Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi comforts bereaved boy

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Media captionIn the video, Doctor Who tells Thomas Goodall to "be happy"

A video in which Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi comforts a bereaved nine-year-old boy with autism has gone viral on YouTube.

Thomas Goodall, from Southampton, lost his grandma in October, and received the message after writing to the actor.

His father Ross said: "He was beaming from ear to ear and couldn't believe what he was seeing."

In Capaldi's message, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times, he tells him to "take care and be happy".

He speaks directly into the camera, staying in character as the Timelord.

"Thank you very much for your letter. I really enjoyed getting it," he begins.

"Because you see, when Clara and I are travelling around in time and space, sometimes bad things happen to us.

"And you know what, Thomas? Sometimes sad things happen to us too. So it's nice to know that there's somebody like you out there who's on our side. And you should know that we're on your side too.

"So you look after yourself, and take care, and be happy."

'Gentle and caring'

Mr Goodall said his son responded by smiling for the first time since his grandma's death.

"The way that Peter mentions the bereavement without actually mentioning it is very, very clever.

"He took the message to mean he can be happy after what's happened.

"It was almost like a light switch. It's made such a difference to Thomas. He can go into lockdown... but all that subsided the minute he sat down and watched that video.

"I think Peter's a fantastic bloke and I'd love the opportunity to thank him myself.

"He just comes across as such a very gentle and caring person."

Image copyright Ross goodall
Image caption The video made Thomas (pictured with father Ross) smile for the first time since his grandma's death

Mr Goodall added that he did not expect the video to go viral.

"The reason we put it up was so that after the funeral my uncle and aunt could go and view it.

"I had no idea that anybody else would pick up on it."

Capaldi's first season as Doctor Who completed its 12-episode run on Saturday.

He told the BBC ahead of the first episode that he had been a fan of the show since he was five years old.

"It is so loved by people," he said. "It's important to people, and you feel a great responsibility."

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