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Friday 14th December 2018

Chris Eccleston's threats to sue BBC after Doctor Who

It all worked out in the end though!

Christopher Eccleston threatened to sue the BBC following his departure from the Doctor Who series.

The 54-year-old actor was given the responsibility of playing the Time Lord in 2005 in Russell T. Davies' revival of the sci-fi show - in which he starred opposite singer-turned-actress Billie Piper.

However, he departed the role after one series due to a disagreement with his bosses and now Eccleston has admitted he was so angry when the BBC issued a statement at the time claiming he was leaving because he was "tired" it led to him threatening  legal action to get an apology for the misinformation.

Chris Eccleston starred opposite Billy Piper (Credit: BBC)

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Speaking to Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo on Radio 2, he 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.

Chris played Doctor Who for one series (Credit: BBC)

So I threatened legal action and I got an apology printed in all the newspapers. The BBC had to make a statement apologising for attributing quotes to me.

"So I threatened legal action and I got an apology printed in all the newspapers. 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, well, I didn't have to take them to court - I took them to a lawyers' office."

Eccleston - who played the Ninth Doctor - has previously spoken about how his superiors "lost trust" in him, which was a large factor in losing the coveted role.

Chris was the ninth doctor (Credit: BBC)

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He explained: "My relationship with my three immediate superiors - the showrunner, the producer and co-producer - broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered.

"They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them."

Happily, it all worked out in the long run; Chris and the BBC have continued to work together, most recently in The A Word and Come Home.

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