David Tennant

David John Tennant (né McDonald; born 18 April 1971) is a Scottish actor and voice actor. He is best known for his roles as DI Alec Hardy in ITV's Broadchurch, the Tenth Doctor in the BBC television series Doctor Who, Giacomo Casanova in the TV serial Casanova, Kilgrave in Netflix's Jessica Jones, and Barty Crouch, Jr. in the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In addition to his appearances on screen, he has worked as a voice actor and in theatre, including Prince Hamlet in a critically acclaimed 2008 stage production of Hamlet and as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the DuckTales reboot which began airing in 2017.[1][2] In January 2015, Tennant received the National Television Award for Special Recognition.

David Tennant
Good Omens panel at NYCC (60841)a
Tennant in October 2018
David John McDonald

18 April 1971 (age 47)
Years active1987–present
Georgia Moffett (m. 2011)
Parent(s)Sandy McDonald (father)
RelativesPeter Davison
(father in law)

Early life

Tennant was born David John McDonald on 18 April 1971 in Bathgate, West Lothian, the son of Alexander "Sandy" McDonald (1937–2016),[3] a minister who served as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Helen McLeod (1940–2007).[4][5] He grew up with his brother Blair and sister Karen[6] in Ralston, Renfrewshire, where his father was the local minister.[7][8][9] Two of Tennant's maternal great-grandparents, William and Agnes Blair, were staunch Protestants from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, who were among the signatories of the Ulster Covenant in 1912. William was a member of the Orange Order. Tennant's maternal grandfather, footballer Archie McLeod, met William and Agnes' daughter Nellie while playing for Derry City FC. McLeod was descended from tenant farmers from the Isle of Mull.[10][11]

At the age of three, Tennant told his parents that he wanted to become an actor because he was a fan of Doctor Who,[12] but they tried to encourage him to aim for more conventional work.[6] He watched almost every Doctor Who episode for years, and he spoke to Tom Baker at a book-signing event in Glasgow.[6] Tennant says he was "absurdly single-minded" in pursuing an acting career. Tennant was educated at Ralston Primary and Paisley Grammar School.[13] He acted in school productions throughout primary and secondary school.

Tennant's talent at this young age was spotted by Scottish actress Edith MacArthur. After seeing his first performance at age 11, she told his parents he would become a successful stage actor.[14] Tennant also attended Saturday classes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama;[13] at 16, he passed an audition for the Academy, one of their youngest students, and studied there between the ages of 17 and 20. He took his stage name from the Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant[15] after reading a copy of Smash Hits magazine[16] because there was another David McDonald already on the books of the Equity union. Tennant has stated that he later had to legally change his name to Tennant to meet Screen Actors Guild rules.[17]


Early work

Tennant made his professional acting debut while still in secondary school. When he was 16, he acted in an anti-smoking film made by the Glasgow Health Board which aired on television and was also screened in schools.[14] The following year, he played a role in an episode of Dramarama. Tennant's first professional role upon graduating from drama school was in a staging of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui costarring Ashley Jensen, one of a few plays in which he performed as part of the agitprop 7:84 Theatre Company.[13] He also made an early television appearance in the Scottish TV sitcom Rab C Nesbitt as a transsexual barmaid called Davina. In the 1990s, he appeared in several plays at the Dundee Repertory Theatre.[18]

Tennant was awarded his first major TV role as the manic depressive Campbell in the BBC Scotland drama series Takin' Over the Asylum (1994), after impressing director David Blair during filming of another drama - Strathblair (1992). As Tennant recalled from the audition, "they needed someone who could believably act 19 and bonkers".[19] During filming, of Takin' Over the Asylum he met comic actress and writer Arabella Weir. When he moved to London shortly afterwards, he lodged with Weir for five years[13] and became godfather to her youngest child. He has subsequently appeared with Weir in many productions: as a guest in her spoof television series Posh Nosh, in the Doctor Who audio drama Exile (during which Weir played an alternate version of the Doctor), and as panellists on the West Wing Ultimate Quiz on More4 (Weir later guest-starred on Doctor Who itself after Tennant left the series). One of his earliest big-screen roles was in Jude (1996), in which he shared a scene with Christopher Eccleston, playing a drunken undergraduate who challenges Eccleston's Jude to prove his intellect. Coincidentally, Eccleston portrayed the incarnation of The Doctor immediately preceding Tennant's.

Tennant developed his career in the British theatre, frequently performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His first Shakespearean role for the RSC was in As You Like It (1996); having auditioned for the role of Orlando, the romantic lead, he was instead cast as the jester Touchstone, which he played in his natural Scottish accent.[20] He subsequently specialised in comic roles, playing Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors and Captain Jack Absolute in The Rivals, although he also played the tragic role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet.[13]

Tennant contributed to several audio dramatisations of Shakespeare for the Arkangel Shakespeare series (1998). His roles include a reprisal of his Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors, as well as Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice, Edgar/Poor Tom in King Lear, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, all of which he performs in his natural accent. In 1995, Tennant appeared at the Royal National Theatre, London, playing the role of Nicholas Beckett in Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw. In television, he appeared in the first episode of Reeves and Mortimer's revamped Randall and Hopkirk in 2000, playing an eccentric artist. This is one of his few TV roles in his native Scottish accent. During the Christmas season of 2002, he starred in a series of television advertisements for Boots the Chemists.[21] He began to appear on television more prominently in 2004 and 2005, when he appeared in a dramatisation of He Knew He Was Right (2004), Blackpool (2004), Casanova (2005), and The Quatermass Experiment (2005). In film, he appeared in Bright Young Things (2003), and later that same year appeared as Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Doctor Who (2005–2010, 2013)

