AN army of crusaders vowing to save a Dalek threatened with extermination has received backing from across the planet – with a model of Dr Who’s arch enemy spotted in Australia as a show of support.

Neil Cole’s Dalek, housed in a shed outside his sci-fi museum in Allendale, has been under attack since a local parish councillor complained about it to the county council.

The shed was built without planning permission outside Neil’s house and he was told by county planners to remove it by this Tuesday this week – although that deadline has now been extended by two weeks.

But the village rallied behind the Dalek, with a petition gathering around 2,000 signatures.

And more Daleks have started appearing – including one in the village’s Golden Lion pub, one on a roadside in neighbouring Catton and another in Australia. They followed the setting up of a Facebook page entitled Let’s get MAD (Make a Dalek) which has seen sci-fi fans from all over the world share photos of Daleks they’ve made. A Dalek is also set to feature in this year’s Allendale panto.

The Golden Lion’s manager Richard Price said: “The village and all the customers have really railed behind Neil and supported him.

“He’s brought a lot of business to us. I think most of the businesses in the village have a petition in.”

Neil added: “I didn’t realise we had the support we had. I think the public support has been amazing. We’ve had letters from all over the world. We’ve been staggered by the support. If the council decide to enforce it, the villagers have said they will protect the Dalek and surround it – that would be quite something.

“Not that I hope it comes to that, I hope common sense prevails.”