CHRISTOPHER Eccleston may have got his big break in the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, but he believes a woman should have got the part instead of him – and that “white males” should step aside in the future.
The actor, 55, said he would have preferred Billie Piper – who played companion Rose Tyler – to be the Ninth Doctor instead of him.
Speaking at Rose City Comic Con in Portland, Oregon, the former star said: “It’s ridiculous we weren’t thinking of a female Doctor at that time. In 2004, in me they picked yet another white skinny male to be the Doctor.
“If somebody had said in 2004 it should have been a woman, there’d have been outrage. But only 14 years later it’s acceptable.
“I think it’s time for white middle-aged males to step aside. And if Billie Piper ever wants to play the Doctor I’ll [be her companion]. Who wouldn’t?
“I think that’s what they should have done, I was saying backstage. Rose should have moved up to become the Doctor… but it was just too early.”
Eccleston also admitted why he didn’t return in for The Day of the Doctor, the show’s 50th anniversary special that saw David Tennant’s Doctor meet with Matt Smith’s.
He explained that his exit from the show still weighed heavily on him – in particular how a BBC statement allegedly turned the public against him.
It ended with the BBC apologising after Eccleston threatened legal action.
He said: “They approached me [for the 50th anniversary], but the BBC had still not apologised to me.
“I like Steven Moffat a lot. I considered it. But it had enormous emotional impact on me, what happened with Doctor Who.
“As the series was going out, as the series was being celebrated, I was being vilified in the press in the UK because of the statement that the BBC issued. And it caused quite a depression in me that year.”
Christopher Eccleston recently revealed he battled with anorexia while on the set of Doctor Who.
Writing in his book I Love The Bones Of You, the actor said: “Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic. I never have.
“I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m Northern, because I’m male and because I’m working-class.
“The illness is still there raging within me as the Doctor. People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill. The reward for that illness was the part. And therein lies the perpetuation of the whole sorry situation.”
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