David Tennant July 2009
Tennant with Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies (left), regular director Euros Lyn (centre right), and executive producer Julie Gardner (right) at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2009

Doctor Who returned to British screens in 2005, with Christopher Eccleston playing the role of the Ninth Doctor in the first series. Tennant replaced him as of the second series, making his first, brief appearance as the Tenth Doctor in the episode "The Parting of the Ways" (2005) at the end of the regeneration scene, and also appeared in a special 7-minute mini-episode shown as part of the 2005 Children in Need appeal, broadcast on 18 November 2005. He began filming the new series of Doctor Who in late July 2005. His first full-length outing as the Doctor was a 60-minute special, "The Christmas Invasion", first broadcast on Christmas Day 2005. Tennant had been formally offered the role of the Doctor during rehearsals for The Quatermass Experiment. Although the casting was not officially announced until later in April,[22] both castmates and crew became aware of the speculation surrounding Tennant; in the live broadcast Jason Flemyng (Quatermass) changed his first line to Tennant's Dr Briscoe from "Good to have you back, Gordon" to "Good to have you back, Doctor" as a deliberate reference.[23]

Tennant has expressed enthusiasm about fulfilling his childhood dream. He remarked in a radio interview: "Who wouldn't want to be the Doctor? I've even got my own TARDIS!" In 2006, readers of Doctor Who Magazine voted Tennant "Best Doctor" over perennial favourite Tom Baker.[24] In 2007, Tennant's Doctor was voted the "coolest character on UK television" in a Radio Times survey.. Writer Russell T Davies made the decision not to use Tennant's own Scottish accent for the character as he did not want the Doctor's accent "touring the regions", using Estuary English instead. Tennant has gone on record as saying that, contrary to tabloids reports, he was not upset at not being able to play the role in his own accent and in fact had never wanted to. However he was pleased to be able to use his own accent in one episode, when the Doctor briefly masquerades as "Dr James McCrimmon" of Edinburgh in Tooth and Claw – a nod to the Second Doctor's companion Jamie McCrimmon.[25]

He previously had a small role in the BBC's animated Doctor Who webcast Scream of the Shalka. Not originally cast in the production, Tennant was recording a radio play in a neighbouring studio, and when he discovered what was being recorded next door convinced the director to give him a small role. This personal enthusiasm for the series had also been expressed by his participation in several audio plays based on the Doctor Who television series which had been produced by Big Finish Productions, although he did not play the Doctor in any of these productions. His first such role was in the Seventh Doctor audio Colditz, where he played a Nazi lieutenant guard at Colditz Castle. In 2004 Tennant played a lead role in the Big Finish audio play series Dalek Empire III as Galanar, a young man who is given an assignment to discover the secrets of the Daleks. In 2005, he starred in UNIT: The Wasting for Big Finish, recreating his role of Brimmicombe-Wood from a Doctor Who Unbound play, Sympathy for the Devil. In both audio productions, he worked alongside Nicholas Courtney, who reprised the character of Sir Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. He also played an unnamed Time Lord in another Doctor Who Unbound play Exile. UNIT: The Wasting, was recorded between Tennant getting the role of the Doctor and it being announced. He played the title role in Big Finish's adaptation of Bryan Talbot's The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (2005). In 2006, he recorded abridged audio books of The Stone Rose by Jacqueline Rayner, The Feast of the Drowned by Stephen Cole and The Resurrection Casket by Justin Richards, for BBC Worldwide.[26]

He made his directorial debut on the Doctor Who Confidential episode that accompanies Steven Moffat's episode "Blink", entitled "Do You Remember The First Time?", which aired on 9 June 2007. In 2007, Tennant's Tenth Doctor appeared with Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor in a Doctor Who special for Children in Need, written by Steven Moffat and entitled "Time Crash". He later performed alongside Davison's daughter, Georgia Moffett (as "Jenny") in the 2008 episode "The Doctor's Daughter".

Tennant featured as the Doctor in an animated version of Doctor Who for Totally Doctor Who, The Infinite Quest, which aired on CBBC. He also starred as the Doctor in another animated six-part Doctor Who series, Dreamland.[27] Tennant guest starred as the Doctor in a two-part story in Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, broadcast in October 2009.[28] He continued to play the Tenth Doctor into the revived programme's fourth series in 2008. However, on 29 October 2008, he announced that he would be stepping down from the role after three full series.[29] He played the Doctor in four special episodes in 2009, before his final episode aired on 1 January 2010, where he was replaced by the eleventh doctor, portrayed by Matt Smith. The Daily Mirror reported that Tennant was forbidden from attending Doctor Who fan conventions while playing the role, to avoid the chance that he could accidentally let slip any plot points during filming of the series.[30] However, Tennant claimed this was false and that he had never been banned or discouraged from attending conventions.[31]

Tennant and Billie Piper returned to Doctor Who for the 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor" broadcast on 23 November 2013, with then-stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman and guest star John Hurt. The same month, he also appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot directed by Peter Davison.[32]

