Friday, 29 January 2010

Where are they now? No. 11 - Sophie Aldred

Sophie Aldred was born on 20th August 1962 in Greenwich, London, but grew up near Blackheath. She studied drama at Manchester University in 1980 and graduated in 1983.


In 1987, she was cast as Ace in Doctor Who. Her tenure on the show spanned the last nine stories of the programme's original run, from 1987 to 1989. First appearance was in Dragonfire 23rd October 1987, last appearance in Survival 6th December 1989.

Ace, real name Dorothy Gale McShane, a 20th Century teenanger from Perivale, suburb of London.

She is working as a waitress in the frozen food retail complex of Iceworld on the planet Svartos. She had been a troubled teen on Earth, having been expelled from school for blowing up the art room as a "creative statement". Gifted in chemistry (despite failing it for her O-levels), she was in her room experimenting with the extraction of nitroglycerin from gelignite when a time storm swept her up and transported her to Iceworld, and far in her future. There, she meets the Doctor (7th incarnation), and his companion Mel. When Mel leaves the Doctor at the conclusion of the serial Dragonfire, he offers to take Ace with him in the TARDIS, and she happily accepts.

mccoyandtardis.jpg image by cuisle1

Both before and since Doctor Who, Aldred has had a varied and busy television career, particularly in children's programming, where she has presented educational programmes such as Corners, Melvin and Maureen's Music-a-grams, long-running BBC series Words and Pictures and also CITV paranormal show It's A Mystery in 1996. She also played the character Minnie The Mini Magician from Series 8 onwards on CITV's ZZZap! between 1999 and 2001.

Aldred has presented and sung in several BBC Schools Radio series, including Singing Together, Music Workshop, Time and Tune and Music Box. She has also performed on radio and in the theatre. She has also reprised her role as Ace in the charity special Dimensions In Time and the Doctor Who audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions. Throughout the 2000s she has worked extensively as a voice-over artist for television advertisements.

She co-wrote the hardback reference book, Ace, The Inside Story of the End of An Era with Mike Tucker, published by Virgin Publishing in 1996. (ISBN 1-85227-574-x).

Personal Life

Sophie Aldred married Vince Henderson on 12 July 1997. They have two sons, Adam and William, who make occasional convention appearances with their mother.

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