Heather Peace: ‘I want to be the first female Doctor Who’

By Karen FazackerleyBBC reporter

Heather Peace


The first woman to star in Doctor Who with a One Direction star as her companion? That’s the dream of actress and singer Heather Peace.

While the second part of that wish is pure fantasy, the ambition to become the Tardis’ first woman owner is a genuine aim and one she believes is realistic.

Best known for roles in Emmerdale, London’s Burning, Ultimate Force and BBC Three’s Lip Service, the 38-year-old, who currently plays teacher Nikki Boston in BBC One drama Waterloo Road, wants to add another iconic character to her CV.

Following the recent news that Peter Capaldi is to become the 12th Doctor, Peace genuinely hopes her time in the Tardis will come.

“I want to be the first female Doctor Who,” she says. “I’m just keeping it as a positive mental attitude.

“I think they should turn the whole thing around, I’ll be in my 40s soon and you need to be a bit older with a young male sidekick who is completely in love with her but she’s not interested.

“I’ve got it all figured out. It could be one of the One Direction boys. Time travelling is so for me.”

Peace grew up in Bradford, and says she knew which career path she wanted to take from a young age.

Heather PeacePeace studied drama in Manchester where she also held a jazz residency

Encouraged by her parents, she headed over the Pennines at 17 to study drama in Manchester before moving back when she won the role of Anne Cullen in Emmerdale.

Taking risks

Numerous theatre and TV credits followed, including The Chase, Blue Murder and Holby City, and Peace says she chose to play police officer Sam Murray in Lip Service over a part in a primetime soap opera.

“I had a job and it was between taking that on or taking Lip Service and I chose Lip Service,” she says. “That was a key turning point in my career.

“It was a shorter job than the one on the soap and it was a risk but I just thought, how would I feel if it was brilliant and I wasn’t in it and I was in the other job?

“If it was going to be brilliant I knew as a gay woman that if I turned it down I’d be mortified because I’d watch it.”

But do not think she is just there to tick another equality box, Peace has never hidden the fact she is openly gay, and admits at times it has been difficult and has shunned interviews when she was starting out in the industry to avoid the subject being brought up.

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I didn’t do any personal interviews, but I was never in the closet”

Heather Peace

“I didn’t do any personal interviews, but I was never in the closet,” she says.

“I was out to my friends and family and everybody in the industry but I didn’t want to get in a taxi cab and the guy driving know, so I just didn’t talk about it.

“I was playing piano and singing and acting before I kissed a girl. People see it as something that defines you but straight doesn’t always define someone.

“But if someone is personally hideous to me I can literally have sleepless nights. People forget I am just a girl on the end of a phone, and quite often on my own, it’s devastating, and I can go into my own head sometimes.”

‘Times are changing’

Now a patron of Manchester Pride and Diversity Role Models, Peace, who entered into a civil partnership herself earlier this summer, believes times are changing.

“When I was 24 I was told not to come out, because I was there as a female in a man’s world, you can’t even believe that now. But things have changed so much and I have nothing to lose now.”

She has taken that philosophy into the next phase of her career and with two series of Waterloo Road under her belt and the new term just starting, Peace says the show will not shy away from tackling serious storylines.

“There’s a real depth to Nikki in this series,” she says. “She is not afraid to wipe the floor with someone.

“We see a lovely warmth between her and Kacey [actress Brogan Ellis] – a lovely relationship, a 17-year-old girl who needs to find an outlet for her anger and her issues with her gender disorientation, so that whole storyline is wonderful and Nikki becomes quite maternal.”

Heather PeaceHeather Peace toured sold-out venues in the UK and Australia in 2012

Her first passion, however, is music. Peace’s debut album Fairytales reached number seven in the Official Independent Chart last year and she embarked on a sell-out tour of the UK and Australia.

She is on the road again in October, splitting her time between touring the UK, being on set in Greenock, Scotland, for Waterloo Road, and her home on the south coast, before touring Australia in early 2014.

“I’m taking a break from the acting for a little while to go on tour and record my album in December. It doesn’t mean I’m leaving Waterloo Road, I’m just taking a tiny bit of time out.

“The songs are big tunes but with dark lyrics so my banter with my fans on the night is kind of the opposite to the lyrics of most of my songs – it’s going to be a rip-ride of a journey.

“This is my chance to really make it work and if it doesn’t and if I don’t get a hit album it’s not the end of the world. I just need to throw everything at this to give it my best shot possible.”

David Tennant talks filming ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary show: ‘It was everything I hoped’



On those rare occasions when current and past stars of Doctor Who filmed episodes together the air has sometimes turned a tad chilly. But “Tenth Doctor” David Tennant says there were no such problems when, earlier this year, he and his TARDIS successor Matt Smith shot this November’s special 50th anniversary show.