In October 2015, Big Finish Productions announced that Tennant would return to the role of the Tenth Doctor alongside Catherine Tate as his former companion Donna Noble in three new stories from Big Finish. The stories feature current and previous Doctor Who actors, including Strax actor Dan Starkey, former Davros actor Terry Molloy, and many veterans of Big Finish, including Niky Wardley, who portrayed Eighth Doctor companion Tamsin. The three stories were released in May 2016.[33]

In November 2017, three new audio dramas were released by Big Finish Productions with Tennant once again starring as the Tenth Doctor, alongside Billie Piper as Rose Tyler.[34]

Other television roles


While playing the Doctor, Tennant was also in the early December 2005 ITV drama Secret Smile. His performance as Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger at the Theatre Royal, Bath, and Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, was recorded by the National Video Archive of Performance for the Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre Collection. He revived this performance for the anniversary of the Royal Court Theatre in a rehearsed reading. In January 2006, he took a one-day break from shooting Doctor Who to play Richard Hoggart in a dramatisation of the 1960 Lady Chatterley's Lover obscenity trial, The Chatterley Affair. The play was written by Andrew Davies and directed by Doctor Who's James Hawes for the digital television channel BBC Four. Hoggart's son, Simon, praised Tennant's performance in The Guardian newspaper.[35]

On 25 February 2007, Tennant starred in Recovery, a 90-minute BBC One drama written by Tony Marchant. He played Alan, a self-made building site manager who attempted to rebuild his life after suffering a debilitating brain injury. His costar in the drama was friend Sarah Parish, with whom he had previously appeared in Blackpool and an episode of Doctor Who. She joked that "we're like George and Mildred – in 20 years' time we'll probably be doing a ropey old sitcom in a terraced house in Preston".[36] Later that same year he starred in Learners, a BBC comedy drama written by and starring Jessica Hynes (another Doctor Who costar, in the episodes "Human Nature", "The Family of Blood" and "The End of Time"), in which he played a Christian driving instructor who became the object of a student's affection. Learners was broadcast on BBC One on 11 November 2007. Tennant had a cameo appearance as the Doctor in the 2007 finale episode of the BBC/HBO comedy series Extras with Ricky Gervais. In November 2008, Tennant played Sir Arthur Eddington in the BBC and HBO biographical film Einstein and Eddington, which was filmed in Cambridge and Hungary.[37]

In 2009, he worked on a TV film version of the RSC's 2008 Hamlet for BBC Two. From October 2009, he hosted the Masterpiece Contemporary programming strand on the American Public Broadcasting Service.[38] In December 2009, he filmed the lead in an NBC pilot, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, playing Rex, a Chicago lawyer who starts to coach clients to represent themselves when he starts suffering panic attacks.[39] The pilot was not picked up and the project was shelved.[40][41] In October 2010 he starred as Dave, a man struggling to raise five children after the death of his partner, in the British drama Single Father. For this role he was nominated as Best Actor at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2010. In 2011, he starred in United, about the Manchester United "Busby Babes" team and the 1958 Munich air disaster, playing coach and assistant manager Jimmy Murphy.[42] In September 2011, he appeared in a guest role in one episode of the comedy series This is Jinsy, and also started filming True Love, a semi-improvised BBC One drama series, on location in Margate, Kent; the series aired in June 2012.

In April 2012, Tennant played lead in a one-off drama The Minor Character for Sky Arts.[43] Between April and June, he filmed Spies of Warsaw for BBC Four, in the lead role of Jean-François Mercier. This drama series shot in Poland is an adaptation of Alan Furst's novel The Spies of Warsaw.[44] Tennant auditioned for the role of Hannibal Lecter in NBC's Hannibal; he was narrowly beaten for the part by Mads Mikkelsen, but show developer Bryan Fuller has indicated that he was sufficiently impressed by Tennant that he would like to cast him in another role in the series.[45] On 9 June 2012, he started filming the 3-part political drama series The Politician's Husband for BBC Two, playing an ambitious cabinet minister who takes drastic action when his wife's career starts to outshine his.[46][47] Also in June it was announced that Tennant would star in the new ITV detective series Broadchurch. The series was filmed in Clevedon, North Somerset, and Bridport, Dorset, between August and November 2012, and aired in March 2013.[48] Tennant also presented the new comedy quiz show Comedy World Cup, in Autumn 2012 which ran on Saturday nights for seven episodes.[49]


Between late January and March 2013, Tennant filmed The Escape Artist for BBC One. He plays a talented, junior barrister who is yet to lose a case. The three-part series aired on BBC One in October and November 2013.[50] Between January and May 2014, Tennant filmed the US remake of Broadchurch, re-titled Gracepoint.[51] Tennant filmed the second series of Broadchurch during summer 2014.[52][53] Tennant also portrayed the villainous Kilgrave in Jessica Jones, a television series from Marvel and Netflix. All 13 episodes were released on 20 November 2015.[54]

In autumn 2015, Tennant's name was announced for Scottish feature film I Feel Fine, a thriller set in Glasgow in the 1980s.[55] However, as of January 2016, the film has been postponed indefinitely. In February 2016, he began filming Mad to Be Normal (previously titled Metanoia), a biopic of the renowned Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing, produced by Gizmo Films.[56] He filmed the third series of Broadchurch between May and October 2016.

