Peter Capaldi

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Peter Capaldi
Peter Capaldi 2009 (cropped).jpg
Born Peter Dougan Capaldi
(1958-04-14) 14 April 1958 (age 56)
Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Elaine Collins (1991–present)
Children 1

Peter Dougan Capaldi (born 14 April 1958) is a Scottish actor, film director, and screenwriter. He is known for his role as Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It, and its spin-off film In the Loop. In 1995, he won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film for Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, which he wrote and directed.[1] He has also won two BAFTA Awards, and two British Comedy Awards. Since 25 December 2013 he has portrayed the Twelfth Doctor in the BBC Television series Doctor Who.[2]

Early life[edit]

Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His mother's family was from Killeshandra, County Cavan, Ireland, and his father's family was from Picinisco, Italy.[3] He was educated at St Teresa's Primary School in the city's Possilpark district,[4] St Matthew's Primary School in Bishopbriggs,[4] and at St Ninian's High School in Kirkintilloch,[5] before attending the Glasgow School of Art.

Capaldi was known to be a fan of Doctor Who during his youth. At age 15, he wrote a letter to Radio Times entitled "Dalek-Builders" enthusing over the show.[6] A 1976 issue of Doctor Who International Fan Club Magazine, printed a piece of Capaldi's art showing a TARDIS.[7]

Capaldi displayed an early talent for performance by putting on a puppet show in primary school. While at high school, he was a member of the Antonine Players, who performed at the Fort Theatre in Bishopbriggs. When an art student, he was the lead singer in a punk rock band called Dreamboys,[8] whose drummer was future comedian Craig Ferguson.[9]


Capaldi's first significant acting role came in 1983, when he played Danny Oldsen in Local Hero. He featured as Ozzy in a 1985 episode of Minder, and had roles in The Lair of the White Worm and Dangerous Liaisons in 1988. In 1990 he starred in Chain, a four part thriller on BBC2 written by Desmond Lowden and directed by Don Leaver. In 1995, Capaldi won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film for his film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, which he directed. In the same year he also wrote Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which won the Audience Award at the London Film Festival, and wrote and directed Strictly Sinatra. He voiced Chief Petty Officer Grieves in the BBC Radio Ministry of Defence comedy Our Brave Boys, and soon after landed his first starring role on television as Luke Wakefield, a closeted gay man who imagines he has witnessed a crime, in the BBC drama series Mr Wakefield's Crusade. He played fictional Songs of Praise producer Tristan Campbell in two episodes of the sitcom Vicar of Dibley, and a female impersonator in ITV's Prime Suspect 3.[10] In the Channel 4 series Psychos, he played a mathematician with bipolar disorder, made an appearance as a university professor in the sitcom Peep Show, and played a prime suspect in the 2007 series of Waking the Dead.[11] In Neil Gaiman's gothic fantasy Neverwhere, he portrayed the angel Islington. He starred as Rory in the television version The Crow Road in 1996.

In 2005, Capaldi was cast as spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It, which he played from 2005 to 2012. The character was said to be largely, if loosely, based upon Tony Blair's spin doctor Alastair Campbell. Capaldi himself has said that he based his performance more on Hollywood power players, such as the often abrasive Harvey Weinstein.[12] For his performance as Tucker, he won a BAFTA Award for Best Performance in a Comedy Role and two British Comedy Awards.[13][14] A film spin-off from The Thick of It, In the Loop, was released in 2009.

In 2007 and 2008, Capaldi appeared as Mark Jenkins in the E4 comedy-drama series Skins. He also appeared in the Midsomer Murders episode "Death in Chorus" and ITV1's Fallen Angel. He played a fictional version of Caecilius in The Fires of Pompeii, a 2008 episode of the science-fiction series Doctor Who.[15] He returned to the Doctor Who franchise in 2009, playing civil servant John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth.[16] He appeared as King Charles I in the Channel 4 series The Devil's Whore, aired in 2008, as well as providing his voice for the animated film Haunted Hogmanay and its sequel Glendogie Bogey. He returned to directing with the BBC Four sitcom Getting On, one episode of which he appeared in as a doctor. Later that year, he wrote and presented A Portrait of Scotland, a documentary detailing 500 years' history of Scottish portrait painting.[17] He played Balthazar, one of the Three Wise Men in the 2010 BBC adaptation of The Nativity.[18]

Capaldi has also worked as an audio book narrator, and his many titles include several of the works of Iain Banks. From 2011 to 2012, he played Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers at the Liverpool Playhouse, then transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in London. He appeared in The Field of Blood as Dr. Pete, for which he received a BAFTA Scotland nomination, and also had a small role as a therapist in Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, written by and starring his Getting On co-star Ricky Grover. In 2012, Capaldi played Randall Brown, the new Head of News, on the BBC2 drama The Hour. He appeared in World War Z (2013), and has been cast as King Kinloch in Maleficent (2014).[19] In 2013, Capaldi directed Born to be King, which he also wrote.[20] He also portrayed Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian newspaper, in The Fifth Estate. In 2013 he made a documentary about Leonardo da Vinci called Inside the Mind of Leonardo.[21] Beginning on 19 January 2014, he is starring as Cardinal Richelieu in BBC One's new drama series, The Musketeers.[22]

