Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Entertainment

Alan Cumming joins Doctor Who as King James I

Nick Duffy March 8, 2018

Alan Cumming will appear in the upcoming season of Doctor Who as King James I, the actor has revealed.

In an appearance on Will Young and Chris Sweeney’s podcast Homo Sapiens, the bisexual actor revealed that he will be making an appearance on the upcoming season of the BBC sci-fi series, which will feature Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor.

He said: “I’m  about to go and do an episode of Doctor Who, I’m so excited.”

Asked if he was playing a villain, he said: “I’m a nice baddie – I’m James I. I’m like a kind of dandy, foppy coward who comes alright in the end. And they’ve said he might come back!”

The monarch was known as King James VI of Scotland, and was crowned in 1567. In 1603 he was also crowned as King of England and Ireland, ruling as James I until his death in 1625.

The king is one of several British monarchs who is now believed to have had a same-sex lover, though Cumming did not mention if the romance will be featured on Doctor Who.

Alan Cumming

During his rule, King James handed a string of honours to his rumoured lover George Villiers, who he named a Knight, an Earl, and later Duke of Buckingham.

Plenty of evidence exists to support a relationship between the King and Villiers, though it was long airbrushed from historic record.

During the restoration of James’ favourite royal residence Apethorpe Palace in 2008, a secret passage was even discovered that linked the King’s bedchamber to George’s.

There are many textual records of the pair’s affections for one another.

King James told his Privy Council of the Duke: “You may be sure that I love the Earl of Buckingham more than anyone else, and more than you who are here assembled.

“I wish to speak in my own behalf and not to have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed.

Christ had his John, and I have my George.”

In his letters to the King, George wrote: “I naturally so love your person, and adore all your other parts, which are more than ever one man had.”

Though the pair’s relationship has not commonly been addressed in public before, it is far from new information.

Writing in 1785, philosopher Jeremy Bentham suggested that King James was a hypocrite for leading a crackdown on sodomy.

Bentham wrote: “[James I], if he be the author of that first article of the works which bear his name, and which indeed were owned by him, reckons this practise among the few offences which no Sovereign ever ought to pardon.

“This must seem rather extraordinary to those who have a notion that a pardon in this case is what he himself, had he been a subject, might have stood in need of.”

Cumming previously revealed he was approached about playing the Doctor himself.

On Twitter last year he denied reports that he was “offered” the lead role in the popular drama, but confirmed he had been “approached” about it on a number of occasions.

Elsewhere on the Homo Sapiens podcast he discussed his sexuality.

Cumming said:”I identify as queer or bisexual, or call me gay… I don’t care! Whatever it is, I feel like there’s a grey area to desire that people are scared of.

“I don’t like being boxed in and told what I am. I don’t feel like I’m married to a man that I can’t call myself bisexual, having had relationships with women over the years. Even if I hadn’t had relationships with women, I can call myself bisexual if I desire them.”

The actor was previously married to thespian Hilary Lyon for eight years, before divorcing her and later coming out as bisexual.

He married husband Grant in 2012.

Cumming said: “I was married to a woman, but I was always bisexual, even if I never had a male partner. When I did, I felt like I should talk about it publicly. It’s such a weird thing when you think about it… every time you shag a boy, you don’t have to do a press release!

“It’s a weird thing, I feel now much more a poster boy [for bisexuality].”

The actor also spoke about having an OBE for services to the LGBT community, saying: “That was very important to me, that that was what it was for, and it was not just showbiz.”

He added: “I feel as an authentic person, I always like when people talk about my past relationships [with women], because sometimes that’s what life’s like. I can be very vocal about the complexities of life.”

“I’m now in a very happy marriage, but it would not be a conventional marriage in terms of how people perceive it in the straight world. The best thing about same-sex marriage is it will educate straight people to have better relationships!

“The lack of monogamy in a same-sex relationship is not necessarily a breakup-able offence. The idea that you’re going to be with someone and just have sex with them for the rest of your life – when I got together with Grant, when I was 39, I said, ‘I don’t want to do that.’

“The fun you can have together with all that stuff is not something that happens in the straight world – it becomes all suppressed and affairs and betrayal. Honesty is much better than betrayal.”

More: Alan Cumming, BBC, bisexual, Doctor Who, LGBT, sci-fi, show, Television

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon