Company co-founder Richard Blakesley, who lives in Cottenham, told the News: “There’s a plastic toy version, which isn’t as accurate as we wanted. So we went to the BBC and said, ‘Can we borrow a prop?’ They sent us along to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, but it turned out that one was a replica. Then they said ‘actually, there are only two real props left - one’s been lost, and the other belongs to David Tennant.
“So we phoned David’s agent and he said he’d check. The next day he came back and said, ‘That’s fine, David says you can borrow it’.”
Richard and his business partner Chris Barnardo, from Dunmow, took hundreds of photographs and 3D image scans of the device, before returning it to its rightful owner.
“It’s entirely down to David Tennant,” says Richard, 39. “We’d heard he was a nice guy, but there’s nice and then there’s bending over backwards to help somebody you’ve never heard of.”
Last week, Richard was able to return the favour by presenting the actor with the very first Tenth Doctor sonic to be produced.