What links Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars? Meet Emojibot actor Kiran Shah

Kiran Shah, one of the actors inside the Vardy robot suits, has had a huge impact on modern sci-fi

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There’s a lot more to those deadly Doctor Who Emojibots that meets the ?️. 

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Last Saturday the latest Doctor Who monsters waddled into series 10 episode Smile, but inside the robotic suits is hidden an even more intriguing story.

Actor Kiran Shah (pictured below) is one of the actors responsible for performing beneath those sinister emoji smiles.

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The veteran actor, born in Kenya in 1956, has been in Doctor Who before, in 2014 episode Listen, but that’s just the tip of an incredible acting CV.

Most famously, Shah appeared as a “scale and stunt double” for Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings, going on to act as body doubles for all the Hobbits in the film franchise.

“Scale double means that every time you see the Hobbits looking small on screen, maybe on a wide shot, that’s Kiran you’re looking at,” Shah’s website explains.

Shah returned to Middle-earth for The Hobbit films – check him out in the behind the scenes video below from about 12 minutes in.

Along with Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings, Shah completes the sci-fi and fantasy trilogy with multiple Star Wars appearances. 

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Shah with Lord of the Rings and Hobbit director Peter Jackson and actor Orlando Bloom

Most recently, he appeared in Star Wars Rogue One as alien and Jyn’s prison mate Oolin Musters. He also featured in The Force Awakens as a Teedo on the planet Jakku, and was part of the original team to test out the Ewok costumes in Return of the Jedi.

As of 20 October 2003, Shah holds the Guinness World Record for the “shortest professional stuntman currently working in films”, coming in at 1m 26.3 cm (4ft 1.7 in).

Records or not, it’s safe to say Kiran Shah has had a BIG role to play in modern sci-fi and fantasy. And that’s more than enough reason to ?.

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Doctor Who series 10 continues next Saturday on BBC1