You need to keep your antennae whirring during Class. The BBC offshoot from Doctor Who makes lots of crafty little references to the daddy show.
Yes, it’s set in Coal Hill, the London school featured in Who on and off since the very beginning in 1963. And of course it gets a Doctorly seal of approval from Peter Capaldi. But for me the sweetest chord is a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo for June Hudson.
Famous among fans for her splendid work as a BBC costume designer in the 1970s and 80s, she’s also an actress – a woman who adds a touch of class wherever she goes.
Did you spot her? When schoolgirl Tanya (Vivian Oparah) takes refuge in a minimart, June is the woman at the counter, stocking up on booze, who comes out with the cracking line: “I caught my husband fiddling with himself on the stairs.” Oo-er! In the credits the character is named as ‘Mrs Linderhof’, while she is billed as ‘Laura June Hudson’ – the name she uses for acting roles.
She was a regular in Ricky Gervais’s C4 comedy Derek, and this year appeared as herself in Barry Humphries’s C4 doc, A Granny’s Guide to the Modern World. But how did she land this quirky little cameo in Class? “June came in to read for it and stole the scene,” exec producer Brian Minchin tells RT. “She’s amazing! We love her.”
June Hudson is an old friend of Radio Times. We interviewed her in 1979, when she designed costumes for the Tom Baker Doctor Who story, Destiny of the Daleks. (June is pictured below with Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, who played Romana.)
In 2003, she designed a new costume for her old friend Tom especially for a Radio Times photo shoot celebrating Doctor Who’s 40th anniversary. (Photographed by Andy Earl)
June was also the original costume designer for EastEnders in 1985. Last year she spoke to me about her work for the soap’s 30th anniversary.
As for Class: “I am really excited to be in it,” says June. “Full circle!” Here’s hoping we’ll see more of Mrs Linderhof if a second series is commissioned. She’d certainly be up for it.