THE fans still follow her everywhere more than two decades after Nicola Bryant stopped being a Doctor Who companion.
She is currently touring in Daphne Du Maurier's classic thriller Don't Look Now and is at Worthing's Connaught Theatre until October 25.
But she knows that each night on the tour there will be Doctor Who DVDs to sign for fans waiting at the stage door. And Bryant doesn't mind a bit. "It's bums on seats. They follow me everywhere and they are lovely. 99.9 per cent of the fans are extremely lovely and know my career better than I do!
"There is the odd spooky one but that's really only 0.1 per cent and that can be a little tricky, but that can happen in any show."
And it's far outweighed by the pleasures, not least the fact that she counts former Doctors Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy among her dearest friends.
Bryant is not remotely surprised that the phenomenon that is the Time Lord's tales still gets bigger and bigger. "I grew up with it. I grew up with Jon Pertwee. He was my Doctor and there are fans for each Doctor, which is the wonderful thing. Each generation has their own Doctor.
"It's such a quintessentially British show but the lovely thing, the amazing thing, is that the people who are making the show and starring in the show now were fans of the show. We are talking about people who got their imagination wildly stretched as a child by Doctor Who and for those creative people it opened this avenue."
Bryant played Peri Brown in the sci-fi hit from 1984 to 1986, first with Peter Davison and then Colin Baker as the Doctor. It was a three-year contract, since when Bryant and her Doctors have become classic Doctor Who.
"It's lovely when little six- and seven- and eight-year-olds are wanting me to sign DVDs because they have been introduced to classic Doctor Who by their parents."
Bryant certainly has a strong Doctor Who connection to West Sussex. On January 10, 1985 she and sixth Doctor Colin Baker were at Halnaker on the Goodwood Estate and Tangmere Aerodrome for location filming for the adventure Revelation of the Daleks. While there, they were about to stumble upon the Daleks and their creator, Davros, for this was – temporarily – the planet Necros.
Minor scenes involving the duo were filmed but a Dalek was present at Tangmere on the same day, where it was destroyed by another character, Orcini, played by William Gaunt. This two-part story aired on March 23 and 30, 1985.
Another classic – though of a different kind – is Don't Look Now, the show that brings her to Worthing. Bryant plays Laura Baxter opposite Peter Amory as husband John - a couple whose young daughter has died. And no, don't go expecting to see the graphic sex that helped make the film version so popular.
"It's about a couple that have lost each other due to grief, even though they are very much in love," she says. "It is a very tender moment, about a couple that are coming back together after a great deal of grief. It is a very tentative moment because we have not been together for a long time. It is not a raunchy moment!"
The moment is part of an intense psychological drama tied in with suggestions of the supernatural. Laura believes she has seen their dead daughter; husband John is adamant that she hasn't.
"And the play leaves the question very much open. You can make your choice in either direction . . . " says Bryant.
Check out this West Sussex Gazette link for a fascinating feature on county locations that have been used to film Doctor Who.