Brian Blessed Turned Down Role Of Doctor Who
Brian Blessed has revealed he turned down an offer to play Doctor Who because he was too busy.
The 77-year-old said he was given the opportunity in the early years of his acting career in the mid-1960s.
Blessed told the Radio Times: "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."
Blessed, who is famous for his booming voice and large beard, 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.
Blessed - who is also fondly remembered for another sci-fi role, appearing as Prince Vultan in the movie Flash Gordon - appeared to be a little confused about The Doctor's surname, inaccurately suggesting the "Who" of the title was actually the character.
He said: "I think they need to re-examine his surname - "Who" is very oriental. It's about time they had an Asian actor as the Doctor. And a female one."
Peter Capaldi is due to hit screens as the new Doctor later this month.