On 4 August 2013, it was announced in a live BBC special entitled Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor that Capaldi would portray the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, superseding Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor.[2][19][23] During his appearance in the special, he admitted to having been a lifelong fan; at the age of 15, he wrote to the Radio Times about the series. He did appear for a moment during the 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor" which was shown on BBC One on 23 November 2013 and he took over the role at the very end of the 2013 Christmas Day special, "The Time of the Doctor".[2]

Personal life[edit]

Capaldi lives in London with his wife, Elaine Collins, and their daughter, Cecily.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Living Apart Together Joe
1983 Local Hero Oldsen
1984 Turtle Diary Assistant keeper
1988 The Love Child Dillon
1988 The Lair of the White Worm Angus Flint
1988 Dangerous Liaisons Azolan
1991 December Bride Young Sorleyson
1992 Soft Top Hard Shoulder Gavin Bellini
1994 Captives Simon
1995 Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life Short film
Writer, director
Academy Award for Live Action Short Film
Angers European First Film Festival: Audience Award for Best Short film
BAFTA Award for Best Short Film
1997 Bean Gareth
1997 Shooting Fish Mr. Gilzean
1997 Smilla's Sense of Snow Birgo Lander
1998 What Rats Won't Do Tony
1999 The Greatest Store in the World Mr. Whiskers
2001 Strictly Sinatra Writer, director
2002 Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War Derek
2002 Max David Cohn
2002 Solid Geometry David Hunter
2003 Shotgun Dave Rides East Rob
2004 Modigliani Jean Cocteau
2004 Niceland (Population. 1.000.002) John
2004 Wild Country Father Steve
2005 House of 9 Max Roy
2005 The Best Man Priest
2006 Pinochet in Suburbia Andy McEntee
2007 Magicians Mike Francis
2009 In the Loop Malcolm Tucker Nominated—Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Nominated—British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Evening Standard British Film Awards: Peter Sellers Award for Comedy
Nominated—International Cinephile Society Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actor of the Year
Nominated—Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (2nd place)
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (3rd place)
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2012 Big Fat Gypsy Gangster Peter VanGellis
2012 The Cricklewood Greats Writer, director
2013 World War Z WHO doctor
2013 The Fifth Estate Alan Rusbridger
2014 Born to be King Writer, director
2014 Maleficent King Kinloch
2014 Paddington Mr. Curry


