Dalek invasion as Doctor Who writer helps Doncaster youngsters

Dr Who writer Dan Blythe and Dalek collector Rob Hull visit Danum Academy Upper School as part of World Book Day with, of course, a Dalek. Pictured with students from Danum Academy and Kingfisher Primary
Dr Who writer Dan Blythe and Dalek collector Rob Hull visit Danum Academy Upper School as part of World Book Day with, of course, a Dalek. Pictured with students from Danum Academy and Kingfisher Primary

It was more educate than exterminate as a Dalek took a Doncaster school by storm during a Doctor Who-themed event.

The full-sized replica of one of the best known villains in television history trundled into Danum Academy – accompanied by Dan Blythe, an author behind a string of Doctor Who Novels – to mark World Book Day.

Dr Who writer Dan Blythe and Dalek collector Rob Hull visit Danum Academy Upper School as part of World Book Day with, of course, a Dalek

Dr Who writer Dan Blythe and Dalek collector Rob Hull visit Danum Academy Upper School as part of World Book Day with, of course, a Dalek

Dan gave a talks to help encourage pupils to read and enjoy books.

The remote-controlled Dalek was brought in by its owner, 53-year-old Rob Hull, from Scawthorpe, who holds the record for the largest collection of model Daleks, with more than 1,200 pieces,

A spokesman for the school on Armthorpe Road, Intake, said: “There is nothing Daniel and Rob do not know about Doctor Who or Daleks. Students were amazed, and a little scared.”

Lynne Coppendale, Danum Academy librarian, said: “As a Doctor Who fan myself it was a fantastic day, I am thrilled Rob came with his Dalek. I was so excited. As I keep saying, reading is fun.”

Dr Who writer Dan Blythe and Dalek collector Rob Hull visit Danum Academy Upper School as part of World Book Day with, of course, a Dalek

Dr Who writer Dan Blythe and Dalek collector Rob Hull visit Danum Academy Upper School as part of World Book Day with, of course, a Dalek

South Yorkshire author Dan is one of the team of writers behind the Doctor Who novels series and he spent the day telling pupils about the history of the show. He has written three Doctor Who books, although the first two – Dimension Riders and Infinite Requiem, written in the 1990s before the relaunch of the programme in 2005 – are now only available from specialist bookshops.

He went onto write the Doctor Who book, Autonomy, which is about Autons – plastic dummies brought to life by an alien force.

Dan, aged 46, is a fan of the show who first wrote books about the character in the early 90s, when it had been taken off the screens.

He said: “My first two books were more aimed at the fans rather than a wider readership.

“These days they are supposed to be very much like the television series. I don’t feel there has been any change to my style between the books. I think Doctor Who appeals to everyone aged eight to 80.

“It’s great to see it so popular and encouraging children to read. It bridges a gap, and it seems to be popular with both girls and boys.

“My favourite Doctor Who was Tom Baker, I think that is because he was the one I grew up with.”

His visit was part of events to mark World Book Day, which also saw staff dressed as their favourite characters and reading from their favourite books, while pupils took part in in creative writing workshops led by Mr Blythe.