The new Doctor Who has been announced as veteran Scottish actor Peter Capaldi. The 55-year-old actor, who is the oldest actor to be given the role since the original Doctor – William Hartnell, back in 1963 – is best known for his role as the venom-spitting Malcolm Tucker in comedy series The Thick Of It and its feature film spin-off In The Loop.
Capaldi is the 12th actor to play the role. Following the announcement of the departure of Matt Smith – who at 26 was the youngest actor ever to play the Time Lord – speculation was rife as to the identity of his successor, with names such as Buffy star Anthony Head and Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint among many others being bandied around in the press, although most pundits were betting on a younger actor in the mold of Smith and his immediate predecessor David Tennant.
Capaldi has been a fan of the science fiction series, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, since he was a child and notes that “being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege”. He added: “Like the Doctor himself, I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight.”
The revelation of Capaldi as the 12th Doctor was made in a manner perhaps befitting of one of British television’s most iconic and long-running series, in the midst of a live television broadcast celebrating his predecessors in the role. Matt Smith will leave the series following the 50th anniversary special in November, which also features David Tennant, and will regenerate into Capaldi at Christmas.