When it comes to Doctor Who, Lily Connors is obsessed. Her bedroom is filled to the brim with memorabilia from the hit BBC series.
There are cabinets crammed with toys and merchandise, and the house she shares with her parents and two siblings is packed with props. Quite the feat for someone who wasn’t even born when the original version of the show finished.
“I started watching Doctor Who when it came back on with Christopher Eccleston,” says Lily, who holds the Guinness World Record for having the biggest set of Time Lord-related collectibles. “My parents put it on the TV for me to watch and I would be singing along and dancing to the theme tune.”
The 19-year-old’s own collection began with a gift from her father, Tom. Lily says: “My dad gave me three figures from when he was a kid then I just started to love the show more and more. It kind of went from there. I started collecting the figures. I used to play with them in my room and then when I put them back on my shelf, I put them in scenes. But I’d get the monsters to do funny things like the conga or the YMCA dance.”
In 2017, Guinness World Records counted 6,641 items in Lily’s possession but these days, there is far more. “I’d say it’s nearly doubled,” says agriculture student Lily. “I have hit double digits – more than 10,000.”
While Lily owns many smaller items, the super fan also has lots of props from the sci-fi production. “I have two full-size Daleks, a full-size Cyberman, a Cyberman helmet and guns, a clockwork droid, a centaur and a K9,” she says. “I’d love a full-size movie Dalek … that would be the one piece I would love to work towards.”
Lily’s favourite possession is her incredible TARDIS wardrobe that was built for her by her father – and looks just like the real thing. “We actually took the wardrobe down to Newport while they were filming the Peter Capaldi series, and Peter and Pearl Mackie signed it,” says Lily, who lives in Swansea. “I also have a board signed by all the cast and crew from the BBC while they were filming the Peter era.”
As for the value of her collection, the teenager can’t even hazard a guess. “I genuinely wouldn’t be able to put a price on it. I have no clue how much it would be worth,” she says.
“We all love watching Doctor Who – we always used to go down to my nan and gramps and we’d put on the TV and have pizza and popcorn and movie nights every week. I had friends in school that were big fans of Doctor Who. I used to run a science-fiction movie club and we always used to watch Doctor Who and just chat about it during lunchtime.”
Lily also travels to conventions all across the country to meet like-minded Whovians, dressing up as characters from her favourite programme. “Now, I go as a clockwork droid from The Girl in the Fireplace episode,” she confesses. “I’ve got a handmade dress, a wig, a mask and I wear the same gloves and shoes.”
Lily plans to keep collecting as much memorabilia as she can, but admits she is struggling to store it all. “My mum’s starting to run out of space in the house,” she says. “I just need a massive house at this point. One room and a kitchen would be like the house and the rest of the place would just be cabinets and shelves and it all displayed everywhere.”
Until she gets her dream house though, Lily will be watching the 60th anniversary specials in her family home. What does she want for Christmas? “Doctor Who, of course,” she laughs.
- Watch the first 60th anniversary special on BBC One at 6.30pm on Saturday 25 November.