On Sunday, the BBC officially announced Sex Education star Ncuti Batwa will replace Jodie Whittaker as the star of Doctor Who in the upcoming 60th anniversary season. The news comes ahead of today’s TV BAFTAs, which has Batwa nominated for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for his role in Sex Education. Returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies accompanied Batwa on the event’s red carpet. There, they revealed that they’ve been keeping the casting new under wraps since February. Batwa says he’s happy to have the news out in the open since it means he doesn’t have to try not to blurt it out anymore.
“It’s been emotional,” Batwa says. “I was just saying, I woke up crying, and then I started dancing… I’m glad that it’s finally out and I don’t have to keep it a secret anymore because I’m terrible at that.”
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 8, 2022
In the press release announcing the news, Batwa 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 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.”
Davies added, “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!”
Doctor Who is currently between specials as it awaits the BBC Centenary. Doctor Who is streaming on HBO Max. You can get caught up on Doctor Who with our Doctor Who streaming binge guide.