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Richard O'Brien "would've loved" to play the Doctor in Doctor Who

Exclusive: The Rocky Horror and Crystal Maze legend says he would have "grabbed [the role] with both hands".

Richard O'Brien
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
Published: Friday, 30th October 2020 at 12:26 pm

Beloved by fans for his involvement in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Crystal Maze and more, Richard O'Brien has revealed he'd have liked to have upped his cult icon status still further... by landing the lead in Doctor Who.


O'Brien plays The Brigadier (no relation to Doctor Who's Lethbridge-Stewart) in new six-part fantasy audio series The Barren Author, appearing alongside Doctor Who star Sophie Aldred.

Speaking to, O'Brien admitted that, in years gone by, he would have loved to play the Doctor on the BBC TV series.

"When I was younger, I would've loved to have been offered the part of Doctor Who," he said. "I met Jon Pertwee some years ago and we nattered for a long time about that series. Tom Baker, of course, I've met Tom over the years...

"It was a role I would've grabbed with both hands, but it never came my way. It's too late now!"

Despite his enthusiasm for the part, O'Brien suggested he might have been a little apprehensive about playing the Time Lord too. "I would've been slightly intimidated by some of the actors that had gone before, knowing that I'd have to step up because they'd raised the bar quite high. It got terribly interesting I think about the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker times – some of those episodes were quite intense and quite fantastical.

"Perhaps it's better this way... the happy memory of what might've been!"


The Barren Author is inspired by the stories of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe – written by Paul Birch and produced and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, the series is not a literal adaptation of the Munchausen stales but instead takes “the satirical, provocative and absurd spirit of the original tales and reimagines them for 2020.”

The Barren Author will be released on Saturday (31st October) at £3.99 per episode or £19.95 for the six-part series. Find out more at

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