David Tennant sought help after Doctor Who fame left him ‘feeling vulnerable and raw’

Tennant said he “wasn’t coping at all” when he first played the Tenth Doctor, and had to see a therapist to deal with his new level of celebrity

David Tennant (Getty)

David Tennant has revealed that he struggled with his sudden overnight fame after taking the reins from Christopher Eccelston in Doctor Who.

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The 48-year-old, who became the Tenth Doctor back in 2005, had previously established himself as a well-loved actor on the theatre circuit thanks to his numerous performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

While he thought he had done enough to prepare himself for the onslaught of celebrity, Tennant said he was so shocked by the effect of his household name-status that he sought therapy.

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“The way you imagine it’s going to be is not the way it is at all,” he explained in an interview with The Sunday Times magazine. “It’s much more exposing, and the imaginative leap you’ve had that it will give you status or make you invulnerable is all wrong. It makes you very vulnerable, and very raw.

“I remember way back, when I’d be in a room and someone well known would walk in, and there’s that sort of whisper goes around the room and everyone looks. And you imagine being that person is somehow powerful.

“When you are that person, you walk into a room and everyone turns their head and whispers, and you feel like you’re being squashed. You feel intimidated, and you feel scared, actually.”

He added he “wasn’t coping at all” and so found help from “a very lovely older lady who was very calm and normal and just helped [him] cope with it.”

Yet despite his initial fears, Tennant went on to be one of the best-loved incarntations of the Doctor, playing the role for five years before departing in 2010.

Tennant, who is now starring as Crowley in Amazon Prime’s much-anticipated new series Good Omens, added that he suffered from anxiety from he was ten years old.

“I’ve always had insecurity, a lack of self-confidence, which is classic [for an actor],” he said. “It’s why you like dressing up and pretending to be someone else.”

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Good Omens debuts on 31st May on Amazon Prime