Doctor Who fans celebrate Tom Baker's 89th birthday with heartwarming story
The Fourth Doctor actor remains an absolute fan favourite, and it's easy to see why.
Fourth Doctor star and Doctor Who icon Tom Baker turns 89 today, and fans have been celebrating the occasion by re-sharing on Twitter a heartwarming story told by the man himself.
In an interview with Vortex magazine from 2013, Baker was asked for his "one biggest Doctor Who memory". He responded: "I remember a man stopping me in Oxford Street once, looking at me with absolute incredulity; he couldn't believe it. He said, 'Tom Baker?' A man in his late thirties. I said, 'Yes'. He said, 'Tom Baker?' I said, 'Yes!'
"And he looked at me and in his brain he catapulted back in time and he said, 'You know, when I was a boy, I was in a home for children; nobody wanted us, you know? It was terrible. And you made Saturday night good.' And I went to say something to him and I could see him so close to tears that he couldn't speak.
"And he shook his head as if to say, 'Don't go on, don't remind me' and he just did [a thumbs up]. Such a common thing, isn't it, but suddenly backed up with an expression on his face through his tears that was a knighthood. It was a knighthood. Just thumbs up, meaning it was great, and thanks. It's incredible, isn't it? Just a gesture."
Fans reacted in their droves to the story, which was shared by Big Finish on Twitter, with many saying it made them cry. Another said: "Often think about this quote and how it just highlights what impact a 'mere television show' can have on someone, and that stands for every actor to play the role of a hero. This is why they say that it's not just a part, it's a lifetime."
Meanwhile, fans also took the opportunity to wish the actor a happy birthday, with a number called him a "legend" and others saying he is their "favourite Doctor".
Baker last appeared on the show for its 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, which aired in 2013, playing an enigmatic character called the Curator who is heavily implied to be a future incarnation of the Doctor.
The show's outgoing showrunner Chris Chibnall revealed Baker was also invited to return for last year's Centenary special, The Power of the Doctor, but he was "not available".
Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.
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