Professor Stephen Hawking is campaigning for better wheelchair access on fictional space ships, after being dropped in favour of Brian Cox for a cameo on Doctor Who.
Hawking is no stranger to programming his computer to appear on television, having starred on ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Futurama’ and an episode of ‘Big Bang Theory’.
Until now, his disability hasn’t stopped him appearing on set, although the broken lift to Leonard and Sheldon’s flat did present a challenge.
While the BBC generally does a good job of accommodating the disabled, programme makers have defended their decision to give the role to Cox.
“It’s all very well claiming the TARDIS was built before, during and after the Disability Discrimination Act”, claimed wardrobe manager Gerry Mansell.
“But with the budget cuts, modifying it for wheelchair access is completely out of the question. We just don’t have the time or space.”
Brian Cox Dr Who cameo
Brian Cox has apologised to Hawking for any ill-feeling caused, before standing on a mountain and looking wistfully at a rock.
Hawking also hinted that Cox only got the role because his cousin works for the broadcaster, though Cox has roundly rejected this ‘theory of relativity’.
Doctor Who himself has dismissed the row as ‘piffle’, insisting that fitting a ramp to his vessel would endanger fellow passengers.
“It might be possible to fit wider doors, a couple of hand rails and put some hazard tape on the step”, conceded the Doctor.
“But fitting an access ramp to an inter-dimensional vessel with only two crewmen? How on earth am I supposed to keep out the Daleks?”