Actor coy about chances of making appearance in half-century celebration...

Paul McGann has refused to rule out the possibility of returning to Doctor Who for its 50th anniversary episode later this year.

Plans for the show’s half-century celebration have been surrounded by intrigue about which of the previous actors to play the Time Lord could return for a one-off appearance – although it was confirmed last weekend that Christopher Eccleston, who took on the role for just one season in 2005 before quitting, had declined to take part.

Speaking to ZBTV, McGann – known as the Eighth Doctor after his starring role in the 1996 Doctor Who TV film – said that he was unsure whether he would be invited to return and said that Ecclestone’s decision not to be involved may have changed showrunner Steven Moffat’s plans.

“I think Chris Eccleston is probably a big factor in it,” he said. ” I don’t want to speak for him… he’s probably reluctant to get involved in anything that’s ongoing. So that’s something that they have to somehow get over and deal with. I’m guessing they’ve got time to do it. It’s not quite the anniversary yet. The anniversary doesn’t start until November.

“Whatever it is that they’re planning and they are making, they’ve got time to do it,” he added. It’s my feeling [and] this is just a personal thing, once they resolve Chris Eccleston’s participation or non-participation either way, then they’re free. Being actors anyway, they’ll call us on the Friday and say, ‘You’re starting on a Monday’.”

He concluded: “We’re not going to know until the 11th hour. Half past 11… I can’t count the times as an actor, when [you’re] offered something and you start next week!”

Former Doctor Who stars David Tennant and Billie Piper will both return for the anniversary episode. Matt Smith, who currently plays the Time Lord, has said that fans “will not be disappointed” by the 50th anniversary show” and promised that it “manages to pay homage to everything – and look forward”. He added of the script: “I read it and I clapped at the end. I think it’s hilarious, it’s epic and it’s vast.” You can see a trailer for the episode by clicking below.