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He was Sam Swift the Quick, and he’s now the latest incarnation of that time-travelling scamp, the Meddling Monk! Rufus Hound tells us why he has Russell T Davies to thank for his chance to be in Doctor Who…

Not many Doctor Who fans dedicated enough to have a Dalek tattoo, or reel off the titles of their favourite tie-in novels at a moment’s notice, can say they’ve appeared in the show itself. Only one can say that Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan were partly responsible for them getting the job.

But we’ll come to that later. DWM is chatting all things Doctor Who with Rufus Hound actor, comedian, and one-time ‘celebrity barman’ on Richard & Judy’s New Position (no, seriously) and we’re starting with his first major involvement in the series: his appearance on August 2013’s Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor.

This was the show that revealed Peter Capaldi’s casting as the Twelfth Doctor to the world. There were smoke machines and lasers, discussion from celebrity fans like Rufus, and interviews with Doctor Who legends such as Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and Wilfred Mott actor Bernard Cribbins.

“It was a super cool day in terms of the people I got to meet while I was there,” Rufus enthuses, “but I was more worried about not f***ing up.” He laughs nervously. “So it was a relief when it all went perfectly and without a hitch…!”

Famously, Rufus’ interview contained a couple of hitches. He referred to the Tenth Doctor’s ‘knock four times’ story arc as ‘knock three times’, and called Ninth Doctor actor Christopher Eccleston ‘Peter’. (‘Rufus Hound FAIL!!’ tweeted DWM, which has definitely never managed to get a Doctor’s name wrong.)

“In the pressure of live television, where you’re being asked to express an opinion quickly and eloquently and, ideally, with some wit my brain just farted,” Rufus explains now. “As the words come out of your mouth, you immediately go: ‘Oh no, hang on, that might not be right… s***, I look like the biggest idiot going!’”

Given that the new Doctor’s name actually was Peter, there was speculation that Rufus knew the secret, and had accidentally let it slip.

Rufus joins Bernard Cribbins for the live announcement of the Twelfth Doctor.

“I had my hunch that it was Capaldi,” he admits, “because, like most people, I’d been following the speculation. By the time the day rolled by, there were only really five contenders that the bookies were taking seriously, and most of them were relatively unknown or, if not unknown, certainly not as big a name as Capaldi. In cold, hard television terms, if you’re going to all this trouble of making this big fanfare, and then the name that you announce as the lights are flashing and the music’s blaring is someone that everyone goes, ‘Who?’, it really doesn’t work as a pleasing piece of television. If it was somebody not terribly well-known, you don’t want to do the big bells-and-whistles thing; you want to let them be seen by the audience in the role, in the first instance, and let people make their minds up at that stage. So I thought it probably was Peter Capaldi.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: An interview with actor and Doctor Who fan Rufus Hound; Showrunner Steven Moffat answers readers’ burning questions; a feature by Steve Lyons investigates the weird world of the supernatural in the Doctor Who universe; the feature 'Crack of Doom' finds out more about Big Finish’s audio box set Doom Coalition 4; Toby Hadoke pays tribute to Rodney Bennett, the director who oversaw three very different productions during the early years of Tom Baker’s tenure as the Doctor; the original Master returns for new comic strip adventure 'Doorway to Hell' part two, by Mark Wright, with art by Staz Johnson; 'The Fact of Fiction' examines 1972's 'The Mutants'; The Time Team rewatch the 2011 series opener 'The Impossible Astronaut'; plus Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher's column, the annual season survey poll, prize-winning competitions and much more!