Peter Capaldi: People love to make out that Steven Moffat and I have disagreements on Doctor Who

The former Thick of It star tells Radio Times that the attention the role brings makes him "sympathetic to Malcolm Tucker"

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The role of the Doctor is obviously one of the best parts in television, but it can also be one of the most difficult –especially in terms of the attention it brings.

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In the new issue of Radio Times – the legendary Christmas double issue, no less – current Doctor Peter Capaldi talks about that public scrutiny, and how it reminds him of his role in political satire The Thick of It as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker. 

“No one was particularly bothered about what I said before,” he says. “What’s now shocking is I can’t say anything publically without it having a life. Not because I have extraordinary views but because people are keen on conflict, so they’ll make that the story.”

“They love to make out that [showrunner] Steven Moffat and I have disagreements. But that’s business as usual. It made me realise how awful it must be to be a politician. I’m a lot more sympathetic to Malcolm Tucker’s views now.”

The ‘conflict’ that Capaldi refers originally gained traction as a rumour after Capaldi told The Sunday Times earlier this year that there would be no flirting between his Doctor and Jenna Coleman’s companion Clara. “It’s quite a fun relationship [between the Doctor and Clara],” he told the paper, “but, no, I did call and say ‘I want no Papa-Nicole moments.’ I think there was a bit of tension with that at first but I was adamant.”

Speaking of the story, Capaldi says: “I always felt it would be inappropriate for someone my age to be in any kind of flirtatious relationship with a young person. But I think everybody felt that.” 

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Read the full interview with Peter Capaldi in the Christmas issue of Radio Times, on sale now