EastEnders legend Anita Dobson joins Doctor Who season 14

Anita Dobson, best known for her iconic performance as Angie Watts in the British soap opera EastEnders has joined the cast of Doctor Who season 14.

Dobson, 73, will play an as yet unnamed character in the upcoming series of the show.

The BBC has released a photograph of Dobson alongside the new that she will feature in Ncuti Gatwa’s first season as the Time Lord in the BBC’s long-running science fiction show.

Dobson was announced for season 14 of Doctor Who alongside Michelle Greenidge, who is best known for her roles in Ricky Gervais’s After Life and Russell T Davies series It’s A Sin.

Who is Anita Dobson?


Dobson became a household name in the United Kingdom when she starred in the BBC’s EastEnders between 1985 and 1988 as Angie Watts. The original landlady of the Queen Victoria on Albert Square, Angie Watts was well-known for her no-nonsense approach to customers, trademark permed hair and her turbulent marriage with Den Watts (played by Lesley Grantham). The troubled marriage between the pair would lead Angie to troubles with drinking in the later stages of her storyline.

Angie and Den’s marriage would end in a spectacular fashion when in 1986 Den served Angie with divorce papers in the Christmas Day special of the show. The episode was watched by a record-breaking 30 million people in the UK, almost half of the population of the United Kingdom at that time.

In the summer of 1986, Dobson released Anyone Can Fall in Love, a tune set to the EastEnders theme music. The song peaked at number four on the UK singles chart.

Dobson left EastEnders in 1988, and despite calls for her return, her character was killed off-screen in 2022.

Asked why she had never returned to the show, Dobson told the BBC in 2005: “Why tarnish the gorgeous creation that was Angie Watts?”

Other TV work

After leaving EastEnders, Dobson appeared in many different television shows and series including Red Dwarf, Rab C Nesbitt and Split Ends.

She also made guest appearances in Dangerfield, Ghosts, Hotel Babylon, Sunburn and The Last Detective.

Dobson has also appeared in long-running continuing dramas Casualty and Holby City and In 2005, Dobson joined the police drama The Bill.

In 2011, Dobson took part in the ninth season of Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC. She was partnered with Robin Windsor got to week nine of the show before being eliminated.


Dobson has performed in theatre and musical productions for much of her career and in 2003 was nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in the National Theatre production of Frozen.

In a successful stage career she has also been noted for performances on the West End as  Mama Morton in the 2003 musical Chicago and Gertrude in the 2005 version of Hamlet . Dobson made her Royal Shakespeare Company debut in a 2012 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Dobson is married to Queen guitarist Brian May who she wed in the year 2000.

Doctor Who will return in November 2023 with three special episodes starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor that will be followed by the first episode starring Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor with his new companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) around the festive season of 2023.

It is expected that the rest of Doctor Who season 14, including the episode or episodes in which Anita Dobson will feature, will air in 2024.

The new episodes will be the first as part of a new deal between the BBC and Disney to make Disney+ the new international home of Doctor Who.