Doctor Who confirms Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa as next Doctor

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Photo credit: Tim P. Whitby - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim P. Whitby - Getty Images

Doctor Who has announced that the 14th Doctor has been cast, with Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa set to take over the role from current incarnation Jodie Whittaker.

The BBC has confirmed that Gatwa, who plays Eric Effiong in Sex Education, will take charge of the TARDIS after Whittaker departs the sci-fi drama later this year.

"There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling," Gatwa said of his casting. "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 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. 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."

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

Incoming showrunner Russell T Davies, who is returning to the role in 2023, 13 years after previously leading the show, has shared his praise for Gatwa, saying: "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!"

Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore added: "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."

Speaking on the BAFTAs red carpet to BBC News, Gatwa confirmed that he was told he'd got the role in February.

"It's been tricky trying to keep this under wraps, 'cause I've got a very big mouth!" he joked. "But... we did it.

"It feels amazing, 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.

"It makes everyone feel seen as well, it's something that everyone can enjoy. So I feel very grateful to have had the baton handed over, and I'm gonna try and do my best.

Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

"I'm definitely gonna do my own thing, definitely. I think they're all amazing, you can't pick," he added when asked if his performance would be influenced by any of the Doctor's previous incarnations.

"I don't know who isn't a fan of Doctor Who! I'm very excited to join the family," he added.

Davies said that Gatwa's audition was "the most blazing" performance, and the "very last" audition the team saw.

"Genuinely, I've watched Sex Education – loved his work. Didn't quite know what we were going to get until I was in the room – and meeting you since, Ncuti, it's just gonna be a joy. I'm properly, properly thrilled. It's gonna be a blazing future."

Gatwa rose to fame after playing the loveable Eric in Netflix's Sex Education, a role which has earned him a string of awards nominations, including several BAFTA Television Awards nominations.

He has also been cast in Margot Robbie's Barbie movie, which is due for release in 2023.

Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

It has not yet been confirmed what Gatwa's casting in Doctor Who might mean for his future on Sex Education.

The news has been met with excitement by fans and famous faces, with Sex Education's Mr Groff actor Alistair Petrie commenting on Gatwa's Instagram announcement with "Oh my friend….." and a stethoscope emoji.

Strictly Come Dancing's Oti Mabuse, radio DJ Clara Amfo and Outlander star Lauren Lyle have also sent their congratulations to the actor.

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