Monday, October 22, 2007

Westmaas says goodbye

Conrad Westmaas, Eighth Doctor companion C'rizz, has issued a Goodbye Statement in the Big Finish Forum at

Dear All,

Well, my work here is done.

Five-ish years as a Who companion are up and before Lizard Boy is consigned to his odd little place in the Hall of Obscurity, I just wanted to say some thank-yous to a few fabulous people. (I would have prepared a Sarah-Jane or Tegan-style tear-jerker, but I haven't got a pot plant and it never "stopped being fun", so I've opted for the tried & tested 'thank-you-&-gush' format instead) Here goes:

DWM: First of all, HUGE thanks to the Talented Mr Clayton Hickman for keeping the flag flying in the wilderness years and beyond and for getting me involved in the crazy, mixed-up world of Who in the first place, to my then colleagues Scott Gray, Paul Burley, Peri Godbold, Benjamin Cook & Andrew Pixley - and to the new team Tom Spilsbury, Peter Ware & Stuart Manning. Big thanks to Martin Geraghty whose artwork has given me a great souvenir of my time in the TARDIS. And speaking of dreams coming true..

Big Finish: It's no secret that's it's been a bumpy ride at times but only when Pixley's Official History of Who is written will Big Finish's role in steering the show safely back to our screens get the credit it deserves. So another HUGE thanks to the wonderful Gary Russell and Jason 'Huge-Salary' for letting me guest in 'Omega' and then inviting me back on board proper to join the Eighth Doctor crew and making Daleks, Victorian freakshows and lethal ice-cream vans all part of a day's work! Thanks also to dear Nick Briggs and Barnaby Edwards for honouring what Gary started and giving me a great send off, to lovely Nigel Fairs, Ian Farrington, John Ainsworth & Ed Salt, and to BF's fine stable of writers including Joe Lidster, Lloyd Rose, Gary Hopkins, Julian Shortman, Alan Barnes, Trevor Baxendale, Nev Fountain, Simon Guerrier, Steve Lyons, Jim Mortimore, Will Schindler, Eddie Robson, Philip Martin & Graham Duff - and to the talents of the unsung post-production heroes, Steve Johnson and the CD cover artists - much appreciated. Thanks to my Who-gurus Davy Darlington & Robert Dick and of course to BF Doctors Peter, Colin, Sylvester & Paul and all the TV & audio companions & villains I've worked with, too numerous to mention, who've made the job such a joy. Oh, and just to put 3 quick myths to bed: a) No, Nick Briggs isn't systematically 'firing'/exterminating/deleting all the BF companions (hang on, what's that knock at the door? Aaargh!) b) Yes, Mr McGann recorded every single story with us in the studio and c) Yes, we really are all as buff as we look in the DWM 'Coming Soon..' comic strips.

Thanks to Derek & all at Tenth Planet for numerous signings & conventions, Cary & co at Regenerations, Ben & all at The Oncoming Storm, Shaun Lyon & the mods & bods of Outpost Gallifrey, James Goss & all at, Barnaby et al at The Offstage Theatre Co, lovely Charlie Ross, the fabulous naughty folk of KiNda and to Ed Thomas & Liz Griffiths at BBC Wales for a set visit I'll never forget.

And to every Who fan who's taken the trouble to write, email, draw a picture, buy a drink, make me laugh or just come up to say hi - you know who you are - thanks for making my day. (And to the less-than-kind corners of fandom - thanks for the tough exoskeleton.) Whatever you think of my contribution to BF, I hope you've enjoyed the work of some of the acting chums I've put their way like Daniel Barzotti, Liz Crowther, Lizzie Hopley, Eve Polycarpou and Zehra Naqvui.

Special mention must go to Edwardian adventuress and all-round best mate India Fisher. I suspect that (sooner rather than later..) Charley Pollard will be listed up there along with Sarah-Jane and Rose Tyler as one of the finest companions in any medium, just see if I'm wrong.

I'm bound to have missed a load of people out, so thanks to everyone who's made the last five years such a wild, weird & wonderful experience - aside from making all my fanboy dreams come true (Travelling in the TARDIS! Fighting Daleks! And getting paid!!!) it's been an invaluable source of fun, support and an incredible learning experience which has opened up some interesting new avenues of work. Speaking of which, if I can end on few of blatant plugs:

'Absolution' is available from Big Finish
Check out the trailer for my new film 'The Visitor'
& I'm currently appearing in 'Othello' at the Salisbury Playhouse.

To everyone listed above and to anyone I've missed - love always and thank you for giving me the trip of a lifetime.

Conrad xxx

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