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John Barrowman apologises for ‘tomfoolery’ on Doctor Who set amid claims he exposed himself to cast

·2-min read
Actor John Barrowman at a Dancing on Ice event (Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images)
Actor John Barrowman at a Dancing on Ice event (Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images)

John Barrowman has admitted to “tomfoolery” on the set of Doctor Who, following allegations that he would expose his penis to other cast members.

On Friday (30 April), a 2015 video from a Doctor Who convention was unearthed, in which actor Noel Clarke alleged that Barrowman would expose himself on the show’s set and take “his d*** out every five minutes”.

At one point in the clip, Clarke asks his co-star Camille Coduri whether she remembers “that time he put it on your shoulder in the makeup truck?” to which she responds: “Yes, I do.”

Today (7 May), Barrowman told The Guardian that he did engage in “tomfoolery” while working on Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood, and that he has evolved in the years since.

The actor said that his “high-spirited behaviour” was “only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage”. He added: “With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously.”

In 2008, Barrowman apologised after pulling down his trousers during an interview with BBC Radio 1, saying that he had joined in “the light-hearted and fun banter of the show” but “went too far”.

In his new statement, Barrowman reiterated his stance, saying: “Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed.”

Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images
Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

Julie Gardner, an executive producer on Doctor Who and Torchwood, also confirmed to The Guardian that she had received a complaint about Barrowman’s on-set behaviour “around 2008”.

“I met with John and reprimanded him [to] make it clear to both John and his agent that behaviour of this kind would not be tolerated,” Gardner said, adding that she also spoke to the show’s other executive producers and the head of BBC drama commissioning. “To my knowledge, John’s inappropriate behaviour stopped thereafter.”

Barrowman’s Torchwood co-star Gareth David-Lloyd has since jumped to the actor’s defence, stating: “He would have never behaved in a way he thought was affecting someone negatively.”

Last week, Clarke was the subject of a Guardian investigation in which 20 women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment, unwanted touching, groping, sexually inappropriate behaviour, bullying, and unprofessional misconduct between 2004 and 2019.

Clarke has “vehemently” denied “any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing”. In a statement, he said he intended to “defend myself against these false allegations”.

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