"Prime Time" from DAILY EXPRESS

5th January 1996
by Peter Morris

With the in tense air of a college professor, David Duchovny is an unlikley pin-up. He is, however, being hailed the sexiest man on TV and was even described in the New York Times as "the first Internet sex symbol with hair".

But you might recognise his face - he had his first taste of stardom in a cult movie Kalifornia, which starred Brad Pitt. He has appeared in the movies Chaplin, Beethoven, and The Rapture opposite Mimi Rogers.

He also caused a stir as a transvestite detective in Twin Peaks.

With his teasing motto The Truth Is Out There, The X Files centres around two FBI agents with a mission to explain the unexplicable.

TV's most remarkable phenomenon started by being pretty weird and has grown progressively weirder. The show has taken flying saucers and aliens who spout green, corrosive blood out of comic stip territory - making science fiction terrifyingly believable - and mixed it with a detective story complete with action, murder and killer viruses.

The adventures of Splcial Agents Mulder and his brainy, capable partner, Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson, were such a success they astouded almost everyone associated with it, even David, 35, who did not think it would run for more than one series. "I thought since it was about UFOs and aliens, it would only be good for about five or six episodes. But gradually it was expanded to deal with all the unexplainable phenomena and so was able to develop into something with a much longer self life," he says "When i saw one episode was about a serial killer with green eyes who ate the liver of his victims, I knew we were in buisness.

Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg is one of The X Files many celebrity fans demanding to make a guest appearence in the show. Famous British fans include Jonathan Ross and his wife Jane, who is so obsessed that she spent three and a half months intesivley writing The X Files, Book Of The Unexplained, Volume One.

Such is the success of the show that the book is now No 3 in the best-seller list.

And two X files adventures and an official X Files guide have become best-sellers for publisher HaperCollins. The latest yarn is Ground Zero, currently at No 13 in the top 20 hardback fiction titles All has turned David and Gillian into big stars. But the price of fame has been high for David.

He has just split up from his girlfriend of two years, actress Perrey Reeves. Speaking for the firts time about their broken romance, he says they simply spent too much time apart: the show is filmed in Vancouver; Perrey lives in Los Angeles.

He admits to being tempted by other women while away, and says: "I found it difficult to be monogamous. There is so much temptation as an actor. I was just not ready to settle down." His new-found status in one of the world's most popular TV shows has opened doors for him that previously remained firmly shut. During a recent trip home to Los Angeles, he was asked to read a script by Steven Spielberg.

"It was a bit like meeting the most beautiful girl in the world, and pretending you're not interested.

"I was playing it cool when he came up to me and said he'd watched every episode of The X Files, at which point I melted and rushed to phone the show's producer Chris Carter.

"I said, 'Hey, guess what?Splieberg's seen every episode, he thinks it's great'."

Born in New York, David's mother is from Aberdeen. He says she instilled in him a Scottish, down-to-earth approach to lifewhich prevents him from becoming to impressed by stardom.

"Ghe always made sure none of her kids got carried away. When anything bad happened to us when we were growing up, she'd always say 'well, it's better than a stane a'hind the lug'."

His real ambition was a basket ball star for his beloved New York Knicks, but that dream ended when he stopped growing at 6ft. However, David is certainly no himbo. Before turning to acting he gained a degree in Englsih at Princeton and was studying for a Phd at Yale University when thr lure of acting finally proved irresistible. Yet his early forays into acting left him doubting if he had made the right choice.

Much of The X Files successis due to the on screen relationship between Scully and Mulder. They are always saving each other's lives in desperate situations and as close as two people can get without becoming lovers.

David says: "I would hope that it rremains where it is. Having a professional working relationship with a woman is much more interesting. It's very easy to just jump into bed. That doesn't take much imagination.

"We are very wary of the fact that at any moment the other can turn into a psycotic human being because of the demands that are put on us; the 16-hour days.

"Working with Gillian is more like a marriage. We have our good days and our bad days and we just have to work through it." Gillian, 27, admits their relationship is close enough for David to be the first person on The X Files set whom she confided in after learning she was pregnant.

Her daughter Piper, now 15 months old, was conceived on her wedding day. She met and fell in love with production designer Clyde Klotz within six months of starting the first series.

She feared being written out of the show. The attractive but decidely unglamorous Gillian, had not been the first choice of the show's bosses as Scully. They had wanted a blonde, leggy bimbo, not a petite redhead.

"Having a baby was the right decision for my husband and me," says Gillian. "But I was worried about my future."

However, producer Chris Carter, driving force behind The X Files, fought to keep Gillian. His battle was paid off. Scully and Mulder, as far as fans are concerned, are now inseparable, while remaining as different as chalk and cheese.

The truth, they are still convinced, is out there. But X Files aficiados are hoping they will not find it for many years to come.