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John Leeson: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

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John Leeson in a 1993 publicity portrait

John Leeson (born March 1943 in Leicester, England) provided the voice of K-9 on Doctor Who from 1977 to 1979, beginning with "The Invisible Enemy" and ending with "The Armageddon Factor," and again in the 19801981 season, beginning with "The Leisure Hive" and ending with "Warriors' Gate." He was also seen on-screen as the character Dugeen during the serial "The Power of Kroll."

Tom Baker detested the character of K-9, but luckily got on very well with Leeson. A favorite joke during filming breaks was for Baker to work out crossword puzzles, asking the K-9 prop the clues with Leeson giving the answers in character. A rather notorious blooper clip from the filming of "The Armageddon Factor" involved K-9 telling the Doctor and Romana that for Christmas he would like "fewer sill irons on the floors of the planets we visit," as well as the robot dog downing some gin before beginning a drunken rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." When Leeson appeared on Tom Baker's edition of This Is Your Life in 2000, Leeson entered on all fours.

Leeson however became frustrated himself with the character, and left the programme after the conclusion of the 16th season in 1978. David Brierly took over for four stories (one of which was never completed due to a BBC strike) the following year, but sadly his vocal performance was not a match for Leeson's. Thus, when John Nathan-Turner took over as producer of the series for season 18 in 1980, he tempted Leeson back, with the promise that the character would be 'killed off' that year. Although the character was, eventually, not killed off, merely written out, Leeson agreed to return.

Leeson also agreed to return to voice K-9 in K-9 and Company (1981), a spin-off from Doctor Who which was not picked up after the airing of its pilot episode. He also voiced K-9 for the 20th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, "The Five Doctors," though it was little more than a cameo appearance. He has also reprised K-9's voice in two BBV and several Big Finish audio dramas including "Zagreus" and the Gallifrey series, as well as appearing in the Reeltime Pictures spin-off video Downtime as Anthony the DJ. He also voiced K-9 for its return in the 2006 Doctor Who episode "School Reunion." Leeson's vocal contributions to Doctor Who can also be heard as other characters in the serials "The Invisible Enemy" and "Remembrance of the Daleks."

Other credits include appearances in Blake's 7 (season B episode "Gambit"), Jigsaw in which he played the giant Biggum, who was so tall only his feet were seen and his voice heard!) , Sorry!, 'Allo 'Allo! and Bungle in the children's television series Rainbow. John is also the voice behind the Space Gypsy characters on Children's UK hospital radio.

Today, he is now most likely to be heard as continuity announcer on Channel 4 in Britain. His rich, plummy tones show how excellent his performance as K-9 was, as it is totally unlike his own voice. In the new K-9 series due to air somepoint in 2010 John Leeson has agreed not only to voice the original model but the newly regenerated model all throughout the series.

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at John_Leeson. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "John Leeson" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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