James Corden: ‘I’m honoured to be in Doctor Who’

The Gavin and Stacey star tells What’s On TV why he’s thrilled to be the Doctor’s flatmate in the latest episode of Doctor Who

What can you tell us about your episode of Doctor Who?

“The character I play is called Craig and he’s very much an ordinary guy in the best sense of the word. He works in a call centre and rents a flat which his mate has just moved out of so he puts an ad in the paper for a new lodger. He’s also in love with a girl who he works with and he can’t tell her because they are friends and he’s worried about it ruining their friendship.”

He ends up taking the Doctor in as his lodger! It sounds like a recipe for a new sitcom!

“It’s a really great script and what I really liked about it is that for the first 20 pages or so it is a two-hander really between Craig and the Doctor. I think the reason why the show is of such a high calibre, is that work was taking place on the script right up until the moment we started filming. The team never rested on their laurels.”

Had you worked with Matt Smith before?

“I’d known about him as an actor for a long time. I did a play called The History Boys and when we took it to New York, another cast came in and took over the UK show. I remember talking to Nick Hytner, the director, and Alan Bennett, who wrote the play, and I remember very specifically Nick saying there was this one guy called Matt Smith in the UK cast and he looks pretty special. It really feels like he is one of those people just born to play the Doctor.”

Would you like to appear in Doctor Who again?

“I’m not sure if my character will be back, but I’d certainly love him to – it would be great. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go in the TARDIS, but Matt gave me a tour and it’s such an impressive set. I feel very honoured to have been involved in Doctor Who.”

Do you think the producers should’ve cast you as the Doctor?

“Ha ha – I don’t think they made a mistake not casting me as the Doctor. I remember reading something saying I was on a list, but I’m certain they made the right choice. It takes an actor of such skill to play the part and Matt’s just brilliant – I wouldn’t fancy my chances against him!”

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