Christopher Eccleston used to spend hours pretending to be James Bond when he was younger.

The former 'Doctor Who' star only realised he wanted to become an actor when he was re-taking his O-Level exams, but he often used to pretend to be Sean Connery's 007, as well as an imaginary old man who used to sit on a fishing basket and reflect upon his life.

He said: "I was a real mix as a school-kid. I was obsessed with playing football, but I also spent a great deal of time on my own being Sean Connery's James Bond. And I used to be a character called Old Man in the Rain. When it rained, I'd sit on this old fishing basket, and pretend I was this old fellow looking out over his life."

Christopher admits his parents were "mightily relieved" when he told them about his acting ambitions, and 48-year-old star got plenty of inspiration from reading about acting legends Ian Richardson, John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier.

He added: "They were mightily relieved, because they had no idea what I was going to do - it was so left-field, they said, 'That actually makes sense.'

"The greats - Richardson, Gielgud, Olivier. For me on a council estate they were larger than life. The way they voraciously played the classical roles - that's what I wanted."