Deborah Watling

Deborah Watling


1/2/1948, Fulmer Chase, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Birth Name



Also Known As

Debbie Watling
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Deborah Watling is the daughter of Jack Watling and consequently grew up in an acting family. She attended stage school after failing her O level exams, but left after three weeks and got herself an agent. She then landed the part of Alice in a BBC play "The…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Deborah Watling is claustrophobic and couldn't perform the scene in Tomb of the Cybermen where her character is trapped inside the Cybermen sarcophagus. Frankie Dunn had to double for her.

    • In her role as Alice Liddle in The Life of Lewis Carroll Deborah Watling's picture appeared on a cover of the Radio Times, supposedly it was this image of her that prompted producer Innes Lloyd to offer her the role of Victoria.

    • Deborah Watling's first stage appearance was as Jane Dungavel in Roar like a Dove at the age of 12.

    • Deborah Watling earned the nickname 'Leatherlungs' as a tribute to her ability to scream consistently and at high pitch on demand.

    • Deborah Watling's departure scene from Doctor Who was so traumatic for herself and her co-stars that none of them required prop tears, the ones that were shed were real.

    • Deborah Watling runs adult acting courses with Nextstage drama in continental Europe and the UK.

    • Deborah Watling originally auditioned for the role of Polly in Doctor Who but the director thought she was too young. It would be another year before she was eventually cast as Victoria.

    • Deborah Watling broke her arm while roller skating the day before filming began on Dimensions in Time. She played her performance wearing a cape to cover the injury.

    • During filming of The Ice Warriors Deborah Watling had to direct the actor who was kidnapping her as his costume prevented him seeing clearly. All went well, until he went right when she said left and instantly destroyed the set by walking straight through a wall.

    • Although not well-known as a singer Deborah Watling performed a duo with Cliff Richard in the 1973 film Take me High.

    • Deborah Watling engaged in a screaming session at the Gallifrey One convention in 1991 to demonstrate how she managed to reach the piercing notes she was famous for in her role as Victoria.

    • Deborah Watling first appearance on television was at the age of 11 in an episode of William Tell.

    • Deborah Watling was invited to a special BAFTA screening of Tomb of the Cybermen after a copy was found in Hong Kong in 1992. This is the only remaining complete serial with her character, Victoria.

    • Deborah Watling attended stage school after unsuccessfully completing her O level exams, but left after three weeks and found herself a theatrical agent.

  • Quotes

    • Deborah Watling: A lot of people expect me to be gray-haired by now, but I like my jeans and leather jacket too much for that. Keep young Watling, I tell myself, keep going.

    • Deborah Watling: (About Rising Damp) I adored Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale and Frances de la Tour, so you can imagine my delight and excitement when I was offered the part...Everyone was super, especially Leonard who was a marvellous actor. It was like walking into a family. I was made to feel welcome from the beginning.

    • Deborah Watling: (About her Doctor Who character, Victoria) The female assistants were designed to appeal to the dads, I started out in a long Victorian frock, but the skirts got shorter and shorter and I ended up in a pelmet.

    • Deborah Watling: On my first day at Doctor Who I walked on the set and Patrick Troughton smiled at me, opened up his arms and said 'come here Debbie' and that clinched it, I was home.

    • Deborah Watling: I just love meeting people, that's me. Get Watling on stage and I come alive.

    • Deborah Watling: (about filming The Abominable Snowmen) Frazer and I were being chased down a hill by them. All of a sudden they fell over and started rolling down. We were hysterical. All I could hear from inside the suits were these big butch men screaming to get out.

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