In 2017, Tennant appeared in writer/director Daisy Aitkens' first feature film, You, Me and Him. The film is co-produced by Tennant's wife, Georgia, and had originally been due to co-star his father-in-law, Peter Davison; however, Davison withdrew from the film in October 2016 due to a scheduling clash.[57] Tennant played psychopathic villain Cale Erendreich in the thriller film Bad Samaritan (2018), written by Brandon Boyce and directed by Dean Devlin.[58]

Royal Shakespeare Company (2008–present)

Despite his recent focus on television work, Tennant has described theatre work as his "default way of being".[59] He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), to play Hamlet with Patrick Stewart and Berowne in Love's Labours Lost in 2008.[60] From August to November 2008 he appeared at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as Hamlet, playing that role in repertory with Berowne that October and November.[13]

Hamlet transferred to the Novello Theatre in London's West End in December 2008, but Tennant suffered a prolapsed disc during previews and was unable to perform from 8 December 2008 until 2 January 2009, during which time the role was played by his understudy Edward Bennett.[61] He returned to his role in the production on 3 January 2009, and appeared until the run ended on 10 January. On 12 April 2011, a photograph of Tennant as Hamlet featured on a stamp issued by the Royal Mail to mark the RSC's fiftieth anniversary.[62]

In January 2012, Tennant was appointed to the Royal Shakespeare Company board, to be on the selection committee interviewing and choosing the new artistic director.[63] It was announced on 23 January 2013 that Tennant would return to the RSC for the company's 2013 winter season, playing the title role in Richard II at Stratford-upon-Avon (from 10 October to 16 November) and transferring to the Barbican Centre in London (from 9 December to 25 January 2014).[64] Tennant will repeat his performance as Richard II in the RSC's 'King and Country' cycle in 2016, starting at the Barbican Theatre in London.[65] before transferring to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.[66]

David Tennant is currently a Member of the Board.[67]

Other work

Tennant was the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" on Top Gear in December 2007, where he claimed to have unsuccessfully auditioned for a role on Taggart 26 times.[68] Tennant is the voice behind the 2007 advertising campaign for catalogue retailer Argos, and appeared in adverts for The Proclaimers' 2007 album and learndirect in June 2008 (using his natural Scottish accent in both). Tennant also lent his voice to adverts for Tesco Mobile, Nintendo Wii, and American Express.

Tennant appeared in Derren Brown's Trick or Treat.[69] In TV & Satellite Week (26 April – 2 May issue), Brown is quoted as saying: "One of the appeals of Doctor Who for David is time travel, so I wanted to give him that experience. He was open and up for it, and I got a good reaction. He's a real screamer!" The episode aired on Channel 4 on 16 May 2008, and showed Tennant apparently predicting future events correctly by using automatic writing. Tennant also returned for the final episode of the series with the rest of the participants from the other episodes in the series to take part in one final experiment.

Tennant appeared in the 2008 episode "Holofile 703: Us and Phlegm" of the radio series Nebulous (a parody of Doctor Who) in the role of Doctor Beep, using his Lothian accent. Also in 2008, he voiced the character of Hamish the Hunter in the 2008 English language DVD re-release of the 2006 animated Norwegian film, Free Jimmy, alongside Woody Harrelson. The English-language version of the film has dialogue written by Simon Pegg, who also starred in it as a main voice actor. In early 2009, Tennant narrated the digital planetarium space dome film "We Are Astronomers"[70] commissioned by the UK's National Space Centre. On 13 March 2009, he presented Red Nose Day 2009 with Davina McCall. He joined Franz Ferdinand onstage to play the guitar on their song "No You Girls" on a special Comic Relief edition of Top of the Pops. In summer 2009, Tennant filmed St. Trinian's II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold. The film was released in December 2009.

In November 2009, he co-hosted the Absolute Radio Breakfast Show with Christian O'Connell for three consecutive days.[71] He returned to cohost the show for one day in October 2010[72] and again in September 2011. Tennant also provides the narration and all the character voices for the audio book versions of the Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III stories by Cressida Cowell such as How to Train Your Dragon. In these audio books, he employs his vocal skills to create a vast cast of recognisably distinct voices. Some of his most memorable characterisations include the Norfolk yokel of Norbert the Nutjob, the broad Glaswegian of Gobber the Belch, the hissing and whining Cockney of Toothless the Dragon and the sly insinuations of Alvin the Treacherous. He also played the role of Spitelout in the recent animated film adaption of said books.

On 7 March 2010, he also appeared as George in a one-part BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Of Mice and Men in the Classic Serial strand.[73] He appeared with former costar Catherine Tate in the Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing at London's Wyndham's Theatre from 16 May 2011 to 3 September 2011.[74] For his performance as Benedick he won the BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play.[75]

In September 2011, it was announced that Tennant would voice a character in the movie adaptation of Postman Pat named You Know You're the One with a planned 3D theatrical release for spring 2013.[76] In October 2011, Tennant started shooting the semi-improvised comedy film, Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger in Coventry.[77][78] He played dual roles: the main character, put-upon teacher Mr Peterson, and his "golden boy" twin brother and rival.[79] He appeared in a multi-million-pound campaign for Virgin Media. One advert was voluntarily withdrawn after a complaint lodged by BBC Worldwide, which believed that the advert broke the corporation's guidelines by featuring references to Doctor Who that appeared to be a commercial endorsement of the service.[80]

