Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi revealed as the new Doctor

The name revealed on a special BBC1 announcement programme.

After a frankly bizarre "announcement" programme hosted by Zoe Ball on BBC1, the identity of the actor who will replace Matt Smith as the Doctor has been revealed as Peter Capaldi. (For a glimpse of how ridiculous the show was - at one point they randomly interviewed Bruno Tonioli off Strictly - check out Stuart Heritage's Guardian live blog.)

Capaldi revealed to Ball that he is a lifelong fan of the show - he even wrote to the Radio Times to request more coverage of the show when he was 15 years old. Perhaps most famous for his performance as the steely, sweary spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, Capaldi has actually already appeared on Doctor Who during David Tennant's stint as the Doctor playing a Roman marble merchant called Caecilius in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" (incidentally also Karen Gillan's first appearance on the show as a soothsayer - she was later cast as companion Amy). He was also in the Torchwood: Children of Earth series as government minister John Frobisher.

In an interview during the annoucement show, outgoing Doctor Matt Smith explained that Capaldi came up to him on the street after his first episode had aired, and gave him some much-need reassurance that his performance was good.

Now read Alwyn W Turner's essay "Sergeant Pepper Pots" about the cultural significance of the Daleks.

Peter Capaldi has been unveiled as the new Doctor. Photo: Rankin

Caroline Crampton is web editor of the New Statesman.

GETTY
Show Hide image

Hillary and the Viking: dramatising life with the Clintons

August radio should be like a corkboard, with a few gems pinned here and there. Heck, Don’t Vote for Him is one.

Now is the season of repeats and stand-in presenters. Nobody minds. August radio ought to be like a corkboard – things seemingly long pinned and faded (an Angela Lansbury doc on Radio 2; an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor on Radio 4 Extra) and then the occasional bright fragment. Like Martha Argerich playing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No 1 at the Albert Hall (Prom 43, 17 August).

But on Radio 4, two new things really stand out. An edition of In the Criminologist’s Chair (16 August, 4pm) in which the former bank robber (and diagnosed psychopath) Noel “Razor” Smith recalls, among other memorable moments, sitting inside a getaway car watching one of his fellows “kissing his bullets” before loading. And three new dramas imagining key episodes in the Clintons’ personal and political lives.

In the first (Heck, Don’t Vote for Him, 6 August, 2.30pm), Hillary battles with all the “long-rumoured allegations of marital infidelity” during the 1992 Democratic primaries. Fenella Woolgar’s (brilliant, unburlesqued) Hillary sounds like a woman very often wearing a fantastically unhappy grin, watching her own political ambitions slip through her fingers. “I deserve something,” she appeals to her husband, insisting on the position of attorney general should he make it to the top – but “the Viking” (his nickname at college, due to his great head of hair) is off, gladhanding the room. You can hear Woolgar’s silent flinch, and picture Hillary’s face as it has been these past, disquieting months, very clearly.

I once saw Bill Clinton speak at a community college in New Jersey during the 2008 Obama campaign. Although disposed not to like him, I found his wattage, without question, staggering. Sweeping through the doors of the canteen, he amusedly removed the microphone from the hands of the MC (a local baseball star), switched it off, and projected for 25 fluent minutes (no notes). Before leaving he turned and considered the smallest member of the audience – a cross-legged child clutching a picture book of presidents. In one gesture, Clinton flipped it out of the boy’s hands, signed the cover – a picture of Lincoln – and was gone.

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 28 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Double Issue