Monday, 5 August 2013

Peter Capaldi: from spin doctor to the new Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi, best known for playing foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in political satire The Thick of It, has been named as the 12th actor to play the Doctor in the TV series Doctor Who.

The 55-year old Glasgow-born actor, a self-confessed lifelong Doctor Who fan, is the oldest actor to play the Time Lord since the first Doctor, William Hartnell, in 1963.

He will replace Matt Smith, the youngest ever Doctor at 26 when he was introduced in 2009. The new Doctor was announced in a special live broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday night.

Capaldi had been firmly installed as the bookies' favourite ahead of contenders including Luther's Idris Elba, Ben Whishaw and Daniel Rigby, despite a cloak of secrecy surrounding the identity of the new Doctor.

Internally the BBC referred to the selection process as project Houdini, with reportedly only 10 people knowing Capaldi had been chosen.

"It is so wonderful not to keep this secret any more," he said. "For a while I couldn't even tell my daughter. Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started."

Capaldi admitted that it would be tricky to throw off the spectre of his most famous on screen persona, the wily and unscrupulous spin doctor Malcolm Tucker for the hit BBC show. "I think Malcolm has been banished from the mirror by the new Doctor who wouldn't put up with Malcolm's attitude to the world," said Capaldi in an interview with Zoe Ball.

Capaldi, who described himself as a "full anorak" Doctor Who fan who once wrote a letter aged 15 about Doctor Who to the Radio Times, admitted he was yet to get his head around being named as one of British TV's most enduring and best loved characters. "He's not me yet," he said. "But he is reaching out and hopefully we will get it together. Even though I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan I've not played him since I was nine. I downloaded old scripts and practised those in front of the mirror."

Capaldi is not completely new to Doctor Who, having appeared in the programme playing Caecilius in the episode "The Fires of Pompeii" in 2008 with David Tennant.  READ MORE

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