Behind the Sofa - An Excerpt

To co-incide with the publication of Steve Berry's Behind the Sofa and the 50th Anniversary of the worlds longest running science fiction show - Doctor Who, we are lucky enough to have an excerpt - written by none other than funnyman Paul Whitehouse.

Behind the Sofa is published by Gollancz (you can see the details here) and all royalties from the sale of the book are being donated to the charity Alzheimers Research UK.

We've also written a review of the book Behind the Sofa suffice to say I'd urge anyone to get a copy, a more worthy cause would be hard to find.

Behind the Sofa - An Excerpt by Paul Whitehouse

Paul Whitehouse
Actor, comedian
Remade Doctor Who as an On The Buses skit for BAFTA winning series Harry & Paul in 2010

I’m a big fan of Matt Smith. Okay, I thought David Tennant was great — and my kids loved him — but I was slightly jealous because he is conventionally very good looking and women fancy him. So I’m predisposed not to like him, whereas Matt Smith has got enough of the geek about him for me not to feel so challenged. Having said that, of course, he is much younger and much better looking than me so I have to deal with that.

Look at Wilko Johnson, the guitarist with Dr Feelgood, circa 1975. I keep saying this to my kids: “Look at him — look! — he looks like Matt Smith!” They won’t have it but I’m convinced I’m right.

But I genuinely think he’s fantastic. For one so young, he’s sort of like an old 1960s-style Doctor. He embodies that. Modern day Doctor Who has a lot in common with those classy, odd, arty series from the 1960s like The Avengers and The Prisoner anyway. I think it’s regained that “classic” feel now — seminal, British, iconoclastic telly that doesn’t pander to lowest-common denominator crash, bang, wallop violence. Which idiot at the BBC cancelled it all those years ago? It’s a bone of contention in my life. Who makes those decisions at the BBC? I’ve worked at the BBC for years and I don’t bloody know.

It’s such an interesting concept, Doctor Who. The Doctor’s a pacifist for a start, which is so unlikely for a hero. It’s almost as unlikely as Christianity catching on when it did.

Which leads me on to my specific point about Doctor Who — and I’ll keep it short and sweet because it is short and sweet — then I’ll say no more.

When I pop my clogs, the Daleks will be of more significance than Jesus.

When people have near death experiences, they often say they see a kind of Rolodex of the most vivid moments from their life flashing through their brains. I’m afraid to say that of greater importance than Jesus Christ in my mind will be the Daleks. In that roster of my life, as it whizzes past me and I’m about to pop my clogs, the Daleks will probably be of more significance than Jesus.

Two great imaginary stories and the Daleks win. I think that says enough, don’t you?