A tourism stunt to employ a replica dalek to attract more visitors to Bridlington may be halted by fears of legal action after a warning from the BBC that permission is needed to use the famous brand.
Town councillors had hoped to bring more visitors to the seafront and town centre with a roving replica of the infamous Dr Who villain.
However, the town council has been told Bridlington could not call its new tourist attraction a Dalek due to potential copyright issues with the BBC.
Councillors voted for the idea in principle after the owner of the replica, Billy Wilkie, told them they could potentially avoid a clash by describing it as a “Darlek”.
But Bridlington Town Council is now having second thoughts and is meeting next month to discuss their concerns about BBC lawyers. Bridlington’s mayor, Michael Charlesworth, said he did not think putting an “r” in Dalek would be enough to appease the BBC.
He said: “It seems a bit near the knuckle. To be honest, I was hoping someone would put the brakes on the whole thing so we can look at it in more detail.
“Even though you are spelling it a bit different it still sounds the same. On top of that, it looks like a Dalek and it sounds like a Dalek.
“I think there may be some issues there. We certainly don’t want to get involved in a court case.
“It’s a shame because I think it would attract people to the town. But we don’t want to get involved in anything dodgy.”
Billy Wilkie spent savings of more than £1,000 on a purpose-built copy of a Dalek Soldier. The 5ft 3ins replica hinges in the middle allowing Mr Wilkie to climb in and push the fibre-glass model along with his feet while looking through the black mesh upper panels.
Mr Wilkie still hopes changing the name might be enough to appease the lawyers.
He said: “The name Dalek is trademarked to the BBC. If we called it a Dalek the BBC would not be too pleased and I imagine they would take legal action.
“If I was the BBC I would not like people pinching the idea either so I think it is fair. On the other hand, everyone knows what it is anyway.”
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, confirmed that it was not aware that any permission has been sought by Bridlington Town Council for the use of the Dalek brand.
VIDEO: Billy Wilkie and his ‘darlek’ in action on Chapel Street.