Sunday 11 December 2016

Fury over Doctor Who jacket switch

Published 22/05/2011 | 11:33

The original Harris Tweed jacket worn by Doctor Who actor Matt Smith was not warm enough, the BBC said
The original Harris Tweed jacket worn by Doctor Who actor Matt Smith was not warm enough, the BBC said

Makers of Harris Tweed have reacted angrily after Doctor Who programme makers swapped the Timelord's distinctive jacket for a replica.

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Makers of the cloth were thrilled when the Doctor, played by Matt Smith, opted for a vintage 1960s jacket for his adventures in time and space.

He wore the Hebridean handwoven material throughout his first series playing the Doctor, but when the latest episodes were aired the Harris Tweed jacket had vanished in place of a part-acrylic version.

The BBC said they needed to change the costume because the original jacket was not warm enough. A spokesman said: "The tweed changed because they needed a warmer jacket for outside filming".

But makers reacted angrily, branding the new jacket "cheap and tacky".

Lydia Walton, a spokesman for Harris Tweed Scotland said: "Harris Tweed is so special as it is woven by hand on the Western Isles and every 50 metres is stamped by the Harris Tweed authority. It is steeped in romance and history."

A replica of the new jacket will be available to buy online in October. Retailing at £359.99, makers said it is "officially licensed by the BBC and made to a high-quality standard".

Ms Walton added: "I find it very odd that they would use a replica costing £360 when our genuine Harris Tweed jackets retail at £250. Why pay more for a replica than have the original?"

Harris Tweed, which is exclusively woven in the Outer Hebrides, is owned by the islanders and protected by an Act of Parliament. It struggled to the point of extinction in 2006, when a mill on the Isle of Lewis closed.

But in recent years it has enjoyed a revival when designers including Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel started using the material.

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