Armando Iannucci: "I'd love to write a Doctor Who episode" & Peter Capaldi's letter to younger self
Alan Partridge writer and Veep creator Armando Iannucci would love the opportunity to turn his hand to sci-fi, specifically writing a Doctor Who episode for his friend Peter Capaldi.
Armando's the man behind The Thick of It and infamous political enforcer Malcolm Tucker, and he revealed that he'd love to work with Peter Capaldi - who was recently unveiled as the 12th Doctor - again.
"I'd love to write [an episode of Doctor Who]!" explains the man who grew up on the same Glasgow street as the new Doctor. "Steven Moffat hasn't asked me, but it would be great because I love sci-fi and I grew up with Doctor Who as well.
"I was so pleased when I heard that Peter had got the role. He had a part in the show a few years back and he told me that when he went on set and saw the TARDIS, he nearly cried! He's a massive fan."
Following his unveiling in August, everyone is desperate to get a taste of what kind of Timelord Peter will be and who better to ask than his long-time collaborator.
"He won't be Malcolm - that's the thing," says Iannucci. "I think some people will be surprised because he's a fantastic actor. He's really funny, so I imagine there'll be lots of humour there, but he can also be powerful and tragic. It'll be interesting to see if they do stories that allow him to play to those things!
"My kids are also big Doctor Who fans so the idea that someone who's been in our house will be the new Doctor Who will be amazing for them!"
Veep returns to Sky Atlantic for a second series in October.
Peter Capaldi: I wish I’d known that one day the geek would inherit the Earth
(Can you spot young Peter Capaldi and Craig Ferguson?)
My adolescence in the ’70s was a kind of motorway pile-up, and like any trauma comes back to me only in flashes: terrifying purple shirts and home-made flared trousers; vivid spurts of acute embarrassment as I hear my youthful self – cocky, ignorant, scared and courageous – attempt to navigate the course from uber-geek to punky art student and beyond, falling into every trap along the way. I have asked an older colleague who knew me at the time what I was like and he said simply: “You were like an accident waiting to happen.”
I wanted to be an actor, a painter, a rock star, a comedian, a film director. I didn’t know what I wanted. But I knew that I didn’t want to join the queue of depressed-looking souls standing at the bus stop in the rain every morning. And when I eventually settled on the idea of being an actor, I had no idea how to get started.
Everything I read about actors seemed impossibly alien. They were Shakespeare-loving intellectuals who devoured books but were also passionate and ‘edgy’, constantly angry about something or other, spitting and shouting at each other in that actory voice. What was that voice? “Neutral,” I was told. Neutral? But it sounds like you’d have to swallow mugs full of Lord Byron’s saliva and inject Churchill’s cigar butt juice into your vocal chords to come even close to ballooning your own voice into that impossible sound. Neutral? No. It was Standard English. Even most English people didn’t speak it. What chance did I have, with my Glasgow accent and ice cream name?
At his best I would like the 16-year-old Peter. He’s pretty harmless, just a little confused by the world. He’s trying his best, even if he does make more fashion errors than is natural for a supposedly trained artist. He could be a bit braver. He could be a little bit wilder and not do any harm. He could try seeing more of the world. And reading some books.
I’d tell my younger self: worrying that you are crap is a waste of time. Worrying that you can’t do it is a waste of time. Worrying that you failed is a waste of time. No one cares. Just get on with it. I’d tell him to celebrate being different. In the end, my Glasgow accent didn’t matter. The fact I was different would provide me with the employment I’ve had.
I wish I’d known that one day the geek would inherit the Earth. When I was 16, geeks hadn’t been invented, so being tall and skinny, into horror movies and sci-fi and unable to play football simply made me the go-to guy for the sociopaths (some of them teachers) who wanted to practise their torturing skills on someone.
I destroyed all my geek stuff because I didn’t want to be a geek, and I regret it to this day. Consumed in the geek bonfire of the vanities was a collection of autographs and letters from Peter Cushing, Spike Milligan, Frankie Howerd, the first Doctor Whos, actual astronauts and many more.
The biggest challenge for my younger self will be dealing with himself. It’s the attitude that he brings with him that will define what he makes of himself. I’d tell him, don’t avoid the gifted, talented, hard-working or privileged because they frighten you – that’s a waste of time and the opportunity to learn something. Embrace everything. My mother said: “If you fell in the Clyde you’d come out with fish in your pocket.” I’d like him to learn sooner that luck will not be enough.