The hectic filming schedule for Doctor Who took such a toll on star Christopher Eccleston, his face became "disfigured" and his mind kept conjuring up images of the Tardis.

The movie actor - who announced in March (05) he's quitting the TV show after one series - has helped launch the time-travelling hero back to popularity, but he admits the gruelling shoot drove him to the brink of insanity.

Eccleston was particularly disturbed by haunting visions of the Tardis, the deceptively large police box he uses to travel through time.

He says, "You can't have a life. You can't socialise. It's like having a Tardis in your skull and every time you open your mouth you see a Tardis.

"There were days when I got psoriasis, I got eczema. My face blew up in the DALEK (evil robots) episode. I looked literally disfigured with tiredness and poor skin."

17/05/2005 14:04