Speaking to BBC News last night, the former Doctor Who showrunner and creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures described the late actress as "so cheeky... so much fun" and "such a beautiful woman".
He said: "It was a joy to know the woman and an honour to have worked with her, seriously. I loved her. What a lot of people don't know about Liz is that in all the years she was off screen, she did the most terrific job of defending Sarah Jane, and never letting Sarah Jane's reputation be besmirched by merchandise or stuff like that.
"And then when I was working on Doctor Who, I simply thought that there was a great secret in the world, which was the talent of Liz Sladen. I just wanted to put her back on screen because I knew with all my heart the secret that every Doctor Who fan knew, which was that a great, great woman and a great, great actor was sitting there and not working."
He also explained that he was thinking of Sladen's young fans, saying: "There's a lot of children who are going to need a hug from mum and dad in the morning over breakfast when they get up and hear. It is just so sad."
Davies added that he was glad that The Sarah Jane Adventures had been made.
He said: "A whole new generation of children could fall in love with Sarah Jane Smith and with Elisabeth Sladen. I'm so happy that happened."
> Elisabeth Sladen dies, aged 63
> Obituary: Elisabeth Sladen
> Reaction: Elisabeth Sladen 1948-2011
> Gallery: Elisabeth Sladen 1948-2011
> Read our 2006 interview with Elisabeth Sladen
> Read our 2008 interview with Elisabeth Sladen
> Read our 2009 interview with Elisabeth Sladen