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Published on September 23rd, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

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Anneke Wills: ‘Takes the Power Back’

Mammoth Doctor Who convention Regenerations was treated to the sight of actress Anneke Wills – who played Polly, companion to both the First and the Second Doctors – firing her publisher Tim Hirst of Hirst Publishing on stage last week.

The actress, who is about to celebrate her seventieth birthday, is a convention regular and has been engaged in writing and promoting her two-volume autobiography Self Portrait and Naked, which were both released and marketed by Hirst Publishing, who have also published Blue Box Boy by Matthew Waterhouse and Second Thoughts by Colin Baker, amongst many other Who related titles.

An exasperated Anneke took to the stage and launched a series of allegations against Hirst such as: fan letters being withheld (Anneke doesn’t own a computer and relies on Hirst to relay fans well wishes to her), books being falsely listed as out of print on Amazon, and, the publication and subsequent pre-orders taken by Hirst from fans for a third volume which Wills had never approved (n.b ‘the third volume’ was apparently intended to be a compendium of the previous volumes rather than another memoir as Wills seems to believe).

And to add insult to injury; the whole thing was filmed by fans…

Hirst have since removed her titles from its own website although the link from Anneke’s site to Hirst’s is still active. Self Portrait and Naked are currently available from Amazon.

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About the Author

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Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




9 Responses to Anneke Wills: ‘Takes the Power Back’

  1. avatar Darth Tyeler says:

    A shame that this distasteful show was uploaded onto Youtube – as much because Anneke made a complete fool of herself more than anything else. I’m also quite surprised that the K are reporting on this too. Interestingly, the person who put this video up on Youtube disabled the comments the minute that Anneke’s motives were questioned, and it all feels a little ‘convenient’.

    Anneke’s public display of mud-slinging was a very poor show in my opinion.


    • Hi Alex: we heard about this almost as soon as it happened and wondered exactly how it had played out. I instructed Andy to make the text as neutral as possible which I think he’s done, and the reason we’ve featured it here is first to illustrate the event, perhaps remind people who don’t attend cons why they don’t and hopefully as with you draw some responses concerning the action.

      I’d be very interested to know both sides of the story. Anneke is of course a very impulsive woman, as a quick browse through her memoirs would reveal, but I do notice that (interviewer) Charlie Ross looks a little uncomfortable at times, not his usual demeanour in this occasions.

  2. avatar Darth Tyeler says:

    Lol, poor guy must have hoped the ground would open and swallow him up.

  3. avatar Jeffrey Miller says:

    I think she did fine. She used the forum available to her to backlash someone who backlashed her in public.
    They withheld notes of sympathy for the death of a friend and held back all her fan mail and asked for money up front for a book she never consented to.
    I think she did well to warn people to get their money back and to fire them publicly.

  4. avatar Sontaran Cyberman says:

    It should be noted that Charlie Ross, among many other convention-goers there, not only knows Tim Hirst fairly well, but also happens to have had a book published with him last year. Certainly, this poor public show has put me off a woman I long actually quite admired. A shame, to be honest…

  5. avatar Alex says:

    As I understand it the third book in question had the title “Complete” and I recall the ad on Hirst’s page saying it was also going to include a CD-ROM. Very sad to hear things collapse like this. I ordered Colin Baker’s short story collection Gallimaufrey from them last winter and am still waiting for it, but just the other day I exchanged a pleasant e-mail with someone at Hirst who explained the reason for the delay (workload on Colin’s part and release of the book is “imminent”). The report on BleedingCool mentions Hirst had to deal with another “altercation” at the convention aside from the Wills thing. Anyone know what that was about?


    • @Alex: I believe Tim Hirst was assaulted in some way, although I don’t have the full details. Seems quite an extreme reaction if this is true, however.

      • avatar Andy says:

        He got drunk and went for his girlfriend then got in a fight with the guy who stepped in to protect her.

  6. avatar Lord Darth Tyeler says:

    For the record ‘Alex September 25, 2011 at 10:08pm’ isn’t me!

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