[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 14:55 GMT
Dr Who exhibition to close
Dr Who dalek
At one time the exhibition attracted 40,000 visitors a year
As Dr Who prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a new series on BBC Wales, an exhibition featuring memorabilia from the show is to close because of a lack of interest.

The Dr Who exhibition in Llangollen, Denbighshire, was opened in 1996 by Dapol, a British toy manufacturing company which used to make toy daleks to sell.

In its heyday it regularly attracted record visitors of up to 40,000 people every year, many would travel from across the UK and arrive in the small north Wales town dressed as Dr Who characters.

But despite BBC Wales' plans to resurrect the show on our screens for 2005, the show's popularity has dropped and bosses at the Dr Who centre have decided to close down at the end of the year.

"It's been a successful exhibition and it tells the story of Dr Who from 1963 to 1989, complete with part of the first broadcast," said Dapol managing director George Smith.

Unless you are 25 upwards you've not really heard of Dr Who
George Smith Dapol

"It was the first real sci-fi programme, people now like it because of its naivety."

He said visitors have been falling on an annual basis from 40,000 per year to 15,000 a year.

Originally broadcast on November 23rd 1963 Dr Who was conceived as an educational programme to fit into the slot in the Saturday evening schedules.

BBC Wales bosses hope they will be able to breathe new life into the programme but Mr Smith remains unconvinced.

Colin Baker's Dr Who costume
Colin Baker wore this costume

The centre will close on 30 December and will be cleared out in January, it is not known where the old memorabilia will be relocated to.

And the factory will continue making toys but is to be relocated seven miles over the border in England, near Oswestry.

Mr Smith said the toys they manufacture are so popular that Llangollen can no longer cater for their needs.

Doctor Who returns to TV
26 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Viewers miss Doctor Who the most
23 Sep 03  |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific