Christopher Eccleston 'Took Legal Action' Against BBC After 'Doctor Who' Exit

Christopher Eccleston has revealed he was forced to take legal action against the BBC after stepping down from ‘Doctor Who’, for “attributing quotes to him”.

He played the Time Lord for one series in 2005, after which David Tennant took over, and in recent years, has disclosed that he had a somewhat difficult time on the sci-fi show.

Sharing new details about his exit, he has now revealed that he even took legal action against the BBC, after they released a statement on his behalf that he hadn’t signed off on. 

Christopher Eccleston (Photo: David M. Benett via Getty Images)

Speaking to BBC (awks) Radio 2, Christopher said: “I made an agreement that I would say nothing about my departure, and I honoured that, because I was looking after the production.

“And then the BBC issued a statement, they put a quote from me that they had written saying why I’d left, because I was tired, which any producer reading that [would think] ‘Well we won’t give Chris Eccleston a job because he gets tired’. So I threatened legal action and I got an apology printed in all the newspapers.”

He added: “The BBC had to make a statement apologising for attributing quotes to me. Nobody will go on record as saying this but my agent said ‘You need to get out of town because you’re not going to work’.

“I kept my word and they didn’t keep their word, so I took them to court.”

Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor (Photo: BBC)

HuffPost UK has contacted the BBC for comment.

Earlier this year, Christopher suggested the corporation had “blacklisted” him after he stepped down from ‘Doctor Who’, later vowing he would never work with showrunner Russell T Davies again.

Since Christopher’s exit, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi have taken over as the lead in ‘Doctor Who’, while Jodie Whittaker is currently at the helm of the Tardis, the first woman in the show’s history to play The Doctor.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story left out Matt Smith, in the list of actors who have played The Doctor.


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Anne Robinson

Anne voiced a robot version of herself, the hillarious Anne Droid, in the episode 'Bad Wolf'. The Anne Droid fronts a dystopian version of 'The Weakest Link', who obliterates contestants with a laser, rather than the 21st century Anne's acidic putdowns. The episode also saw Davina McCall playing a Davinadroid, who hosted a futuristic version of 'Big Brother' (we suppose that would be an Emmadroid now...).

Peter Kay

Beneath those alarming prosthetics sits Peter Kay, who went all out for his appearance in the episode 'Love & Monsters'. The Northern comedian played The Abzorbaloff, who masqueraded as a human being, in an episode in which The Doctor and his companion featured only briefly. We suppose if you'd splashed out on that costume you'd want it to be seen as much as possible...

Kylie Minogue

Kylie played Astrid Peth, companion to David Tennant's Doctor in the 2007 Christmas special, 'Voyage Of The Damned'. She received a mixed reception for the part, which was created especially for her by producer Russell T Davies, with most of the action taking place on a re-imagined futuristic Titanic. Good boots, too.

David Walliams

Another British comedian who underwent quite the makeover for his 'Who' role. David played the Gibbis in the episode 'The God Complex', a rodent-like alien who encounters Matt Smith's Doctor when he crash-lands in what appears to be an 80s hotel. And you thought 'The Shining' was weird...

Suranne Jones

Suranne had the honour of playing a new incarnation of a 'Doctor Who' staple in 2011, when she took on the role of a humanoid version of the TARDIS. In 'The Doctor's Wife', Surrane plays Idris, a human who takes on the personality of the TARDIS, with Michael Sheen also making a voice appearance in the episode.

James Corden

James played The Doctor's temporary housemate, Craig Owens, in the episode 'The Lodger', which sees The Doctor stranded on Earth, and forced to fit in with everyday humans. He reprised the role in the following series, during which he's married to Sophie (Daisy Haggard), who Matt Smith's Doctor helped him get together with, and they have a baby son.

Olivia Colman

Olivia's 'Doctor Who' role was a fairly ordinary one... oh, unless you count those terrifying gnashers, that is.

Keeley Hawes

Like several guest stars before her, Keeley's appearance in the last series of 'Doctor Who' was only meant to be a one-off stint. However, her appearance as the villainous Ms Delphox was so well-received by Whovians that they can look forward to her reprising the role in the latest series.

Derek Acorah

In a rare moment of self-awareness from Derek Acorah, he appeared in a brief cameo role during the episode 'Army Of Ghosts', joking that he'd no longer be of use once ghosts began to roam the earth. It was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance on a TV screen, but we enjoyed it nontheless.

Catherine Tate

Viewers were so taken with Catherine Tate's portrayal of Donna Noble that she eventually wound up as the Doctor's companion, and went on to become one of the most popular characters of the modern era of 'Doctor Who'.

Peter Capaldi

Does he look a bit familiar to you? Long before he was cast as the Twelfth Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi made an appearance during David Tennant's time as Time Lord, playing Caecillius in an episode set in ancient Pompeii.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.