Monday 19 December 2022

Frank Bellamy and Win a Dalek

 What a Christmas 1971 must have been! The Radio Times (with TV listings for 18 to 31 December 1971) on page 17 announced a competition.

Radio Times 18-31 December 1971 p.17

"Win a Dalek"?!?! What were they thinking? The competition is based on the announcement of the very fondly remembered Doctor Who story arc - "Day of the Daleks" with Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor. You can also see a preview in black and white of the best loved Radio Times work by Frank Bellamy - the cover of the next issue after this one, dated 1 January 1972 - 7 January 1972. 

The Daleks had last appeared four years previously so this was a big event.  If you read the TV21 comic, you'll know this was not the first time a Dalek was available to win.

The text:

Dr Who is back on BBC1 on Saturday 1 January, facing his most terrifying enemies — the Daleks! And RADIO TIMES will bring you the chance to win a Dalek of your own. In the next RADIO TIMES you'll find an entry form and details of how you can become the owner of a Mark 7 Dalek.

Start now
To give you a chance to start preparing your entry during the Christmas holiday, we are printing a preview of one part of the competition. It concerns a distant planet called Destron, which is described as : 'A place from our worst nightmares, with a totally alien landscape of unfamiliar colours, shapes and textures. There are plants that have the power to move, that hunt and feed upon each other. Hideous monsters large and small—and all-extremely savage. Buildings constructed by a long extinct race that look strange by our standards.'

The prizes
One part of your Win-a-Dalek entry will be a painting or drawing that shows a view of the Destron landscape. Why not start now? When you've finished, keep your illustration safe until you read all the details of this unique competition in RADIO TIMES dated 30 December [sic].

The competition will be judged by Terry Nation, inventor of the Daleks. Winners will get a Dalek and spend a day with Dr Who at the TV studios; there will be consolation prizes for the runners-up.

Terry Nation creator of the Daleks character
with competition entries

The competition was open to two age groups Under-10s and Over-10s! Full details of the competition appeared in the issue of the Radio Times with that famous Frank Bellamy cover


Radio Times 1-7 January 1972

"Marking the Dalek's return after four years absence, this cover by Frank Bellamy draws attention to a competition inside where the top prizes are two 'Mark Seven' Daleks and an expense paid trip to the BBC to see Doctor Who in production. To win, entrants are invited to complete a storyline for a Doctor Who Dalek adventure, the start of which is outlined by their creator, Terry Nation, in the feature article. Due to space restrictions no photograph of the Dalek prizes is printed only an artwork likeness".

Radio Times 1-7 January 1972, p.10

Radio Times prompted readers a few times leading to the close of the competition. The results were published in the issue of the 24th February 1972. 

Radio Times 29 Jan-4 Feb 1972

Radio Times 19-25 February 1972

Radio Times 26 Feb -3 Mar 1972

 The Radio Times website has another image of Terry Nation and the page from the Radio Times showing the winners and an article on Terry Nation has another.

So what's this got to do with Bellamy? Well, every entrant was sent a certificate  The interesting thing from our point of view is the piece of art below.

Competition entrant certificate

There are a few versions of this certificate online. This is what it looked like before it was printed by the Radio Times.

Certificate with printed headings and text

The illustration was commissioned for use as a giveaway to entrants of the 'Radio Times Win a Dalek Competition 1972'. It shows Jon Pertwee and two Daleks. "This certificate has been awarded to [blank] for the entry in the Radio Times Win a Dalek Competition which was displayed in a special exhibition in London March - April 1972". I can't definitively say how much Bellamy was paid for it, but it may have been £20.

The exhibition of winning entries took place from March to April 1972 at the Ceylon Tea Centre in 22 Lower Regent Street, London which was a building designed by Sir Misha Black. The Ceylon Teac Board opened various Tea Centres around the world and the London one saw customers from 1946 through to the 1970s. There is even an image of the frontage with a Dalek at the web tribute to Vernon Corea, a Radio Ceylon and BBC broadcaster.

Who Dares Publishing (a company set up by Andrew Skilleter) issued reprints of a few Bellamy Doctor Who artworks as posters back in the 80s. This certificate was one of them.

Many thanks to Chris Hill (of the excellent Spacemuseum site) for permission to use some of his Radio Times cuttings and the Terry Nation image.