Tennant starred opposite Rosamund Pike and Billy Connolly in a BBC/Origin Pictures film, What We Did on Our Holiday, a semi-improvised comedy from the writers of the popular BBC sit-com Outnumbered; shooting took place from 17 June to 30 July 2013 in Scotland. The film was released in September 2014.[81] He is the narrator on Xbox One video game Kinect Sports Rivals.[82]

On 9 February 2015, Tennant appeared on the Radio 4 panel show Just a Minute, becoming the show's most successful debut contestant.[83]

Between March and June 2017 Tennant will appear in Patrick Marber's Don Juan in Soho at the Wyndham's Theatre.[84] Also in 2017, he became the voice of Scrooge McDuck for Disney XD's DuckTales reboot, replacing the character's longtime voice actor Alan Young, who died in May 2016.[85]

In February 2019, Tennant launched his own podcast, titled David Tennant Does a Podcast With... The podcast's episodes feature Olivia Colman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jodie Whittaker, Ian McKellen, Jon Hamm, Gordon Brown, Jennifer Garner and Catherine Tate.[86]

Public image

Tennant was named "Coolest Man on TV" of 2007 in a Radio Times survey. He won the National Television Awards award for Most Popular Actor in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. He was voted 16th Sexiest Man in the World by a 2008 Cosmopolitan survey.[87]

In 2008, Tennant was voted "Greenest Star on the Planet" in an online vote held by Playhouse Disney as part of the Playing for the Planet Awards.[88]

Tennant was ranked the 24th most influential person in the British media on 9 July 2007, according to MediaGuardian. He appeared in the paper's annual media rankings in 2006. In December 2008, he was named as one of the most influential people in show business by British theatre and entertainment magazine The Stage, making him the fifth actor to achieve a ranking in the top 20 (in a list typically dominated by producers and directors). He was voted the third best dressed man in Britain in GQ reader's poll for 2013.[89] Tennant's popularity has led to impersonations of him on various social networking sites, leading the BBC to issue a statement making it clear that Tennant does not use any of these sites and any account or message purporting to be or from him is fake.[90] In the expansion EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction for the game EverQuest, a character was introduced called Tavid Dennant, named after David Tennant. The character when interacted with makes a number of references to Doctor Who.[91]

In December 2005, The Stage placed Tennant at No. 6 in its "Top Ten" list of the most influential British television artists of the year, citing his roles in Blackpool, Casanova, Secret Smile, and Doctor Who.[92] In January 2006, readers of the British gay and lesbian newspaper The Pink Paper voted him the "Sexiest Man in the Universe".[93] A poll of over 10,000 women for the March 2006 issue of New Woman magazine ranked him 20th in their list of the "Top 100 Men".[94] In October 2006, he was named "Scotland's most stylish male" in the Scottish Style Awards.[95]

He is a patron of Worldwide Cancer Research.


He is a supporter of the Labour Party and appeared in a party political broadcast for them in 2005; in 2010, he declared his support for then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and labelled David Cameron a "terrifying prospect".[96] In April 2010, he lent his voice to a Labour Party election broadcast.[97] In 2012, he introduced Labour Party leader Ed Miliband onstage at the Labour Party Conference. In 2015, he also lent his voice to a Labour Party General Election broadcast.

Personal life

Tennant married actress Georgia Moffett on 30 December 2011,[98] having met her when they co-starred in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Daughter". They have four children,[99][100][101] including Moffett's child from a previous relationship whom Tennant adopted.[102] Moffett is the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the Fifth Doctor.[103]

Tennant does not discuss his personal life or relationships in interviews,[13] stating in 2009 that "relationships are hard enough with the people you're having them with, let alone talking about them in public".[104] He believes that religion "must have" shaped his character, and he is an occasional churchgoer.[105]



  • Tennant, David (2006). Foreword. Doctor Who: The Inside Story. By Russell, Gary. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0563486497.
  • Tennant, David (2011). Foreword. Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography. By Sladen, Elisabeth. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1845134884.
  • Tennant, David (2017). Foreword. Is There Life Outside The Box? An Actor Despairs. By Davison, Peter. John Blake. ISBN 978-1786061126.

