The actor Geoffrey Bayldon, who starred in the much-loved 1970s television series Catweazle, was partly brought to his most famous role by the chastening experience of rejecting the chance to be the first Doctor Who. Bayldon, who has died aged 93, was approached to play the Doctor in 1963. But the Time Lord was scripted as an eccentric old man, and Bayldon, then in his late 30s, was wary of being typecast in such roles, even though he was exceptionally good at them. With no inkling of the success Doctor Who would turn out to be, and put off by the punishing filming schedule, he turned the offer down after only 10 minutes’ consideration.
He later admitted to regretting the decision, and when another high-profile TV role – to play the even older and