Bonita Melody Lysette "Bonnie" Langford (born 22 July 1964) appeared as the Doctor's companion Mel, debuting in Terror of the Vervoids, one of the stories in The Trial of a Time Lord, and departing at the conclusion of Dragonfire. She has since reprised the role in several audio dramas for Big Finish Productions. She first achieved fame as a child actor, starring in the television series Just William and the film Bugsy Malone.
Her stage work includes Annie, Peter Pan: The Musical, Cats and The Pirates of Penzance. Langford was a regular guest (2003-2005) on Sandi Toksvig's weekday lunchtime show on LBC radio and occasionally deputised when Sandi was ill or on holiday. Langford had just completed a run in Peter Pan at the time she was announced as the Doctor's newest companion. A publicity photo was passed round of Langford in costume as Peter and Colin Baker in costume as the Doctor, "flying" together on wires.
She has received a fair amount of criticism over her career, as she has been widely perceived as an overly perky youth. Some Doctor Who fans have voiced similar complaints about the character of Mel. Noël Coward reportedly made the comment, after seeing a play with the young Bonnie Langford in it in which a horse also defecated on the stage, "If they had shoved the child's head up the horse's arse, they would have solved two problems at once." Langford herself told interviewer Michael Parkinson on his television chat show that Coward had said the best way to improve the play was to "cut the second half and the child's throat!"
On 23 October 2005, Langford performed in Children Will Listen, a 75th birthday tribute to Stephen Sondheim at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. She then appeared in the pantomime Cinderella at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.
Langford has the distinction of being the first companion actor to have been born after the start of the original series, and the only such actor to appear in the original series.
Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker praised Bonnie Langford in an extra for the The Trial of a Time Lord DVD Box Set. He states that in his long career, he has never worked with anyone more professional than her.
She also contributed to the charity reference book Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who.
She joined the West End cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre on September 16th 2014. She plays the part of Muriel Eubanks.
In 2015, she joined the cast of EastEnders in the role of Carmel Kazemi, over two decades after performing as Mel on the EastEnders set in Dimensions in Time. She left the role in 2018. Langord’s onscreen family in the show included Davood Ghadami and Shaheen Jafargholi as her two sons.
Credits[edit | edit source]
Television[edit | edit source]
Doctor Who[edit | edit source]
- Terror of the Vervoids
- The Ultimate Foe
- Time and the Rani
- Paradise Towers
- Delta and the Bannermen
Audio dramas[edit | edit source]
Big Finish Monthly Range[edit | edit source]
- The Fires of Vulcan
- The One Doctor
- Zagreus (as Cassandra & Goldilocks)
- The Juggernauts
- Thicker Than Water
- The Wishing Beast / The Vanity Box
- The Wrong Doctors
- Spaceport Fear
- The Seeds of War
- We Are The Daleks
- The Warehouse
- Terror of the Sontarans
- A Life of Crime
- Fiesta of the Damned
- Maker of Demons
- The High Price of Parking
- The Blood Furnace
- The Silurian Candidate
- Red Planets
- The Dispossessed
- The Quantum Possibility Engine