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Bill Nighy explains why he turned down Doctor Who role

by Francesca Menato ,
Bill Nighy explains why he turned down Doctor Who role© Getty

Every time a new Time Lord comes around BBC bosses search for months before settling on their man. This year the coveted role has gone to The Thick Of It star Peter Capaldi, who jumped at the chance to play the part. But not everyone wants to step into that Tardis. Bill Nighy explains just why he turned down the role.

Bill Nighy has confirmed that he was approached to take on the role of Doctor Who.

He has explained just why the part is not for him, claiming that the huge fan attention around the show welcomes too much baggage.

The 63-year-old Love Actually actor has refused to disclose at what time he was approached to take over.

He told The Daily Express: "I won't tell you when, because the rule is that you are not allowed to say you turned that job down because it's disrespectful to whoever did it.

"I will say that I was approached. But I didn't want to be the Doctor.

"No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything, I just think that it comes with too much baggage."

Bill may not have wanted to play the Doctor, but he has appeared in the show once before.


He played art expert Dr Black in the 2010 episode Vincent And The Doctor, which was in fact written by Richard Curtis.

Richard is the man behind so many of the actor’s films, including his latest effort, About Time.

When the 12th Doctor was announced earlier this month, Bill was one of the many stars to praise the casting of Peter Capaldi.

He described Peter as a "brilliant, inspired choice."

Speaking at the premiere of his new film, Bill said: "It's one of those things where you think, 'Of course he's the Doctor. Why didn't I think of that before?'

"He's a marvellous actor. He'll be very cool as the Doctor. He'll bring a lot of wit and dry humour.

"He's elegant and he looks great. It's a great, great choice."

Doctor Who will return to BBC One on Saturday 23rd November for its 50th anniversary special episode.

Peter Capaldi © BBC Pictures
Peter Capaldi
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Francesca Menato
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