Doctor Who fan from Hertfordshire achieves Hollywood success

Paul McGann in costume with Steven Ricks
Steven Ricks (right) became a Doctor Who fan during the 1970s Jon Pertwee era and has now helped make costumes for two other Doctor actors, including Paul McGann (left)

A Doctor Who fan has told how he turned his hobby of making replica costumes into a film industry career.

Steven Ricks, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, started sharing images of the costumes he made online after being made redundant in 2008.

Fans shared his work online, eventually catching the attention of those in the television and film industries.

The 57-year-old has since worked on Oscar-winning films and recreated costumes for former Doctor Who stars.

Rami Malek in a scene from Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek won an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody

The first costume he made was a replica of a coat which was worn on screen in 2005 by the 10th TV Doctor, David Tennant.

"I was getting all these really nice positive messages," said Mr Ricks, who then began making coats for other fans.

After the financial crisis of 2008, the former print advertiser decided to retrain as a tailor at West Herts College in Hemel Hempstead and in Savile Row in London.

Mr Ricks continued to create replicas of Doctor Who costumes which came to the attention of film and TV costume designer Robert Allsopp.

Recalling a phone call he received, the tailor said: "They were doing a film about the life of Freddie Mercury and Queen - I ended up making two costumes for Rami Malek."

Malek won an Oscar for his portrayal of the flamboyant singer.

Peter Davison as The Doctor in the 1980s
Peter Davison played The Doctor between 1982 and 1984
Peter Davison as The Doctor in 2022
Steven Ricks recreated the costume for Peter Davison during the pandemic, but lockdown restrictions meant he did not meet the star until after the episode aired

The tailor said that despite having worked on a costume of an Oscar-winning actor, the highlight of his career was working with the Time Lord he watched as a teenager.

When fifth Doctor Who actor Peter Davison appeared in Jodie Whittaker's final episode last year, the tailor was asked to assist in remaking his costume.

"Peter loved it so much he asked if he could keep it at the end of the filming," he said, explaining how the former Doctor now wears it at conventions for photos with fans.

Paul McGann as The Doctor in 2013
Paul McGann returned to Doctor Who in 2013 with a new costume, 17 years after his debut in the one-off Doctor Who TV movie in 1996
Paul McGann trying his new outfit
Paul McGann told Steven Ricks he "loved" the recreation of his costume

The long queues at such conventions caught the attention of Paul McGann, the eighth TV Doctor, who then asked Mr Ricks to remake his costume from scratch.

"It was a real collaborative process between us; he was fascinated by every part of recreating the costume," said the tailor.

The former Time Lord actor wore his costume in public for the first time last weekend at Doctor Who convention in Long Island, New York.

When Mr Ricks' "perfect client" first tried the costume he did not hide his enthusiasm for putting the costume back on.

"I'm not which of us was more excited to see him back in costume. I'm sure the fans will feel the same," he said.

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