By John Smith •
Published: 20 Nov 2023 • 12:09
Frazer as PC Crackers and Steve Barclay as The Dame
Credit: Costa Pantomimes
Newly arrived in Costa Blanca to start rehearsals for his role as PC Crackers in Aladdin, Fraser Hines spared some time to chat with Euro Weekly News.
He knew from an early age that he wanted to be an actor and attended the Corona Stage School in Hammersmith alongside a number of other successful youngsters such as Richard O’Sullivan, Dennis Waterman, Robin Askwith and Francesca Annis.
He was in much demand as a child actor and even appeared with the legendary Charlie Chaplin in the film A King in New York as well as in several other films and TV shows.
The very personable Frazer explained “I have just got back from a America, Australia and the Solomon Islands thanks to regular invitations to appear at Dr Who fan conventions, although the Solomon Islands was a ‘bucket list’ trip as I had seen so many films about Guadalcanal in the Second World War.”
Frazer was astonished and quite proud to discover that he is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-running companion of The Doctor and said “I think I appeared in 127 episodes between 1966 and 1969 and then have appeared in a number of Anniversary shows and even this year popped up again in an episode of Tales of the Tardis.”
“I’m very fond of Dr Who and it’s renewed popularity has allowed me to travel around the world attending different conventions.”
As an aside, his character James Robert McCrimmon, a Scottish piper often appeared in a kilt and he was told by author Diana Gabaldon that he had inspired her to call the central male lead Jamie in the series Outlander(but incredibly although she gave him the surname Fraser, she hasn’t realised that was her inspiration’s Christian name!).
Many actors find that eventually they grow tired of playing the same role and Frazer decided to leave Dr Who but just a few years later he was cast as Joe Sugden in Emmerdale Farm and he played that character from 1972 to 1994.
“When my contract came up for renewal, I had recently got married and the hard work of being in a soap was simply too much and I found myself going home in the dark, having a tv dinner, learning lines and then going back to work in the dark so I had to chose between work and marriage.”
The decision allowed him to return to the theatre and have great fun with pantomime and he has now appeared in no less than 38 which he believes makes him the second longest serving panto actor around.
He has fought cancer and whilst only claiming that is in remission, he is happy to support various cancer charities and also has spent 40 years as a member of the cricket playing Lord’s Taverners sports charity and is a proud member of the showbiz charity, the Grand Order of Water Rats.
Prior to the pandemic, he had been a regular visitor to Spain and believed that there was a great potential market for panto in the Costa Blanca, but this concept has to be put on hold because of lockdown.
Now he is to appear in Aladdin alongside former Emmerdale co-star Peter Amory and a number of other popular performers at the Auditori Teulada Moraira from November 30 to December 15 (except Sundays).
Blessed with an eidetic memory, this means he can not only learn lines very quickly but can remember lines from other pantos which allows him to ab lib when needed, Frazer is in his element and loves seeing young children in the audience in particular as they come to laugh and have fun.
As the interview finished, Frazer’s parting words were “Come and see the show, it will be fun, we want to make you laugh and your laughter will help us ensure a top class performance.”
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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