Actor Ncuti Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker as the star of Doctor Who, the BBC has announced.


The 29-year-old will become the 14th Time Lord on the popular science fiction show, and the first Black person-to play the lead role on the long-running British science fiction franchise about a time-traveling adventurer, the BBC announced on Sunday.

Scottish actor Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda, is best known for starring in Netflix’s sitcom Sex Education.

Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2022 - Special Access Arrivals
Ncuti Gatwa attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2022, in London, England. TRISTAN FEWINGS/GETTY IMAGES

He replaces Jodie Whittaker, who announced her departure last July after three seasons as the show’s first female Doctor.

Ncuti Gatwa, 29, A Rwandan-Scottish actor, plays Eric Effiong, a gay man navigating his sexuality and identity in a religious Nigerian family, in “Sex Education,” the hit British teen comedy-drama series on Netflix.

“It feels really amazing, it’s a true honor,”  Ncuti Gatwa told the BBC on Sunday as he arrived for the EE British Academy Film Awards, commonly known as the BAFTAs, where he was nominated for best male performance in a comedy program for his work on “Sex Education.”Ncuti Gatwa in Sex Education

Showrunner Russell T Davies said Gatwa had impressed him in a “blazing” audition.

“It was our last audition. It was our very last one,” the writer and producer said. “We thought we had someone, and then in he came and stole it.

“I’m properly, properly thrilled. It’s going to be a blazing future.”

The Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin creator, who is returning to Doctor Who after departing in 2009, posted a selfie with Gatwa on the Baftas red carpet.

“Doctor Who” fans celebrated the news on Twitter on Sunday, with many expressing their excitement to see a Doctor who resembles them. Others noted the low-key nature of the announcement: a tweet followed by a news release that the BBC shared on social media. In July 2017, the BBC announced Ms. Whittaker’s selectionin a commercial that aired after the Wimbledon men’s final.

In a statement shared by the BBC, Mr. Gatwa noted the importance of “Doctor Who” to fans worldwide, and acknowledged feeling “a mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.”

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“Unlike the Doctor,” he added, “I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”

The BBC has aired 39 seasons of “Doctor Who” over nearly 60 years. The show, about an alien known as the Doctor who travels through time and space in an old-fashioned British police telephone booth called the TARDIS, has cultivated a legion of dedicated fans who call themselves “Whovians.”


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