Dyeing to be different: the many hair colours of David Tennant

Why does TV continually insist on turning the former Doctor Who star's barnet such ridiculous shades?


Since Doctor Who, David Tennant has proven he’s a man of many parts, having played a scheming politician, a dastardly Lord, a world-weary police detective and a slightly annoying version of himself, to name but a few. But he’s also shown he’s a man of many hair colours, with someone – if not the actor himself – apparently intent on giving him the widest and most ridiculous range of tonsorial hues possible.

The Politician’s Husband saw him sporting blonde highlights that would have been more at home in the 1990s (and certainly didn’t befit a man attempting to forge a serious political career) while the bright orange job in Broadchurch seemed inappropriately ebuliant for someone investigating a child murder (for an even oranger version, see his role as camp gameshow host Mr Slightlyman in This is Jinsy, which was, at least, a comedy).
In St Trinian’s sequel The Legend of Fritton’s Gold, Tennant turns grey overnight to play the otherwise youthful Lord Pomfrey. Meanwhile, even the ad people are in on the conspiracy, with Richard Branson insisting on what amounts to a purple rinse for the Virgin Media ads.

What exactly is wrong with Tennant’s real hair colour (which,  as far as we can tell, is a natural looking chestnut brown) I’m really not sure but I can only wonder at what might be next. If he is, as the bookies would have it, to play Sir Alex Ferguson in a film of his life, we might expect a distinguished grey. But on past record, who knows – maybe someone will decide to dye Tennant Manchester United red instead…