Giant of British cinema Brian Blessed has revealed that he turned down a chance to play Doctor Who in the mid-1960s because he was too busy. However, he says he'd jump at the chance to be the Timelord now.
The 77--year-old actor told the Radio Times that he was approached to replace first Doctor William Hartnell in 1966. “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.”
Blessed said he'd “jump at” the chance to play the role now. He did go on to enjoy a guest part on the sci-fi series in 1986 when he played King Yrcanos in a story called Mindwarp.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on August 23 with Peter Capaldi starring as the latest regeneration of the Doctor.