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The BBC Thought David Tennant & Benedict Cumberbatch Weren’t Attractive Enough For Audiences

Hello Sweetie


Everyone’s opinions vary as to what they find sexually desirable but I think it’s safe to say a lot of people find David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch attractive. That’s why it’s surprising to hear the BBC doesn’t agree. 

While not everyone in TV and movies will be considered conventionally attractive by modern standards, there is a glaring tendency in Hollywood to hire only “good looking” people.

Reported by the Radio Times, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat recently talked about his discussions with the BBC when casting for Sherlock.

Speaking yesterday at the Hay Festival, Moffat revealed that the Beeb had initial reservations over both leading men:

“They said of casting David Tennant as Casanova, ‘Damn, you should have cast someone sexier’. With Benedict Cumberbatch, we were told the same thing. ‘You promised us a sexy Sherlock, not him.'”

Ouch, BBC. Again, to each their own, but the BBC couldn’t have been more wrong about how audiences would respond to both actors. Then again, the characters they’re bringing to life factor in as well, I’m sure.

It’s an interesting discussion considering Moffat recently spoke about cutting down on the flirting from the Doctor now that Peter Capaldi would be playing him. It was something which struck our own Rebecca, who has a thing for Capaldi, as quite odd. Moffat said, “[The Doctor is] not a human being, however much he larks around pretending he is. He is different and it’s time to stop play-acting. He’s not apologising, he’s not flirting with you—that’s over.”

It’s certainly a departure from how the Doctor has been presented the last few years, with romantic interests abound. And with this info about the BBC, I can’t help but wonder if they wanted to cut out the “flirting” because Capaldi is older. Though Moffat has also spoken about the possible chemistry between Capaldi and Alex Kingston’s River Song. What do you think?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."