'This Charming Man': What Makes David Tennant So Popular?

David Tennant is about to return to the stage, will be seen as the Doctor later this year and early next year he will be reprising his role in Broadchurch for an American audience. National weekday paper Metro wanted to know what is it about the actor that makes him so popular. They asked our own blogger Sarah, and this is what she told them:

David Tennant's career seems to go from strength to strength with each new role that he undertakes. So what is it that makes him so popular? In my opinion it’s David himself that has led to his huge success as an actor.

His friendly, down to earth approach and staunch work ethic make him popular with his contemporaries and he is often praised by co-stars for being a pleasure to work with. In short he is an exceptionally nice man who happens to be extraordinarily talented and part of his appeal is that he doesn't seem to realise just how talented he is.

Tennant's handsome good looks obviously appeal to the female audience, but his allure is as much about his personality, his wicked sense of humour and intelligent banter, which shines through in the rare interviews that he gives to the press.

His private life remains just that – private. He doesn't court media attention which is a rarity in these days of OK magazine spreads and reality TV shows. He reminds me of the old school Hollywood actors, he has charm.

It’s helped that David effortlessly manoeuvres between the media of television, film, theatre and radio. He has been credited with introducing a whole new audience to the works of William Shakespeare during his time with the Royal Shakespeare Company, but he is equally at home meeting up with his fans at Doctor Who conventions.

His workload is huge and yet he appears tireless. This year alone we will have seen David in no less than four new TV dramas, including the hugely successful Broadchurch on ITV.

He’s also recorded a series of children’s audio books, filmed a new romantic comedy in his native Scotland, is just days away from making his debut as Richard II at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and in November we will see his return to the show that made him a household name when he appears as the Tenth Doctor in the eagerly awaited Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

The diversity of his work is reflected in his huge fan base where you are as likely to chat to a 15 year old boy who’s a fan of his time as the Doctor as to 55 year old woman who is a fan of his theatre work.

And it’s not just in the UK that David has fans, his fan base is huge and reaches far and wide, with fans across Europe, Australia and the USA to name just a few territories conquered by Tennant.

So it’s natural that he has now decided to head for American shores where he will team up with Broadchurch’s creator Chris Chibnall in an attempt to recreate the show’s home success across the Atlantic. And I have no doubt that they will.

Once, when interviewing Tennant back in 2006, he told me that he ‘never had any great five year plan’ and simply ‘bumbled along’.
It seems that just bumbling along has really paid off for this charming man.