Matt Smith

The star of Dr Who and The Crown tells us about his love of football and vinyl,
and why taking on the part of the villain beats playing the hero hands down




Anarchy or monarchy?
Anarchy – but within the monarchy, which is just what Prince Philip offered. That’s why I loved playing him in The Crown.

Podcast or Netflix?
Netflix all the way. At the moment, I’m watching Friends constantly – it gets better with age! – but everyone’s been pushing me towards podcasts. I love anything read aloud by Alan Partridge – I’m bang into him.

Vinyl or mp3?
Vinyl all the way. I have around a thousand records – I love having them. There’s a lost art to listening to one album from start to finish, and you also get to hear B-sides you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. I recently bought some funk records from New Orleans, and I also have a lot of house and garage, and loads of old Motown records.

Big screen or small screen?
I really believe in television as a medium, and tend to watch the small screen more. That said, the big screen has always had a certain romantic allure, although the films often blur into one.

Science fiction or history?
I’m reading a lot of history at the moment, but I love sci-fi, too, because it’s so cool to consider what might happen in the future. I want to see us get to Mars in my lifetime.

Young or old?
Definitely old. The old people I know are the cleverest and the most beautiful. Here in Britain, we need to look after them more – we don’t do that well enough. My grandad is 86 and he’s an absolute hero. If I end up like him, I think I’ll have done all right.



Hero or villain?
Definitely villain, because he can turn into the hero. They’re more interesting as characters, and they also get to wear cooler clothes.

Football or feet up?
Football. I can’t play any more because I hurt my back [a promising player, he was once captain of Leicester City’s youth team], but I read about it every day in the sports pages and watch it when I can. I went to the World Cup and saw England play Croatia – a sad day. Football will always be one of my greatest passions.

Online or offline?
Offline. I’m on my phone enough as it is already. I have no interest in social media. It’s never captivated me – I don’t care what you’re doing or how something looks. But 99.9 per cent of my friends and family are on it and they have a good time doing it, so go for it!

Home or abroad?
I love a hotel with a nice vista and good food – especially one with excellent room service.!

Drive or be driven?
It’s nice to be driven in a long-wheelbase A8, but generally I love driving. I always have done. And I love my RS 6 Avant – it’s quick, sticks to the road and goes round corners like nobody’s business.

Tea or coffee?
Tea – each and every day of the week. I have a cup every morning, and my preference is ‘builder’s’, well brewed. I just don’t understand coffee.

Saturday nights – in or out?
That’s a tough question. It depends what happens on Friday night. If I’m out on a Friday, then I’ll have Saturday at home, or vice versa. I can’t be out both nights – I have things to do!


Words by Helene Dancer. Photographs by Alex Bramall.