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Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club

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HE could be regarded as the new doctor's first companion, although instead of intergalactic adventures all he received was an extra-long scarf.

Photographer Simon Clegg has revealed he was the sole member of Peter Capaldi's Dr Who fan club, which the actor launched while still a teenager in Bishopbriggs.

As the Glasgow-born star prepares to take over one of the most popular roles on TV, Mr Clegg said he paid 20p back in 1974 to join Capaldi's club after meeting him at the local theatre.

Mr Clegg, who now lives in Australia, said: "I met Peter at the Fort Theatre in Bishopbriggs when we were both in The Antonine Players, a local amateur dramatic society.

"He was massively keen on Dr Who and had started up the fan club and asked me if I wanted to join. So I gave him my 20p and that was it."

Although today's generation of "Whovians" number in the hundreds of thousands thanks to the show's international success, Mr Clegg said attempts to build up the Glasgow club's membership never really got off the ground.

He added: "We did put up an advert in the local record shop, but it didn't get any interest and there were no other members."

While the club's roster remained short, the pair did distinguish themselves by sporting long woollen scarves in a style similar to that worn by the Doctor at the time.

Prevailing upon an accommodating knitter among the theatre's staff, Capaldi and Mr Clegg were at least able to look the part, although they had to provide their own wool.

Mr Clegg added: "Peter got the theatre director, a woman named Philippa Stephenson, to knit him a Dr Who scarf, and I got one as well. They were very long and I can remember giving her balls and balls of wool to get it done.

"He went around saying 'splendid, Sarah', which was the Doctor's catchphrase at the time, but we didn't really do much else. After that, Peter went to Glasgow Art School, and that was it."

Capaldi, 55, was announced as the next Dr Who star on Sunday, is among the oldest actors to get the part of the time-travelling adventurer.

The actor had been the bookmakers' favourite to take on the role, replacing Matt Smith, and betting on him was suspended last Friday.

Already a household name thanks to his performance as the spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in political satire The Thick of It, the Scot has had a long career both as an actor and writer and won an Oscar for his short film Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life.

Mr Clegg went on to carve out a career as a music photographer, working for the NME among other publications, and took pictures of many bands that achieved success in the 1980s and 1990s.

He said Capaldi was part of a melting pot of talent that emerged from Glasgow during the 1980s and he was not surprised to see his former clubmate become a star.

He said: "Peter was an incredibly creative person and has real drive and commitment, which you need to succeed. You could always see he was going to make it.

"I think he will make a great Doctor, and he'll bring humour and gravitas to the role. He's perfect for it."

GRAPHIC: FASHION ICON: Capaldi and his friend showed their appreciation for the sci-fi series by sporting long scarves of the style worn by Tom Baker's Doctor. TWO'S COMPANY: Simon Clegg, left, became the only other member of the club a young Peter Capaldi tried to get going in 1970s Bishopbriggs.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Harrison, Jody (2013-08-08). Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club. The Herald p. 8.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Harrison, Jody. "Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club." The Herald [add city] 2013-08-08, 8. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Harrison, Jody. "Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club." The Herald, edition, sec., 2013-08-08
  • Turabian: Harrison, Jody. "Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club." The Herald, 2013-08-08, section, 8 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club | url= | work=The Herald | pages=8 | date=2013-08-08 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Revealed: Capaldi's early role in Dr Who fan club | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>