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Published on August 20th, 2015 | by Rob Stebbings

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Happy Birthday Sylvester McCoy

Peter Capaldi will face an array of villains including the Daleks yet again when Doctor Who makes a welcome return to BBC One next month to commence a 12-part run.

As we wait for the ninth series which starts on 19th September, we thought we would pay tribute to one of the actors who played the role of the timelord during the late 1980’s.

Sylvester McCoy, who celebrates his 72nd birthday today, became the seventh doctor in Britain’s most popular science-fiction programme after taking over from Colin Baker in 1987.

Distinguished career
He was born in Dunoon, Scotland and first came to prominence as a member of the comedy act ‘The Ken Campbell Roadshow’ and he was starring at the National Theatre in ‘The Pied Piper’, a musical play written especially for him, when he learned that the BBC was looking for a new lead actor to replace Colin Baker in Doctor Who.

As recalled in our 50 years of Doctor Who timeline infographic, the seventh doctor appeared in 42 episodes between 1987 and 1989 where he faced the daleks amongst other nemesis. McCoy also appeared in the Doctor Who TV movie in 1986.

Doctor Who traits
Recalled as rather an eccentric character when he played Doctor Who, Sylvester McCoy is remembered for wearing a pyjama hat and for being a spoon-playing clown as he travelled through time.

With his companions including The Brigadier, Mel Bush and Ace by his side, Sylvester McCoy toppled empires in a single night, entertained in the circus of the Gods of Ragnarok and played chess with the ancient and evil Fenric.

During his time as Doctor Who he is remembered for carrying an umbrella that had a red question mark for its handle as well as his signature phrase: ‘Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, somewhere else, the tea’s getting cold.’

After his role as the seventh Doctor Who, McCoy has gone on to appear in various television and theatre productions and recently appeared as Radagast the Brown in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

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