When Doctor Who dropped into a Liverpool academy

'Students so excited to meet successful film, television star'

He has played iconic characters and starred in classic films, but for the pupils of one Liverpool school, actor Paul McGann will forever be best known for the visit he paid to their classroom.

The Liverpool-born actor was a special guest at the Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) in Kensington, his home district, at the end of April, meeting pupils and sharing tales from a career which included a role in the 1980s cult comedy 'Withnail and I' – and a turn as Doctor Who in a television film.

The visit at the end of April was arranged by the school's chaplain, Phil Johnson, after he met the actor at this year's Comic Con Liverpool, and it began with a performance by the Academy's samba band. McGann then had the opportunity to see ASFA's award-winning drama group perform the play 'Talkin' about my Education' as well as to watch the academy's prize-winning film 'Tar Noire'. Talented students from the music department, led by head of music Jay Bradley, performed for him The Jackson 5 hit 'I Want You Back' – a song that McGann had fond memories of buying as a schoolboy in Liverpool.

Pupils also got the chance to ask the 58-year-old about his varied television, film and stage career. He appeared as the eighth incarnation of Doctor Who in 1996 and has since reprised the role in more than 70 audio dramas, including the 2013 mini-episode 'The Night of the Doctor'. He is currently starring in BBC One's medical drama series 'Holby City'.

Tracey Greenough, head teacher at ASFA, a joint-faith Roman Catholic and Church of England academy, said: 'We were delighted to welcome Paul McGann to the academy and show him everything that makes ASFA such a special vibrant community. Our talented students couldn't wait to perform and we enjoyed telling Paul all about our community and charity initiatives in the local community.

'The students were so excited to meet a successful film and television star, especially Paul as he grew up in Kensington. It really shows what our students can achieve if they dream big, aim high and are self-motivated.'