David Tennant has achieved national treasure status by hosting the Baftas

The Doctor Who star has been announced as host of the 2024 Baftas

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: (EDITORS NOTE: Colour version not available) David Tennant attends the 2023 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 14, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Iona Wolff/BAFTA via Getty Images)
David Tennant is set to host the 2024 Bafta Film Awards. (BAFTA via Getty Images)

David Tennant has revealed he will be hosting the 2024 Baftas in February, achieving a rite of passage that has helped cement his status as a national treasure.

Read More: When Are The 2024 Baftas And Who’s Nominated?

The Scottish actor has been a staple of the British entertainment industry for some time, gaining critical acclaim for role after role and being celebrated by fans around the globe for programmes like Doctor Who, Good Omens, and Broadchurch.

What does it mean to be a national treasure? And why can David Tennant be called one now he's hosting the Bafta Film Awards? Well, let's dig into it.

Rise to fame with Doctor Who

David Tennant played the title role in 'Doctor Who' from 2005 until 2010. (Credit: BBC)
David Tennant played the title role in 'Doctor Who' from 2005 until 2010. (Credit: BBC)

Tennant made his acting debut in 1987 but he came to earn wider public recognition when he landed the role of the tenth iteration of The Doctor in 2005, portraying the Time Lord on Doctor Who until 2010 at which point he passed on the role to Matt Smith.

Doctor Who has played an important part on Tennant's life, because the BBC show is the reason that he decided he wanted to be an actor. During his time starring on the show he also met his future wife Georgia Moffett, with whom he shares five children.

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials,02-12-2023,Wild Blue Yonder,2,The Doctor (DAVID TENNANT), Donna Noble (CATHERINE TATE),BBC Studios 2023,James Pardon
The actor returned to the BBC series alongside Catherine Tate for the 60th anniversary specials. (BBC)

While Doctor Who's revival began with Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor in 2005, the revival series reached new heights after the introduction of Tennant and helped make the series an institution once more. The actor is widely regarded as the best Doctor by fans, and his seasons have also proven the most popular for viewers as well.

Read more: Doctor Who: The 60 best stories

Tennant is so beloved for his time as The Doctor that he returned to the series in 2023 as the Fourteenth Doctor for the show's 60th Anniversary specials. He and Catherine Tate returned as the Time Lord and Donna Noble for three episodes that celebrated the show's legacy and helped welcome in Ncuti Gatwa, who now plays the Fifteenth Doctor.

An enduring presence onscreen

David Tennant on Hollywood’s fight for equality: 'We’ve all got a bit of programming we need to unpick' (exclusive)
David Tennant followed up his Doctor Who success with shows like Broadchurch. (ITV)

Doctor Who was only the start of Tennant's dominance onscreen, the actor went on to appear in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as villain Barty Crouch Jr in 2005, before wow audiences across the globe with his performance as DI Alec Hardy in Broadchurch alongside Olivia Colman.

The actor continued to have a enduring presence onscreen both on British and global TV, proving himself adept as both heroes and villains (and in some cases both at the same time). Tennant entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kilgrave in Jessica Jones in 2015, becoming one of the franchise's most memorable villains in just one season.

David Tennant on Hollywood’s fight for equality: 'We’ve all got a bit of programming we need to unpick' (exclusive)
David Tennant also starred in Jessica Jones as one of the MCU's most memorable villains to date. (Marvel)

Elsewhere the actor gained critical acclaim for his role as demon Crowley in Prime Video's Good Omens, which he starred in opposite Michael Sheen.

The pair became an instant fan favourite double act, and their friendship was so strong it led to them creating the beloved BBC comedy Staged with their loved ones during the Covid pandemic lockdown and beyond.

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in <i>Good Omens</i> (Amazon)
Michael Sheen and David Tennant have also become a beloved double act, recently starring together in Good Omens. (Prime Video)

More recently, the actor has starred in Steven Moffat's intense thriller Inside Man and also took on the role of Alexander Litvinenko in the ITV1 drama Litvinenko which dramatised his real-life counterparts poisoning in 2006 and his widow Marina's ten year battle for justice. He also reprised his voice-acting role of the droid Huyang for Disney+'s live-action series Ahsoka.

Despite all his hard work, though, the actor has not yet been nominated for a Bafta, something which he has taken on the chin and turned into an amusing anecdote, which will no doubt play a part during his tenure as host for the awards show this year.

Making a stand

David Tennant, pictured in London ahead of Good Omens season 2's launch on Prime Video in July 2023. (Prime Video)
David Tennant, pictured in London ahead of Good Omens season 2's launch on Prime Video in July 2023, the actor is wearing a shirt and pin supporting trans and nonbinary youth. (Prime Video)

Tennant has also not been afraid of standing up for what he believes in, with the actor often being seen wearing pride badges, as well as shirts and pins with the trans and nonbinary flags on them in order to show his support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The actor has been criticised by a vocal minority about his support of the LGBTQ+ community, but that has not stopped him from remaining a staunch ally and continuing to advocate for their rights. If his acting talent didn't make him a national treasure, this attitude should.

Achieving national treasure status

David Tennant attending the inaugural Rolling Stone UK Awards at the Roundhouse, London. Picture date: Thursday November 23, 2023. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
David Tennant may not have won a Bafta yet, but he is certainly a national treasure. (Getty Images)

There is argument to be had that Tennant achieved national treasure status long before he was announced to host the 2024 Baftas, but the recognition of the awards show certainly gives him a seal of approval.

Tennant has been an important part of the British entertainment industry ever since he first had his big breakthrough in 2005, and his tireless work both on and off screen has rightly earned him a plethora of fans who would all agree that he's a national treasure.

The 2024 Bafta Film Awards will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer Sunday, 18 February 2024.

Watch: Doctor Who season 14 trailer