entertaining and expands on a colourful life and upbringing in Liverpool. Tom has also written a book for children called The Boy Who Kicked Pigs: a somewhat macabre tale akin to the Brothers Grimm than Enid Blyton.

Tom Baker: Doctor and Liverpudlian. We are proud to indict him into the MLG Hall Of Fame.

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