There's an excellent interview with fourth Doctor Tom Baker on BBC News this morning. He talks about how his career was failing before he got the Doctor Who part,
"I was going through a bad time of feeling rejected, even though I'd had a flirtation with movies. I was on a building site, having no skill there except to make the tea and use a drill," Baker recalls.
"So when the opportunity came to play Doctor Who, it was a jackpot."
Baker's co-workers on the building site found out the news by reading it in the Evening Standard.
"I went to work next morning - famous! They were so thrilled for me. I legged it down to Barclays Bank and got an advance and gave them a party. It was like being reborn."
And how, while the highs of being famous were "so much better than real life", he stayed in the part of The Doctor for seven years, still the longest continuous run in the role for any actor, "because real life at the time wasn't so terrific."
"Being Doctor Who, I used to look at the clock and know at half past four we were going to stop rehearsing - and that was a sad moment for me because I wanted to stay in this beautiful, unreal world."