- Peter Capaldi, 55, dubbed ‘unattractive, too old’ and a ‘bad choice’ by fans
- ‘The Doctor meant to be someone young, both Matt and David were very cute… now they give us an old guy’ said another
- Show boss Steven Moffatt said: ‘The Doctor just chooses a face off the rack. He doesn’t care whether he’s young or old’
- Actor had been the odds-on favourite to play the part
- Flurry of bets led bookmakers to change his odds from 40-1 to 5-6
- Suggestion that the choice for the coveted role was leaked by BBC insider despite top secret campaign
Peter Capaldi was favourite to win with punters, but others were not so enthralled by the decision.
His official unveiling as the new Doctor Who during a live programme on BBC1 led many online to dub the seasoned actor ‘too old’ for the role.
The 55-year-old actor is the same age as first Doctor William Hartnell was when he made his debut in the role in 1963.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘One of sons just said of Peter Capaldi: “Is that the new Doctor? He’s old, he’ll die quicker than the 11th Doctor”‘.
Capaldi, the bullying Malcolm Tucker in political satire The Thick Of It, was unveiled on Sunday night as the 12th actor to play the lead role in Doctor Who.
Some users on the social networking site described his announcement as ‘exciting’ and ‘perfect’, but others were more critical – one wrote: ‘Peter Capaldi is not attractive because he’s old’, while another posted: ‘I’m not watching Doctor Who any more. Peter Capaldi is too old.’
The unveiling caused a flurry of comments on MailOnline, with many expressing their views on the new Doctor’s age.
Cdst20, from Cardiff wrote: ‘Needed to be someone younger and more attractive to keep Dr Who relevant as did reader Leeb, of Nottingham: ‘I think younger would have been better, to be honest I think this is a bad choice.
Katty of Bournemouth said: ‘I want to say i am going to stop watching Doctor Who, however, i love it too much. So i am going to give it a go but i don’t want the doctor to be a old guy.’
‘Too old. Same age as the first Dr in 1908. All the others were more than 10yrs younger, shirley1919.
‘Very very disappointed! The Doctor meant to be someone young, both matt and David were very cute and funny doctors, and now they give us an old guy, no offence to the new guy he may be an amazing actor but he just doesn’t fit the part,’ Fara23.
But show boss Steven Moffatt defended his choice saying: ‘The Doctor just chooses a face off the rack. He doesn’t care whether he’s young or old.’
And despite the many comments dismissing him as too old, Capaldi did get some support from fans and celebrities alike.
’55 looks a lot younger and healthier now than it did in William Hartnell’s time. And yes, I do go back to the original William Hartnell series,’ write Day Javue on MailOnline’s comments section.
Quince 57 called Capaldi a ‘Great choice,he is very attractive and so much more watchable than the last Doctor.’
And Emma from Lincoln: ‘I love him! So glad they’ve cast an older gentleman, although the fangirls are probably throwing fits about not having a young pretty boy to squee over.’
Former Doctor Who assistants Karen Gillan called Capaldi, a ‘superb choice. Swear I’ve seen him in Pompeii’, and Freema Agyeman tweeted: ‘Peter Capaldi! The show is in safe hands. Great choice #newdirection.’
The Scottish star had been the odds-on favourite to become the next inhabitant of the Tardis, and it appears the result may have been known three days ago, when a flurry of bets led to bookmakers suspending betting on him and lowering his odds from 40-1 to 5-6.
They now stand to lose around £100,000.
Joe Crilly, a spokesman for William Hill, said: ‘We have seen people trying to back Peter Capaldi as much as possible at every price available.’
That raised questions last night about whether someone at the BBC had leaked the name – despite the corporation going to great lengths to keep the identity of the new Time Lord a secret in an operation it had codenamed Houdini.
Some 400 Doctor Who fans, some dressed as their favourite characters, were in the audience last night to see the announcement.
Capaldi, who appeared in a 2008 episode of the series alongside tenth Doctor David Tennant, told presenter Zoe Ball of his excitement at taking on the role.
‘It’s so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer,’ he said.
‘For a while I couldn’t tell my daughter who kept on looking on the internet and kept seeing people saying so and so should be the Doctor and she got rather upset.
‘But it has been absolutely fantastic in its own way, so many wonderful things have been happening.’
