ussell T. Davies wanted Hugh Grant to take the lead role in "Doctor Who" - but couldn't get in touch with him.
The 54-year-old screenwriter has teamed up with the actor, 57, for new BBC One drama "A Very English Scandal", which tells the true story of the political scandal which saw British MP Jeremy Thorpe stand trial in 1979 over accusations that he hired a hitman to kill his alleged ex-lover Norman Scott, a relationship that played out at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the UK.
Davies was delighted to finally get the chance to work with Hugh - who takes on the role of Jeremy opposite Ben Whishaw as Norman - and admits he was keen to cast him in the part of the Time Lord when he resurrected the sci-fi series back in 2005, but he just couldn't make it happen despite his best efforts.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz, Russell said: "I did want him, but when it comes to stars like that you never get past the agents, you need a special notebook to get through to someone like Hugh! I've always tried to get people like him for "Doctor Who" and other shows but you never get past the man at the desk!"
And the TV creative often feels a pang of professional jealousy when he sees big-name stars appear in other British drama shows.
He added: "You'll be sat around and see that Sigourney Weaver is doing a BBC Radio 4 play and I think, "How did you get her in that." She's in "Doc Martin" for instance but that's because she's friends with Selina Cadell.
"But I love him. I think he's one of Britain's finest actors."
Davies ultimately cast Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor when the programme came back, and then David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor before handing over control of the series to Steven Moffat.
"A Very English Scandal" is a three-part miniseries and is due to air on BBC One later in May.