Watch David Tennant Receive Surprise TV Award (and His Dad Steal the Tribute Video)

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David Tennant in 'Broadchurch'
David Tennant in 'Broadchurch'

David Tennant thought he was just at Wednesday's National Television Awards in Britain to present alongside his Broadchurch co-star Olivia Colman. But, in fact, the actor best known for Doctor Who and Broadchurch was there to receive the Special Recognition Award.

Because of the excellent use of picture-in-picture during that portion of the telecast, we can all now enjoy the look on Tennant's face as he watches a tribute video featuring interviews with Billie Piper, Russell T. Davies, Catherine Tate, Stephen Fry, Richard Wilson, Colman, and, his father, the very Rev. Dr. Alexander McDonald.

It's the sight of dad that gets Tennant teary-eyed, even before McDonald speaks: "He might not like me saying it, but he's gentle. And that comes through, in so many of the things that he does," he says. His father, to whom Tennant ultimately dedicates the award, ends the video on an even sweeter sentiment: "He does love people, and that's a great gift. In this day and age, to love people makes the world a better place. And I think David, in all that he does, makes the world a better place... I mean, as you must realize, I'm his dad."

Davies talks about casting "nimble, light, and clever" Tennant as Casanova and the Tenth Doctor, but he also summarizes his general appeal: "I think in the end, there's just something so open about him. It just literally welcomes people in. You find yourself drawn to the screen, and then you sit down and you stay, because you want to spend that hour with him." As Fry puts it: "I think with David, you always want to know more. You kinda look, and you just want to look further."

Related: 'Broadchurch' Season 2 Begins With a Major Twist [Video]

Other quick notes:

* Notice the way, even in this video, Tate makes Tennant smile after Piper gets emotional recounting how vividly she remembers shooting Rose's goodbye with the Doctor on the beach.

* The Proclaimers, the fellow Scotsmen behind the hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," present him with the award because Tennant loves the band and they've become friends.

* He begins his speech with, "I am so glad I didn't get stuck in traffic" because the winner of the award that he and Colman presented earlier in the evening did and missed her moment on stage.

* You'll be worried he's going to forget to thank his wife, Georgia Moffett (daughter of the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison), but he doesn't, so you can relax.

* While it's impressive that Georgia and McDonald lied to Tennant about the award, it's no surprise Colman kept the secret. As she revealed on The Graham Norton Show last week, while the two promoted the second season of Broadchurch now airing in the U.K., she'd been told the identity of the Season 1 murderer at her audition for the series, before producers decided they didn't want the cast to know — and she kept that fact from Tennant.

And speaking of Broadchurch, which has its Season 2 premiere March 4 on BBC America, have you seen Tennant put "lyrics" to the drama's instrumental theme? You need to.