From Tıme Lord to a cute fairy: David Tennant says becoming a father inspired his latest role
22:12 GMT, 6 April 2012
After becoming the father of two children in the space of six months – ‘that’s got to be something of a record’ – it’s no surprise David Tennant has a new interest in children’s programmes.
The actor, whose first child Olive was born a year ago and who then adopted his new wife Georgia Moffett’s ten-year-old son, found fame in family favourite Doctor Who but now he’s aiming at an even younger audience on his daughter’s favourite channel CBeebies.
David is the voice of a tree sprite – a type of fairy who lives in the woods – in ambitious new animation Tree Fu Tom.
David is the voice of a tree sprite in the ambitious new animation Tree Fu Tom
Each show took nine months to make and as well as providing entertainment and education, its aim is to get children up and active with the hero Tom (voiced by another Doctor Who alumni, Sophie Aldred) teaching viewers a series of exercise moves.
His appearance in the show is part of a trilogy of productions David has made aimed at young children. He also stars alongside Hugh Grant and Salma Hayek in new family movie The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists, and has a role in the upcoming Postman Pat film.
David, 40, admits to a new respect for children’s broadcasting – even if the audience won’t always remember it. ‘I haven’t done anything for this age of children before,’ he says of Tree Fu Tom’s audience of up to six-year-olds.
Georgia Moffett, daughter of former Doctor Who Peter Davison, met David while working on Doctor Who in 2007
‘But they are formative years and it’s
really important we create television of a high quality for that
audience. Generally speaking we don’t have vivid memories from when we
were pre-school age but the programmes you watch when you are that
young, when you’re still learning about how the world works, are very
'Television, more than
any other medium, is what influenced me as a child and formed my
response to literature, storytelling and, therefore, the world around
Tree Fu Tom is about a boy who can
magically transform himself to enter a tree in his garden and become
part of the Treetopolis world of butterflies, sprites, bugs and naughty
fungi. David plays Tom’s best friend, the often over-excited acorn
Television, more than any other medium,
is what influenced me as a child and formed my response to literature,
storytelling and, therefore, the world around me.
The exercises Tom encourages young viewers to do have been specifically designed to improve the co-ordination of children with dyspraxia (often known as clumsy child syndrome) which is said to effect one in ten of the population.
‘I would never have imagined a programme like this could be used in this way to help combat dyspraxia,’ says David. ‘It will be fascinating to see if it does have a positive effect. The children will certainly have a good time trying.’
David married Georgia, daughter of former Doctor Who Peter Davison, in a New Year’s Eve ceremony in London. An actress, who met David while working on Doctor Who in 2007, she gave birth to her son Tyler when she was 17; the father was a waiter at a restaurant near her school.
David is a firm fixture on television for adults as well as children. His new show True Love, a contemporary drama with overlapping love stories, is due to be screened on the BBC next month.
Tree Fu Tom is on CBeebies, weekdays at 5.25pm. The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists, is in cinemas now.