The celebrities you might not know are Doctor Who fans

Love Doctor Who? You're in good company. From Steven Spielberg to Tom Hanks, we round up some of the show's most famous fans…

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks

Doctor Who is not just for muggles. The magical celebrity elite also happen to enjoy the story of a universally famous man of wealth and privilege jetting around time and space doing whatever the hell he wants.

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But who are these stars that – just like all of us – take a break every Saturday from an immense life of fame and riches to watch their favourite tea-time sci-fi series? Well, lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the most famous Whovians in the world – some of which may just surprise you.

The Beatles

Back in the ‘60s, the Fab Four were apparently huge fans of William Hartnell’s First Doctor, with them even expressing interest in appearing in Dalek serial The Chase. This was not to be, though, due to a reported veto from manager Brian Epstein.  What did happen, however, is a scene in which the Doctor and companions Barbara, Ian and Susan are seen enjoying a clip of the band from Top of the Pops – the only surviving record of that performance thanks to the BBC’s policy back then of wiping their video reels.

Robert Downey Jr

The Doctor usually doesn’t have much luck when it comes to metal men in his life, but there is one Iron Man that has his back. Robert Downey Jr, who of course plays Marvel’s genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist, is reportedly quite taken with the show, which he revealed in a Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”) just last year, calling it an “incredible series”.

Tom Hanks

In an interview with Radio Times, the Forest Gump star reminisced about the classic series, and gives the greatest description of its trippiness we’ve ever heard. “We got our first colour TV in 1968, and in California that meant all these extra channels nobody watched, filled with trippy Japanese cartoons – and Doctor Who! And we always watched because the English video just looked so weird, and you had the guy with the big red hair and the bow tie. And everyone talked in English accents and there were these big salt and pepper shaker robots and we’d look at each other and say ‘Can you make any sense out of this?’ But it was… intriguing. And that’s the root of my affection.”

The Queen? 

After marrying Queen Elizabeth I in the Day of the Doctor, it seems that the Time Lord is quite partial to a bit of royalty. Oddly enough, the feeling may be mutual. According to The Mirror, a Buckingham Palace source said, “The Queen loves the programme and has requested a full set of DVDs. She has asked the BBC to send her copies so she can watch the series again during her stay at Balmoral.” Quite possibly the most English thing we’ve ever heard. A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace added: “The Queen’s television viewing is a personal matter and we are unable to discuss it.” So we’re still not quite sure.

Peter Jackson

OK, admittedly, this one is not really a surprise. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director is a well known fan of Doctor Who, with both him and Steven Moffat expressing an interest in Jackson directing an episode of the show for years. His fee, if it ever happens? A golden Dalek.

Steven Spielberg

Doctor Who has worked with a lot of brilliant directors over the years, but perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn that one of the most ultimate directors is a fan of the show too: Mr Steven Spielberg. Always a big champion of the sci-fi, Spielberg confirmed his love for the series after working with showrunner Steven Mofatt on the screenplay for his big screen adaptation of Tintin. As the man said himself: “Steven wrote one of my favorite TV shows, which is Doctor Who.”

Patrick Stewart

Yep, Captain Pickard himself is such a fan of Doctor Who that in 2007 he expressed sadness that he has never been invited onto the show for a cameo. He told Scotland’s Press and Journal that, “I have been a fan actually, yes, and deeply dismayed that I was never asked to be in it! I think it’s a terrific series.” This did, inevitably, lead to a lot of casting speculation that Stewart would be playing the classic renegade Time Lord the Meddling Monk in a story featuring the Daleks. It was, sadly, never to be.

Matt Groening

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If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Simpsons and seen a suspicious yellow Tom Baker in the background, you might just be hallucinating. Show creator Matt Groening just so happens to be a massive fan, with the fourth Doctor being his particular favourite. 

Although he’s not actively spoken out about it, both The Simpsons and Futurama do feature a few subtle, and a few not-so subtle references to the show in a number of episodes. Comic Book Guy, of course, is partial to a Doctor Who marathon, Amelia Pond’s disembodied head can be seen in Futurama, and even the Daleks get a little cameo (controlling a hypothetical version of London, naturally) in the episode Holidays of Future Passed.