- Like David Tennant, was a lifelong DW fan before he was cast. He was President of the Glasgow chapter of the DW fan club and wrote many letters published in DW magazine. He also sent scripts to producer Barry Letts during the Pertwee era, and earned an invitation to tour the DW studio where he met Letts and Jon Pertwee.
- Considered giving up acting before being cast in his breakout role as Malcom Tucker in The Thick Of It.
- Was the lead singer of punk band called Dreamboys, which featured late night host Craig Ferguson.
- The only actor in Doctor Who history to earn an Oscar, as director of the 1995 winner for best short film. On his way back to the UK, he tried to use the statue to get upgraded to first class, but the attendants refused. He shared the Oscar with the other passengers who passed it around the cabin during the flight back.
- Was considered for the role of DW in the 1996 TV Movie, but turned down a chance to audition.