Yesterday, Peter Capaldi's name entered the frame as the 2-1 favourite to play the next Doctor, the 12th or possibly 13th Doctor (depending on how we'll factor John Hurt's incarnation into the official sequence).
How likely is such a high-profile casting? Despite Steven Moffat's wish for an older Time Lord, the former The Thick of It star's availability and how much dosh such a top-drawer actor might cost the BBC, the most important factor that could swing it is that – like David Tennant before him – Peter Capaldi is a Doctor Who fan. And I mean a HUGE Doctor Who fan.
He was a key figure in the world of fandom in the 1970s, even pre-dating the formation of DWAS (the Doctor Who Appreciation Society) in 1976. Aged 15, he pinned his colours to the mast in this letter published in Radio Times in February 1974.
Click the image below to enlarge – and read the letter captioned Dalek-builders
Earlier this year I met Capaldi on the set of An Adventure in Space and Time, the forthcoming drama about Doctor Who's inception. He is friends with Mark Gatiss and had taken time out of his schedule to visit the studios in Wimbledon. We chatted briefly while watching scenes being filmed on, let's just say, a historical setting, and on the lovingly recreated Tardis set. We were both thrilled at what we saw and I could see then that he remains as big a fan today as he was four decades ago.
If Peter Capaldi's name truly is in the frame and he's offered the part, surely he'd find it irresistible.