Peter Capaldi

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

Peter Dougan Capaldi (born 14 April 1958) is a Scottish actor and film director. He has played numerous roles in film and television, and is best known for being the twelfth and current actor to play the lead role in in the long-running BBC One science-fiction series Doctor Who, and for the role of Malcolm Tucker, a spin doctor in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It and its film spinoff In the Loop. In 1994, he won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for his short film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life.

Early life

Capaldi was born in Glasgow. His mother's family was from Killeshandra, County Cavan, Ireland, and his father's family was from Picinisco, Italy.[1] He was educated at St Teresa's Primary School in Possilpark,[2] St Matthew's Primary School in Bishopbriggs,[2] and St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch,[3] before attending the Glasgow School of Art.

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. As an art student, he was the lead singer in a punk rock band called Dreamboys, whose drummer was future comedian Craig Ferguson.[4][5]


Various acting roles

Capaldi has appeared in over 40 films and television shows since his appearance as Danny Oldsen in Local Hero (1983). He had a role in The Lair of the White Worm (1988) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and was featured as Ozzy in a 1985 episode of Minder. He voiced Chief Petty Officer Grieves in the BBC Radio Ministry of Defence comedy Our Brave Boys. Capaldi's first starring role on television was 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 transvestite in ITV's Prime Suspect 3. In Neil Gaiman's gothic fantasy Neverwhere, he portrayed the angel Islington.

Capaldi is also an audio book narrator, and his many titles include several of the works of Iain Banks. He starred as Rory in the 1996 television version of Banks's The Crow Road.

In the 1999 Channel 4 series Psychos, he played a mathematician with bipolar disorder.[6] Capaldi 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. In 2007, Capaldi appeared as Mark Jenkins (Sid's dad) in the E4 teen comedy drama series Skins. He returned for a second series in 2008, only to be killed off in the third episode. He appeared in the Midsomer Murders episode "Death in Chorus" and ITV1's Fallen Angel. He also appeared in the 2007 British comedy film Magicians.

He appeared as King Charles I in the Channel 4 series The Devil's Whore, aired in 2008. Capaldi provided his voice for the animated film Haunted Hogmanay in 2006. He played Balthazar, one of the Biblical Magi, in the 2010 BBC adaptation of The Nativity.[7]

In November 2011, he began playing Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers at the Liverpool Playhouse, then transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in London. The original run closed at the Gielgud on 14 April 2012. He appeared in The Field of Blood as Dr. Pete, for which he received a BAFTA Scotland nomination in the TV actor/actress category; he was beaten by his co-star Jayd Johnson. He 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 as a WHO doctor in World War Z (2013),[8] and had a role in Maleficent (2014), but his part in the latter movie was cut during post-production.[9]

He starred in Inside the Mind of Leonardo, a documentary about Leonardo da Vinci.[10] In 2013 he portrayed Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian in The Fifth Estate. In 2014 he starred in a new adaptation of The Three Musketeers as Cardinal Richelieu on BBC One.[11]

The Thick Of It & In the Loop

Capaldi is best known for his role as spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC sitcom The Thick of It, which he played from 2005 to 2012. Tucker is said to be largely, if loosely, based upon Tony Blair's right-hand man Alastair Campbell, although Capaldi has said that he based his performance more on Hollywood power players, such as the often abrasive Harvey Weinstein.[12] A film spin-off from The Thick of It called In the Loop (in which Capaldi returned to the role of Tucker), was released in 2009.

The role of Tucker won Capaldi several awards. In 2006, he was nominated for the BAFTA and RTS Best Comedy Actor Awards. He won the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Male Performance in a Comedy Role.[13] He also won the 2010 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor.[14]

Doctor Who

Capaldi was cast in 2013 as the Doctor in the BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who. His casting was announced on 4 August 2013 in a special BBC programme hosted by Zoë Ball.[15] Capaldi first appeared as the Doctor in a cameo in the 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor", before appearing in the 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor". A lifelong fan of the series, Capaldi had previously played Lobus Caecilius in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" as well as playing civil servant John Frobisher in the 2009 spin-off Torchwood: Children of Earth.[16][17]

Before taking the role, Capaldi stated that he had to seriously consider the increased level of visibility that would come with the part.[18] He revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he had been invited to audition for the role of the Eighth Doctor in 1995 prior to the production of the 1996 TV film but didn't go, stating: "I didn't go. I loved the show so much, and I didn't think I would get it, and I didn't want to just be part of a big cull of actors."[19]

In 2014, Capaldi voiced the Doctor on the CBBC website's game, The Doctor and the Dalek.