“I suppose you’d expect me to say we’re new best friends and I love him like a brother,” the Scottish actor tells EW. “But that is sort of how it was. I had a fantastic time and that wouldn’t necessarily have been the case. I’m coming back onto a show that’s effectively somebody else’s show and used to be mine and that’s potentially quite a weird situation to be in. Going back to something I knew so well and had such fun memories of might have backfired. It’s a quite rare set of circumstances: Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig don’t get to play James Bond next to each other. But actually it felt familiar enough that it was like coming home and working with Matt proved to be a real joy. I hope I’m speaking for him when I say we really enjoyed bouncing of each other and playing sort of two aspects of the same character. It was everything that I hoped it might be and nothing that I feared it could be.”

The special 50th anniversary show — which also stars Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper, and John Hurt — will be broadcast on BBC America, Nov. 23. Tennant is currently starring in the BBC America crime drama Broadchurch, the trailer for which you can see below.

Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi will keep his Scottish accent

Glaswegian actor Peter Capaldi will retain his Scottish tones when he takes over the role of Doctor Who.



Fans of Malcolm Tucker’s Glaswegian burr will be pleased to hear that actor Peter Capaldi will be keeping his native accent when he becomes the 12th Doctor.

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat revealed some hints about what viewers can expect from the new Time Lord to Doctor Who TV. Moffat said he was “pretty certain” Capaldi would keep his accent and would be an “older, trickier and fiercer Doctor”. As a guide, Moffat said fans can expect the 12th Doctor’s first few episodes to be similar to Tom Baker’s: “He’s really quite difficult to take at the beginning”.

Capaldi is known for playing spiky, difficult characters. As well as the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, he won acclaim for his portrayal of a damaged journalist in BBC Two’s The Hour last year.

‘Doctor Who’: ‘Luther’ creator Neil Cross writing for Peter Capaldi

From DigtalSpy.com   Story by Morgan Jeffrey


Luther creator Neil Cross has confirmed that he will return to Doctor Who for its eighth series.

Cross told Stuff.co.nz that he is “really excited about writing for Peter Capaldi” – the 55-year-old actor recently cast as the 12th Doctor.

Peter Capaldi arriving for the Orange British Academy Film Awards

© PA Images

Peter Capaldi

“I am going back [for series eight],” the writer revealed. “I have got story ideas tucked away… there’s a whole bunch of stuff I want to do.

“[Showrunner] Steven [Moffat] is clearly very busy with the 50th anniversary special and Christmas special, but I have to find out from Steven what his intentions for the Doctor are and what sort of stories he wants me to write.”

Cross – who previously wrote Who episodes ‘The Rings of Akhaten‘ and ‘Hide‘ – described Capaldi as “an outstanding choice” to replace current lead Matt Smith.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) & Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in Doctor Who S07E02: 'The Rings of Akhaten'


The Doctor & Clara in ‘The Rings of Akhaten’

“I am familiar with Peter Capaldi’s work and I am looking forward to it,” he said.

“There’s something about his physicality, his image, his wit, that evokes the Doctor. There’s something about him that evokes classic Doctor Who.”

Doctor Who‘s 50th special will air on Saturday, November 23, with Capaldi’s first full series to follow in 2014.

> Bill Nighy turned down Doctor Who: “It comes with too much baggage”

Watch Digital Spy‘s Geek TV special about Peter Capaldi and the 12th Doctor below

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Doctor Who fans in ageism row as they dub Peter Capaldi ‘too old’ to play the Time Lord

  • 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.
Debate: Fans of Doctor Who have sparked an ageism row as some have branded the twelfth Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, too old, at age 55


No surprises: Veteran actor Capaldi, who is best known as politico Malcom Tucker from satire The Thick Of It, was the favourite to be unveiled as the new Doctor


And the new Doctor is... Peter walked out to rapturous applause by the studio audience


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.’

It's ME! Peter Capaldi arrives home after it was announced he's to become the 12th Doctor WhIt’s ME! Peter Capaldi arrives home after it was announced he’s to become the 12th Doctor Who

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.’
Big secret: The BBC are said to have gone to great lengths to keep the identity of the new Time Lord a secret in an operation they nicknamed 'Houdini'


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.’


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.’

Lifelong fan: A 15-year-old Peter wrote to the Radio Times about Doctor WhoLifelong fan: A 15-year-old Peter wrote to the Radio Times about Doctor Who


‘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

Family man: Peter, his wife Elaine and their daughter Cecily in 2004Family man: Peter, his wife Elaine and their daughter Cecily in 2004

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.

Acclaim: Peter with his BAFTA TV Award in 2010Acclaim: Peter with his BAFTA TV Award 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


Grey Pride: Peter Capaldi is not the only one surfing the silver wave

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.


Greyness is a cultural signifier. Stress and age is one state it implies; the other is quite the opposite, a deeply pacific calm


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