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Junior Doctor

As a child David Tennant was already practising for his role as Doctor Who. Proud parents Sandy and Helen McDonald said he would run around the garden in a long multi-coloured scarf knitted by his gran, pretending to be the Time Lord.

Helen said: 'I'm sure it was the programme that triggered his interest in acting. Doctor Who was his childhood hero.'

She told how David would watch the show as a child with older siblings Karen and Blair: 'David's getting credit for being a life-long fan, but his brother and sister keep reminding me they were into the programme before he was.'

Dad Sandy, a retired minister and former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said David would put everything into making sure his role as The Doctor was a success.

He said: 'David is a very physical actor and he likes doing his own stunts, so if the new scripts are similar I think he'll do really well.' Helen added that, while they worried about whether David would make it as an actor, there was nothing else he ever wanted to do. She said: 'We thought it was just a phase, but he was still going when he was 16 and even joined Junior Equity. He was only 17 when he applied to study at the academy but they clearly saw some talent.

'I heard 90 per cent of actors are out of work 90 per cent of the time, but David is always working.'

And thanks to this hectic schedule, David's visits home are rare, but he keeps in constant touch as his mum undergoes her chemotherapy for bowel cancer.

She said: 'He doesn't make it home often, but we visit him in London, as his brother is there too. And he always makes a point of coming home to Paisley for Christmas