Brian Blessed: I turned down Doctor Who

Veteran actor Brian Blessed has said he turned down an opportunity to take the lead role in the BBC’s Doctor Who because he was too busy.

The 77-year-old, famed for his booming delivery, said he was offered the role in the early years of his acting career, although he now says he would not hesitate in playing the Doctor.

Blessed went on to take a guest role in the programme in 1986 in a story called Mindwarp, playing the character of King Yrcanos, at a time when Colin Baker had been cast in the lead.

In an interview for Radio Times, he explained that he was approached to star in the show in the mid-1960s, suggesting he was asked to step in as a replacement for William Hartnell who launched the show, and was eventually succeeded by Patrick Troughton in 1966.

Blessed said: After I was in Z Cars, the head of BBC serials took me aside and said, We’re thinking of having a young Doctor Who and we’d like to cast you. But it clashed with other things.

Asked what his reaction would be now, he said: I’d jump at it — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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