A few years ago when Billie Piper was playing Rose, I was very worried because the next week’s episode was called something like The Day Rose Died. I can’t remember exactly what it was called. Well, my children were in love with Rose as a companion, and I was worried about her. So I sent an e-mail off to Russell T Davies, who of course had grown up on the classic Doctor Who series, and I said “Could you just reassure me that Rose does not, in fact, die because my children shouldn’t watch it if that happens,” and he sent an e-mail back to me saying, “You killed Adric. What do you care?
I’ve been searching for a particular word that applies to her, and I think at last I’ve found it. Loopy. Yes, loopy. Lis was gloriously loopy, and I loved her all the more for it. She lived in a constant blizzard of disasters, through which she would glide like a late-night Lucille Ball. I was with her once at a Radio Times party, when she spotted John Simm across the crowded room. She was utterly determined to talk to him, so she headed straight for him. And I mean literally, in a straight line. Leaving devastation in her wake! Three waiters, the sound system and a TV chef have never worked since. Jane Tranter ended up in the Ladies’, sponging the blood off Lis’ leg - I’m not kidding! And I swear, I don’t think Lis even noticed. She just kept saying dreamily how lovely John was and what a nice night she’d had.
She lived her life like that. I’d visit her Cardiff flat, and she’d always be in her dressing gown. Not because she was leisurely, but because something had just exploded. We would wonder, together, how hair dye could possibly have reached the ceiling. I once phoned her and her first words were, “I’m covered in glass because the bus just shattered and they threw me off.” I have no idea what that meant, I’d stopped asking by then!