'Sex Education' Star Ncuti Gatwa Makes History as First Black Actor Cast as Doctor Who

Interviewed on the red carpet of BAFTA TV Awards, the Rwandan-Scottish actor says, 'It's been emotional,' after he's named as Jodie Whittaker's replacement on the long-running BBC series.

AceShowbiz - Meet the new Doctor Who! Ncuti Gatwa, best known for his role on "Sex Education", has been named the next Doctor on BBC's long-running sci-fi series, making him the first black actor to play the titular character on the show.

Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker as the fourteenth Doctor. The casting news was announced on Sunday, May 8, the same day he attended the 2022 BAFTA TV Awards in London.

"There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling. A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared," he said in a statement about being cast for the role. "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 endeavor my upmost to do the same."

"(Incoming showrunner) 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," he added. "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."

Interviewed on the red carpet of the BAFTA TV Awards, which was held at the Royal Festival Hall, the Rwandan-Scottish actor also opened up about his feeling after the news is out. "It's been emotional, it's been emotional," he said.

"I was just saying, I woke up crying and then I started dancing and then I was just like it's just…but I'm glad that it's finally out and I don't have to keep the secret anymore because I'm terrible!" he went on sharing. The 29-year-old additionally said he had been keeping the secret since February, which he dubbed "a long time."

Davies, meanwhile, gushed about Gatwa, "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 honor 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!"

Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall announced in June 2021 that they would depart the show after a series of 2022 specials following the 13th season. Davies will return as showrunner for the show's 14th season, twelve years after he had left the show, while Bad Wolf will take over production of the series.

Gatwa rose to prominence as Eric Effiong on the Netflix comedy-drama series "Sex Education", which earned him a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television in 2020. He was nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance at Sunday's BAFTA TV Awards.

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