The son of a Presbyterian minister, David Tennant was brought up in Bathgate, the post-industrial town between Edinburgh and Glasgow immortalised in a song by his favorite band, The Proclaimers. He decided to be an actor at a very young age (3 or 4) and was appearing on screen before he was even out of school. He was first talent-spotted by Scottish TV at a Saturday youth theatre club, an offshoot of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he later trained.
After graduating, Tennant auditioned for the groundbreaking political Scottish Theatre Group 7:84 and landed the role of Giri the Hitman in their touring production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Uiith — his first professional part. His second job, as King Arthur in an Edinburgh production, got such a bad review it made him cry. However, things began to look up when he landed a part in the award-winning BBC TV production of Takin' Over the Asylum. Tennant played manic-depressive Campbell Bain, a role that he claims changed his life. "They needed someone who could believably act 19 and bonkers." He could, and did, to much acclaim, and followed it up with a much-praised performance as the page boy in What the Butler Saw at the Lyttelton.
Then in 1996, when he was just 25, Tennant joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. His turn as Touchstone in As You Like It was praised as the most memorable in years. He was also applauded for his Jack Lane in The Herbal Bed, his leading role in Romeo and Juliet, and his portrayals of Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (for which he received a a 2000 Ian Charleson Award nomination for Best classical actor under 30) and Captain Jack Absolute in The Rivals. Tennant is now a respected classical stage actor and has added to his awards with the 2005 Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland Best Male Performance, as Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger; a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor for Lobby Hero; and a Theatre Management Association Best Actor Award for The Glass Menagerie.
Whilst forging his name in the theatre, Tennant also dipped his toe into the world of television, guest-starring in episodes of The Deputy, Foyle's War, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Rab C. Nesbitt, Holding the Baby and the multiple-award-winning People Like Us. He also appeared in a number of British films and co-starred in BBC4's acclaimed live telefilm of The Quatermass Experiment in April 2005. But three TV roles in particular won Tennant widespead recognition, both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
In He Knew He Was Right, Andrew Davies' acclaimed BBC adaptation of Trollope's novel, Tennant provided the comic sub-plot as the Reverend Gibson, a flirtatious clergyman who is fought over by a pair of squabbling sisters.
In Blackpool, his Detective Inspector Peter Carlisle won critical acclaim ("David Tennant … crackles with raw energy" said the New York Daily News). And his Casanova was a triumph, described by the Observer as "a perfect fusion of Brad Pitt and Michael Palin."
Landing the titular role on Doctor Who has made Tennant a household name around the world, but many fans also associate him with another role: Barty Crouch Junior in the big-screen blockbuster Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
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