Actor Christopher Eccleston has horrified sci-fi fans by refusing to appear in the second comeback series of British TV hit Doctor Who.

The 41-year-old beat dozens of stars, including actors Bill Nighy, RICHARD E GRANT and comedian Eddie Izzard to win the coveted role of the time travelling alien, for the eagerly-awaited return of the television classic after its 16-year absence.

But despite the show's first episode attracting a staggering 10.5 million viewers on Saturday night (26MAR05), and plans for a Christmas special this year (05) and a new 13-part run in 2006, Eccleston has announced he no longer wants to be the ninth doctor, because he fears the legendary role will typecast him.

He explains, "I might be the first Doctor to just appear in just one series. It's been brilliant to make but it's hard work. It's a long time to be away from home. It's hard for anyone in a relationship.

"It would be great to have a 10th Doctor, then an 11th. The show will go on and on - it's not about me. But I'd hate to be typecast."

The programme's BBC bosses have already approached Scottish actor DAVID TENNANT to replace Eccleston.

Thrilled Tennant gushes, "I've never made any secret that I'm a big fan of Doctor Who and it's the reason I got into acting. It would be a great role to play."

31/03/2005 14:09