Peter Capaldi

Last updated on the 16 April 2024 by Maeve

Peter Capaldi

Mini Biography

Born: 14 April 1958, Glasgow, Scotland. 

Peter Capaldi is a Scottish actor, director and writer who is best known for playing the twelfth Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who and Malcolm Tucker in the political satire The Thick of It. He has also won an Oscar and a BAFTA for his short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life and directed several other films and TV shows.

Peter Capaldi was born to Nancy and Gerald Capaldi. His paternal grandfather was Italian, while the rest of his ancestry is Scottish and Irish. He grew up in Springburn and Bishopbriggs, where he attended St Teresa’s, St Matthew’s, and St Ninian’s schools. He developed an early interest in performing and puppetry and joined a local theatre group called the Antonine Players. He also learned to play guitar and formed a punk rock band called The Dreamboys with his friend Craig Ferguson, who later became a comedian and talk show host.

Peter Capaldi studied at the Glasgow School of Art, where he graduated with a BA in graphic design. He continued to pursue his passion for music and comedy, performing in cabaret acts and writing pantomimes. He also began to act in theatre and television, appearing in shows such as Local Hero, The Lair of the White Worm, and Dangerous Liaisons. In 1993, he wrote and directed his first short film, Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, which starred Richard E. Grant as Kafka. The film won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film and the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film.

Peter Capaldi’s breakthrough role came in 2005, when he was cast as Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed spin doctor in the BBC comedy series The Thick of It, created by his childhood neighbour Armando Iannucci. Capaldi’s performance earned him critical acclaim and four BAFTA nominations, winning one in 2010. He also reprised the role in the 2009 film In the Loop, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Capaldi also directed two series of the hospital sitcom Getting On and the drama film Strictly Sinatra.

In 2013, Peter Capaldi was announced as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor in the long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who, succeeding Matt Smith. He made his debut in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor and the 2013 Christmas special The Time of the Doctor. He played the role for four years, until the 2017 Christmas special Twice Upon a Time, when he regenerated into Jodie Whittaker. Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor was praised for his wit, charm and gravitas, as well as his chemistry with his companions.

Peter Capaldi has also appeared in several other films and TV shows, such as Paddington, Christopher Robin, The Suicide Squad, The Thick of It, The Musketeers, and The Personal History of David Copperfield. He has also voiced characters in animation, such as Watership Down, The Amazing World of Gumball, and The Secret Life of Pets 2. He has also written and presented documentaries, such as Peter Capaldi’s Leonardo and Peter Capaldi: A Portrait of Scotland.

Peter Capaldi is married to Elaine Collins, a producer and actress whom he met while working on the 1988 TV series The Ruth Rendell Mysteries. They have one daughter, Cecily, who is also an actress. Capaldi is a patron of the British Red Cross and a supporter of the Labour Party. He is also a distant relative of singer Lewis Capaldi, who is his first cousin twice removed. Capaldi is known for his kindness and generosity towards his fans, especially children. He is also an avid fan of art, literature and music.


BAFTA award

WINNER | Film: Short Film for Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life (1994)  | Television: Male Performance In A Comedy Programme for The Thick Of It  (2010)


Oscar award


WINNER | Best Live Action Short Film for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1995)



Suggested viewing


The Thick of It (2005)

The Thick of It poster

Bftv 9.5 / IMDb 8.7

“The Thick of It” is a political satire that delves into the inner workings of fictional government departments. With sharp wit and biting humour, it follows the chaotic lives of politicians, advisors and civil servants as they navigate power struggles, scandals, and absurd bureaucratic challenges in their quest to maintain control and survive in the cutthroat world of politics.

Top cast: Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Rebecca Front, Roger Allam, Vincent Franklin.

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Ballot Monkeys poster


In the Loop (2009)

In the Loop

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.4

“In the Loop” is a satirical political comedy that follows the chaotic events triggered by an offhand remark, leading to an escalating war of words between British and American officials as they face international diplomacy, personal ambition and bureaucratic ineptitude in their pursuit of military intervention.

Top cast: Peter Capaldi, Tom Hollander, Gina McKee, James Gandolfini, Chris Addison, Anna Chlumsky, Steve Coogan.


The Devil’s Hour (2022)

The Devil's Hour

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.6

During the mysterious ‘Devil’s Hour’ at 3:33 AM, a young woman struggles with unexplained events plaguing her life. As she investigates these occurrences, she uncovers dark secrets linked to the eerie phenomena. With time running out, she must confront supernatural forces to save herself and those she loves.

Top cast: Peter Capaldi, Jessica Raine, Nikesh Patel, Benjamin Chivers, Phil Dunster, Talia Walker Bassols, Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty, Alex Ferns, Thomas Dominique.


Doctor Who (2005)

Doctor Who poster with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.6

“Doctor Who” is a long-running science fiction series that follows the adventures of an alien Time Lord known as the Doctor. With their trusty time-traveling spaceship, the TARDIS, they journey across space and time to protect the universe from various threats while exploring new worlds, encountering companions and battling iconic foes.

Top cast: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Pearl Mackie, Michelle Gomez.


Criminal Record (2024)

Criminal Record poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.1

An anonymous tip throws a young detective and a seasoned officer with a troubled past onto a collision course. They look into a historical murder case, one determined to expose a miscarriage of justice, the other to protect a dark secret. As their investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that more than just the truth is at stake.

Top cast: Cush Jumbo, Peter Capaldi, Aysha Kala, Dionne Brown, Shaun Dooley, Tom Moutchi, Charlie Creed-Miles, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jordan A. Nash, Cathy Tyson, Zoë Wanamaker, Ian Bonar, Georgina Rich.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Peter Capaldi Gallery


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