From SFX (UK)/ by Dave Golder
Gollancz will be publishing an expanded version of the charity book Behind The Sofa: Celebrity Memories Of Doctor Who, edited by Steve Berry, in time for the 50th Anniversary of the show.
Behind The Sofa is a collection of over 100 celebrity memories of Doctor Who, compiled in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Steve Berry decided to undertake this project in memory of his mother Janet, who suffered from Alzheimer’s in her final years and passed away in 2009. The book took more than four years to put together and its initial publication was “crowd-funded” by the pre-orders of an enthusiastic Whovian community.
Steve spent years interviewing celebrities, including many household names, and others who have more direct Doctor Who links, and asked them one simple question: what is your favourite memory of Doctor Who? The resulting collection is by turns touching, heart-warming, funny and educational. You can read our review of it here.
After successfully self-publishing the project, and raising approximately £20,000 for the charity, Steve considered producing an expanded paperback. However, when he realised that Gollancz editor Marcus Gipps had ordered the book, he got in touch and suggested an expanded new special edition in time for the Time Lord’s 50th Anniversary, to be published by the world’s biggest and best SF imprint: Gollancz.
The original edition contained a host of famous names, including Jonathan Ross, Chris Tarrant, Al Murray, Stephen Merchant, and Bill Oddie; actors Lynda Bellingham, Nicholas Parsons, Hugh Bonneville and Rhys Thomas; writers Neil Gaiman, Jenny Colgan, Jonathan Ross and Charlie Brooker and political figures Louise Mensch and Tom Harris, plus many more. In addition, there was input from a number of the writers, actors and production staff who were involved in creating Doctor Who stories new and old.
The new Gollancz edition will be expanded and include more new celebrities, including Gollancz author and Doctor Who writer Ben Aaronovitch, Alexei Sayle, Bernard Cribbins and Sophia Myles as well as new illustrations from Doctor Who Magazine mainstay Ben Morris, who designed the previous edition.
Steve will once again be donating 100% of his royalties from the book to Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is also one of Orion Publishing’s Charities of the Year for 2013.
Marcus Gipps said, “When I first started reading the book, I was hugely impressed at the range of people that Steve had contacted. But what was more impressive was how different all of their first memories of Doctor Who were, and how fondly it was remembered. The connection with Steve’s chosen charity is poignant but important, and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to raise more money for a much needed charity, while also giving a wider audience the chance to appreciate this wonderful book/collection”
Steve Berry said: “Gollancz is the perfect home for this new, improved and expanded edition of Behind The Sofa. When I conceived the book, I wanted it to fulfil two purposes; firstly, to raise a TARDIS-load of cash for scientific research into the dementia that affected my mum; and secondly, to show just how vibrantly Doctor Who can live on in the memories of those who experience it. Just as the Doctor’s various incarnations have proved increasingly popular with viewers over the years, I hope that the newly regenerated edition of this book will go from strength to strength.”