I think quite often a fate worse than death is life - for lots of people.
I'm obsessive about the kind of melodrama of getting through the days and trying to make them good and funny and a happy experience. But my feeling towards the fans is that they delivered me from darkness.
Being poor is a little like having an earache over a Bank Holiday. All you can think about is the pain and how long it will be before a healing hand can be found to take away the anguish.
Of course, for a lot of people, death was a welcome change. Grinding poverty takes the edge off most things, including life.
Most drama in our lives is really rather squalid.
I was honestly very nervous of Constance Wheatcroft. And I wasn't the only one. Her entire family was afraid of her. Dogs were afraid of her. Bindweed in the hedge would wither as she passed; birds would forget their nesting instincts and fly back to north Africa at the sound of her hideous cries.
We are all quite capable of believing in anything as long as it's improbable.
Not everybody knows that looking at people in 'a funny way' is the commonest cause of sudden murder. I happen to know that because I read a Home Office brochure once.
It is part of my duty as a decent member of my local hamlet to mow the grass in front of the church. It's a pleasant little task and mowing is a favorite activity of mine; it gives me a lot of pleasure to make the churchyard look tidy. I sometimes pause at the grave of someone or other and speculate what he might have been like when he was alive, but gravestones don't tell much.
Most of my ideas were rejected and I got used to it. One can get fond of almost anything, even rejection.
Bob Holmes, the script editor, did laugh and filled his pipe so that he could create a smoke screen between us while he turned the idea down.
Jim Acheson, our designer, told me I looked like his Auntie Wyn and I have never forgotten it. I wondered if it was the way I walked or wore my hat, but Jim just said that I had some indefinable air of an aunt. It was then I began to hope that one day I might play Lady Bracknell.
It was no problem for me to say I came from another world and could go back and forth in time in my emphysemic old Tardis which was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside. Problem? For me who believed in Guardian Angels and was convinced that pigs were possessed by devils after their New Testament encounter with God's son? It was easy and I loved it.
Playing Doctor Who came as a great surprise to me. I had no idea that I would enjoy it so much. All that was required of me was to be able to speak complete gobbledygook with conviction.
My old skill at self-delusion overrode my doubts as I told myself that Dexter probably believed in me. I could believe anything then. I still can as long as it is improbable.