See also


  1. ^ Billington, Michael (6 August 2008). "Hamlet". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  2. ^ Nightingale, Benedict (6 August 2008). "Dr Who's David Tennant as Hamlet at the Courtyard Stratford". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  3. ^ "David Tennant's father and ex-Kirk moderator Sandy McDonald dies". BBC News. BBC. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  4. ^ Gould, Lara (27 December 2009). "David Tennant pays tribute to his late mum". The Mirror. UK. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Frost's Scottish Who's Who – Very Rev. Dr. Alexander McDonald". Martinfrost.ws. 14 January 2006. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b c "Desert Island Discs with David Tennant". Desert Island Discs. 1 January 2010. BBC. Radio 4.
  7. ^ "The Tenth Doctor: Actor Profile". BBC. Retrieved 10 April 2009. Born in Bathgate, West Lothian, David John McDonald
  8. ^ "Drama Faces: David Tennant". BBC. Retrieved 10 April 2009. David's birthday is 18 April
  9. ^ "McDONALD, David John". Who's Who. A&C Black. 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2009. Online edition Oxford University Press December 2008 (subscription or library card required).
  10. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are?". BBC. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  11. ^ Elton, Matt (29 June 2009). "David Tennant". Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine.
  12. ^ Foss, Roger (July–August 2008). "Partners in Time". What's on Stage. p. 15. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2008.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Reid, Vicky (22 November 2008). "David Tennant: from Doctor Who to Hamlet". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Ready Steady Cook with David Tennant and his father". Ready Steady Cook. 6 December 2006. BBC. BBC 2.
  15. ^ Tim Walker "David Tennant: The good doctor", The Independent, 29 March 2008
  16. ^ Shannon, Sarah (7 December 2005). "David Tennant: His days of blissful anonymity are numbered". The Independent. UK. Archived from the original on 21 April 2006.
  17. ^ Dickson, Andrew (6 November 2013). "Ask David Tennant anything! – livechat". The Guardian. UK. I am now actually Tennant – have been for a few years, it was an issue with the Screen Actors' Guild in the US, who wouldn't let me keep my stage name unless it was my legal name. Faced with the prospect of working under 2 different names on either side of the globe, I had to take the plunge and rename myself! So although I always liked the name, I'm now more intimately associated with it than I had ever imagined. Thank you, Neil Tennant.
  18. ^ "Treading the boards: Theatre in Dundee". Archives, Records and Artefacts at the University of Dundee. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  19. ^ Kopstick, Kate (9 November 2000). "Crazy Love" The Scotsman. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  20. ^ David Tennant, "Touchstone," in Player of Shakespeare 4, ed. Robert Smallwood (Cambridge University Press, 2000), p.30.
  21. ^ Boots Advert starring David Tennant on YouTube
  22. ^ The Quatermass Experiment was transmitted live on 2 April 2005.
  23. ^ Mark Gatiss, Trevor Hampton, David Tennant, Alison Willett (2005). The Quatermass Experiment (Audio commentary) (DVD). DD Home Entertainment.
  24. ^ "David Tennant named 'best Dr Who'". BBC News. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2007.
  25. ^ "Doctor Who: Time Laird". The Scotsman. 7 April 2006.
  26. ^ "David Tennant - The Original Site, AUDIO". david-tennant.com. 2 September 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Dreamland press release". BBC News. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  28. ^ "Tennant to appear in Who spin-off". BBC News. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  29. ^ "David Tennant quits as Doctor Who". www.news.bbc.co.uk.
  30. ^ Robertson, Cameron (28 August 2006). "BEEB IN DR WHO FAN BAN". Daily Mirror. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2006.
  31. ^ "In Conversation With: David Tennant". In Conversation With. 21 November 2015. LBC. LBC.
  32. ^ "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes. Retrieved 26 November 2013
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Further reading

  • Smallwood, Robert (editor) (2000). Players of Shakespeare 4: Further Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company, David Tennant on playing Touchstone in As You Like It, pp. 30–44. Cambridge University Press; ISBN 0-521-79416-1
  • Smallwood, Robert (editor) (2005). Players of Shakespeare 5: Further Essays in Shakespearean Performance by Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company, David Tennant on playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, pp. 113–130. Cambridge University Press; ISBN 0-521-67698-3
  • Mitchell, Molly (2009). David Tennant. London: Orion Publishing Group; ISBN 978-1-4091-0469-8

External links


Broadchurch is a British serial crime drama television series broadcast on ITV for three series between 2013 and 2017. It was created by Chris Chibnall, who acted as an executive producer and wrote all 24 episodes, and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. The series is set in Broadchurch, a fictional English town in Dorset, and focuses on police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman). The series features an ensemble cast that in addition to Tennant and Colman includes Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Carolyn Pickles, Arthur Darvill, Charlotte Beaumont, Adam Wilson and Matthew Gravelle.

The first series, which premiered on 4 March 2013, focuses on the death of local 11-year-old Danny Latimer and the impact of grief, mutual suspicion and media attention on the town. Danny's family (his mother, Beth, father, Mark and sister, Chloe) are a key focus for the first series. The second series, which premiered on 5 January 2015, follows the dual storylines of bringing Danny's killer to justice and a case from the past returning to haunt Hardy. The third and final series, which premiered on 27 February 2017, focuses on the rape of a local woman at a birthday party, while the Latimer family go to extreme lengths to move on from Danny's death. Chibnall has indicated that the third series will be the last and that he originally envisioned Broadchurch as being a trilogy.All three series received critical acclaim, with praise directed towards the writing, cinematography and character development.

David Tennant (politician)

Sir David Tennant (10 January 1829 – 29 March 1905) was a Cape politician, statesman and the second Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Cape Colony. He was in fact the longest serving parliamentary Speaker in South African history, holding the position for nearly 22 years.

Dead Air (Doctor Who)

Dead Air is an exclusive-to-audio Doctor Who story, produced as part of BBC Books' New Series Adventures line, and the seventh entry in the series to be produced. Written by author James Goss and read by David Tennant, it features the Tenth Doctor travelling alone. It is the Tenth Doctor's final story and was released on 4 March 2010.

Doctor Who (2013 specials)

The 2013 specials of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who are two additional episodes following the programme's seventh series. In addition to the traditional Christmas episode, a feature of the revived series since 2005, there was also a special celebrating the 50th anniversary of the programme.

Both episodes starred Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald. The 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor" saw the guest returns of former series leads David Tennant and Billie Piper. The 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor", saw the departure of Smith from the series and the introduction of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.

