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OTRC: Peter Capaldi named new Doctor Who: 5 facts about actor

Peter Capaldi appears at the London premiere of 'World War Z' on June 2, 2013. (Richard Young/Rex/startraksphoto.com)

In June, it was announced that Matt Smith would exit the role of Doctor Who following the Christmas special and on Sunday, Aug. 4, fans finally found out who will be taking over the role of the titular character.

Peter Capaldi appeared before a live studio audience for the announcement on the BBC and it was revealed that the 55-year-old will be the 12th actor to play the role of the Time Lord.

"Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself, I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started," Capaldi said during the announcement, according to the BBC.

The actor is likely known to some television audiences for his role as Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy series "The Thick of It." The show had a spin-off film in 2009 called "In the Loop," which also starred the late James Gandolfini. He has appeared in U.K. television series like "Skins," "The Hour" and "Fortysomething."

Most recently, Capaldi was seen in the Brad Pitt film "World War Z" as a doctor for the World Health Organization. He's credited on IMDB as a W.H.O. Doctor. He will also star opposite Angelina Jolie in the upcoming film "Maleficent," which is due out on July 2, 2014.

Check out five facts about Peter Capaldi below.

1. He's been a "Doctor Who" fan since childhood.

During the BBC television unveiling, Capaldi described himself as "a life-long fan" of "Doctor Who." He later joked, "Even though I'm a life-long 'Doctor Who' fan, I haven't really played Doctor Who since I was nine. So as an adult actor, I've never worked on it."

"So what I did was I downloaded some old scripts from the internet and practiced those in front of the mirror," he added.

According to the BBC, in 1973, when Capaldi was 15 years old, he wrote a letter to the U.K. magazine the Radio Times praising it for its coverage of the 10th anniversary of "Doctor Who."

2. He's appeared in "Doctor Who" and its spinoff series "Torchwood" before.

Capaldi appeared in the 2008 episode of "Doctor Who" called "The Fires of Pompeii." At the time, David Tennant was playing Doctor Who and Capaldi played the Roman merchant Caecilius.

The actor also had a recurring role on the "Doctor Who" spin-off "Torchwood" as John Frobisher.

3. He found out he landed the "Doctor Who" gig while filming "The Three Musketeers."

It was explained during the television special that Capaldi auditioned for "Doctor Who" in secret at the home of the show's executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat.

"We made a home video of [Capaldi] being the doctor and I showed it around and everyone said, 'Yes, that's the Doctor,'" Moffat said during the special.

Capaldi was filming a BBC adaptation of "The Three Musketeers," where he plays the villainous Cardinal Richelieu, when he missed the call informing him he landed the role of Doctor Who.

"I had my phone on silent so I missed the call," Capaldi said, according to the BBC. "It was my agent and I rang her up and she said, 'Hello Doctor' -- I haven't stopped laughing since."

4. He played in a band with "The Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson and inspired Ferguson to try comedy.

Ferguson wrote about Capaldi in his 2010 memoir "American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot." In the early 1980s, the two played in a band together called the Dreamboys. Ferguson played the drums.

"Peter was the first person who told me that being funny was a gift and, when done well, was an art form," Ferguson wrote about Capaldi. "Up until this point, I had learned that being funny, particularly in school, was stupid and could get you physically injured."

5. He's an Oscar-winner.

Although Capaldi has not been nominated for an Oscar for his acting, he did tie for an Oscar in 1995. The actor tied in the Best Live Action Short Film category for his film "Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life." Capaldi wrote and directed the short, which tied for the award with the short film "Trevor." This instance is one of six ties in the history of the Oscars.

Capaldi also won a BAFTA Film Award for the short film and he won a BAFTA TV Award in 2010 for his role in "The Thick of It."

Check out a video of Capaldi introducing himself as the new Doctor below.

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