Peter Capaldi: “I was a geek before the word was invented”

He may be a sex symbol now but as a youngster the Doctor Who star was called names for his obsessions with space and science

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Peter Capaldi was a Doctor Who fan decades before many of those who are now watching him in the role (in 1974, aged 15, he even wrote a letter to Radio Times thanking us for our coverage of the show).

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But while these days geeky is the new sexy, back then watching Doctor Who didn’t always get the respect it deserved. Neither did some of Capaldi’s other obsessions that went along with it.

At school he was mocked and called “Moon Man”, thanks to his fascination with the Apollo landings.
 
“I spent my entire life writing letters to Nasa who sent pictures to me,” says Capaldi in the new issue of Radio Times. 

“I was a geek before the word was invented.”
 
These days, thanks to the Doctor, he’s just as likely to be called a sex symbol. So how does he feel about the turnaround?
 
“Unbelievable,” says Capaldi. “When you’re famous, people say things about you. I’m the same person I was when I wasn’t a sex symbol.”

He has his own opinion of who the real sex symbol is, though. 

“It’s slightly different,” he says. “Because people think they’re meeting Doctor Who, an icon, and not me…”

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Read the full interview with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale from Tuesday 15th September