I’m gonna have to level with you, folks. Of all the headlines I expected to write today, this was absolutely not one of them.
Doctor Who Magazine publisher Panini has announced that it has fired columnist Nicholas Pegg – who has, since 2005, also been one of the several actors who operate the Dalek costumes on the BBC series – after it recently came to light that he hid an offensive message in the magazine’s most recent (it’s 518th!) issue, released in the middle of October.
The first letter in every sentence in a piece on, of all things, the history of Pufferfish in Doctor Who (look, you have to find something to write about when the show isn’t on the air I guess) spelled out a coded diatribe against the BBC and the publisher, made apparent after readers noticed Pegg’s cryptic message, “If you look hard enough, there’s always something hidden in plain sight,” got to work, and figured it out.
Here’s Pegg’s complete article from my own copy of the issue, with each letter of his no-longer-secret message underlined:
If you can’t quite put it together, the message reads: “Panini and BBC Worldwide are c***s.” Pleasant!
Why Pegg chose to go out in an outstandingly weird blaze of glory is still currently unknown, but the BBC informed British tabloid The Mirror that after the message’s existence was made known to Panini, Pegg was dismissed from the magazine, and is not currently expected to play a role in the crew of Doctor Who‘s 11th season. This is probably not something you’d want to mention in a future job interview.