A couple who claim to have one of the largest Doctor Who collections in Essex wish that has a real-life Tardis…because the memorabilia is outgrowing their home.

Signatures from every Doctor, a life-size Dalek and every episode are just some of the items that make up the sci-fi collection.

Now Gary and Jen Brignell, who describe their treasure trove as “just collecting things we like” have had to slow down because the thousands of pieces cover every room.

Gary said: “We have had to calm down recently because we are running out of space for everything.

“We have a loft conversion but it’s full of items that we can’t put out because we don’t have the space.

Gary has been a “Whovian” from a young ago and rekindled his love when daughter Anna brought home a Doctor Who DVD from school about 15 years ago.

He said: “It stemmed from then really and hasn’t stopped since.

“I got into Doctor Who when I was about eight and I’m now 56.

“I used to hide behind the sofa from the Daleks and now I’ve got one in my living room.

“My mum had to ban me from watching it as a child because I would wake up screaming.

In 2017 the family’s Witham home suffered a conservatory fire due to a faulty tumble dryer, which damaged some of their prized collection.

Bafta-winning special-effects artists Mike Tucker, who has worked on the Doctor Who series, remodelled the life-size Dalek to appear just as they did in the Eighties.

Jen said: “We always forget how big the collection really is.

“After the fire it took three and a half days to clear the room. They had to take down every single item and dust it and then put it back.

“They worked eight hours a day.”

Some pieces have even been left unopened in the hope of preserving their value and authenticity.

Jen said: “Gary even has a Doctor Who chocolate bar that he keeps saying he will eat. He has Doctor Who Easter eggs and thing that have never been touched.

“He is like a kid when we get a new piece, but I won’t let him touch it.”

The collection had grown to a family affair as Jen’s father spends every Christmas searching for something that the couple don’t already own.

She said: “My dad loves it. He goes around telling everyone about it and every year he strives to find something really rare.”

The collection features rare pieces such as a letter written by Roger Delgado, who made his first appearance in the series in 1971 as the Master.

The letter is one of only two of its kind in the world.

But although they have run out of space, the couple do not plan to sell or exterminate any of their collection any time soon.