Jon Pertwee centenary celebration on BBC Radio 4 ExtraBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Radio 4 Extra will broadcast a special programme celebrating the centenary of Jon Pertwee's birth, presented by his son Sean Pertwee:

The Jon Pertwee Files, presented by Sean Pertwee (Credit: BBC)


A BBC Radio documentary has uncovered previously unbroadcast recordings of the legendary Doctor Who and Worzel Gummidge actor Jon Pertwee. The programme is presented by Sean Pertwee (Gotham, Elementary, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) and marks the centenary of the birth of his father Jon Devon Roland Pertwee, who was born on the 7th of July in 1919.

In the programme Sean traces his father’s career in broadcasting, which started after being expelled from several schools and then even being asked to leave Rada. In rediscovered interviews we hear his dad reminisce about the time he worked at the circus riding the wall of death with a pet lion, before eventually securing his first contract with the BBC at the age of 18.

Pertwee devised some very memorable characters through his ability to show great vocal range. Many successful years in radio comedy included a lengthy stint in The Navy Lark, which secured his status as a household name. Then with the advent of television he became a recognisable face as the star of Doctor Who in the early 1970s.

Through rare fan recordings made behind-the-scenes at television studios and at the first ever Doctor Who Appreciation Society Convention, we hear previously unbroadcast stories and a very personal insight into the world’s longest running science-fiction show.

The documentary also features the last time Pertwee performed as Worzel Gummidge alongside Una Stubbs as Aunt Sally. This recording was left untouched for over 25 years and was located during the making of the celebration. There are also rediscovered recordings of Pertwee undergoing the complicated make-up process during the making of the series, and visiting a local radio station to take phone calls from enthusiastic children wanting to speak to Worzel.

Presenter, Sean Pertwee said:
I think my father would like to be remembered not just for his cult TV programmes, but for his whole body of work. And most of all, he’d like to be remembered as an extraordinary man, which he was.

The Jon Pertwee Files will be broadcase on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Saturday 6th July at 8:00am, with repeats at 3:00pm and then late evening at 3:00am. It will also be broadcast at 4:00pm on BBC Radio Solent on Sunday (Jon Pertwee was a pupil at Sherborne School in Dorset, and later based at Portsmouth Naval Barracks during WW2)

The show will also be available on BBC Sounds for 30 days after transmission.


Listen to the Trailer:


Listen to a clip:


Media presented courtesy of the BBC