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Bill Nighy (born 12 December 1949[1][2][3]) played the uncredited role of Dr Henry Black in the Doctor Who story Vincent and the Doctor.[4] This episode was written by Richard Curtis, with whom Nighy had worked several times.

The Sunday Times reported in 2003 that Nighy had been approached to play the Ninth Doctor, singled out by Russell T Davies. In 2012, Nighy confirmed this story: he was indeed offered the role, but felt it held with it too much responsibility.[5] Interestingly, during the Doctor Who: Lockdown! tweetalong of Vincent and the Doctor episode in 2020, Matt Smith opined that "Doctor Black" may in fact be an alias of a future incarnation of the Doctor checking back on his younger self and helping him along, quite like the Curator. If one lends credence to this theory, this would mean Nighy did indeed play an incarnation of the Doctor on television, although he would not have known it at the time.[6]

Nighy has enjoyed many film and television appearances. Some of his more famous are The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Love Actually, The Boat that Rocked, the Underworld film series and the second and third instalments of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies as Davy Jones. He also starred in Shaun of the Dead with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis, Kate Ashfield and Penelope Wilton.

External links[]


  1. Nighy, Bill (1949-). BFI Screenonline. Retrieved on 13 December 2016.
  2. Doctor Who Official (12 December 2016). And many happy returns to Bill Nighy, the bowtied art curator Dr. Black in Vincent and the Doctor!. Twitter. Retrieved on 13 December 2016.
  3. About Bill Nighy. Silkboundbooks. Retrieved on 13 December 2016.
  4. BBC mobile site
  5. Caron, Nathalie (17 December 2012). Wow! Look who confirmed he turned down the role of the 9th Doctor. Blastr. Retrieved on 13 December 2016.
  6. Smith, M. (30 March 2020). #TheUltimateGinger. Twitter. Retrieved on 24 November 2020.