Off the rails! TV’s Ec­cle­ston es­corted from train af ter row over drink trol­ley

Scottish Daily Mail - - Weekender - By Jen­nifer Ruby Se­nior Show­busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

HE ef­fort­lessly trav­elled through space and time as Doc­tor Who.

But Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston ap­pears to have had rather more trou­ble af­ter swap­ping the Tardis for a train.

The ac­tor was es­corted off by the British Trans­port Po­lice af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion with a mem­ber of staff as he at­tempted to travel from New­cas­tle to Lon­don.

Ec­cle­ston, 54, be­came em­broiled in a heated row on the LNER train when he was blocked from get­ting to his seat in first class by a fe­male staff mem­ber push­ing a drinks trol­ley. Po­lice then es­corted him from the train when it stopped at Peter­bor­ough sta­tion.

Ec­cle­ston was al­lowed to go on his way af­ter speak­ing to of­fi­cers – but an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­mains on­go­ing.

A pas­sen­ger who wit­nessed the in­ci­dent last month said: ‘Af­ter pulling out of Don­caster around 11am I sud­denly be­came aware of raised voices along the car­riage, which sounded very an­gry. I looked along and saw a tall-ish well-dressed man ar­gu­ing with a fe­male em­ployee who was push­ing a food trol­ley along the aisle.

‘The man was try­ing to get past her but when he re­alised he couldn’t get by and would have to wait he to­tally lost it.

‘He was mak­ing a com­plete id­iot of him­self but his be­hav­iour was to­tally out­ra­geous.

‘It was ridicu­lous and to­tally un­called for but he be­came re­ally an­gry and irate. He just had to wait for a few min­utes but in­stead he was re­ally in the woman’s face.

‘It seemed to be es­ca­lat­ing a bit and a cou­ple of peo­ple ac­tu­ally got up and had to in­ter­vene by telling the man to calm down. The man was to­tally out of or­der and the woman looked re­ally up­set and pretty shook up by the whole thing.

‘It all kind of calmed down but I could tell the woman had been re­ally af­fected by his out­burst.’

A spokesman for the British Trans­port Po­lice con­firmed of­fi­cers were called to Peter­bor­ough sta­tion at 11.20am on Novem­ber 21 ‘fol­low­ing a re­port of a pas­sen­ger be­hav­ing in an anti-so­cial man­ner on a train from New­cas­tle to Lon­don’.

They added: ‘A 54-year-old man was re­moved from the ser­vice and given some words of ad­vice. Of­fi­cers be­lieve other pas­sen­gers may have wit­nessed what hap­pened, and would ask them to con­tact BTP.’

Ec­cle­ston is cur­rently play­ing Mac­beth in a Royal Shake­speare Com­pany pro­duc­tion at the Bar­bican. The mati­nee per­for­mance of the play was can­celled the day af­ter the in­ci­dent, with a spokesman for the the­atre blam­ing ‘an un­fore­seen en­gi­neer­ing is­sue’.

Ec­cle­ston be­came the ninth in­car­na­tion of the BBC’s Time Lord when Doc­tor Who was re­vived in 2005. He left the show af­ter just one se­ries.

He re­cently re­vealed that he once threat­ened the BBC with le­gal ac­tion fol­low­ing his de­par­ture, af­ter a Cor­po­ra­tion spokesman claimed that Ec­cle­ston left the show be­cause he was ‘tired’ – a quote mis­tak­enly at­trib­uted to him.

Speak­ing on Si­mon Mayo’s BBC Ra­dio 2 show, Ec­cle­ston said: ‘I threat­ened le­gal ac­tion and I got an apol­ogy printed in all the news­pa­pers.

‘The BBC had to make a state­ment apol­o­gis­ing for at­tribut­ing quotes to me. No­body will go on record as say­ing this but my agent said “you need to get out of town be­cause you’re not go­ing to work”.’

A spokesman for Lon­don North Eastern Rail­ways said: ‘We can con­firm that the BTP at­tended an LNER ser­vice on the morn­ing in ques­tion, how­ever our in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue and we are un­able to com­ment any fur­ther.’

Ec­cle­ston’s spokesman did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment last night.

‘Given some words of ad­vice’

It shouldn’t hap­pen to a Time Lord: Ec­cle­ston was forced to get off an LNER train

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