Prior to the show’s revival in 2005, by Russell T. Davies, there was constant speculation in the British press as to who the BBC would cast in the iconic role. Obviously numerous names were linked to the role of the Doctor and Bill Nighy was one of them. Several press reports even claimed the actor had actually been cast in the role rather than just tipped for it. Well now the actor has confirmed he was indeed offered the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who.
“I was offered the role once, I won’t tell you when because the rule is that you’re not allowed to say you turned that job down because it’s disrespectful to whoever did it. I will say that I was approached. But I didn’t want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything. I just think that it comes with too much baggage.” – Bill Nighy quoted by The People
When Doctor Who returned to television in 2005 it was with Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor. The actor remained with the series for a season before handing over to David Tennant. Bill Nighy has, of course, appeared in Doctor Who since turning down the chance to play the Doctor. He made a cameo appearance in the 2010 story Vincent and the Doctor opposite Matt Smith.