Catherine Katy Ann Manning (born 14 October 1949 in Guildford, Surrey, England, UK) played companion Jo Grant in Doctor Who beginning with Terror of the Autons and ending with The Green Death. She has also provided the voice for Iris Wildthyme in several of the Big Finish Productions audio dramas, and made many theatre appearances. She now lives in Australia.
Manning is famously short-sighted. A story regarding Manning's short-sightedness is often related about Terror of the Autons, her first Doctor Who story. Manning had not informed anyone of her limited vision, and the script called for her and Jon Pertwee to run across a field. Manning ran straight into a tree, and knocked herself unconscious. From then on, whenever a story called for the Doctor and Jo to run across quarries or down corridors, Jon Pertwee could be seen leading Manning by the hand.
She played the part of Jo from 1971 to 1973 alongside Jon Pertwee's Doctor. Manning struck up an immediate rapport with her co-stars, Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates) and Roger Delgado (the Master). Fans of Doctor Who often refer to these characters as the UNIT family (UNIT being the fictional United Nations squad that the Doctor worked for) and Katy has very fond memories of this period of her life.
In 1977, she posed naked with an original Dalek prop for the glamour magazine Girl Illustrated. She laughed the furor off, stating, "You'd have to pretty well put me under a microscope to see anything!" Upon being informed of the photos, Jon Pertwee was quoted as saying, "Typical Katy!" In a later interview, she stated that the nude pictorial "went over like a cup of cold sick."
Katy Manning appeared on stage in Australia when she appeared in the play Run For Your Wife, during 1987-1988. The production toured the country. Other members of the cast were Jack Smethurst, David McCallum and Eric Sykes. Manning also appeared as herself in the documentary "Where on Earth is Katy Manning ... Because She'd Really Like to Know!"
Katy's connection with Doctor Who has continued in recent years; she is also the voice of the Time Lady Iris Wildthyme in several of the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who Audio Dramas and the same company's dedicated Iris audio dramas.
She has also reprised the role of Jo Grant for Big Finish's The Companion Chronicles series. In Find and Replace, she played the dual roles of Jo Grant and Iris Wildthyme, and in Ghost in the Machine, Manning voiced the Third Doctor when he and Jo switch bodies.
Manning performed the role of Jo Grant for the first time on television since 1973 in Death of the Doctor, an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, alongside fellow former Third Doctor companion Elisabeth Sladen playing Sarah Jane Smith and Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.
In 2013 she appeared in the 50th anniversary story The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
Though most of her experience with the DWU has been as an actor, she's had a limited amount of writing experience in the franchise. In 2001, she wrote the foreword for the Telos novella, Nightdreamers and, in 2009, she contributed an introduction to the short story collection Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus from Obverse Books.
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