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My back had been getting steadily worse, and when we came to do Planet of the Spiders, I was in such agony that I would do anything to ease it, and someone had suggested keeping my spine rigid by wearing a surgical corset.
That seemed like a good idea and so I ordered one to be especially made. It certainly eased the pain whilst on one occasion earning me an unfortunate reputation. We were at an Army camp – Marchant Barracks in Devizes – for part of the location filming, and I had been allocated one of the huts to use as a dressing room. It had been pouring with rain, so after only two shots, I had to get out of my wet clothes and have my lank hair put in heated rollers. So, there I was sitting in this hut, wearing nothing but a pair of long johns and the whale-bone corset, with my hair all in curlers, when suddenly the door banged open and in walked the sergeant major.
He took one look at me sitting there, turned purple, turned on his heel and bellowed to the men behind him, ‘I don’t believe it. Doctor Who’s a poofter!’
He never looked at me in the eye again for our entire stay."