David Tennant was born in Bathgate, West Lothian in 1971 and grew up in Ralston, Renfrewshire – just outside Glasgow. At age 16, he won a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and studied there for three years, one of the youngest students they had accepted. Read more about David Tennant's career in London here.
On graduating, Tennant’s first professional production was in a production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui with the 7:84 Theatre Company. Numerous television appearances followed, including the role of transsexual barmaid Davina in a Scottish TV sitcom, Rab C Nesbitt, and the manic depressive Campbell in Takin’ Over the Asylum in 1994.
The early 1990s also saw him performing with the Dundee Repertory Theatre before making the move to London in 1994. Here his career began to flourish, making regular appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, beginning with the role of Touchstone in As You Like It in 1996. Other appearances with the RSC include Jack Lane in The Herbal Bed (1996), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (2000), Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2008) and the title role in Hamlet in 2008. The latter was adapted into a BBC film with Tennant reprising his role in 2009.
His most recent Shakespearean performances include Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre with Catherine Tate in 2011, and the title role in Richard II for a limited run at Stratford-upon-Avon before transferring to the Barbican Theatre in 2013. He reprised the role of Richard II at the Barbican and in New York in 2016 as part of the RSC’s ‘King and Country’ cycle.
Tennant is probably best known for his television work, notably his performance in Casanova in 2005, as supervillain Kilgrave in Jessica Jones and as Alec Hardy in the hugely successful ITV drama series Broadchurch alongside Olivia Colman. His appearance as Barty Crouch Jr in the motion picture Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005 is a fan favourite.
Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor in Doctor Who solidified him as one of the nation’s most beloved actors. Taking over the role from Christopher Eccleston in 2005, Tennant became the tenth actor to portray the role and played the role for 4 years, his final appearance being aired on New Year’s Day 2010. He returned for a one-off guest appearance in the show’s 50th anniversary episode in 2013. Tennant had been an avid fan of Doctor Who and has said it was a childhood dream to step into the Doctor’s shoes.
In March 2017, David Tennant returned to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre to play the title role in Patrick Marber’s Don Juan in Soho, a modern take on Molière’s classic Don Juan.
Tennant played John Halder in Good at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Tennant and his co-stars Sharon Small and Elliot Levey all received Olivier Award nominations for their performances. Following this, he will play the title role in Macbeth at the Donmar Warehouse.