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While he was busy playing Nardole in the 2017 series of Doctor Who, Matt Lucas was also writing his autobiography…

Matt Lucas has certainly had a lot on the go recently.

This time last year, he was in the middle of recording a full series of Doctor Who, reprising his role as Nardole – the Doctor’s… companion? Assistant? Valet? Carer? None of these seem to truly cover it. But whatever words you find to describe ‘Nardy’, Matt was spending his days helping the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) to save the universe from meddling Monks, Mondasian Cybermen, Missy and the Master, while in the evening he was working just as hard, writing his autobiography.

The result is Little Me: My Life from A-Z, published by Canongate this month. It covers his recent stint in the TARDIS, of course, but also details Matt’s rise to fame on the comedy circuit in the 1990s and his incredible success with David Walliams in BBC One’s Little Britain.

“I didn’t have a lot of free time,” says Matt, admitting that the last year has been unusually busy. “I never even made it to the Doctor Who Experience, to my great disappointment. When I first signed up to do [the 2017 series of] Doctor Who, I originally thought I was just doing another three episodes. Then it kind of grew and grew and grew, until I ended up doing every one. When I did the book deal, I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll probably have a little bit of spare time on my hands,’ because Nardole is just in it a bit here and there. But I actually ended up being in it far more than I anticipated. So consequently, my life was: learning lines, saying lines, writing book. Those three things. I’d get up at six in the morning, go to the set, and then I’d get back at 7.30 in the evening. I’d learn my lines, write for a couple more hours, and then go straight to bed.”

A series of Doctor Who is recorded over a period of nine months or so, and the schedule is intense. “They are long days,” Matt confirms. “And you only get half an hour for lunch! You start work at 7.30 – and that’s already in costume and make-up. That’s 7.30, on set, rehearsing. But every day I thought I was so lucky that someone’s paying me to write about my life. And also, I’m the luckiest man in the world to be an assistant in Doctor Who. So, to be honest with you, even though I was tired, I was never fed up.”

With such a successful career, it was only a matter of time before a Matt Lucas autobiography was going to land on our shelves (or screens, if you’re buying the Kindle edition). “I’d been approached a few times over the years, but I’d always resisted it,” he says. “But then I kind of came up with an idea for a book. Which was to do an autobiography as an A-Z. So it’s an autobiography, but it’s not strictly chronological. That way I could be a bit more selective about what I wanted to write about, and focus disproportionately on ridiculous things – like the chapter about food, you know? I just felt that was the key to unlock the door to writing the book, really. I just didn’t want to write a book that started, ‘I was born in 1974…’”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE TENTH DOCTOR AND ROSE ARE BACK! ISSUE 518 OF DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE CHATS EXCLUSIVELY TO DAVID TENNANT AND BILLIE PIPER Over a decade on from their time together in the TARDIS, David Tennant and Billie Piper are back for a series of Doctor Who audio adventures featuring the Tenth Doctor and Rose... “An audio recording’s very different to filming a bit of TV – but the vibe is the same, and the characters are the same.” (David Tennant) “It’s like when you hang out with an old friend who you haven’t seen for years, and then loads of stuff has happened between you, but it’s sort of just like you’re immediately there again. I love it.” (Billie Piper) ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE… MATT LUCAS We talk to Matt Lucas about his new autobiography, which he wrote while playing Nardole in the latest series of Doctor Who. CAMILLE CODURI Camille Coduri, who played Jackie Tyler, tells us what it’s like to be reunited with David Tennant and Billie Piper for more Doctor Who audio adventures. SYLVESTER McCOY In the second part of our interview, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy reflects on Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary and looks forward to the show’s future. WHITE WITCH OF DEVIL’S END We meet the people behind a DVD sequel to the classic 1971 story The Dæmons. BOX OF DELIGHTS An interview with Paul Foden, the fan whose home-made TARDIS recently appeared on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces: Shed of the Year. MATILDUS A brand-new comic strip adventure for the Doctor and Bill in Matildus, written and illustrated by Scott Gray. THE TIME TEAM The Time Team continues its mission to watch every episode of Doctor Who with 2011’s The Rebel Flesh. PLUS... Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher’s column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!