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Dr No... Jimmy won’t be new Tardis tenant

He may be one of the bookies’ favourites to take over from David Tennant but James Nesbitt has said he is definitely not the man to play Dr Who.

The actor said that although his daughters were fans of the award-winning sci-fi show, he had never watched the programme as a child.

And he said he believed the best man for the job was Paterson Joseph, who, if successful, would be the first black doctor.

The rumour mill about the new Time Lord went into overdrive last week when Tennant — the 11th Dr Who — announced he was stepping down after 2009.

The bookmakers began offering odds on his replacement, with Nesbitt emerging as one of the favourites.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph Nesbitt — just home from Morocco where he was filming the BBC drama Occupation — said: “I am not interested in the role whatsoever.

“I haven’t been approached about it but even if I was, it’s just not something I would want to do.

‘When I was a kid I never watched Dr Who.

“People started linking my name with the role because I worked on Jekyll with Steven Moffatt (Dr Who writer).

“When I was a kid I never watched Dr Who, although my children are big fans now.

“David Tennant was a fantastic doctor and will be a hard act to follow but I think Paterson Joseph would be ideal for the job.

“I worked with him on Cold Feet, Murphy’s Law and Jekyll and he is a brilliant actor with a huge range.

“They need someone who could appeal to children, and like David Tennant, Paterson has that empathy. He is much better equipped for the job than I am.”

Nesbitt will be back in Northern Ireland next Friday, November 14, to host the 7Up GO Belfast Awards at the Europa Hotel.

“It’s a great celebration of all that’s good about Belfast. The city has led the way on that front,” he said.

“After all the years of negative press, it’s an exciting time for Belfast and all those businesses nominated for awards have been part of that renaissance.

“It’s also a very enjoyable, relaxed night and I’m looking forward to coming back to Belfast again to host the event.”

The Coleraine actor — currently starring in a new indie film Blessed alongside Natascha McElhone — has worked non-stop over the last 18 months, filming television dramas Jekyll, The Passion, Occupation and Five Minutes of Heaven.

But he revealed that he will be taking a break now to spend more time with his family.

“For the first time in around 10 years I have no idea what I’m going to be doing after this,” he said.

A limited number of tickets for the 7Up GO Belfast Awards are still available, priced £125 each or £1,10 for a table of 10 (plus VAT). Call Michelle Murphy at GO Belfast on 90 457457.

Belfast Telegraph