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People shocked to discover David Tennant isn’t actor’s actual birth name

People shocked to discover David Tennant isn’t actor’s actual birth name

The Doctor Who actor decided to ditch his birth name when he was seeking out stardom.

David Tennant is a household name thanks to his acting prowess - but he almost wasn't.

You could have been etching a very different moniker on your Doctor Who notebook - if the actor didn't pick it out for himself at the age of 16.

Take a look at this clip:

If a teenage Tennant wasn't forced to ditch his former moniker in favour of something snappier, we would all have to fangirl over his birth name.

The Broadchurch star has revealed the lengthy and quite chaotic story behind why he decided to change his official title, which really is quite the whirlwind.

He has spent the best part of four decades answering to David Tennant - but he's only managed to finish the entire process off just a few months ago.

So let's dig into the 52-year-old's epic moniker mission without further ado.

When he was 16-years-old, Tennant bagged a place at the prestigious theatre school, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and became one of their youngest students.

David Tennant changed his name as a teenager.
Mike Marsland/WireImage

The Doctor Who star went to join the actor's union Equity, but was then informed that they were already representing another bloke with the name David McDonald - so they couldn't have two.

Discussing his name change at PaleyFest NY in 2018, he explained: "I changed my name, I had to come up with a name when I was 16. We didn't know any actors, it wasn't like I could sort of consult with Derek Jacobi. I was in Paisley.

"I was just sort of sitting there going, 'how do actors change their name?' I thought, 'Well I don't want to change my first name because I'll be at work and people wouldn't know what to call me'.

"'So, I'll change my surname. How do you change your surname?' And my parents are going, 'Well, your granny's uncle's nephew is McChuckter' or whatever it was. Anything my parents said was like, 'Uh! You're so lame'."

Tennant then told how flicking through a copy of Smash Hits music magazine led him to his new moniker.

He continued: "I thought, I'll just see what names look good on a page'. You had to come up with some options so - does anyone remember Spear of Destiny?

"Spear of Destiny, their lead singer was Curt Brandon. So I thought 'David Brandon' that would be good. That would have been much better for an alphabetical cast list.

"I wish I'd thought through that. David Aberdeen, that would have been quite good."

The actor also discussed his journey to becoming a Tennant at New York Comic Con.
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for ReedPop

Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant must have been adorning a few pages of the publication too, as David was left unable to pick between the two.

He added: "So, David Brandon and David Tennant. I thought that name looks good.

"Brandon was obviously taken, as my Equity card came back with David Tennant on it."

During an appearance at New York Comic Con in November this year, the actor addressed how the issue had followed him across the pond when he headed to the US for work.

He told fans: "I later on came to do some work in America. The Screen Actor's Guild told me they already had a David Tennant. I can't be known as one thing on one side of the world because shows we make there come over here!

"I was already making Doctor Who by then, that would have been weird to change my name again.

"Then it turns out that if it's your legal name then you don't have to change it - so I had to make it my legal name.

"It was just at the time that I was adopting my son and we were about to have my daughter and we were about to get married - all at the same time. So, we all changed our name all at once.

"The four of us became Tennant's in a sort of two week period. It was a busy two weeks."

A busy two weeks indeed - but thankfully, they're now all official Tennant's.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/Jeff Spicer/Getty

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Doctor Who, David Tennant