Stage Name: David Tennant
Birth Name: David John McDonald
Date Of Birth: 18th April 1971
Home Town: Paisley, Scotland
Education: Ralston Primary, Paisley Grammar School, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Favourite Book: The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.
Favourite Film: Any Alfred Hitchcock but particulary Marnie.
Favourite Actress: Audrey Hepburn.
Favourite Play: Look Back In Anger and The Glass Menagerie.
Favourite TV Show: The West Wing.
Favourite Work Of Art: Rodin's The Kiss.
Favourite Piece Of Music: Fishing For A Dream - Turin Breaks.
Favourite Bands: The Proclaimers and The Beatles.
Favourite Doctor Who Monster: The Zygons.
ABOUT DAVID TENNANT
Over his almost three decade long acting career, multi award winning actor David Tennant has left a trail of memorable characters over an expansive and diverse array of theatre, film, radio and television credits.
The son of a Presbyterian minister, David Tennant was brought up in Bathgate, the post-industrial town between Edinburgh and Glasgow immortalised in a song by his favorite band, The Proclaimers. He decided to be an actor at a very young age (3 or 4) and was appearing on screen before he was even out of school. He was first talent-spotted by Scottish TV at a Saturday youth theatre club, an offshoot of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he later trained.
After graduating, Tennant auditioned for the groundbreaking political Scottish Theatre Group 7:84 and landed the role of Giri the Hitman in their touring production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Uiith — his first professional part. His second job, as King Arthur in an Edinburgh production, got such a bad review it made him cry. However, things began to look up when he landed a part in the award-winning BBC TV production of Takin' Over the Asylum. Tennant played manic-depressive Campbell Bain, a role that he claims changed his life. "They needed someone who could believably act 19 and bonkers." He could, and did, to much acclaim, and followed it up with a much-praised performance as the page boy in What the Butler Saw at the Lyttelton.
Then in 1996, when he was just 25, Tennant joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. His turn as Touchstone in As You Like It was praised as the most memorable in years. He was also applauded for his Jack Lane in The Herbal Bed, his leading role in Romeo and Juliet, and his portrayals of Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (for which he received a a 2000 Ian Charleson Award nomination for Best classical actor under 30) and Captain Jack Absolute in The Rivals. Tennant is now a respected classical stage actor and has added to his awards with the 2005 Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland Best Male Performance, as Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger; a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor for Lobby Hero; and a Theatre Management Association Best Actor Award for The Glass Menagerie.
Whilst forging his name in the theatre, Tennant also dipped his toe into the world of television, guest-starring in episodes of The Deputy, Foyle's War, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Rab C. Nesbitt, Holding the Baby and the multiple-award-winning People Like Us. He also appeared in a number of British films and co-starred in BBC4's acclaimed live telefilm of The Quatermass Experiment in April 2005.
But three TV roles in particular won Tennant widespead recognition, both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
In He Knew He Was Right, Andrew Davies' acclaimed BBC adaptation of Trollope's novel, Tennant provided the comic sub-plot as the Reverend Gibson, a flirtatious clergyman who is fought over by a pair of squabbling sisters.
In Blackpool, his Detective Inspector Peter Carlisle won critical acclaim ("David Tennant … crackles with raw energy" said the New York Daily News).
And his Casanova was a triumph, described by the Observer as "a perfect fusion of Brad Pitt and Michael Palin."
David is perhaps best known for his portrayal as the Tenth Doctor on the hugely popular “Doctor Who”. The BBC science fiction series itself has become a pop culture fixture and a fifty-year cult favorite. It depicts the adventures of the time traveling humanoid alien
Doctor as he defends himself against foes and protects whole civilizations and people in need. In November 2013, as part of “Doctor Who’s” 50th Anniversary celebrations, David's Doctor was voted "The UK's Favorite Doctor" in a survey held by
the Radio Times magazine.
Since embarking upon his longstanding “Doctor Who” career in 2005, David has appeared in many spin-offs of the series. These include: his directorial debut on the 2007 “Doctor Who Confidential” episode; a small role in the show’s webcast “Scream of the Shalka”; an appearance as the Doctor in an animated version of the show for CBBC’s “Totally Doctor Who, The Infinite Quest”; and a starring role as the Doctor in another animated six-part Doctor Who series entitled “Dreamland”.
