Katy Manning

Katy Manning

Katy Manning at The Television & Movie Store, Norwich, England, on 17 January 2009.
Born Catherine Ann Manning
(1946-10-14) 14 October 1946
Guildford, Surrey, England
Occupation Actress, director
Known for Jo Grant in Doctor Who
Partner(s) Dean Harris (1976-1981)
Barry Crocker (1990-2010)[1]
Children Two
Website https://katymanning.com

Catherine Ann "Katy" Manning (born 14 October 1946, Guildford, Surrey, England)[2][3] is an English actress best known for her part as the companion Jo Grant in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.[4] She has also made many theatre appearances, and is now an Australian citizen.[5] In 2009 Manning moved back to the UK to pursue new acting work and currently lives in London.

Early life

Manning's father was sports columnist J. L. Manning OBE. As a result of a car accident she spent a year in hospital at sixteen.[6] At eighteen she went to America where she was offered a five-year contract with MGM. Returning to Great Britain, Manning trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art,[7] then joined a Wolverhampton repertory company and made her debut in Man At The Top (1970). This was followed by her debut in BBC drama, with an appearance in Softly, Softly: Taskforce in the episode 'Standing Orders'.[8]


Doctor Who

She played the part of Jo Grant (1971–73) alongside Jon Pertwee's incarnation of the Doctor. Manning struck up an immediate rapport with her co-stars, Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates) and Roger Delgado (the Master). Fans of Doctor Who often refer to these characters as the UNIT family UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, being the fictional United Nations organisation that the Doctor worked for. As of 2016, Manning is the only surviving Doctor Who companion from Jon Pertwee's era.

Manning's connection with Doctor Who continues: she voices Jo Grant in the Companion Chronicles Audio Adventures, and she is also the voice of the Time Lord Iris Wildthyme in several of the Big Finish Productions audio plays. In 2005, Manning also appeared in Doctor Who — Inside The TARDIS with two of the Doctors, Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker, who spoke of their experiences with the long-running show.[9]

In October 2010, Manning reprised her role as Jo Jones (née Grant) in the fourth series of the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The two-part story, entitled 'Death of the Doctor', was written by former executive producer of the programme Russell T Davies.[10] She meets the Doctor again, and stars with her grandchild (one of twelve, soon to be thirteen) Santiago Jones.

In November 2013 she appeared as herself in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage; The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.[11]

Later career

After leaving Doctor Who, Manning presented her own ten-part TV series for the BBC on crafts, entitled Serendipity[12] shown in the daytime schedules. She was reunited with Jon Pertwee in 1978, when she appeared in Whodunnit? on ITV, at the time Pertwee was chairing the panel. In 1977, she controversially appeared topless as a junkie in the hard hitting crime drama Target,[13] her last drama role on the BBC other than as Jo Grant-Jones in The Sarah Jane Adventures until Casualty in 2015. Katy Manning wrote the TV series Private Wives and has been involved in other writing and directing projects.[14][15] In 1980, she toured in Peter Terson's 'VE Night' alongside Ian Cullen and Jane Goddard. In Australia she appeared in the play Run for Your Wife (1987–88), and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast in the production were Jack Smethurst, David McCallum and Eric Sykes. Her film career has included roles in the British comedies Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1973) and Eskimo Nell (1975), and the Australian films Melvin, Son of Alvin (1984) and The Quest (1986). She has also appeared in the low-budget film noir When Darkness Falls (2005) directed by Australian documentary filmmaker Rohan Spong.[16]

In 2000 she voiced the main character Gloria in the Australian children's animated television series Gloria's House as well as voicing Emma in the animated film from Burbank Animation Studios Jungle Girl and the Lost Island of Dinosaurs in 2002.

In June and July 2007, she appeared as Yvette in the stage show 'Allo 'Allo! alongside Gorden Kaye as René Artois at Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane. Guy Siner and Sue Hodge also reprised their original roles from the television series, and the other characters were portrayed by famous Australian television actors including Steven Tandy and Jason Gann.[17]

In 2011, she appeared as Blodwyn Morgan, a Welsh busybody and clairvoyant, in the touring stage play 'Death by Fatal Murder'.[18] This was a Peter Gordon play, and part of the 'Inspector Pratt' trilogy. She also appeared as Susan Payne in the 2014 supernatural gangster film Evil Never Dies (originally titled The Haunting of Harry Payne) starring Tony Scannell and Graham Cole.

Me and Jezebel at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe

In 2009 Katy returned to the UK as part of her one-woman show Me and Jezebel. The play is based on a true 1985 story about Bette Davis inviting herself to a fan's house for a night and staying for a month, with Manning playing all the parts.[19] It toured through March and April in England and also played at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe at The Gilded Balloon Wine Bar in August. The show received a five-star review in the Edinburgh Evening News, which described Manning as "one of Britain's best actresses". Manning also received two other four-star reviews and appeared on STV news promoting the show. She returned to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 in the play 'Keeping up with the Joans' with Susan Penhaligon. The play also toured to The Customs House, South Shields & Greenwich Theatre London.

