Yes, that’s Nathan Barley in Doctor Who: Thin Ice

Nicholas Burns brings another odious figure to life in this week’s episode of the sci-fi series


The big mystery in this week’s Doctor Who concerns a giant underwater Earth-creature, but you might instead spend the episode pondering where on EARTH you recognise nasty villain Lord Sutcliffe from.


And while we won’t spoil the bigger secrets discovered by the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Bill (Pearl Mackie) this week, we can solve the latter mystery – because actor Nicholas Burns (who plays Sutcliffe) has cropped up in all sorts of TV series over the years, most prominently a comedy from Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.

Yes, that’s right – the man playing Sutcliffe once starred as proto-hipster Nathan Barley in the eponymous 2005 Channel 4 sitcom from Brooker and Chris Morris which epitomised the depressing stupidity of “trendy” media types and gained a loyal following over the years.


Burns in Nathan Barley

Since then, Burns has appeared in the likes of Man Stroke Woman, Roman’s Empire, No Heroics, Psychoville, New Tricks and Agatha Christie mysteries among other series, also gaining a new following for his role as Martin Weedon in ITV’s Benidorm.

Most recently, he starred as Ben (the father of main character Errol) in BBC3 sitcom Uncle, as well as Michael in Marley’s Ghosts.

So in other words, there are plenty of places you could’ve seen Burns in before his Doctor Who debut – even if to many, he’ll always be the proud proprietor of website


Doctor Who continues on Saturdays on BBC1 at 7:20pm