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Dorking costume designer appears on Doctor Who DVD

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: August 04, 2012

  • Doctor Who costume designer Leslie Rowland-Warne

  • Costume designer Leslie Rowland-Warne, who also designed Britt Ekland's wedding dress RELM20120723A-001_C Photo by Liam McAvoy

  • Doctor Who costume designer Leslie Rowland-Warne

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A COSTUME designer has appeared on a new Doctor Who DVD talking about his experiences working on the programme.

Leslie Rowland-Warne, of Lyons Court, Dorking, worked on the show between 1974 and 1978, designing costumes for characters including the Daleks and the Exxilons.

Last month the BBC released a four-part DVD called Death To The Daleks, and Mr Rowland-Warne was asked to appear in a documentary included.

He said. "On the disc is a documentary asking all the stars and crew about their experiences working on it and I'm on it.

"I was the costume designer and mostly I talk about how I came up with the idea for the costume of the character Bellal.

"The script said he lived underground so I thought he should be small, and I told the director to hire a small actor to fit into it. Then I added some reflective strips to liven the suit up."

Mr Rowland-Warne, 82, who was born in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, moved to Dorking six years ago to be closer to his brother, after living in Notting Hill since the 1950s.

He said: "We filmed most of this particular Doctor Who instalment in a sound quarry in Dorset. It was in winter, pouring down with rain and it was very muddy.

"It was like all jobs, they were either dreary or very fun – but working on Doctor Who was always so varied."

He added: "It has changed now, though. The old Doctor Who series were much different to the new ones on now, as it was originally for children. Now everyone and anyone watches it."

Mr Rowland-Warne worked as a costume designer for 17 years before retiring in 1990.

He designed costumes for TV shows including Top Of The Pops and Are You Being Served? as well as 14 episodes of Doctor Who.

He said: "I was a high class fashion designer before I created costumes, working in London.

"I made the wedding dress for Britt Ekland, who married Peter Sellers. I had to do it in two days. She came up to London and I had to make one that she could go out in afterwards. It was quite short!"

Doctor Who: Death To The Daleks is available on DVD.

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