Many fans have already seen Actor Hugh Grant give the Doctor Who universe a spin in the The Curse of Fatal Death, a 1999 Doctor Who Comic Relief Special done for Red Nose Day. However, what some fans may not be aware of is that actor Hugh Grant almost got to play the Doctor for real in the 2005 reboot.
The 57 year old actor best known for his roles in the romantic comedy genre would have made quite the interesting Doctor. At least that was what Russel T Davies thought when he was trying to come up with the ideal actor to portray the 9th incarnation of the beloved character in his reboot. Sometime before Christopher Eccleston was cast in the iconic role, Davies invited Grant to try giving the TARDIS a spin. The former Doctor Who show runner explained, “I have always wanted to work with Hugh Grant. Always”.
So why didn’t we see Hugh Grant running around all of time and space with Billie Piper when Doctor Who blessed our screens once again in 2005? We may never know for sure. Grant has been recently quoted as saying he either forgot about it or never heard he got the offer to begin with. However, in an interview with Digital Spy back in 2007 the actor was quoted as saying the following:
“I was offered the role of the Doctor a few years back and was highly flattered. The danger with those things is that it’s only when you see it on screen that you think, ‘Damn, that was good, why did I say no?’ But then, knowing me, I’d probably make a mess of it.” – Hugh Grant
Regardless, Grant went on to star in many other memorable films and television programs. In fact Davies and Grant have finally been able to collaborate on screen in the new upcoming mini series A Very English Scandal.
“I literally offered him [Grant] Doctor Who in 2004. I told him that and he was like ‘really?!’ He knew nothing about that. I love him. I think he’s one of Britain’s finest actors. I am quite serious about that.” – Russel T Davies
Though he never did end up becoming the Doctor officially, fans can still watch Grant perform as the Doctor in the Comic Relief Special online.