Russell T Davies confirms he offered Hugh Grant the Doctor Who role

Russell T Davies’ three-part drama, A Very English Scandal, is heading to BBC One shortly. It marks the first time that he’s worked with Hugh Grant, too. But had history have taken a slightly different turn, their paths may have crossed earlier.

Davies has confirmed in a new interview to promote that show that he originally offered Grant the lead role in Doctor Who, that eventually went to Christopher Eccleston. “I have always wanted to work with Hugh Grant. Always”, Davies said. “I literally offered him Doctor Who in 2004”.

Not that Grant remembered the conversation. “I told him that and he was like “really?!” He knew nothing about that”, Davies said, before expressing his huge admiration for the actor.

Grant played the Doctor briefly in the Comic Relief special, The Curse Of Fatal Death, back in 1999. And in the past, he has expressed regret at turning down the role of the Doctor. In 2007, he noted that “it’s only when you see it on screen you think, ‘damn, that was good, why did I say no?’”

But he did. Christopher Eccleston took on the role, and the Doctor took a different turn…