Work as director, presenter and writer

In 1995, Capaldi won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film for his film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life, which was tied with fellow nominee Trevor, leading to both films being announced as joint winners. He also wrote Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which won the audience award at the London Film Festival, and wrote and directed Strictly Sinatra and directed the BBC Four sitcom Getting On (one episode of which he appeared in as a doctor). In 2006, Capaldi wrote and presented A Portrait of Scotland, a documentary detailing 500 years' history of Scottish portrait painting.[20]

In 2012, Capaldi wrote (with Tony Roche), directed and performed in The Cricklewood Greats, an affectionate spoof documentary about a fictitious film studio, which tracks real developments and trends throughout the history of British cinema, including silent movies, horror and bawdy comedy, and a disastrous Terry Gilliam epic (Gilliam appears as himself).

In 2013, Capaldi wrote and directed Born to be King.[21][22]

Personal life

Capaldi is a patron of the Association for International Cancer Research, and the Scottish children's charity, the Aberlour Child Care Trust.[23] He married Elaine Collins in Strathblane near his home town of Glasgow in 1991. They both live in Crouch End with their daughter.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Living Apart Together Joe
1983 Local Hero Oldsen
1984 Turtle Diary Assistant keeper
1987 The Love Child
1988 The Lair of the White Worm Angus Flint
1988 Dangerous Liaisons Azolan
1991 December Bride Young Sorleyson
1993 Soft Top Hard Shoulder Gavin Bellini Won - BAFTA Scotland Award Best Actor
1994 Captives Simon
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
2000 Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War Derek
2001 Hotel! Hilton Gilfoyle
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 Television film
2007 Magicians Mike Francis
2009 In the Loop Malcolm Tucker 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)[25]
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
2013 World War Z W.H.O. Doctor
2013 The Fifth Estate Alan Rusbridger
2014 Paddington Mr. Curry


Year Title Role Notes
1984 Crown Court Eamonn Donnelly Episode: "Big Deal"
1985 Minder Ozzy Episode: "Life in the Fast Food Lane"
1985 Travelling Man Episode: "Blow-Up"
1985 John and Yoko: A Love Story George Harrison
1986 C.A.T.S. Eyes Caldicott Episode: "Powerline"
1989 Rab C. Nesbitt Preacher Episode: "Rab C. Nesbitt's Seasonal Greet"
1989 Shadow of the Noose Robert Wood
1989 Dramarama British Ambassador Episode: "Rosie the Great"
1990 Ruth Rendell Mysteries Zeno Vedast 3 episodes
1991 Agatha Christie's Poirot Claude Langton Episode: "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
1993 The Comic Strip Presents... John Episode: "Jealousy"
1993 Stay Lucky Robin Episode: "The Driving Instructor"
1993 Prime Suspect Vera Reynolds Series 3
1994 Chandler & Co Larry Blakeson
1994 The All New Alexei Sayle Show Time Traveller Episode: "Drunk in Time"
The Vicar of Dibley Tristan Campbell 2 episodes
1996 Delta Wave Dinsdale Draco Episode: "The Light Fantastic"
1996 Neverwhere The Angel Islington 4 episodes
1996 The Crow Road Rory McHoan 4 episodes
1997 The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Lord Fellamar 3 episodes
1999 Psychos Mark Collins 1 episode
2001 High Stakes Michael Calderwood Episode: "Dream Team
2003 In Deep Jeremy Episode: "Character Assassination: Part 1"
2003 Fortysomething Dr. Ronnie Pilfrey 5 episodes
2003 Judge John Deed Alan Roxborough, MP Episode: "Conspiracy"
2004 Sea of Souls Gordon Fleming Episode: "Seeing Double"
2004 My Family Colin Judd Episode: "Dentist to the Stars"
2004 Foyle's War Raymond Carter Episode: "War of Nerves"
2004 Peep Show Professor MacLeish Episode: "University Challenge"
2005 The Afternoon Play Billy Shannon Episode: "The Singing Cactus"
2005–2012 The Thick of It Malcolm Tucker British Academy Television Award for Best Male Comedy Performance (2010)
British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor (2010, 2012)
Nominated - British Academy Television Award for Best Comedy Performance (2006, 2008)
Nominated - Royal Television Society Award for Best Comedy Performance (2006)
2006 Donovan Dr. Angus Baldwin Series 1, Episode 3
2006 Midsomer Murders Lawrence Barker Episode: "Death in Chorus"
2006–2010 Trawlermen Narrator
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 4 episodes
2008 Doctor Who Lobus Caecilius Episode: "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
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 4 episodes
2011 The Penguins of Madagascar Uncle Nigel 1 episode
2011 The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Samuel Kent
2011 The Field of Blood Dr. Pete
2012 The Cricklewood Greats Peter Capaldi (presenter), Leslie Grangely Spoof documentary; co-writer and director
2012 The Hour Randall Brown Series 2: Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor
2013 Inside the Mind of Leonardo Leonardo da Vinci Documentary
2013–present Doctor Who The Doctor "The Day of the Doctor" (cameo)
"The Time of the Doctor" - present
2014 The Musketeers Cardinal Richelieu 10 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2009–2010 The News at Bedtime Jim Tweedledee BBC Radio 4


