Bill Nighy, the popular British actor best known for his turns in Love Actually and Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows, has revealed that he once turned down the role of Doctor Who because he considered the part to come with "too much baggage."

Quite what the actor regards as baggage in unclear, though he probably means that once you play Doctor Who, you're Doctor Who forever. Something challenged somewhat by the exploits of David Tennant in recent years, but whatever.

"I won't tell you when, because the rule is that you are not allowed to say you turned that job down because it's disrespectful to whoever did it," Nighy told the Daily Express at the premiere of his new movie About Time.

"I will say that I was approached. But I didn't want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything, I just think that it comes with too much baggage," he added.

Though he was unwilling to give anything away, it's likely that Nighy was approached for the role either before Paul McGann snagged the TV film in 1996, or before Christopher Eccleston was appointed as the Time Lord in 2005.

Nevertheless, Nighy has given the thumbs up to the new Doctor Peter Capaldi, saying the actor would be "very cool" in the role.

"I think it's a brilliant, inspired choice," he told HuffPostUK, "It's one of those things where you think, "Of course he's the Doctor. Why didn't I think of that before? He's a marvellous actor. He'll be very cool as the Doctor. He'll bring a lot of wit and dry humour. He's elegant and he looks great. It's a great, great choice."

Peter Capaldi - best known for playing the notorious spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It - was announced as the twelfth Doctor Who in a live BBC show hosted by Zoe Ball. He had been the bookies favourite.

Bill NighyBill Nighy At The Premiere of About Time At Somerset House

Peter Capaldi
Peter Capaldi Is The New Doctor Who