Jodie Whittaker to become first female Doctor Who

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by Simon Austin

Yorkshire actress Jodie Whittaker is to become the first female Doctor Who.

The Broadchurch star, who was brought up in the West Yorkshire village of Skelmanthorpe, will be the 13th Time Lord.

Whittaker will take over from Peter Capaldi, who announced he was stepping down earlier this year, in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special.

"I'm beyond excited to begin this epic journey - with every Whovian on this planet,” the 35-year-old 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. I can't wait.

“It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.

“I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change. The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one."

The news was announced following the BBC's coverage of the Wimbledon men's singles final between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic on Sunday.

Capaldi said: "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."

The Doctor Who screen writer Mark Gatiss the appointment marked a “new dawn”.

Whittaker rose to prominence starring alongside the legendary Peter O’Toole in the 2006 film Venus.

She has also starred in television series including Broadchurch, Tess of the D’Urberbilles, Wired and Return to Cranford.