David Tennant is set to become a British cultural icon due to his role as the 10th Doctor in Doctor
Who. A huge fan since childhood, he is as passionate about the who as its many followers.
Since its 2005 comeback,
Doctor Who has become the jewel in the BBC's crown, revolutionising Saturday night television. It has won BAFTAs and National
Television Awards and under Russell T. Davies direction has regenerated from wobbly sets, frock coats and frilly cuffs into
superlative character-driven drama, with scripts which go between comedy, tragedy and social satire, perfect for a modern
day audience. To critics and fans alike, Tennant has turned out to be a superb Doctor - likable, funny and perhaps for the
first time in the shows 40 year history - an object of lust, even christened by The Times as the First Timephwoard. For the
first time, Doctor Who Magazine readers replaced Tom Baker with Tennant as their all-time favourite Who. He was also recently
voted the coolest TV character of all time by The Radio Times. The poll was conducted to find the coolest character - defined
as laidback and sexy - on television. Tennant has had a meteoric rise in television and theatre. He has moved from Classical,
comic theatre to critically acclaimed dramas such as Casanova and Peter Bowker's Blackpool. He has been nominated for an Olivier
and won the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland. As well as Doctor Who, 2007 will see Tennant take on two other film projects-
Learners for BBC 1 and Einstein and Eddington.
Michael: On the show tonight four young people slogging up the slope to stardom.
Not the celebrity version but the real thing, to do with talent. First up a Timelord, or as one female critic dubbed him,
the first Timephwoar! The latest Dr Who, David Tennent. (Applause)
David T: What a lovely bunch of
people you have here.
Michael: Yes, they must come from where you live actually. Where there you
are, that's an indication of the success of that marvellous show you were in and of the character that you've created. And
let me ask you a question first of all. When are you leaving?!
David T: The question I've been asked
since the moment I said I was starting! It's weird, people are desperate for you to leave, that's the next story I suppose,
who will be next. So I keep tight lipped on that one.
Michael: Of course. You've made it very much
your own and that's the nice thing about Dr Who, it's an iconic role but it's a blank canvas, you start again.
David T: Indeed, you've got to start again. Although there are things about the
Doctor that are immutable, his slight anarchy and his morality and his energy but apart from that it's up to you.
It's interesting reading the cuttings about you because it's almost as if this role was your destiny because you described
yourself as a Dr Who junky from a very early age.
David T: Yes I grew up absolutely loving it. And
watching that show was one of the reasons that I thought being actor would be quite a lark.
When Russel T Davis said you'd got the part did you say yes straight away?
David T: No I didn't actually.
Because it was something that I'd loved for a long time and I'd joked in the past that I'd like that part but it's like be
careful what you wish for. Suddenly it wasn't a fantasy, it was actually being offered to me and Russell himself said that
the BBC had come to him and said to recreate the show and he's always fantasised about that moment and then to be presented
with it, you go, Jeez I've got to take this seriously, what if I make a mess of it? So I thought about it for a long time
and I changed my mind a number of times over about a week or ten days. And then I literally woke up one morning and went,
'what are you talking about, of course you're gonna do it!' I wasn't going to be the guy that watched somebody else do it.
Michael: And what about when you go the part, was it really what you expected.
The almost hysteria.
David T: Well it's more than a job, certainly. It is a bit overwhelming because
you go into a supermarket and your face is on a cake! The other day I got sent underpants with my face on them! And that's
a sentence I never thought I'd be saying on national television. You can now, your face and my crutch. Not you Michael.
Don't get them any more excited than they are already for god's sake! And also these dolls we've got here look. In fact, am
I right in saying you got the idea of the look of Dr Who from watching this show didn't you?
Absolutely! Because Billie Piper came on your show just before series one came out. Which was just after I knew I was taking
over and I always knew I wanted to wear these shoes and they we thought, maybe we could wear them with a suit. And then watching
Billie on your show on comes Jamie Oliver, dressed kind of in a white version of this. And I remember myself saying, did you
see Jamie Oliver on Parkinson? That's a good idea.
Michael: Well I'm glad we could be of help. His
hands are strange and go in strange postures.
David T: I think a screwdriver goes in there, a sonic screwdriver.
Do you know the one thing I'd like is a sonic screwdriver.
David T: We'll get you one.
Wouldn't that solve all your problems? Russell T Davis of course has played a significant part in your life because you got
this part because of Cassanova which he wrote. Now that part you had to bed fifteen women.
Yeah, it's tough!
Michael: Did you get in training for it?
David T: I've
been in training for a very long time. Not really, you just have to get on with it, don't you.
I don't know!
David T: There are a few women who go through the story but there's a sequence when
you see him 'at work' and you see about twenty different conquest very quickly and of course these poor actresses. One is
getting wheeled on while the last one is leaving and they've got their skirts round their ears. But I have to say, they were
Michael: It's not the first time you've done that on screen and not the first time you've
been nude on screen.
David T: I'm rarely clothed!
Michael: But have there been
any really embarrassing moments?
David T: Something I had to do in a film once. It's not the pretending
to have sex which is embarrassing certainly. Especially if you're unclothed but hopefully you're with an actress who is in
the same boat and you're just getting on with it. Pretending to climax on screen is about the most embarrassing thing I've
ever done. Well it's private, let's be honest! So there's all these cameras and everyone else watching you and you go for
it the best you can but there's a sense when they say, 'cut,' of is that what everyone else does? Is that vaguely normal?
Michael: Let's have a look at an episode that goes out in two week's time. Because you're taking
a break next week because of the Eurovision Song Contest.
David T: They couldn't stand the competition!
Michael: It's a dramatic, yet tender scene. (Excerpt from Dr Who)
You see that's not kids television in that sense. It's beautifully realised.
David T: I think it's
just stories for everyone and it appeals to children as much as everyone else. It's extraordinary the kind of stretch of age
ranges that the show seems to attract. The people who come up to you in the street, it's as often an old lady as an eight
year old kid, which is lovely.
Michael: And from the acting point of view, it's not one dimensional,
it's multi faceted.
David T: Well I think children are a sophisticated audience, you've got to make
proper drama for them.
Michael: By the way, two things. One reads that the series is going to end, because
it ends at Christmas time.
David T: No the present one ends in about seven weeks.
Then you've got a Christmas special and it ends with a big bang.
David T: Oh yeah.
See there's mysteries out there. Because you've got a son, haven't you?
David T: Have I?
Michael: In the series, it's hinted at.
David T: Well you see you go back to the sixties and the Dr travelled round with his grand daughter
so it's all in there.
Michael: But then, the worst one of all, that big head you had, 'there is another
Time Lord.' Is that the big thing?
David T: The Face of Bo has told the Doctor that he's not alone
in the Universe and while he isn't lying there isn't really another Time Lord kicking about, it's a bit more complicated than
that. Stay tuned. But also the Face of Bo storyline hasn't ended.
Michael: Great, I like him. Reminds me of a bouncer I once knew! Alright well keep
on enjoying it, having a good time as you are. And you've got a new project haven't you?
I've got a couple of things lately. I've done a film with Jessica Stephenson called Learners. She's called Jessica Hines as
she's now known. And I'm currently doing a thing called Einstein and Eddington about Einstein and the less well known Eddington.
But without Eddington you would never have known Einstein.
Michael: Well David Tennent thank you
very much indeed.
David T: A pleasure.