The 29 year-old will take over from Jodie Whittaker as the 14th incarnation of the Timelord after she leaves the series this autumn. Her final episode will take place around the centenary celebrations of the BBC and will feature a return of old companions and monsters. This will also be the final episode of Chris Chibnall as showrunner before being replaced by Russell T Davies at the helm of the show.
Born in Rwanda, Gatwa was raised in Scotland and is best known to TV fans as Eric Effiong in the Netflix comedy drama Sex Education (pictured above). He won the Best Actor Award at the Scottish BAFTA’s in 2020 for the role and is nominated for Best Male Performance in a comedy programme at this year’s BAFTA TV Awards, which will be broadcast on the BBC on Sunday evening.
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Gatwa will be the first black actor to play the role of the Doctor full time. Previously Jo Martin made a brief appearance as an unknown incarnation of the Doctor in 2020. It is expected that Gatwa will be taking over the role full time on screen in 2023, the year of the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who.
Writing on the official Doctor Who website, Ncuti 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.”
Incoming showrunner, Russell T Davies said: “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.”
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer said: “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.”