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Time to change history (again) ... it's the new face of Dr Who

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2022-05-09 Daily Mail.jpg


JODIE Whittaker broke new ground as the first female Doctor Who in 2017.

Now her replacement Ncuti Gatwa will continue to push boundaries as he becomes the first black actor to play the Time Lord full-time.

The Sex Education star, 29, said he was 'deeply honoured' and 'a little bit scared' to be taking on the character.

He revealed he has known since February that he would be replacing Miss Whittaker, who announced she was leaving the BBC sci-fi series last year.

Since 2020 black actress Jo Martin has played a previously unknown version of the Doctor - the Fugitive Doctor - in several episodes.

Scottish actor Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda, is best known for starring as Eric Effiong in Netflix's Sex Education.

The news of his appointment yesterday was unexpected, after months of speculation that It's A Sin stars 011y Alexander and Lydia West were the front runners to get the part. Gatwa will join award-winning screenwriter Russell T Davies, who is returning to the BBC1 series for a second time and will be at the helm of the 60th anniversary next year

Gatwa 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.

'I will endeavour 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.'

Hours after the announcement Gatwa appeared at the Baftas in London wearing a black suit with a cut-out jacket showing his chest. He missed out on the award for best male in a comedy programme which was won by Jamie Demetriou for his part in Stath Lets Flats.

Gatwa told BBC News: '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 months 'couch-surfing' before landing his role in Sex Education.

He said: 'I didn't have a home. I was homeless... So my life before Sex Education was so different. To go to my audition, I had to get my friend to transfer me ten quid so I could top up my Oyster card.'

Miss Whittaker, 39, who made history as the first female Doctor in 2017, and writer Chris Chibnall confirmed they were leaving the show in July last year. Her final adventure will be in a special episode to be shown this autumn.

On Gatwa's appointment, Davies 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 was rumoured in March that Notting Hill star Hugh Grant would replace Miss Whittaker in a bid to boost the show's ratings.

BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore said: 'Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he's a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies' new era.'

true honour.' In 2020 he was named best actor at the Scottish Baftas for his role in Sex Education. Gatwa grew up in Rwanda. When he was a toddler he and his family fled the genocide as refugees.

He was educated in Fife and Edinburgh before attending the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow. When he was just 21 Gatwa moved to London, previously telling Big Issue magazine that he spent

Caption: Cut out for the role: Ncuti Gatwa at the Baftas yesterday. Inset: The current Doctor, Jodie Whittaker

Caption: Netflix hit In Sex Education show with Asa Butterfield

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  • APA 6th ed.: Sharples, Eleanor (2022-05-09). Time to change history (again) ... it's the new face of Dr Who. Daily Mail p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Sharples, Eleanor. "Time to change history (again) ... it's the new face of Dr Who." Daily Mail [add city] 2022-05-09, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Sharples, Eleanor. "Time to change history (again) ... it's the new face of Dr Who." Daily Mail, edition, sec., 2022-05-09
  • Turabian: Sharples, Eleanor. "Time to change history (again) ... it's the new face of Dr Who." Daily Mail, 2022-05-09, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Time to change history (again) ... it's the new face of Dr Who | url= | work=Daily Mail | pages=9 | date=2022-05-09 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 May 2024 }}</ref>
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