Jodie Whittaker has been named as the 13th Doctor in the BBC’s Doctor Who.
The former Broadchurch star will succeed Peter Capaldi when he bows out in December.
Whittaker, 35, was amongst the favourites tipped to be named, although many had expected the role to go to ex-Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall.
But there had been speculation the series would break new barriers with either a female or black Doctor, when new showrunner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) takes over from Steven Moffat.
“I always knew I wanted the Thirteenth Doctor to be a woman and we’re thrilled to have secured our number one choice,” said Chibnall. “Her audition for The Doctor simply blew us all away. Jodie is an in-demand, funny, inspiring, super-smart force of nature and will bring loads of wit, strength and warmth to the role. The Thirteenth Doctor is on her way.”
“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey, with Chris and with every Whovian on this planet,” Whittaker said. “It’s more than an honour to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”
Whittaker has previously appeared in Accused, Black Mirror, Return to Cranford and Dalziel and Pascoe.
Outgoing Doctor, Peter Capaldi paid tribute: “Anyone who has seen Jodie Whittaker’s work will know that she is a wonderful actress of great individuality and charm. She has above all the huge heart to play this most special part. She’s going to be a fantastic Doctor.”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content said, “Making history is what Doctor Who is all about and Chris Chibnall’s bold new take on the next Time Lord is exactly that. The nation is going to fall in love with Jodie Whittaker – and have lots of fun too!”
Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama says : “Jodie is not just a talented actor but she has a bold and brilliant vision for her Doctor. She aced it in her audition both technically and with the powerful female life force she brings to the role. She is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.”
Matt Strevens, Executive Producer says: “I’m so thrilled that Jodie Whittaker said yes to playing the Doctor. I’ve been a fan for years and always hoped to work with her. She is an actor of great emotional range and inhabits every role with complete passion and conviction. Just thinking about what she will bring to the Doctor makes me as excited as a kid at Christmas. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
On social media there were divided opinions on the announcement, revealed after the Wimbledon Men’s Final win by Roger Federer.
— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) July 16, 2017
— Dominic Thoreau (@dthoreau) July 16, 2017
— Jordan ? (@jordanpfiore) July 16, 2017
I'm so SO proud of this show. I'm so happy about the casting. This is one of the biggest landmarks in the show's history. #DoctorWho ? ?
— Luke Spillane ? (@lukespillane) July 16, 2017
Going to be honest, it'll be an adjustment but this is #DoctorWho – a show about change. We're behind this show and the FAB Jodie Whittaker!
— Doctor Who Online (@DrWhoOnline) July 16, 2017
— L Higgins (@LHigginswal) July 16, 2017
Chris Chibnall + Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor?! I might just have to jump back into #DoctorWho again after all.
— Jace Lacob (@televisionary) July 16, 2017
— Helen (@hehlon) July 16, 2017
#DoctorWho won't last with Jodie… this is going to be a repeat of Christopher… 1 series and then leaving! Cancellation is imminent.
— Daniel Shillito (@DanTheMan2150AD) July 16, 2017
My favourite show is ruined ? I'm sure maybe she's a great actor but you literally killed it :/ this is really unfortunate. #DoctorWho
— Brandon Heys (@BrandonHeys1) July 16, 2017
Hold horses. Not everyone who is unhappy with #DoctorWho decision is a misogynist/sexist. Other views are available.
Be good. Be geek.
— Rae Earl (@RaeEarl) July 16, 2017
— Game of Series (@gameof_series) July 16, 2017
The 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special will be available on ABC iview immediately following the UK broadcast on Boxing Day morning. ABC and ABC ME will broadcast the Christmas Special later that evening.