Incoming Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa, who will be taking over the controls of the TARDIS as the Fifteenth Doctor in the BBC’s long-running science fiction show at the end of 2023, was one of the top ten most searched-for actors in the United Kingdom in 2022 according to Google Trends data.
The 30-year-old actor, best known to many as Eric Effiong from the Netflix coming-of-age drama Sex Education was announced as the Doctor to take over full-time from Jodie Whittaker in May 2022, attracting a huge amount of attention from the press and the public in the UK and across the globe.
This surge in interest meant that Ncuti Gatwa was the seventh most-searched-for actor across 2022 by people using Google in the UK, ahead of Andrew Garfield (who insistently has guest starred in Doctor Who), Evan Peters and Luke Evans.
Topping the most-searched-for actors list in the UK was Hollywood star Johnny Depp, who was involved in a long-running court battle with his ex wife Amber Heard attracting a great deal of media and public attention, with Heard also on the list, just behind Will Smith who made headlines at the Academy Awards after slapping the host Chris Rock on stage. Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and Chris Rock also made the top five most-searcher-for actors.
The only other actor with more searches than Ncuti Gatwa was Joseph Quinn, the British actor who played Eddie Munson in the epic Stranger Things season 4 parts one and two on Netflix.
Despite Gatwa making the most searched for actors, Doctor Who did not manage to make it into the top 10 most searched TV shows of 2022 in the United Kingdom. The top show on Google was Stranger Things for UK TV fans with Inventing Anna, Euphoria, The Tourist, I’m A Celebrity and Game of Thrones prequel starring Matt Smith House of the Dragon all also making the top 10.
Ncuti Gatwa, who will also appear in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Movie in 2023 opposite Margot Robbie‘s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken, will make his full debut in Doctor Who with new companion Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson, in a festive special at the end of 2023. The rest of season 14 of Doctor Who will play our in 2024, the first season to be part of the new deal between BBC and Disney to make Disney+ the International home of Doctor Who going forward.
Before that there will be three special episodes of Doctor Who in November 2023 starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor opposite old companion Donna Noble played by Catherine Tate. The shows will also star Yasmin Finney, Ruth Madeley and Neil Patrick Harris.