Peter Capaldi’s a busy man these days thanks to his jam-packed Doctor Who schedule, but the actor recently found time to squeeze in a visit to Malawi on the request of Richard Curtis.
Writing in this week’s Radio Times magazine, Capaldi – who is currently filming series nine of the BBC1 sci-fi series – reveals he flew to the south-west African country after the Comic Relief co-founder said, “in that gentle way of his, that as the current Doctor Who it was essentially my duty to show people what their extraordinary generosity can achieve.”
Based in Malawi’s second city, Blantyre, The Thick of It actor visited the Comic Relief-funded C-Code project set up in Ndirande, “the country’s largest slum – or informal settlement, as they’re referred to now” – which is helping to regenerate the area, beginning with toilets.
Capaldi also travelled to the rural village of Belesoni, an hour from Blantyre and home to Napham (National Association for People Living with HIV and Aids in Malawi), another project helped by Comic Relief cash.
“Like everything I’d seen, this was a challenging and complex situation that Comic Relief had chosen to help tackle – no quick wins or fancy gimmicks here,” he writes in the new magazine, available to buy in shops and on the newsstand from tomorrow [3rd March].
“But Richard Curtis had been right. People’s generosity really does translate into truly extraordinary change – and I’m very glad indeed I was there to witness it.”
Comic Relief is on BBC1 on Friday 13th March from 7:00pm