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Twelfth Night Antonio Young Vic
1985 Dracula Jonathan Harker Half Moon Theatre
1985 Songs for Stray Cats and Other Living Creatures Graeme Paines Plough Theatre
1989 Valued Friends Howard Hampstead Theatre
1998 The Judas Kiss Robbie Ross Broadhurst Theatre
2007 Absurdia Bro Donmar Warehouse


See also


  1. ^ Dalgarno, Paul (5 April 2008). "Thick & Spin". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Famous People Search - Peter Capaldi". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "St Ninian's High School - Famous Ex Pupils". Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (31 August 2006). "No more Mr Nice Guy". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Ferguson, Craig: American on Purpose. Harper Collins, 2009.
  6. ^ Psychos at Channel 4
  7. ^ "Press Office - Stars align for Tony Jordan's Nativity on BBC One this Christmas". BBC. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Flicks And The City (2012-12-10). "Peter Capaldi Interview - W.H.O. Doctor in World War Z & Maleficent". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  9. ^ Bibbiani, William. "Maleficent: Director Robert Stromberg on True Love and Reshoots". CraveOnline. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Peter Capaldi leads cast in doco about Leonardo Da Vinci | The Sun |Showbiz|TV". The Sun. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  11. ^ Author: Jordan Howell Follow @jordanhowell. "Peter Capaldi, Luke Pasqualino for BBC One’s ‘The Musketeers’ | News, UK TV | imediamonkey®". Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  12. ^ Wardrop, Murray. "Peter Capaldi: 'Thick Of It spin doctor Malcolm Tucker was not based on Alastair Campbell'". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2010". BAFTA. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  14. ^ British Comedy Awards Winners DigitalSpy 22-Jan-11
  15. ^ "Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi revealed as 12th Doctor". BBC News (BBC). 4 August 2013. Archived from the original on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "Doctor Who sets the controls for Rome, AD 79". What's on TV (Time, Inc). 25 September 2007. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  17. ^ BBC (26 August 2008). "Filming under way for new series of Torchwood". BBC Press Office. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi promises 'no flirting' with sidekick in new series". The Guardian. 27 July 2014. Archived from the original on 28 August 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  19. ^ Collis, Clark (1 August 2014). "Once Upon a Time Lord". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Billen, Andrew (8 September 2009). "A Portrait of Scotland; Land Girls; Blue Murder". London: The Times. Retrieved 20 September 2009. 
  21. ^ "Born to Be King (2014) - Overview". Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  22. ^ "McGregor and Hudson Topline Capaldi Backstage Comedy 'Born To Be King' | Thompson on Hollywood". Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Scotland's Children's Charity. Aberlour supports children, young people and families throughout Scotland". Aberlour. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  24. ^ "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Interview with Peter Capaldi". Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  25. ^ "ICS Accepts the Mystery of a Serious Man". indieWire. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2012. 
  26. ^ BAFTA Award for Best Short Film

External links