The 29-year-old 'Sex Education' star becomes the first Black actor to play the lead title role.
Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa has been announced as the latest star to take on the lead role in the BBC's hit television series Doctor Who. Gatwa will become the 14th Time Lord on the popular, time-traveling show, playing the lead character 'The Doctor'. Making history, Gatwa becomes the first Black actor to play The Doctor, following Jodie Whittaker, who was the first female doctor on the long-running British series.
Gatwa gained popularity as funny, universally loved Eric Effiong on the hit Netflix show Sex Education. His performance in the hit British comedy went on to win him a BAFTA for Best Actor, along with a number of nominations. According to long-time showrunner Russel T Davies, the Rwandan-born, Scotland-raised actor was one of the last to audition for the role but landed it as soon as he did. "Sometimes talent walks through the door and it's so bright, bold, and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars," Davies said. "Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor, and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds."
Speaking of his excitement, Gatwa told BBC, "This role is an institution. It's so iconic and it means a lot to so many people, including myself, and so it makes everyone feel seen as well."
The 29-year-old actor makes history as one of the youngest to play The Doctor. And continued, "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," Gatwa said in a press release. "Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show."
Fans of both the show and the star took to Twitter to share their excitement over Gatwa's announcement
To the Racists & Homophobes loosing their godforsaken minds #NcutiGatwa is #DoctorWho -we know you can\u2019t stand the fire & brilliance of this:\nYoung. \nBlack. \nGay. \nGifted. \nBeautiful.\nBold.\nActor.\n\nThose who are FOR him are MORE than those Against him\n\nWe Are Ready pic.twitter.com/2XilzneUpy— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu) 1652030455
I am overflowing with happiness. Ncuti makes all of our days brighter on set with his boundless enthusiasm and radiant energy. This could not happen to a better human being PERIOD. \n\nTHE DOCTOR IS IN!!!!!!!!https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/08/arts/television/ncuti-gatwa-doctor-who.html\u00a0\u2026— Simu Liu (\u5218\u601d\u6155) (@Simu Liu (\u5218\u601d\u6155)) 1652043986
Ncuti Gatwa, a Rwandan refugee welcomed by Scotland, graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, BAFTA nominee, gay and black, is the new Doctor Who. Brilliant! Well done, the casting team!— Steve Callaghan (@Steve Callaghan) 1652029140
This is harrowing stuff. Four years ago, Ncuti Gatwa didn't have a place to sleep, or the cash to eat. Today, he makes history.\n\nThere's no rags-to-riches lesson here. Just imagine how many barriers struggling artists never make it over.pic.twitter.com/Fy9EzuhA7r— Max Kashevsky (@Max Kashevsky) 1652033480
I ain\u2019t watched a single episode of Dr Who in my life but I will be tuning in to every single time for Ncuti Gatwa, someone just needs to catch me up on the plot for the past 6 decades— Jason Okundaye (@Jason Okundaye) 1652093708
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