Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has revealed he once turned down the chance to audition for the central role because he was convinced he had no chance.

The actor said he was asked by his agent to try out for the Doctor when show chiefs were casting for a 1996 movie, which saw Paul McGann take the role.

But speaking for the first time about the missed opportunity, he said he could not have coped with the disappointment if he had tried and failed.

Jenna Coleman Peter Capaldi Doctor Who

(Ian West/PA)

Peter eventually landed the part late last year and appeared in his first full series this year, replacing Matt Smith in the latest run of the classic sci-fi series.

He was asked to head to the auditions when the BBC attempted to revive Doctor Who with a feature-length TV film.

But he admitted : “I knew I wouldn’t get it – I loved the show so much that I didn’t want to have anything to do with it unless it was going to be me.

Peter Capaldi Doctor Who

(BBC)

“I just didn’t want to have the disappointment to go through all the palaver and the jumping through hoops for something I would never get because I knew it was an American pilot and they would go for somebody who was well-known and Paul was and he was fantastic, so I said ‘No, I won’t come along’.

“I said to my agent: tell them thank you very much, but I don’t want to go along,” he added, speaking at the DVD launch of the eighth series of Doctor Who.

The opportunity arose shortly after he won a best short film Oscar for the movie he directed and wrote, Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life.

Peter Capaldi

(Ian West/PA)

Current Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat admitted it was the first time he had heard that Peter previously turned down the chance to try out for the role.

Peter has been a fan of the series since childhood and famously wrote to Radio Times praising the magazine’s special edition published to mark the show’s 10th anniversary.

The DVD is being released by BBC Worldwide on November 24.