- 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.
- 2003, Olivier Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
- 2016, National Television Awards — Drama Performance: Nominee
- 2015, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actor in a New TV Series: Winner
- Barry McLaughlin — Cousin
- Olive — Daughter
- Georgia Moffett — Wife
- Sophia Myles — Ex-significant Other
- Helen — Mother
- Karen — Sister
- Tyler — Stepson
- Alexander — Father
- Nellie Blair — Grandmother
- Archie McLeod — Grandfather
- Blair — Brother
- Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow, Scotland (1991)
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- Birth Name: David John McDonald
- Birth Place: West Lothian, Scotland
- Birthday: April 18, 1971, Aries
- Profession: Actor
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