His grandfather, Archie McLeod, was a professional soccer player with Derry City F.C. in Northern Ireland during the 1930s, and Tennant is a member of the club's supporters.
His father, a retired minister, is a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
As a teenager in the 1980s, wanted to join the actors' union Equity, which already had a person registered with his birth name (David McDonald); he adopted the stage surname Tennant, after Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
Cut his acting teeth with Scotland's political 7:84 Theatre Group and had several starring roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company (Romeo and Juliet; As You Like It).
In 2005, became the tenth incarnation of the mysterious time traveler in the sci-fi cult favorite Doctor Who, the show that made him want to be an actor (when Tom Baker was playing the role in the 1970s).
In 2007, under his birth name, was added to the 159th edition of Who's Who, the United Kingdom's oldest biographical yearbook.
Has provided voices for the audio-book versions of Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon series.
Supports the Association for International Cancer Research and Headway Essex, a brain-injury charity.
2016, National Television Awards — Drama Performance: Nominee
2003, Olivier Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
2015, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actor in a New TV Series: Winner
2018, National Television Awards — Drama Performance: Nominee
Georgia Moffett — Wife
Barry McLaughlin — Cousin
Alexander — Father
Nellie Blair — Grandmother
Archie McLeod — Grandfather
Tyler — Stepson
Sophia Myles — Ex-significant Other
Karen — Sister
Blair — Brother
Olive — Daughter
Helen — Mother
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow, Scotland (1991)