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Crown Court Eamonn Donnelly Episode: "Big Deal"
1985 Minder Ozzy Series 6, Episode 2: "Life in the Fast Food Lane
1985 Travelling Man John Series 2, Episode 6: "Blow-Up"
1985 John and Yoko: A Love Story George Harrison
1986 C.A.T.S. Eyes Caldicott Series 2, Episode 2: "Powerline"
1989 Rab C. Nesbitt Preacher Episode: "Rab C. Nesbitt's Seasonal Greet"
1989 Shadow of the Noose Robert Wood
1989 Dramarama British Ambassador Series 7, Episode 7: "Rosie the Great"
1990 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Zeno Vedast 3 episodes
1991 Agatha Christie's Poirot Claude Langton Series 3, Episode 4: "Wasps' Nest"
1991 Selling Hitler Thomas Walde
1991 Titmuss Regained Ken Cracken 3 episodes
1992 Mr Wakefield's Crusade Luke Wakefield
1992 Early Travellers in North America Robert Louis Stevenson
1992 The Secret Agent Mr. Vladimir
1993 The Comic Strip Presents... John Series 5, Episode 6: "Jealousy"
1993 Stay Lucky Robin Series 4, Episode 2: "The Driving Instructor"
1993 Prime Suspect Vernon "Vera" Reynolds Series 3
1994 Chandler & Co Larry Blakeson
1994 The All New Alexei Sayle Show Doug Hatton Episode: "Drunk in Time"
1994–1996 The Vicar of Dibley Tristan Campbell 2 episodes
1996 Delta Wave Dinsdale Draco 2 episodes
1996 Neverwhere Islington 4 episodes
1996 The Crow Road Rory McHoan 4 episodes
1997 The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Lord Fellamar 3 episodes
1997 Michelob advert
1999 Psychos Mark Collins 1 episode
2001 High Stakes Michael Calderwood Series 1, Episode 6: "Dream Team
2003 In Deep Jeremy Series 3, Episode 7: "Character Assassination: Part 1"
2003 Fortysomething Dr. Ronnie Pilfrey 5 episodes
2003 Judge John Deed Alan Roxborough, MP Series 3, Episode 3: "Conspiracy"
2004 Sea of Souls Gordon Fleming Episode: "Seeing Double"
2004 My Family Colin Judd Series 5, Episode 10: "Dentist to the Stars"
2004 Foyle's War Raymond Carter Series 3, Episode 4: "War of Nerves"
2004 Peep Show Professor Alistair MacLeish Series 2, Episode 4: "University Challenge"
2005 The Afternoon Play Billy Shannon Series 3, Episode 5: "The Singing Cactus"
2005–2012 The Thick of It Malcolm Tucker British Academy Television Award for Best Comedy Performance
British Comedy Award for Best Television Actor
British Comedy Award for Best Television Actor
2006 Donovan Dr. Angus Baldwin Series 1, Episode 3
2006 Midsomer Murders Lawrence Barker Series 9, Episode 5: "Death in Chorus"
2006 "Haunted Hogmanay" Jeff Wylie Voice
2006 Aftersun Jim TV Movie
2007 Waking the Dead Lucien Calvin Episode: "The Fall"
2007 Coming Up Joe Episode: "Brussels"
2007 Fallen Angel Henry Appleton
2007–2008 Skins Mark Jenkins 3 episodes
2008 Doctor Who Caecilius Series 4, Episode 2: "The Fires of Pompeii"
2008 Midnight Man Trevor
2008 Glendogie Bogey Jeff Wylie Voice
2008 The Devil's Whore King Charles I
2009 Torchwood: Children of Earth John Frobisher
2009 Getting On Doctor 1 episode
Director of series 1 and 2
2009 A Portrait of Scotland Himself Writer
2010 Ten Minute Tales The Man
2010 Accused Frank Ryland Series 1, Episode 3
2010 The Nativity Balthazar BBC adaptation
4 episodes
2010 Audi advert Narrator Voice
2011 The Penguins of Madagascar Uncle Nigel Voice 1 episode
2011 The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Samuel Kent ITV adaptation
2011 The Field of Blood Dr. Pete BBC adaptation
2012 The Cricklewood Greats Himself Writer
2012 The Hour Randall Brown Nominated—British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor
2010 BBC Two promo Narrator Voice
2013 Inside the Mind of Leonardo Leonardo da Vinci Documentary
2013 Anchor advert Narrator Voice
2013–present Doctor Who The Doctor Episode: "The Day of the Doctor" (uncredited cameo)
Episode: "The Time of the Doctor"
Series 8
2014 The Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu
2014 Anchor Cheddar advert Narrator Voice


  1. ^ "The Tatler List". Tatler. 
  2. ^ a b c Savov, Vlad (4 August 2013). "BBC names Peter Capaldi as new 'Doctor Who' lead actor". The Verge. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Dalgarno, Paul (5 April 2008). "Thick & Spin". The Herald. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Famous People Search – Peter Capaldi". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "St Ninian's High School – Famous Ex Pupils". Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Daisy Wyatt (5 August 2013). "Peter Capaldi’s letter to Radio Times in praise of Doctor Who, aged 15". Independent Arts Blog. 
  7. ^ "Oh, nothin', just some Doctor Who fan art... by Peter Capaldi!?". Observation Deck - io9. 18 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (31 August 2006). "No more Mr Nice Guy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  9. ^ Ferguson, Craig (2009). American on Purpose. Harper Collins. 
  10. ^ Prime Suspect 3 at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Psychos at Channel 4
  12. ^ Wardrop, Murray (31 January 2012). "Peter Capaldi: 'Thick Of It spin doctor Malcolm Tucker was not based on Alastair Campbell'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2010". BAFTA. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  14. ^ British Comedy Awards Winners. DigitalSpy 22 January 2011
  15. ^ "Doctor Who sets the controls for Rome, AD 79". What's on TV. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2008. 
  16. ^ "Filming under way for new series of Torchwood" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2008. 
  17. ^ Billen, Andrew (8 September 2009). "A Portrait of Scotland; Land Girls; Blue Murder". The Times (London). Retrieved 20 September 2009. 
  18. ^ "Stars align for Tony Jordan's Nativity on BBC One this Christmas" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Truitt, Brian (4 August 2013). "New 'Doctor Who': It's Peter Capaldi". USA Today. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  20. ^ Thompson, Anne (18 October 2012). "McGregor and Hudson Topline Capaldi Backstage Comedy 'Born To Be King'". Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Inside the Mind of Leonardo – Sky Arts HD". BSkyB. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Peter Capaldi to star in Musketeer drama". BBC News. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  23. ^ "Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi revealed as 12th Doctor". BBC News. 4 August 2013. 
  24. ^ McLean, Marc (6 August 2013). "Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi : My wife has been the foundation for my career". The Daily Record. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 

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