Glasgow South MP Tom Harris has taken a trip back in time by writing for a charity book.
Tom, whose constituency includes Castlemilk, Croftfoot and King’s Park, has contributed to Behind The Sofa, a charity publication featuring people’s first memories of Doctor Who, to raise money for Altzheimer’s Research.
In the book, Tom recalls his first brush with the Time Lord and watching the story which is still his favourite classic series show to this day, Jon Pertwee’s 1970 debut Spearhead from Space.
Tom said: “I guess word gets around when an MP expresses an interest in popular culture, and I’m well-known for being a bit of a Whovian.
“So being asked to be involved came a bit out of the blue. I don’t consider myself or MPs in general to be celebrities, so it was a genuine surprise to be asked to be a ‘celebrity’ contributor to the book, and I can’t complain at any excuse to write about Doctor Who! There’s something really important to Who fans about their first memory of the programme, and one likes to share that sort of thing.
“It’s all for a great cause and I’m going to buy a copy to see what everyone else is saying.”
Book editor Steve Berry said: “I invited Tom Harris MP to write something in the book for a couple of reasons.
“When I asked him, I didn’t actually realise that he was such a good pal of (Doctor Who executive producer) Steven Moffat but I was aware, after seeing him at the star-stuffed press premiere of Voyage of the Damned, the David Tennant Christmas episode with Kylie, that he was a fan of the show. It was a genuine and exciting surprise to get an insight into his friendship with the series’ showrunner.
“Secondly, I had already received a nice contribution from Louise Mensch (who was, at the time, a Conservative MP), so I wanted something that would ‘even up’ any perceived political bias.
“I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since I was a youngster. My mum and dad could never understand why I was obsessed with a programme that kept me awake at night. The idea for writing Behind the Sofa came to me when the programme returned to our screens in 2005 after a 16 year gap.
“The return of Doctor Who came soon after my late mum Janet was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s – she was only in her 50s. I was appalled to learn that research for new treatments and a cure is desperately underfunded. It gave me the motivation to get started on Behind the Sofa – the perfect opportunity to raise money. All the proceeds will go towards Alzheimer’s Research UK’s pioneering research.
“Before Alzheimer’s crept on, my mum was full of life. She loved listening to Elvis and The Beatles, watching tennis at Wimbledon and acting in local pantomimes. Over time she forgot all those things and more – how to eat, talk and walk.
“I just hope she also lost the ability to be scared. ”
Other contributors to the book include Chris Tarrant, Emma Freud, Hugh Bonneville, Jason Flemyng, Jonathan Ross, Mark Millar, Michael Grade, Neil Gaiman and Nicholas Parsons.
Visit www.doctorwhobook.com for more details, and to buy the book.