Peter Capaldi: My new sympathy for Malcolm Tucker

Capaldi is the latest actor to play Dr Who. Picture: Getty
Capaldi is the latest actor to play Dr Who. Picture: Getty
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MALCOLM TUCKER and the Time Lord may appear to have little in common, but Peter Capaldi has said that his starring role in Doctor Who has made him much more sympathetic to the foul-mouthed spin doctor.

The actor, 56, shot to fame as the feared government communications boss in Armando Iannucci’s hit political satire The Thick Of It.


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And he told Radio Times magazine that his Doctor Who role, which was like “effectively joining a boy band or the Beatles”, had given him a better understanding of what it was like to be under constant scrutiny, in politics.

“No-one was particularly bothered about what I said before,” Capaldi told the magazine.

“What’s now shocking is I can’t say anything publicly without it having a life. Not because I have extraordinary views but because people are keen on conflict, so they’ll make that the story.

“They love to make out that (showrunner) Steven Moffat and I have disagreements. But that’s business as usual.

“It made me realise how awful it must be to be a politician. I’m a lot more sympathetic to Malcolm Tucker’s views now.”

Unlike the Doctor, Capaldi said that he cannot operate any technology and would not be able to work the Tardis.

“My family know not to get me any tech for Christmas. I can never get it to work and it all becomes very tearful and pressurised. If you put me in a real Tardis, I dread to think what would happen to the universe,” he said.

The Scottish actor confirmed that he had insisted that there would be no flirtation between his character and the Doctor’s younger sidekick Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, in the sci-fi show.

“I always felt it would be inappropriate for someone my age to be in any kind of flirtatious relationship with a young person. But I think everybody felt that,” he said.


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