Ncuti Gatwa to take over from Jodie Whittaker as new Doctor Who

Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker as the Time Lord in Doctor Who, the BBC has announced.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 9:37 am

The 29-year-old will become the 14th Doctor on the popular BBC show, after Whittaker announced last July she will be leaving the role.

The Scottish actor who starred as Eric Effiong in Netflix’s hugely popular Sex Education about socially awkward high school student Otis (Asa Butterfield) and his sex therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson).

The Rwandan-born Scot, who was educated in Fife and Edinburgh before attending the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow, will become the 14th incarnation of the character.

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He will also become the fourth Scot to take up the post, following on from Sylvester McCoy, fellow Conservatoire graduate David Tennant and Peter Capaldi.

He said: “There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care.

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“I will endeavour my upmost to do the same. Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger.

Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor Who

“An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show.

“And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.”

Whittaker took over the Tardis in 2017 as the first female Doctor.

Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin writer Russell T Davies is returning as the programme’s showrunner after departing the show in 2009.

Davies, who was responsible for Doctor Who’s revival in 2005, will be back to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023, the BBC previously said.

He said: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars.

“Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those Tardis keys in seconds.

“It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come.

“But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”

He added: “It was the most blazing audition, it was our last audition, it was the very last one, we thought we had someone and then in he came and stole it!”.

The announcement was teased by Davies and Gatwa on Instagram, with a post featuring two heart emojis, a plus symbol and a blue square.

“I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come."

Newly-announced Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa said he has known since February that he would be taking over the role from Jodie Whittaker and revealed it has been “tricky” keeping the news to himself.

Speaking to BBC News on the red carpet at the TV Baftas, the Sex Education star said: “I’ve known since about February, (it’s) been tricky trying to keep this under wraps because I’ve got a very big mouth, but yeah, we did it. It feels really amazing and it’s a true honour, this role is an institution and it’s so iconic and it means a lot to so many people including myself and so it makes everyone feel seen as well, it’s something everyone can enjoy so I feel very grateful to have had the baton handed over and I’m going to try do my best.”

In a video shared by the official Bafta account on Twitter, Ncuti Gatwa said: “I’m quite good, I don’t like to spoil things for others. If I know someone is going to watch something I won’t say nothing, I won’t talk about, I’ll let them watch it by themselves.”

Georgia Tennant, wife of former Doctor Who star David Tennant and daughter of Peter Davidson, who also played the Doctor, reacted to the news that Ncuti Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker, tweeting: “Hello dad”.

Scottish actress Karen Gillan, who previously starred as the 11th Doctor’s companion, Amy Pond, shared her excitement at the casting in a tweet, writing: “We have a new doctor!!!!!”.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, the principal of the Conservatoire, said: “We’re thrilled and incredibly proud of Ncuti taking the helm of the Tardis and with it one of the best-loved roles in British TV.

“He’ll be such a brilliant role model and it’s lovely to see him join fellow RCS alumnus David Tennant in the famous Dr Who footsteps.”

The 29-year-old was also congratulated by Scottish Culture Secretary Angus Robertson, who said on Twitter: “Congratulations to Ncuti Gatwa on becoming the new Dr Who.

“Great to see success of this young Scottish acting talent and graduate of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.”

Scotland’s Culture Secretary has congratulated Ncuti Gatwa after he was announced as the new Doctor.

Angus Robertson said on Twitter: “Congratulations to Ncuti Gatwa on becoming the new Dr Who.

“Great to see success of this young Scottish acting talent and graduate of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.”

It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander, who was among the names touted to be in the running to play the Doctor, tweeted: “NCUTIIIIIIII!!!! Amazing !!”.