In an interview with The People, Nighy said: “I was offered the role once, I won’t tell you when because the rule is that you’re not allowed to say you turned that job down because it’s disrespectful to whoever did it. I will say that I was approached. But I didn’t want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything. I just think that it comes with too much baggage.”
The acclaimed actor was reportedly considered for the job when Doctor Who was revived in 2005 and Christopher Eccleston ultimately won the role.
Nighy made a cameo appearance in the 2012 Doctor Who episode Vincent and the Doctor as gallery curator Dr. Black alongside Matt Smith.
(Source: ATV Today)