News Column

The spin doctor ; Malcolm Tucker is new Time Lord [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

August 5, 2013


THE new Doctor Who has been unveiled as The Thick Of It star Peter Capaldi.

The Glasgow-born actor, whose appointment was shrouded in secrecy, was revealed as the 12th incarnation of the role on live television last night.

Capaldi, who was the bookies' favourite, is the first Oscar winner to take on the role.

He said: "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."

Ahead of last night's announcement, the identity of the doctor was apparently known to just 10 people, with bosses using the codename Houdini to try and keep it a secret.

Capaldi had emerged as a favourite with bookmakers suspending bets on him taking the role on Friday after his odds tumbled.

The Scottish actor, famous for his role as foulmouthed Malcolm Tucker in political comedy The Thick of It, is a lifelong fan of the show and wrote a letter to the Radio Times about the Daleks when he was a teenager.

His appointment was revealed on a special live show presented by Zoe Ball, which included interviews with predecessor Smith, who leaves at Christmas.

Speaking on the show, 55-year-old Capaldi said: "It's so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer. But it has been absolutely fantastic in its own way, so many wonderful things have been happening. "It was quite hard because even though I'm a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I haven't played Doctor Who since I was nine in the playground. I downloaded the old scripts from the internet and read those.

"I think Malcolm has been banished from the mirror by this Doctor Who, who certainly would not put up with any of Malcolm's language or attitude.

"I think Doctor Who is an extraordinary show."

The 55-year-old won an Academy Award in 1994 for the best short film (Live Action) for Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, but Capaldi really became a household name thanks to his performance as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Tucker.

He has also written several shows including a documentary about 500 years history of Scottish portrait painting and Cricklewood Greats - a spoof about the heyday of the British film industry.

Capaldi has appeared in Doctor Who before - playing Caecilius in the episode The Fires of Pompeii in 2008.

He will film his first scenes for Doctor Who this Autumn, but will appear in forthcoming films The Fifth Estate and Disney's Maleficent.

He is also currently filming new BBC One drama series The Musketeers as Cardinal Richelieu.

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