CAPALDI WROTE TO RADIO TIMES PRAISING DR WHO WHEN HE WAS 15
A lifelong fan of the show, Peter Capaldi even wrote a letter to the Radio Times about the Daleks when he was a teenager.
In the letter, the then 15-year-old who attended the Glasgow School of Art, wrote: ‘Your Special has certainly made the year for Dr Who fans.
‘A rather sad year due to the untimely death of the Master, alias Roger Delgado.
‘But I hope that in 15 years’ time, in 1988, you will publish another Special to celebrate 25 years of wandering in time with the Doctor.’
‘It was quite hard because even though I’m a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I haven’t played Doctor Who since I was nine in the playground. I downloaded old scripts from the internet and read those.’
Capaldi will appear briefly in a Christmas special as the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith, leaves, and his first series will be broadcast late next year. Speaking in a pre-recorded video, Smith said: ‘I know what’s coming and he’s gonna have a blast.’
The live unveiling came after weeks of speculation about who would be the next Doctor.
Suggestions included Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, James Bond actors Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear, and Homeland actor Damian Lewis.
Peter Capaldi biography
Capaldi was born in Glasgow in April 1958 to an Irish mother and Italian father.
He enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, but was also a member of the Antonine Players during high school.
During his studies at the School of Art, he fronted a punk band called Dreamboys, whose drummer Craig Ferguson, is now an actor and chat show host.
He made his big screen debut in 1983 film Local Hero and appeared in an episode of Minder two years later.
Over the past three decades, roles followed in Dangerous Liaisons, Peep Show, Waking The Dead, The Crow Road and The Devil’s Whore.
However, it was his role as Government spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in BBC comedy series The Thick of It which earned him the most acclaim.
The Scottish star won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Role for The Thick Of It in 2010.
The same year, he won the first for two Best TV Comedy Actor accolades at the British Comedy Awards for the show, followed by a second in 2012.
As well as TV and film, Peter has also starred on stage, starring in The Ladykillers in the West End last year.
However, Peter is equally talented behind the camera and in 1995 won an Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action) for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.
He has also written Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which won the audience award at the London Film Festival in 1993.
Recently, Peter starred alongside Brad Pitt in World War Z and BBC2 series The Hour, for which he received a BAFTA nomination.
He has already filmed roles in the forthcoming films The Fifth Estate and Maleficent and is currently shooting BBC drama series The Musketeers.
Peter lives in North London with his wife Elaine Collins and th
Bravo BBC for regenerating Doctor Who as a retired spin doctor with a shady past and a salt and pepper barnet, says Alex Clark
Truth time: that moment when you come across something white and unfamiliar on your head is not a good one. Here are some words that do not spring instantly to mind: hurrah; distinguished; wise. Here are some that do: pubic; clapped-out; dye (and, also, die, as in ‘all things must one day die’).
Ash cloud: Pixie Geldof at the Elle Style Awards, 2009 But now there is someone on hand to help us feel better about the ravages inflicted by the years; appropriately enough, a Time Lord. When Zoë Ball did that slightly terrifying shout into the camera to unveil Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor Who, there were several possible responses. ‘Thank God this excruciating programme is over and poor Bernard Cribbins can go home,’ was the first, obviously. ‘F***, it’s Malcolm Tucker,’ was the second. Various thoughts about the programme makers’ inability to visualise anyone other than a white male in the role might have occurred. But somewhere the cerebellum would have registered the fact that here was a bloke in his fifties, making no attempt to hide his greying hair, or its receding-ness, or his crinkly eyes or laughter lines. And we were all thrilled.
The relatively late ascent of Capaldi’s star doesn’t tell the story of his career, which stretches back to the 1980s and such prize gigs as Minder and Local Hero. There he was, slogging away, getting critically acclaimed and all that, but hardly what you’d call a household name. Then he did a load of swearing and now he’s an effing national treasure.
But Tucker’s filthy language wasn’t all he had going for him. Capaldi also sucked us into the screen by giving us a man on the edge; every sinew straining, his day punctuated by incompetents and ne’er-do-wells on the make. You never thought of Malcolm eating, sleeping, going for a walk, having sex, watching the telly, taking a bath or climbing Ailsa Craig with a pair of binoculars round his neck. You only ever thought of him shouting at someone in a corridor. No wonder the guy was grey.
