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(Photo: ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Christopher Eccleston doesn’t have a reputation for sentimentality. But tell him it was his outing as the Ninth Doctor that got you interested in filmmaking, and he proves he’s as soft as the rest of us.

That’s exactly what Gerard Groves did. Gerard is a young filmmaker for BBC Raw, a training scheme for socially and racially diverse young people who want to develop their filming skills in the U.K. He also has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism, and went to interview Christopher on the set of The A Word, a new BBC drama series in which Eccleston plays the grandfather of an autistic child.

After a day spent behind the scenes, Gerard finally had the chance to sit down with and interview the man who inspired him to make films in the first place—the Doctor. And as you can see, Christopher gets a tad emosh:

In an interview with Radio Times, Gerard said, “He was absolutely lovely. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to.”

“You often hear the phrase ‘Don’t meet your heroes,’ but it couldn’t have been further from the truth.”

Describing his childhood obsession with Doctor Who, he said: “I think it kind of gets burnt into your brain, and into you as a person, and it holds that very special place for you, almost like how a parent or a granddad or someone close to you would. It’s funny how TV can do that.”

Aw. Nothing to be ashamed of, Chris, old chum. We think there’s something in our eye too.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.