Eccleston was appearing on the Saturday evening discussion programme Loose Ends, primarily to promote his role in Safe House, a four-part drama on ITV from 20 April.
Eccleston was interviewed by Emma Freud in a wide ranging talk about his career. When asked about Doctor Who, he told Freud how he had put himself forward for the role.
I approached Russell T Davies and said I know you are going to do this and I think you should think about me.... I wanted to do something for children, I wanted to learn a lighter way of being.Freud asked him if he felt he had succeeded.
I think I over pitched the comedy. If I had my time again I would do the comedy very differently. But I think, where I possibly succeeded was in the tortured stuff.So why did he leave?
What's interesting in this country is that wherever a story like this emerges they concentrate on the negative. I dont think it's important why I left, I think it's important that I did it in the first place.Freud pushed the point saying it was a big shock to fans when he left, and he had been so successful in the role he could still be playing it now.
Well I'm still there in spirit....... Myself and three individuals at the very top of the pyramid clashed, so off I went. But they are are not here to say their side of it, so I'm not going to go into details.The full programme can be heard worldwide on the BBC iPlayer for the next four weeks.