Fifth Doctor Peter Davison reckons Fidel Castro probably isn't half as bad as he's made out to be, and that Tony Blair should either be sent to the Tower of London or put in the stocks.
In an interview for the Press Association, headlined If I Ruled The World, syndicated to publicise his new series Fear, Stress and Anger, which begins on BBC Two on Thursday, he also praisesStephen Fry, who dropped out of writing for Doctor Who.
The full text is given below.
Peter Moffatt [sic], 55, was born in London. He changed his surname to Davison when he embarked on an acting career.
His big break came in the series All Creatures Great and Small in 1978, but arguably his most famous role was as the fifth Doctor in sci-fi series Doctor Who in 1981.
After he left in 1984, Davison starred in A Very Peculiar Practice, and subsequent credits include Campion, Hope and Glory, At Home with the Braithwaites, The Last Detective and The Complete Guide to Parenting.
His new series, Fear, Stress and Anger, airs on BBC Two on Thursday, February 22 at 9pm.
Davison lives in Twickenham and has an actress daughter, Georgia, from his previous marriage to Sandra Dickinson, and two sons, Louis and Joel, with his present wife Elizabeth.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FIRST ACT AS RULER?
"To decree that anyone who started a war had to be strapped to the front of the tank when it went into battle. We'd go back to the old days when the ruler would lead from the front."
WHO WOULD BE YOUR MOST TRUSTED ADVISER?
"Stephen Fry. I've never heard him say anything I didn't agree with and think he's extraordinarily wise. He'd be a good person to have around."
WHO WOULD YOU BANISH?
"Anyone who complains about the number of immigrants in this country. I've liked nearly every person who has come into this country from abroad I've ever met. I'm sure there are bad ones, but the overwhelming majority come here, work hard and love this country, bizarrely."
WOULD YOU BE A DICTATOR OR A BENEVOLENT LEADER?
"I think you have to be both. You can't be a benevolent leader because everyone would just walk all over you, and a dictator implies brutality, but the ideal has always been a blend. That's the theory, and I know it always goes wrong, but I'd be the first to get it right."
WHO WOULD YOU SINGLE OUT FOR A KNIGHTHOOD AND WHY?
"Jeremy Paxman for all his industry in needling the politicians over the years. I'll always be very happy to watch an interview with a politician when he's doing it."
WHO WOULD YOU SEND TO THE TOWER/PUT IN THE STOCKS?
"That would have to be our present Prime Minister. I think in order to prevent disaster ever happening again you have to pursue relentlessly the people who are responsible for it. You cannot start from the position that we too often say 'well, this is where we are now, we have to sort it out.'"
WHICH LAW WOULD YOU ABOLISH?
"In Twickenham, where I live, they've just come out with this insane law which means they'll double or triple the residents' permit if you have a large car. That would be fine if it was an across-the-board tax, but everyone who has a house big enough to have a driveway or a garage doesn't have to pay it, so they're taxing everyone whose cars are at the side of the road. It's really annoyed me."
WHICH LAW WOULD YOU INTRODUCE?
"All women must have their purses out ready to pay at supermarket checkouts - but I'd also ban men from being on the tills. They're absolutely hopeless. If you ever get stuck with a bloke at the till, it's a disaster. They go about two miles an hour and none of them ever seem to know what they're doing. But why is it that ladies wait until everything is checked through before they start to look for their purse? There's also the expression 'at the end of the day'. I hate it, so I'd ban people from saying it."
WHICH BUILDING WOULD YOU DEMOLISH AND WHY?
"I'm tempted to say the MI5 building, but rather than pull it down I'd rather turn it into something nice."
WHICH RULER/MONARCH DO YOU MOST ADMIRE OR HAVE MOST IN COMMON WITH?
"I have a sneaking suspicion that in 50 years time we'll discover that Castro isn't half as bad as we think he is. He outlived his enemies, he's managed to take Cuba back from America's playground, and hold them off for all those years. We hear lots of terrible stories about him, but most end up being nonsense. I have also come to admire President Clinton. He was a pretty bright man."
IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE NATIONAL ANTHEM FOR ANOTHER PIECE OF MUSIC, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
"I don't think I'd want to change it. If I was in charge, presumably they would be singing about me."