Doctor Who (series 2)

The second series of British science fiction programme Doctor Who began on 25 December 2005 with the Christmas special "The Christmas Invasion". Following the special, a regular series of thirteen episodes was broadcast, starting with "New Earth" on 15 April 2006. In addition, two short special episodes were produced; a Children in Need special and an interactive episode, as well as 13 TARDISODEs.

This is the first series to feature David Tennant as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. He continues to travel with his companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), with whom he has grown increasingly attached. They also briefly travel with Rose's boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke), and Camille Coduri reprises her role as Rose's mother Jackie. The series is connected by a loose story arc consisting of the recurring word "Torchwood". This is also the first series to be preceded by a Christmas special, which was commissioned to see how well the show could do at Christmas. The success of "The Christmas Invasion" led to the Christmas special becoming an annual tradition.

Doctor Who (series 4)

The fourth series of British science fiction television programme Doctor Who was preceded by the 2007 Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned". Following the special, a regular series of thirteen episodes aired, starting with "Partners in Crime" on 5 April 2008 and ending with "Journey's End" three months later on 5 July 2008.

"Partners in Crime" marked the debut of Donna Noble, as played by Catherine Tate, as a full-time companion to the Tenth Doctor, after she first appeared in the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride". Freema Agyeman also returns as the Doctor's companion Martha Jones from the previous series. John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen, Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri also returned to appear in the series finale, as well Billie Piper, who appeared as Rose Tyler in the three final episodes of the series.

The series started production on 8 August 2007 and concluded on 29 March 2008. A short Children in Need special titled "Time Crash" was also produced and before "Voyage of the Damned", as well as a mini-episode entitled "Music of the Spheres", which was premiered at the Doctor Who Prom after the fourth series finale in July 2008. The fourth series was the final full series to star David Tennant as the Doctor, and the last with lead writer and showrunner Russell T Davies, but they would both stay until 2010, following the 2008–2010 specials. The series incorporates a loose story arc consisting of recurring mentions of the disappearance of bees from planet Earth and the loss of various planets and moons.

Einstein and Eddington

Einstein and Eddington is a British single drama produced by Company Pictures and the BBC, in association with HBO. It featured David Tennant as British scientist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, and Andy Serkis as Albert Einstein. This is the story of Einstein's general theory of relativity, his relationship with Eddington and the introduction of this theory to the world, against the backdrop of the Great War.

It was first broadcast on BBC Two on 22 November 2008.

Good Omens (TV series)

Good Omens is an upcoming television serial based on the 1990 novel Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A co-production between Amazon Prime and BBC Two, the six-part series was directed by Douglas Mackinnon and written by Gaiman, who served as showrunner. The series stars an ensemble cast featuring David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Anna Maxwell Martin, Josie Lawrence, Adria Arjona, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Miranda Richardson and Nick Offerman.

All six episodes of the serial are set to be released on May 31, 2019 on Amazon Prime.

Hamlet (2009 film)

Hamlet is a 2009 television film adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2008 modern-dress stage production of William Shakespeare's play of the same name, aired on BBC Two on 26 December 2009. It was broadcast by PBS in the United States on 28 April 2010.

Directed by Gregory Doran, it features the original stage cast of David Tennant in the title role of Prince Hamlet, Patrick Stewart as King Claudius and the ghost of Hamlet's father, Penny Downie as Queen Gertrude, Mariah Gale as Ophelia, Edward Bennett as Laertes, Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, and Peter de Jersey as Horatio.

List of awards and nominations received by Doctor Who

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced and aired by the BBC. Originally shown from 1963 until 1989, but was revived in 2005.

In 26 years, its original 1963–1989 run won only two awards, a RTS Television Award and a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award. However, the revived series has received recognition from critics and the public, winning many awards.

It has been nominated for a variety of different awards including 29 BAFTA TV Awards (eight wins for the series), 28 Hugo Awards (6 wins), 18 Saturn Awards (3 wins), 24 National Television Awards (16 wins), 5 Writer's Guild of Great Britain Awards (two wins), and a total of 23 awards from BBC itself (14 wins). Amongst the wins for the series are a BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Series, the most prestigious award for British television series; it was the very first (and to date only) science fiction work to win. Matt Smith became the first Doctor Who actor to earn a BAFTA TV nomination in 2011, receiving a Best Actor nomination for his role as the Eleventh Doctor, while Michelle Gomez became the first BAFTA TV-nominated Doctor Who actress in 2016 for her supporting role as Missy.

It also won the only Saturn Award for Best International Series, and five Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. The series have received a record of 26 nominations in this last category in nine years only, making it the second television series in history after Star Trek to have more than two episodes nominated for a Hugo Award in a single year. Star Trek, the second most nominated series, only received 8 nominations overall.

One of the most critically acclaimed aspects of Doctor Who is its acting quality: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi have all won awards playing the Doctor, while Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman have won awards playing companions, and Carey Mulligan and Alex Kingston won awards playing supporting characters. Both Billie Piper and David Tennant have received awards; nine (in two years in the series) and sixteen (three regular years, two other years during special episodes) respectively. The series has earned a broad range of nominations including recognition of its writing quality and its visual effects.

