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TOM BAKER
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TOM BAKER

"Would you like to go to New Zealand to do a commercial?" That's the
sort of question an actor likes to hear from his agent in freezing
mid-January.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

But it was drama, high drama: fires at night, the fires that burned
people's houses away; bombs fell and left exotically shaped fragments in
the form of shrapnel. And we collected it and traded it. As long as we
were not hurt -- and I wasn't -- life seemed wonderful.

























Tom Baker 

On the Blitz, in his autobiography

We even copied the way the Americans walked, though Father Leonard
didn't like that bit of admiration. He disapproved of rolling buttocks.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

These days when I see a child in Waitrose and smile and say, "Hello, are
you going to visit your Mum in her sheltered accommodation when you grow
up?" it provokes glistening eyes and hollow laughter. And if you pursue
it with, "Or are you going to be a drug dealer?" it may result in a
snub.
































Tom Baker 

In his autobiography  

The chaos of our lives suited me; I don't think I wanted it to end.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

The notion that God was everywhere put paid to any possible peace of
mind by the time I was six.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

One tortured soul I know who suffers from amazingly premature
ejaculation -- I mean so premature that he hasn't got any children after
eleven years of marriage -- was told by the priest that it was probably
a blessing in disguise. What a piece of advice to give to a poor sod who
comes off at the sound of his wife's car in the drive.
















Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Tom Fleming, the eldest, was said to look like King George V, and
indeed, was often mistaken for His Majesty when in the vicinity of
Scotland Road, Anfield Road or Lime Street. Why people would suspect
that the King might be working in Tate and Lyle's sugar factory is
beyond me, but there you are.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Of course, for a lot of people, death was a welcome change. Grinding
poverty takes the edge off most things, including life.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

The theatre couldn't match what was going on in a court of law or at
football grounds. The theatre has never been able to match what goes on
anywhere, that's why so few people go.





















Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Who was it that designed brown envelopes? I feel sure that he hated
people whoever he was. I wonder where he's buried?

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

It was in the church that I got to love shadows and dark corners, musty
cupboards and creaking floorboards. I was a perfect recruit for the
Addams family. Cobwebs made me whimper with joy.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

I didn't care as an ex-ballet dancer wrote and told me she had seen the
production and fallen in love with my legs. She said that in other
circumstances she could have lived happily with my legs but that she
only had a small flat in Holland Park.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

"Stay calm, sir," I cried. "Don't excite yourself, it could mean death."
He took me at my word and instantly fell inert. I didn't know whether he
was obeying me or had died.


































Tom Baker 

Working as a hospital orderly, in his autobiography 

Once a man next to me found the handle of a radiator in his mashed
potato; he said nothing, merely moving it to the side of his plate after
sucking the mashed potato off it first. Nobody else said anything
either. If the truth was known several of us were probably jealous.

Tom Baker 

On army food, in his autobiography 

She smiled at me, arsenically.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Being poor is a little like having an earache over a Bank Holiday. All
you can think about is the pain and how long it will be before a healing
hand can be found to take away the anguish.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Poverty can curdle the libido and corrode civilized thoughts. One's
sense of humour vanishes, to be replaced by a curry-spoiling sarcasm as
one's Mr Hyde emerges from the swamp of the subconscious.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

The poor don't really like that ticket. They are desperate to get away
and join the rich, and have glossy hair, bright eyes and white teeth.
The rich live longer and can afford to be charming.
















Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

All my life I have felt myself to be on the edge of things. All my life
I have suffered from bad dreams. All my life I have had difficulty in
knowing whether I am awake or in a nightmare.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

All my life I have entirely missed the point; and the turning, as I also
have no sense of direction. This long period of uncertainty in the
twilight land of the fuddled (it is now more than sixty years) has taken
its toll.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

One of the astounding qualities of that family was their capacity to
fill innocent bystanders with thoughts of murder.

Tom Baker 

On one set of in-laws, in his autobiography 

When the doctor was there, Alfred refused to believe that he'd had a
stroke. "I can't have had a stroke," he grated, in a terrible rage,
"I've got 93,000 pounds in my current account."

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

I was honestly very nervous of Constance Wheatcroft. And I wasn't the
only one. Her entire family was afraid of her. Dogs were afraid of her.
Bindweed in the hedge would wither as she passed; birds would forget
their nesting instincts and fly back to north Africa at the sound of her
hideous cries.















Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Waiting for a 136 bus from Highgate station to Muswell Hill Broadway on
a misty evening in February is a bit like lurking outside the gates of
purgatory.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

I've been pretty wary of street sweepers since, though it is true that
since we left the European Exchange Rate Mechanism some sweepers are
really quite dashing to glance at.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

But we can't escape into the future like we can escape into the past. So
those of us who are not certain of things, and there are an awful lot of
us, often rush back to the past. And each one has a particular past he
prefers to the present. Sometimes I feel that any past is preferable to
the present.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

About ten days later, it being the time of year when the National
collected down and outs to walk on and understudy I arrived at the head
office of the National Theatre in Aquinas Street in Waterloo.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

The only imperfection in life then was that we didn't really have much
money.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Living in an institution, rumours of change can make life more bearable,
and starting rumours can be a wonderful pleasure for those without much
hope. The National Theatre was like that.















Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

My old skill at self-delusion overrode my doubts as I told myself that
Dexter probably believed in me. I could believe anything then. I still
can as long as it is improbable.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Playing Doctor Who came as a great surprise to me. I had no idea that I
would enjoy it so much. All that was required of me was to be able to
speak complete gobbledygook with conviction.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

It was no problem for me to say I came from another world and could go
back and forth in time in my emphysemic old Tardis which was bigger on
the inside than it was on the outside. Problem? For me who believed in
Guardian Angels and was convinced that pigs were possessed by devils
after their New Testament encounter with God's son? It was easy and I
loved it.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Jim Acheson, our designer, told me I looked like his Auntie Wyn and I
have never forgotten it. I wondered if it was the way I walked or wore
my hat, but Jim just said that I had some indefinable air of an aunt. It
was then I began to hope that one day I might play Lady Bracknell.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Bob Holmes, the script editor, did laugh and filled his pipe so that he
could create a smoke screen between us while he turned the idea down.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Most of my ideas were rejected and I got used to it. One can get fond of
almost anything, even rejection.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

He told me he was having the time of his life and then fell to the floor
unconscious. I didn't take this too personally, although he was not the
first person to collapse while talking to me; to tell the truth it has
happened quite often.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

It is part of my duty as a decent member of my local hamlet to mow the
grass in front of the church. It's a pleasant little task and mowing is
a favorite activity of mine; it gives me a lot of pleasure to make the
churchyard look tidy. I sometimes pause at the grave of someone or other
and speculate what he might have been like when he was alive, but
gravestones don't tell much.










Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

Not everybody knows that looking at people in 'a funny way' is the
commonest cause of sudden murder. I happen to know that because I read a
Home Office brochure once.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

I am used to being mistaken for Miriam Margolyes; Private Eye noticed
that, and once I was even taken for Gertrude Stein. But that was at
Chelsea Flower Show where uncertainty of identity is in the air.

Tom Baker 

In his autobiography 

We are all quite capable of believing in anything as long as it's
improbable.