1. Ken Dodd – Delta & The Bannerman
Our top entry in this countdown of Doctor Who’s comedy guest stars is a true British institution, much like the show itself. Ken Dodd’s straight acting roles are rare and one of them involved becoming part of the Whovian canon. In 1987 he appeared as the brash and toothsome Tollmaster in Delta & The Bannermen, with Sylvester McCoy in place as a fledgling Seventh Doctor. To say the story was on the flimsy side was an understatement, featuring as it did an alien queen, a squidgy green baby and a 1950s holiday camp. Also in the supporting cast was Hollywood comedian Stubby Kaye, who like the audience may have wondered what he’d gotten himself into.
Dodd’s glitzy character met a terrible end at the hands of mercenary leader Gavrok (Don Henderson), who callously shot him in the back. McCoy’s cabaret-influenced performance and showbiz stalwart Bonnie Langford’s presence as companion Mel already had the series on light entertainment overkill. The addition of the “tattyfilarious” tickle-master only over-egged the concoction, but his sequences were arguably the best-remembered due to the comic having British star power by the bucketload.
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