Doctor Who John Simm was the eighth actor to play the Master in Doctor Who

Published on May 28th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

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Who’s Been Hassling The Master in Tescos?

Former (it would seem…) Master John Simm has expressed his distaste for Doctor Who fans who approach him when he’s shopping with his family.

And who can blame him?

John Simm was the eighth actor to play the Master in Doctor Who

Speaking to the Radio Times, the actor – well known for his intense roles and for playing time-travelling/limbo-dwelling Sam Tyler in Life on Mars – revealed that he found the fans “full on”

“They don’t want anything, they’re just full on. It’s great to be into something, but for goodness’ sake, really?”

“I’m not the Master. I’m not that evil Time Lord who rules the galaxy. I’m just in Tesco with my kids. Leave me alone.”

As much as we sympathise – and hold to account whichever idiots have been unable to let a bloke off the telly get on with his life – however, it seems that someone didn’t quite explain the impact of being in Doctor Who to Mr Simm.

“I do get a lot of Doctor Who. God almighty, I’ll be so happy when that’s gone from my life.”

Er, John, there’s something you should probably know…

(Va Mirror Online.)

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




9 Responses to Who’s Been Hassling The Master in Tescos?

  1. avatar Mark Lenton says:

    While I don’t condone these fans behaviour… I do remember a report about Simm being dissapointed he didn’t get a call for the 50th anniversary lately don’t I?

    I find it a bit odd, we fans in the UK tend to be fairly reserved and unlikely to cause hassle… but’s there’s always some I suppose who get us a bad name.

    But actors who don’t like getting recognised really should just stick to theatre.


    • No, pretty sure he never expressed any emotion about the 50th one way or t’other, simply replying when asked that he isn’t in it. Last October he did tell the audience at Cheltenham Literary Festival that he had no plans to return in the role but that if he was asked and the script was good then of course he would take a look at it. I was there, so I know what he said. He said if he had the opportunity he would like to take the character to a much darker place.

      Re the sticking to the theatre comment – he does a fair bit of theatre, and I have seen him sign Dr Who photos at the stage door afterwards with no reaction other than ‘thank you’ to anyone who enthuses about the show and his part in it. I doubt he’d let this kind of fuss dictate whether he made another appearance if the script was good enough, but he must be tired of this continual harping on about how he doesn’t like fame or recognition. I know that many of his fans are tired of the tabloid approach, because he is always appreciative to polite fans. If he gets shirty at those who don’t observe the common courtesies then he has every right – he is as entitled to privacy and respect on his own time as anyone else, he isn’t public property, and anyone who thinks different needs to take a reality check in my humble opinion…

      • avatar Mark Lenton says:

        Elaine, thanks for clarifying the quotes – I knew he had certainly talked about ideas for coming back if he was asked and liked the material.

        I don’t disagree that he is entitled to privacy, but this is bound to get occasionally broached to very successful actors and I’m sure he is gracious when it is (now it seems the quotes are false). However I do think actors are in the wrong job if they can’t be gracious about this kind of thing occasionally – lets face it there are plenty of careers you can choose if you don’t want people to recognise you in the street…

  2. avatar authorman94 says:

    The story’s just updated with this:

    “I haven’t done an interview for them for many years, because of this. Nasty, spiteful, trouble causing ‘Journalism’. I meant no disrespect to ‘Whovians’ or whoever. It’s a non story. I always try to be polite to fans and am v proud of my time in the show. You can choose to believe what you like but I really meant no offence. I’ve obviously p***ed off some bored journalist coz I wouldn’t do an interview.”

    “Stopped doing print interviews a while ago coz of this, if you see one its either old or thrown together. TV Radio or here. rest is bulls***. And I don’t fkin shop in Tesco. (BUT THAT’S NOTHING AGAINST TESCO) ;)”

    So, by the sounds of it, he’s trying to do damage control?

  3. avatar Paul Blume says:

    Tesco? Really?? He strikes me more as a Waitrose type of guy…

    • avatar vortexter says:

      Word on the street is that ‘The Moff’ shops at Tesco as he likes the 3 for £10 offer on meat. Simms was probably waiting to ambush him for another chance at becoming the Master again for the 50th.

  4. avatar S'task Akaar says:

    Why don’t he just cry about it? He CHOSE his career. Did he not know the popularity of the show? Man up, sign the autographs and STFU.


  5. Thing is, as he says, it’s really a non-story (and as every DW fan who has approached him at the stage door with photos of himself as the Master to sign rather than a program for whatever play he’s appearing in will know, he is unfailingly polite and appreciative!) the Radio Times (who appear to have gone into tabloid mode in recent months) are out to cause a stir, in order to get people talking about the magazine. They had a go a Philip Glenister for being a show off (Excuse me? I don’t think so!) and for Marc Warren for being a ‘brooding luvvie’ (again not true) as well – but there’s obviously more mileage in the Dr Who angle so they went for it, more shame on them. The journalist responsible needs to get her facts straight.

  6. avatar Settle Down says:

    Sounds like many of the people commenting here may be the very ones that any right-minded actor (not celebrity) would want to avoid. There is no social contract with any groups of performers (actors, athletes, musicians, etc.) that permits the rest of us to interfere with their personal lives. Just who the hell do you people think you are? Please, get over yourselves and get on with your lives.

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