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David Tennant on the Spice Girls: Spiceworld movie ‘was being developed before they even released a single’

Exclusive: The Doctor Who favourite shares some surprising history in our He's Got Attitude fabulousity test

By Dale Fox

Composite of the Spice Girls and David Tennant
David Tennant has some insider info from the Spice Girls' early years (Image: Spice Girls/ Instagram; ©BAFTA/Charlie Clift, 2024)

From Hamlet to the tenth and fourteenth incarnation of the Doctor, David Tennant’s stellar acting career has seen him excel in many a huge role, with his latest as host of the 2024 EE BAFTA Film Awards.

However, he now faces his biggest challenge to date: sitting in the hot seat for Attitude’s fabulosity test. How will he fare? Hint: he has some explosive Spice Girls insider info that will send fans into a spin.

What’s your go-to BAFTA red carpet look?

It’s nice to wear a kilt. And yes, I would wear it the traditional way.

Remember not to do any handstands. 5/5

What’s the juiciest BAFTA after-party gossip you have?

I don’t go to them. They’re too loud, and I can never remember anyone’s name.

We think you’re holding out on us. 2/5

What BAFTA category would you invent for yourself?

Best jumper.

Confirmed winner — his jumper is amazing. 5/5

Who’s the most famous person in your phonebook?

I have a former prime minister, but I can’t tell you which one for security reasons!

Swapping memes with a former PM? 4/5

If you had a TARDIS for one day, where would you go?

I’d go to the first performance of Hamlet at the Globe Theatre and figure out if anyone thought it was any good back then.

Do let us know. 3/5

Did you give Yasmin Finney any advice when you worked with her on Doctor Who?

I didn’t feel like I needed to. Yasmin is all over it. Yasmin is a force of nature. It was a joy to get to know her.

Potential Doctor material? 5/5

What’s a fact about Olivia Colman we may not know?

She’s entirely bald.

This explains so much. 3/5

Whose face should be on Scottish banknotes — Lulu’s, Susan Boyle’s, or Lawrence Chaney’s?

Just so it’s the most aesthetically pleasing, it should be Lawrence, though I’d love to see any of those three on any banknote, to be honest.

It’d be a shame to spend them. 5/5

How many Spice Girls have you met?

I met all of them before they were famous, when they were just called Spice. They came to my house. I knew the person who was doing the first draft of their movie. That person was later replaced, and somebody else wrote the movie, but they were hanging out because the movie was part of the original deal that they got with their record deal, so it was being developed before they even released a single.

This is exclusive material! 5/5

What did you all do? Did you play Jenga?

I think I just made tea. Geri was the most vocal, but they were all just sweet. I later saw the ‘Wannabe’ CD single in Our Price and went, ‘Hang on — that’s those five girls!’ I’ve told Sporty, Baby and Ginger this story, but none of them remember, so it obviously didn’t mean as much to them as it did to me!

But it means EVERYTHING to us. 5/5

Who deserves official national treasure status?

My wife. There’s nobody more extraordinary or able, capable, or wise. We’d all be up shit creek without a paddle without her.

Adorable 💗 4/5

What’s your idea of the perfect night?

Having a night off with a takeaway and something good on the telly. I saw the new Masked Singer recently, which was terribly exciting, with Dionne Warwick. It was amazing that she showed up — I thought she was dead!

Ms. Warwick will never die. 3/5

What would you sing if you were on the show?

My karaoke go-to was always ‘Common People’ by Pulp. I have a certain affinity with the Jarvis Cocker look and feel, so I think I could do that quite well.

We can see it. 3/5

Can you quote three lines from Mean Girls?

I’ve seen the musical, but I’ve never seen the movie, actually. Is that possible? I know it’s big in our house and our 12-year-old loves it and my wife loves it, but I saw the musical and it was great.

You’re missing out, David. 2/5

How many queer subcultures can you name?

I’ve heard of bears — that’s an old-school one, isn’t it? And ‘twinkies’? Oh, and daddy. Is that what I would be? I’m an ally, rather than an active participant.

‘Twinkie’ is now the official term. 3/5

David Tennant has never seen Mean Girls, but he’s a font of Spice Girls exclusives and is a Yasmin Finney superfan, so we can forgive anything.

Rating: 75% Attitude

The EE BAFTA Film Awards 2024 ceremony will be held on Sunday 18 February.

This He’s Got Attitude feature appears in issue 357 of Attitude magazine, available for subscription or alongside 15 years of back issues on the free Attitude app.

Andrew Scott on the cover of Attitude issue 357
Andrew Scott on the cover of Attitude issue 357 (Image: Ramon Christian/Attitude)