Who Exposes Himself

Sunday, November 11 2012
Who Exposes Himself

The arrival of a Timelord is not to be sniffed at at the best of times, but the current incarnation of the good Doctor’s arrival at the MCM Expo, the bi-annual film, comic and anime convention held at London’s Excel centre in the east of the city, gave a major boost to the event.

For, according to insiders and regulars at the event, the Friday when Matt Smith turned up to help promote BBC Worldwide’s latest release of his adventures on DVD and Blu-ray, was the busiest one they’d ever seen. And the numbers bore that out: the three-day event held at the end of October was the biggest ever in MCM’s illustrious history, with more than 70,000 visitors through its doors.

Smith turned up with the show’s executive producer Caroline Skinner, marking not just the first time a current Timelord had turned up (at least an official incarnation, rather than the hordes of lookalikes who descended upon the venue), but also the first time BBC Worldwide had taken a stand there. At its impressively dressed stand, there were all manner of activities  going on, including Smith’s arrival. He signed copies of Series 7 Part 1 for those  lucky enough to have secured a wristband (and bought a copy of the DVD, natch), before heading to the venue’s theatre for a panel discussion and Q&A with the hordes of fans present.

BBW Worldwide was selling Who video product, as well as other licensed product, including the highly covetable Doctor Who sonic screwdriver TV remote control device , over the whole weekend, and with the aforementioned thousands marching around the site, it was some good business too. 

As BBC Worldwide product manager Chris Howarth says: “Having our Doctor Who stand and 8m tall TARDIS at MCM Expo alongside the panel from Matt Smith was really all about trying to extend the fans’ enjoyment of their favourite show.  The feedback we’ve had has been extremely positive and hopefully everyone there really enjoyed themselves.”

The show’s organisers certainly did. Co-organiser Bryan Cooney says: “We are amazed by the turnout; we expanded the show floor space by 5,000 square metres from the May event and we were still packed. It is wonderful to have so many attendees and companies like BBC, C4, Universal, Nintendo and Microsoft supporting our show. We are now looking to add a further 4,000 square metres for May bringing us to 21,000 square metres. We are also looking to the future and planning alongside our venue partner to make MCM London Comic Con the biggest show of its kind in Europe.”

And could it herald more studios, or at least their home entertainment arms, joining some of their theatrical counterparts, games companies and UK video distributors at the event? 

Manga’s Jerome Mazandarani is an MCM veteran and has long been trying to persuade some of the big guys to come along. He says: “The London MCM Comic Con (aka London Expo) smashed the 70,000 visitors number for the first time last weekend. The verage spend per person is in the region of £300 for the weekend. Manga did very, very well out of it. London MCM Comic Con is not a manga/anime event. It’s a fan event. It caters as much for gamers, sci-fi nerds, genre TV shows, movies and comics as it does anything else. The organizers are great and keep on thinking up new ways to improve the show including formatting, guests, press and social media. I really am baffled why so few of my contemporaries aren’t using the London MCM Comic Con as a regular part of their community and below the line activity. It’s a cost neutral event. You can actually make money here. My advice to any entertainment brand with a busy licensing division is to book your MCM Comic Con space as soon as possible and make sure you are at the next show. If it’s good enough for BBC Worldwide, Nintendo, Microsoft, Fox and Universal, it should be good enough for you.”

Here are some pictures and video from the event…




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