Ice queen: Nicole Richie at the Met Ball, NYC, May 2013For all that it is simply a physical process, greyness is a cultural signifier. Stress and age is one state it implies; the other is quite the opposite, a deeply pacific calm. Hence Holly Hunter’s character in Top of the Lake, the magnificent GJ. If you haven’t seen it, this is all you need to know: she is a guru; she has a funny accent; she sleeps in a chair with her eyes open; and she advises women who have been having carnal relations with their violent pet monkeys on how best to move on. If that is the kind of career path you’d like to follow, by all means get on the phone to your colourist.
You won’t be alone. Youngsters such as Pixie Geldof and Kelly Osbourne — who probably have decades before they actually need to worry about these kind of hair affairs — tried out grey ages ago. But there’s a new wave of experimenters. You’ll be joining Rihanna, who only a couple of weeks ago supplemented her hair with grey extensions and then tweeted: ‘Grey is the new black! Blondies, it’s quiet for y’all!’ Not that she was exactly breaking new ground: Nicole Richie already sported a fetching ice-grey up-do for this year’s punk-themed Met Ball back in May. That’s right — if you’ve spent acres of time and buckets of money on having your hair discreetly highlighted, all we can say is: sucks to be you.
Our increasing appreciation of grey might not extend to the disappearance of ageism altogether; women will continue to feel anxious about wrinkles and body clocks, and men about paunches and stamina. But it’s a start. Grey hair is a reminder that our physical presence will change, not that it’s time to throw in the towel. That’s clearly the view of director Mark Rylance, who has chosen Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones to play sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick in his new production of Much Ado About Nothing. It’s a heartening move. After all, Doctor Who may be able to bend the laws of space and time; the rest of us must learn to turn the unforgiving clock to our advantage with style and grace.
Steely locks: Rihanna in London, July 2013So whether you choose a calming mantra about inner beauty or up your spend at the hairdresser’s, simply take it all in your stride. Speaking of which, I recently had an exchange at the salon about the wonders of dry shampoo as an emergency freshener. As my hairdresser said, the one thing you have to watch out for is a powdery residue at the roots, which, unless blended in with the fingertips, might give the impression you were going, well, you know. ‘Grey!’ I shouted out. ‘We never say grey,’ she replied tactfully. ‘It’s silver.’
Bravo BBC for regenerating Doctor Who as a retired spin doctor with a shady past and a salt and pepper barnet, says Alex Clark
Sapphire Lewis of Bleach London, E8, on how to go grey gracefully
1. A hairdresser will assess how dark the hair is — if it’s light enough (light to mid-brown upwards) and virgin (undyed), the hair is bleached to as white as possible.
2. The bleach is washed off and a silver, violet, blue or grey ash toner applied. If there are hints of yellow in the hair, violet toner will pull them out. If it’s white enough, use a blue or grey ash toner.
3. If you want a really deep grey hue, you’ll have a semi-permanent wash-in colour. A vegetable dye is best to achieve a true grey, maybe with a navy blue hint to it.
4. To maintain, we’d recommend a silver shampoo and conditioner. Bleach London sells Philip Kingsley Pure Silver shampoo and conditioner, which counteract brassy or yellow tones as the hair starts to fade.
5. You can also have an Elasticizer treatment to strengthen and repair hair.
6. If it goes wrong at home (ie, over-bleached so it’s starting to break), do a deep hair treatment or sleep in your conditioner
Officials were searching Sunday for the bodies of two children as small explosions could be heard from a volcano that erupted a day earlier, killing six people on a small island in eastern Indonesia.
Ash and smoke shot about a mile into the air after Mount Rokatenda in East Nusa Tenggara province erupted early Saturday morning. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated from the area on Palue island, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The volcano has been rumbling since last October.
The victims who died included three adults and two children, said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, adding the age of the sixth person killed was not known. He said that the adults’ bodies were recovered, but that the children’s remains had not been found.
Tini Thadeus, head of the local disaster agency, said Sunday he was pessimistic about recovering the bodies since they were buried under heat volcanic material.
He said small explosions could be heard coming from the peak, which was still sending smoke up to 600 meters (yards) into the sky.
“But all of the villagers have been evacuated out of the danger zone” near the crater, Thadeus said from the provincial capital, Kupang.
The eruption lasted about seven minutes, said Frans Wangge, who heads the volcano’s monitoring post. He said hot lava burned trees around the beach and villages, and made it difficult to reach the area where the victims were killed.
Mount Rokatenda is one of 129 active volcanoes in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands that’s home to 240 million people. The country is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines.