OFFER: David Tennant
BBC chiefs are preparing to make David Tennant a £1.3million offer to stop him quitting Doctor Who.
Sources claim the 37-year-old Scot will be offered a new deal worth up to £100,000 an episode.
BBC executives are desperate to keep him on the hit show, which attracts up to 8million viewers.
A senior BBC source said: “Everyone assumes David is quitting but that’s not the case. We’re hoping he will be back.
“The situation as it stand
s is that no deal has been discussed yet for the next series of Doctor Who. That, however, is about to change.
“David is brilliant in the role and naturally we hope he will continue. Let’s just say we’re not considering anyone else at this time.”
The star has been dropping hints that he may return to the TARDIS for a run of up to 13 episodes in 2010. He has confessed: “I’ve been asked when I’m quitting since the first day I took the part. I’ve not quit – I’ve just not been offered another deal yet.”
Bathgate-born Tennant sparked speculation about his future as a Time Lord by announcing he would take a break next year to appear on stage as Hamlet.
He is currently working on the first of three special episodes which will be screened in 2009.
BBC bosses are sensitive about criticism over the large sums of licence payers’ cash paid to their top stars. But they would have to match the estimated £100,000 an episode Tennant would command if he defected to rivals ITV.
As a “sweetener” they plan to offer him other drama projects as part of the deal. “David’s not only a great Doctor, he’s a great actor. We hope he’ll be doing a lot more work for the BBC,” added the source.