Who is Peter Capaldi?Bookmark and Share

Monday, 5 August 2013 - Reported by Marcus
Peter Capaldi has won the coveted role of the Twelfth Doctor, but who exactly is the man who will take over the role of television's most famous time traveller when Matt Smith departs at Christmas?

Peter Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland on Monday 14th April 1958. His mother's family was from Killeshandra, County Cavan, Ireland, and his father's family was from Picinisco, Italy. He was educated in Scotland attending the Glasgow School of Art.

While at school Capaldi joined The Antonine Players, an amateur theatre group based in Bishopbriggs, Dumbartonshire, as well as singing vocals for a punk rock band called Dreamboys, where the drummer was future comedian and fellow Doctor Who fan Craig Ferguson. Capaldi tried his hand at stand-up comedy and was invited to support Spandau Ballet on their first UK tour in 1982. The band did not want the usual rock support act and decided a comedian would add piquancy to the uniqueness of their own approach to new music. It was at the band's gig in Glasgow that Capaldi was spotted by film Director Bill Forsyth.

The chance encounter led to Forsyth casting Peter Capaldi in the role of Danny Oldsen in the 1983 feature film Local Hero. Starring Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster, the film told the story of an American executive working for Knox Oil, sent to the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland to purchase the town and surrounding property for his company. Capaldi played the local Knox representative.

Other movie roles followed, with Capaldi appearing as Angus Flint in the Ken Russell film The Lair of the White Worm and playing Azolan in Dangerous Liaisons. Television roles included parts in Crown Court, Minder and Rab C. Nesbitt. He played George Harrison in the TV Movie John and Yoko: A Love Story.

In 1992 he played Luke Wakefield in the BBC drama series Mr Wakefield's Crusade. It was his first starring role on television, and saw him portray a closeted gay man who imagines he has witnessed a crime.

In 1992 he helped write and star in the comedy film Soft Top Hard Shoulder, a 1992 British comedy drama film. Capaldi played Gavin Bellini a Glaswegian artist living in London. The story follows him on his journey home in a 1971 Triumph Herald. The film won the Audience Award at the London Film Festival, and Capaldi won the Scottish BAFTA for Best Actor.

In 1993, Capaldi wrote and directed Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, a 23 minute comic film for BBC Scotland, which also starred Richard E Grant and Barry Letts's son Crispin. In 1994 the film won a BAFTA award for Best Short Film and following year it jointly won the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

More Television roles followed with parts in Chandler & Co, The All New Alexei Sayle Show, Neverwhere and The Crow Road. He made two appearances in The Vicar of Dibley playing Tristram Campbell, a Songs of Praise producer who brings the show to Dibley. He played Lord Fellamar in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Dr. Ronnie Pilfrey in Fortysomething and Raymond Carter in Foyle's War. In 2007 he played a university professor in the sitcom Peep Show.

It was in 2005 that he won the role that, prior to the Doctor, he would be most closely associated with. The Thick of It is a British comedy television series created by Armando Iannucci that satirises the workings of modern British government. Capaldi played Malcolm Tucker an aggressive, profane director of communications for the government, who terrorised most of Whitehall. Over 24 episodes and 4 series Capaldi created a comedy icon playing a role that would win him the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Male Performance in a Comedy Role as well as the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor. He repeated his performance in the 2009 feature film In the Loop.

In 2008 Capaldi made his first appearance in Doctor Who, playing Caecilius in The Fires of Pompeii. He returned to the Doctor Who franchise in 2009, playing civil servant John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth. Frobisher was the Permanent Secretary to the Home Office who was later appointed informal ambassador to the 456.

Other recent roles include Mark Jenkins in the E4 teen comedy/drama Skins, Balthazar in the TV mini series The Nativity, Randall Brown, the new Head of News, in the cold war drama The Hour and Samuel Kent in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House. His most recent role has been that of Cardinal Richelieu in the BBC production of The Musketeers, currently still under production.