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Capaldi's grandfather shot himself

Peter Capaldi makes his debut in Doctor Who tonight with a trip to Victorian London, but if he was ever tempted to take the Tardis back to 1913 Glasgow, he could find himself in the middle of a real-life drama involving his own grandparents.

Researchers at the British Newspaper Archive have unearthed a report about the actor's grandfather Giovanni, who left his Italian village at the turn of the century and ended up in Scotland selling ice-cream.

The story, headlined "Love Tragedy at Glasgow", tells how Giovanni's heart had been "set aflame" by his landlady's daughter Agnes Dougan, and he shot himself in the chest after she rejected him.


The report, from the Dundee Courier dated January 27 said "Capaldi solemnly informed the mother that if her daughter could live without him, he could not live without the daughter" before turning his gun on himself.

He was taken to hospital with a bullet "lodged underneath the heart" but survived and went on to marry Agnes weeks later.

The couple had five children, including Peter's father, Gerard.

Amy Sell, a researcher from the British Newspaper Archive, said: "Local newspaper archives can reveal fascinating information.

"It's shocking to think that if Peter Capaldi's grandfather had not survived, we would be welcoming a different Doctor on to our screens."

Doctor Who is on BBC1 at 7.50pm.