Is this a case of the Doctor Hughes? Back in 1985, former Time Lord Tom Baker shaved his curly locks and ditched the scarf to distance himself from TARDIS chic. But he wasn’t adverse to the odd bit of fantasy and accepted a booking to appear on the BBC’s classic children’s show Jackanory

The format of Jackanory was quite simple, over five episodes an actor would read a book. Usually seated in an armchair. In younger years, I was enthralled by a reading of The Ghosts by Antonia Barber, but the show introduced Alan Bennett to Winnie-the-Pooh, Margaret Rutheford had a nice line in Beatrix Potter, Thora Hird did A Bear Called Paddington, and more.

Advertisement

When Tom took the chair, he got to read The Iron Man: A Children’s Story in Five Nights by Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. It’s sometimes called The Iron Giant in the States to avoid confusion with Tony Stark. The story had featured on Jackanory in previous years read by others.  

I’m wondering if this still exists in the BBC archives because at the very least it would make an entertaining extra on a Doctor Who DVD. The sound quality on this YouTube clip is kind of naff, but if you are sitting comfortably, this is Tom Baker reading The Iron Man by Ted Hughes.