- Father's family comes from Picinisco, Italy; mother's family was Irish.
- Wrote to the BBC in 1974, regarding Doctor Who (played by Jon Pertwee at the time) and received back several Doctor Who scripts.
- Was in a punk rock band, called Dreamboys, with Craig Ferguson in college.
- Was cast in Local Hero (1983) when his landlady, who worked as a costume designer, introduced him to director Bill Forsyth.
- Shortly before he was announced as the Twelfth Doctor Who, he played a W.H.O. Doctor in World War Z (2013).
- Patron of Aberlour, a children's charity.