Earlier this week - a couple days before the news got out - I caught up with Mr. Tovey on the set of Being Human to find out how he feels about the speculation.
What's your take on Russell T's comments?
"It's just a fantastic compliment that's been blown up. It's wonderful bollocks, really! It hasn't done me any harm at all. The night before [it came out], he texted me saying 'I made a comment about you being the 11th Doctor, which would be brilliant. Sorry if you get any hassle. I said 'That's cool'. Then it's everywhere. I was getting texts from everyone, and Facebook groups - well, there's only three members - but there's a Facebook group called 'I'd be furious if Russell Tovey replaces David Tennant as the Doctor'. They were all kind of bitchy. I never go on forums either but I did this time."
What were they saying?
"A lot of them were nice. Some of them were saying 'he's too young, he'd make a better assistant than a Doctor', which I agree with. Some were saying 'his ears are far too big for the Tardis'."
"I'm alright. they're not big but I know they stick out. There was a picture of Pog and one of me next to it. I was 'The FA Cup', 'Wingnut'... I was like 'You bastards! You're cruel!'"
I'm guessing your friends were nicer about it.
"I was getting texts from people saying things like 'you were my first kiss, now you're going to be The Doctor'. The first few I was saying 'It's not true, but thanks anyway' but in the end I couldn't be arsed. I was like 'I'm not allowed to talk about it!'"
You appeared in the last Christmas special as Midshipman Frame...
"I was meant to come back and do the finale of the last series, but I was doing a play. They rang up and said 'Russell would like you back in, are you available?' I couldn't do it. Russell sent me his book the other day, which explains what would have happened. It would have been Donna, The Doctor and [Midshipman Frame] in the Tardis looking for Earth. But then I would have got killed by a Dalek, so maybe it's a good idea I didn't come back."
So would you accept an offer to play The Doctor?
"Of course! It's awesome. If it was right now, I'd probably choose the assistant role, because I think Midshipman Frame [could be good] as the assistant."
A full series of Being Human is currently being filmed for transmission on BBC Three early next year. More on that - including details of who's joining Russell on the cast - next week. Russell can also be seen now in BBC One's new Dickens adaptation Little Dorrit.
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(*) Now, I have it on veeeeery good authority that the next Doctor has already been chosen. It's an interesting new direction, and the choice (assuming no changes of heart) will probably surprise - and divide - many. The name I've heard isn't Paterson Joseph. Or John Simm. Or James Nesbitt.