Doctor Who fan Andrew Younger is in the middle of an impressive bid to raise money for children’s charity Tiny Lives, dressed as the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker.
He’s just completed his first zip wire jump off the Tyne Bridge and will do it again on 6 July from Newcastle’s Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art.
Younger admits it was the combination of his upcoming 40th birthday and the huge 50th anniversary celebration for Doctor Who that inspired him.
“I was trying to think of some way to mark my 40th by doing something for others and tie it in with my love of Doctor Who,” Younger tells RadioTimes.com.
“Thankfully my own son was born fit and healthy, but hundreds across the region aren’t. I became aware of the charity Tiny Lives [who help provide incubators and specifically trained doctors across the North East and Cumbria area] through friends. One of these tiny lives could go on and have a great future, but only if we save them now. That sort of connection, Doctor Who and time travel, it just clicked with me.”
Younger’s not an adrenalin junkie at heart. “I’ve never done anything like it. My wife and son thought I was nuts.” But he admits, “I thought it would be fun to see that image – that scarf in action again swinging down the bridge.
“Tom Baker is such an iconic Doctor still. He resonates particularly with children and it’s a children’s charity I’m doing it for.”
While he felt pretty confident on the way up, Younger reveals, “I literally had to force myself off the bridge. I promised I’d try and scream out ‘Would you like a jelly baby?’. It was kind of half in terror that it came out.
“It’s just that split second when your body sort of goes, ‘Why are you doing this?’”
But that first leap, which was so rainy he had to wring out his iconic Tom Baker scarf, clearly hasn’t put him off as he’ll do his next one in just a few weeks.
“At least this time I know what’s coming,” he jokes.
Younger’s colleagues and friends have also pitched in with some ideas. A day at work dressed as Tom Baker is on the cards for later this year, as well as a recent appearance at the Metrocentre in Gateshead with the scarf and hat firmly in place.
Younger is aiming to continue his efforts until this September’s Great North Run, in which he is awaiting confirmation he can run on behalf of Tiny Lives. But perhaps he could swap to another Doctor and continue on?
“If Peter Capaldi sees this and gives me a thumbs up, I’ll have to change to his costume.”
In fact, people are already waiting in the wings to carry on the bid for Younger. “A lot of people said if I hurt myself one of my friends could dress up as Peter Davison, who replaced Tom Baker, and take my place,” he laughs.
Younger is currently racing towards his £500 target, which he hoped to reach by September.
“It’s just gone a bit mad. I’m hoping to smash that target and raise as much as possible.”
Emma is RadioTimes.com’s resident reality TV expert and is most likely to be found chasing Simon Cowell down the street, cancelling her social life to keep up with the latest batch of sob stories and trying to get selfies with celebrities. Emma is a chat show addict and quotes Friends more than is probably healthy.