Brits Vote David Tennant the Greatest Doctor Who of All Time

Published: Tue Jan 05 2010

But they would rather have Russell Brand or Stephen Fry as the next Timelord than new Doctor Matt Smith.

• 21% of Brits wanted Ewan McGregor to be the next Doctor Who
• Just 7% are happy with Matt Smith replacing David Tennant
• 36% chose Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) as the best Doctor Who assistant ever
• A quarter think it’s time we had a Doctor from an ethnic minority
• 20% think it’s time for a female Doctor with Catherine Tate, Anna Friel and Jo Brand the frontrunners
• Half of Brits voted Daleks as the Doctor’s greatest adversary

When David Tennant hands over the keys to the Tardis on New Year’s Day it will be the end of the most popular incarnation of Doctor Who of all time!

But there’s bad news for new Doctor Matt Smith. In a poll of British TV viewers over 21 per cent of respondents put Ewan McGregor as their first choice of actor to take over as the new Timelord, with Matt Smith coming just sixth.

Research commissioned by leading comparison site reveals that of the 10 Doctors we’ve seen so far David Tennant is easily the most popular, with over 45 per cent of respondents naming him as their favourite. Tom Baker, who played the Doctor from 1974 to 1981 in his trademark hat and long woolly scarf, was second in the poll with nearly 20 per cent of the votes, and Jon Pertwee’s ‘dandy’ Doctor was third with just over 10 per cent. Tom Baker was the most popular Doctor amongst 36 to 40 year olds.

Paul McGann, who only played the Doctor in a one-off TV movie version in 1996 was the least favoured. Of all the actors to have played Doctor Who in the television series Sylvester McCoy was the least popular, only narrowly beating original Doctor Who William Hartnell who retired from the role in 1966.

New Doctor Who Matt Smith will no doubt be battling a variety of aliens in 2010 but perhaps his toughest challenge will be winning over the viewing public. Ewan McGregor was a clear people’s choice to become the next Doctor, taking over 21 per cent of the vote, whilst Kris Marshall, star of the BT adverts and Love Actually, was placed second with just under 10 per cent. Russell Brand, Alan Davies and Stephen Fry all received more votes to be the next Doctor than Matt Smith.

When it comes to the nation’s favourite Doctor Who assistant one young lady is light years ahead of the competition. Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler received over 36 per cent of the votes to become the best science fiction sidekick ever. Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, was second with 11 per cent and Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble was third with 9 per cent. K-9, the robot dog voiced by John Leeson, was fourth.

Although the Doctor’s regenerations are always dramatic the outcome is never that surprising. Matt Smith will be the 11th in a line of white, male actors to have played the role of the Doctor and according to this research some viewers suggest it might be time for a change. Over 26 per cent of respondents thought it about time we had a Doctor from an ethnic minority, whilst over 28 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men thought the time was right for a female Timelord, or perhaps that should be Timelady.

If the next Doctor were to be female Catherine Tate would be the most popular choice with over 15 per cent of British viewers choosing her to be the first female Doctor Who. However, it was a close run thing with actress Anna Friel taking 13 per cent of the votes and comedienne Jo Brand taking 10% of the votes to come in a very close third.

When it comes to villains it seems the Daleks are still the aliens we love to hate as they were voted the nation’s favourite Doctor Who adversary by 48 per cent of the British public. The Master was second with 12 per cent pushing the Cybermen into third spot with 10 per cent of the votes.

Nicholas Hall, head of marketing at, said, "Everyone has their favourite Doctor Who and David Tennant has definitely won over old and young alike to be voted the greatest Doctor ever. However what’s perhaps more surprising is the enduring affection for Tom Baker who hasn’t saved the world for nearly thirty years yet for many people he’s still the best.

"As for the new Doctor, Matt Smith has a very tough act to follow and it seems the British public would have preferred the Tardis to be passed on to someone better known. Ewan McGregor would have been a hugely popular choice so perhaps one day he might be persuaded to switch The Force for a sonic screwdriver and save the universe as Doctor Who instead of Obi Wan Kenobe."

Most popular Doctor Whos

1st David Tennant 45.7%
2nd Tom Baker 19.7%
3rd Jon Pertwee 10.65%
4th Christopher Ecclestone 7.05%
5th Peter Davison 4.75%
6th Colin Baker 3.25%
7th Patrick Troughton 2.7%
8th Sylvester McCoy 2.65%
9th William Hartnell 2.6%
10th Paul McGann 0.95%

Who the British Public would like to have seen become the next male Doctor Who

1st Ewan McGregor 21.1%
2nd Kris Marshall 9.6%
3rd Alan Davies 8.85%
4th Russell Brand 8.2%
5th Stephen Fry 7.9%
6th Matt Smith (the next Doctor) 7.7%
7th Marc Warren 5.35%
8th James Corden 4.45%
9th David Walliams 4.4%
10th Adrian Lester 4.3%

Who the British Public would like to see become the first female Doctor Who

1st Catherine Tate 15.95%
2nd Anna Friel 13.15%
3rd Jo Brand 10.35%
4th Michelle Ryan 9.95%
5th Emma Watson 8.40%
6th Sarah Parish 6.35%
7th Amanda Holden 5.3%
8th Ruth Jones 5.05%
9th Kym Marsh 4.6%
10th Sarah Harding 4.3%

Most popular Doctor Who assistant

1st Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) 36.55%
2nd Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) 11.65%
3rd Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) 9.75%
4th K-9 (the voice of John Leeson) 7.75%
5th Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) 6.15%
6th Astrid Peth (Kylie Minogue) 4.35%
7th Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) 4.05%
8th Lady Christina De Sousa (Michelle Ryan) 3.50%
9th Ace (Sophie Aldred) 2.9%
10th Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford) 2.75%

For further information please contact:
Lynsey Walden or Anders Nilsson at on 01633 654 055 / 01633 657 599
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Notes to Editors:
Research commissioned by Carried out with 2000 UK respondents of all ages in December 2009 by OnePoll Research

All Doctor Who information sourced from launched in November 2006 to help people find the right insurance cover at the right price. It was founded by Hayley Parsons who has worked her entire career in the insurance broking and aggregator markets and was the first comparison site to focus on displaying product features rather than just listing prices. It was this philosophy that led to becoming the first price comparison site to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) in May 2008 and helped force older comparison sites to change their ‘quick quote’ ways and stop using assumptions to calculate estimated figures.

Today, provides one of the most comprehensive online car insurance comparison services in the UK as well as comparing home, motorbike, van, pet insurance and breakdown cover. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Anders Nilsson
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Contact Name: Anders Nilsson
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Contact Phone: 01633-657-599

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