Film, TV & Animation
I am The Wire
Doctor Who: Maureen Lipman is The Wire
by Martin Barber
Maureen Lipman has found herself a new generation of fans thanks to her role of The Wire in Doctor Who. In an exclusive webTV interview with BBC Norfolk, Lipman reveals that one day, she would rather like to be cast as the Doctor!
There's an old saying which goes something along the lines of 'too much TV will rot your brains' - and you can't help but wonder if that thought provided some of the inspiration for the Doctor Who episode The Idiot's Lantern.
Set in 1953 at the time of Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a freak lightning bolt hits the antenna of Magpie's Electronics Store, resulting in the release of The Wire - an electrical creature who's hungry for her pound of human flesh.
Maureen Lipman visits BBC Norfolk webTV
Delighted to be in Doctor Who
Maureen Lipman, who spoke to BBC Norfolk whilst in Norwich to present a series of readings from By Jack Rosenthal, was delighted to have been offered a role in the cult series.
"When the call came through I was very, very pleased," said Lipman.
"I've always wanted to be Doctor Who, it's long been an ambition of mine. It's time they had a woman and they want someone who's really weird - and I am really weird!
"I love Doctor Who and I get to be an alien. I was a really nasty piece of work.
"The Wire [said in the voice of her character] - my kids just thought it sounded like me at home, but my god-daughter ran out of the room she was so scared," she added.
Filming for Lipman's role in Doctor Who took place one weekend in a deserted Alexandra Place, the birthplace of television.
The Wire introduces herself to Magpie
"I never met Ron Cook (Magpie), or indeed anybody else," said Lipman.
"I was doing eight shows a week of Glorious at the Duchess Theatre, so I did it on the Sunday. I live in Muswell Hill and the Ally Pally is just around the corner, so it was a dream job.
"I just went in and there was the writer, the director, the cameraman and a locked off camera in an old studio in Ally Pally, where of course television first began, where the BBC started from.
"It was very, very weird - but I loved it."
Despite working solo to record the role of The Wire, eventually Maureen Lipman did get to meet the Doctor.
"I met him [David Tennant] at Richard Wilson's 70th birthday party a couple of weeks ago and he's delightful," she said.
Maureen Lipman starred in The Idiot's Lantern, first screened on BBC1 in June 2006.
last updated: 20/09/07