An enthusiast and loyal supporter of the series, David announced that he would be stepping down from the role in 2008. He returned briefly to the role in 2013 to guest star in the 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor.” For his part in the show, Tennant won three TV Quick Awards, three SFX Awards, four National Television Awards, and two BAFTA awards, among numerous other nominations over the course of his four-year Doctor tenure.
David has starred in a series of prodigious film roles. In April 2012, he played the lead in a one-off drama entitled The Minor Character for Sky Arts. Between April and June of the same year, he played the lead role of ‘Jean-François Mercier’ in the BBC Four mini-series “Spies of Warsaw.” In 2010 he starred as a widowed father in the British drama “Single Father”, which followed his character ‘Dave’
as he struggled to raise five children after the death of his partner. For this role, he was nominated as “Best Actor” at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards.
Among his other accolades was a 2009 Critics Choice Award for “Best Shakespearean Performance” for his titular role in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of “Hamlet.” A critically acclaimed performance which saw him hailed as 'The Hamlet of his generation."
Awards for his 2013 / 2014 role as Richard II, also for the RSC, incuded Best Actor In A Play at the WhatsOnStage Awards.
In November 2008, David starred in the BBC and HBO biopic “Einstein and Eddington.” The TV movie featured him in the role of ‘Sir Arthur Eddington,’ who was the first physicist to lend a helping hand to Albert Einstein as he sought to prove his experimental and controversial theories.
In February of 2007, David starred in “Recovery,” a 90-minute BBC One drama written by Tony Marchant. He played ‘Alan,’ an ambitious site-manager attempting to rebuild his life after a tragic brain injury. Later that same year, David starred in the BBC comedy drama “Learners”. The film, written by and starring Jessica Hynes, featured David as Christian driving instructor ‘Chris,’ who finds himself
the unsolicited object of a student's affection.
In 2005, the National Video Archive of Performance recorded David as ‘Jimmy Porter’in the Theatre Royal play “Look Back in Anger” for the Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre Collection.
Further solidifying his place as one of the UK’s elite, David made an appearance in the popular J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as ‘Barty Crouch Jr.’ in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in the same year.
As well as being a seasoned professional actor, he is an award winning voice-over actor. He has lent his voice to a wide range of characters, including ‘Huyand’ in animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”; “Spitelout” in How to Train Your Dragon; and 'Twigs’ in Tree Fu Tom, among others.
Most recently David can be seen portraying the villainous role of 'Kilgrave' opposite Krysten Ritter in Netflix’s “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.” The streaming service is exclusively airing the 13-episode series.
David will star alongside Elizabeth Moss as the lead in the new film Mad To Be Normal as the world-renowned Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing. It will tell the story of his unique community at Kingsley Hall, East London during the 1960’s. The film is set for release in 2016.
Currently, David is filming for the critically acclaimed ITV crime series “Broadchurch.” David plays detective ‘Alec Hardy,’ who was brought to the small town of Broadchurch to investigate the murder of an 11-year-old local boy. Currently in production for it's third and final series, “Broadchurch” has already been nominated and won several awards, including the 2014 BAFTA TV Award for “Best Drama Series.”
From his first projects with the Royal Shakespeare Company, to his present day Rolodex of timeless characters in all areas of performance, David Tennant continues to amass an ever-growing fan base worldwide.
In this section we offer an in depth look David Tennant's TV work, from love lorn detective in Blackpool to geeky driving school instructor in Learners via a legendary lover in Casanova and a dashing spy in the Spies Of Warsaw...
Filming wrapped at the end of January on Des, which sees David Tennant play one of the UK's most notorious serial killers, Dennis Nilsen. The new three-part ITV drama is based on Killing For Company, the biography of Nilsen written by Brian Masters which includes conversations with the killer who would go by the name of 'Des'.
The drama will screen on ITV and ITV Hub in the UK from 14th September 2020.
It will stream on Stan in Australia from 15th September and will come to US on Sundance Now later this year.
Keep up to date on all the latest news on the series here.
David's lockdown comedy Staged, which co-stars Michael Sheen, Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg, is now streaming in the UK on both BBC iPlayer and Netflix. It will air on ABC in Australia in September and is coming to US streaming service Hulu later this year.
David Tennant is also to lead the cast of an exciting new adaptation of Around The World In 80 Days, taking on the iconic role of Phileas Fogg. Filming is currently suspended due to the coronavirus crisis.