David Tennant - Things you didn't know about the Doctor Who legend

David Tennant
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How much do you know about the Scottish actor?

Actor David Tennant became a household name in 2005 when he joined BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who as the tenth incarnation of The Doctor.

Since then David has gone on to star in huge shows like Broadchurch, Good Omens, and Jessica Jones, as well as countless theatre roles.

Most fans of the actor will know that:

  • He was awarded the National Television Award for Special Recognition in 2015.
  • He's voiced numerous Labour Party Political Broadcasts.
  • He played Barty Crouch Jr in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

David Tennant: little known facts about the actor...

David Tennant isn't his real name

The world knows him as David Tennant, but his real surname is actually McDonald.

He decided to change his surname after discovering that there was another David McDonald already represented by the actor's union.

David's new surname Tennant is now his legal one, and he took it from Pet Shop Boys' frontman Neil Tennant.

David Tennant wanted to be an actor since the age of 3

David Tennant

David went on to play the Doctor in 2005. Dreams can come true! (Credit: Getty) (Image credit: Getty Images)

David always wanted to be an actor, ever since he was a toddler.

Interestingly, he was hugely inspired by Doctor Who, particularly Tom Baker. He even spoke to Tom at a book signing event in Glasgow.

We bet 3-year-old David never would've imagined he'd one day be in the TARDIS for real!

More: Things you didn't know about Sir David Jason 

David's first television role was in children's show Dramarama

We all know him as the Tenth Doctor, but David's first proper TV role was in ITV's British children's anthology series Dramarama.

He joined the cast in 1988 for an episode called The Secret of Croftmore. He was 17 at the time and played a character called Neil McDonald.

His co-star Kate Sandison played on-screen sister Fiona, and told David-Tennant.com, "I remember David Tennant with great affection, and we and the rest of the cast all got on very well. He was very nice and had a remarkable focus for his age."


David has narrated a video game

David has lent his voice to video games too, narrating the 2014 Xbox game Kinect Sports Rivals.

In this game, players could take part in bowling, jetski racing, rock climbing, football, target shooting, and tennis.

And all of those fun activities were narrated by David Tennant, what more could you want?

David loves the theatre

David Tennant Hamlet

David Tennant as Hamlet (Credit: Getty) (Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

As well as being a talented screen actor, David Tennant is also a passionate theatre performer.

He has had an acclaimed career, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

When he played Hamlet in 2008 it sold out in 24 hours!

He appeared on the First Class stamp, which was part of the special set commemorating 50 years of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The stamps were released in 2011, and his performance of Hamlet was depicted with the famous phrase "to be or not to be" that is the question.

An image of this stamp was shared to The Gallifrey Times, a Doctor Who fansite.

More: Things you didn't know about Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson 

He married the Fifth Doctor's real-life daughter

David's connection to Doctor Who has even extended to his marriage! He is married to Georgia Moffett, the daughter of Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.

Georgia also starred in Doctor Who, in an episode called The Doctor's Daughter.

Georgia and David have five children, after David adopted her eldest son Ty from a previous relationship.

David Tennant Georgia Tennant

David Tennant with wife Georgia (Credit: Getty) (Image credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

David Tennant’s Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actor….

How old is he?

David Tennant is 49 years old. He was born on 18 April 1971.

Is he in a relationship?

David Tennant has been married to Georgia Tennant since 2011.

Does he have kids?

David Tennant and Georgia have five children,  Ty, Olive, Wilfred, Doris and Birdie.

Where was he born?

David Tennant was born in Bathgate in West Lothian, Scotland.

How tall is he?

David Tennant is 1.85 m (6ft 1)

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Main pic: Getty

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress