Should Hugh Grant be the next Doctor Who


Unsurprisingly, a slew of big names have been linked to the soon-to-be-vacant lead role in Doctor Who in recent months, with Hugh Grant being the most recent to be mentioned.

According to a show insider on the sci-fi juggernaut, returning showrunner Russell T Davies wants the Notting Hill star to “bring a fresh feel” to the role, and that “conversations are ongoing.”

This chimes with the fact that Davies actually asked Grant to play the role once before, offering him the gig when he first took over the show in 2005.

“I literally offered him Doctor Who in 2004.” Davies told the i in 2018. “I told him that and he was like, ‘Really?!’ He knew nothing about that. I love him. I think he’s one of Britain’s finest actors.”

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“I was offered the role of the Doctor a few years back and was highly flattered,” Grant noted in 2007.

“It’s only when you see it on screen that you think, ‘Damn, that was good, why did I say no?'”

So, how likely is it that an A-lister like Grant could really be about to pick up a sonic screwdriver and head into the TARDIS for some adventures in time and space?

Well, while it’s too early to say for sure, at this point it’s probably best to take the rumours with a pinch of salt – and it’s worth noting that when contacted by, the BBC declined to comment.

There is a lot of speculation flying around at the moment, and many conflicting reports as to who is most likely to take over from current Doctor Jodie Whittaker.

Fady Elsayed, Olly Alexander, and Lydia West are among the most prominent names said to be in the running, while most sensational of all are rumours about a return for David Tennant – with some claiming that the former star could be set to play a new incarnation of the Time Lord who looks and sounds the same as the Tenth Doctor.

Hugh Grant in Russell T Davies' A Very English Scandal
Hugh Grant in Russell T Davies’ A Very English Scandal

As for Grant, any deal to see him play the Doctor would mark a major career move for him, given that the role is one that requires a lot of commitment and makes it rather difficult to pick up other big roles.

Grant is currently slated to appear in upcoming films Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre and Dungeons & Dragons, while recent credits have included The Undoing, The Gentlemen, and his now-iconic villainous turn in Paddington 2.

If he was to take on the role, he would be the most high-profile star to ever start playing the Doctor – and it would be seen as a real statement of intent from Davies and the production team. Given that Grant was reportedly in the frame back in 2005 and has since worked with the screenwriter on A Very English Scandal, it’s not completely out of the question that Davies would think of him for the role.

But for now, it’s probably best just to treat these reports simply as rumours, at least until some more concrete information comes to light.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One this spring with Legend of the Sea Devils.

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Stevie Flavio
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