Jon Pertwee would be proud of Matt Smith, says former ‘Doctor Who’ companion

Katy Manning voices her approval of 11th Doctor actor

Former Doctor Who star Katy Manning has suggested that Jon Pertwee would approve of his successor, Matt Smith.

Manning starred as Jo Grant for three years in the 1970s opposite Pertwee’s third Doctor. And now she has said that her former co-star would be “very proud” of Smith’s portrayal of the 11th Doctor.

She told the Radio Times: “It’s an education to watch [Matt’s] beautifully realised physicality as the Doctor. I said to him, ‘Jon Pertwee would be very proud of what you’re doing with this character.'”

Manning appeared alongside Smith when they both guest-starred in spin-off The Sarah-Jane Adventures with the late Elisabeth Sladen. Manning said of the experience: “It was the first time I’d actually worked with Lis, although we’d already become close friends. We had a lot of past with Jon that bonded us.

“When I was a newbie at conventions, she really helped me through. After she died, I said in an interview she was the quintessential Doctor Who girl. And I really meant it.”

Manning caused controversy in the 1970s by posing nude for a magazine alongside a Dalek. Doctor Who returns for its seventh revived series in the autumn.