Legendary English actor Brian Blessed has revealed that he was once offered the role of Doctor Who by the BBC, but turned it down because of his busy schedule.

Brian Blessed Doctor Who
The huge-voiced actor Brian Blessed could have been the second Doctor in the the mid '60s

Blessed told the Radio Times that he was approached and asked to step in as William Hartnell’s replacement in the mid-1960s. If he had said yes, Blessed would have been the second incarnation of the Doctor, but instead that role was taken by Patrick Troughton in 1966.

The 77 year old actor, renowned for his booming vocal delivery and impressive beard, did in fact star in the show in 1986 in an episode entitled ‘Mindwarp’, playing the character of King Yrcanos, an alien warrior king, when Tom Baker was the Doctor. He also played another famous sci-fi role in Flash Gordon as Prince Vultan.

MORE: BBC warns fans not to access leaked ‘Doctor Who’ scripts

Blessed said that after he had starred in ‘Z Cars’, a BBC executive told him “we’re thinking of having a young Doctor Who and we’d like to cast you”, but that he was unable to accept because of prior commitments. If he was offered the role now, he says, he would definitely accept.

The actor also suggested that the Doctor could be played in the future by an Asian female, on the basis that ‘Who’ is an oriental-sounding name. A little bit of confusion about the Doctor’s name there, since any fan of the show will tell you that he’s always referred to as ‘The Doctor’.

Peter Capaldi’s appointment for the new series, scheduled to start on 23 August with an episode called ‘Deep Breath’ to be screened in cinemas globally as well as television, was a surprise to many. Would Brian Blessed work as the Doctor? We don’t know, but we’d sure like to see it!