Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi formed Glasgow fan club as a 15-year-old with stars in his eyes

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HE will soon be hurtling through time and space, but new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi took his first steps towards the TARDIS from his home in Bishopbriggs.

The 55-year-old – who grew up in the town near Glasgow – formed his self-styled ‘Dr Who Fan Club – Glasgow Branch’ in March 1974 with friend Simon Clegg.

Peter wrote two letters to the ‘Radio Times’ that year about Doctor Who – one announcing the formation of the club, the other to praise a Doctor Who special run by the Times.

Old friend Simon grew up in the same area as Peter and was his co-star in his acting debut – a play called ‘An Inspector Calls’ at the Fort Theatre, Bishopbriggs, on March 9, 1974.

Peter was an active member of the Antonine Players and played a policeman – little knowing that a police box of a very different kind was moving towards him decades down the line.

Simon, who now lives in Melbourne, said: “Who would have thought a boy from Bishopbriggs would be Doctor Who? Well, he always talked about it.

S/W Ver: A0.03.18R

S/W Ver: A0.03.18R

“The club joining fee was 20p. Scarves to be procured at Simon and Peter’s expense by supplying wool skeins to a member of the Fort Theatre, Phillipa Stevenson, who made them on her knitting machine.

“Apart from himself I was the sole member.

“Peter spent a lot of time up at the Fort and his catchphrase was ‘splendid Sarah’ – an expression used by the then-Doctor Who Tom Baker to assistant Sarah-Jane Smith.

“He was a nice guy, vibrant, creative and possessed of the crucial ingredient – high self-esteem. I always thought it would lead to fame, but I never thought it would take so long. I always liked Peter. Good on him.”

And guess what – 39 years and 15,000 kilometres from Bishopriggs – Simon still has his Doctor Who scarf.

He added: “Peter got his actor’s Equity card playing one of the criminals at the Crucifixion carrying a cross across a stage at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow.

“He then went to Glasgow School of Art. He formed a band with Craig Ferguson (of ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’) called The Dreamboys.”

Simon, who studied theatre at Glasgow University, emigrated in 1996 and worked for a while as a drama teacher in Victoria, Australia.

GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST: Peter and Simon are pictured in ‘An Inspector Calls’ at the Fort Theatre in 1974. Also pictured is a letter Peter wrote - aged 15 – to the Radio Times. Simon is pictured in Australia.

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