David's father was a minister, and later Moderator of the General Assembly, of the Church of Scotland. At the age of three, David told his parents that he wanted to become an actor because he was mad about Doctor Who. Although such an aspiration might have been common for a British child of the 1970s, Tennant says he was absurdly single-minded in pursuing his goal. He adopted the professional name Tennant — inspired by Neil Tennant, the lead singer of the Pet Shop Boys — because there was another David MacDonald on the books of Actors' Equity.
Moving to London in the early 1990s, Tennant lodged with comic actress and writer Arabella Weir, with whom he became close friends and later godfather to one of her children. (He later appeared as a guest in her spoof television series Posh Nosh). Tennant began his career in the British theatre, frequently performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he specialised in comic roles such as Touchstone in As You Like It, 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.
He has appeared in several high-profile dramas for the BBC, including He Knew He Was Right (2004), Blackpool (2004), Casanova (2005) and The Quatermass Experiment (2005). In film, he has appeared in Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things, and as Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. One of his earliest big screen roles was in Jude (1996), in which he shared a scene with his Doctor Who predecessor Christopher Eccleston, playing a drunken undergraduate who challenges Eccleston's Jude to prove his intellect.
He has also performed in several audio plays based on the Doctor Who television series by Big Finish Productions – not playing the Doctor – as well as having a small role in the BBC animated webcast Scream of the Shalka. Not originally cast in the production, Tennant happened to be recording a radio play in a neighbouring studio, and when he discovered what was being recorded next door managed to convince the director to give him a small role. He has appeared in several more Doctor Who-related audio plays and also played the title role in Big Finish's adaptation of Bryan Talbot's The Adventures of Luther Arkwright (2005).
Tennant's name was put forward as a possible candidate to take on the role of the Ninth Doctor for the new series that began in March 2005, although the role eventually went to Christopher Eccleston. With Eccleston's announcement on March 30 that he would not be returning for a second series, the BBC confirmed Tennant as his replacement in a press release on April 16. He made his first, brief appearance in the episode The Parting of the Ways (2005) after 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 November 18, 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, which was broadcast on Christmas Day 2005. He was also seen in early December in the ITV drama Secret Smile. In December 2005, The Stage magazine listed Tennant at #6 in its Top Ten listing of the most influential UK television artists of the year, citing his roles in Blackpool, Casanova, Secret Smile and Doctor Who.
David Tennant Facts
|Birth Name||David McDonald|
|Birthday||April 18, 1971 (47)|
|Birthplace||Bathgate, Scotland, United Kingdom|
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