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In 1966 Earl Cameron played doomed astronaut Glyn Williams in The Tenth Planet. In his first-ever DWM interview, he tells us about William Hartnell, James Bond and rising above prejudice.
A portrait of Earl Cameron in his first major film role, as Johnny Lambert in Pool of London (1951). Photo © Studiocanal.

“The Cybermen and all that stuff were very nice, but too far-fetched for me to handle.”

Earl Cameron is the oldest person that Doctor Who Magazine has ever interviewed. Depending on whom you ask, life begins at 40, or 60, or is it 80? Isn’t 90 the new 80? Earl, help us out: when does life begin? “I’ll give you the answer straight away,” he replies, his rich, silky voice rippling with amusement. “It begins at 100.” Earl turned 100 back in August. “I mean, honestly. That’s the way I feel. Life begins at 100, for me.”

We’ve sat down together in the lounge at the Holiday Inn near his home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. His wife, Barbara, threw Earl’s 100th birthday party at this hotel, for 125 guests. Did he enjoy being the centre of attention? Not really, he says. “By nature, I’m a very shy person. I don’t crave the limelight. To be honest, I’d rather stand at the back. I got into showbusiness, really, by accident. You might say, out of necessity.”

At 100, Earl – who was made a CBE in 2009 – is the oldest surviving actor to have appeared in Doctor Who. Born in Pembroke, Bermuda, on 8 August 1917, he was a mere 49 when director Derek Martinus cast him as astronaut Glyn Williams in the first two episodes of The Tenth Planet (1966). “I look quite young there, don’t I?” he chuckles, as we show Earl, on an iPad, a black-andwhite photo of himself as Williams aboard Zeus 4 – the probe flown by International Space Command in 1986 and tracked from their South Pole base, Snowcap. “I like my spacesuit,” he adds.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

This festive edition of Doctor Who Magazine includes an exclusive preview of this year's Christmas Special, Twice Upon a Time, plus there are exclusive interviews with Christmas Special stars Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts) and Mark Gatiss (the Captain). Doctor Who Magazine 520 also includes: • A in-depth look at the making of BBC Worldwide's new version of Douglas Adams' 'lost' 1979 Doctor Who story Shada • Actor Daniel Hill and production assistant Olivia Bazalgette chat to DWM about how they met on Shada... and how they later went on to marry • Rare and previously unseen photographs from the Cambridge location filming of Shada in October 1979 • DWM's first ever interview with 100-year-old Earl Cameron, who played the doomed astronaut Glyn Williams in the 1966 story The Tenth Planet • A tribute to Paddy Russell, Doctor Who's first female director and a television pioneer • We look back on Doctor Who’s first Christmas specials – the feature-length omnibus repeats that were specially created at Christmas time • Part two of The Phantom Piper, our new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • A festive Fact of Fiction explores the 2011 Christmas Special The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the DWM Christmas Quiz, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!