Pest Control (Doctor Who)

Pest Control is an exclusive to audio Doctor Who story, produced as part of BBC Books' New Series Adventures line, and the first entry in the series to be produced. Written by author Peter Anghelides and read by series star David Tennant, it is also the first non-televised Doctor Who adventure to feature the companion Donna Noble (the first standard printed books featuring her were released in autumn 2008). Pest Control was released on CD on 8 May 2008 and is also available for download.

The story is accompanied by an original soundtrack and sound effects created by Simon Hunt.

Purple Man

The Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Joe Orlando, he first appeared in Daredevil #4 (October 1964). His body produces pheromones which allow him to verbally control the actions of others. Initially a recurring enemy of Daredevil, in 2015 he emerged as the archenemy of Jessica Jones under the name “Kilgrave”.

A modified version of the character was portrayed by David Tennant in seasons 1 and 2 of Jessica Jones, for which Tennant received critical praise, and for which the character was included in Rolling Stone's list of the "40 Greatest TV Villains of All Time".

Spy in the Wild

Spy in the Wild is a 2017 British nature documentary television series, produced by BBC Natural History Unit, John Downer Productions and PBS.. The series ran for five episodes from 12 January 2017 and concluded on 3 February 2017, and aired on BBC One. The series focuses on the complex emotions of animals, using more than 30 specially built animatronic "spy creatures".

The series was narrated by David Tennant in the original version, while Brian Unger provides substitute narration in the American PBS version as it was broadcast under Nature Special Presentation series.

Tenth Doctor

The Tenth Doctor is an incarnation of the Doctor, the protagonist of the BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who, who is played by David Tennant in three series as well as nine specials. As with previous incarnations of the Doctor, the character has also appeared in other Doctor Who spin-offs. In the programme's narrative, the Doctor is a centuries-old Time Lord alien from the planet Gallifrey who travels in time in his TARDIS, frequently with companions. At the end of life, the Doctor can regenerate his body; in doing so, his physical appearance and personality change, and a new actor assumes the role. Tennant's portrayal of the Doctor is of an outwardly charismatic and charming adventurer whose likable and easygoing attitude can quickly turn to righteous fury when provoked.

This incarnation's companions include working class shop assistant Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), medical student Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), and fiery temp worker Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). He eventually parts ways with them all by the end of the 2008 series finale, "Journey's End", after which he attempts to travel alone for the duration of the 2008–2010 specials before being accompanied by Donna Noble's grandfather Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) on his final adventure in The End of Time.

The End of Time (Doctor Who)

The End of Time is a two-part story made up of the fourth and fifth of five special episodes of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who broadcast between December 2009 and January 2010. The End of Time was originally broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 25 December 2009 and 1 January 2010, and is the fifth Doctor Who Christmas special. This is the last story for lead actor David Tennant, who handed over the role of alien time traveller the Doctor to Matt Smith. It is also the last Doctor Who story written and produced by Russell T Davies, who shepherded the series' return to British television in 2005 and served as the series' executive producer and chief writer. Davies was succeeded as executive producer and showrunner by Steven Moffat.Bernard Cribbins, who appeared in the story "Voyage of the Damned" and throughout Series 4 as Wilfred Mott, grandfather of Donna Noble, acts as the companion to the Doctor in this two-part story. The special also features the return of many other actors to the show, including Catherine Tate, John Simm, Jacqueline King, Alexandra Moen, Billie Piper, Camille Coduri, Freema Agyeman, Noel Clarke, John Barrowman, Elisabeth Sladen, Tommy Knight, Jessica Hynes and Russell Tovey.

The story features the Tenth Doctor (Tennant), who has been running from a prophecy of his impending demise, as he is drawn into a scheme by his old nemesis, the Master (Simm). The Master brings the human race under his control as part of an elaborate plan to restore the world of his and the Doctor's own people, the Time Lords, from their demise in the Time War referred to in the series. The Doctor is able to avert this, but incurs fatal injuries. In the episode's conclusion, as has happened before, the Doctor regenerates and becomes a new man with a new personality and physical traits, setting up the show's following series with Matt Smith as the star and Steven Moffat as executive producer.

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is a 2013 comedy spoof and homage to the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. It debuted on the BBC Red Button service after the broadcast of "The Day of the Doctor", the official 50th anniversary special. The programme was written and directed by Peter Davison, who stars alongside fellow former Doctor actors Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, and Paul McGann. It features appearances from more recent stars of the show David Tennant, Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, and John Barrowman, as well as Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat, his predecessor Russell T Davies, and numerous others connected to the programme, all playing themselves in a more or less parodic manner.

The plot focuses on the fictionalised, disgruntled Davison, Baker and McCoy, who become embroiled in misadventures as they attempt to sneak onto the set of the official Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was nominated for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), (along with "The Day of the Doctor", An Adventure in Space and Time, "The Name of the Doctor", and episodes of Game of Thrones and Orphan Black).

The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)

"The Runaway Bride" is a special episode of the long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. It was produced as the Doctor Who Christmas special for 2006, broadcast on 25 December, and aired between the second and third series of the relaunched show.

In the episode, set in London, the alien Racnoss Empress (Sarah Parish) and the human resources head Lance (Don Gilet) attempt to use Lance's fiancée, the secretary Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), as a "key" to awaken the Racnoss children hibernating at the centre of the Earth by gradually and secretly poisoning Donna with an alien particle the Racnoss use as an energy source.

Doctor Who — Incarnations of the Doctor
In spin-offs
See also

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