Personal life

Manning was born with myopia,[20] commonly known as nearsighted or shortsighted, which caused numerous injuries during the filming of Doctor Who.[21] She has stated, "Once I tried to take the wrong children home from school!"[6]

Manning has twins (a son Jonathan and a daughter Georgina) born in 1979, with partner Dean Harris. The children were born premature and suffered health issues, which caused her to move to Australia[22] where she met her long term partner, Barry Crocker.

In the 2012 Radio Times's interview[6] Manning said she returned to London three years earlier although there was no mention of any break-up in their relationship.

"We've been together 26 years although we don't live together now. When you get older, you get to a point in your relationship that way outweighs all that needy s**t. I'm not a needy woman. I don't rely on other people for anything much. Relationships that last are ones where you accept the changes in each other, and can laugh. Life doesn't get easier but it does get funnier," she said.



Year Title Role
1973 Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! Edith
1975 Eskimo Nell Hermione
1984 Melvin, Son of Alvin Estelle
1986 The Quest Mrs. Cannon
2002 Jungle Girl and the Lost Island of the Dinosaurs Emma (voice)
2006 When Darkness Falls Miss Harrington
2011 Oakie's Outback Adventures Oakie (voice)
2014 Evil Never Dies Susan Payne


Year Title Role
1970 Softly, Softly: Taskforce Peggy
1971 Mr. Tumbleweed Bride
1971 Man at the Top Julia Dungarvon
1971-1973 Doctor Who (77 episodes) Jo Grant
1973 Going for a Song[23] Herself
1973 A View From Richard Baker[24] Herself
1973 Serendipity (10 shows) Herself as host
1973 Armchair Theatre Anna
1977 Target Joanne
1978 "Whodunnit?" Miss Woods (Episode: A Safe Way To Die)
2000 Gloria's House Gloria (voice)
2002 All Saints Greta Franck
2010 The Sarah Jane Adventures Jo Jones (Jo Grant)
2013 The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Herself
2015 Casualty Marjorie Miller (Episode 'Sweet Little Lies)


  1. "Barry Crocker and Priscilla Presley get cosy in LA". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  2. General Register Office for England and Wales. Birth Indices (Report) (5g ed.). Surrey, England: Parliament of the United Kingdom. p. 1388. Birth: 1946, Dec Qtr, Catherine A Manning, mother's maiden surname Jenkins
  3. "Katy Manning - TV.com". TV.com. CBS Interactive. 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  4. "BBC - Doctor Who - Classic Series - Companions - Jo Grant". BBC. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  5. Fitzgerald, Anne (24 September 2004). "24 September 2004". ABC. Tasmania, Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 Mulkern, Patrick (25 April 2012). ""I've been a naughty girl" - Doctor Who companion Katy Manning interviewed". Radio Times. London, England, United Kingdom: BBC Magazines. ISSN 0033-8060. OCLC 240905405. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  7. "Katy Manning Biography - TV.com". TV.com. CBS Interactive. 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  8. http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/d824ee14a3f14a06adb786b7db30e539
  9. Baker, Jordan (29 July 2005). "The Doctor is in". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia: Fairfax Media. ISSN 0312-6315. OCLC 226369741. Retrieved 29 July 2005.
  10. Marcus (17 September 2010). "Doctor Who News: Sarah Jane - Death of the Doctor Preview". Doctor Who News. News in Time and Space. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  11. "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes, retrieved 26 November 2013
  12. http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/fed8b72ed8384e7d81e81ccc42785764
  13. http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/94996d7ca19d41e38cd97ab74dc18427
  14. Fidler, Richard; Howson, Spencer (21 October 2005). "Actress Katy Manning". ABC. Queensland, Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  15. Angelsax, Jerry (20 February 2008). "Katy Manning". Cult TV. Ministry of Cineology. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  16. Wolstencroft, Richard (2006). "MUFF Neu 777". Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Richard Wolstencroft. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  17. Milfull, Tim (23 June 2007). "Theatre: ?Allo ?Allo - What Went Wrong Here, Then?". M/C Reviews. M/C - Media and Culture. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  18. Pratt, Steve (5 November 2011). "Katy's still going bonkers". The Northern Echo. p. 25.
  19. Staff (7 August 2009). "Who did Katy Manning do next? - Bette Davis". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland: Johnston Press. ISSN 0307-5850. OCLC 614655655. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  20. Murphy, George; Gorman, Gareth (2011). "Katy Manning". CulTV. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  21. https://drwhointerviews.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/katy-manning-1990/
  22. http://www.drwho-online.co.uk/features/interviews/katy-manning.aspx
  23. http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/df71e4fec2ec4b7ca8f45430196457c9
  24. http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/dc67e21121ee4b2a8bc85c6715036e97

External links

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