I occasionally attend events around the country where followers of Doctor Who and other fantasy and sci-fi programmes and films gather to celebrate their particular passion.

It is of course very flattering that anyone should wish to share their love of the Tardis and its perpetual motley crews so long after the keys were wrested from my feeble grasp back in the mid 80’s.

Doctor Who fandom has always been very generous in its support of all the incarnations of the Doctor and if a fan says that you were their ‘first’ Doctor it usually means that you can age them pretty accurately.

Those for whom I tick that particular box tend to be around forty, it being now thirty five years since I assumed the role. Fans are of course as variable in their nature as the rest of humanity, so their expectations can on occasion be tricky to deal with.

The question that can trouble us Doctors is ‘Do you remember me?’ Because the impact of a previous meeting on a young enthusiastic fan was so major for them they can be tempted to expect reciprocity.

I try to explain that my memory is so poor that although I would like to write a memoir of some kind, my wife would have to prompt me repeatedly, as she is frequently astonished about how little I can remember about our shared life over three decades. And there is only one of her for me to remember.

I hate to disappoint a fan who might have been expecting a warm glow of recognition to suffuse my decaying features so I often try to explain where the fault lies – with me – rather than let them believe that they might be in any way forgettable.

I sometimes dissemble and feign recognition rather than offend and then gently probe for more information. But perhaps ‘Do you remember me?’ is a question that should be used very sparingly in the same way as an indignant ‘Do you know who I am?’ should never be uttered at all.

If the other does – then it doesn’t need to be asked and if they don’t it is redundant and irritating.

I once witnessed a really annoying young soap star from the 70s say that when he was refused admission to a club that was hosting a private party.

The doorman’s response was classic and forensic and cannot be shared in this column alas.