David Tennant

David Tennant was born David John McDonald in West Lothian, Scotland, to Essdale Helen (McLeod) and Sandy McDonald, who was a Presbyterian minister. He is of Scottish and Ulster-Scots descent. When he was about 3 or 4 years old, he decided to become an actor, inspired by his love of Doctor Who (1963).

He was brought up in Bathgate, West Lothian and Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland and was a huge fan of the band The Proclaimers. He attended Paisley Grammar school and while there he wrote about how he wanted to become a professional actor and play the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who (1963).

He made his first television appearance (which was also his first professional acting job) when he was 16, after his father sent some photos of him to a casting director at Scottish television. He also attended a youth theatre group at weekends run by the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD - now renamed the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland [RCS]). When he was 16 he auditioned for and won a place at the RSAMD; the youngest student to ever do so, and started as a full time drama student when he was 17.

He worked regularly in theatre and TV after leaving drama school, and his first big break came in 1994 when he was cast in a lead role in the Scottish drama Takin' Over the Asylum (1994). He then moved to London where his career thrived. Amongst other things, he spent several years as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and became famous from his lead roles in TV dramas Blackpool (2004) and Casanova (2005).

In 2005, his childhood wish came true. David was cast to play the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who (2005) alongside Billie Piper, after Christopher Eccleston decided to leave. Playing the Doctor made him a household name. Since leaving the series in 2010 his career has continued to rise, with lead roles in films, TV series and theatre.

Known For


Cast Credits

Spy in the Wild (2017)
Starring as Narrator (4 episodes)
  • Episode 1x04: Mischief (Feb 2, 2017)
  • Episode 1x03: Friendship (Jan 26, 2017)
  • Episode 1x02: Intelligence (Jan 19, 2017)
  • Episode 1x01: Love (Jan 12, 2017)
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CBeebies Bedtime Stories (2017)
Guest starring as David Tennant (5 episodes)
Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital (2016)
Starring as Narrator (8 episodes)
Bring the Noise (2015)
Guest starring as David Tennant
Marvel's Jessica Jones (2015)
Starring as Kilgrave / Kevin Thompson (11 episodes)
Gracepoint (2014)
Starring as Detective Emmett Carver (10 episodes)
W1A (2014)
Starring as Narrator
Dolphins: Spy in the Pod (2014)
Starring as Narrator (2 episodes)
The Escape Artist (2013)
Starring as Will Burton
Spies of Warsaw (2013)
Starring as Jean-François Mercier (2 episodes)
Penguins: Spy in the Huddle (2013)
Starring as Narrator (3 episodes)
Broadchurch (2013)
Starring as D.I. Alec Hardy (16 episodes)
Stand Up to Cancer (2012)
Guest starring as David Tennant
  • Episode 2016-10-21: 2016 (Oct 21, 2016)
DreamWorks Dragons (2012)
Guest starring as Spitelout
Room 101 (2012)
Guest starring as David Tennant
True Love (2012)
Starring as Nick
  • Episode 1x01: Nick (Jun 17, 2012)
Tree Fu Tom (2012)
Starring as Twigs
The Jonathan Ross Show (2011)
Guest starring as David Tennant (2 episodes)
Twenty Twelve (2011)
Starring as David Tennant
Single Father (2010)
Starring as Dave
Ask Rhod Gilbert (2010)
Guest starring as David Tennant
BBC Children in Need Rocks (2009)
Starring as Presenter
The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007)
Guest starring as The Tenth Doctor (2 episodes)
Secret Smile (2005)
Starring as Brendan Block (2 episodes)
  • Episode 1x02: Part 2 (Dec 13, 2005)
  • Episode 1x01: Part 1 (Dec 12, 2005)
Doctor Who (2005)
Starring as The Tenth Doctor (45 episodes)
Guest starring as The Tenth Doctor (2 episodes)
Casanova (2005)
Starring as Casanova
Blackpool (2004)
Starring as DI Peter Carlisle
Who Do You Think You Are? (2004)
Guest starring as David Tennant
Sport Relief (2002)
Guest starring as David Tennant
Top Gear (2002)
Guest starring as David Tennant
Foyle's War (2002)
Guest starring as Theo Howard
Family Guy (1999)
Guest starring as Dr. Who
A Mug's Game (1996)
Guest starring as Gavin Chambers
  • Episode 1x02: Part 2 (Feb 4, 1996)
Takin' Over the Asylum (1994)
Starring as Campbell (6 episodes)
Have I Got News for You (1990)
Guest starring as Host (2 episodes)
Children in Need (1980)
Guest starring as David Tennant